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U.S. Supreme Court

Clothing Workers v. Richman Brothers Co., 348 U.S. 511 (1955)

Amalgamated Clothing Workers or America v. Richman Brothers Co.

No. 173

Argued March 4, 7, 1955

Decided April 4, 1955

348 U.S. 511


Without applying to the National Labor Relations Board for relief, a corporation engaged in interstate commerce sued in a state court to enjoin a labor union from peacefully picketing the corporation's places of business, on the ground that such conduct constituted a common law conspiracy and a statutory and common law restraint of trade in violation of state law. Claiming that the matter was in the exclusive jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board and that the state court had no jurisdiction, the union sued in a Federal District Court to enjoin the corporation from further prosecution of its suit in the state court, basing jurisdiction on 28 U.S.C. §§ 1337 and 1651.

Held: under 28 U.S.C. § 2283, the Federal District Court was denied power to enjoin the proceedings in the state court. Pp. 348 U. S. 512-521.

1. The clear-cut prohibition of § 2283 against a federal court granting an injunction to stay proceedings in a state court cannot be held inapplicable whenever a party applying to a Federal District Court to enjoin proceedings in a state court alleges that the state court is without jurisdiction of the subject matter because it has invaded a field preempted by Congress. Pp. 348 U. S. 514-516.

2. The specific exception in § 2283 which permits an injunction to issue "as expressly authorized by Act of Congress" is not applicable to this case. The Taft-Hartley Act authorizes the National Labor Relations Board and its representatives to apply to a District Court for injunctive relief in certain circumstances, but it does not authorize private litigants to apply for such relief. Pp. 348 U. S. 516-519.

3. Nor is this case within the specific exception to § 2283 which permits a federal court to issue an injunction "where necessary in aid of its jurisdiction." Pp. 348 U. S. 519-521.

211 F.2d 449 affirmed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 348 U. S. 512

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