basis for equitable relief; (2) whether the constitutional question presented is substantial; and (3) whether the case presented otherwise comes within the requirements of the applicable three-judge statute. Idlewild Bon Voyage Liquor Corp. v. Epstein, supra, 370 U.S. at 715, 82 S. Ct. 1294.
First, plaintiffs' complaints formally allege a basis for and specifically request preliminary and permanent injunctive relief.
Moreover, it is clear the parties at all times have regarded this action as one in which injunctive relief is material to the disposition of the case. See Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, supra, 372 U.S. at 154, 83 S. Ct. 554; Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603, 607, 80 S. Ct. 1367, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1435 (1960); Jeannette Rankin Brigade v. Chief of Capitol Police, 137 U.S. App. D.C. 155, 159, 421 F.2d 1090, 1094 (1969).
Second, a substantial constitutional question is raised. On its face Section 4-125 forecloses police officers from membership in any labor organization which "holds [or] claims" the right to strike. Whenever the state's power to regulate activities touches our most precious freedoms -- such as the freedoms of speech and association at issue here -- courts must carefully examine any question relating to the government's exercise of such power to determine whether the state regulation unduly infringes protected freedoms. See, e.g., Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 92 S. Ct. 2338, 33 L. Ed. 2d 266 (1972); Keyishian v. Bd. of Regents, 385 U.S. 589, 87 S. Ct. 675, 17 L. Ed. 2d 629 (1967); United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258, 88 S. Ct. 419, 19 L. Ed. 2d 508 (1967); Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U.S. 500, 84 S. Ct. 1659, 12 L. Ed. 2d 992 (1964); N.A.A.C.P. v. Alabama ex rel. Flowers, 377 U.S. 288, 84 S. Ct. 1302, 12 L. Ed. 2d 325 (1964); N.A.A.C.P. v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 83 S. Ct. 328, 9 L. Ed. 2d 405 (1963); Shelton v. Tucker, 364 U.S. 479, 81 S. Ct. 247, 5 L. Ed. 2d 231 (1960). A constitutional claim is substantial unless it is either "obviously without merit or . . . its unsoundness so clearly results from previous decisions . . . as to foreclose the subject." Bailey v. Paterson, supra ; California Water Service Co. v. Redding, 304 U.S. 252, 255, 58 S. Ct. 865, 867, 82 L. Ed. 1323 (1938); Ex parte Poresky, 290 U.S. 30, 54 S. Ct. 3, 78 L. Ed. 152 (1933). Clearly, then, the plaintiffs here raise a substantial constitutional claim. See, Nat'l Ass'n of Letter Carriers v. Blount, supra; Melton v. City of Atlanta, 324 F. Supp. 315 (N.D. Ga. 1971) (three-judge court); Atkins v. City of Charlotte, 296 F. Supp. 1068 (W.D.N.C. 1969) (three-judge court).
Finally, the defendants urge Section 4-125 is not an "Act of Congress" within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2282 because Section 4-125 is limited in operation to matters which affect only the District of Columbia. This issue has arisen before in this district. And, as before, the court resolves the issue in favor of applying § 2282.
Section 2282 applies to "any Act of Congress." Thus, under § 2282, three-judge courts may hear cases involving statutes enacted by Congress but pertaining to the District of Columbia and having only local effect. In Hobson v. Hansen, 265 F. Supp. 902 (D.D.C. 1967), a three-judge court on constitutional grounds upheld a statute directing this court to appoint members of the local school board. Again, in Harrell v. Tobriner, 279 F. Supp. 22 (D.D.C. 1967), affirmed sub nom., Shapiro v. Thompson, 394 U.S. 618, 89 S. Ct. 1322, 22 L. Ed. 2d 600 (1969) a three-judge panel held the District of Columbia's public assistance residency requirement was a denial of equal protection. Indeed, the Supreme Court has expressly refused to make an exception to § 2282 for Acts of Congress pertaining only to the District. Shapiro v. Thompson, supra, 394 U.S. at 625, n. 4, 89 S. Ct. 1322; see Jeannette Rankin Brigade v. Chief of Police, supra, 137 U.S. App. D.C. at 158, n. 3, 421 F.2d at 1093.
But, here again, the defendants suggest the D.C. Court Reform Act dictates a different result. This Act seeks to create a more efficient system of administering justice within the District. Thus, it tends to crystallize the impression that a traditional federal-state relationship between the District and the Federal Government has been established. However, the District of Columbia remains a constitutionally unique jurisdiction. Palmore v. United States, supra, 411 U.S. 389, 93 S. Ct. 1675, 36 L. Ed. 2d 342; cf. District of Columbia v. Carter, 409 U.S. 418, 93 S. Ct. 602, 34 L. Ed. 2d 613 (1973). The court sees no relationship between implementation of needed change in the local judicial system and continued application of § 2282 to matters properly raised in this United States District Court.
A single federal judge may not disrupt totally the operation of an entire regulatory scheme. "The crux of the business is procedural protection against an improvident state-wide doom by a federal court of a state's legislative policy." Phillips v. United States, supra, 312 U.S. at 251, 61 S. Ct. at 483; see Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, supra 372 U.S. at 154-155, 83 S. Ct. 554. The complaints herein present a single challenge to the validity of D.C. Code Section 4-125. On constitutional grounds, plaintiffs attack the statute as void on its face and request a permanent injunction against any attempt to enforce it. Granting the relief requested will profoundly affect the scheme upon which the District of Columbia's efforts, and therefore those of Congress, to regulate employee unions within the Metropolitan Police Department are based.
Consequently, all policy considerations behind the three-judge requirement are satisfied by this case. Therefore, it is the court's opinion that 28 U.S.C. § 2282 has been properly invoked.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION
On the merits, this case presents one central question: Is D.C. Code Section 4-125, paragraph 1, so overbroad as to unconstitutionally impinge plaintiffs' right of freedom of association protected under the First Amendment.
The challenged provision of Section 4-125 reads as follows:
"'§ 4-125. Affiliation with organizations advocating strikes, prohibited -- Penalties -- Conspiracy to interfere with operation of police force -- Right of resignation restricted.