National Labor Relations Board v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.

421 U.S. 132 (1975)


Sears requested that the General Counsel disclose to it pursuant to the Act all Advice and Appeals Memoranda issued within the previous five years on the subjects of the proprietary of withdrawals by employers of unions from multi-employer bargaining, disputes as to commencement date of negotiations, or conflicting interpretations in any other context of the Board's Retail Associates rule. Sears reasoned that the Advice and Appeals Memoranda were the only source of agency law on some of the issues. Sears' requested was declined as they were exempt from disclosure under section 552(b)(5) as an intra-agency memoranda and that these memos are simply guides for a Regional Director and are not final. Sears (P) sued seeking a declaration that the refusal to disclose violated the Act. P was granted its motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.