Two issues are presented by the record in this case, which are so far distinct as to require separate consideration. They depend upon the applicability of different provisions of the Constitution, and, in determining the question of affirmance or reversal, should not be confounded. The first of these involves the immunity of the witness from oral examination; the second, the legality of his action in refusing to produce the documents called for by the subpoena duces tecum.
1. The appellant justifies his action in refusing to answer the
The first objection requires a definition of the word "charge" as used in this connection, which it is not easy to furnish. An accused person is usually charged with crime by a complaint made before a committing magistrate, which has fully performed its office when the party is committed or held to bail, and it is quite unnecessary to the finding of an indictment by a grand jury; or by an information of the district attorney, which is of no legal value in prosecutions for felony; or by a presentment usually made, as in this case, for an offense committed in the presence of the jury; or by an indictment which, as often as not, is drawn after the grand jury has acted upon the testimony. If another kind of charge be contemplated, when and by whom must it be preferred? Must it be in writing and if so, in what form? Or may it be oral? The suggestion of the witness that he should be furnished with a copy of such charge, if applicable to him is applicable to other witnesses summoned before the grand jury. Indeed, it is a novelty in criminal procedure with which we are wholly unacquainted, and one which might involve a betrayal of the secrets of the grand jury room.
Under the ancient English system, criminal prosecutions were instituted at the suit of private prosecutors, to which the King lent his name in the interest of the public peace and good order of society. In such cases the usual practice was to prepare the proposed indictment and lay it before the grand jury for their consideration. There was much propriety in this, as the most valuable function of the grand jury was not only to examine into the commission of crimes, but to stand between the prosecutor and the accused, and to determine whether the charge was founded upon credible testimony or was dictated by malice or personal ill will.
We are pointed to no case, however, holding that a grand jury
"A presentment, properly speaking, is a notice taken by a grand jury of any offense from their own knowledge or observation, without any bill of indictment laid before them at the suit of the King, as the presentment of a nuisance, a libel, and the like; upon which the officer of the court must afterwards frame an indictment, before the party presented can be put to answer it."
Substantially the same language is used in 1 Chitty Crim. Law, 162.
In United States v. Hill, 1 Brock. 156, it was indicated by Chief Justice Marshall that a presentment and indictment are to be considered as one act, the second to be considered only as an amendment to the first, and that the usage of this country has been to pass over, unnoticed, presentments on which the attorney does not think it proper to institute proceedings.
In a case arising in Tennessee the grand jury, without the agency of the district attorney, had called witnesses before them, whom they interrogated as to their knowledge concerning the then late Cuban expedition. Mr. Justice Catron sustained the legality of the proceeding and compelled the witnesses
While presentments have largely fallen into disuse in this country, the practice of grand juries acting upon notice, either of their own knowledge or upon information obtained by them, and incorporating their findings in an indictment, still largely obtains. Whatever doubts there may be with regard to the early English procedure, the practice in this country, under the system of public prosecutions carried on by officers of the State appointed for that purpose, has been entirely settled since the adoption of the Constitution. In a lecture delivered by Mr. Justice Wilson of this court, who may be assumed to have known the current practice, before the students of the University of Pennsylvania, he says (Wilson's Works, vol. II, page 213):
"It has been alleged, that grand juries are confined, in their inquiries, to the bills offered to them, to the crimes given them in charge, and to the evidence brought before them by the prosecutor. But these conceptions are much too contracted; they present but a very imperfect and unsatisfactory view of the duty required from grand jurors, and of the trust reposed in them. They are not appointed for the prosecutor or for the court; they are appointed for the government and for the people; and of both the government and people it is surely the concernment that, on one hand, all crimes, whether given or not given in charge, whether described or not described with professional skill, should receive the punishment, which the law denounces; and that, on the other hand, innocence, however strongly assailed by accusations drawn up in regular form, and
"The oath of a grand juryman — and his oath is the commission under which he acts — assigns no limits, except those marked by diligence itself, to the course of his inquiries: Why, then, should it be circumscribed by more contracted boundaries? Shall diligent inquiry be enjoined? And shall the means and opportunities of inquiry be prohibited or restrained?"
