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U.S. Supreme Court


407 U.S. 385


No. 70-74.

Argued January 11, 1972
Decided June 22, 1972

Petitioner union and three of its officers were convicted of conspiracy to violate 18 U.S.C. 610, which prohibited a labor organization from making a contribution or an expenditure in connection with a federal election. Evidence indicated that the union from 1949 through 1962 maintained a political fund to which union members and others working under the union's jurisdiction were required to contribute and that that fund was then succeeded by the present fund, which was, in form, set up as a separate "voluntary" organization; union officials, nevertheless, retained unlimited control over the fund, and no significant change was made in the regular and systematic collection of contributions at a prescribed rate based on hours worked; union agents, moreover, continued to collect donations at jobsites on union time, and the proceeds were used for a variety of purposes, including political contributions in connection with federal elections; those contributions, on the other hand, were made from accounts strictly segregated from union dues and assessments, and, although some of the contributors believed otherwise, donations to the fund were not, in fact, necessary for employment or union membership. Under instructions to determine whether the fund was in reality a union fund or the contributors' fund, the jury found each defendant guilty. The Court of Appeals rejected petitioners' challenges, and held that the fund was a subterfuge through which the union made political contributions of union monies in violation of 610. The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which became effective after oral argument here, added a paragraph at the end of 610 that expressly authorizes labor organizations to establish, administer, and solicit contributions for political funds, provided that the fund not make a contribution or expenditure in connection with a federal election by utilizing money or anything of value secured by physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals, or the threat thereof, or by monies required as a condition of employment or union membership. Held:

434 F.2d 1127, vacated and remanded to the District Court with instructions to dismiss indictment against petitioners Callanan and Lawler, both now deceased, and reversed and remanded to the District Court as to remaining petitioners.

BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, STEWART, WHITE, MARSHALL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. POWELL, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C. J., joined, post, p. 442. BLACKMUN, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Morris A. Shenker argued the cause for petitioners. With him on the briefs were James F. Nangle, Jr., John L. Boeger, Cordell Siegel, Murry L. Randall, and Richard L. Daly.

Deputy Solicitor General Wallace argued the cause for the United States. On the briefs were Solicitor General Griswold, Acting Assistant Attorney General Petersen, Allan A. Tuttle, and Beatrice Rosenberg. [407 U.S. 385, 387]  

Briefs of amici curiae urging reversal were filed by J. Albert Woll, Laurence Gold, and Thomas E. Harris for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, and by Arthur J. Hilland and Plato Cacheris for Officers of the United Mine Workers of America.

John L. Kilcullen filed a brief for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation as amicus curiae urging affirmance.

MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioners - Pipefitters Local Union No. 562 and three individual officers of the Union - were convicted by a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri of conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. 371 to violate 18 U.S.C. 610. At the time of trial 610 provided in relevant part:

The indictment charged, in essence, that petitioners had conspired from 1963 to May 9, 1968, to establish and maintain a fund that (1) would receive regular and systematic payments from Local 562 members and members of other locals working under the Union's jurisdiction; (2) would have the appearance, but not the reality of being an entity separate from the Union; and (3) would conceal contributions and expenditures by the Union in connection with federal elections in violation of 610. 2   [407 U.S. 385, 389]  

The evidence tended to show, in addition to disbursements of about $150,000 by the fund to candidates in federal elections, an identity between the fund and the [407 U.S. 385, 390]   Union and a collection of well over $1 million in contributions to the fund by a method similar to that employed in the collection of dues or assessments. In particular, [407 U.S. 385, 391]   it was established that from 1949 through 1962 the Union maintained a political fund to which Union members and others working under the Union's jurisdiction were in fact required to contribute and that the fund was then succeeded in 1963 by the present fund, which was, in form, set up as a separate "voluntary" organization. Yet, a principal Union officer assumed the [407 U.S. 385, 392]   role of director of the present fund with full and unlimited control over its disbursements. The Union's business manager, petitioner Lawler, became the first director of the fund and was later succeeded by petitioner Callanan, whom one Local 562 member described as "the Union" in explaining his influence within the local. Moreover, no significant change was made in the regular and systematic method of collection of contributions at a prescribed rate based on hours worked, and Union agents continued to collect donations at jobsites on Union time. In addition, changes in the rate of contributions were tied to changes in the rate of members' assessments. In 1966, for example, when assessments were increased from 2 1/2% to 3 3/4% of gross wages, the contribution rate was decreased from $1 to 50 per day worked, with the result that the change did not cause, in the words of the Union's executive board, "one extra penny cost to members of Local Union 562." At the same time, the contribution rate for nonmembers, who were not required to pay the prescribed travel card fee for working under Local 562's jurisdiction, remained the same at $2 per day worked, approximately matching the total assessment and contribution of members. Finally, in addition to political contributions, the fund used its monies for nonpolitical purposes, such as aid to financially distressed members on strike, and for a period of a few months, upon the vote of its members, even suspended collections in favor of contributions to a separate gift fund for petitioner Callanan. 3 Not surprisingly, various witnesses testified that [407 U.S. 385, 393]   during the indictment period contributions to the fund were often still referred to as - and actually understood by some to be - assessments, or that they paid their contributions "voluntarily" in the same sense that they paid their dues or other financial obligations. 4  

On the other hand, the evidence also indicated that the political contributions by the fund were made from accounts strictly segregated from Union dues and assessments 5 and that donations to the fund were not, in fact, [407 U.S. 385, 394]   necessary for employment or Union membership. The fund generally required contributors to sign authorization cards, which contained a statement that their donations were "voluntary . . . [and] no part of the dues or financial obligations of Local Union No. 562 . . .," 6 and the testimony was overwhelming from both those who contributed and those who did not, as well as from the collectors of contributions, that no specific pressure was exerted, and no reprisals were taken, to obtain donations. 7   [407 U.S. 385, 395]   Significantly, the Union's attorney who had advised on the organization of the fund testified on cross-examination that his advice had been that payments to the fund could not be made a condition of employment or Local 562 membership, but it was immaterial whether contributions appeared compulsory to those solicited. 8  

Under instructions to determine whether on this evidence the fund was in reality a Union fund or the contributors' [407 U.S. 385, 396]   fund, 9 the jury found each defendant guilty. The jury also found specially that a willful violation of 610 was not contemplated, and the trial court imposed [407 U.S. 385, 397]   sentence accordingly. The Union was fined $5,000, while the individual defendants were each sentenced to one year's imprisonment and fined $1,000. [407 U.S. 385, 398]  

On appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, petitioners contended that the indictment failed to allege, and the evidence was insufficient to sustain, a conspiracy to violate 610, and that 610, on its face or as construed and applied, abridged their rights under the First, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventeenth Amendments and Art. I, 2, of the Constitution. They argued further that the special finding by the jury that a willful violation of 610 was not contemplated effectively resulted in acquittal, since such willfulness was an essential element of the conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. 371. The Court of Appeals in a four-to-three en banc decision, 434 F.{4)d 1127 [407 U.S. 385, 399]   (1970), adopted Judge Van Oosterhout's panel opinion rejecting each of these claims, 434 F.2d 1116 (1970). The gist of the court's decision, insofar as pertinent here, was that the Pipefitters fund was a subterfuge through which the Union made political contributions of Union monies in violation of 610, as demonstrated by the evidence that the fund regularly served Union purposes and that the donors to the fund contributed in the belief that their job security depended upon it. We granted certiorari. 402 U.S. 994 (1971).

After we heard oral argument, the President on February 7, 1972, signed into law the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which in 205 amends 18 U.S.C. 610, see infra, at 409-410, effective April 7, 1972. See Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, 406, 86 Stat. 20. We, accordingly, requested the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing the impact of that amendment on this prosecution. 10 Having considered those briefs, we now hold that 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act merely codifies prior law, with one possible exception pertinent to this case; that the change in the law, if in fact made, does not in any event require this prosecution to abate; but that the judgment below must, nevertheless, be reversed [407 U.S. 385, 400]   because of erroneous jury instructions. 11 This disposition makes decision of the constitutional issues premature, and we therefore do not decide them. Cf. [407 U.S. 385, 401]   United States v. Auto Workers, 352 U.S. 567 (1957); United States v. CIO, 335 U.S. 106 (1948).


We begin with an analysis of 610.

