PATTERSON V. COLORADO, 205 U. S. 454 (1907)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Patterson v. Colorado, 205 U.S. 454 (1907)

Patterson v. Colorado

No. 223

Argued March 5, 6, 1907

Decided April 15, 1907

205 U.S. 454


The requirement in the Fourteenth Amendment of due process of law does not take up the special provisions of the state constitution and laws into the Fourteenth Amendment for the purpose of the case, and in that way subject a state decision that they have been complied with to revision by this Court.

Whether an information for contempt is properly supported, and what constitutes contempt, as well as the time during which it may be committed, are all matters of local law.

As a general rule, the decision of a state court upon a question of law is not an infraction of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and reviewable by this Court on writ of error merely because it is wrong or because earlier decisions are reversed.

While courts, when a case is finished, are subject to the same criticisms as other people, they have power to prevent interference with the course of justice by premature statements, arguments, or intimidation, and the truth is not a defense in a contempt proceeding to an improper publication made during the pending suit.

Page 205 U. S. 455

In punishing a person for contempt of court, the judges act impersonally, and are not considered as sitting in their own case. United States v. Shipp, 203 U. S. 563, 203 U. S. 574.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 205 U. S. 458

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