United States v. Dietrich

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
Citation126 F. 671
Decision Date08 January 1904
PartiesUNITED STATES v. DIETRICH.

126 F. 671

UNITED STATES
v.
DIETRICH.

United States Circuit Court, D. Nebraska.

January 8, 1904


Indictment under section 3739 of the Revised Statutes (U.S.Comp.st. 1901, p. 2508) charging that the defendant, while a senator in Congress from the state of Nebraska, did 'hold and enjoy' a contract theretofore entered into between himself and the United States [126 F. 672] for the use and occupation, for purposes of a United States post office at Hastings, Neb., of a lot and building owned by the defendant. The time when the offense was committed is stated to have been December 20, 1901, but the time when the contract was entered into is not given. In support of a demurrer to the indictment, the defendant contended (1) that, in the absence of anything to the contrary, it should be assumed that the contract was entered into prior to his becoming a senator-- at a time when it could have been entered into lawfully-- and (2) that his subsequently becoming a senator did not affect his obligation to perform the contract or his right to hold and enjoy it.

W. S. Summers, U.S. Atty., and S. R. Rush, Asst. U.S. Atty.

John C. Cowin and R. A. Batty, for defendant.

Before VAN DEVANTER, Circuit Judge, and MUNGER, District Judge.

VAN DEVANTER, Circuit Judge (after stating the facts as above).

The argument of counsel for the government, as well as for the accused, having proceeded as if this indictment directly presented the question whether one who lawfully enters into a contract with the United States, and subsequently, and during the life of the contract, becomes a senator in Congress, may continue to hold and enjoy that contract, we will, for the purposes of this decision, treat the indictment as if it specifically charged facts from which this question would necessarily arise. The pertinent statutory provisions are (U.S.Comp.St. 1901, pp. 2508, 2509):

'Sec 3739. No member of or delegate to Congress shall directly or indirectly, himself, or by any other person in trust for him, or for his use or benefit, or on his account undertake, execute, hold, or enjoy, in whole or in part any contract or agreement made or entered into in behalf of the United States, by any officer or person authorized to make contracts on behalf of the United States. Every person who violates this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined three thousand dollars. All contracts or agreements made in violation of this section shall be void; and whenever any sum of money is advanced on the part of the United States, in consideration of any such contract or agreement, it shall be forthwith repaid; and in case of refusal or delay to repay the same, when demanded, by the proper officer of the department under whose authority such contract or agreement shall have been made or entered into, every person so refusing or delaying, together with his surety or sureties, shall be forthwith prosecuted at law for the recovery of any such sum of money so advanced.
'Sec. 3740. Nothing contained in the preceding section shall extend, or be construed to extend, to any contract or agreement, made or entered into, or accepted, by any incorporated company, where such contract or agreement is made for the general benefit of such incorporation or company; nor to the purchase or sale of bills of exchange or other property by any member of or delegate to Congress, where the same are ready for delivery, and payment therefor is made, at the time of making or entering into the contract or agreement.
'Sec. 3741. In every such contract or agreement to be made or entered into, or accepted by or on behalf of the United States, there shall be inserted an express condition that no member of or delegate to Congress shall be admitted to any share or part of such contract or agreement, or to any benefit to arise therefrom.' [126 F. 673] We think it is entirely clear that the purpose and effect of this legislation is to absolutely inhibit all contractual relations with the United States upon the part of any member of or delegate to Congress through 'any contract or agreement made
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10 practice notes
  • National Maritime Union of America v. Herzog, Civ. No. 4874-'47.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • June 21, 1948
    ...loyalties or interests. Congress not only may, but often does, legislate against just such temptations. Thus, in United States v. Dietrich, 126 F. 671, Mr. Justice Van Devanter (then circuit judge), in explaining the purpose of the legislation prohibiting Congressmen from holding any intere......
  • 33 507 United States v. Brewster 8212 45, No. 70
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • October 18, 1971
    ...50 L.Ed. 1057 (1906) (Senator convicted for accepting compensation to intervene before Post Office Department); United States v. Dietrich, 126 F. 671 (C.C.Neb.1904) (Senator-elect's accepting payment to procure office for another not covered by statute); May v. United States, 84 U.S.App.D.C......
  • Evans v. Cheyenne Cement, Stone & Brick Company, 673
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • March 24, 1913
    ...a contract to build a sidewalk in a manner forbidden by the city ordinances. (Cundell v. Dawson, 4 Man. G. & S. 375; U. S. v. Dietrich, 126 F. 671; Church v. Ga. Light Co., 6 A. & E., 864; Brady v. Mayor &c., 16 How. Pr. 432; Cope v. Rowlands, 2 M & W. 149; People v. Metz, 24 L. R. A. (N. S......
  • In re Missouri Pac. R. Co., No. 6935.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • June 20, 1934
    ...I quote what was said on the point by Judge Van Devanter (now Mr. Justice Van Devanter), in the case of United States v. Dietrich (C. C.) 126 F. 671, loc. cit. 674, "It is well established by the English courts and by the courts of this country, federal and state, that where performance of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • National Maritime Union of America v. Herzog, Civ. No. 4874-'47.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • June 21, 1948
    ...loyalties or interests. Congress not only may, but often does, legislate against just such temptations. Thus, in United States v. Dietrich, 126 F. 671, Mr. Justice Van Devanter (then circuit judge), in explaining the purpose of the legislation prohibiting Congressmen from holding any intere......
  • 33 507 United States v. Brewster 8212 45, No. 70
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • October 18, 1971
    ...50 L.Ed. 1057 (1906) (Senator convicted for accepting compensation to intervene before Post Office Department); United States v. Dietrich, 126 F. 671 (C.C.Neb.1904) (Senator-elect's accepting payment to procure office for another not covered by statute); May v. United States, 84 U.S.App.D.C......
  • Evans v. Cheyenne Cement, Stone & Brick Company, 673
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • March 24, 1913
    ...a contract to build a sidewalk in a manner forbidden by the city ordinances. (Cundell v. Dawson, 4 Man. G. & S. 375; U. S. v. Dietrich, 126 F. 671; Church v. Ga. Light Co., 6 A. & E., 864; Brady v. Mayor &c., 16 How. Pr. 432; Cope v. Rowlands, 2 M & W. 149; People v. Metz, 24 L. R. A. (N. S......
  • In re Missouri Pac. R. Co., No. 6935.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • June 20, 1934
    ...I quote what was said on the point by Judge Van Devanter (now Mr. Justice Van Devanter), in the case of United States v. Dietrich (C. C.) 126 F. 671, loc. cit. 674, "It is well established by the English courts and by the courts of this country, federal and state, that where performance of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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