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Glidden Co. v. Zdanok


Glidden Co. v. Zdanok

Glidden Co. v. Zdanok
Supreme Court of the United States
Argued February 21, 26, 1962
Decided June 25, 1962
Full case name Glidden Company v. Olga Zdanok, John Zacharczyk, Mary A. Hackett, Quitman Williams, and Marcelle Kreischer; Durkee Famous Foods Division, a Foreign Corporation and Benny Lurk v. United States
Citations 370 more)
82 S. Ct. 1459; 8 L. Ed. 2d 671; 1962 U.S. LEXIS 2139; 45 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P17,685; 50 L.R.R.M. 2693
Prior history 288 F.2d 99, 47 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2865, 90 A.L.R.2d 965, 42 Lab.Cas. P 16,855 (2nd Cir. 1961); 185 F.Supp. 441, 46 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2584, 40 Lab.Cas. P 66,747 (S.D.N.Y. 1961); 28 F.R.D. 346, 4 Fed.R.Serv.2d 460 (S.D.N.Y. 1961); 296 F.2d 360, 111 U.S.App.D.C. 238 (D.C. Cir. 1961)
Subsequent history 371 U.S. 854, 83 S.Ct. 14, 9 L.Ed.2d 93 (Rehearing denied)
Questions presented
Whether the judgment in either [case] was vitiated by the respective participation of the judges named.
Court membership
Case opinions
Plurality Harlan, joined by Brennan, Stewart
Concurrence Clark, joined by Warren
Dissent Douglas, joined by Black
Frankfurter, White took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Laws applied
U.S. Const. Article III, §§ 1-2
Superseded by
96 Stat. 25, §§ 110(a)(1)-(2)

Glidden Co. v. Zdanok (consolidated with Lurk v. United States), 370


In Ex parte Bakelite Corp., 279 § 1543, that they there not truly independent as required by Article III.

Opinion of the Court

In a plurality opinion, the Justice Black, dissented on the grounds that the courts were Article I courts and that the importance of an independent judiciary prevented non-Article III judges from deciding matters brought before Article III courts. The same confluence of practical considerations that dictated the result in Canter has governed the decision in later cases sanctioning the creation of other courts with judges of limited tenure. Tenure that is guaranteed by the Constitution is a badge of a judge of an Article III court. The argument that mere statutory tenure is sufficient for judges of Article III courts was authoritatively answered in Ex parte Bakelite Corp., supra, at 459-460:

". . . the argument is fallacious. It mistakenly assumes that whether a court is of one class or the other depends on the intention of Congress, whereas the true test lies in the power under which the court was created and in the jurisdiction conferred. Nor has there been any settled practice on the part of Congress which gives special significance to the absence or presence of a provision respecting the tenure of judges. This may be illustrated by two citations. The same Congress that created the Court of Customs Appeals made provision for five additional circuit judges and declared that they should [370 U.S. 530, 597] hold their offices during good behavior; and yet the status of the judges was the same as it would have been had that declaration been omitted. In creating courts for some of the Territories Congress failed to include a provision fixing the tenure of the judges; but the courts became legislative courts just as if such a provision had been included."

In United States v. Coe, for example, the Court sustained the authority of the Court of Private Land Claims to adjudicate claims under treaties to land in the territories, but left it expressly open whether such a course might be followed within the States. Upon like considerations, Article III has been viewed as inapplicable to courts created in unincorporated territories outside the mainland, and to the consular courts established by concessions from foreign countries.

This Court, however is the expositor of the meaning of the Constitution...
Justice HarlanGlidden Co. v. Zdanok, 370 U.S. 530, 602, 82 S.Ct. 1459, 1500 (1962)
The Court does great mischief in today's opinions. The opinion of my Brother Harlan stirs a host of problems that need not be opened. What is done will, I fear, plague us for years.
Justice DouglasGlidden Co. v. Zdanok, 370 U.S. 530, 606, n.11, 82 S.Ct. 1459, 1502, n.11 (1962)

Subsequent developments

In response to this decision, Congress passed 80 Stat. 958 in 1966 which assigned Congressional reference cases from the Article III appellate division judges of the Court of Claims to the Article I trial division commissioners of the Court of Claims. This permitted the Court of Claims to resume hearing Congressional reference cases, which it had ceased accepting in light of Glidden.[2] In 1982, as part of the Federal Courts Improvement Act, Congress passed 96 Stat. 25, which removed the ability to designate judges from the new Article I Claims Court for use on Article III courts.[3]

Despite the reasoning's status as a plurality opinion that lacks stare decisis,[4] it remains important, having been cited in 68 Supreme Court cases and at least 367 lower court cases. It also stands as a defining case in the distinctions between Article I and Article III courts.[5] Further, the need to retain Congressional reference jurisdiction was a reason that the Claims Court was specifically designated an Article I court by Congress in 1982.[6]


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