NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp.

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National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued February 10–11, 1937
Decided April 12, 1937
Full case nameNational Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation
Citations301 U.S. 1 (more)
57 S. Ct. 615; 81 L. Ed. 893; 1937 U.S. LEXIS 1122; 1 Lab. Cas. (CCH) ¶ 17,017; 1 Empl. Prac. December (CCH) ¶ 9601; 108 A.L.R. 1352; 1 L.R.R.M. 703
Prior historyJones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 1 NLRB 503, enforcement denied by NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 83 F.2d 998 (5th Cir. 1936), cert. granted, 299 U.S. 534 (1936)
Subsequent historyNone
Congress had the power, under the Commerce Clause, to regulate labor relations.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Charles E. Hughes
Associate Justices
Willis Van Devanter · James C. McReynolds
Louis Brandeis · George Sutherland
Pierce Butler · Harlan F. Stone
Owen Roberts · Benjamin N. Cardozo
Case opinions
MajorityHughes, joined by Brandeis, Stone, Roberts, Cardozo
DissentMcReynolds, joined by Van Devanter, Sutherland, Butler
Laws applied
U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3 (the Commerce Clause); U.S. Const. amend. V (the Due Process Clause); National Labor Relations Act of 1935, 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.

National Labor Relations Board v Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, 301 U.S. 1 (1937),[1] was a US labor law case in the United States Supreme Court that declared that the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, or Wagner Act, was constitutional. It effectively spelled the end to the Court's striking down of New Deal economic legislation and greatly increased the US Congress's power under the Commerce Clause.


Jones & Laughlin Steel was America's fourth largest steel producer, and the company was charged with discriminating against workers who wanted to join the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC).[2] The company had fired ten employees at its plant in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, after they moved to unionize. The NLRB ruled against the company and ordered for the workers to be rehired and given back pay, but Jones & Laughlin refused to comply on the grounds that they believed the act was unconstitutional. Citing Supreme Court precedent, lower courts agreed.[3]


Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote the majority opinion in the case, which reversed the lower court's ruling, in a 5-4 decision:

Justice McReynolds dissented, questioning Congress's enhanced power under the commerce clause. Although he did not dispute Congress's regulation of interstate commerce between the states, he stated that Congress's interference should be in cases where a violation is "direct and material." McReynolds stated that taxation on property, for example, may indirectly but seriously affect the cost of transportation. He concluded that Congress had transcended the power granted to it by the Constitution.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 301 U.S. 1 (1937).  This article incorporates public domain material from this U.S government document.
  2. ^ Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (2000-04-08). "NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin Supreme Court Ruling Historical Marker". WITF. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
  3. ^ NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 83 F.2d 998 (5th Cir. 1936).


  • Tushnet, Mark (2008). I dissent: Great Opposing Opinions in Landmark Supreme Court Cases. Boston: Beacon Press. pp. 101&ndash, 112. ISBN 978-0-8070-0036-6.

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