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REPEAL OF OBSOLETE LAWS; IMPROVEMENT OF THE
UNITED STATES CODE
JULY 3, 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. HASTINGS, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 10198]
The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 10198) to repeal obsolete statutes and to improve the United States Code, reports the same favorably and recommends that the bill do pass with the amendments indicated in the reported bill.
A careful study of the bill and accompanying House report has been made and the committee has had the benefit of the views of the Senate legislative counsel, who have examined each statute sought to be repealed.
The code sections and the statutes upon which they are based, inserted in the bill by amendment, contain identical provisions relating to the same subject matter covered by statutes incorporated in the bill as it passed the House. They also are obsolete and should be repealed.
The repeal of those statutes which have been stricken from the bill is questionable since in most instances it does not clearly appear that they have been superseded by later legislation, and therefore it is not certain that they are entirely obsolete. It was deemed advisable also not to include in the bill statutes temporary in character, and their express repeal is unnecessary.
House Report No. 838 contains the text of the statutes proposed to be repealed, together with a full and complete analysis and discussion as to their obsolescence.
The new matter is set forth in italics and the provisions stricken out of the bill are shown by stricken-through type.
Mr. HEBERT, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 12056)
The Committee on the Judiciary, having considered the bill H. R. 12056, providing for the waiver of trial by jury in the district courts of the United States, reports the same favorably to the Senate without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.
The effect of this legislation is set out in the following excerpt from House Report No. 1700, Seventy-first Congress, second session:
This bill will permit defendants in criminal cases to waive a trial by jury and be tried by the court provided that the consent of Government counsel as well as the court to the waiver is secured. The question of a waiver of a jury in criminal trials has been considered for some time by this committee in connection with a number of bills which have been referred to it by the House. On April 14, 1930, the Supreme Court, in the case of John Patton, Harold Conant, and Jack Baker v. The United States of America, held that a jury trial under the Constitution was a privilege that might be waived by the defendant. In that case a jury of 12 was impaneled but during the trial one of the jurors became ill and was unable to serve further as a juror. Thereupon, by stipulation between counsel for the Government and counsel for the defendants it was agreed that the trial should proceed with the remaining 11 jurors. The Supreme Court upheld the convictions. In deciding the case the Supreme Court held that the defendant could not only waive one juror but could waive the jury.
It is well known that a case is only authority for the facts decided in it and the reasoning of the court extending beyond the point in controversy is obiter dicta and hence it is thought advisable to put this matter, which has been the subject of so much controversy, at rest, and fully in accordance with the thought expressed in the opinion of the court the committee has decided to report out the bill that has been pending before it offered by Mr. Moore of Virginia.