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Case Summary for Hudgens v. NLRB

The Justices in the Hudgens majority were split as to whether Logan Valley Plaza had been overruled in the 1972 Lloyd case, overruled in Hudgens, or whether it had been overruled at all. Justice Potter Stewart’s majority opinion stated that Logan Valley had effectively been overruled by the reasoning in Lloyd and was assuredly now overruled. Justice Powell, however, argued in his concurring opinion that the 1972 case did not overrule the 1968 case. In fact, he believed that Logan Valley could be “narrowly” distinguished from Hudgens, and thus it could still be considered valid precedent. In a separate concurring opinion Justice White agreed with Justice Powell, stating simply that “Logan Valley does not cover these facts.”


“We make clear now, if it was not clear before, that the rationale of Logan Valley did not survive the Court’s Decision in the Lloyd case.” (Justice Stewart)

“The Court's rejection of any role for the First Amendment in the privately owned shopping center complex stems, I believe, from an overly formalistic view of the relationship between the institution of private ownership of property and the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. No one would seriously question the legitimacy of the values of privacy and individual autonomy traditionally associated with privately owned property. But property that is privately owned is not always held for private use, and when a property owner opens his property to public use, the force of those values diminishes.” (Justice Marshall, dissenting)

“The interest of members of the public in communicating with one another on subjects relating to the businesses that occupy a modern shopping center is substantial. Not only employees with a labor dispute, but also consumers with complaints against business establishments, may look to the location of a retail store as the only reasonable avenue for effective communication with the public. As far as these groups are concerned, the shopping center owner has assumed the traditional role of the state in its control of historical First Amendment forums. Lloyd and Logan Valley recognized the vital role the First Amendment has to play in such cases, and I believe that this Court errs when it holds otherwise.” (Justice Marshall, dissenting)

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