Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hudgens v. National Labor Relations Board case brief

Hudgens v. National Labor Relations Board case brief summary
424 U.S. 507 (1976)

Petitioner owner challenged a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which enforced respondent National Labor Relations Board's (Board) order preventing the owner from interfering with the union members' right to picket inside the owner's private shopping mall. The owner contended that free speech considerations were inapplicable in an analysis under the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 151 et seq.

An owner of a private shopping mall informed the employees of one of his tenants that they would be arrested for trespass if they continued to picket inside the mall. The union filed an unfair labor practice against the owner under § 8(a)(1), 29 U.S.C.S. § 158(a)(1), of the National Labor Relations Act (Act), 29 U.S.C.S. § 151 et seq.

The court held that it was error for the Board to consider competing constitutional and property right considerations in its application of the Act. The court held that the case that the Board relied on was overruled by another case. Thus, the general counsel had no duty to prove that other locations for the protest that were less intrusive upon the owner's property rights were either unavailable or ineffective. The court held that the striking union members had no First Amendment right to enter the mall for the purpose of advertising their strike against one of the stores therein.


The judgment of the court of appeals was vacated and the case was remanded to be considered under the statutory criteria of the National Labor Relations Act, and not the criteria of the First Amendment.

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