Building & Constr. Trades Council v. Associated Builders & Contractors of Mass./R. I., Inc., 507 U.S. 218, 11 (1993)

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Opinion of the Court

the labor dispute were not resolved and services resumed by a specific deadline.

In Gould, we rejected the argument that the State was acting as proprietor rather than regulator for purposes of Garmon pre-emption when the State refused to do business with persons who had violated the NLRA three times within five years. We noted in doing so that in that case, "debarment . . . serves plainly as a means of enforcing the NLRA." 475 U. S., at 287. We said there that "[t]he State concedes, as we think it must, that the point of the statute is to deter labor law violations"; we concluded that "[n]o other purpose could credibly be ascribed." Ibid.

Respondents quote the following passage from Gould, arguing that it stands for the proposition that the State as proprietor is subject to the same pre-emption limitations as the State as regulator:

"Nothing in the NLRA, of course, prevents private purchasers from boycotting labor law violators. But government occupies a unique position of power in our society, and its conduct, regardless of form, is rightly subject to special restraints. Outside the area of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, it is far from unusual for federal law to prohibit States from making spending decisions in ways that are permissible for private parties . . . . The NLRA, moreover, has long been understood to protect a range of conduct against state but not private interference . . . . The Act treats state action differently from private action not merely because they frequently take different forms, but also because in our system States simply are different from private parties and have a different role to play." Id., at 290.

The above passage does not bear the weight that respondents would have it support. The conduct at issue in Gould was a state agency's attempt to compel conformity with the NLRA. Because the statute at issue in Gould addressed

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