Case Overview


The Supreme Court upheld the convictions rendered by the lower and appeals courts.


Petitioners were indicted in 1956 under 18 U.S.C. § 371 for conspiring fraudulently to obtain the services of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on behalf of the union of which they were officers or members by filing false affidavits in purported satisfaction of the requirements of § 9(h) of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended. Section 9(h), later repealed, provided that a union could not secure NLRB services unless it had filed with the NLRB so-called non-Communist affidavits of each union officer. The Government alleged that, pursuant to a conspiracy, four of the petitioners, union officials who purported to resign from the Communist Party but in reality retained their Party affiliations, filed the required affidavits during 1949-1955, enabling the union to use the NLRB. Petitioners were convicted, but the Court of Appeals, while sustaining the indictment, reversed on the ground that prejudicial hearsay evidence had been admitted. On retrial, petitioners were again convicted, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Certiorari was granted, limited to the following questions: whether the indictment stated the offense of conspiracy to defraud the United States; whether § 9(h) is constitutional; and whether the trial court erred in denying petitioners' motion for production to the defense of grand jury testimony of prosecution witnesses, or alternatively, for in camera inspection of the grand jury testimony.

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