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American Communications Association v. Douds

Significance, Related Cases


American Communications Association, C.I.O.


Charles T. Douds, Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board

Petitioner's Claim

That the requirement of the 1947 Taft-Hartley Labor Management Relations Act that union officials affirm in writing that they are not members of the Communist Party violates their First Amendment Rights.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Victor Rabinowitz

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Philip B. Perlman, U.S. Solicitor General

Justices for the Court

Harold Burton, Felix Frankfurter, Robert H. Jackson, Stanley Forman Reed, Fred Moore Vinson (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black (William O. Douglas, Tom C. Clark, and Sherman Minton did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

8 May 1950


Declaring that the threat of political strikes outweighed the First Amendment rights of labor leaders, the Court upheld the provision at issue.

Further Readings

  • Atleson, James B. Values and Assumptions in American Labor Law. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1983.
  • Forbath, William E. Law and the Shaping of the American Labor Movement. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991.
  • Tomlins, Christopher L. The State and the Unions: Labor Relations, Law, and the Organized Labor Movement in America, 1880-1960. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953