THE SUPREME COURT: Books Closed

Closing the books on two significant, long-pending cases, the Supreme Court this week:

¶ Upheld Federal Judge Harold R. Medina in slapping contempt judgments on the five attorneys who, with harassing courtroom tactics, defended the eleven top Communists convicted in New York in 1949 for violation of the Smith Act. The court, wrote Justice Jackson for the majority (in a 5-3 split), will always stand behind lawyers in fearless performance of their duty, but "will not equate contempt with courage or insults with independence." Dissenters Black, Frankfurter and Douglas held that the attorneys were entitled to trial by jury in another...

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