First. The parties are in agreement that 610, despite its broad language, does not prohibit a labor organization from making, through the medium of a political fund organized by it, contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections, so long as the monies expended are in some sense volunteered by those asked to contribute. Thus, the Government states in its brief, "Nor do we dispute [petitioners'] conclusion, following their review of the legislative history of Section 610, that a union could `establish a political organization for the purpose of receiving ear-marked political monies directly from [voluntary contributions of] union members . . . .'" Brief for the United States 27 n. 7, quoting Brief for Petitioners 62. See also Brief for the United States 30. This construction of 610 is clearly correct. 12   [407 U.S. 385, 402]  

The antecedents of 610 have previously been traced in United States v. Auto Workers and United States v. CIO, both supra. We need recall here only that the prohibition in 313 of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, 43 Stat. 1074, on contributions by corporations in connection with federal elections was extended to labor organizations in the War Labor Disputes Act of 1943, 57 Stat. 163, but only for the duration of the war. As the Court noted in CIO, supra, at 115, "It was felt that the influence which labor unions exercised over elections through monetary expenditures should be minimized, and that it was unfair to individual union members to permit the union leadership to make contributions from general union funds to a political party which the individual member might oppose." The prohibition on contributions was then permanently enacted into law in 304 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, 61 Stat. 159, with the addition, however, of a proscription on "expenditures" and an extension of both prohibitions to payments in connection with federal primaries and political conventions as well as federal elections themselves. Yet, neither prohibition applied to payments by union political funds in connection with federal elections so long as the funds were financed in some sense by the [407 U.S. 385, 403]   voluntary donations of the union membership. Union political funds had come to prominence in the 1944 and 1946 election campaigns and had been extensively studied by special committees of both the House and the Senate. Against the backdrop of the committee findings and recommendations, the Senate debates upon the reach of 304 attached controlling significance to the voluntary source of financing of the funds. The unequivocal view of the proponents of 304 was that the contributions and expenditures of voluntarily financed funds did not violate that provision.

The special committees investigating the 1944 and 1946 campaigns devoted particular attention to the activities of the Political Action Committee (PAC) of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) because they had stirred considerable public controversy. See H. R. Rep. No. 2093, 78th Cong., 2d Sess., 2-6 (1945); S. Rep. No. 101, 79th Cong., 1st Sess., 20-24, 57-59 (1945); H. R. Rep. No. 2739, 79th Cong., 2d Sess., 30-31 (1946). See also S. Rep. No. 1, pt. 2, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., 34 (1947). The committee findings were that PAC had been established by the executive board of the CIO in July 1943; that it consisted of a national office and 14 regional offices advising and coordinating numerous state and local political action committees; that its connection to the CIO was close at every level of organization; that its program, adopted by the CIO convention in November 1943, had included the re-election of President Roosevelt and the election of a "progressive" Congress; that it had initially been financed by sizable pledges from the treasuries of CIO international unions and that some of these funds had been expended in federal primaries; but that, following the nomination in July 1944 of President Roosevelt for re-election, it was generally financed by $1 contributions knowingly and freely made by individual CIO members; and that these monies were used for [407 U.S. 385, 404]   political educational activities, including get-out-the-vote drives, but were not directly contributed to any candidate or political committee. Thus, PAC had limited its direct contributions in federal campaigns to primaries, to which the Act at the time expressly did not apply, and restricted its activities in the elections themselves to so-called "expenditures" rather than "contributions." The Senate Special Committee on Campaign Expenditures concluded in 1945 that, in these circumstances, there was "no clear-cut violation" by PAC of 313 of the Corrupt Practices Act. S. Rep. No. 101, supra, at 23. Although there was agreement within the committee that 313 should be extended to federal primaries and nominating conventions because of their importance in determining final election results, id., at 81-82, 13 there was disagreement on whether 313 should also be amended to proscribe "expenditures" in addition to "contributions." A majority believed that it should not be, in part because the amendment "would tend to limit the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution." Id., at 83. 14 Senators Ball and Ferguson, who dissented from this conclusion, nevertheless conceded that even as to "expenditures" "[i]f the Political Action Committee had been organized on a voluntary basis and obtained its funds from voluntary individual contributions from the beginning, there could be no quarrel with its activities or program and in fact both are desirable in a democracy." Id., at 24. The [407 U.S. 385, 405]   House Campaign Expenditures Committee in 1946, however, strongly urged the adoption of a prohibition on "expenditures" in terms condemning the activities of PAC without regard to the source of its funds. 15  

Then, in 1947, Congress made permanent the application of 313 of the Corrupt Practices Act to labor organizations and closed the loopholes that were thought to have been exploited in the 1944 and 1946 elections. These changes were embodied in 304 of the labor bill introduced by Representative Hartley, which was adopted by the House and the conference committee with little apparent discussion or opposition. 16 The provision, however, [407 U.S. 385, 406]   provoked lengthy debate on the Senate floor when Senator Taft, sponsor of the Senate labor bill and one of the Senate conferees, sought to explain its import. That debate compellingly demonstrates that voluntarily financed union political funds were not believed to be prohibited by the broad wording of 304. Thus, Senator Taft stated:

In response to a question by Senator Magnuson whether unions would be prohibited from publishing a newspaper "favoring a candidate, mentioning his name, or endorsing him for public office," Taft continued:

When Magnuson rejoined that "all union members know that a part of their dues in these cases go for the publication of some labor [newspaper] organ," Taft concluded:

See also id., at 6437, 6438.

Senator Taft's view that a union cannot violate the law by spending political funds volunteered by its members was consistent with the legislative history of the War Labor Disputes Act and an express interpretation given to that Act by the Attorney General in 1944. 17 His [407 U.S. 385, 409]   view also reflected concern that a broader application of 610 might raise constitutional questions of invasion of First Amendment freedoms, and he wished particularly to reassure colleagues who had reservations on that score and whose votes were necessary to override a predictable presidential veto, see 93 Cong. Rec. 7485, of the Labor Management Relations Act. 18 We conclude, accordingly, that his view of the limited reach of 610, entitled in any event to great weight, is in this instance controlling. Cf. Newspaper Pub. Assn. v. NLRB, 345 U.S. 100, 106 -111 (1953); Bus Employees v. Wisconsin Board, 340 U.S. 383, 392 n. 15 (1951). We therefore hold that 610 does not apply to union contributions and expenditures from political funds financed in some sense by the voluntary donations of employees. Cf. United States v. Auto Workers, 352 U.S., at 592 ; United States v. CIO, 335 U.S., at 123 .

Section 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act confirms this conclusion by adding at the end of 610 the following paragraph:

This amendment stemmed from a proposal offered by Representative Hansen on the House floor, see 117 Cong. Rec. 43379, to which the Senate acquiesced in conference. See id., at 46799 (joint conference committee report). Hansen stated that the purpose of his proposal was, with one exception not pertinent here, 19 "to codify the court decisions interpreting [and the legislative history explicating] section 610 . . . and to spell out in [407 U.S. 385, 411]   more detail what a labor union or corporation can or cannot do in connection with a Federal election." 20 Moreover, there was substantial agreement among his colleagues that the effect of his amendment was, in fact, mere codification and clarification, 21 and even those who disagreed did not dispute that voluntarily financed union political funds are permissible. Indeed, Representative Crane, who led the opposition to the Hansen amendment, 22 himself had written the House committee provision for which the Hansen amendment was, in effect, substituted. 23 Mr. Crane's provision, like the Hansen amendment, was said in some measure to codify existing law, 24 and would also have specifically authorized voluntary funds. 25 This consensus that has now been captured in [407 U.S. 385, 412]   express terms in 610 cannot, of course, by itself conclusively establish what Congress had in mind in 1947. But it does "`throw a cross light'" on the earlier enactment that, together with the latter's legislative history, demonstrates beyond doubt the correctness of the parties' common ground of interpretation of 610. Michigan Nat. Bank v. Michigan, 365 U.S. 467, 481 (1961) (quoting L. Hand, J.). Cf. NLRB v. Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co., [407 U.S. 385, 413]   388 U.S. 175, 194 (1967); NLRB v. Drivers Local Union, 362 U.S. 274, 291 -292 (1960).

Second. Where the litigants part company is in defining precisely when political contributions and expenditures by a union political fund fall outside the ambit of 610. The Government maintains, first, that a valid fund may not be the alter ego of the sponsoring union in the sense of being dominated by it and serving its purposes, regardless of the fund's source of financing:

See also Brief for the United States 24. The requirement that the fund be separate from the sponsoring union eliminates, in the Government's view, "the corroding effect of money employed in elections by aggregated powers," United States v. Auto Workers, 352 U.S., at 582 , which this Court has found to be one of the dual purposes underlying 610. See id., passim; United States v. CIO, 335 U.S., at 113 , 115. The Government urges, secondly, that in accordance with the legislative intent to protect minority interests from overbearing union leadership, which we have found to be the other purpose of 610, see ibid., the fund may not be financed by monies actually required for employment or union membership or by payments that [407 U.S. 385, 414]   are effectively assessed, that is, solicited in circumstances inherently coercive. 26 Petitioners, on the other hand, contend that, to be valid, a political fund need not be distinct from the sponsoring union and, further, that 610 permits the union to exercise institutional pressure, much as recognized charities do, in soliciting donations. See Brief for Petitioners 71, 73 n. 22.

We think that neither side fully and accurately portrays the attributes of legitimate political funds. We hold that such a fund must be separate from the sponsoring union only in the sense that there must be a strict segregation of its monies from union dues and assessments. 27 We hold, too, that, although solicitation by union officials is permissible, such solicitation must be conducted under circumstances plainly indicating that donations are for a political purpose and that those solicited may decline to contribute without loss of job, union membership, or any other reprisal within the union's institutional power. Thus, we agree with the second half of the Government's position, but reject the first.

As Senator Taft's remarks quoted above indicate, supra, at 406-408, the test of voluntariness under 610 focuses on whether the contributions solicited for political use are knowing free-choice donations. The dominant concern in requiring that contributions be voluntary was, after all, to protect the dissenting stockholder or union [407 U.S. 385, 415]   member. Whether the solicitation scheme is designed to inform the individual solicited of the political nature of the fund and his freedom to refuse support is, therefore, determinative.

