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Ullmann v. United States

Significance, Court Holds That The Privilege Against Self-incrimination Only Protects Against Criminal Prosecution, Prima Facie Evidence


William Ludwig Ullmann


United States

Petitioner's Claim

That the Immunity Act of 1954, making it a criminal offense to refuse to testify about matters of national security, violates the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Leonard B. Boudin

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Charles F. Barber

Justices for the Court

Harold Burton, Tom C. Clark, Felix Frankfurter (writing for the Court), John Marshall Harlan II, Sherman Minton, Stanley Forman Reed, Earl Warren

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, William O. Douglas


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

26 March 1956


The Supreme Court upheld the Immunity Act.

Related Cases

  • Twining v. New Jersey, 211 U.S. 78 (1908).
  • Slochower v. Board of Higher Education of New York City, 350 U.S. 551 (1956).
  • Kastigar v. United States, 406 U.S. 441 (1972).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law. Minneapolis, MN: West Publishing, 1998.

Further Readings

  • Bodenhamer, David J. Fair Trial: Rights of the Accused in American History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Maguire, John MacArthur. Evidence of Guilt: Restrictions Upon Its Discovery or Compulsory Disclosure. Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1959.
  • Meltzer, Milton. The Right to Remain Silent. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962