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WOLFLE V. UNITED STATES, 291 U. S. 7 (1934)

U.S. Supreme Court

Wolfle v. United States, 291 U.S. 7 (1934)

Wolfle v. United States

No. 338

Argued December 12, 1933

Decied January 8, 1934

291 U.S. 7


1. In the absence of congressional legislation on the subject, the admissibility of testimony in the federal Courts in criminal causes is governed by common law principles, as interpreted and applied by those courts in the light of reason and experience. Funk v. United States, 290 U. S. 371. P. 291 U. S. 12.

2. The basis of the rule of evidence excluding proof of confidential communications between husband and wife, is the protection of the marriage relation. P. 291 U. S. 14.

3. As the privilege suppresses relevant testimony, it should be allowed only where it is plain that marital confidence cannot otherwise be reasonably preserved. Pp. 291 U. S. 14, 291 U. S. 17.

4. A confidential communication by husband to wife through the medium of his stenographer held admissible upon proof of it by the stenographer testifying from the stenographic notes. P. 291 U. S. 16.

64 F.2d 556 affirmed.

Certiorari, 290 U.S. 617, to review the affirmance of a conviction under an indictment charging unlawful uses of the mails for the purpose of effecting a scheme to defraud.

Page 291 U. S. 12

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