Login

Login

To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library

Add

Search

Login
Register

Cafeteria and Restaurant Workers Union, Local 473, AFL-CIO v. McElroy

    Brief Fact Summary. Bailey, a civil service employee of the United States Government, was discharged from employ for allegedly having associations with Communist groups. Bailey claimed that the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution required that she be afforded a quasi-judicial hearing before dismissal.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The due process clause provides: “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” However, government employ is not “property” under the Fifth Amendment, nor is it a contract.

    Facts. The Regional Board advised the Federal Security Agency, by which Bailey was employed, that it has reason to believe she was disloyal to the United States Government, and instructed the Agency to separate her from service. Bailey appealed to the Loyalty Review Board and requested a hearing, which was held before the panel without testimony from any other witnesses besides Bailey. Bailey complained that her Fifth Amendment due process right was violated because she was denied reinstatement without revelation of the names of those who informed the Government against her, and the methods by which her activities were detected.

    Issue. Was the President required to either allow Bailey, a person whose loyalty he reasonably suspected, to continue her employment, or to publicly reveal the methods by which he detected disloyalty and the names of persons who assisted him?

    Held. No. The due process of law clause of the Fifth Amendment does not restrict the President’s discretion or the prescriptive power of Congress in respect to executive personnel. No hearing was required prior to termination, as government employment is not a property right encompassed by the Fifth Amendment. Dissent. Judge Edgerton’s dissent involved First and Sixth Amendments rights, and did not address Bailey’s Fifth Amendment claims. Concurrence. None.

    Discussion. Even in normal times (without Communist threats), the ability, integrity and loyalty of purely executive employees is exclusively for the executive branch of Government to determine. Cafeteria and Restaurant Workers Union, Local 473, AFL-CIO v. McElroy Citation. 367 U.S. 886 (1961)

    Brief Fact Summary. Rachel Brawner was a short-order cook at a cafeteria on the Naval Gun Factory in the City of Washington. The Superintendent determined that she failed to meet security requirements, and required her to turn in her identification badge. The Cafeteria and Restaurant Workers Union (Petitioner) filed suit on Brawner’s behalf, seeking the return of her badge, re-admittance onto the premises, and her former employment.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Fifth Amendment does not require a trial-type hearing in every conceivable case of government impairment of private interest. Where it is possible to characterize that private interest as mere privilege subject to the Executive’s plenary power, it has been held that notice and hearing are not constitutionally required.

    Facts. Brawner was a short-order cook at a cafeteria on the Naval Gun Factory in the City of Washington. The Superintendent determined that she failed to meet security requirements, and required her to turn in her identification badge. The Cafeteria and Restaurant Workers Union (Petitioner) requested a hearing regarding Brawner’s denial of admittance, but it was denied. Petitioner then filed suit in District Court against the Secretary of Defense, the Superintendent and the Lieutenant in their individual and official capacities (Respondents). Brawner was offered employment in another cafeteria in suburban Washington but declined to accept, claiming the location was inconvenient.

    Issue. Did Respondents’ action in denying Brawner access to the Gun Factory deprive her of any right secured by the Constitution?

    Held. No. The Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment was not violated in this case. Because Brawner had no constitutional right to be there in the first place, denying her access did not deprive her of liberty or property. A hearing procedure was not constitutionally required. This was not a case where government action bestowed a badge of disloyalty or foreclosed other employment opportunity (Brawner was offered another job). The important government function was to manage the internal operation of a federal military establishment, which is an area where the Federal Government has traditionally exercised unfettered control. Dissent. The majority held that the mere assertion by government that exclusion is for a valid reason forecloses further inquiry; and that a government official can simply rely on “security reasons” to dismiss at will for any discriminatory cause. The label “security risk” carries with it a sinister meaning and harm to reputation for which the Fifth Amendment should afford protection. Concurrence. None.

    Discussion. Due process was not violated because this case involved the important interest of keeping security on a military establishment; and Brawner did not lose liberty or property within the protection of the Fifth Amendment because the action did not impair her other employment opportunities.


    Create New Group

      Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following