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Doe v. McMillan - Significance, The Lower Court Rulings, The Supreme Court Ruling, Legislative Acts Immune From Suit

william washington petitioner justices


John Doe


John L. McMillan

Petitioner's Claim

That U.S. Representatives, their staffs, and Government Printing Office officials should all be held liable for the distribution of a report defaming Washington, D.C. school children.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Fred M. Vinson, William C. Cramer, David P. Sutton

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Michael Valder

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Potter Stewart, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, William H. Rehnquist


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

29 May 1973


The House members and their staff retain absolute immunity for their actions, but Government Printing Office officials do not.

Related Cases

  • Tenney v. Brandhove, 341 U.S. 367 (1951).
  • Barr v. Matteo, 360 U.S. 564 (1959).
  • Gravel v. United States, 408 U.S. 606 (1972).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1998.

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1996.
  • A Reference Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. New York, NY: Sachem Publishing Associates, Inc., 1986.
Dothard v. Rawlinson - Case Background, The District Court Rules, A Split Decision, Dissenting Opinions, Further Readings [next] [back] Doe v. Bolton - Significance, Health Includes Physical, Emotional, And Psychological Well-being, The Issue Should Be Left To The People

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