The "political trials" of the past decade generated a storm of legal controversy over the conduct of the defendants and their attorneys-and of the judges who presided at their trials. For some, the actions and attitudes of both lawyers and defendants courted disrespect for and presaged a breakdown in the law and its processes; for others, however, it was the response of the judges-chiefly, their heavy-handed wielding of the summary contempt power--that presented the real danger. Professor Sedler brings a unique expertise to his discussion of the use-and abuse--of summary contempt. While his approach reflects the concerns of the scholar, it also bears the impressions of one who pressed his arguments before the Supreme Court in its most recent review of the summary contempt power. His perspective thus represents a confluence of the interests of both the academic and the advocate, pulling into focus the disparate elements and inherent unreasonableness of the summary contempt power.
Constitutional Law | Criminal Procedure
Sedler, Robert Allen. The Summary Contempt Power and the Constitution: The View from Without and Within. 51 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 34, 93 (1976)