1. The Constitution does not require any preliminary hearing
before removal of an accused person for trial to the federal court
having jurisdiction of the charge. Pp. 271 U. S. 149
271 U. S.
Page 271 U. S. 143
2. A commitment for removal under Rev.Stats § 1014, ordered by a
United States Commissioner after a finding of substantial grounds
for the charge in an indictment, is not assailable in habeas corpus
because of his refusal to hear defensive evidence and weigh it
against the government's evidence of probable cause. P.
271 U. S.
3. An indictment plainly showing the intention of the grand jury
to charge the defendant with violating the Sherman Act
sufficient for removal purposes. P. 271 U. S.
Appeal from a judgment of the district court denying a discharge
in habeas corpus. The relator, Hughes, was held for removal to the
Northern District of Ohio for trial there under an indictment
charging him and forty-six other natural persons and forty-six
corporations with having engaged in a combination in restraint of
interstate commerce in malleable iron castings, in violation of § 1
of the Sherman Law. At the hearing in the removal proceedings the
relator admitted his identity and the government rested its case on
this, and a certified copy of the indictment, which alleged that
the corporate defendants produced some 75% of the malleable
castings product of the United States, and were members of a
voluntary trade association through and by means of which they
cared out an agreement to eliminate competition among themselves as
to prices, terms and conditions of sale, and customers, and that
the relator and the other individual defendants (other than one
employed as the Secretary of the association) were officers and
agents of the corporations, managing and controlling their affairs.
The commissioner, after hearing testimony of two customers of the
relator's company, struck it out as purely defensive, declined to
hear more testimony of the same character, and ordered a commitment
on the indictment and on the testimony given by relator on his
direct and cross-examinations.
Page 271 U. S. 148
MR. JUSTICE HOLMES delivered the opinion of the Court.
The relator was indicted for violation of the Anti-Trust Act of
July 2, 1890, c. 647, in the Eastern Division of the Northern
District of Ohio. He appeared, upon notice, before a commissioner
of Ottumwa, Iowa, and, after a hearing, he was ordered to be held
for removal. Rev.Stat. § 1014. The relator thereupon applied to the
judges of the district court for a writ of habeas corpus on the
grounds that the indictment was bad, and that the Commissioner
rejected evidence that the relator was innocent, and that therefore
there was no probable cause to
Page 271 U. S. 149
believe him guilty of a crime in Ohio. He also prayed for a writ
of certiorari to bring the proceedings below before the Court. The
writs were issued, and, after a hearing, the district court denied
the relator his discharge and directed an order of removal to be
prepared. The relator appeals under § 238 of the Judicial Code,
March 3, 1911, c. 231, 36 Stat. 1087, 1157, before the Act of
February, 13, 1925, c. 229 went into effect. The grounds alleged
are that, by the refusal to hold that the indictment did not show
probable cause to believe the relator guilty, and that, by the
exclusion of the evidence, the relator was deprived of his right to
be tried in the district wherein the crime was committed,
Constitution, Art. III, § 2, and Amendment 6, and that he was
detained without due process of law. Amendment V.
The Constitution does not require any preliminary hearing before
a person charged with a crime against the United States is brought
into the Court having jurisdiction of the charge. There, he may
deny the jurisdiction of the Court as he may deny his guilt, and
the Constitution is satisfied by his right to contest it there.
With immaterial exceptions, anyone in the United States is subject
to the jurisdiction of the United States, and may be required to
stand trial wherever he is alleged to have committed the crime. In
Tinsley v. Treat, 205 U. S. 20
205 U. S. 33
conclusion is not that the appellant, by being denied the right to
present any evidence, was deprived of his rights under the
Constitution, but that he was denied "a right secured by statute
under the Constitution."
As that instrument does not provide for bringing the accused
into the power of the Court authorized to try him, a statute was
necessary, and is found in Rev.Stat. § 1014. This might have been
interpreted as contemplating a summary order, without other hearing
than was necessary when there was an indictment, to show that fact
and that the person present was the person charged.
