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View Diary: Rove Held in Contempt of Congress (289 comments)

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  •  See: (3+ / 0-)
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    llbear, Tybalt, SciVo

    Page 294 U. S. 151:

    Second. The power of either House of Congress to punish for contempt was not impaired by the enactment in 1857 of the statute, R.S. § 102, making refusal to answer or to produce papers before either House or one of its committees a misdemeanor. Compare Sinclair v. United States, 279 U. S. 263. The statute was enacted not because the power of the Houses to punish for a past contempt was doubted, but because imprisonment limited to the duration of the session was not considered sufficiently drastic a punishment for contumacious witnesses. [Footnote 9] That the purpose of the statute was merely to supplement the power of contempt by providing for additional punishment was recognized in In re Chapman, 166 U. S. 661, 166 U. S. 671-672:

    "We grant that Congress could not divest itself, or either of its houses, of the essential and inherent power to punish for contempt in cases to which the power of either house properly extended; but, because Congress, by the Act of 1857, sought to aid each of the houses in the discharge of its constitutional functions, it does not follow that any delegation of the power in each to punish for contempt was involved, and the statute is not open to objection on that account."

    Punishment, purely as such, through contempt proceedings, legislative or judicial, is not precluded because punishment may also be inflicted for the same act as a statutory offense. Compare Ex parte Hudgings, 249 U. S. 378, 249 U. S. 382. [Footnote 10] As was said in In re Chapman, supra, "the same act may be an offense against one jurisdiction and also an offense against another, and indictable statutory offenses may be punished as such, while the offenders may likewise be subjected to punishment for the same acts as contempts, the two being diverso intuitu, and capable of standing together."

    [My emphasis and I've not bothered to italicize all the cases in the text.]

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 02:38:51 PM PDT

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    •  Terrific (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SciVo

      Thanks.  I think I did misunderstand the nature of the statutory power.  Kudos for dragging this stuff out.

      We must love one another and die.

      by Tybalt on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 02:58:02 PM PDT

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      •  I particularly like: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tybalt, SciVo

        The statute was enacted not because the power of the Houses to punish for a past contempt was doubted, but because imprisonment limited to the duration of the session was not considered sufficiently drastic a punishment for contumacious witnesses.

        These Bush flunkies sure meet the definition of contumacious witnesses! I agree, imprisonment limited to the duration of the session is not sufficient. Perhaps if we preserve the Republic Congress needs to beef up those criminal measures and far more drastically than a mere misdemeanor as under that 1857 law. We have now seen the damage to the Republic that can be done by that flagrant, indeed contumacious, disregard for the Legislative Branch.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 03:08:06 PM PDT

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      •  I forgot. There are quite a few interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tybalt

        cases if you follow the links in the particular Justia version of Jurney v. MacCracken. Those then have links to other cases.

        Justia's US Supreme Court Cases & Opinions is quite a valuable reference and they deal with current cases at the top level index. I think their summary pages are quite useful as well for quick looks at the issues and as far as I can tell they all link to full text.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 03:14:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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