President Eisenhower Issues Order to Dismiss Federal Workers who Invoke Fifth Amendment Rights

President Eisenhower Issues Order to Dismiss Federal Workers who Invoke Fifth Amendment Rights

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

President Eisenhower issues an executive order that allows for the dismissal of federal employees who refuse to testify before congressional committees on the grounds of self-incrimination.

The target is alleged communists who might try to exercise their constitutional rights by not saying that they are communists.

The new order describes the new grounds for dismissal as:

"Refusal by the individual, upon the ground of constitutional privilege against self-incrimination to testify before a congressional committee regarding charges of his alleged disloyalty or other misconduct."

There have been a number of cases of government employees refusing to give Congress personal information about themselves and then being cited for contempt of Congress, but the courts have freed these people because they have a right to not testify if they don't want. Firing them is the only punishment open to the government.

Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr. says:

"In my mind, there is no room in federal service for an employee who refuses upon the ground of privilege to answer a congressional committee's inquiry dealing with his loyalty or other conduct affecting the nation's security."

Video

President Eisenhower Speaks Out Against Communism

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