BE&K Constr. Co. v. NLRB, 536 U.S. 516, 6 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 516 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

ments in restraint of trade, monopolization, and attempts to monopolize. 246 F. 3d, at 622. The District Court dismissed the amended complaint, however, because it realleged claims that had already been decided. Id., at 622-623. The District Court also dismissed the plaintiffs' claim regarding the unions' state court lawsuit since the plaintiffs had no evidence that the suit was not reasonably based and because two unions that the plaintiffs sued were never parties to that state court action. Id., at 623.

The plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint. It included their remaining claims but again realleged claims that had already been decided. Ibid.; App. 32-33. The District Court dismissed the decided claims and imposed sanctions on the plaintiffs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. 246 F. 3d, at 623. At that point, the mill operator dismissed its remaining claims with prejudice. Ibid. The District Court then granted summary judgment to the unions on petitioner's antitrust claim once petitioner was unable to show the unions had formed a combination with nonlabor entities for an illegitimate purpose. Ibid. Petitioner dismissed its remaining claims and appealed. Id., at 623-624.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of petitioner's antitrust claim. It held that the District Court erred in requiring petitioner to prove that the unions combined with nonlabor entities for an illegitimate purpose, but found the error harmless since the unions had antitrust immunity when lobbying officials or petitioning courts and agencies, unless the activity was a sham. USS-POSCO Industries v. Contra Costa County Bldg. & Const. Trades Council, AFL-CIO, 31 F. 3d 800, 810 (CA9 1994). Petitioner did not argue that the unions' litigation activity had been objectively baseless, but maintained that "the unions [had] engaged in a pattern of automatic petitioning of governmental bodies . . . without regard to . . . the merits of said petitions." Ibid. (internal quotation marks omitted; emphasis added). The Ninth Circuit allowed that


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