Similar language was used by Judge Addison, President of the Court of Common Pleas, in charging the grand jury at the session of the Common Pleas Court in 1791 (Addison's Pa. Rep. Appx. p. 38):
"If the grand jury, of their own knowledge, or the knowledge of any of them, or from the examination of witnesses, know of any offense committed in the county, for which no indictment is preferred to them, it is their duty, either to inform the officer, who prosecutes for the State, of the nature of the offense, and desire that an indictment for it be laid before them; or, if they do not, or if no such indictment be given them, it is their duty to give such information of it to the court; stating, without any particular form, the facts and circumstances which constitute the offense. This is called a presentment."
The practice then prevailing, with regard to the duty of grand juries, shows that a presentment may be based not only upon their own personal knowledge, but from the examination of witnesses.
While no case has arisen in this court in which the question has been distinctly presented, the authorities in the state courts largely preponderate in favor of the theory that the grand jury may act upon information received by them from the examination of witnesses without a formal indictment, or other charge previously laid before them. An analysis of cases approving of this method of procedure would unduly burden this opinion, but the following are the leading ones upon the subject: Ward v. State, 2 Missouri, 120; State v. Terry, 30 Missouri, 368; Ex
"However restricted the functions of the grand juries may be elsewhere, we hold that in this State they have plenary inquisitorial powers, and may lawfully themselves, and upon their own motion, originate charges against offenders though no preliminary proceedings have been had before a magistrate, and though neither the court not the state's attorney has laid the matter before them."
The rulings of the inferior Federal courts are to the same effect. Mr. Justice Field, in charging a grand jury in California (2 Sawy. 667), said to the grand jury acting upon their own knowledge:
"Not by rumors or reports, but by knowledge acquired from the evidence before you, and from your own observations. Whilst you are inquiring as to one offense, another and a different offense may be proved, or witnesses before you may, in testifying, commit the crime of perjury."
Similar language was used in United States v. Kimball, 117 Fed. Rep. 156, 161; United States v. Reed, 2 Blatch. 435, 449; United States v. Terry, 39 Fed. Rep. 355. And in Frisbie v. United States, 157 U.S. 160, it is said by Mr. Justice Brewer:
"But in this country it is for the grand jury to investigate any alleged crime, no matter how or by whom suggested to them, and after determining that the evidence is sufficient to justify putting the suspected party on trial, to direct the preparation of the formal charge or indictment."
There are doubtless a few cases in the state courts which take a contrary view, but they are generally such as deal with the abuses of the system, as the indiscriminate summoning of witnesses with no definite object in view and in a spirit of meddlesome inquiry. In the most pertinent of these cases, In re Lester, 77 Georgia, 143, the Mayor of Savannah, who was also ex
This case is readily distinguishable from the one under consideration, in the fact that the subpoena in this case did specify the action as one between the United States and the American Tobacco Company and the MacAndrews-Forbes Company; and that the Georgia Penal Code prescribed a form of oath for the grand jury, "that the evidence you shall give the grand jury on this bill of indictment (or presentment, as the case may be, here state the case), shall be the truth," etc. This seems to confine the witness to a charge already laid before the jury.
In Lewis v. Board of Commissioners, 74 N. Car. 194, the English practice, which requires a preliminary investigation where the accused can confront the accuser and witnesses with testimony, was adopted as more consonant to principles of justice and personal liberty. It was further said that none but witnesses have any business before the grand jury, and that the solicitor may not be present, even to examine them. The practice in this particular in the Federal courts has been quite the contrary.
Other cases lay down the principle that it must be made to appear to the grand jury that there is reason to believe that a crime has been committed, and that they have not the power to institute or prosecute an inquiry on the chance that some crime may be discovered. In Matter of Morse, 18 N.Y. Criminal Rep. 312; State v. Adams, 70 Tennessee, 647 (an unimportant case, turning upon a local statute). In Pennsylvania grand juries are somewhat more restricted in their powers than is usual in other States, McCullough v. Commonwealth, 67 Pa. St.
