Adair v. United States

PETITIONER: Adair
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION:

DOCKET NO.: 293
DECIDED BY: Fuller Court (1906-1909)
LOWER COURT:

ARGUED: Oct 29, 1907 / Oct 30, 1907
DECIDED: Jan 27, 1908

Facts of the case

A law passed by Congress in 1898 made it illegal for employers to fire employees solely on the basis of their participation in labor unions. The law essentially made the "yellow dog" contract illegal. William Adair, a representative of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company, violated the law by firing a locomotive fireman who had joined a union.

Question

Did the law violate the right of employers and employees to enter into contracts with each other as protected by the Fifth Amendment which prevents government from depriving an individual of liberty or property without due process of law?