Alexander v. United States - 201 U.S. 117 (1906)
U.S. Supreme Court
Alexander v. United States, 201 U.S. 117 (1906)
Alexander v. United States
Argued January 5, 8, 1906
Decided March 12, 1906
201 U.S. 117
In a suit in a circuit court of the United States brought by the United States against corporations for violations of the Anti-Trust Law of July 2, 1890, a witness refused to answer questions or produce books before the examiner on the ground of immateriality, also pleading the privileges of the Fifth Amendment; the court overruled the objections and ordered the witness to answer the questions and produce the books, an appeal was taken to this Court. Held that:
While such an order might leave the witness no alternative except to obey or be punished for contempt, it is interlocutory in the principal suit, and not a final order, nor does it constitute a practically independent proceeding amounting to a final judgment, and an appeal will not lie therefrom to this Court.
If the witness refuses to obey and the court goes further and punishes him for contempt, there is a right of review, and this is adequate for his protection without unduly impeding the process of the case.
The facts are stated in the opinion.