Muniz v. Hoffman

LOCATION:Interstate Commerce Commission, U.S. Congress

DOCKET NO.: 73-1924
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 422 US 454 (1975)
ARGUED: Mar 24, 1975
DECIDED: Jun 25, 1975

Robert H. Bork – for respondent
Victor J. Van Bourg – for petitioners

Facts of the case


Media for Muniz v. Hoffman

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – March 24, 1975 in Muniz v. Hoffman

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – June 25, 1975 in Muniz v. Hoffman

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in 73-1924, Muniz against Hoffman, Regional Director of the Labor Board, would be announced by Mr. Justice White.

Byron R. White:

Petitioner Muniz and a labor union local were tried and convicted of criminal contempt, their offense being the violation of an injunction issued under Section 10(l) of the Labor Management Relations Act at the behest of the board’s regional director.

Muniz was placed on probation and the union was fined $10,000.

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed, rejecting petitioners’ claims that they were wrongfully denied jury trial under Section 3692 of the Criminal Code which provides for jury trial in contempt actions arising out of labor disputes and under the Sixth Amendment which guarantees jury trial in all criminal cases.

We granted the petition for certiorari and now affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals in all respects.

The Judgment of Court of Appeals represents the overwhelming view in the circuits and for the reasons stated in an opinion on filed with the clerk we agree with it.

Mr. Justice Douglas has filed the dissenting opinion.

Potter Stewart:

I have also filed a dissenting opinion in this case in which I have been joined by Mr. Justice Marshall and Mr. Justice Powell.

In 1948, Congress repealed Section 11 of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which provided a right to a jury trial in cases of contempt arising under that Act, and added another section to Title 18 of the United States Code, which broadly guarantees a jury trial, “in all cases of contempt arising under the laws of the United States governing the issuance of injunctions or restraining orders in any case involving or growing out of a labor dispute.”

Mr. Justice Marshall and Mr. Justice Powell and I cannot agree with the Court’s conclusion that this congressional action was without any significance and that section added in 1948 does not apply to any contempt proceedings involving injunctions that may be issued pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act.

Accordingly, we respectfully — we dissent and we would reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you Mr. Justice White and Justice Stewart.