Jurney v. MacCracken

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Jurney v. MacCracken
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Full case name Jurney v. MacCracken
Citations 294 U.S. 125 (more)
55 S. Ct. 375; 79 L. Ed. 802; 1935 U.S. LEXIS 42
That Congress has an implicit power to find one in contempt of Congress
Court membership
Chief Justice
Charles E. Hughes
Associate Justices
Willis Van Devanter · James C. McReynolds
Louis Brandeis · George Sutherland
Pierce Butler · Harlan F. Stone
Owen J. Roberts · Benjamin N. Cardozo
Case opinions
Majority Brandeis

Jurney v. MacCracken, 294 U.S. 125 (1935),[1] was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that Congress has an implicit power to find one in contempt of Congress. During a Senate investigation of airlines and of the U.S. Postmaster General, the attorney William P. MacCracken, Jr. allowed his clients to destroy subpoenaed documents. After a one-week trial on the Senate floor (presided over by the Vice-President of the United States, acting as Senate President), MacCracken, a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment.[2] MacCracken filed a petition of Habeas Corpus with the federal courts to overturn his arrest, but, after litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition.[1]

The respondent, Chesley W. Jurney, was the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, and hence the person with custody of MacCracken.


  1. ^ a b Jurney v. MacCracken, 294 U.S. 125 (1935).
  2. ^ William P. Mac Cracken, Jr. Papers Archived 2008-04-21 at the Wayback Machine.

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