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    This page contains Supreme Court rulings -- with summaries of the majority and minority conclusions.

02-HOFFMAN on Jan 15, 2002

Decided Mar 27, 2002
Case Ruling: Hoffman Plastic v. NLRB
Petitioner Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. formulates chemicals for household products. In May 1988, Hoffman hired Jose Castro. Castro presented documents that appeared to verify his authorization to work in the US. In Dec. 1988, the AFL-CIO began a union-organizing campaign at Hoffman. Castro and several other employees supported the organizing campaign. In Jan. 1989, Hoffman laid off Castro and other employees engaged in these organizing activities.

HELD: By Rehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas

Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) denied an award of back pay to an undocumented worker who had been laid-off for his part in a union organizing drive. Lack of authority to award backpay does not mean that the employer gets off scot-free. The NRLB has already imposed sanctions, which include orders that Hoffman cease & desist its violations of union organizing rules, and that it conspicuously post a notice to employees setting forth their rights to unionize, and detailing Hoffman's prior unfair practices.

DISSENT: By Breyer, joined by Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg

I cannot agree that the backpay award before us "runs counter to" national immigration policy. The NLRB's limited backpay order will not interfere with the implementation of immigration policy. Rather, it reasonably helps to deter unlawful activity that BOTH labor laws AND immigration laws seek to prevent. Consequently, the order for backpay should be lawful. The Court does not deny that the employer in this case dismissed an employee for trying to organize a union--a crude & obvious violation of NRLB's labor laws. Where in the immigration laws can the Court find a "policy" that might warrant taking from NLRB this critically important power?


    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 12. Question 12: Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Jobs
  • Headline: No back pay to illegal alien fired for union organizing (Score: -2)
  • Headline 2: Award back pay to illegal alien fired for union organizing (Score: 2)

    Participating counts on AmericansElect question 4.
  • Headline: No back pay to illegal alien fired for union organizing (Answer: C)
  • Headline 2: Award back pay to illegal alien fired for union organizing (Answer: A)
  • AmericansElect Quiz Question 4 on Immigration: When you think about illegal immigration, which of the following solutions come closest to your opinion?
    • A: All illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the US legally
    • B: Most illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the US, with some exceptions
    • C: Most illegal immigrants should be deported, with some exceptions
    • D: All illegal immigrants should be deported
    • E: Unsure


  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 02-HOFFMAN

Stephen Breyer w2dUS Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg j2dUS Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 



Republicans participating in 02-HOFFMAN

Anthony Kennedy j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
Sandra Day O`Connor j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2005) 
William Rehnquist w1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (until 2005) 
Antonin Scalia j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
David Souter j2dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2009) 
John Paul Stevens j2dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2010) 
Clarence Thomas j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 



Independents participating in 02-HOFFMAN



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 2
Republicans: 7
Independents: 0


















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