Nowhere, however, has Congress required that the political organization be formally or functionally independent of union control or that union officials be barred from soliciting contributions or even precluded from determining how the monies raised will be spent. The Government's argument to the contrary in the first half of its position is based on a misunderstanding of the purposes of 610. 28 When Congress prohibited [407 U.S. 385, 416]   labor organizations from making contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections, it was, of course, concerned not only to protect minority interests within the union but to eliminate the effect of aggregated wealth on federal elections. But the aggregated wealth it plainly had in mind was the general union treasury - not the funds donated by union members of their own free and knowing choice. Again, Senator Taft adamantly maintained that labor organizations were not prohibited from expending those monies in connection with federal elections. Indeed, Taft clearly espoused the union political organization merely as an alternative to permissible direct political action by the union itself through publications endorsing candidates in federal elections. The only conditions for that kind of direct electioneering were that the costs of publication be financed through individual subscriptions rather than through union dues and that the newspapers be recognized by the subscribers as political organs [407 U.S. 385, 417]   that they could refuse to purchase. 29 Neither the absence of even a formally separate organization, the solicitation of subscriptions by the union, nor the method for choosing the candidates to be supported was mentioned as being material. Similarly, the only requirements for permissible political organizations were that they be funded through separate contributions and that they be recognized by the donors as political organizations to which they could refuse support. As Taft said, "If the labor people should desire to set up a political organizations and obtain direct contributions for it, there would be nothing unlawful in that," "just so long as members of the union know what they are contributing to, and the dues which they pay into the union treasury are not used for such purpose." Supra, at 406, 407.

The operations of PAC, the organization that dominated the congressional investigations of the 1944 and 1946 campaigns and that was expressly approved by the 80th Congress, are especially instructive in this regard. Significantly, it was exactly the knowing free-choice donation test of voluntariness that PAC sought scrupulously to observe in soliciting contributions. Sidney Hillman, Chairman of PAC, testified before the House Campaign Expenditures Committee in 1944:

PAC was, nevertheless, generally regarded, not as a functionally separate organization (except for its method of financing 31 ), but as an instrumentality of the CIO, itself subsumed within the definition of "labor organization." 32 It was, as we have seen, established by [407 U.S. 385, 419]   the executive board of the CIO, its program was adopted at the national CIO convention, and its relationship to the CIO was close at every level of organization. 33 Furthermore, union agents generally collected contributions, H. R. Rep. No. 2093, 78th Cong., [407 U.S. 385, 420]   2d Sess., 5 (1945), and the union leadership was instrumental in choosing candidates to be supported. 34 Thus, far from being a separate organization sprouting from the desires of the rank and file to engage in political action, PAC, the paradigm union political fund, was a medium for organized labor, conceived and administered by union officials, to pursue through the political forum the goals of the working man. 35 And the only prerequisite for its continued [407 U.S. 385, 421]   operation after enactment of 304 of the Labor Management Relations Act was that it be strictly financed by solicitations designed to result in knowing free-choice donations.

This conclusion, too, we find confirmed by 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act, supra, at 409-410. That provision expressly authorizes "the establishment, administration, and solicitation of contributions to a separate segregated fund to be utilized for political purposes by a corporation or labor organization . . . ." The provision then states in a proviso clause that "it shall be unlawful for such a fund to make a contribution or expenditure by utilizing money or anything of value secured by physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals, or the threat of force, job discrimination, or financial reprisal; or by dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization or as a condition of employment . . . ." Thus, 205 plainly permits union officials to establish, administer, and solicit contributions for a political fund. The conditions for that activity are that the fund be "separate" and "segregated" and that its contributions and expenditures not be financed through physical force, job discrimination, or financial reprisal or the "threat" thereof, or through "dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization or as a condition of employment." The quoted language is admittedly subject to contrary interpretations. "Separate" could (and normally when juxtaposed to "segregated" would) be read to mean an apartness beyond "segregated"; "threat" could be construed as referring only to the expression of an actual intention to inflict [407 U.S. 385, 422]   injury; and "dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization or as a condition of employment" could be interpreted to mean only actual dues or assessments. But we think that the legislative history of 205 establishes that "separate" is synonymous with "segregated"; that "threat" includes the creation of an appearance of an intent to inflict injury even without a design to carry it out; and that "dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization or as a condition of employment" includes contributions effectively assessed even if not actually required for employment or union membership.

The Hansen amendment was an alternative to Representative Crane's proposal, which declared in relevant part, n. 25, supra:

The debate on the differences between the Crane and Hansen provisions did not involve this language when the Hansen amendment was first introduced and adopted by the House. See ibid. At that point Hansen merely indicated in general explanation of his amendment that a permissible fund had to be "separate," which in context clearly meant "segregated," see 117 Cong. Rec. 43379, 36 and that, although the law could not "control [407 U.S. 385, 423]   the mental reaction" of a union member solicited by his union chief, id., at 43381, 37 the monies obtained had to come "in a truly voluntary manner and without the employment of the kinds of threats or reprisals or other methods that are prohibited by this amendment." Ibid. Thus interpreted, the Hansen amendment, as its author explained, served the traditional purposes of 610:

No one at that time disputed that the Crane and Hansen provisions were the same in these respects in codifying prior law.

After the conference committee had adopted the Hansen amendment, however, Crane inserted in the record a Wall Street Journal article suggesting that the Hansen amendment had been inspired by the AFL-CIO to overrule the Court of Appeals decision in this case by authorizing a union political fund even if it is not separate and distinct from the sponsoring union, and by altering the test of voluntariness to focus on the absence of force rather than on the contributor's intent to make a donation of his own free and knowing choice. See 118 Cong. Rec. 323-324. 38 Crane did not significantly elaborate on the article or specifically endorse each of the particular points it made.

Hansen rejoined that he "[stood] fully behind every word of the statement" he had made during the earlier debate on his amendment and "[repeated] . . . that the purpose and effect of my amendment is [sic] to codify and clarify the existing law and not to make any substantive [407 U.S. 385, 425]   changes in the law." Id., at 328. 39 He stated further that his "amendment is consistent with the position taken by the Justice Department in the brief it filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in the Pipefitter case [which charged that the contributions to the Pipefitters fund `were assessed by the union as part of its dues structure'] . . .," since his amendment prohibited financing political funds through monies required for employment or union membership. His amendment, therefore, would not have the effect of "thwarting" that prosecution. Id., at 328-329 (emphasis omitted). Hansen stated, too, that his "amendment is also consistent with the provisions of the so-called Crane amendment dealing with the legality of a separate, voluntary political fund." Ibid. The only difference he appears to have seen between his amendment and the text of the Crane provision quoted above was that the one made explicit what the other treated implicitly. Hansen explained:

Crane made no reply to these assertions.

We conclude from this legislative history that the term "separate" in the Hansen amendment is synonymous with "segregated." Nothing in the legislative history indicates that the word is to be understood in any other way. To the contrary, Hansen's comments in general explanation of his amendment support that interpretation, as does the use of the term in the Crane provision, with which, Hansen said, his amendment was consistent. Moreover, Hansen did not deny that his amendment departed from the Court of Appeals' insistence in the Pipefitters decision that a permissible political fund be separate and distinct from the sponsoring union; instead, he merely found his amendment consistent with the Government's argument before this Court that political contributions and expenditures cannot be made from dues or assessments. Finally, both the Crane and the Hansen amendments expressly authorize unions to establish and administer voluntary political funds. The Hansen amendment also expressly authorizes union officials to solicit contributions and, as the quoted statement of Senator Dominick indicates, further permits them to determine the disposition of the monies raised. In these circumstances, it is difficult to conceive how a valid political fund can be meaningfully "separate" from the sponsoring union in any way other than "segregated." [407 U.S. 385, 427]  

Similarly, we conclude that the term "threat" and the phrase "dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization or as a condition of employment" must be read broadly to encompass solicitation schemes that do not make plain the political nature of the union fund and the freedom of the individual solicited to refuse to contribute without reprisal. The term and the phrase, in other words, include apparent as well as actual threats and dues or assessments respectively. Again, Hansen's explanatory statements are all consistent with that interpretation. Even his observation that the law cannot "control the mental reaction" of a union member approached by a union official seems better taken simply as justification for allowing solicitation by union officials at all rather than as condoning the use of tacit force or pressure. Moreover, if the Hansen amendment is to be construed, as Hansen indicated it should be, in pari materia with the Crane provision, it, too, must require that donations be made "freely and voluntarily." Likewise, if the amendment is meant, as Hansen said it was, to embrace the Government's position in this case, we merely implement his purpose by interpreting "dues, fees, or other monies required as a condition of membership in a labor organization or as a condition of employment" as including not only actual but also effective dues or assessments.

Construed as we have done, 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act does nothing more than accomplish the expressed purpose of its author - that is, codify and clarify prior law. But since we have arrived at our interpretation without reference to prior law, 205 once again throws on 610 as embodied in 304 of the Labor Management Relations Act "a cross light" that confirms our understanding of the law applicable to this prosecution. [407 U.S. 385, 428]  

Third. Arguably, however, there is one change effected by 205 material to this case, and that is with regard to the use of general union monies for the establishment, administration, and solicitation of contributions for political funds. Section 304 of the Labor Management Relations Act may be interpreted to prohibit such use, while the Hansen amendment plainly permits it.

