Dunlop v. Bachowski

PETITIONER: Dunlop
RESPONDENT: Bachowski
LOCATION: Chicago, Illinois

DOCKET NO.: 74-466
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

CITATION: 421 US 560 (1975)
ARGUED: Apr 21, 1975
DECIDED: Jun 02, 1975

ADVOCATES:
Joseph L. Rauh, Jr. - for respondent
Mark L. Evans - for petitioner
Michael H. Gottesman - for the United Steelworkers of America
Robert H. Bork -

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Dunlop v. Bachowski

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 21, 1975 in Dunlop v. Bachowski

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 02, 1975 in Dunlop v. Bachowski

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

I have for announcement, No. 74-466, Dunlop v. Bachowski here on certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, requires that any complaint, the violations of that Act occurred in the conduct of a union election must be filed with the Secretary of Labor.

The Act provides further that the Secretary must investigate the complaint and if he decides that violations affecting the result of the election had occurred must bring a civil action to set aside the election.

In this case, a complaint was filed with the Secretary that irregularities had occurred in an election conducted by the United Steelworkers of America.

The Secretaries investigation led him to conclude that although there were irregularities they have not affected the outcome of the election and he therefore refused to bring a suit to set aside the election.

The loser in the election then brought this suit, seeking a court order compelling the Secretary to bring the suit.

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the Secretary's decision was subject to judicial review and that such review extended to a trial type inquiry into the factual basis of the Secretary's conclusion that no violations occurred that affected the outcome of the election.

We disagree and reverse.

We agree that the decision not to file suit is not immune from judicial review.

We hold, however, that that review was limited to the determination whether a statement of reasons informing the Court and the complaining union member of the grounds of the Secretary's decision and the essential facts upon which it is based shows within the four corners of the statement itself that the Secretary's decision was rationally based or shows rather that the decision was arbitrary and capricious.

Mr. Justice Rehnquist dissents and has filed a dissenting opinion.