387 F.2d 271 (10th Cir. 1967), 9749, Weissman v. United States

Docket Nº:9749, 9750.
Citation:387 F.2d 271
Party Name:Maryann WEISSMAN and Key Martin, Appellants, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:December 20, 1967
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Page 271

387 F.2d 271 (10th Cir. 1967)

Maryann WEISSMAN and Key Martin, Appellants,


UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

Nos. 9749, 9750.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

December 20, 1967

Page 272

Warren L. McConnico and Sam Harris, Tulsa, Okl. (Thomas H. Gudgel, Jr., Tulsa, Okl., and Melvin L. Wulf and Eleanor Holmes Norton, New York City, of counsel, were with them on the brief), for appellants.

John W. Raley, Jr., Asst. U.S. Atty. (B. Andrew Potter, U.S. Atty., was with him on the brief), for appellee.

Before MURRAH and BREITENSTEIN, Circuit Judges, and DELEHANT, [*] District Judge.

BREITENSTEIN, Circuit Judge.

Appellants-defendants were charged in an information with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1382 by the reentry to a military reservation after having been ordered not to do so. The charge was a petty offense under 18 U.S.C. § 1. As permitted by 18 U.S.C. § 3401(b), the defendants elected to be tried in the United States District Court and demanded and received a jury trial. They were found guilty and appeal from the sentences imposed.

Fort Sill is a military reservation in Oklahoma. In June, 1967, defendant Weissman attended a court-martial held there and participated in a demonstration which included 'chanting, making noises, and the singing of certain phrases to the disruption of the court.' The commandant received reports of these demonstrations and of the activities of both Weissman

Page 273

and Martin. He ordered that they should not reenter Fort Sill. On July 29, 1967, written notice of that order was served on the defendants personally. On July 31 the military authorities, on the basis of statements of the defendants to the press and on the basis of surveillance of defendants suspected that the defendants might reenter the base to attend a court-martial. Cars in which the defendants were riding were stopped at a traffic control point within the reservation because the cars did not have the required permit stickers. The defendants were later identified and arrested.

Defendants say that they were free lance journalists and that the bar order violated the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press and the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial. The claim that they were representatives of the press is based on affidavits submitted in support of a motion to dismiss. 1 At the time of their arrest they did not assert a right to enter the reservation because of any representation of the press. We doubt that their belated self-serving declarations entitle them to be heard on the point. In any event the argument is without merit. If it be assumed that a defendant in a court-martial has the right to a public trial, there is grave doubt whether members of the press have standing to invoke that right. 2 Even if they have, they may be ordered to conform to standards of conduct and may be excluded if necessary to maintain orderly proceedings. 3 Weissman participated in an unseemly demonstration at a previous court-martial and Martin solicited people to take part in such demonstrations. The military authorities had the responsibility to forestall such conduct by excluding those responsible therefor. In our opinion no violation of either the First Amendment or Sixth Amendment occurred by barring the defendants from entering the reservation.


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