Thomas v. Collins
Roland J. Thomas
Collins, Sheriff of Travis County, Texas
That Texas law requiring union organizers to obtain a special license was an invalid restriction of the First Amendment right to free speech.
Chief Lawyers for Appellant
Lee Pressman, Ernest Goodman
Chief Lawyer for Appellee
Justices for the Court
Hugo Lafayette Black, William O. Douglas, Frank Murphy, Robert H. Jackson, Wiley Blount Rutledge (writing for the Court)
Owen Josephus Roberts, Harlan Fiske Stone, Stanley Forman Reed, Felix Frankfurter
Date of Decision
8 January 1945
Reversed Supreme Court of Texas decision upholding the contempt conviction of Thomas for ignoring a restraining order aimed at preventing him from making a union organizing speech without an organizer's license.
Although the balance of power between unions and employers has shifted repeatedly in the decades since Thomas v. Collins, the case ushered in a period of relative strength for organized labor during the postwar economic boom in the United States. In classifying union organizing as a protected form of expression rather than an economic activity, the Court played a part in creating what was one of the best periods for working-class America in the nation's history.
- Martin v. Struthers, 319 U.S. 141 (1943).
- Breard v. Alexandria, 341 U.S. 622 (1951).
- Staub v. City of Baxley, 355 U.S. 313 (1958).
- Business Week, January 13, 1945.
- Emerson, Thomas I. The System of Freedom of Expression. New York: Random House, 1970.
- Mason, Alpheus Thomas. The Supreme Court from Taft to Burger, Louisiana State University Press, 1979.
- New Republic, January 22, 1945.
- Time, January 22, 1945.
- Tokyo Rose Trial: 1949 - Toguri Tried For Treason, Suggestions For Further Reading
- Terry v. Adams - Significance, The Jaybird Primary, A Pressure Group, Impact
- Thomas v. Collins - Significance
- Other Free Encyclopedias