Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

Conley v. Gibson

United States Supreme Court
355 U.S. 42 (1957)



In May 1954, Local Union No. 28 (Local 28) of the Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks (Brotherhood) entered into an agreement with the Texas and New Orleans Railroad (Railroad) to discharge 45 African American employees, allegedly as part of a reduction in force layoff. In fact, Local 28 had made an agreement with the Railroad to lay off the African American employees and hire white employees in their place; in rare instances, the African American employees were rehired, but with loss of seniority. Although the African American employees requested repeatedly for help from Local 28 regarding the discriminatory firings, Local 28 did not give them any protection. The evidence further suggested that Local 28 regularly did not provide the same level of representation to African American employees as white employees. Conley (plaintiff) and several other African American members of the Brotherhood brought a class action suit against the Brotherhood, Local 28, and several officers, including Gibson (defendant), alleging discrimination in violation of Conley’s and other African American members’ right under the Railway Labor Act to fair representation. Gibson filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, thus failing the standard set forth in F.R.Civ.Pro. 12. The district court granted the motion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 497,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 497,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,400 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial