IN RE SAWYER, 360 U. S. 622 (1959)

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U.S. Supreme Court

In re Sawyer, 360 U.S. 622 (1959)

In re Sawyer

No. 326

Argued May 19-20, 1959

Decided June 29, 1959

360 U.S. 622


While actively participating as one of the defense counsel in a protracted and highly publicized trial in a Federal District Court in Hawaii of several defendants for conspiracy under the Smith Act, petitioner appeared with one of the defendants at a public meeting and made a speech which led to charges that she had impugned the impartiality and fairness of the presiding judge in conducting the trial and had thus reflected upon his integrity in dispensing justice in the case. These charges were preferred by the Bar Association of Hawaii before the Territorial Supreme Court; that Court referred the charges to the Ethics Committee of the Bar Association, which held a hearing, and found the charges sustained. The Territorial Supreme Court, upon review of the record, also sustained the charges, and ordered that petitioner be suspended from the practice of law for one year. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed.

Held: the record does not support the charge and the findings growing out of petitioner's speech, and the judgment is reversed. Pp. 360 U. S. 623-640, 360 U. S. 646-647.

260 F.2d 189 reversed.

For judgment of the Court and opinion of MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, joined by THE CHIEF JUSTICE, MR. JUSTICE BLACK, and MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, see pp. 360 U. S. 623-640.

For appendix to the opinion of MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, see p. 360 U. S. 640.

For concurring opinion of MR. JUSTICE BLACK, see p. 360 U. S. 646.

For opinion of MR. JUSTICE STEWART, concurring in the result, see p. 360 U. S. 646.

For dissenting opinion of MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER, joined by MR. JUSTICE CLARK, MR. JUSTICE HARLAN, and MR. JUSTICE WHITTAKER, see p. 360 U. S. 647.

For dissenting opinion of MR. JUSTICE CLARK, see p. 360 U. S. 669.

Page 360 U. S. 623

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