Regents of the University of California v. Public Employment Relations Board

PETITIONER: Regents of the University of California
RESPONDENT: Public Employment Relations Board
LOCATION: United States Catholic Conference

DOCKET NO.: 86-935
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1988-1990)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 485 US 589 (1988)
ARGUED: Jan 12, 1988
DECIDED: Apr 20, 1988

ADVOCATES:
Andrea L. Biren - on behalf of the Appellees
Christopher J. Wright - as Amicus Curiae, in Support of Appellant
James N. Odle - on behalf of the Appellant

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Regents of the University of California v. Public Employment Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 12, 1988 in Regents of the University of California v. Public Employment Relations Board

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 20, 1988 in Regents of the University of California v. Public Employment Relations Board

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the Court in No. 86-935, Regents of the University of California versus Public Employment Relations Board will be announced by Justice O'Connor.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

This case comes to us on appeal from the California Court of Appeals.

It involves an application of the so-called "private Express Statute", and these provision generally prohibit the carriage of mail by anyone but the United States Postal Service.

There are number of exceptions to this general prohibition, and the question in this case is whether either of two of those exceptions the letters-of-the-carrier exception, which allows an entity to carry its own mail or the private hands exception, which permits the carriage of mail without compensation, permit the carriage of mail involved here.

The appellant is a state university.

State labor laws have been construed by the appellee, a state agency, to require appellant to carry in its interoffice mail, certain letters that a union wants to have delivered to some of the appellant's employees.

The California Court of Appeals concluded that this carriage was permissible.

We disagree, and in an opinion filed today reverse.

Neither exception applies to the letters involved in this case.

The letters-of-the-carrier exception is inapplicable because there are the union letters not the appellant's.

The private hands exception is inapplicable because the business relationship between the appellant and the union indicates that the carriage would not be without compensation.

The opinion is joined by five members of the Court.

Justice White has filed an opinion concurring in the judgment; Justice Stevens has filed a dissenting opinion which is joined by Justice Marshall.

Justice Kennedy took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.