As we have seen, supra, at 403, PAC was initially financed from general union treasuries. After the nomination of President Roosevelt for re-election, however, the costs of administration of PAC as well as its political expenditures were mainly, although not entirely, financed from a segregated account of voluntary individual donations. The House campaign expenditures committee explained in its 1945 report, H. R. Rep. No. 2093, 78th Cong. 2d Sess., 5 (1945):

In endorsing PAC in the enactment of 304 of the Labor Management Relations Act, Congress clearly had in mind PAC's financial structure after July 1944. Congress, therefore, may have considered that PAC's activities in the future could be financed only from voluntary donations separate from union dues and assessments, except for incidental expenses such as office space and part-time personnel. Alternatively, in view of the emphasis on protecting minority union interests and maintaining a strict segregation of funds, Congress may have thought that all of PAC's activities, including the costs of administration and solicitation of contributions, had to be paid for exclusively from voluntary contributions. The evidence is strong at least that Congress believed the costs of organization of new union political funds had to be financed in that way. See, e. g., S. Rep. No. 101, 79th Cong., 1st Sess., 24 (1945) (statement by Sens. Ball and Ferguson, quoted, supra, at 404).

In contrast, the Hansen amendment provides that "it shall be unlawful for such a fund to make a contribution or expenditure by utilizing money or anything of value secured" in a prohibited way. Conceivably this language could be read to forbid making contributions or expenditures through the establishment or administration of a political fund or through the solicitation of [407 U.S. 385, 430]   donations financed by general union monies. But that is neither the plain meaning nor, as the legislative history of 205 shows, the intended construction of the provision. When the Hansen amendment was first introduced, its sponsor explained:

At no point in the debate on 205 did Hansen suggest that his amendment was to be read more broadly than this, despite the fact that the Wall Street Journal article inserted in the record by Representative Crane specifically charged that "union chiefs could use dues money to pay for the soliciting . . . ." 118 Cong. Rec. 323. Furthermore, the exemption for the establishment, administration, and solicitation of contributions for voluntary political funds was but one of three exceptions to the general rule prohibiting corporations and labor organizations from making contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections. The other two exceptions were communications to, and nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns aimed at, stockholders or union members and their families. In explaining the three exemptions, Hansen clearly regarded each of them as a permissible activity to be financed by general union funds, for each, in his view, was an activity where group [407 U.S. 385, 431]   interests predominated 42 and "the interest of the minority [was] weakest . . . ." 117 Cong. Rec. 43380.

Thus, 205 may in one respect have impliedly repealed the substantive law relating to this prosecution. 43 But we need not now decide that question, because even if there has been such an implied repeal, it would not affect this prosecution for reasons to which we now turn.


The rule is well established that prosecutions under statutes impliedly or expressly repealed while the case is still pending on direct review must abate in the absence of a demonstration of contrary congressional intent or a general saving statute. For, "[p]rosecution for crimes is but an application or enforcement of the law, and if the prosecution continues the law must continue to vivify it." United States v. Chambers, 291 U.S. 217, 226 (1934). This doctrine had its earliest expression in United States v. Schooner Peggy, 1 Cranch 103 (1801), and has since "been consistently recognized and applied by this Court." Bell v. Maryland, 378 U.S. 226, 231 n. 2 (1964). As Chief Justice Hughes observed in Chambers, supra, at 226, "The principle involved is . . . not archaic but rather is continuing and vital, - that the people are free to withdraw the authority they have conferred and, when withdrawn, . . . the courts [cannot] assume the right to continue to exercise it."

In this case, however, although we do not find a demonstration of contrary congressional intent that would [407 U.S. 385, 433]   overcome application of this rule if applicable, 44 we do hold that the general federal saving statute, 61 Stat. 635, 1 U.S.C. 109, operates to nullify any abatement of the prosecution. That statute provides in pertinent part:

In United States v. Reisinger, 128 U.S. 398 (1888), the Court reviewed an indictment, returned in 1885, alleging that the defendant, an attorney, had in 1883 charged [407 U.S. 385, 434]   clients in pension cases against the Government $100 and $50 respectively in violation of a $10 maximum fee established by Act of Congress, June 20, 1878, 20 Stat. 243. Despite the fact that Congress had expressly repealed that Act and raised the maximum permissible fee in pension cases to $25 in 1884, Act of Congress, July 4, 1884, 3, 23 Stat. 99, the Court sustained the indictment on the basis of the federal saving statute. In Hamm v. Rock Hill, 379 U.S. 306 (1964), on the other hand, we held that the saving statute would not nullify abatement of federal prosecutions for trespass in public luncheon facilities following enactment of the public accommodation requirements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We explained, id., at 314:

The instant case is controlled by Reisinger rather than by Hamm. Section 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act may, of course, make lawful what was previously unlawful - namely, the financing of the establishment, administration, and solicitation of contributions for voluntary political funds from general union monies. But 205 does not, in any event, "[substitute] a right for a crime." To the contrary, as in Reisinger and Tynen, it [407 U.S. 385, 435]   retains the basic offense - contributions or expenditures by labor organizations in connection with federal elections are still forbidden so long as they are paid for from actual or effective dues or assessments. We therefore hold that even if there has been an implied repeal of 610, petitioners remain punishable under that provision. We turn now to determine whether the convictions below have been returned consistently with that law.


The Government urges:

See also Brief for the United States in Opposition to the Petition for Certiorari 11-12. 45 This was indeed, as we shall shortly see, the theory on which the indictment was drawn, the jury was instructed, and petitioners' convictions were affirmed. It is also the construction of [407 U.S. 385, 436]   610 that we have rejected in favor of the Government's narrower construction that the prerequisite for a permissible political fund is simply that it not be financed by actual or effective dues or assessments. See supra, at 413-414. On the other hand, we find that the indictment may be read to allege not only that the Pipefitters fund was "a union fund, controlled by the union," but that "contributions to [it] were assessed by the union as part of its dues structure, [and were] collected from non-members in lieu of dues . . . ." For reasons that follow, however, we do not now construe the indictment as making this essential allegation, but leave that question open for determination on remand. We hold now only that the jury instructions failed to require proof of the essential element for conviction, and hence reverse the judgment below.

First. Petitioners moved before trial to dismiss the indictment on the following ground, App. 28:

Petitioners also moved for a bill of particulars, id., at 30:

In a memorandum in opposition to the motion to dismiss, the Government acknowledged petitioners' argument "that the indictment is defective in that it does not allege that the funds involved were not voluntary" and took the position that "[p]roof of the offense charged here does not depend upon whether the funds were volunteered or not by union members. The issue is whether these funds were the general funds of Local 562," id., at 56, which the indictment, in the Government's view, impliedly charged in alleging that petitioners "`unlawfully, wilfully and knowingly did conspire and agree with each other . . . to violate Section 610 . . . .'" Id., at 54. The trial court overruled each of petitioners' motions without opinion.

On appeal the Court of Appeals adopted the Government's theory of the case. First, it ruled that by implication "[t]he gist of the government's claim as reflected by the indictment is that the money in the fund is in [407 U.S. 385, 438]   truth and in fact money belonging to Local 562." 434 F.2d, at 1120. 47 The court then held, ibid.:

This account of the proceedings below indicates that the question of the voluntariness of the contributions to the Pipefitters fund was regarded both at trial and on appeal as a matter relating to, but not essential for the basic charge of the indictment that Local 562 concealed political contributions of Union monies through the subterfuge of a Union-controlled fund. This theory, of course, flies in the face of the legislative history of [407 U.S. 385, 439]   610. The impressive lesson of that history in this regard is that the political contributions in issue violated 610 if, and only if, payments to the fund were actually or effectively required for employment or union membership. In other words, the essence of the crime in this respect is whether the method of solicitation for the fund was calculated to result in knowing free-choice donations. Whether the fund was otherwise controlled by the Union is immaterial.

We think, nevertheless, that the indictment may be read, consistently with the proper interpretation of 610, to allege that the contributions to the Pipefitters fund derived from effective dues or assessments. 48 But [407 U.S. 385, 440]   whether the indictment should now be construed in light of the proceedings below to make this allegation is an altogether different question. 49 Since this precise question was not addressed below and has not been briefed or argued before us and since the case must, in any event, be remanded, whereupon the issue may become moot, 50 we do not now undertake to decide it. Instead, in the event that the Government chooses to proceed with the indictment before us, petitioners shall have leave to renew their motion to dismiss.

Second. The jury instructions embody an interpretation of 610 that is plainly erroneous. The trial court refused requests by petitioners for instructions that the jury should acquit if it found that contributions to the Pipefitters fund were made voluntarily. 51 Adopting a [407 U.S. 385, 441]   contrary view, the court instructed the jury, over petitioners' objections, that it should return verdicts of guilty if the fund "was in fact a union fund, . . . the money therein was union money, and . . . the real contributor to the candidates was the union." "In determining whether the Pipefitters Voluntary Fund was a bona fide fund, separate and distinct from the union or a mere artifice or device," the jury was further instructed to "take into consideration all the facts and circumstances in evidence, and in such consideration . . . [to] consider" 19 factors, several of which related to the regularity, rate, method of collection, and segregation from Union monies of payments to the fund. Others concerned the kinds of expenditures the fund made and the Union's control over them. Still others involved whether the payments to the fund were made voluntarily. In the latter regard the court charged (emphasis added):

On appeal the Court of Appeals did not address the validity of these instructions other than to agree with the trial judge that "the issue of whether the payments to the fund were voluntary is relevant and material [but not determinative] on the issue of whether the fund is the property of Local 562." Supra, at 438.