Page 271 U. S. 150
The hardship of removal, however, has grown with the growth of
the United States, and there is a natural desire to prevent it when
possible, if a preliminary sifting will show that there is no
probable cause for the charge. Accordingly, it is held that the
district judge, on application to remove, acts judicially, and that
probable cause must be shown. Beavers v. Henkel,
194 U. S. 73
194 U. S. 83
Tinsley v. Treat, 205 U. S. 20
205 U. S. 27
205 U. S. 32
is to be noticed, however, that
"where any offender . . . is committed in any district other
than that where the offense is to be tried, it shall be the duty of
the judge of the district where such offender . . . is imprisoned
seasonably to issue, and of the marshal to execute, a warrant for
etc. But the commitment, supposed by these words already to have
taken place, is entrusted not only to judges and commissioners of
the United States and judges of state courts, but to any "mayor of
a city, justice of the peace, or other magistrate, of any state
where he may be found." Obviously, in order to make it the duty of
the judge to issue the warrant, a mayor or a magistrate not a
lawyer cannot be expected to do more than to decide in a summary
way that the indictment is intended to charge an offense against
the laws of the United States, that the person before him is the
person charged, and that there is probable cause to believe him
guilty, without the magistrate's being held to more than avoiding
palpable injustice. He is not intended to hold a preliminary trial,
and, if probable cause is shown on the government side, he is not
to set it aside because, on the other evidence, he believes the
defendant innocent. The rule that would apply to a mayor applies to
a commissioner of the United States.
The relator testified before the Commissioner, both in general
terms and in detail, that he and his company were innocent. The
Commissioner excluded further details from him confirmatory of what
he had sworn, and evidence
Page 271 U. S. 151
of customers that they were acquired in the way of competitive
trade, seemingly on the ground that they would not, or at least
might not, know that they were held as customers because of an
agreement among the defendants, and also on the ground that he was
not called on to listen to merely defensive proof -- an opinion
that he expressed. On a summary proceeding like this, even if the
exclusion was wrong, it would not be enough to invalidate the order
of removal, as the Commissioner indicated by his finding that he
thought there were substantial grounds for the charge of guilt and
that it was not for him to decide whether they were met by the
denials of the defendant, even if they seemed convincing.
Collins v. Loisel, 259 U. S. 309
259 U. S.
We do not regard the attack upon the indictment as needing
discussion. It has been upheld by a number of district courts and
by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit as sufficient
for removal purposes. It alleges that the Iowa Malleable Iron
Company, under the charge of the relator, was party to an agreement
to eliminate competition in interstate trade and to fix excessive
and noncompetitive prices, and that the company and the relator are
engaged in a conspiracy in restraint of trade among the states. The
relator is not left in doubt of the effort of the grand jury to
present him as criminal under the Sherman Act.
It is pointed out in Beavers v. Henkel, 194 U. S.
, 194 U. S. 83
that there are much stronger reasons for caution in surrendering an
alleged criminal to a foreign nation than are required before
removing a citizen from one place to another within the
jurisdiction; yet, in the latest case on extradition, it is said
"habeas corpus is available only to inquire whether the
magistrate had jurisdiction, whether the offense charged is within
the treaty and, by a somewhat liberal extension, whether there was
Page 271 U. S. 152
evidence warranting the finding that there was reasonable ground
to believe the accused guilty."
Fernadez v. Phillips, 268 U. S. 311
268 U. S. 312
So far as the attack upon the order of removal is by habeas corpus,
this would seem to apply. Price v. Henkel, 216 U.
, 216 U. S.
But, to recur to what we intimated at the beginning, the
requirements of the statute, be they greater or less, are not
requirements of the Constitution, but only in aid of the
Constitution, made, in rather a remote sense, "in order that any
one accused shall not be deprived of this constitutional right" to
be tried in the district wherein the crime shall have been
committed. 205 U.S. 205 U. S. 32
statement in Harlan v. McGourin, 218 U.
, 218 U. S. 447
that Tinsley v. Treat
held the exclusion of evidence to be
a denial of a right secured under the federal Constitution is
inaccurate, as we have shown. The relator's contention that he has
been deprived of constitutional rights fails.
If follows that the order of the district court must be
MR. JUSTICE SUTHERLAND concurs in the result.
MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS is of the opinion that, by refusing to hear
and to consider evidence introduced or offered which bore upon the
existence of probable cause, the commissioner did not merely commit
error, but deprived the petitioner of his liberty without due
process of law in violation of the Fifth Amendment, because he was
denied a fair hearing. Tinsley v. Treat, 205 U. S.
, 205 U. S. 28
Compare Chin Yow v. United States, 208 U. S.
, 208 U. S. 28
Kwock Jan Fat v. White, 253 U. S. 454
United States v. Tod, 263 U. S. 149
MR. JUSTICE STONE took no part in the decision of this case.