We deem it entirely clear that under the practice in this country, at least, the examination of witnesses need not be preceded by a presentment or indictment formally drawn up, but that the grand jury may proceed, either upon their own knowledge or upon the examination of witnesses, to inquire for themselves whether a crime cognizable by the court has been committed; that the result of their investigations may be subsequently embodied in an indictment, and that in summoning witnesses it is quite sufficient to apprise them of the names of the parties with respect to whom they will be called to testify, without indicating the nature of the charge against them. So valuable is this inquisitorial power of the grand jury that, in States where felonies may be prosecuted by information as well as indictment, the power is ordinarily reserved to courts of impanelling grand juries for the investigation of riots, frauds and nuisances, and other cases where it is impracticable to ascertain in advance the names of the persons implicated. It is impossible to conceive that in such cases the examination of witnesses must be stopped until a basis is laid by an indictment formally preferred, when the very object of the examination is to ascertain who shall be indicted. As criminal prosecutions are instituted by the State through an officer selected for that purpose, he is vested with a certain discretion with respect to the cases he will call to their attention, the number and character of the witnesses, the form in which the indictment shall be drawn, and other details of the proceedings. Doubtless abuses of this power may be imagined, as if the object of the inquiry were merely to pry into the details of domestic or business life. But were such abuses called to the attention of the court, it would doubtless be alert to repress them. While the grand jury may not indict upon current rumors or unverified reports, they may act upon knowledge acquired either from their own observations
2. Appellant also invokes the protection of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which declares that no person "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself," and in reply to various questions put to him he declined to answer, on the ground that he would thereby incriminate himself.
The answer to this is found in a proviso to the General Appropriation Act of February 25, 1903, 32 Stat. 854, 904, that "no person shall be prosecuted or be subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter or thing concerning which he may testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, in any proceeding, suit, or prosecution under said acts," of which the Anti Trust Law is one, providing, however, that "no person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for perjury committed in so testifying."
While there may be some doubt whether the examination of witnesses before a grand jury is a suit or prosecution, we have no doubt that it is a "proceeding" within the meaning of this proviso. The word should receive as wide a construction as is necessary to protect the witness in his disclosures, whenever such disclosures are made in pursuance of a judicial inquiry, whether such inquiry be instituted by a grand jury, or upon the trial of an indictment found by them. The word "proceeding" is not a technical one, and is aptly used by courts to designate an inquiry before a grand jury. It has received this interpretation in a number of cases. Yates v. The Queen, 14 Q.B.D. 648; Hogan v. State, 30 Wisconsin, 428.
The object of the amendment is to establish in express language and upon a firm basis the general principle of English and American jurisprudence, that no one shall be compelled to give testimony which may expose him to prosecution for crime. It is not declared that he may not be compelled to testify to facts which may impair his reputation for probity, or even tend to disgrace him, but the line is drawn at testimony that may expose
The interdiction of the Fifth Amendment operates only where a witness is asked to incriminate himself — in other words, to give testimony which may possibly expose him to a criminal charge. But if the criminality has already been taken away, the Amendment ceases to apply. The criminality provided against is a present, not a past criminality, which lingers only as a memory and involves no present danger of prosecution. To put an extreme case, a man in his boyhood or youth may have committed acts which the law pronounces criminal, but it would never be asserted that he would thereby be made a criminal for life. It is here that the law steps in and says that if the offense be outlawed or pardoned, or its criminality has been removed by statute, the Amendment ceases to apply. The extent of this immunity was fully considered by this court in Counselman v. Hitchcock, 142 U.S. 547, in which the immunity offered by Rev. Stat. section 860, was declared to be insufficient. In consequence of this decision an act was passed applicable to testimony before the Interstate Commerce Commission in almost the exact language of the act of February 25, 1903, above quoted. This act was declared by this court in Brown v. Walker, 161 U.S. 591, to afford absolute immunity against prosecution for the offense to which the question related, and deprived the witness of his constitutional right to refuse to answer. Indeed, the act was passed apparently to meet the declaration in Counselman v. Hitchcock, p. 586, that "a statutory enactment, to be valid, must afford absolute immunity against future prosecution for the offense to which the question relates." If the constitutional Amendment were unaffected by the immunity statute, it would put it within the power of the witness to be his own judge as to what would tend to incriminate him, and would justify him in refusing to answer almost
We need not restate the reasons given in Brown v. Walker, both in the opinion of the court, and in the dissenting opinion, wherein all the prior authorities were reviewed, and a conclusion reached by a majority of the court, which fully covers the case under consideration.
