Labor Law-Federal Pre-Emption-State Power to Exclude Ex-Felons From Union Office
A New York statute, implementing a congressionally-approved interstate compact, prohibits a waterfront union from collecting dues if any officer of the union has been convicted of a felony, unless he has been subsequently pardoned or given a certificate of good conduct by the parole board. In response to a threat of prosecution by the defendant district attorney, plaintiff’s international union suspended him from his local union office on a showing that he had been convicted of grand larceny in 1920. Plaintiff sought in a declaratory suit to have the statute declared unconstitutional and to have its operation enjoined. The New York trial court granted defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings; this was affirmed by the appellate division and by the court of appeals. On appeal to the United States Supreme Court, held, affirmed, three Justices dissenting a Despite potential conflict with the National Labor Relations Act and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, the state statute does not violate the supremacy clause of the Constitution since Congress has demonstrated its intent to permit this form of state regulation of labor activities. De Veau v. Braisted, 363 U.S. 144 (1960).