The instructions, as the Court of Appeals confirmed, clearly permitted the jury to convict without finding that donations to the Pipefitters fund had been actual or effective dues or assessments. This was plain error. 52  

The judgment of the Court of Appeals as to petitioners Callanan and Lawler is vacated, and the case is remanded to the District Court with directions to dismiss the indictment against them. See n. 11, supra. The judgment of the Court of Appeals as to petitioners Local 562 and Seaton is reversed, and the case is remanded to the District Court for proceedings as to them consistent with this opinion.

MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.


[ Footnote 1 ] Section 371, in turn, provided:

[ Footnote 2 ] Omitting the overt acts charged, the indictment, filed May 9, 1968, stated in relevant part:

. . . . .

[ Footnote 3 ] These facts petitioners, in essence, concede:

[ Footnote 4 ] See App. 197, 212; 270, 281-283; 294; 318, 323-324; 427, 432; 457, 462; 619-621; 698-699; 746; 843; 893; 903. Judge Van Oosterhout's panel opinion, adopted by the majority in the rehearing en banc below, 434 F.2d 1127 (1970), succinctly makes the point: "It would appear to be unrealistic to believe that such a large number of workmen would make such substantial voluntary contributions to be used for political purposes unless they felt that their job security required them so to do." 434 F.2d 1116, 1122 (1970).

[ Footnote 5 ] It also appears that the costs of administration of the fund, including the solicitation of contributions, were to some extent, though by no means entirely, similarly financed. See, e. g., App. 17 (indictment apparently charging fund disbursements to pay for authorization cards, see n. 6, infra, and collection sheets); 95-96, 99, [407 U.S. 385, 394]   513 (one-time fund employee continuing to assist in fund bookkeeping activities in evenings and on Saturdays while on Union welfare fund payroll); 107-111 (another employee assisting in fund book-keeping and collection activities while on Union welfare fund payroll before becoming full-time fund employee); 154 passim (Union agent collecting contributions on Union time); 787 (Callanan never on Union and fund payrolls at same time).

[ Footnote 6 ] The authorization card read, Brief for Petitioners 21-22:

[ Footnote 7 ] See App. 171-172; 189-190; 239-240, 244-245; 256, 259-260; 299, 311; 322-323; 347; 359-361, 363-365; 382-384; 404, 411; 446; 460; 481-483; 529; 541, 543; 554-555; 561-562; 566, 570-571; 572-573; 577-578; 581; 584-585; 593-594; 600-602, 606; 617; 633-634; 641; 653; 659; 663; 669; 685, 689; 694; 700-702; 705; 715; 718; [407 U.S. 385, 395]   723; 731; 752-753; 766; 835; 840; 845-847; 850; 854; 858; 860; 865-866; 869, 871; 872; 875; 877; 887; 889; 894; 902; 915; 919; 925; 930; 944, 947; 948; 953; 956; 962. The only contrary evidence was the testimony of William Copeland, id., at 194-213, a non-562 member who was laid off from a job two days after refusing to contribute when the Union steward explained that everyone had to pay. A co-worker, however, who was also a non-562 member, but paid his contributions, was discharged at the same time, and although he was shortly thereafter put on another 562 job, Copeland did not return to the Union hiring hall for further work. Moreover, Copeland acknowledged on cross-examination that he had "strong feelings" against Local 562, not only because of the political fund, but because of an earlier dismissal at another job involving a jurisdictional dispute between 562 and his own union.

[ Footnote 8 ] The cross-examination was as follows, id., at 1067-1068:

. . . . .

[ Footnote 9 ] The court's instructions in this regard were as follows (emphasis added):

[ Footnote 10 ] The questions posed to the parties were:

[ Footnote 11 ] Petitioners Callanan and Lawler died pending our decision. The judgment affirming the convictions of those petitioners will therefore be vacated with directions to the District Court to dismiss the indictment against them. Durham v. United States, 401 U.S. 481 (1971). The remaining petitioners press the argument, rejected by the Court of Appeals, that the special finding by the jury that a willful violation of 610 was not contemplated amounted to an acquittal, since such willfulness was an essential element of the conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. 371. The trial court apparently required a special finding to determine whether the substantive offense that petitioners were charged with conspiring to commit was a misdemeanor or a felony. See 18 U.S.C. 610. That, in turn, was relevant for imposing sentence under 371. See n. 1, supra. Petitioners contend that 371 punishes a conspiracy to commit a malum prohibitum such as 610 only when the object of the conspiracy is known to have been unlawful, which, so the argument goes, the jury found not to have been the case here by virtue of its special finding. This argument is not persuasive. Petitioners not only failed to object to the trial court's requirement that the jury return a special finding as inconsistent with the general charge, but also failed to move for acquittal on the ground now offered once the special finding was returned. More important, even assuming, arguendo, the correctness of petitioners' premise that knowledge of the reach of 610 was a requisite for conviction, but see Keegan v. United States, 325 U.S. 478, 506 (1945) (Stone, C. J., dissenting); see generally Developments in the Law - Criminal Conspiracy, 72 Harv. L. Rev. 920, 936-937 (1959), petitioners would still be entitled at best to a new trial, not acquittal. The trial court specifically instructed the jury:

In view of this instruction the jury's special finding may well have been inconsistent with its general verdict, but that, we hold, could require only reversal, not acquittal.

[ Footnote 12 ] The dissent declines to accept this agreement of the parties on the ground that the language of 610 is so clear on its face that there is no warrant for turning to the legislative history of the provision. The contrary is plainly true: Section 610 wholly fails to specify what funds a labor organization is barred from contributing or expending in connection with a federal election. Moreover, as we shall shortly see, the dissent's "facial" interpretation of 610 was expressly rejected by its proponents in 1947, both from concern that it would raise constitutional questions of invasion of First Amendment freedoms, and in an effort to ensure enactment of the [407 U.S. 385, 402]   law. In addition, Congress has only recently in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 decisively rejected that interpretation on the basis of the very legislative history found dispositive herein. See n. 20, infra. Congress in 1947 and again only a few months ago was able to come to this conclusion solely because of the facial ambiguity of the provision.

It is also worth noting that the dissent's own analysis reveals the necessity for resorting to the legislative history of the statute. The dissent, too, appreciates "the freedom of union members, as well as that of employees and stockholders of corporations, to make uncoerced political contributions." If that is so, it obviously becomes imperative to determine the contours of that freedom, which, in turn, requires investigation of the legislative history of 610.

[ Footnote 13 ] See also H. R. Rep. No. 2093, 78th Cong., 2d Sess., 9 (1945); S. Rep. No. 1, pt. 2, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., 36 (1947). But see H. R. Rep. No. 2739, 79th Cong., 2d Sess., 46-47 (1946).

[ Footnote 14 ] The Senate committee did recommend that the use of general union funds to finance the distribution of a political pamphlet in connection with a federal election be prosecuted as a test case to determine the scope of the term "contribution" in 313. S. Rep. No. 101, 79th Cong., 1st Sess., 57-59 (1945).

[ Footnote 15 ] H. R. Rep. No. 2739, supra, n. 13, at 39-40, 43, 46. The House Committee declared, for example, id., at 43:

The Senate committee studying the 1946 campaign joined this recommendation, but without any reference to PAC. See S. Rep. No. 1, pt. 2, supra, n. 13, at 38-39. See also H. R. Rep. No. 2093, supra, n. 13, at 9, 10-11 (noting the controversy over the scope of the term "contribution" and expressing views seemingly sympathetic with prohibiting "expenditures").

[ Footnote 16 ] See H. R. Rep. No. 245, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., 46 (1947); 93 Cong. Rec. 3428, 3522-3523 (1947); H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 510, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., 67-68 (1947). See also 93 Cong. Rec. 6389 (critical remarks of Rep. Sabath following the conference committee [407 U.S. 385, 406]   report). The only statement offering a rationale for 304 was made by Representative Robsion after the House had voted to override President Truman's veto of the Act. Robsion stressed that it was unfair to union members to allow the expenditure of union funds in support of candidates for federal office whom they opposed. See 93 Cong. Rec. 7492.

[ Footnote 17 ] See Hearings on H. R. 804 and H. R. 1483, before a Subcommittee of the House Committee on Labor, 78th Cong., 1st Sess., 117, 133 (1943) (statements of Rep. Landis, sponsor of the measure) ("Individual union members would not be prohibited from contributing." "If you have a membership of 500,000, and all the Democrats wanted to give a dollar apiece, and there were 300,000, that would be $300,000. . . . Your whole organization could give as high as that if they donated only a dollar apiece"); letter from Attorney General Biddle to Sen. E. H. Moore (Sept. 23, 1944) (emphasis added), reproduced in Department of Justice Press Release, Sept. 25, 1944, and noted in 4 Law. Guild Rev., No. 5, p. 49 (1944):

[ Footnote 18 ] See, e. g., 93 Cong. Rec. 6448, 6522-6523 (exchange between Sen. Pepper, who, in opposing 304, decried it as Republican legislation in contravention of the First Amendment, and Sen. Ellender, who, as a Democratic representative on the conference committee, rose in support of Sen. Taft's construction). See also United States v. CIO, 335 U.S. 106, 120 (1948).