The suggestion that a person who has testified compulsorily before a grand jury may not be able, if subsequently indicted for some matter concerning which he testified, to procure the evidence necessary to maintain his plea, is more fanciful than real. He would have not only his own oath in support of his immunity, but the notes often, though not always, taken of the testimony before the grand jury, as well as the testimony of the prosecuting officer, and of every member of the jury present. It is scarcely possible that all of them would have forgotten the general nature of his incriminating testimony or that any serious conflict would arise therefrom. In any event, it is a question relating to the weight of the testimony, which could scarcely be considered in determining the effect of the immunity statute. The difficulty of maintaining a case upon the available evidence is a danger which the law does not recognize. In prosecuting a case, or in setting up a defense, the law takes no account of the practical difficulty which either party may have in procuring his testimony. It judges of the law by the facts which each party claims, and not by what he may ultimately establish.
The further suggestion that the statute offers no immunity from prosecution in the state courts was also fully considered in Brown v. Walker and held to be no answer. The converse of this was also decided in Jack v. Kansas, 199 U.S. 372, namely, that the fact that an immunity granted to a witness under a state statute would not prevent a prosecution of such witness for a violation of a Federal statute, did not invalidate such statute under the Fourteenth Amendment. It was held both by this court and by the Supreme Court of Kansas that
The case of United States v. Saline Bank, 1 Pet. 100, is not in conflict with this. That was a bill for discovery, filed by the United States against the cashier of the Saline Bank, in the District Court of the Virginia District, who pleaded that the emission of certain unlawful bills took place, within the State of Virginia, by the law whereof penalties were inflicted for such emissions. It was held that defendants were not bound to answer and subject themselves to those penalties. It is sufficient to say that the prosecution was under a state law which imposed the penalty, and that the Federal court was simply administering the state law, and no question arose as to a prosecution under another jurisdiction.
But it is further insisted that while the immunity statute may protect individual witnesses it would not protect the corporation of which appellant was the agent and representative. This is true, but the answer is that it was not designed to do so. The right of a person under the Fifth Amendment to refuse to incriminate himself is purely a personal privilege of the witness. It was never intended to permit him to plead the fact that some third person might be incriminated by his testimony, even
3. The second branch of the case relates to the non-production by the witness of the books and papers called for by the subpoena duces tecum. The witness put his refusal on the ground, first, that it was impossible for him to collect them within the time allowed; second, because he was advised by counsel that under the circumstances he was under no obligation to produce them; and, finally, because they might tend to incriminate him.
Had the witness relied solely upon the first ground, doubtless the court would have given him the necessary time. The last ground we have already held untenable. While the second ground does not set forth with technical accuracy the real reason
The construction of this amendment was exhaustively considered in the case of Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, which was an information in rem against certain cases of plate glass, alleged to have been imported in fraud of the revenue acts. On the trial it became important to show the quantity and value of the glass contained in a number of cases previously imported; and the district judge, under section 5 of the act of June 22, 1874, directed a notice to be given to the claimants, requiring them to produce the invoice of these cases under penalty that the allegations respecting their contents should be taken as confessed. We held (p. 622) "that a compulsory production of a man's private papers to establish a criminal charge against him, or to forfeit his property, is within the scope of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, in all cases in which a search and seizure would be," and that the order in question was an unreasonable search and seizure within that Amendment.
The history of this provision of the Constitution and its connection with the former practice of general warrants, or writs of assistance, was given at great length, and the conclusion reached that the compulsory extortion of a man's own testimony, or of his private papers, to connect him with a crime or a forfeiture of his goods, is illegal (p. 634), "is compelling him to be a witness against himself, within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and is the equivalent of a search and seizure — and an unreasonable search and seizure — within the Fourth Amendment.
"It was clearly competent for Congress, to that end, to invest the Commission with authority to require the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and the production of books, papers, tariffs, contracts, agreements and documents relating to any matter legally committed to that body for investigation. We do not understand that any of these propositions are disputed in this case."
