Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,300+ case briefs...

United States v. Cox

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
342 F.2d 167 (1965)


Goff and Kendrick, both African Americans, testified in a lawsuit against Ramsey, a voting registrar in Mississippi. Goff and Kendrick testified that Ramsey had refused to register them as voters but had registered white persons. Ramsey testified that he had never discriminated against black voter-registration applicants. Judge W. Harold Cox concluded that Goff and Kendrick should be charged with perjury. Soon thereafter, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigate the potential perjury. The FBI did so and concluded there were no grounds for the perjury charge, a decision that the FBI confirmed after review. A U.S. attorney, Robert E. Hauberg, and the acting attorney general of the United States, Nicholas Katzenbach (defendants), informed Judge Cox of the FBI’s conclusion. However, Judge Cox ordered Hauberg to present the case to a grand jury. When a state grand jury indicted Goff and Kendrick for perjury, the DOJ obtained an injunction prohibiting prosecution. Nevertheless, Judge Cox allowed a federal grand jury to hear the perjury case, and another indictment was returned. Judge Cox ordered Hauberg to prepare and sign the indictments, which Hauberg refused under Katzenbach’s direction. According to Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a valid indictment must be signed by a U.S. attorney. Judge Cox found Hauberg guilty of contempt of court and directed Katzenbach to show that Katzenbach should not also be found guilty of contempt. Hauberg, Katzenbach, and the DOJ appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)

Concurrence (Wisdom, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Rives, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 366,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,300 briefs, keyed to 223 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.