[ Footnote 19 ] The exception involved whether nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns could be directed to the public at large. See 117 Cong. Rec. 43379-43381, 43390.

[ Footnote 20 ] Id., at 43379. See also 118 Cong. Rec. 329. In determining that 610 has always permitted unions to organize voluntarily financed political funds, Hansen relied, as we have done, on Sen. Taft's floor explanation of 304 of the Hartley bill. See 117 Cong. Rec. 43381; 118 Cong. Rec. 329.

[ Footnote 21 ] See, e. g., 117 Cong. Rec. 43381 (remarks of Rep. Hays), 43383-43385 (remarks of Rep. Thompson), 43388-43389 (remarks of Reps. Steiger and Gude).

[ Footnote 22 ] See, e. g., 117 Cong. Rec. 43382, 43386, 43390-43391; 118 Cong. Rec. 323-324.

[ Footnote 23 ] The Hansen proposal was offered as an amendment to an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the bill as reported out of committee. Although the substitute amendment had no provision relating to 610, see 117 Cong. Rec. 43365-43366, it was expected that the Crane provision would be taken up as an amendment to the substitute amendment if the Hansen amendment failed to carry. See, e. g., id., at 43389-43390 (remarks of Reps. Devine and Crane). [REPORTER'S NOTE: The remarks of Rep. Devine, whose name was erroneously omitted from 117 Cong. Rec. 43389, col. 3, par. 5, line 1, begin with the language, "Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition . . . ."]

[ Footnote 24 ] See, e. g., id., at 43389-43390 (remarks of Rep. Devine).

[ Footnote 25 ] The Crane provision would have added the following paragraph at the end of 610:

The principal bone of contention between the proponents and opponents of the Hansen amendment when it was first introduced was whether union or corporation treasuries could and should be available to finance get-out-the-vote drives. Representative Frenzel, for example, summarized the debate shortly before the House vote on the Hansen amendment was taken, 117 Cong. Rec. 43391:

Following the conference committee report, Crane rose once again in opposition to the Hansen amendment, this time and for the first time criticizing the amendment in its treatment of union political funds. The dispute centered then, however, not on whether voluntary funds were permissible, but on exactly what their prerequisites were. See infra, at 422-426.

[ Footnote 26 ] "A union member [the Government explains] may find irresistible the union's demand - through its steward on the jobsite - for contributions fixed as a regular percentage of days worked and money earned. Section 610 reduces this institutional pressure by forbidding the unions from making direct political contributions from money that is effectively assessed." Brief for the United States 38. As we shall see, infra, at 435-442, the Government's theory in prosecuting this case focused on the first, but not the second, of its arguments here presented.

[ Footnote 27 ] For the scope of the required segregation of funds, see infra, at 428-432.

[ Footnote 28 ] The Government relies on United States v. Lewis Food Co., 366 F.2d 710 (1966), where the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an indictment under 610 that failed to allege, inter alia, that an expenditure by a corporation in connection with a federal election was made against the wishes of an individual stockholder. The court there explained, id., at 713-714:

The Ninth Circuit's reliance on Auto Workers was misplaced. The indictment there did allege, as we noted, 352 U.S., at 584 , "`that the fund used came from the Union's dues, was not obtained by [407 U.S. 385, 416]   voluntary political contributions or subscriptions from members of the Union, and was not paid for by advertising or sales.'" In Auto Workers, therefore, we had no occasion to address the legitimacy of union-controlled political contributions financed from the knowing free-choice donations of union members. More important, the court in Lewis labored under the same misapprehension on which the Government's argument rests here - namely, that the legislative purpose to eliminate the effects of aggregated wealth on federal elections reaches union- or corporation-controlled contributions and expenditures financed not from the general treasury, but from voluntary donations.

By saying this, we do not mean to suggest that the result in Lewis was incorrect. To the contrary, an indictment that alleges a contribution or expenditure from the general treasury of a union or corporation in connection with a federal election states an offense. See nn. 47 and 48, infra. The unanimous vote of the union members or stockholders may at most (but we need not now decide) be a defense.

[ Footnote 29 ] In United States v. CIO, this Court, of course, went further than Senator Taft's comments would allow by holding that 304 did not bar a union from using union funds to publish a periodical, in regular course and for distribution to those accustomed to receiving it, that urged union members to vote for a candidate for Congress. The Court, however, arrived at that construction because the contrary interpretation would create "the gravest doubt" of the statute's constitutionality. 335 U.S., at 121 .

[ Footnote 30 ] Hearings before the House Committee to Investigate Campaign Expenditures on H. Res. 551, 78th Cong., 2d Sess., 79 (1944). See also id., at 16-17. PAC's method of collection of contributions appears, in large measure, to have been true to Hillman's words, since both its political and voluntary nature were well known. See id., at 51, 76-79, 712-713, 728-729, 800-801, 822-823, 844-845, 851, 864-866, 871, 880, 885-886, 921-925, 928, 935-936, 941, 946, 962, 964, 988, 999, 1017, 1021-1031, 1033-1038, 1041. In some instances complaints were lodged that pressure had been exercised in obtaining donations, and the House Committee noted in its report that in California some PAC monies were taken directly from union treasuries and "that at least one local union . . . upon vote by its entire membership levied an assessment of 25 cents per month upon each member . . . ." H. R. Rep. No. 2093, supra, n. 13, at 6. This, nevertheless, was recognized as an exception "[to] the general national plan" following Roosevelt's nomination for re-election, under which PAC was generally financed by individual contributions "largely . . . taken by shop stewards outside working hours." Id., at 5. Indeed, the amount of individual contributions actually collected by PAC evidences that it successfully informed CIO members that donations were not mandatory assessments. Cf. L. Overacker, Presidential Campaign Funds 61 (1946). From an estimated CIO membership of five million PAC might have collected $5 million at the requested rate of $1 a member. Yet the national PAC office, which received 50 of each $1 donated, obtained only $376,910.77 in 1944, S. Rep. No. 101, supra, n. 14, at 23, suggesting contributions by less than 800,000 CIO members. See also H. R. Rep. No. 2739, supra, n. 13, at 31 ($218,415.98 received in 1946).

[ Footnote 31 ] See infra, at 428-429.

[ Footnote 32 ] Indeed, in a letter to regional PAC directors, the national PAC office itself referred to the organization "as an instrumentality of the Congress of Industrial Organizations." S. Rep. No. 101, supra, n. 14, at 22. See also Hearing before the Senate Special Committee to [407 U.S. 385, 419]   Investigate Presidential, Vice Presidential, and Senatorial Campaign Expenditures on S. Res. 263, 78th Cong., 2d Sess., 19 (1944) (testimony of Sidney Hillman) ("We just speak and act for the C. I. O. organizations"); House Hearings, supra, n. 30, at 839-840 (testimony of state PAC president) (local PAC is agent of union local). It is true that Senator Taft stated at one point in the Senate debates that "[t]he PAC is a separate organization which raises its own funds for political purposes, and does so perfectly properly." 93 Cong. Rec. 6437 (1947) (emphasis added). But if meant to indicate anything more than that PAC had a formal identity separate from the CIO, this isolated statement was clearly inconsistent with well-known facts about the organization. Moreover, neither Taft nor any of his colleagues appears to have attached any particular significance to the statement. Nor can we, in view of Taft's endorsement of direct union electioneering through political newspapers paid for through subscriptions. See supra, at 406-408, 416-417. It is also true that the Attorney General in his letter to Senator Moore in 1944 opined that committees like PAC were not "labor organizations" within the meaning of the War Labor Disputes Act inasmuch as they were not bargaining agencies. See n. 17, supra. But the Senate Campaign Expenditures Committee, implicitly in 1945, and the House Committee, expressly in 1946, rejected that conclusion. See S. Rep. No. 101, supra, n. 14, at 23; H. R. Rep. No. 2739, supra, n. 13, at 43 (quoted in n. 15, supra). See also House Hearings, supra, n. 30, at 27 (whether PAC was a "labor organization" "highly debatable" in opinion of PAC counsel).

