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Golden State Transit Corp. v. Los Angeles, 475 U.S. 608 (1986)

Golden State Transit Corp. v. City of Los Angeles

No. 84-1644

Argued December 4, 1985

Decided April 1, 1986

475 U.S. 608


While petitioner's application to renew its franchise to operate taxicabs in respondent city of Los Angeles was pending, petitioner's drivers went on strike. The City Council then conditioned renewal of the franchise on settlement of the labor dispute by a certain date. When the dispute was not settled by that date, the franchise expired. Petitioner filed suit in Federal District Court, alleging, inter alia, that the city's action was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The District Court granted summary judgment for the city, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: The city's action in conditioning petitioner's franchise renewal on the settlement of the labor dispute is preempted by the NLRA. Pp. 475 U. S. 613-620.

(a) The NLRA preemption principle precluding state and municipal regulation concerning conduct that Congress intended to be unregulated, Machinists v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Comm'n, 427 U. S. 132, is applicable here. Under this principle, States and municipalities are prohibited from imposing restrictions on economic weapons of self-help, unless such restrictions were contemplated by Congress. Pp. 475 U. S. 613-615.

(b) Both the language of the NLRA and its legislative history demonstrate that the city's action contravened congressional intent. Pp. 475 U. S. 615-619.

(c) The settlement condition imposed by the City Council destroyed the balance of power designed by Congress in the NLRA, and frustrated Congress' decision to leave open the use of economic weapons. Pp. 475 U. S. 619-620.

754 F.2d 830, reversed and remanded.

BLACKMUN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, POWELL, STEVENS, and O'CONNOR, JJ., joined. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 475 U. S. 620.

Page 475 U. S. 609

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