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GIBONEY V. EMPIRE STORAGE & ICE CO., 336 U. S. 490 (1949)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Giboney v. Empire Storage & Ice Co., 336 U.S. 490 (1949)

Giboney v. Empire Storage & Ice Co.

No. 182

Argued January 4-5, 1949

Decided April 4, 1949

336 U.S. 490


A state court enjoined officers and members of a union of ice peddlers from peacefully picketing appellee's place of business, finding that the sole purpose of the picketing was to induce appellee to agree not to sell ice to non-union peddlers. The State Supreme Court affirmed, holding that picketing for this purpose violated a state statute forbidding agreements in restraint of trade.

Held: The state law, as construed and applied in this case, does not violate the Federal Constitution, and the judgment is affirmed. Pp. 336 U. S. 491-504.

1. States have constitutional power to prohibit dealers and their aiders and abettors from combining to restrain freedom of trade. P. 336 U. S. 495.

2. The guaranties of freedom of speech and press stemming from the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution do not immunize members of labor unions from such a valid state law. Pp. 495-497.

3. Nor do they prevent state courts from enjoining peaceful picketing by members of a labor union in violation of such a valid state law, even though the picketing involves dissemination of truthful information about a labor dispute. Thornhill v. Alabama, 310 U. S. 88; Carlson v. California, 310 U. S. 106, distinguished. Pp. 336 U. S. 497-504.

(a) The constitutional freedom of speech and press does not immunize speech or writing used as an integral part of conduct in violation of a valid criminal statute. P. 336 U. S. 498.

(b) The circumstances here justified restraint of the picketing, since it was engaged in for the sole purpose of inducing a violation of a valid state law. Pp. 336 U. S. 501-504.

(c) The State, and not the labor union, has paramount constitutional power to regulate and govern the manner in which certain trade practices may be carried on. P. 336 U. S. 504.

357 Mo. 671, 210 S.W.2d 55, affirmed.

A state trial court enjoined officers and members of a labor union from picketing appellee's place of business chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 336 U. S. 491

in order to force appellee to enter into an agreement in restraint of trade in violation of Mo.Rev.Stat.Ann., § 8301. The State Supreme Court affirmed. 57 Mo. 671, 210 S.W.2d 55. On appeal to this Court, affirmed, p. 336 U. S. 504.

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