258 F.2d 413 (D.C. Cir. 1958), 12027, Flaxer v. United States

Docket Nº:12027.
Citation:258 F.2d 413
Party Name:Abram FLAXER, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:April 03, 1958
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Page 413

258 F.2d 413 (D.C. Cir. 1958)

Abram FLAXER, Appellant,


UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

No. 12027.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.

April 3, 1958

Argued Oct. 23, 1957.

Mr. David Rein, Washington, D.C., with whom Mr. Joseph Forer, Washington, D.C., was on the brief, for appellant.

Mr. William Hitz, Asst. U.S. Atty., with whom Mr. Oliver Gasch, U.S. Atty., and Messrs. Lewis Carroll, John D. Lane and Harold D. Rhynedance, Jr., Asst. U.S. Attys., were on the brief, for appellee.

Page 414

Before EDGERTON, Chief Judge, and PRETTYMAN, WILBUR K. MILLER, BAZELON, FAHY, WASHINGTON and DANAHER, Circuit Judges, sitting en banc. Circuit Judges BASTIAN and BURGER took no part in the hearing or decision of this case.

PRETTYMAN, Circuit Judge.

In 1956 we affirmed the conviction of Flaxer for contempt. 1 The Supreme Court vacated our judgment and remanded 2'for consideration in the light of Watkins v. United States'. 3

In Barenblatt 4 upon similar remand we held that the Supreme Court in Watkins did not vitiate in toto the resolution of the House establishing the Un-American Activities Committee. We came to that conclusion for four reasons: (1) The Court did not say the resolution is invalid; (2) the Court discussed at length other points regarding pertinency, which discussion we deemed not to be dictum; (3) the Court cited and did not overrule a number of cases upholding convictions for contempt under the same resolution; and (4) the Court remanded the case to us for further consideration, a useless gesture if the resolution itself is invalid.

As we pointed out upon remand in Sacher 5 the Senate resolution here involved 6 is more precise than the House resolution criticized in Watkins. A fortiori this resolution was not struck down by the Court in its Watkins opinion.

We have, then, only the questions posed by Watkins as to pertinency. Even if the resolution is vague, Flaxer's responses to questions demonstrated that he knew what the subject of the inquiry was. In response to the subpoena he produced the financial and various other records of his union and, without objecting, presented them to the Committee on the record. He thus indicated that the recognized the nature of the question under inquiry. He refused to produce the membership lists but not upon the ground they were not pertinent. He objected on the ground that the Government as an employer is not entitled to know...

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