by our Constitution, and (3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any necessary remedial legislation. * * *' 60 Stat. 828.
Before this Court could quash a subpoena or make any order or decree, it must have jurisdiction of the persons or parties whom it would seek to affect or enjoin. Its apparent that the petitioners are seeking to quash a subpoena issued by the authority of a Congressional Committee. The petitioners are in effect asking this Court to enjoin the Committee from requiring the production of the documents called for in their subpoena. However, the Committee was not served with a copy of the motion, nor were they present, or represented in Court.
The matter could and perhaps should be disposed of on this question. 'Judge Learned Hand clearly set forth the limitations on the power of a Court in Alemite Manufacturing Corporation v. Staff, 2 Cir., 1939, 42 F.2d 832, when he stated that:
"* * * no court can make a decree which will bind any one but a party; a court of equity is as much so limited as a court of law; it cannot lawfully enjoin the world at large, no matter how broadly it words its decree. If it assumes to do so, the decree is pro tanto brutum fulmen, and the persons enjoined are free to ignore it. It is not vested with sovereign powers to declare conduct unlawful; its jurisdiction is limited to those over whom it gets personal service, and who therefore can have their day in court. * * *" McCracken v. Pennsylvania R.R., D.C.W.D.Pa.1955, 135 F.Supp. 660, 661.
Petitioners' counsel have cited no case in which a Congressional subpoena has been quashed and service vacated, nor have we found any.
However, even if this Court had jurisdiction, we cannot grant this relief. There is no question that the subject matter (that is subversive activities) under investigation is a subject on which Congress can legislate. There can be no question of the power of Congress to undertake fact-finding inquiries in aid of legislation. As has been said this necessitates some curtailment of the individual's right to be let alone. And subpoenas issued by a committee of the (House) to bring before it a witness to testify in an investigation authorized by the (House), are as if issued by the (House) itself. McGrain v. Daugherty, 1927, 273 U.S. 135, 47 S. Ct. 319, 71 L. Ed. 580.
There is no need of re-emphasizing the powers of the Congress to investigate. And indeed the right of this Committee to investigate in the very manner it is here proceeding has received the sanction of the Courts. United States v. Josephson, 2 Cir., 1947, 165 F.2d 82, certiorari denied, 333 U.S. 838, 68 S. Ct. 609, 92 L. Ed. 1122, rehearing denied, 333 U.S. 858, rehearing denied 335 U.S. 899, 69 S. Ct. 294, 93 L. Ed. 434. The courts have no authority to speak or act upon the conduct of the legislative branch of its own business, so long as the bounds of power and pertinency are not abused. Our own Circuit, in United States v. Orman, 3 Cir., 1953, 207 F.2d 148, 153, states:
"Pertinent,' as used to describe a requisite for valid congressional inquiry, means 'pertinent to a subject matter properly under inquiry, not generally pertinent to the person under interrogation.' * * * United States v. Rumely, 345 U.S. 41, 73 S. Ct. 543, 97 L. Ed. 770.'
The petitioners urge that the subpoena issued by the Committee is beyond the authority of the Committee. However,
'* * * The remedy for unseemly conduct, if any, by Committees of Congress is for Congress, or for the people; it is political and not judicial. 'It must be remembered that legislatures are ultimate guardians of the liberties and welfare of the people in quite as great a degree as the courts.' The courts have no authority to speak or act upon the conduct by the legislative branch of its own business, so long as the bounds of power and pertinency are not exceeded, and the mere possibility that the power of inquiry may be abused 'affords no ground for denying the power." Barsky v. United States, 1947, 83 U.S.App.D.C. 127, 167 F.2d 241, 250.
The Rumely case, supra, on which petitioners so strongly rely does not apply to this case at the present time. Indeed the rationale of that case in the light of the previous decisions shows that Congress does have authority over the subject matter of this investigation. It is true that the case holds that having this authority does not impart authority over all activities of persons concerned in the subject matter. But no precise question of the boundaries allowed could in any event be before us now.
We would be naive indeed if we did not recognize the difference of opinion regarding the subversive investigations of the last few years. That Congress has the duty to consider remedial legislation in order to best effectuate our defenses against subversion is only to state the obvious. That Congress and the courts should be ever vigilant to protect our individual rights is no less clear. Emotional reactions should not and must not permit either to lose sight of the citizen's constitutional privileges. But neither should these same emotions make us hesitate to do our duty. The Committee to End Sedition Laws and the Committee for Protection of Foreign Born are entitled to no less protection than the Grange, the A.F. of L.C.I.O., the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Legion, or the Daughters of the American Revolution. Nor are they entitled to any more. Here the petitioners are asking for protection against some danger as yet unknown. They claim a constitutional impairment not now clear. They presume a limitation of their constitutional privileges not yet threatened. For us to presume that the House of Representatives, the body most susceptible to the will of the people, will be less sensitive to the constitutional rights of the citizen than will be this Court would authorize a presumption I am not prepared to accept. This would not be exercising a judicial prerogative or a judicial restraint, but would in truth be judicial arrogance.
Here we have a validly constituted committee of the Congress with jurisdiction over the matter under consideration who have properly subpoenaed pertinent records for which they may have good reason to examine. There is no reason for action by this Court.
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