LECHMERE INC. v. NLRB

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
90-970
Petitioner 
Lechmere Inc.
Respondent 
National Labor Relations Board
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

Lechmere owned and operated a large retail store in a shopping plaza. Nonemployee union organizers campaigned to organize the store employees by entering the company's parking lot and placing handbills on car windshields. Lechmere prohibited solicitation and literature distribution on its property. The union organizers persisted in their leafleting campaign despite continued objections from Lechmere. The union filed an unfair labor practice charge against Lechmere. An NLRB judge ruled in the union's favor.

Question 

May nonemployee union organizers trespass on private property to solicit union support?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for Lechmere Inc., 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: National Labor Relations, as amended

No, reasoned Justice Clarence Thomas, except in situations where inaccessibility makes communication through normal channels ineffective. There were alternatives short of trespass, such as signs, mailings, and newspaper ads. (Thomas's defense of private property rights may offer a clue to his budding jurisprudence.)

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LECHMERE INC. v. NLRB. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 12 December 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1991/1991_90_970>.
LECHMERE INC. v. NLRB, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1991/1991_90_970 (last visited December 12, 2014).
"LECHMERE INC. v. NLRB," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed December 12, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1991/1991_90_970.