UPHAUS V. WYMAN, 360 U. S. 72 (1959)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Uphaus v. Wyman, 360 U.S. 72 (1959)

Uphaus v. Wyman

No. 34

Argued November 17-18, 1958

Decided June 8, 1959

360 U.S. 72


In an investigation conducted by the Attorney General of New Hampshire on behalf of the State Legislature under a resolution directing him to investigate violations of the State Subversive Activities Act and to determine whether "subversive persons" were then in the State, appellant, who is Executive Director of a corporation organized under the laws of the State and operating a summer camp in the State, testified concerning his own activities, but refused to comply with subpoenas duces tecum calling for the production of the names of all persons who attended the camp during 1954 and 1955. Pursuant to state procedure, he was brought before a state court. There, he did not plead the privilege against self-incrimination, but claimed that the investigation was beyond the power of the State, that the resolution was too vague, that the documents sought were not relevant to the inquiry, and that to compel him to produce them would violate his rights of free speech and association. These claims were decided against him, and, persisting in his refusal, he was adjudged guilty of civil contempt and ordered committed to jail until he complied with the order.

Held: the judgment and sentence are sustained. Pp. 360 U. S. 73-82.

(a) The New Hampshire Subversive Activities Act of 1951 and the resolution authorizing and directing the State Attorney General to investigate violations thereof have not been superseded by the Smith Act, as amended. Pennsylvania v. Nelson, 350 U. S. 497, distinguished. Pp. 360 U. S. 76-77.

(b) The right of the State to require the production of corporate papers of a state-chartered corporation to determine whether corporate activities violate state policy stands unimpaired either by the Smith Act or by Pennsylvania v. Nelson, supra. P. 360 U. S. 77.

(c) On the record in this case, the nexus between the corporation, its summer camp and subversive activities which might threaten the security of the State justifies the investigation; the State's interests in self-preservation outweigh individual rights in associational privacy, and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not preclude the State from compelling

Page 360 U. S. 73

production of the names of the guests. Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 354 U. S. 234, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama, 357 U. S. 449, distinguished. Pp. 360 U. S. 77-81.

(d) Since the demand for the documents was legitimate one, the judgment of contempt for refusal to produce them is valid, and the sentence of imprisonment until appellant produces them does not constitute such cruel and unusual punishment as to be denial of due process. Pp. 360 U. S. 81-82.

101 N.H. 139, 136 A.2d 221, affirmed.

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