LINCOLN FEDERAL LABOR UNION v. NORTHWESTERN IRON & METAL CO.
In 1946, Nebraska amended its Constitution to provide that no one could be denied employment on the basis of membership or non-membership in a labor organization. A number of labor unions challenged the provision and several other right-to-work laws. This case was decided together with Whitaker v. North Carolina.
Did the Nebraska Constitution as amended violate either the First Amendment or the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
The Court held that the Due Process Clause did not prevent states from prohibiting contracts to engage in conduct banned by valid state laws. The liberty of persons to make contracts did not prevent Nebraska from enacting anti-discrimination statutes. The Court noted that the Due Process Clause was "no longer to be so broadly construed that the Congress and state legislatures are put in a strait jacket when they attempt to suppress business and industrial conditions that they regard as offensive to the public welfare."