The C.I.O., with the consent of its president, Philip Murray, made expenditures from the funds of the organization for the publication of an editorial in the "C.I.O. News," a regularly issued periodical, urging the members of the C.I.O. to vote for a particular candidate in a special Congressional election in Maryland. Additional funds were expended for the publication and transportation of one thousand extra copies. Both the C.I.O. and Mr. Murray were charged with violation of section 304 of the Labor-Management Relations Act in the district court. Defendants moved to dismiss the indictment, alleging that the statute abridged rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and that it was too indefinite to satisfy the requirements of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. The district court sustained the motion to dismiss on the ground that the statute was, on its face, an unconstitutional abridgement of freedom of speech, press, and assembly. On direct appeal to the United States Supreme Court, held, affirmed. Four justices, concurring in an opinion by Justice Reed, believed that the publication did not violate the statute. Justice Frankfurter concurred, believing that, although the parties had failed properly to argue constructions of the statute which would avoid the question of constitutionality, such an interpretation should be made. In an opinion written by Justice Rutledge, four justices concurred in the result but declared that the statute was an unjustified invasion of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. United States v. C.I.O., (U.S. 1948) 68 S.Ct. 1349.
Roland E. Ginsburg,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW--STATUTORY INTERPRETATION UNDER LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS ACT--PROHIBITION OF UNION POLITICAL EXPENDITURES,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol47/iss3/12