Building & Constr. Trades Council v. Associated Builders & Contractors of Mass./R. I., Inc., 507 U.S. 218, 3 (1993)

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Opinion of the Court

Maurice Baskin argued the cause for respondents. With him on the briefs was Carol Chandler.

Justice Blackmun delivered the opinion of the Court. The issue in this litigation is whether the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 49 Stat. 449, as amended, 29 U. S. C. 151 et seq., pre-empts enforcement by a state authority, acting as the owner of a construction project, of an otherwise lawful prehire collective-bargaining agreement negotiated by private parties.


The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) is an independent government agency charged by the Massachusetts Legislature with providing water-supply services, sewage collection, and treatment and disposal services for the eastern half of Massachusetts. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann., ch. 92 App., 1-1 et seq. (1993). Following a lawsuit arising out of its failure to prevent the pollution of Boston Harbor, in alleged violation of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 86 Stat. 816, as amended, 33 U. S. C. 1251 et seq.,

†Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al. by Scott Harshbarger, Attorney General of Massachusetts, and Douglas H. Wilkins, Assistant Attorney General, Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General of Minnesota, Robert J. Del Tufo, Attorney General of New Jersey, and Frank J. Kelley, Attorney General of Michigan; for Mayor Raymond L. Flynn by Albert W. Wallis; and for the National Constructors Association et al. by Robert W. Kopp and John Gaal.

Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the Associated General Contractors of America by Glen D. Nager, Richard F. Shaw, and Michael E. Kennedy; for the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America by Clifton S. Elgarten, Stephen A. Bokat, Robin S. Conrad, and Mona C. Zeiberg; for Master Printers of America by Francis T. Coleman and William B. Cowen; for the Merit Shop Foundation et al. by Bruce J. Ennis, Jr.; for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc., by Hugh L. Reilly, W. James Young, and Edwin Vieira, Jr.; and for the Utility Contractors Association of New England, Inc., et al. by Stephen S. Ostrach and Richard D. Wayne.

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