Citation. 343 U.S. 579, 72 S. Ct. 863, 96 L. Ed. 1153, 1952 U.S. 2625.
Brief Fact Summary. In 1952, after the employees of steel companies threatened to strike, the President of the United States Harry Truman (President Truman) ordered the Secretary of Commerce to seize the Nation’s steel companies. The steel companies sued.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The President’s power, if any, to issue an order must stem from an act of Congress or the United States Constitution (Constitution).
In 1951, a labor dispute arose between the United States steel companies and their employees. In 1952, the employees union gave notice of a nationwide strike. Thereupon, fearful that such a work stoppage would jeopardize our national defense, President Truman issued an order directing the Secretary of Commerce to take possession of the nation’s steel mills. After obeying the orders under protest, the steel companies brought suit in District Court. The District Court issued a temporary restraining order against the government, which the Court of Appeals stayed. Issue.
Did President Truman have the authority to order the seizure of the steel mills?