Gelbard v. United States,
408 U.S. 41 (1972)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Gelbard v. United States, 408 U.S. 41 (1972)

Gelbard v. United States

No. 71-110

Argued March 27, 1972

Decided June 26, 1972*

408 U.S. 41


Where a grand jury witness is adjudicated in civil contempt under 28 U.S.C. § 1826(a) for refusing "without just cause shown to comply with an order of the court to testify," the witness may invoke as a defense 18 U.S.C. § 2515, which directs that

"[w]henever any wire or oral communication has been intercepted, no part of the contents of such communication and no evidence derived therefrom may be received in evidence in any . . . proceeding in or before any . . . grand jury . . . ,"

since a showing that the interrogation would be based upon the illegal interception of the witness' communications would constitute the "just cause" that precludes a finding of contempt. Pp. 408 U. S. 46-61.

No. 71-110, 443 F.2d 837, reversed and remanded; No. 71-263, 450 F.2d 199 and 450 F.2d 231, affirmed.

BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which DOUGLAS, STEWART, WHITE, and MARSHALL, JJ., joined. DOUGLAS, J., post, p. 408 U. S. 62, and WHITE, J., post, p. 408 U. S. 69, filed concurring opinions. REHNQUIST, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which BURGER, C.J., and BLACKMUN and POWELL, JJ., joined, post, p. 408 U. S. 71.

Page 408 U. S. 42

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