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UNITED STATES V. GREEN, 350 U. S. 415 (1956)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Green, 350 U.S. 415 (1956)

United States v. Green

No. 54

Argued February 27, 1956

Decided March 26, 1956

350 U.S. 415


Obstruction of interstate commerce or an attempt to do so through the wrongful use by a labor union or its agents of actual or threatened force, violence or fear, in an attempt to compel an employer to pay "wages" to members of the union for imposed, unwanted, superfluous, and fictitious "services," is a violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951. Pp. 350 U. S. 416-421.

(a) The coverage of 18 U.S.C. § 1951 is not confined to attempts to obtain money or other property for the extortioner's personal advantage; it applies also to attempts by a union or its agents to get jobs and pay for its members by threats and violence. Pp. 350 U. S. 418-420.

(b) The legislative history of the Act shows that it was intended to cover the employer-employee relationship. Pp. 350 U. S. 418-419.

(c) A different result is not required by the provision of Title II of the Hobbs Act that it should not affect the Clayton Act, the Norris-LaGuardia Act, the Railway Labor Act, or the National Labor Relations Act, since there is nothing in those Acts indicating any protection for unions or their officials in attempts to get personal property through threats of force or violence. Pp. 350 U. S. 419-420.

(d) Since this legislation is directed at the protection of interstate commerce against injury from extortion, it is within the power of Congress. Pp. 350 U. S. 420-421.

135 F. Supp. 162, reversed.

Page 350 U. S. 416

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