The opinion of the court was delivered by: HART
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
The Court makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law based upon the undisputed facts:
1. Plaintiffs Sadlowski, Jr. and Samargia are members of the United Steelworkers of America ("USWA") and are eligible to be and may be candidates for USWA offices which are subject to Article V, Section 27 of the USWA Constitution. The next election is scheduled to be held on May 28, 1981.
2. The defendants in this action are the United Steelworkers of American and F. Ray Marshall, Secretary of Labor.
3. In 1973, Sadlowski, Jr. was a candidate for the Director of the USWA's largest District, but the Union ruled that his election opponent who had been supported by the Union leadership was the winner. Represented by Joseph L. Rauh, Jr., Sadlowski requested the Secretary of Labor to institute suit to invalidate the election, in which he intervened, which suit was later settled by entry of a consent order. Sadlowski won the Labor Department supervised re-run election by a substantial margin, and in 1976 and 1977, he headed a slate of candidates in a contested election for the USWA's International offices. Sadlowski and his running mates were again represented by Mr. Rauh, among others, who instituted on their behalf several legal actions and complaints to the Department of Labor. The election efforts of Sadlowski and his slate in 1977 were unsuccessful, but he received nearly a quarter-million votes from the Union's membership.
4. Following the 1973 and 1977 elections, the USWA, acting through the officers who opposed the Sadlowski slate and their staff, developed a rule which would prohibit USWA members who were candidates for high union office from soliciting or receiving contributions or assistance from non-members to finance their election campaigns or election-related litigation.
5. At the next USWA Convention, the rule barring "outsider" contributions and assistance and the implementing regulations were adopted which forbid member candidates, on pain of disqualification and disciplinary action, from receiving anything from non-USWA members, including lawyers, except a non-member's volunteered personal time. The rule in the Constitution (Article V, Section 27) provides in relevant part, as follows:
"No candidate (including a prospective candidate) for any position set forth in Article IV, Section 1, and supporter of a candidate may solicit or accept financial support, or any other direct or indirect support of any kind (except an individual's own volunteered personal time) from any non-member. For purposes of this Section, the term non-member means any person who is either not eligible for membership under Article III or not in good standing or any foundation, corporation or other entity whose funds are derived in whole or in part from any person not eligible for membership under Article III or not in good standing."
6. The rule and its regulations prohibit candidates from receiving monies and contributions from, among others, their spouses, relatives, friends, as well as anyone else who is not a USWA member.
7. At the time this action was commenced, on October 31, 1971, the members of the Campaign Contribution Administrative Committee ("Committee") which was to be formed to administer this rule, had not been formally or publicly announced. When it was formed, the Committee did not have the authority or power to invalidate the rule. The only union remedy plaintiffs had was to seek a change in the Constitution with regard to Article V, Section 27, before the next USWA Convention, which was not scheduled to be held until approximately ten months after this suit was initiated.
8. After this action was filed, the USWA's lawyers sought and obtained an "advisory" ruling from the Campaign Contribution Administrative Committee which purports to limit the scope of the rule as it affects litigation by member-candidates. While USWA counsel place heavy reliance upon this advisory opinion, the Court finds that it does not cure the rule's denial of a member's right to counsel, to funds to support litigation or administrative proceedings and access to judicial and administrative bodies. Further, said Committee can change or amend its ruling at any time. The "advisory" opinion conflicts with the clear language of the rule and its implementing regulations; it could result in confusion and violation of its terms by unschooled members who are required to comply with it; and, equally important, the Committee ruling leaves in doubt whether member-candidates can be disqualified or disciplined for accepting funds, retaining counsel and bringing suit which the Committee or the union later determines was not bona fide.