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					NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin
   Steel Corporation

      U. S. Supreme Court
              1937


                             1
                     Issue
• Is the National Labor Relations Act
  Constitutional? Yes!
  – Congress did not exceed authority under
    commerce clause
  – Size and scope of J&L’s activities means that
    its labor relations problems would affect
    interstate commerce
  – Board will determine effect on interstate
    commerce

                                                    2
                      Other Issues
• Right to Self-Organization a Fundamental Right
• Er may still exercise its legitimate rights to select
  and discharge employees, but may not
  discriminate on basis of exercise of Sec. 7 rights
• One-sidedness of Act does not make it
  unconstitutional - Congress need not address all
  evils at once
• Procedures are fair -
   –   complaint
   –   notice
   –   hearing
   –   evidence
   –   court review
                                                          3
               Summary
• Represented a broadening of the powers of
  the federal government to regulate all
  economic activity.
• Balancing of Rights of Employer with
  Rights of Employees.




                                              4
  Canadian Labor Law Based on
       the Flow Concept
• Most labor relations regulation in Canada under
  jurisdiction of the provinces.
• All industries that do not directly move goods and
  services between the provinces are regulated by
  the provinces for labor relations purposes.
   – Auto manufacturing - provinces
   – Telecommunications - federal government
• British North American Act of 1867

                                                   5
    Reconsideration: Return to “
         Flow Concept?”
• “The Congress shall have Power . . . To regulate
  Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the
  several States, and with the Indian Tribes . . . (U.S.
  Constitution);”
• Originalism – interpretations of constitution
  should be based on what the authors of the
  constitution wrote
• Textualism – interpretations of the constitution
  should be based on the text, nothing more
                                                       6
    Compare Hughes (1937) and Thomas (1995):
      “To regulate Commerce . . . among the
                several States. . ..”
•    “Because there may be but indirect and             •   “At the time the original Constitution was
     remote effects upon interstate commerce in             ratified, "commerce" consisted of selling,
     connection with a host of local enterprises            buying, and bartering, as well as transporting
     throughout the country, it does not follow that        for these purposes. . . . . As one would expect,
     other industrial activities do not have such a         the term "commerce" was used in
     close and intimate relation to interstate              contradistinction to productive activities such
     commerce as to make the presence of
     industrial strife a matter of the most urgent          as manufacturing and agriculture. . . .
     national concern. When industries organize             Moreover, interjecting a modern sense of
     themselves on a national scale, making their           commerce into the Constitution generates
     relation to interstate commerce the dominant           significant textual and structural problems.
     factor in their activities, how can it be              For example, one cannot replace "commerce"
     maintained that their industrial labor relations       with a different type of enterprise, such as
     constitute a forbidden field into which                manufacturing. . . .. Parts may come from
     Congress may not enter when it is necessary            different States or other nations and hence
     to protect interstate commerce from the                may have been in the flow of commerce at
     paralyzing consequences of industrial war?             one time, but manufacturing takes place at a
     We have often said that interstate commerce            discrete site. Agriculture and manufacturing
     itself is a practical conception. It is equally        involve the production of goods; commerce
     true that interferences with that commerce             encompasses traffic in such articles (U.S. v.
     must be appraised by a judgment that does              Lopez, U.S. Supreme Court, 1995, No. 93-
     not ignore actual experience.” (CJ Hughes              1260, Thomas dissent, all citations omitted)
     for Majority, NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin, 301
     U.S. 1, 41-42)                                                                                         7

				
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