Washington Law Review


The power of a court to punish summarily for contempt has been likened to be "the nearest [thing] akin to despotic power of any power existing under our form of government." On the other hand, it has been praised as an inherent necessity if the courts are to exercise their functions properly. The balancing of these two considerations has perplexed the courts which have dealt with the contempt cases as they have come up through the years; that is, whether to limit the power, thereby possibly sacrificing judicial decorum and standing, or to allow it to remain unlimited as an assurance of continuing dignity in all judicial proceedings. A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Wyoming, Application of Stone, seems certain to raise a storm of comment across the country. The facts are extremely interesting and raise several problems which may be of constitutional importance.

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