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United States v. United Mine Workers

United States Supreme Court
330 U.S. 258 (1947)


Labor disputes developed between United Mine Workers (Workers) (defendant) and the United States (plaintiff), which was in control of the mines. Workers President John L. Lewis (defendant) terminated the employment contract. The United States sued Lewis and Workers, requesting a judgment stating that Workers had no right to terminate the contract and a temporary restraining order (TRO) and injunction barring the defendants from inciting a strike or impeding the court. A TRO was granted pending a hearing on the injunction. The miners went on strike, and the United States petitioned for a show cause order requiring the defendants to give reasons why they should not be held in contempt. The court granted the order, and the defendants challenged jurisdiction on the ground that the Norris-LaGuardia Act (NLA) barred the issuance of an injunction. The defendants moved for dismissal of the show cause order. The judge concluded that the NLA did not apply to the United States and denied the motion. The TRO was extended. The defendants were found guilty of contempt and Lewis and Workers were ordered to pay $10,000 and $3.5 million, respectively. The court issued a preliminary injunction, and the defendants appealed to the court of appeals. The court of appeals issued a stay, and the United States petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari under 28 U.S.C. § 1254(1), allowing the petition prior to the court of appeals’ final ruling. The defendants also petitioned for certiorari, which was granted.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Vinson, C.J.)

Concurrence (Frankfurter, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Black, J.)

Dissent (Murphy, J. and Rutledge, J.)

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