Jenkins v. McKeithen, Civ. A. No. 68-38

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Louisiana)
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation286 F. Supp. 537
Decision Date26 June 1968
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 68-38,68-42.
PartiesRoderick JENKINS v. John Julien McKEITHEN, Cecil Morgan, Paul M. Hebert, Floyd C. Boswell, Ralph F. Howe, A. R. Johnson, III, and Burt S. Turner. Jerry SYLVESTER v. Cecil MORGAN, Thomas W. McFerrin, and William V. Redmann.

286 F. Supp. 537

Roderick JENKINS
v.
John Julien McKEITHEN, Cecil Morgan, Paul M. Hebert, Floyd C. Boswell, Ralph F. Howe, A. R. Johnson, III, and Burt S. Turner.

Jerry SYLVESTER
v.
Cecil MORGAN, Thomas W. McFerrin, and William V. Redmann.

Civ. A. Nos. 68-38, 68-42.

United States District Court E. D. Louisiana, Baton Rouge Division.

June 26, 1968.


286 F. Supp. 538

J. Minos Simon, Lafayette, La., for plaintiff, Roderick Jenkins.

Dennis R. Whalen, Baton Rouge, La., William C. Bradley, Baker, La., for plaintiff, Jerry Sylvester.

Jack P. F. Gremillion, Atty. Gen., State of Louisiana, Ashton L. Stewart, Baton Rouge, La., Victor A. Sachse, Baton Rouge, La., for defendants.

Before AINSWORTH, Circuit Judge, and WEST and MITCHELL, District Judges.

PER CURIAM:

These two suits, consolidated for hearing on motion to dismiss, attack the constitutionality of Act No. 2 of the First Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature for 1967. This Act, LSA-R.S. 23:880.1-23:880.18, provides for the creation and operation of what is known as the Labor-Management Commission of Inquiry. Since injunctive relief is sought in both cases based upon the alleged unconstitutionality of said Act, this three-judge district court was convened pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C.A. §§ 2281 and 2284. A hearing on the motions to dismiss was held on June 6, 1968, and after careful study of the voluminous records and exhaustive briefs of counsel, it is the opinion of this Court that the motions to dismiss must be granted.

The constitutionality of this Act has been challenged previously in the state courts of Louisiana in the case of Martone v. Morgan, 251 La. 993, 207 So.2d 770, wherein the plaintiff was represented by the same attorney now representing the plaintiff Jenkins. At the district court level, Mr. Martone prevailed, but that decision was reversed in a well-written opinion by Mr. Justice E. Howard McCaleb of the Louisiana Supreme Court. We agree with the unanimous opinion of the Louisiana Supreme Court in Martone that the case of Hannah v. Larche, 363 U.S. 420, 80 S.Ct. 1502, 46 L.Ed.2d 1307, is dispositive of the issues pertaining to the constitutionality of the Act here in question. The Act was properly analyzed by the Louiana Supreme Court in Martone when it said:

"The Legislature of 1967, by Act 2 of the Extraordinary Session thereof (R.S. 23:880.1-880.18), created a commission denominated as the `Labor-Management Commission of Inquiry' to investigate and find facts relating to violations or possible violations of the criminal laws of this State or of the United States arising out of or in connection with matters in the field of labor-management relations. According to the preamble to the act, this Commission of Inquiry was conceived and created to examine the causes for the unprecedented conditions existing in the State in the field of labor-management relations under which, by reason of suspected violations of the State and Federal criminal laws, there has been a shutdown of construction work involving industrial development projects furnishing employment to thousands of persons; that the present conditions vitally affect the public interest and threaten to disrupt the conduct of normal labor-management relations. It was further stated that, in view of the presently existing conditions, the public interest requires that the causes thereof be investigated on a statewide basis as a supplement to assist activities of the district attorneys,
286 F. Supp. 539
grand juries and other law enforcement officials and agencies of this State and of the United States.
"In the body of the act, the Commission is created and invested with power to ascertain the facts surrounding and pertaining to any actual or possible violations of the criminal laws relating to, arising out of or connected with problems or disputes in the field of labor-management relations. This power was limited however, the act declaring, `* * * it shall be investigatory and fact finding only * * *', and it was further provided that `The commission shall have no authority to and it shall make no binding adjudication with respect to such violation or violations; * * *' and `No findings, conclusions, recommendations or reports of the commission may be used as prima facie or presumptive evidence of the guilt or innocence of any person in any court of law.' Additionally, the act provides that the Commission `* * * shall make and publicize its findings with respect to the question whether or not there is probable cause to believe that there are or have been violations of any criminal law * * *. Copies of its report shall be immediately furnished to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the attorney-general and the legislature.'
"After the membership on the Commission had been duly appointed and the body began to function conformably with the authority vested in it, plaintiff instituted the present suit for an injunction as a taxpayer to have the statute declared unconstitutional on various grounds which will hereinafter be set forth and discussed. The principal attack levelled by the plaintiff is that the act denies him due process as guaranteed by Section 2 of Article I of the Louisiana Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, because the powers vested in the Commission are such that, in their investigations and hearings authorized under the act, plaintiff and/or persons similarly situated are denied assistance of counsel, the right of confrontation, the right of cross-examination of witnesses and the right to compulsory process for their witnesses. The provisions of the act thus assailed have to do with the procedure rules set forth in the act for hearings by the Commission.
* * * * * *
"* * * we direct our immediate attention to plaintiff's principal attack, and the holding of the trial judge, that R.S. 23:880.1-880.18 denies plaintiff and those similarly situated due process under the State and Federal Constitutions in that it is an agency `* * * which makes determinations in the nature of
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4 practice notes
  • Cornelius v. Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Civ. No. 15150.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • August 2, 1974
    ...so interrelated to the three-judge questions as to present one continuous transaction or set of operative facts," Jenkins v. McKeithen, 286 F.Supp. 537, 542 (E.D.La.1968) (three-judge court), rev'd on other grounds, 395 U.S. 411, 89 S.Ct. 1843, 23 L.Ed.2d 404 (1969), and after due considera......
  • Jenkins v. Keithen, No. 548
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 9, 1969
    ...A three-judge court was convened and that court ultimately granted appellees' motion to dismiss the complaint. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 286 F.Supp. 537 (D.C.E.D.La.1968). We noted probable jurisdiction of an appeal brought under 28 U.S.C. § 1253.1 We reverse. Since the case was decided on a mo......
  • Murgia v. Commonwealth of Mass. Bd. of Retirement, Civ. A. No. 72-2083-T.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • December 12, 1974
    ...At the least, the decision to retain three-judge jurisdiction may be within our discretion, see Jenkins v. McKeithen, E.D.La., 1968, 286 F.Supp. 537, 542, rev'd on other grounds, 395 U.S. 411, 89 S.Ct. 1843, 23 L.Ed.2d 404, and, if so, we exercise that discretion in favor of 2 Only one addi......
  • United States v. Stevens, No. 3-67 CR. 47.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • June 27, 1968
    ...substantially upon Mares v. United States, 319 F.2d 71 (10th Cir. 1963), decided that Haynes did not effect the constitutionality 286 F. Supp. 537 of § 5851 as relating to § 5821. With all deference, this court finds to the A separate order vacating the judgment has been entered. --------No......
4 cases
  • Cornelius v. Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Civ. No. 15150.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • August 2, 1974
    ...so interrelated to the three-judge questions as to present one continuous transaction or set of operative facts," Jenkins v. McKeithen, 286 F.Supp. 537, 542 (E.D.La.1968) (three-judge court), rev'd on other grounds, 395 U.S. 411, 89 S.Ct. 1843, 23 L.Ed.2d 404 (1969), and after due considera......
  • Jenkins v. Keithen, No. 548
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 9, 1969
    ...A three-judge court was convened and that court ultimately granted appellees' motion to dismiss the complaint. Jenkins v. McKeithen, 286 F.Supp. 537 (D.C.E.D.La.1968). We noted probable jurisdiction of an appeal brought under 28 U.S.C. § 1253.1 We reverse. Since the case was decided on a mo......
  • Murgia v. Commonwealth of Mass. Bd. of Retirement, Civ. A. No. 72-2083-T.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Massachusetts
    • December 12, 1974
    ...At the least, the decision to retain three-judge jurisdiction may be within our discretion, see Jenkins v. McKeithen, E.D.La., 1968, 286 F.Supp. 537, 542, rev'd on other grounds, 395 U.S. 411, 89 S.Ct. 1843, 23 L.Ed.2d 404, and, if so, we exercise that discretion in favor of 2 Only one addi......
  • United States v. Stevens, No. 3-67 CR. 47.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • June 27, 1968
    ...substantially upon Mares v. United States, 319 F.2d 71 (10th Cir. 1963), decided that Haynes did not effect the constitutionality 286 F. Supp. 537 of § 5851 as relating to § 5821. With all deference, this court finds to the A separate order vacating the judgment has been entered. --------No......

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