Illinois v. Allen

LOCATION: Baconsfield Park

DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1969-1970)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 397 US 337 (1970)
ARGUED: Feb 24, 1970
DECIDED: Mar 31, 1970

Facts of the case


Media for Illinois v. Allen

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 24, 1970 in Illinois v. Allen

Joel M. Flaum:

May it please the Court.

Before proceeding with argument at the suggestion of the office of the clerk this morning, I was informed that correspondent from respondent's attorney failed to reach the Court that was dated February 20 at 1970.

In that correspondence the asked that the Court please disregard the second argument entitled the case is moot, to the extent that the Court to entertain that and unless there are questions in that regard, the petitioner would stand on his brief on that point.

Warren E. Burger:

We take a note of that problem.

Joel M. Flaum:

Thank you Your Honor.

Potter Stewart:

Do you agree that the case is not moot, do you not?

Joel M. Flaum:

Yes, we do Your Honor.

We argued at some length in our brief, it would want to – with this position I would like to go forward.

Potter Stewart:

That's no longer an issue between.

You keep your voice on that.

Joel M. Flaum:

Yes, Your Honor I will.

William O. Douglas:

Now who filed this, you?

Joel M. Flaum:

Yes, Justice Douglas this was filed by the --

William O. Douglas:

By you or by the --

Joel M. Flaum:

The State of Illinois, is the petitioner.

William O. Douglas:

I know but I said who filed this memo on mootness?

Joel M. Flaum:

The point was raised in the respondent's brief, we replied in a reply brief.

And then the letter was forth coming last week from the respondent asking that it would be withdrawn as a point.

Turning to the instant case, Your Honor, the case which we feel is one of the first impressions certainly, factually before this Court.

However, a little more than 100 years ago in the federal district court in New York, when George Davis was put on trial for perjury, shortly after the onset of that trial, the defendant became unruly.

This was during certain statements being made by the prosecutor.

The defendant was removed from the court during a motion for a new trial, the trial judge ruled.

He was absent during a part of the opening only because of his own disorderly conduct.

It does not lie in his mouth to complain of an order which was made necessary by his own misconduct.

Now, 101 years later people in the State of Illinois asked this Court to review and reverse Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's decision in Illinois v. Allen.

Allen was indicted for armed robbery in 1956, tried in the criminal court of Cook County Illinois and sentenced to a term of 10 to 30 years in the penitentiary.

He is presently on parole and I am informed that parole -- from beginning of the trial, Allen insisted on his right to question jurors on the voir dire examination, embarked on deliberate and knowing course of disruption outburst and threats which finally culminated in his removal from the courtroom during most of the presentation of a states' case.

We contend the facts are not in dispute.

William O. Douglas:

Was he present for some part of the trial?

Joel M. Flaum:

He was present Your Honor for the entire defense.