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THE Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 marks a new era in the legal regulation of internal union affairs. Congress has clearly affirmed the public interest in protecting democratic processes in unions, and it has explicitly protected union members in the free exercise of those political rights essential for self-government. Although Congress has declared the central policy of protecting union democracy and has enunciated essential rights, it has placed on the courts the responsibility of giving body and life to those rights. The rights guaranteed by Title I, the Bill of Rights, are stated in broad terms, and are enforceable through civil suits brought by union members. The courts must give content to those rights and devise remedies to make them meaningful. Title IV, regulating union elections, though more detailed, also contains broad provisions, and again the courts are responsible for giving them meaning and making them effective.
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