MR. JUSTICE HARLAN delivered the opinion of the Court.
Petitioner asks this Court to set aside his 1955 jury conviction under 18 U. S. C. § 1001
On the Government's appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed because it found "no significant differences" between this case and Dennis, and it therefore thought it unnecessary to consider the constitutionality of § 9 (h). 403 F.2d 340 (1968). We granted certiorari, 393 U.S. 1079 (1969), and we now affirm.
Petitioner bottoms his claim to relief on asserted constitutional deficiencies of § 9 (h) of the National Labor Relations Act, enacted by Congress in 1947 out of concern that Communist Party influence on union officers created the risk of "political strikes," see American Communications Assn. v. Douds, 339 U. S., at 387-389. Under § 9 (h), a union could participate in representation proceedings conducted by the NLRB or utilize the Board's machinery to protest employer unfair labor practices only if each of the union's officers had filed a "non-Communist" affidavit. See n. 2, supra. Petitioner filed such an affidavit in 1951, and his subsequent conviction under § 1001 was based on a jury's determination that petitioner had knowingly and willfully lied in his affidavit by denying affiliation with the Communist Party.
About one year before petitioner filed the false affidavit, this Court had upheld § 9 (h) after considering a variety of asserted constitutional deficiencies, American Communications Assn. v. Douds, supra. However, in 1959 Congress replaced § 9 (h) with a provision that simply made it a crime for one who was or had recently been a Communist Party member to be a union officer,
Relying primarily on Brown, petitioner argues that § 9 (h) was also a bill of attainder, prohibited by Art. I, § 9, cl. 3, of the Constitution. Petitioner also argues that the statute abridged First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, and association, and was so vague as
In Dennis v. United States, 384 U.S. 855 (1966), the petitioners had been convicted of a conspiracy to obtain fraudulently the services of the National Labor Relations Board by filing false affidavits in purported satisfaction of the requirements of § 9 (h). Those petitioners, like the petitioner here, asked the Court to reverse Douds and hold § 9 (h) invalid. Deciding that "the claimed invalidity of § 9 (h) would be no defense to the crime of conspiracy charged in [the] indictment," the Court refused in Dennis to "reconsider Douds." 384 U. S., at 867. The Court, drawing on United States v. Kapp, 302 U.S. 214 (1937), and Kay v. United States, 303 U.S. 1 (1938), stated:
We find the principle of Dennis no less applicable in the case before us. First, none of the elements of proof
As another element of the offense, § 1001 requires that the false statement be made "in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States." Petitioner argues that if § 9 (h) was unconstitutional, then the affidavit requirement was not within the "jurisdiction" of the Board, and therefore the false statement was not punishable under § 1001. Because there is a valid legislative interest in protecting the integrity of official inquires, see United States v. Bramblett, 348 U.S. 503 (1955); United States v. Gilliland, 312 U.S. 86, 93 (1941),
In this case, the Board received petitioner's affidavit pursuant to explicit statutory authority, which only a short time before had been upheld as constitutional in Douds. Given that under § 9 (h) the Board's "power to act on union charges [was] conditioned on filing of the necessary affidavits," Leedom v. International Union of Mine Workers, 352 U.S. 145, 148-149 (1956), the Board certainly had the apparent authority, granted by statute, necessary for purposes of § 1001. Thus, we hold that irrespective of whether Douds would be reaffirmed today, petitioner made a false statement in a "matter within the jurisdiction" of the Board.
Petitioner argues, and the District Court also found, that Dennis is distinguishable, and that its teachings therefore have no relevance in this instance. The first distinction offered is that Dennis involved a conviction for conspiracy, whereas this petitioner was prosecuted under § 1001 for individually making a false statement.
Petitioner also attempts to distinguish Dennis on the ground that the behavior involved in the present case was less culpable than that found punishable in Dennis, and that this petitioner, unlike the petitioners in Dennis, did not "flout" the law for he had "every right to believe" that he had not perjured himself. If apart from attempting to impeach the jury's verdict, see n. 8, supra, petitioner is suggesting that the principles of Dennis depend on an assessment of moral culpability beyond the jury's determination of guilt, he simply misconceives the basis of Dennis. Dennis can hardly be read as instructing courts to impose an extra punishment on a defendant found to have been dishonest by refusing to consider a constitutional argument that is legally relevant to his defense. Dennis refused to reconsider Douds because of the legal conclusion that the constitutionality of § 9 (h) was not relevant to the validity of the conspiracy prosecution.