The case of Adams v. New York, 192 U.S. 585, which was a writ of error to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, involving the seizure of certain gambling paraphernalia, was treated as involving the construction of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Federal Constitution. It was held, in substance, that the fact that papers pertinent to the issue may have been illegally taken from the possession of the party against whom they are offered, was not a valid objection to their admissibility; that the admission, as evidence in a criminal trial of papers found in the execution of a valid search warrant prior to the indictment, was not an infringement of the Fifth Amendment, and that by the introduction of such evidence defendant was not compelled to incriminate himself. The substance of the opinion is contained in the following paragraph. It was contended that "If a search warrant is issued for stolen property and burglars' tools be discovered and seized, they are to be excluded from testimony by force of these Amendments. We think they were never intended to have that effect, but are rather designed to protect against compulsory testimony from a defendant against himself in a criminal trial, and to punish wrongful invasion of the home of the citizen or the unwarranted seizure of his papers and property, and to
The Boyd case must also be read in connection with the still later case of Interstate Commerce Commission v. Baird, 194 U.S. 25, which arose upon the petition of the Commission for orders requiring the testimony of witnesses and the production of certain books, papers and documents. The case grew out of a complaint against certain railway companies that they charged unreasonable and unjust rates for the transportation of anthracite coal. Objection was made to the production of certain contracts between these companies upon the ground that it would compel the witnesses to furnish evidence against themselves in violation of the Fifth Amendment, and would also subject the parties to unreasonable searches and seizures. It was held that the Circuit Court erred in holding the contracts to be irrelevant, and in refusing to order their production as evidence by the witnesses who were parties to the appeal. In delivering the opinion of the court the Boyd case was again considered in connection with the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and the remark made by Mr. Justice Day that the immunity statute of 1893 "protects the witness from such use of the testimony given as will result in his punishment for crime or the forfeiture of his estate."
Having already held that by reason of the immunity act of 1903, the witness could not avail himself of the Fifth Amendment, it follows that he cannot set up that Amendment as against the production of the books and papers, since in respect to these he would also be protected by the immunity act. We think it quite clear that the search and seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment was not intended to interfere with the power of courts to compel, through a subpoena duces tecum, the production, upon a trial in court, of documentary evidence. As remarked in Summers v. Moseley, 2 Cr. & M. 477, it would be "utterly impossible to carry on the administration of justice" without this writ. The following authorities are conclusive upon this question: Amey v. Long, 9 East, 473; Bull v. Loveland,
If, whenever an officer or employe of a corporation were summoned before a grand jury as a witness he could refuse to produce the books and documents of such corporation, upon the ground that they would incriminate the corporation itself, it would result in the failure of a large number of cases where the illegal combination was determinable only upon the examination of such papers. Conceding that the witness was an officer of the corporation under investigation, and that he was entitled to assert the rights of the corporation with respect to the production of its books and papers, we are of the opinion that there is a clear distinction in this particular between an individual and a corporation, and that the latter has no right to refuse to submit its books and papers for an examination at the suit of the State. The individual may stand upon his constitutional rights as a citizen. He is entitled to carry on his private business in his own way. His power to contract is unlimited. He owes no duty to the State or to his neighbors to divulge his business, or to open his doors to an investigation, so far as it may tend to criminate him. He owes no such duty to the State, since he receives nothing therefrom, beyond the protection of his life and property. His rights are such as existed by the law of the land long antecedent to the organization of the State, and can only be taken from him by due process of law, and in accordance with the Constitution. Among his rights are a refusal to incriminate himself, and the immunity of himself and his property from arrest or seizure except under a warrant of the law. He owes nothing to the public so long as he does not trespass upon their rights.
Upon the other hand, the corporation is a creature of the State. It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public. It receives certain special privileges and franchises, and holds them subject to the laws of the State and the limitations of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights to
It is true that the corporation in this case was chartered under the laws of New Jersey, and that it receives its franchise from the legislature of that State; but such franchises, so far as they involve questions of interstate commerce, must also be exercised in subordination to the power of Congress to regulate such commerce, and in respect to this the General Government may also assert a sovereign authority to ascertain whether such franchises have been exercised in a lawful manner, with a due regard to its own laws. Being subject to this dual sovereignty, the General Government possesses the same right to see that its own laws are respected as the State would have with respect to the special franchises vested in it by the laws of the State. The powers of the General Government in this particular in the vindication of its own laws, are the same as if the corporation had been created by an act of Congress. It is not intended to intimate, however, that it has a general visitatorial power over state corporations.
