less than 1 minute read

Barenblatt v. United States

Significance, Government Interest In Self-preservation Found To Outweigh First Amendment Concerns, The Hollywood Ten


Lloyd Barenblatt


United States

Petitioner's Claim

That compelled testimony before Congress about Communist affiliations violates First Amendment rights.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Edward J. Ennis

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Philip R. Monahan

Justices for the Court

Tom C. Clark, Felix Frankfurter, John Marshall Harlan II (writing for the Court), Potter Stewart, Charles Evans Whittaker

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr., William O. Douglas, Earl Warren


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

8 June 1958


By a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court narrowly upheld Lloyd Barenblatt's conviction for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about his alleged past affiliation with the Communist Party.

Related Cases

  • Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178 (1957).
  • United States v. Shelton, 148 F.Supp. 926 (1957).
  • Russell v. United States, 369 U.S. 749 (1962).


Knappman, Edward W., ed. Great American Trials Detroit, MI: Visible Ink Press, 1994.

Additional topics

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