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U.S. Supreme Court

Associated Press v. Labor Board, 301 U.S. 103 (1937)

Associated Press v. National Labor Relations Board

No. 365

Argued February 9, 10, 1937

Decided April 12, 1937

301 U.S. 103


1. Interstate communication of a business nature, whatever the means employed, is interstate commerce subject to regulation by Congress. P. 301 U. S. 128.

2. The Associated Press, a nonprofitmaking corporation whose members are the owners of newspapers published for profit throughout the country, is engaged as their agency in exchanging news between those publications, using the telegraph and telephone and other means of communication, and in supplying them in like manner with domestic and foreign news collected by itself. Held engaged in interstate commerce within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act and Constitution, Art. I, § 8. P. 301 U. S. 125.

3. This conclusion is unaffected by the facts that the Associated Press does not itself sell news or operate for profit, and that technically it retains title to the news during interstate transmission. P. 301 U. S. 128. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 301 U. S. 104

4. Provisions of the National Labor Relations Act empowering the National Labor Relations Board, in protection of intestate commerce, to require that employees discharged for union activities and advocacy of collective bargaining be restored to employment and their losses of pay made good held valid as applied to the Associated Press in the case of an employee whose duties were editorial, having to do with the preparation of news for transmission, rather than its actual transmission in interstate commerce. Virginian Ry. Co. v. System Federation No. 40, 300 U. S. 515; Texas & N.O. R. Co. v. Railway Clerks, 281 U. S. 548. P. 301 U. S. 129.

5. The National Labor Relations Act, as so applied in this case, does not unconstitutionally abridge the freedom of the press. P. 301 U. S. 130.

The Act does not compel the Associated Press to employ anyone, or to retain an incompetent editor, or one who fails faithfully to edit the news without bias. It does not interfere with the right to discharge any employee (including one who has been so reinstated by order of the Labor Board) for any cause deemed proper by the employer, save only the forbidden reasons of union activities and advocacy of collective bargaining.

6. The contentions that the National Labor Relations Act deprives petitioner of property without due process; that the order of the Board requiring restoration of lost pay deprives petitioner of the right to trial by jury, and that the Act is invalid on its face because it seeks to regulate both interstate and intrastate commerce are rejected upon the authority of Texas & N.O. R. Co. v. Railway Clerks, 281 U. S. 548, and Labor Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Cop., ante, p. 301 U. S. 1. P. 301 U. S. 133.

85 F.2d 56 affirmed.

Certiorari, 299 U.S. 532, to review a decree sustaining an order of the National Labor Relations Board. The case came before the court below on the Board's petition for enforcement of its order. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 301 U. S. 122

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