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U.S. Supreme Court

Oil Workers Unions v. Missouri, 361 U.S. 363 (1960)

Local No. 8-6, Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers

International Union, AFL-CIO

No. 42

Argued November 19, 1959

Decided January 25, 1960

361 U.S. 363


Proceeding under a Missouri statute, the Governor of Missouri found that the public interest, health, and welfare were jeopardized by an existing strike against a public utility in the State, and issued executive orders taking possession of the company and directing that it continue operations. Pursuant to the statute, a state court enjoined continuation of the strike. The strike was then terminated, a new labor agreement was entered into between the unions and the company, and the Governor ended the seizure. On appeal from the injunction decree, the Supreme Court of Missouri noted that the injunction had "expired by its own terms," but it proceeded to sustain the constitutionality of those sections of the statute authorizing the seizure, forbidding continuation of a strike after seizure, and authorizing the state courts to enjoin violations of the Act. On appeal to this Court,

Held: since the injunction has long since expired by its own terms, the cause has become moot. Pp. 361 U. S. 364-371.

(a) Because the injunction has long since "expired by its own terms," there remains for this Court no actual matter in controversy essential to a decision of this case. Harris v. Battle, 348 U.S. 803. Pp. 361 U. S. 367-369.

(b) Life is not given to this appeal by the fact that the statute contains provisions which impose (1) monetary penalties upon labor unions which continue a strike after seizure, and (2) loss of seniority for employees participating in such a strike; since the Supreme Court of Missouri found that those separable provisions of the Act were not involved in this case, it carefully refrained from passing on their validity, and they are not properly before this Court in this case. Pp. 361 U. S. 369-371.

317 S.W.2d 309, judgment vacated and cause remanded. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 361 U. S. 364

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