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September 19, 1957 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1957-09-19

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

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DAILY

Found Guilty, Sen:nced, Fined

T .

tong-pending case of H.
r Davis, former Univer-
t h e m a t i c s instructor,
a climax this summer
ivis was found guilty on
is of contempt of Con-

al District Court Judge W.
Kent, who had conducted
two-day trial without jury
id Rapids last November,
ced the verdict June 26.
ugust 5 Judge Kent sen-
Davis to pay a $250 fine
've six months in prison.
Appeal Filed
wing the decision on June
is announced his intention
mal the conviction and in
gust he filed his brief with'
ited States Court of Ap-
i Cincinnati.
ng the appeal, Judge Kent
a defense motion to sus-
e sentence for thirty days
ed Davis on personal bond.
who invoked the First
nent in refusing to testify
Kit Clardy's House Un-
n Activities subcommittee
4, continued his stand
out a Federal Grand Jury
ent and the Iovember
naintained that a com-
)f Congress which sets out
cize political ideals is vio-
the First Amendment,
guarantees freedom of
and freedom of assembly.
ner Asks
if ormity
Charles W. Joiner of the
oo1 recently urged the ere-
fa national committee to
,d develop uniform, rules
nee for federal courts.
ing at the annual confer-
federal judges of the Third
Circuit in Atlantic City,
iner said such a committee
e formed by the Supreme
a committee has been cre-
the Sixth Judicial District,
ncludes Michigan, he said,
s met with favorabl. re-
from many of the nation's
I experts.
Joiner asserted that genu-
ership on a national scale
field of evidence is badly
today.
can -come only from the
courts," he added.
esent, Prof. Joiner said,
deral trial judge and at-
must know four sets of
rules.

"It is not 'for this Court to de-
termine that such investigations
are or are not helpful to the Con-
gress in the enactment o6f legisla-
tion. Such determination is en-,
tirely within the power of Con-
gress itself."
Judge Kent explained that his
Court examined the Supreme
Court decision in the Watkins
case "and is satisfied that noth-
ing in that opinion can be con-
strued in such a manner as to
change the conclusion that the
Court has reached in this case."
The history of the Davis case
began in the spring of 1954 when
three University faculty members
and two graduate students were
su~bpoenaed to appear before the
House Un-American Activities
subcommittee in Lansing May 10.
'Operation Mind'
Among the faculty members
called to appear, Davis was be-
lieved to have "ordered, received,
and paid for" a document called
"Operation Mind." The Govern-
ment contended that "Operation
Mind" opposed the work of the
House Un-American Activities
Committee.
Subcommittee chairman Clardy
stated he had information that

there were Communist cells at the
University.
"You can assume I have been
politically active," Davis re-
marked after receiving the sub-
poena. When he appeared before
the committee. Davis refused to
describe his political background,
invoking the First Amendment
when Clardy warned that only the
Fifth Amendment Would be con-
sidered valid.
Davis Fired
Davis was suspended by the
University following the hearing.
Arthur L. Brandon, then Director
of University Relations, explained
that the suspension was "on the
basis of refusing to co-operate
with the committee.
"The University's policy is one
of co-operation."
In the summer of 1956 Davis
was indicted by a :Federal Grand
Jury in Grand Rapids after re-
fusing to answer questions about
his alleged membership in the
communist party.
Following the Indictment, a
Special Advisory Committee of the
Faculty Senate recommended Da-
vis's dismissal from the Univer-
sity. Since then, Davis has been
an instructor in mathematics at
Columbia University.

VI"
THE ADVENT' OF A NE SORE

H. UHANDLER DAVIS
...appealing his case
'In a statement to The Daily in
June, Davis cited the Watkins
and Sweezy cases in which he
claimed the Supreme Court af-
firmed that legislative hearings of
this character could damage the
free speech of the people.
"The Supreme Court, in spite of
its encouraging recognition in re-
cent decisions that Congressional
anti-subversive investigations may
restrict free speech, has not yet
ruled these investigations as a
whole are unconstitutional," Da-
vis asserted.
' "It is my hope that such a rul-
ing in the future in my case or
some other case may end these
investigations. With that in mind,
I am appealing my conviction."
'Test Case'
Davis called his trial a,"test
case,," and considered- the six
months jail sentence handed
down by Judge Kent "stiff."
In an eight-page statement ex-
plaining his verdict, Judge Kent
described the Court's stand, on
Davis's invoking the First Amen d-
ment and citing the Watkins case.
"This Court is completely satis-
fied that the questions were not
for the purpose of determining
the political beliefs of the wit-
ness -but were for the purpose of
determining th6 extent, if any, of
the practices of Communistic
thinkers and thinking in the edu-
catiorial institutions of this coun-
try."
In another part of the state-
ment Judge Kent writes, "The
committee must necessarily ob-
tain information from one wit-
ness relating to 'the activities of
other persons, exactly as is done
in every investigative organiza-
tion for the purpose of developing
a complete picture of the situ'a-
tion.

I

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