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1963 Duke L.J. 555 (1963)
Constitutional Law: Due Process as Ground for Refusing to Testify before Congressional Investigating Committee--A Novel Approach Rejected

handle is hein.journals/duklr1963 and id is 573 raw text is: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: DUE PROCESS AS GROUND FOR
THE expanding role of congressional investigating committees has
raised constitutional questions as to the rights of witnesses who
appear before such bodies under compulsory process. In a recent
case of first impression, Hutcheson v. United States,1 the United
States Supreme Court considered the efficacy of the due process clause
of the fifth amendment as a ground for a witness' refusal to answer
questions propounded by an investigating committee.
Petitioner, President of the Carpenters Union,2 was subpoenaed
by the McClellan Committee3 and asked whether union funds had
been used to fix an Indiana grand jury investigation of a scheme
by petitioner and others to defraud the state. At the time of his
appearance before the committee, petitioner was under indictment
in an Indiana court for bribing a state official in furtherance of the
scheme. He refused to answer the committee's questions concern-
ing the alleged fix, solely on the ground that the questions related
to the state prosecution and thus were in denial of due process of
Petitioner was thereafter indicted for contempt of Congress and
convicted in a federal district court.4 The Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit affirmed, without opinion.5 Certiorari
' 369 U.S. 599 (1962).
2 United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
-'The committee is properly known as the Select Senate Committee on Improper
Activities in the Labor or Management Field. It was established pursuant to S. RES.
'74, 85th Cong., 1st Sess. (1957), to investigate the extent to which criminal practices
had been carried on in the labor-management field, and to determine whether any
changes were required in the laws of the United States to protect against such prac-
tices. Following an investigative pattern which had disclosed misuse of union funds for
the personal benefit of union officials, the committee, on June 27, 1958, sought to in-
quire into the personal financial interests of petitioner and various other officials of
the Carpenters Union.
I After a trial without a jury, petitioner was found guilty of having violated 2
U.S.C. § 192 (1958), which provides: Every person who having been summoned as a
witness . . . refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry,
shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor .... . Petitioner was sentenced to six
months' imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of $500. The District Court did not
render a written opinion.
 Hutcheson v. United States, 285 F.2d 280 (D.C. Cir. 1960), aff'd 369 U.S. 599

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