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May 28, 1975 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-05-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

U

Court upholds Congress' search power

WASHINGTON (/P) - Con-
gressmen and their aides have
absolute immunity from law-
suits designed to impede legiti-
mate investigations, the Su-
preme Court ruled yesterday.
With only Justice William
Douglas dissenting, the court
voted 8 to 1 to reverse a deci-
sion barring Senate investiga-
tors from subpoenaing bank re-
cords of the United States Ser-
vicemen's Fund.
DOUGLAS' two - paragraph
dissent was the first opinion he
has filed since March 25. He is
in a New York hospital recup-
erating from a stroke.
In other actions, the court:
-Ruled unanimously that a
vouth who has been adjudged a
delinquent in juvenile court
may not subsequently be tried
in adult court for the same of-
fense.
-Held that Congress has the
power to freeze the wages of
state and local employes, but
put off until next term a deci-
sion on whether the lawmak-
ers can adopt overtime and oth-
er work regulations governing
such employes.
-Refused to interfere with
controversial new standards
lisiting the use of vinyl chlor-
ide, a potential cancer-causing
agent, in the plastics industry.
-Left undisturbed a lower-
court decision upholding dele-
tions made on national security
grounds by the Central Intelli-
gence Agency in a book co-au-
thored by a former CIA em-
ploye, Victor Marchetti.
-Agreed to rule on the con-

stitutionality of a police depart-
ment regulation governing hair
length and on whether private
employers may exclude preg-
nancy from disability insurance
programs.
-Disbarred former White
House counsel John Dean, who
pleaded guilty to conspiracy
charges in the Watergate scan-
dal from Supreme Court law
practice.
In the case of the Senate in-
vestigator, the court grounded
its decision on the Constitu-
tion's assurance that senators
and representatives "shall not
be questioned in any other
place" about the deliberations
of Congress.
"The power to investigate and
to do so through compulsory
process plainlv falls within that
definition," Chief Justice War-
ren Burger said for the court.
BURGER said the court has
some times in the past held that
the individual's right to free ex-
pression must be balanced
against the grant of immunity
to congressmen.
"But those cases did not in-
volce attempts by private par-
ties to impede congressional ac-
tion," said the chief justice.
"Where we are presented with
an attempt to interfere with an
ongoing activity by Congress
and that activity is found to be
within the legitimate legislative
sphere, balancing plays no
part," Burger said. "The speech
or debate protection provides an
absolute immunity from judicial
interference."
BURGER conceded that this
creates a potential for abuse

but said that is a price which
must be paid to assure the in-
dependence of Congress.
Douglas argued that Congress
may not use its power to de-
prive people of their free speech
or other rights.
"It is my view that no offic-
ial, no matter how high or ma-
jestic his or her office, who is
within the reach of judicial pro-
cess, may invoke immunity for
his actions for which wrong-
doers normally suffer," the ail-
ing istice wrote.
THE CASE involved an at-
tempt by the Senate Internal
Security subcommittee to obtain
bank records of the United
States Servicemen's Fund, which
operates coffee houses on or
around military bases and fi-
nances newspapers distributed
to servicement.
Burger also wrote the court's
decision in the juvenile justice
case, holding that a court find-
ing of deliquency is "essentially
criminal" in character so that
double jeopardy would result it
a jutvenile could he tried later
on the same charge in adult
courts.
Alfred Scanlan, attorney for
the National Council of Juvenile
Court Judges, said the effect of
the decision would be slight. He
said most states had already
eliminated such procedures. The
court ruled in a case from Cali-
fornia.
The wage freeze arose out of
a 1972 Ohio State law increas-
ing state wages by an average
of 10.6 per cent. A federal court
ordered this pared back to 7
per cent to fit within federal
Bay Board guidelines in force
at the time.

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LOUIS MALLE'S 1958
RANT ACg
Subtitled ELEVATOR TO THE SCAFFOLD, this kinky French
crime thriller shows a man commit a "perfect" murder and
then gets imolicated in another when his elevator stalls
while escapins. With an improvised Jazz Score by Miles
Davis and acting by Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet.
This is considered by some to be Malle's best film. Fea-
turette: Jean Renoir's A DAY IN THE COUNTRY.
FRI.: HOW TASTY WAS MY LITTLE FRENCHMAN
CINEMA GUILD TONIGHT AT OLD ARCH. AUD.
7:30 & 9:30 ADM. ONLY $1
ihe "nn r bor film cpoperaive
ROMAN PALANSKI'S 1962
KNIFE IN THE WATER
Polonski's first feature film, it earned him an
Academy Award nomination as well as the Best
Film award at the Venice Film Festival. In the
film, a sports writer and his young wife pick up
a hitchhiker on the way to a sailing weekend.
The middle-aged writer asks the young hitch-
hiker to join them on the boat which sets in
motion a tension filled game between the two
men with the young wife as the pawn
TONIGHT-Aud. A, Angell Hall
7 & 9 p.m.-$1.25
PHILIPPE DE BROCA'S
THE KING OF HEARTS
Popular anti-war comedy starring Alan Bates
and Genieve Bujold.
TONIGHT-Aud. B, Angell Hall
7 & 9 p.m.-$1.25
THURSDAY: HITCHOCK'S SPELLBOUND

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