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United States v. Helstoski

United States Supreme Court
442 U.S. 477 (1979)


Facts

Helstoski (defendant), a former member of the House of Representatives, was indicted by the United States (plaintiff) on corruption charges for allegedly accepting bribes to introduce private bills, including a bill to suspend immigration laws so aliens could remain in the United States. Over the course of eight appearances before a grand jury, Helstoski testified about and produced files pertaining to numerous private bills. During Helstoski’s ninth grand jury appearance, he asserted privilege under the Speech or Debate Clause and refused to further testify or produce additional evidence. The court of appeals upheld the district court’s ruling that the United States was prohibited from offering evidence of the actual performance of any legislative acts, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari. 

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Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

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Dissent (Brennan, J.)

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