Watkins v. United States
Significance, Supreme Court Rules That Congressional Power Of Investigation Is Not Unlimited, Further Readings
John T. Watkins
That Congress does not have unlimited power to investigate the private lives of individual citizens.
Chief Lawyer for Petitioner
Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.
Chief Lawyer for Respondent
J. Lee Rankin, U. S. Solicitor General
Justices for the Court
Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, John Marshall Harlan II, Earl Warren (writing for the Court)
Tom C. Clark (Harold Burton and Charles Evans Whittaker did not participate)
Date of Decision
17 June 1957
The Supreme Court ruled that the congressional power of investigation is not unlimited and should not intrude upon law enforcement, a function of the executive branch, or try cases, thus assuming a judicial role.
- Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168 (1881).
- American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382 (1950).
- Wiener v. United States - A "quasi-judicial" Body, Shifting Precedents, Justice Felix Frankfurter
- Ullmann v. United States - Significance, Court Holds That The Privilege Against Self-incrimination Only Protects Against Criminal Prosecution, Prima Facie Evidence
- Watkins v. United States - Significance
- Watkins v. United States - Further Readings
- Watkins v. United States - Supreme Court Rules That Congressional Power Of Investigation Is Not Unlimited
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