Labor Law – Labor – Management Relations Act – Further Comments on Federalism

Until a decade ago, the nation’s lawyers paid little attention to the status of federal-state relations in the regulation of labor disputes. Today there hardly appears a volume of a legal journal that does not contain the product of new efforts to bring order out of the chaos that prevails in this area. A number of writers have apparently given up the task of reconciling statutory provisions with case law and case law with sound federal policy, and have resorted to the simpler, yet challenging, method of proposing amendments to existing federal statutes. Worthy as these efforts may be in calling attention to the need for further congressional action and in suggesting possible courses for such action, they are of little help to unions and employers who are now suffering the consequences of congressional stagnation. New cases are appearing with what seems to be increasing frequency, and recent decisions suggest the probability that a further increase of litigation in this area is in the offing.

No effort will be made here to offer a complete restatement of the present law of federalism in labor relations. In the first place, there is considerable disagreement as to what that law is. In the second place, the legal periodicals and some of the recent decisions have devoted hundreds and perhaps thousands of pages to that task. Consequently, the aim of this comment will be only to select certain portions of the problem and examine those portions in the light of Weber v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., decided last March by the United States Supreme Court.