United States v. Mara
410 U.S. 19 (1973)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Mara, 410 U.S. 19 (1973)

United States v. Mara

No. 71-850

Argued November 6, 1972

Decided January 22, 1973

410 U.S. 19

Syllabus

Respondent, subpoenaed to furnish handwriting exemplars to enable a grand jury to determine whether he was the author of certain writings, was held in contempt after refusing compliance, the District Court having rejected respondent's contention that such compelled production would constitute an unreasonable search and seizure. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the Fourth Amendment applied and that the Government had to make a preliminary showing of reasonableness.

Held: The specific and narrowly drawn directive to furnish a handwriting specimen, which, like the compelled speech disclosure upheld in United States v. Dionisio, ante, p. 410 U. S. 1, involved production of physical characteristics, violated no legitimate Fourth Amendment interest. Pp. 410 U. S. 21-22.

454 F.2d 580, reversed and remanded.

STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. DOUGLAS, J., post, p. 410 U. S. 23, BRENNAN, J., post, p. 410 U. S. 22, and MARSHALL, J., post, p. 410 U. S. 31, filed dissenting opinions.

Page 410 U. S. 20

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