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U.S. Supreme Court

Steelworkers v. United States, 361 U.S. 39 (1959)

United Steelworkers of America v. United States

No. 504

Argued November 3, 1959

Decided November 7, 1959

361 U.S. 39


Under § 208 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, the United States sued in a Federal District Court to enjoin the continuation of an industry-wide strike in the steel industry. After considering affidavits filed by the parties and finding that the strike had closed down a substantial part of the Nation's steel production capacity and that its continuation would "imperil the national health and safety," the District Court enjoined continuation of the strike. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: The judgment is sustained. Pp. 361 U. S. 40-44.

1. Once it determined that the statutory conditions of breadth of involvement and peril to the national health or safety existed, the District Court properly enjoined continuation of the strike. Congress did not intend that the issuance of an injunction should depend upon a judicial inquiry into broad issues of national labor policy, the availability of other remedies to the Executive, the effect of an injunction on the collective bargaining process, the conduct of the parties to the labor dispute in their negotiations, or conjecture as to the course of those negotiations in the future. Pp. 361 U. S. 40-41.

2. On the record in this case, the judgment below was amply supported on the ground that the strike imperiled the national safety. Pp. 361 U. S. 41-42.

3. Section 208 was designed to provide a public remedy in times of emergency, and it cannot be construed to require that the Government either formulate a reorganization of the affected industry to satisfy its defense needs without the complete reopening of closed facilities or demonstrate in court that such a reorganization is not feasible. P. 361 U. S. 43.

4. As here applied, § 208 entrusts to the courts only the determination of a "case or controversy." It does not violate the Constitution by entrusting to them any matter capable of only legislative or executive determination. Pp. 361 U. S. 43-44.

271 F.2d 676 affirmed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 361 U. S. 40

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