4. Although, for the reasons above stated, we are of the
We are also of opinion that an order for the production of books and papers may constitute an unreasonable search and seizure within the Fourth Amendment. While a search of ordinarily implies a quest by an officer of the law, and a seizure contemplates a forcible dispossession of the owner, still, as was held in the Boyd case, the substance of the offense is the compulsory production of private papers, whether under a search warrant or a subpoena duces tecum, against which the person, be he individual or corporation, is entitled to protection. Applying the test of reasonableness to the present case, we think the subpoena duces tecum is far too sweeping in its terms to be regarded as reasonable. It does not require the production of a single contract, or of contracts with a particular corporation, or a limited number of documents, but all understandings, contracts or correspondence between the MacAndrews & Forbes Company, and no less than six different companies, as well as all reports made, and accounts rendered by such companies from the date of the organization of the MacAndrews & Forbes Company,
If the writ had required the production of all the books, papers and documents found in the office of the MacAndrews & Forbes Company, it would scarcely be more universal in its operation, or more completely put a stop to the business of that company. Indeed, it is difficult to say how its business could be carried on after it had been denuded of this mass of material, which is not shown to be necessary in the prosecution of this case, and is clearly in violation of the general principle of law with regard to the particularity required in the description of documents necessary to a search warrant or subpoena. Doubtless many, if not all, of these documents may ultimately be required, but some necessity should be shown, either from an examination of the witnesses orally, or from the known transactions of these companies with the other companies implicated, or some evidence of their materiality produced, to justify an order for the production of such a mass of papers. A general subpoena of this description is equally indefensible as a search warrant would be if couched in similar terms. Ex parte Brown, 72 Missouri, 83; Shaftsbury v. Arrowsmith, 4 Ves. 66; Lee v. Angas, L.R. 2 Eq. 59.
Of course, in view of the power of Congress over interstate commerce to which we have adverted, we do not wish to be understood as holding that an examination of the books of a corporation, if duly authorized by act of Congress, would constitute an unreasonable search and seizure within the Fourth Amendment.
But this objection to the subpoena does not go to the validity of the order remanding the petitioner, which is, therefore,
MR. JUSTICE HARLAN, concurring.
I concur entirely in what is said in the opinion of the court
MR. JUSTICE McKENNA, also concurring.
I concur in the judgment but not in all the propositions declared by the court. I think the subpoena is sufficiently definite. The charge pending was a violation of the Anti Trust Act of 1890. The documents and papers sought were the understandings and agreements of the accused companies. That the documents commanded were many or evidenced transactions occurring through a period of time are not circumstances fatal to the validity of the subpoena. If there was a violation of the Anti Trust Act, that is, combinations in restraint of trade, it would be probably evidenced by formal agreements, but it might also be evidenced or its transactions alluded to in telegrams
I cannot think that the consequences mentioned are important or necessary to the argument. A more serious matter is the application of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
It is said "a search implies a quest by an officer of the law; a seizure contemplates a forcible dispossession of the owner." Nothing can be more direct and plain; nothing more expressive to distinguish a subpoena from a search warrant. Can a subpoena lose this essential distinction from a search warrant by the generality or speciality of its terms? I think not. The distinction is based upon what is authorized or directed to be done — not upon the form of words by which the authority or command is given. "The quest of an officer" acts upon the things themselves — may be secret, intrusive, accompanied by force. The service of a subpoena is but the delivery of a paper to a party — is open and aboveboard. There is no element of trespass or force in it. It does not disturb the possession of property. It cannot be finally enforced except after challenge, and a judgment of the court upon the challenge. This is a safeguard against abuse the same as it is of other processes of the
However, I may apprehend consequences that the opinion does not intend. It seems to be admitted that many, if not all, of the documents may ultimately be required, but it is said "some necessity should be shown, either from an examination of the witnesses orally, or from the known transactions of these companies with the other companies implicated, or some evidence of their materiality produced, to justify an order for their production." This intimates a different objection to the order of the court than the generality of the subpoena, and, if good at all, would be good even though few instead of many documents had been required or described ever so specifically. I am constrained to dissent from it. The materiality of his testimony is not open to a witness to determine, and the order of proof is for the court. Besides, if a grand jury may investigate without specific charge, may investigate upon the suggestion of one of its members, must it demonstrate the materiality of every piece of testimony it calls for before it can require the testimony? So limit the power of a grand jury and you may make it impotent in cases where it needs power most and in which its function can best be exercised.
