Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund

PETITIONER: Eastland
RESPONDENT: United States Servicemen's Fund
LOCATION: US Servicemen's Fund

DOCKET NO.: 73-1923
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 421 US 491 (1975)
ARGUED: Jan 22, 1975
DECIDED: May 27, 1975

ADVOCATES:
Herbert J. Miller, Jr. - Argued the cause for the petitioners
Jeremiah S. Gutman - Argued the cause for the respondents
Nancy Stearns - Argued the cause for the respondents

Facts of the case

In an effort to investigate the "administration, operation, and enforcement" of the Internal Security Act of 1950, the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security subpoenaed a bank for the financial records of the United States Servicemen's Fund. This nonprofit organization had actively published newsletters and sponsored coffeehouses in which discussions critical of the Vietnam War took place. The Fund challenged the subpoena arguing that its enforcement would violate the organization's First Amendment rights since the bank records contained information about the Fund's membership.

Question

Did the actions of the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security fall within the sphere of legitimate legislative activity and not violate the First Amendment?

Media for Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 22, 1975 in Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 27, 1975 in Eastland v. United States Servicemen's Fund

Warren E. Burger:

I have the opinion and judgment of the Court to announce in 73-1923, Eastland against United States Servicemen's Fund.

And for reasons stated in an opinion filed today with the clerk, the judgment of the Court of Appeals with respect to the Senate aspect of the case is reversed.

The case is remanded by the Court of Appeals for the entry of a judgment directing the District Court to dismiss the complaint.

The House aspects of this case are remanded with directions to return to the District Court for further consideration consistent with this opinion.

Mr. Justice Marshall with whom Mr. Justice Brennan and Mr. Justice Stewart joined filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.

Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a dissenting opinion.