[ Footnote 33 ] The House Committee observed in its 1945 report, H. R. Rep. No. 2093, supra, n. 13, at 5:

[ Footnote 34 ] The national PAC organization did not endorse senatorial, congressional, state, or local candidates, but gave advice to state and local political action committees in that regard. The national organization did endorse President Roosevelt on May 17, 1944, when, in the words of Sidney Hillman, "substantially all of the C. I. O. international unions and the great majority of its State councils had already acted . . . ." House Hearings, supra, n. 30, at 8. The national organization also endorsed Vice President Truman. Candidates for Congress were apparently chosen for endorsement by state or local PAC committees composed of representatives of the international CIO unions after review of incumbents' voting records in consultation with the regional PAC offices. See S. Rep. No. 101, supra, n. 14, at 21; Senate Hearing, supra, n. 32, at 12-13, 20-22; House Hearings, supra, at 8, 39-41, 43-46, 709-712, 714-715, 725-728, 842-845, 896-898, 904, 906-908, 942-944, 949-950, 954-960, 977-979, 983-985, 993-995, 1001, 1003, 1006-1007. PAC's endorsement procedures were described in 1951 as follows: The chairman of the local political action committee, who was usually the union president, would consult with a prospective candidate together with a screening committee. If that committee acted favorably, the candidate would then be presented to the political action committee for a vote on formal endorsement. Any endorsement would then be reported to the constituent unions of the area PAC and to the state and national PAC offices, and activity in support of the candidate would get under way. J. Kroll, The CIO-PAC and How it Works, in The House of Labor 120, 122-123 (J. Hardman & M. Neufeld eds. 1951).

[ Footnote 35 ] Accord, Overacker, supra, n. 30, at 61-62:

[ Footnote 36 ] "This fund [Hansen stated] must be separate from any union or corporate funds, and contributions must be voluntary. To insure that contributions are voluntary, the amendment prohibits [407 U.S. 385, 423]   the use by the separate political fund of any money or anything of value obtained by the use or threat of force, job discrimination, or financial reprisal, or by dues or fees, or other monies required as a condition of employment or membership in a labor organization . . . ." (Emphasis added.)

[ Footnote 37 ] "The essential prerequisite [Hansen said] for the validity of such political funds is that the contributions to them be voluntary. For that reason the final section of this amendment makes it a violation of section 610 to use physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals or the threat thereof, in seeking contributions. This is intended to insure that a solicitor for COPE or BIPAC [union political funds] cannot abuse his organizational authority in seeking political contributions. Of course, nothing can completely erase some residual effects on this score, any more than the law can control the mental reaction of a businessman asked for a contribution by an individual who happens to be his banker, or of a farmer approached by the head of his local farm organization. The proper approach, and the one adopted here, is to provide the strong assurance that a refusal to contribute will not lead to reprisals and to leave the rest to the independence and good sense of each individual."

[ Footnote 38 ] In particular, the article quoted "a man at the Justice Department" as saying that "`[t]he (Hansen) provision . . . not only doesn't codify existing law, but it overrules existing law'"; stated that Hansen had "[ignored the Court of Appeals decision in this case] that holds that labor can raise campaign cash only through voluntary funds that are `separate and distinct' from the sponsoring union"; asserted that under the Hansen amendment "union chiefs . . . wouldn't be required to tell members for what purpose the money [solicited] is going"; and quoted an Associate Deputy Attorney General as reporting the Government's position to be "`that a contribution to a political fund [must] be not only "voluntary," in the sense of an absence of force, but also knowingly made.'"

[ Footnote 39 ] At this point Representative Hays, a supporter of the Hansen amendment, interjected, 118 Cong. Rec. 328:

[ Footnote 40 ] See also 117 Cong. Rec. 43380 (Hansen quoting approvingly same statement by Sen. Dominick).

[ Footnote 41 ] Compare Senate Hearing, supra, n. 32, at 41 (regional PAC offices, to Sidney Hillman's knowledge, separate from CIO offices, as "we don't like them to mix their union business with political activities"), and House Hearings, supra, n. 30, at 717, 901 (testimony [407 U.S. 385, 429]   of regional PAC directors) (regional office financed from national PAC headquarters), with House Hearings, id., at 717-718, 736, 841, 857-861, 867-868, 872 (overlapping use of offices on state and local level).

[ Footnote 42 ] With the exemption for communications to stockholders or union members and their families apparently in mind, Hansen stated, for example, 117 Cong. Rec. 43380:

This reasoning, of course, applies as well to solicitations for contributions to voluntary political funds.

[ Footnote 43 ] See, e. g., United States v. Tynen, 11 Wall. 88, 92 (1871):

[ Footnote 44 ] The Government in response to the questions posed in n. 10, supra, argues that "[h]ere there is no problem of inferring legislative intent because Congress [in the House debates] clearly expressed its intention that pending prosecutions should not abate." Supplemental Brief for the United States 7. Representative Hansen, to be sure, did state in the debate that this prosecution would not abate. See supra, at 425. But he also indicated that the effect of his amendment on pending cases was not, and should not be, a matter of concern:

More important, Hansen's view that this prosecution would continue was possibly premised, as we have seen, on a mistaken understanding of what 610 previously provided in terms pertinent to this case. If his understanding was, in fact, mistaken, we would have to assume that Congress would intend the general rule of abatement "applicable as part of the background against which [it] acts," Hamm v. Rock Hill, 379 U.S. 306, 314 (1964), to prevail.

[ Footnote 45 ] The Government in response to the questions posed in n. 10, supra, confirms that this was the theory of the prosecution:

[ Footnote 46 ] These inquiries were addressed to paragraphs 7, 10, and 17 of the indictment, see n. 2, supra. Comparable inquiries were generally leveled at other pertinent paragraphs of the indictment.

[ Footnote 47 ] The court arrived at this conclusion on the basis of United States v. Lewis Food Co., supra, n. 28, where the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sustained an indictment under 610 that failed to allege expressly that an expenditure by a corporation in connection with a federal election was financed from the general corporate treasury (or, as discussed in n. 28, supra, that it was made against the wishes of an individual stockholder).

[ Footnote 48 ] The heart of the indictment is found in paragraph 10, which states, supra, n. 2:

As in Lewis Food Co., supra, n. 47, it is a fair inference from this allegation that the union made prohibited political contributions and expenditures from general union monies rather than from the knowing free-choice donations of individual members. Moreover, the indictment not only expressly alleges that collections for the fund were "regular and systematic" at an established rate, see paragraphs 7, 13, 15, and 16 of the indictment, supra, n. 2, but specifically charges in paragraph 14, ibid. (emphasis added):

These allegations together, although not a model of clarity, might (but we do not now decide for the reasons stated in the text) constitute [407 U.S. 385, 440]   "a plain, concise and definite" statement, within the meaning of Rule 7 (c) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, that the conspiracy included the actual or effective assessment of contributions to the Pipefitters fund as part of the Union's compulsory dues structure.

[ Footnote 49 ] Compare, e. g., Hagner v. United States, 285 U.S. 427 (1932); United States v. Comyns, 248 U.S. 349 (1919), and Dunlop v. United States, 165 U.S. 486 (1897), with, e. g., United States v. Boston & M. R. Co., 380 U.S. 157, 159 n. 1 (1965), and Russell v. United States, 369 U.S. 749 (1962).

[ Footnote 50 ] Although two of the petitioners died pending decision in this case, see n. 11, supra, the Government may decide on remand to seek a new indictment against the remaining petitioners. The present indictment charges that the conspiracy continued up to the date of the indictment, May 9, 1968, and that an overt act was committed in furtherance of the conspiracy on July 14, 1967, in which case it does not appear that the five-year statute of limitations governing noncapital offenses has run. See 18 U.S.C. 3282; Grunewald v. United States, 353 U.S. 391, 396 -397 (1957). See also United States v. Reisinger, 128 U.S. 398 (1888) (indictment valid, though returned after law repealed).

[ Footnote 51 ] Petitioners offered seven instructions on "voluntariness." Two merely used the term without further definition, while others referred to whether the contributions constituted union dues or [407 U.S. 385, 441]   assessments or were made by the donors for political purposes. See App. 1096-1100. Hereafter, proper instructions on the question of voluntariness may be framed in terms of the application to the proofs of the language of 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act as herein construed. See supra, at 421-427.

[ Footnote 52 ] The Court of Appeals did not directly rule on the validity of the instructions because, in the majority's view, petitioners had failed to preserve their objections on appeal. See 434 F.2d, at 1125. See also id., at 1128 (Matthes, C. J., concurring). The dissent below makes a strong argument to the contrary, see id., at 1135 (Lay, J.), but we need not address the question, since the instructions were plainly erroneous, the claim of error was brought to the attention of the trial court, and we may notice a plain error not presented. See, e. g., Silber v. United States, 370 U.S. 717 (1962). See also 434 F.2d, at 1130 (Heaney, J., dissenting), 1135 (Lay, J., dissenting).

MR. JUSTICE POWELL, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE joins, dissenting.

The decision of the Court today will have a profound effect upon the role of labor unions and corporations in [407 U.S. 385, 443]   the political life of this country. The holding, reversing a trend since 1907, opens the way for major participation in politics by the largest aggregations of economic power, the great unions and corporations. This occurs at a time, paradoxically, when public and legislative interest has focused on limiting - rather than enlarging - the influence upon the elective process of concentrations of wealth and power.


The majority opinion holds that unions lawfully may make political contributions so long as they come from funds voluntarily given to the union for such purpose. The Court seeks to buttress this holding by a long and scholarly presentation of the legislative history of 18 U.S.C. 610. But some of that history invites conflicting inferences, and the background of 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, to which the majority also devotes extensive attention, is of dubious value in interpreting an earlier statute which on its face is clear and unambiguous. 1  

In its preoccupation with the legislative history, the Court has overlooked the central point involved in this case: that the conviction of petitioners accords with the plain language of the controlling statute. Nor does the majority demonstrate an ambiguity in that statutory language that makes relevant its long journey into the legislative history.