But what does the record show? It shows that Hale refused to give the testimony that, this court says, should have preceded the order under review. He refused to answer what the business of the MacAndrew & Forbes Company was or where its office was, or whether there was an agreement with the company and the American Tobacco Company in regard to the products of their respective businesses or whether the company he represented sold its products throughout the United States. The ground of refusal was that there was no legal warrant or authority for his examination, not that the documents or testimony
By virtue of its dominion over interstate commerce Congress has power, the opinion of the court asserts, over corporations engaged in that commerce. And the power is the same as if the corporations had been created by Congress. And yet it is said to be a power subject to the limitation of the Fourth Amendment. To this I am not prepared to assent. I have already pointed out the essential distinction between a subpoena duces tecum and a search warrant, and, it may be, the case at bar demands from me no expression of opinion of the Fourth Amendment. And I am mindful, too, of the reservation in the opinion of the court of the power of Congress to require by direct legislation the fullest disclosures of their affairs from corporations engaged in interstate commerce. While recognizing this may be true, and, that until such power is exercised, there may be reasons for holding that corporations are entitled to the protection of the Fourth Amendment, there are reasons against the contention, and I wish to guard against any action which would preclude against their consideration in cases where the Fourth Amendment may be a more determining factor than it is in the case at bar. There are certainly strong reasons for the contention that if corporations cannot plead the immunity of the Fifth Amendment, they cannot plead the immunity of the Fourth Amendment. The protection of both Amendments, it can be contended, is against the compulsory production of evidence to be used in criminal trials. Such warrants are used in aid of public prosecutions (Cooley Constitutional Lim. 6th ed. 364), and in Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616, a relation between the Fourth Amendment and the Fifth Amendment was declared. It was said the Amendments throw great light on each other, "for the `unreasonable searches and seizures' condemned
MR. JUSTICE BREWER, with whom the CHIEF JUSTICE concurred, dissenting.
With what is said in the opinion of the court of the necessity of a "charge," with the proposition that the immunity granted by the Federal statute is sufficient protection against both the Nation and the several States, with the holding that the protection accorded by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution is personal to the individual and does not, extend to an agent of an individual or justify such agent in refusing to give testimony incriminating his principal, and also that the subpoena duces tecum cannot be sustained, I fully agree.
Further, I desire to emphasize certain truths which in this and other cases decided to-day seem to be ignored or depreciated. The immunities and protection of articles 4, 5 and 14
It may be well to compare the words of description in articles 4 and 5 with those in article 14:
"Article 4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
"Article 5. No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor to be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
"Article 14. . . Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394, 396, Mr. Chief Justice Waite said:
"The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does."
See also Pembina Mining Company v. Pennsylvania, 125 U.S. 181; Missouri Pacific Railway Company v. Mackey, 127 U.S. 205; Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway Company v. Beckwith, 129 U.S. 26; Charlotte &c. Railroad v. Gibbes, 142 U.S. 386; Monongahela Navigation Company v. United States, 148 U.S. 312; Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Ry. v. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 154,
These decisions were under the Fourteenth Amendment, but if the word "person" in that Amendment includes corporations, it also includes corporations when used in the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.
By the Fourth Amendment the "people" are guaranteed protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. "Citizens" is a descriptive word; no broader, to say the least, than "people."
As repeatedly held, a corporation is a citizen of a State for purposes of jurisdiction of Federal courts, and, as a citizen, it may locate mining claims under the laws of the United States, McKinley v. Wheeler, 130 U.S. 630, and is entitled to the benefit of the Indian Depredation Acts. United States v. North-western Express Company, 164 U.S. 686. Indeed, it is essentially but an association of individuals, to which is given certain rights and privileges, and in which is vested the legal title. The beneficial ownership is in the individuals, the corporation being simply an instrumentality by which the powers granted to these associated individuals may be exercised. As said by Chief Justice Marshall in Providence Bank v. Billings, 4 Pet. 514, 562: "The great object of an incorporation is to bestow the character and properties of individuality on a collective and changing body of men."
