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ALABAMA STATE FEDERATION LABOR ET AL. v. MCADORY ET AL.

decided: June 11, 1945.

ALABAMA STATE FEDERATION OF LABOR ET AL
v.
MCADORY ET AL.



CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ALABAMA.

Stone, Roberts, Black, Reed, Frankfurter, Douglas, Murphy, Jackson, Rutledge

Author: Stone

[ 325 U.S. Page 453]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case was brought in the state courts of Alabama for a declaratory judgment adjudicating the constitutional validity of certain sections of the Bradford Act, No. 298, Alabama Laws of 1943 (Code 1943, Tit. 26 §§ 376 et seq.). The principal question is whether petitioners' contentions are so related to any case or controversy presented by the

[ 325 U.S. Page 454]

     record that this Court may appropriately pass upon them in a declaratory judgment proceeding.

Petitioners are four affiliated, unincorporated labor organizations, the American Federation of Labor, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, which are national labor organizations, and two Alabama labor organizations, and an individual who is a citizen of Alabama and a member of petitioner, Local Union No. 103, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

Petitioners brought the present suit in the Alabama Circuit Court for Jefferson County against respondents, officers of Jefferson County, charged with the duty of enforcing the Bradford Act. They prayed a declaratory judgment that the Act as a whole and specifically §§ 7, 15, and 16, among others, are unconstitutional and void under the federal and state constitutions.

After a trial upon a stipulated statement of facts, certain affidavits and the testimony of witnesses, the circuit court held the Act as a whole, and specifically § 7 of the Act, to be valid and constitutional. It declined as "inappropriate" to make declarations as to the validity of §§ 15 and 16. On appeal, petitioners assigning as error the circuit court's failure to pass upon the constitutionality of §§ 15 and 16, and to declare those sections and § 7 unconstitutional, the state supreme court held all three sections valid and constitutional. 246 Ala. 1, 18 So. 2d 810. We granted certiorari, 323 U.S. 703, upon a petition which presented the contentions*fn1 that §§ 7 and 16 impose a prior general restraint on petitioners' freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and conflict with the National Labor Relations Act by depriving them of rights under

[ 325 U.S. Page 455]

     it; that §§ 7, 15 and 16 are an arbitrary and unreasonable exercise of the state police power which denies petitioners due process and equal protection of the laws in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment; and that §§ 15 and 16 are so ambiguous and uncertain in their requirements as to deny petitioners due process of law.

The Bradford Act is a comprehensive enactment regulating labor unions having members who are employees working in the State of Alabama. It establishes a Department of Labor under the supervision and control of a director of labor; it sets up mediation machinery for the settlement of labor disputes. It requires all labor organizations within the provisions of the Act to file with the Department various reports and financial statements and to pay filing fees. It regulates some phases of the internal affairs and activities of labor organizations, and various aspects of picketing, boycotting and striking. It imposes civil liability and criminal penalties for violation of its provisions.

Section 7 provides that "Every labor organization functioning in Alabama shall within sixty days after the effective date of this chapter, and every labor organization hereafter desiring to function in Alabama shall, before doing so, file a copy of its constitution and its by-laws and a copy of the constitution and by-laws of the national or international union, if any, to which the labor organization belongs, with the department of labor . . . All changes or amendments to the constitution or by-laws, local, national or international, adopted subsequent to their original filing must be filed with the department of labor within thirty days after" their adoption.

Section 7 further provides that "Every labor organization functioning in the State of Alabama and having twenty-five or more members," shall file annually with every member of the organization and with the Director of the Department of Labor a verified written report giving

[ 325 U.S. Page 456]

     detailed information as to its name, the location of its offices, the officers of the organization, their salaries, wages, bonuses, and other remuneration, the date of the election of officers, the number of its paid up members, and a complete financial statement showing all receipts and disbursements with the names of recipients and purpose thereof, and a complete statement of the money and property owned by the organization. Section 7 also declares, "It shall be unlawful for any fiscal or other officer or agent of any labor organization to collect or accept payment of any dues, fees, assessments, fines, or any other monies from any member while such labor organization is in default with respect to filing the annual report . . ."

Section 15 reads: "It shall be unlawful for any labor organization, any labor organizer, any officer, agent, representative or member of any labor organization, or any other person, to collect, receive or demand . . . from any person, any fee, assessment, or sum of money whatsoever, as a work permit or as a condition for the privilege of work; provided, however, this shall not prevent the collection of initiation fees or dues."

Section 16 prescribes: "It shall be unlawful for any executive, administrative, professional, or supervisory employee to be a member in, or to be accepted for membership by, any labor organization, the constitution and by-laws of which permit membership to employees other than those in executive, administrative, professional or supervisory capacities, or which is affiliated with any labor organization which permits membership to employees other than those in an executive, administrative, professional, or supervisory capacity. The provisions of this Section shall not be construed so as to interfere with or void any insurance contract now in existence and in force." Section 18 enacts, "If any labor organization violates any provision of this chapter, it shall be penalized civilly in a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for each such

[ 325 U.S. Page 457]

     violation . . . The doing of any act forbidden or declared unlawful by the provisions of this chapter . . . shall constitute a misdemeanor, and shall be ...


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