Dennis Vs United States Essay Research Paper

Dennis Vs United States Essay, Research Paper

Dennis V.S. United States

Petitioner who is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the U.S. was

convicted in the District of Columbia for violation R.S. 102, 2 U.S.C. 192, He failed to

appear before the committe of the Un-American Activities of the Houise of

Representatives. Goverment employees on the jury panel were interrogated

individually by petitioners counsel as to the fact that he was a Communist. Executive

Order 9835 gave standards for the discharge of goverment employees if there is

reasonable evidence that they are disloyal to the goverment. This would prevent them

from finding a fair anf impartial verdict. 7 goverment emplyees that gave negative

answers to all the questions and testified that they would give a fair and impartial

verdict were permitted to serve on the jury. George W. Crockett, Jr. argued the cause

for petitioner also on his side Earl Dickerson, David M., Freedman and Harry Sacher.

Solicitor General Perlman argued the cause for the United States also on his side

Assistant Attorney General Campbell, Robery S. Erdahl and Harold D. Cohen. For the

National Lawyers Guild was Robert J. Silberstein. He failed to appear before the

Commitee on Un-American Activites in compliance with a subpoena duly served upon

him. The Court of Appeals affirmed, 84 U.S. App. D.C. 31,171 F.2d 986. They where

granted certiorari limited to the questions wheather goverment employees could

properly server on the jury which tried petitioner. He voluntarily appeared before the

House Commitee on Un-American Activities which had under consideration two bills to

outlaw the Communist Party. Petitioner was and is General Secretary of the United

States. He refused to answer questions as to his name and the date and place of birth

in front of the Commitee. The Chairman of the Commitee directed that a sbpoena be

served forthwith upon petitioner, making him have to come before the Commitee on

April 9, 1947. He did not app ear but sent a representative. The Commitee reported

his refusal to appear to the House of Representatives, and the House adopted a

resolution certifying the report of the Committee to the United States Attorney for the

District of Comlumbia. The Petitioner was Subsequently indicted. When the case came

to trial, the petitioner said that he could not obtain a fair and impartial tiral in the

District of Columbia. He posted [339 U.S 162, 165] this was mainly on the ground that

goverment employees, who take a large part of the Districts population, Executive

order 9835, 12 Fed. Reg. 1935 That provided standards for discharging on reasonable

grounds for belief that they are disloyal to the Goverment of United States. The

motion was denied. Attorney for petitioner questioned individually each member of the

panel who indicated that he was employed by the Goverment. He challenged for cause

all Goverment employees. It was denied. He exhausted all his peremptory challenges.

Seven of the twelve finally selected were Goverment employees. The petitioner,

Dennis was convicted of wilfully refusing to give testimony before the House

Committee on Um-American Activities. The evidence against him was very strong. But

no matter how strong the evidence was he had a constitutional right to have it passed

on by an impartial jury. Each juror asserted that he or she could vote for acquittal

without fear of adverse consequences. Under Executive Order 9835 vigorous demands

by the congressional committee which had initiated the prosecution of Dennis. Any of

these employees would lose his job if a “loyalty test” revealed “reasonable grounds”

for the belief that he was disloyal. The Affidavit asserted that committee members

“have stated openly on the floor of the House of Representatives that they demand a

presecution and convictions of, and the imposition of the maximum punishment on this

defendent. The number of potential jurors felt that dennis’s position as Secretary of

the Committee Party in this country would alone prevent their giving him a fair trial.

Goverment employees on the jury panel were interogated individually by the

petitioners counsel as to whether the fact that petitioner was communist. This was the


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