TRIALS: Lesson in Law

When he was hauled before a House Un-American Activities subcommittee in 1949, Julius Emspak, secretary-treasurer of the Red-run United Electrical Workers Union, decided to teach the committee a little lesson. "I don't think," said Emspak, "a committee like this, or any subcommittee, has a right to go into . . . my beliefs [and] my associations . . ." He went on trumpeting: the committee was a "Kangaroo Court," its members "corrupt," its questions a "beautiful frame to hang people."

The House charged him with contempt for refusing to answer its questions....

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