Petitioner finally contends that the Court should not follow Dennis because "its strictures . . . have no relevance at all to postconviction proceedings." Of course, federal courts have jurisdiction to consider constitutional claims on collateral review, but a substantive defense that is not legally relevant on direct review becomes no more relevant because asserted on collateral review.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is Affirmed.
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, with whom MR. JUSTICE BLACK concurs, dissenting.
This conviction was founded on an indictment which in the words of 18 U. S. C. § 1001 makes it a crime to file "any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or
Obviously the power of Congress to authorize prosecution for crimes of this character must rest on an interference with or obstruction of some "lawful" function of the agency in question. See United States v. Johnson, 383 U.S. 169, 172. Apart from constitutional problems, the question of what is "within the jurisdiction" of an agency should be construed in a restrictive, not an expansive, way. The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit so held in Friedman v. United States, 374 F.2d 363, when it ruled that telling a falsehood to the FBI in its role as "investigator" was not "within the jurisdiction" of that agency in the sense of § 1001. If it were, then telling lies to agencies would carry heavier penalties than committing perjury in court. 374 F. 2d, at 367.
The words "within the jurisdiction" must be read not only with the common-sense approach of Friedman but also in light of our constitutional regime. One of many mandates imposed on Congress by the Constitution is the prohibition against bills of attainder. Art. I, § 9.
It was said in American Communications Assn. v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, that § 9 (h) was not a bill of attainder. The opinion was by Mr. Chief Justice Vinson and it was called an "opinion of the Court." It was, however, a six-man Court and the ruling on the bill of
From this opinion I conclude that Mr. Justice Jackson did not reach the bill of attainder point in Mr. Chief Justice Vinson's opinion. And MR. JUSTICE BLACK dissented. Id., at 445.
So I conclude that no more than three members of the Court (Vinson, C. J., and Reed and Burton, JJ.) ever held that § 9 (h) was constitutional against the challenge that it was a bill of attainder.
In United States v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, we held that the successor of § 9 (h), § 504 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, 29 U. S. C. § 504, was a bill of attainder. It made it a crime for a member of the Communist Party to serve as an officer or employee (except in clerical or custodial positions)
The rule invoked by the Court to deny petitioner the opportunity to challenge that bill of attainder in this proceeding is, as stated by MR. JUSTICE BLACK in his separate opinion in Dennis v. United States, 384 U.S. 855, 878, "a new court-made doctrine." As he pointed out in that opinion, the prior decisions of this Court relied on to deny the defense of unconstitutionality of a federal law were instances of false claims for benefits to which the complainant had "no possible right whether the statute was constitutional or unconstitutional." Ibid.
In this case, however, Congress installed an unconstitutional barrier to receipt of the benefits administered by the Labor Board. Since § 9 (h), in light of Brown, was plainly unconstitutional, petitioner's union was entitled to those services without the filing of any affidavit. Therefore, unlike prior cases, the United States had been deprived of nothing and defrauded of nothing by the filing of any affidavit or other form of claim.
I would reverse the judgment below.
"The verb `affiliated,' as used in the Second Count of the indictment, means a relationship short of and less than membership in the Communist Party, but more than that of mere sympathy for the aims and objectives of the Communist Party.
"A person may be found to be `affiliated' with an organization, even though not a member, when there is shown to be a close working alliance or association between him and the organization, together with a mutual understanding or recognition that the organization can rely and depend upon him to cooperate with it, and to work for its benefit, for an indefinite future period upon a fairly permanent basis.
"Briefly stated, affiliation as charged in the Second Count of the indictment, means a relationship which is equivalent or equal to that of membership in all but name.
"I tried to think of some analogy which would make that possibly clearer to you, and the best one I can think of—we have all in our experience probably heard of a man and woman who live together but are not married. They are husband and wife in everything but name only. You have probably heard that expression. A person to be affiliated with the Communist Party within the meaning of that term as used in the Second Count of the indictment must be a member in every sense and stand in the relationship of a member in every sense but that of the mere technicality of being a member— in everything but name." Bryson v. United States, 238 F. 2d, at 664 n. 8.