United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen
340 U.S. 462 (1951)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951)

United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen

No. 83

Argued November 27-28, 1950

Decided February 26, 1951

340 U.S. 462


1. Pursuant to Department of Justice Order No. 3229, issued by the Attorney General under 5 U.S.C. § 22, a subordinate official of the Department of Justice refused, in a habeas corpus proceeding by a state prisoner, to obey a subpoena duces tecum requiring him to produce papers of the Department in his possession.

Held: Order No. 3229 is valid, and the subordinate official properly refused to produce the papers. Pp. 340 U. S. 463-468.

2. The trial court not having questioned the subordinate official on his willingness to submit the material "to the court for determination as to its materiality to the case" and whether it should be disclosed, the issue of how far the Attorney General could or did waive any claimed privilege against disclosure is here immaterial. P. 340 U. S. 468.

3. Order No. 3229 was a valid exercise by the Attorney General of his authority under 5 U.S.C. § 22 to prescribe regulations not inconsistent with law for "the custody, use, and preservation of the records, papers and property appertaining to" the Department of Justice. Boske v. Comingore, 177 U. S. 459. Pp. 340 U. S. 468-470.

180 F.2d 321, affirmed.

In a habeas corpus proceeding by a state prisoner, the District Court adjudged a subordinate official of the Department of Justice guilty of contempt for refusal to produce papers required by a subpoena duces tecum. The Court of Appeals reversed. 180 F.2d 321. This Court granted certiorari. 340 U.S. 806. Affirmed, p. 340 U. S. 470.

Page 340 U. S. 463

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