The plaintiffs admit that this ruling applies equally to all candidates, but specifically complain that because "No candidate may attend any meeting or gathering where refreshments are freely offered . . . this provision violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution as well as § 411(a)(1) and (2) of the Bill of Rights Section of the Landrum-Griffin Act." Plaintiffs' memorandum of law, pp. 1 and 2.
We fail to see how a rule against a candidate, whether incumbent or dissident, serving refreshments, attending a meeting where they are served, or raising money for a campaign violates the rights of the plaintiffs. They are still free "to vote in elections or referendums of the labor organization, to attend membership meetings, and to participate in the deliberations and voting upon the business of such meetings, subject to reasonable rules and regulations in such organization's constitution and bylaws." Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 29 U.S.C.A. § 411(a)(1). Nor do we see how these rules violate the right of "every member of any labor organization to have the right to meet and assemble freely with other members; and to express any views, arguments, or opinions; . . ." Id. at § 411(a). Members are still free to campaign for office, express opinions, attend meetings, and make known their displeasure. They are forbidden only to raise campaign funds and serve refreshments at meetings. While such may go against our knowledge of the American campaign tradition, we do not feel that it violates either the Constitution or the Act.
Article XII, § 6, the next bylaw attacked, states that "Any leaflet, letter or card printed for distribution for campaign purposes must first be presented to the Board of Directors." Plaintiffs have cited Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58, 66, 9 L. Ed. 2d 584, 83 S. Ct. 631 (1963) for the unexceptionable proposition that "freedoms of expression . . . are vulnerable to gravely damaging yet barely visible encroachments." Here, however, the dissidents have made no offering of any form of discrimination. The Board merely asks that the material be submitted to it: there is no power of censorship, nor has there been any attempt to forbid or interdict the distribution of the materials to the membership.
The only allegations of "intimidation" were statements by the dissident candidate for the position of business agent that the incumbent failed to represent union members vigorously enough in confrontations with members of management. This was also the only offering of a curtailment of freedom of speech. We feel that this is, at best, a failing on the part of the business agent which may be remedied at the next election, or, at worst, the dissatisfaction which any candidate feels for the performance of his incumbent opponent.
We will not prolong this section of our opinion by distinguishing each of plaintiffs' cases. They are cited in support of the proposition that these sections of the bylaws "sweep too broadly" and therefore inhibit First Amendment freedoms, which we have above found not to be so.
Finally, plaintiffs contend that the requirement that nominations be by twenty-five percent of the membership in attendance "constitutes a denial of equal protection of the laws since it places an unequal burden on minority groups within the union by requiring an unreasonable show of strength, in opposition to union leadership, to be openly displayed." Plaintiffs memorandum of law, p. 5.
Plaintiffs reliance upon Williams v. Rhodes, 393 U.S. 23, 21 L. Ed. 2d 24, 89 S. Ct. 5 (1968), is misplaced. There the Court struck down provisions of the Ohio Election Law, which had as its purpose preventing minority parties and independent candidates from having a place on the ballot. Here, any candidate who can persuade one-quarter of his fellow union members to vote for him is assured a place on the ballot.
In Calhoon v. Harvey, 379 U.S. 134, 13 L. Ed. 2d 190, 85 S. Ct. 292 (1964), plaintiffs attacked, inter alia, the nominating procedures of their union.
"The result of their allegations here, however, is an attempt to sweep into the ambit of their right to sue in federal court if they are denied an equal opportunity to nominate candidates under § 101(a)(1), a right to sue if they are not allowed to nominate anyone they choose regardless of his eligibility and qualifications under union restrictions. But Title IV, not Title I, sets standards for eligibility and qualifications of candidates and officials and provides its own separate and different administrative and judicial procedure for challenging those standards. And the equal-rights language of § 101(a)(1) would have to be stretched far beyond its normal meaning to hold that it guarantees members not just a right to 'nominate candidates,' but a right to nominate anyone, without regard to valid union rules." Id. at 138.
The district court had found itself without jurisdiction, 221 F. Supp. 545 (S.D.N.Y.); the appellate court reversed, 324 F.2d 486 (2nd Cir. 1963). In upholding the district court's finding, the high Court stated:
"Whether the eligibility requirements set by the union's constitution and bylaws were reasonable and valid is a question separate and distinct from whether the right to nominate on an equal basis given by § 101(a)(1) was violated. The District Court therefore was without jurisdiction to grant the relief requested . . . ." Id. at 139.