A union created an association to represent professional employees at a Westinghouse Electric Corporation plant. When the association petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for recognition as bargaining agent for the professional employees, another competing union intervened and asked the board to include workers in five additional categories. The board found the additional employees were not “professional employees” within the definition of the National Labor Relations Act. However, the board nonetheless included a total of nine additional employees, reasoning that they shared common interests with professional employees and that their inclusion would not destroy the professional character of the unit. The association requested a vote among just the professional employees, but the board denied the request and ordered an election among the professional employees and the nine nonprofessional employees to determine if the unit wanted the association or the competing union to represent it. The association won the election, and the board certified it as the unit’s collective-bargaining agent. Association president William Kyne (plaintiff) brought an action in federal court against chairman Boyd Leedom and other board members (defendants), challenging its inclusion of nonprofessional employees. The district court set aside the board’s determination of the bargaining unit, election, and certification. The board appealed only on the ground that the district court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit, but the appellate court affirmed both jurisdiction and the district court’s judgment. The Supreme Court granted review.