The operative language of 610 states that: "It is unlawful . . . for any corporation whatever, or any labor [407 U.S. 385, 444]   organization to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with" any federal election. Despite this unqualified proscription, the majority opinion sustains the right of unions and corporations to make political contributions directly, provided only that the funds therefor come voluntarily from members, employees, or stock-holders and are maintained separately from the other funds of the union or corporation. 2 With all respect, this holding is precisely contrary to the express language of the law. At the risk of unnecessary repetition I set forth in juxtaposition the operative language in 610 as contrasted with that of the Court's holding:

Section 610 Court's Holding

If words are given their normal meaning, the statute and the Court's holding flatly contradict each other. One says that it shall be unlawful for a union to make a political contribution or expenditure. The other says this is perfectly lawful, so long as the funds which the union contributes or expends were donated freely and knowingly. The Court has simply added a qualification, [407 U.S. 385, 445]   not found in the statutory language, which significantly changes the meaning of this Act of the Congress.

The Court's holding, moreover, directly counters the purposes for which 610 was enacted. Congress passed this legislation to restrict and minimize the influence corporations and unions might exert on elections. In United States v. CIO, 335 U.S. 106, 113 (1948), with respect to corporations, the Court stated:

In commenting on the reasons for extending the legislation to labor organizations, the Court in the same case observed:

The two principal motivations for the enactment of 610, as identified in CIO, are (i) the minimizing of influence of labor unions (as well as corporations) on elections "through monetary expenditures"; and (ii) the elimination of the unfairness "to individual union members" of allowing union management to make political [407 U.S. 385, 446]   contributions from general union funds. It seems self-evident that both of these legislative purposes will be frustrated by the Court's holding that, despite the language of the statute forbidding union contributions, unions may now make political contributions and expenditures, provided only that the source of a fund is voluntary.

To be sure, there is some language in the congressional debates which emphasizes the freedom of union members, as well as that of employees and stockholders of corporations, to make uncoerced political contributions. No one contests this basic freedom. But whatever may have been said in congressional debates, courts are bound by what is written into legislation. If the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous there is no occasion to resort to legislative history. Nor can such history, however illuminating it may seem, be relied upon to contradict, or dilute, or add unspecified conditions to statutory language which is perfectly clear. Where statutory provisions were "clear and unequivocal on their face." The Court has found "no need to resort to the legislative history of the Act." United States v. Oregon, 366 U.S. 643, 648 (1961). As Justice Black observed, "[n]o legislative history can justify judicial emasculation" of the unambiguous language of a statute. Maryland Casualty Co. v. Cushing, 347 U.S. 409, 437 (1954) (dissenting). 3  


Accepting, as I think we must, 610 as written, the issue in this case is whether the political fund of Local [407 U.S. 385, 447]   562 was in reality a sham or subterfuge through which the union itself made the contributions forbidden by the statute. The indictment in this case was framed on this basis, and the jury was so instructed. The question properly addressed by the Court of Appeals was "whether the contributions or expenditures were [in fact] made by a labor organization." 434 F.2d 1116, 1121 (1970). After summarizing the evidence submitted to the jury on this issue, the Court of Appeals concluded:

It is not normally the function of this Court in a case of this kind to determine whether a jury verdict is supported by substantial evidence. It may not be inappropriate, however, to say - in light of the record before us - that the evidence was more than sufficient to show that union officials supervised closely the collection of the "contributions," sought "contributions" in much the same manner as compulsory assessments, viewed them as part of the total cost burden which the union member had to bear, expended them freely both for union projects and political purposes, and so generally commingled the administration of the fund with the administration of the union as to entitle the jury to believe the gifts by Local 562 from the fund to candidates for federal office constituted union political contributions in violation of 610. 4   [407 U.S. 385, 448]  

The majority opinion of this Court does not contest this view. It concludes, rather, that the jury was erroneously instructed, and that accordingly the verdict and judgment must be set aside. If a new trial is held, the jury must be instructed in accordance with the Court's interpretation of 610 that a union may lawfully make political contributions from a fund it collects and administers so long as the payments into it are voluntary.

It is from this interpretation of 610 - one which in my view will render the statute largely ineffectual - that I dissent. 5  


The consequences of today's decision could be far-reaching indeed. The opinion of the Court provides a blueprint for compliance with 610, as now construed, [407 U.S. 385, 449]   which will be welcomed by every corporation and union which wishes to take advantage of a heretofore unrecognized opportunity to influence elections in this country. 6  

It may be that the unions, by virtue of a system of collecting "political contributions" simultaneously with the collection of dues and regularizing such collections to the point where they are indistinguishable from dues, will be the primary beneficiaries. But the corporations are more numerous than the unions. They have millions of stockholders and hundreds of thousands of nonunion employees. Both unions and corporations have large financial resources. Today's interpretation of 610 will enable a more direct and extensive political employment of these resources by both union and corporation.

By refusing to affirm the judgment below, the majority renders the ultimate fate of this litigation uncertain. If, on remand, the techniques of Local 562 should be sanctioned, other unions and corporations could easily follow Local 562 and obtain from members, employees, and shareholders a consent form attesting that the contribution (or withholding) is "voluntary." The trappings of voluntariness might be achieved while the substance of coercion remained. Union members and corporate employees might find themselves the objects of regular and systematized solicitation by the very agent which exercises direct control over their jobs and livelihood. [407 U.S. 385, 450]  

The only remaining requirement to meet the new standards is that the fund be separate from other union or corporate funds, although under the majority's interpretation of 205 it may be established and administered, and the contributions to it solicited, by the union or corporation with its own funds. Again, if Local 562 were to provide the standards, the separateness of such a fund need be nothing more than a separate ledger and bank account.

In sum, the opinion of the Court today, adopting an interpretation of 610 at variance with its language and purpose, goes a long way toward returning unions and corporations to an unregulated status with respect to political contributions. This opening of the door to extensive corporate and union influence on the elective and legislative processes must be viewed with genuine concern. This seems to me to be a regressive step as contrasted with the numerous legislative and judicial actions in recent years designed to assure that elections are indeed free and representative.

I would affirm the judgment below.

[ Footnote 1 ] The majority opinion finds confirmation of its interpretation of the legislative history of 610 in the recently enacted 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. The majority concludes, however, that 205 is not retroactive and therefore is inapplicable to this case, a view which I share. I find it unnecessary to the disposition of this case to intertwine the legislative history of the two statutes when only one of them is applicable.

[ Footnote 2 ] The alleged separate fund involved in this case was segregated only in the sense that there was a separate ledger and bank account. The Court of Appeals held that there was "substantial evidence to support a jury finding that the fund was not a bona fide separate and distinct entity." 434 F.2d 1116, 1121 (1970). The decision of the majority focuses attention on the issue of voluntariness and gives little indication that a more realistic segregation of the fund is required.

[ Footnote 3 ] It has been an ancient and cardinal tenet of statutory construction that "where a law is expressed in plain and unambiguous terms, whether those terms are general or limited, the legislature should be intended to mean what they have plainly expressed, and consequently no room is left for construction." Lake County v. Rollins, 130 U.S. 662, 670 -671 (1889); Yates v. United States, 354 U.S. 298, 305 (1957); United States v. Standard Brewery, 251 U.S. 210, 217 (1920).

[ Footnote 4 ] Even on the issue of voluntariness, which the Court of Appeals rightly found "relevant and material" though "not controlling." 434 F.2d. at 1120, the evidence was impressive that the collection scheme was inherently coercive. Since Local 562 had consistently collected contributions to its political funds since 1949, "contributions" appear to have become a customary de facto condition to union membership [407 U.S. 385, 448]   or employment within Local 562's jurisdiction. Moreover, the regularity of these contributions - week by week and year by year and each in the same amount as requested by the union - seems suspiciously incompatible with the concept of free-will gifts.

[ Footnote 5 ] My interpretation of the statute does not imply that no "separate fund" would be permissible. I recognize that, consistently with the statute (as amended by 205), a union or corporation may be instrumental in establishing a political fund, provided it is a bona fide one - separate and segregated from the union in a genuine, not merely formalistic, way. For example, such a fund might be managed by a separate nonprofit entity, with independent trustees not subservient to the union or corporate sponsor, who engage independent auditors, who make regular reports to contributors, and who provide realistic means by which contributors can express their preference as to political candidates or parties. Safeguards would be required to assure that contributions were not coerced, either directly or by means of an inherently coercive system or relationship. Such a bona fide fund would contrast quite sharply with that operated by Local 562, where there were no bylaws, no constitution, no independent trustees, no audit, no report to contributors, or other indications of genuine separateness or segregation; and where the union itself collected, operated, and expended the "contributions" in substantially the same manner as union dues and assessments.

[ Footnote 6 ] I recognize, of course, that the recent enactment of 205 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 has supplemented and extended 610 in defining permissible limits of union and corporate contributions. But 205 still leaves intact the operative language of 610 which explicitly proscribes political contributions by unions and corporations. The interpretative gloss today added unnecessarily on this language will result in rendering ineffectual the basic intention of the Congress to prevent the intrusion of corporate and union power into our political system. [407 U.S. 385, 451]  

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