Fong Foo v. United States Case Brief

Facts of the Case

Petitioners were brought to trial under a valid indictment in a Federal District Court which had jurisdiction over them and over the subject matter. After the Government had introduced part, but not all, of its evidence, the District Judge directed the jury to return verdicts of acquittal, and a formal judgment of acquittal was entered. The Government petitioned the Court of Appeals for a writ of mandamus, praying that the judgment of acquittal be vacated and the case reassigned for trial. The Court of Appeals granted the petition on the ground that, under the circumstances revealed by the record, the District Court was without power to direct the judgment of acquittal.




Yes, Yes. In a per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals. The Court held that vacating the acquittal and granting a new trial violated petitioners’ constitutional protection against double jeopardy. Justice John M. Harlan concurred, agreeing that double jeopardy barred a second trial, because the trial court did not base its decision solely on the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s misconduct. Justice Tom C. Clark dissented, arguing that the district court had no power to direct a verdict of acquittal. Justice Charles E. Whittaker did not participate

Case Information

Citation: 369 US 141 (1962)
Argued: Jan 16, 1962
Decided: Mar 19, 1962
Granted: Jun 19, 1961
Case Brief: 1962