International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO v. Hardeman

PETITIONER: International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO
RESPONDENT: Hardeman
LOCATION: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

DOCKET NO.: 123
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1970-1971)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 401 US 233 (1971)
ARGUED: Dec 16, 1970
DECIDED: Feb 24, 1971

Facts of the case

Question

Media for International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO v. Hardeman

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 16, 1970 in International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, AFL-CIO v. Hardeman

Warren E. Burger:

We’ll hear arguments in Number 123, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers against Hardeman.o

Louis Sherman:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

This case is here --

Warren E. Burger:

We’ll just wait.

We’ll just wait one moment counsel.

Before we undertake this argument counsel, I think we can announce that we will not reach Number 62, Monitor Patriot against Roy today, and if counsel wish to be excused they may be.

Have you sent for Justice Douglas?

We’ll just wait the arrival of Justice Douglas, a moment.

You may resume your sit for a few moments.

Mr. Sherman you may proceed now whenever you are ready.

Louis Sherman:

Thank you.

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

This case is here on a writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to review a per curiam opinion affirming a decision, the judgment and jury verdict of the District Court in the amount of $152,500.00.

In favor of George Hardeman, an expelled member of the Boilermakers union, who filed a complaint in the Federal District Court April 1966 under Section 102 of the Landrum-Griffin Act alleging that he’d been deprived of the full and fair hearing under Section 101 (a) (5).

The evidence at the District Court trial was of two kinds.

First, the various proceedings before the union tribunals, such as the 172 page transcript of record, of the hearing that was held which resulted in his expulsion, which went in to the details of his beating up the business manager, which is the principal reason for his expulsion, and the proceedings at higher levels when the case was appealed to the president of the International and the executive counsel of International.

The second evidence had to do with loss of wages which are computed on the basis of past and future.

Mr. Hardeman was 43 when this incident occurred in October of 1960, and they figured it on the basis of mortality tables that he would retire at 65, $6,000.00 and therefore plus some punitive damages that came out of this total figure.

Now, the first part of the case has to do with the issue of full and fair hearing which is set out at page 2 of our brief, the language of Section 101 (a) (5) of the Landrum-Griffin Act, which states that “no member of any labor organization must be fined, suspended, expelled or otherwise disciplined except for non- payment of dues, unless its members been (a) served with written specific charges (b) given the reasonable time to prepare the defense (c) afford with a full and fair hearing.

There’s no issue here on the written specific charges they were made, whether he’s given a reasonable time to prepare his defense.

The issue is whether he is afford to full and fair hearing.

In the literal sense, there should be no question of that either, because the hearing took about ten hours, there were witnesses, cross-examination and the rest.

We concede full and fair hearing means something more than that, that there must be some evidence to support the charges.

And we think that the trial judge erred and this Court of Appeals erred in a way that’s very important to the labor movement at finding there was no evidence.

The essential charges had to do with the bylaws of the local union which was set forth at page 4 in the language of the constitution of the Boilermakers relating to subordinate lodges.

A first test of the bylaws, they’re very explicit that the local could after proper hearing, punish as warranted by the offense for violation which is defined as “violence, a threat thereof to intimidate any official of this international brotherhood a subordinate lodge.

Prevent or attempt to prevent him from proper discharging his duties of his office.”

And the language of the Subordinate Lodge Constitution was broader.

It provided for expulsion for any member endeavors to create dissention among the members, or who works against the interest and harmony of the brotherhood.

Now, there’s no question about the evidence in my judgment as to the bylaw.