The State of Michigan has enacted legislation authorizing a system for union representation of local governmental employees. A union and a local government employer are specifically permitted to agree to an "agency shop" arrangement, whereby every employee represented by a union— even though not a union member—must pay to the union, as a condition of employment, a service fee equal in amount to union dues. The issue before us is whether this arrangement violates the constitutional rights of government employees who object to public-sector unions as such or to various union activities financed by the compulsory service fees.

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We granted certiorari[1] in this case in order to determine whether Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U. S. C. § 552 (b) (3),[2] permits nondisclosure *257 to respondents of certain reports in the files of the Federal Aviation Administration. This exemption provides that material need not be disclosed if "specifically exempted from disclosure by statute." The reports are known as Systems Worthiness Analysis Program (SWAP) Reports.[3] They consist of analyses made by representatives of the FAA concerning the operation and maintenance performance of commercial airlines. Over-sight and regulation of air travel safety is the responsibility of the FAA, § 601 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, 72 Stat. 775, as amended, 49 U. S. C. § 1421. The FAA claims the documents are protected from disclosure *258 by virtue of § 1104 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, 49 U. S. C. § 1504.[4]The facts of the case, in its present posture,[5] are quite simple. During the summer of 1970, in connection with a study of airline safety being conducted by them, the respondents, associated with the Center for the Study of Responsive Law, requested that the FAA make available certain SWAP Reports. The FAA declined to produce the documents. In accordance with established procedures adopted by the FAA, the respondents then filed timely notice of administrative appeal in August 1970. Several months later, while this administrative appeal was pending, the Air Transport Association, on behalf of its airline *259 members, requested that the FAA make no public disclosure of the SWAP Reports. The Association noted that, in a prior memorandum of its own staff, the FAA had pointed out that " `[t]he SWAP Program requires a cooperative effort on both the part of the company and FAA if it is to work effectively,' " and argued that "[t]he present practice of non-public submissions, which includes even tentative findings and opinions as well as certain factual material, encourages a spirit of openness on the part of airline management which is vital to the promotion of aviation safety—the paramount consideration of airlines and government alike in this area." In February 1971, the FAA formally denied respondents' request for the SWAP Reports. It took the position that the reports are exempt from public disclosure under 5 U. S. C. § 552 (b) (3), the section at issue here. As previously noted, that section provides that such material need not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act when the material is specifically exempted from disclosure by statute. The FAA noted that § 1104 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 permits the Administrator to withhold information, public disclosure of which, in his judgment, would adversely affect the interests of the objecting party and is not required to be disclosed in the interest of the public. The FAA also based its denial of these data on the exemption for intra-agency memoranda (5 U. S. C. § 552 (b) (5)), the exemption for investigatory files compiled for law enforcement purposes (§ 552 (b) (7)), and, finally, the exemption for documentation containing trade secrets and commercial or financial information of a privileged or confidential nature (§ 552 (b) (4)). The FAA's answer also explained its view of the need for confidentiality in SWAP Reports:

