Alaska Airlines v. Brock

480 U.S. 678 (1987)

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Alaska Airlines v. Brock

United States Supreme Court
480 U.S. 678 (1987)

SC

Facts

The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (the act) contained an Employee Protection Program (EPP) granting a first right of hire to airline employees terminated due to other provisions in the act. The EPP contained detailed duties for airlines to carry out this provision. The EPP gave the Department of Labor (DOL) the discretion to issue regulations implementing the EPP. One part of the EPP enabled Congress to veto any such regulations. The legislative history of the EPP indicated Congress’s desire to protect terminated airline employees. In a separate case decided in 1983, the Supreme Court held that congressional-veto provisions were unconstitutional. Alaska Airlines and 13 other airlines (the airlines) (plaintiffs) challenged the legislative-veto provision as unconstitutional and argued that the entire EPP must fail as a result. The district court granted the airlines summary judgment. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the legislative-veto provision was severable from the rest of the EPP. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)

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