Individual Rights and Congressional Investigations

Archive Report

New Attacks on Congressional Investigations

The right of Congress to undertake investigations into the conduct of individuals has been a subject of controversy ever since the first congressional investigation was put under way in 1792.1 But the congressional investigation has held a firm place in the process of government in the United States, and little has been attempted in the way of limiting the power of Congress to investigate, or of regulating the procedure of its investigating committees.

As a result of recent developments, new attempts are now being made to place limits on the traditional freedom of congressional inquiry. Many witnesses have refused to answer questions of the House Committee on Un-American Activities and are challenging the constitutionality of its processes in the courts. It ...

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