United States v. Amedy, 11 Wheat. 392, was the case of an indictment under an act of Congress for destroying a vessel with intent to prejudice the underwriters. The act of Congress declared that "if any person shall . . . willfully and corruptly cast away . . . any ship or vessel . . . with intent or design to prejudice any person or persons that hath underwritten, or shall underwrite, any policy," etc. The indictment charged an intent to defraud an incorporated insurance company, and the court held that a corporation is a person within the meaning of the act, saying (p. 412):
"The mischief intended to be reached by the statute is the
Neither does the fact that a corporation is engaged in interstate commerce in any manner abridge the protection and applicable immunities accorded by the Amendments. The corporation of which the petitioner was an officer was chartered by a State, and over it the General Government has no more control than over an individual citizen of that State. Its power to regulate commerce does not carry with it a right to dispense with the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, to unreasonably search or seize the papers of an individual or corporation engaged in such commerce, or deprive him or it of any immunity or protection secured by either Amendment.
It is true that there is a power of supervision and inspection of the inside workings of a corporation, but that belongs to the creator of the corporation. If a State has chartered it, the power is lodged in the State. If the Nation, then in the Nation, and it cannot be exercised by any other authority. It is in the nature of the power of visitation.
In Angell & Ames on Corporations, 9th ed. c. 19, §§ 684, 685, the authors say:
"To render the charters or constitutions, ordinances and by-laws of corporations of perfect obligation, and generally to maintain their peace and good government, these bodies are subject to visitation; or, in other words, to the inspection and control of tribunals recognized by the laws of the land. Civil corporations are visited by the Government itself, through the medium of the courts of justice; but the internal affairs of ecclesiastical and eleemosynary corporations are, in general, inspected and controlled by a private visitor.
The matter is discussed in Blackstone's Commentaries, in par. 3, chap. 18, Book I, and he says:
"I proceed, therefore, next to inquire how these corporations may be visited. For corporations, being composed of individuals, subject to human frailties, are liable, as well as private persons, to deviate from the end of their institution. And for that reason the law has provided proper persons to visit, inquire into, and correct all irregularities that arise in such corporations, either sole or aggregate, and whether ecclesiastical, civil or eleemosynary."
And in respect to civil corporations he adds, same paragraph and chapter (*782):
"The law having by immemorial usage appointed them to be visited and inspected by the King, their founder, in His Majesty's Court of King's Bench, according to the rules of the common law, they ought not to be visited elsewhere, or by any other authority."
In 2 Kent, *300, the author says: "The visitation of civil corporations is by the Government itself, through the medium of the courts of justice."
In Amherst Academy v. Cowls, 6 Pick. 427, 433, it was held that:
"Without doubt the legislature are the visitors of all corporations founded by them for public purposes, where there is no individual founder or donor, and may direct judicial process against them for abuses or neglects which by common law would cause a forfeiture of their charters." The right of visitation is for the purpose of control and to see that the corporation keeps within the limits of its powers. It would be strange if a corporation doing business in a dozen States was subject to the visitation of each of those States, and
"It may be that it (the proceeding in question) is the obnoxious thing in its mildest and least repulsive form; but illegitimate and unconstitutional practices get their first footing in that way, namely, by silent approaches and slight deviations from legal modes of procedure. This can only be obviated by adhering to the rule that constitutional provisions for the security of person and property should be liberally construed. A close and literal construction deprives them of half their efficacy, and leads to gradual depreciation of the right, as if it consisted more in sound than in substance. It is the duty of courts to be watchful for the constitutional rights of the citizen, and against any stealthy encroachments thereon. Their motto should be obsta principiis."
Finally, as the subpoena duces tecum was the initiatory step in the proceedings before the grand jury against this petitioner,
The case is not parallel to that of an indictment in two counts upon which a general judgment is entered, and one of which counts is held good and the other bad, for a writ of habeas corpus is not a writ of error, and the order to be entered thereon is for a discharge or a remand to custody. If a discharge is ordered no punishment can be inflicted under the judgment as rendered, and if a new prosecution is instituted containing the good count a plea of former conviction will be a full defense. But in the case at bar an order for a discharge will have no such result. The habeas corpus statute, Rev. Stat., § 761, provides that "the court, or justice, or judge shall proceed in a summary way . . . to dispose of the party as law and justice require." Justice requires that he should not be subjected to the costs of this habeas corpus proceeding, or be punished for contempt when he was fully justified in disregarding the principal demand made upon him.
The order of the Circuit Court should be reversed and the case remanded with instructions to discharge the petitioner, leaving to the grand jury the right to initiate new proceedings not subject to the objections to this.
I am authorized to say that the CHIEF JUSTICE concurs in these views.