"The effectiveness of the in-depth analysis that is the essence of SWAP team investigation depends, to *260 a great extent, upon the full, frank and open cooperation of the operator himself during the inspection period. His assurance by the FAA that the resulting recommendations are in the interest of safety and operational efficiency and will not be disclosed to the public are the major incentives impelling the operator to hide nothing and to grant free access to procedures, system of operation, facilities, personnel, as well as management and operational records in order to exhibit his normal course of operations to the SWAP inspectors."
Respondents then sued in the District Court, seeking, inter alia, the requested documents. The District Court held that "the documents sought by plaintiffs . . . are, as a matter of law, public and non-exempt within the meaning of 5 United States Code [§] 552, and plaintiffs are entitled to judgment . . . as a matter of law."A divided Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the District Court "insofar as appellants rely upon Exemption (3)," but remanded the case for consideration of other exemptions which the FAA might wish to assert. 162 U. S. App. D. C. 298, 498 F. 2d 1031 (1974). Examining first what it felt was the ordinary meaning of the language of Exemption 3, the Court of Appeals held that its language required the exempting statute relied on to specify or categorize the particular documents it authorizes to be withheld. Because § 1104 delegated "broad discretionary authority" under a "public interest" standard, it was held not within the scope of Exemption 3. The Court of Appeals distinguished this Court's decision in EPA v. Mink, 410 U. S. 73 (1973), on the ground that the exemption involved in that case was construed to be a specific reference by Congress to a definite class of documents, namely those that must be kept secret " `in the *261 interest of the national defense or foreign policy,' " 162 U. S. App. D. C., at 300, 498 F. 2d, at 1033. The Court of Appeals read the Act as providing a comprehensive guide to congressional intent. One of the Act's major purposes was seen as intending to eliminate what it characterized as vague phrases such as "in the public interest" or "for good cause" as a basis for withholding information. Under these circumstances, the court concluded that § 1104 cannot be considered a specific exemption by statute within the meaning of Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act.

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Overruled

New York City used federal funds received under the Title I program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to pay the salaries of public school employees who taught in parochial schools in the city. That program authorized federal financial assistance to local educational institutions to meet the needs of educationally deprived children from low-income families. The city made the teacher assignments, and the teachers were supervised by field personnel who monitor the Title I classes. Appellee city taxpayers brought an action in Federal District Court, alleging that the Title I program administered by the city violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and seeking injunctive relief.

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413 U.S. 836 (1973) ALEXANDER ET AL. v. VIRGINIA   No. 71-1315. Supreme Court of the United States.   Argued October 19, 1972. Decided June 25, 1973. CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIAStanley M. Dietz argued the cause and filed a brief for petitioners. James E. Kulp, Assistant Attorney General of Virginia, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Andrew P. Miller, Attorney General, and Robert E. Shepherd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General.[*] PER CURIAM. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Virginia is vacated and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with […]

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These cases began when appellants, minority political parties and their candidates, qualified voters supporting the minority party candidates, and independent unaffiliated candidates, brought four separate actions in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against the Texas Secretary of State seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the enforcement of various sections of the Texas Election Code.

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Petitioners are the six maritime unions which appeared before this Court as respondents in Windward Shipping v. American Radio Assn., 415 U. S. 104 (1974). We granted their petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of Alabama, 415 U. S. 947, in order to review their contentions that this case was distinguishable from Windward on the pre-emption issue, and that the temporary injunction upheld by that court had infringed rights guaranteed to them under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.[1]

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On April 24, 1980, petitioner John Anderson announced that he was an independent candidate for the office of President of the United States. Thereafter, his supporters — by gathering the signatures of registered voters, filing required documents, and submitting filing fees — were able to meet the substantive requirements for having his name placed on the ballot for the general election in November 1980 in all 50 States and the District of Columbia. On April 24, however, it was already too late for Anderson to qualify for a position on the ballot in Ohio and certain other States because the statutory deadlines for filing a statement of candidacy had already passed. The question presented by this case is whether Ohio's early filing deadline placed an unconstitutional burden on the voting and associational rights of Anderson's supporters.

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1

In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 279-280, 84 S.Ct. 710, 725-726, 11 L.Ed.2d 686 (1964), we held that, in a libel suit brought by a public official, the First Amendment requires the plaintiff to show that in publishing the defamatory statement the defendant acted with actual malice—"with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." We held further that such actual malice must be shown with "convincing clarity." Id., at 285-286, 84 S.Ct., at 728-729. See also Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 342, 94 S.Ct. 2997, 3008, 41 L.Ed.2d 789 (1974). These New York Times requirements we have since extended to libel suits brought by public figures as well. See, e.g., Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130, 87 S.Ct. 1975, 18 L.Ed.2d 1094 (1967).

2

This case presents the question whether the clear-and-convincing-evidence requirement must be considered by a court ruling on a motion for summary judgment under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in a case to which New York Times applies. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that that requirement need not be considered at the summary judgment stage. 241 U.S.App.D.C. 246, 746 F.2d 1563 (1984). We granted certiorari, 471 U.S. 1134, 105 S.Ct. 2672, 86 L.Ed.2d 691 (1985), because that holding was in conflict with decisions of several other Courts of Appeals, which had held that the New York Times requirement of clear and convincing evidence must be considered on a motion for summary judgment.1 We now reverse.

3

* Respondent Liberty Lobby, Inc., is a not-for-profit corporation and self-described "citizens' lobby." Respondent Willis Carto is its founder and treasurer. In October 1981, The Investigator magazine published two articles: "The Private World of Willis Carto" and "Yockey: Profile of an American Hitler." These articles were introduced by a third, shorter article entitled "America's Neo-Nazi Underground: Did Mein Kampf Spawn Yockey's Imperium, a Book Revived by Carto's Liberty Lobby?" These articles portrayed respondents as neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, racist, and Fascist.

4

Respondents filed this diversity libel action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that some 28 statements and 2 illustrations in the 3 articles were false and derogatory. Named as defendants in the action were petitioner Jack Anderson, the publisher of The Investigator, petitioner Bill Adkins, president and chief executive officer of the Investigator Publishing Co., and petitioner Investigator Publishing Co. itself.

5

Following discovery, petitioners moved for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56. In their motion, petitioners asserted that because respondents are public figures they were required to prove their case under the standards set forth in New York Times. Petitioners also asserted that summary judgment was proper because actual malice was absent as a matter of law. In support of this latter assertion, petitioners submitted the affidavit of Charles Bermant, an employee of petitioners and the author of the two longer articles.2 In this affidavit, Bermant stated that he had spent a substantial amount of time researching and writing the articles and that his facts were obtained from a wide variety of sources. He also stated that he had at all times believed and still believed that the facts contained in the articles were truthful and accurate. Attached to this affidavit was an appendix in which Bermant detailed the sources for each of the statements alleged by respondents to be libelous.

6

Respondents opposed the motion for summary judgment, asserting that there were numerous inaccuracies in the articles and claiming that an issue of actual malice was presented by virtue of the fact that in preparing the articles Bermant had relied on several sources that respondents asserted were patently unreliable. Generally, respondents charged that petitioners had failed adequately to verify their information before publishing. Respondents also presented evidence that William McGaw, an editor of The Investigator, had told petitioner Adkins before publication that the articles were "terrible" and "ridiculous."

7

In ruling on the motion for summary judgment, the District Court first held that respondents were limited-purpose public figures and that New York Times therefore applied.3 The District Court then held that Bermant's thorough investigation and research and his reliance on numerous sources precluded a finding of actual malice. Thus, the District Court granted the motion and entered judgment in favor of petitioners.

8

On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed as to 21 and reversed as to 9 of the allegedly defamatory statements. Although it noted that respondents did not challenge the District Court's ruling that they were limited-purpose public figures and that they were thus required to prove their case under New York Times, the Court of Appeals nevertheless held that for the purposes of summary judgment the requirement that actual malice be proved by clear and convincing evidence, rather than by a preponderance of the evidence, was irrelevant: To defeat summary judgment respondents did not have to show that a jury could find actual malice with "convincing clarity." The court based this conclusion on a perception that to impose the greater evidentiary burden at summary judgment "would change the threshold summary judgment inquiry from a search for a minimum of facts supporting the plaintiff's case to an evaluation of the weight of those facts and (it would seem) of the weight of at least the defendant's uncontroverted facts as well." 241 U.S.App.D.C., at 253, 746 F.2d, at 1570. The court then held, with respect to nine of the statements, that summary judgment had been improperly granted because "a jury could reasonably conclude that the . . . allegations were defamatory, false, and made with actual malice." Id., at 260, 746 F.2d at 1577.

IIA.

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