Congress` contempt power has conflicted with the First Amendment in several cases. The first of these cases was Barenblatt v. United States, 360 U.S. 109, 79 p. Ct. 1081, 3 L. Ed. 2d 1115 (1959), in which Lloyd Barenblatt refused to answer five questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning communist infiltration of educational institutions. Barenblatt was found in contempt and later appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the issues violated his right to freedom of association. The court upheld Barenblatt in a 5:4 decision. The court said the questions were too vague to warrant a contempt citation and that Congress` investigative powers must be weighed against First Amendment rights.
The rule-making power includes the power to enforce and tie them to those who violate them and to punish them for contempt. This power to punish for contempt is limited to punishment during the legislature and cannot go beyond that, and it appears that this power cannot be exercised beyond imprisonment. The practice of attempting to insult the judiciary has been criticized. In particular, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote in a dissenting opinion: “It is high time, in my view, to eradicate the idea invented by judges and supported by judges that judges can hear contempt cases without a jury.”  The discretion given to judges in determining what is contempt and how to punish it has led some legal scholars to argue that the power of contempt confers too much power on judges. Count C. Dudley, a law professor at the University of Virginia, wrote that in the power of contempt, “the roles of victim, prosecutor, and judge are dangerously mixed.” Where there is no urgent need to do so, or where there has been indirect contempt, the Attorney General may intervene and the Crown Prosecution Service commences criminal proceedings on his behalf in a Divisional Court of the Queen`s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. Contempt of law, insult, interference or violation of a sovereign court or legislative body. The concept of contempt is of English origin and is found only in countries that follow the common law system. The main meaning of contempt is that it justifies judicial action to defend the judicial or legislative power itself. Often, the power to enforce a violation of contempt lacks many safeguards that limit the state`s power to punish civil or criminal wrongs in general. Under the Federal Court Rules, Rules 466 and Rule 467, a person charged with contempt must first be served with a contempt order and then appear in court to answer the charges.
Convictions may be handed down only if evidence is provided beyond a reasonable doubt.  An act or language that constitutes an affront to a court of law or interferes with the conduct of its activities falls into the category of criminal contempt. However, an act of disobedience to a court order can often be treated as civil or criminal contempt, or both. For example, an act of contempt is an insult to the court and an interference with its judicial authority and therefore constitutes a criminal contempt. It may also have the effect of depriving a party to a dispute of the facilitation granted to it by the court order, thereby constituting civil indifference. In the latter case, the court may take steps to obtain from the plaintiff what he was entitled to under the court order or to compensate him for the harm resulting from the act of disobedience. Penalties for non-compliance may be criminal or civil in nature. If a person is to be punished criminally, the contempt must be proven beyond any doubt, but once the charge is proven, a penalty (such as a fine or, in more serious cases, imprisonment) is imposed unconditionally. The civil penalty for contempt (which is usually detention in the custody of the sheriff or similar official) is limited in its imposition as long as disobedience to the court order continues: as soon as the party complies with the court order, the sanction is lifted. The taxed party is supposed to “hold” the keys to his own cell, so conventional due process is not required. In federal and most state courts, the burden of proof for civil contempt is clear and convincing evidence, a lower standard than in criminal cases.  Contempt of court can be classified as direct or indirect (sometimes called “constructive”).
The distinction lies in where the disobedient behavior was performed. California has defined direct contempt of court as an act of contempt of contempt knowingly committed in the immediate eyes and presence of the court. For example, failure to appear in a subpoena constitutes direct contempt of court. Under Rule 37 of the FRCP, failure to respond to a denomen may also be treated as contempt of court. A person who has committed such direct contempt may be punished without trial. On the other hand, implied contempt of court is any contempt that is not a direct contempt. For example, failure to comply with probation orders outside of court is indirect disregard for the court. A person charged with indirect contempt must be notified and given an opportunity to be heard. A year later, Judge Wright questioned whether President Clinton should be scorned for denying his relationship with Lewinsky during the January 1998 ouster. At the time he made that statement, there was very little evidence that the president`s statement was false. But over the next 14 months, it became clear that the president was not only alone with Monica Lewinsky, but was also having some form of sexual relationship with her.
Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the High Court, the District Court, as well as members of the various courts and the Coroner`s Court all have the power to impose immediate sanctions on the court for contempt arising under statute or common law: Much of the criticism relates to the lack of deference or due process in sentencing for contempt. In the case of criminal contempt, contempt charges become a separate matter, but they can be heard by the judge who issued them. In addition, the same judge can begin the sentence immediately, and the sentence can be in effect until the contempt case is resolved. Critics have argued that judges – who are the main offended party – can be too harsh. For example, in 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Virginia judge who fined the United Mine Workers of America $52 million in connection with strike violence in 1989. The Supreme Court found that the fines were excessive and inappropriate because the union had never had an opportunity to defend itself in a lawsuit before the fines were imposed. Refusing to disclose sources unless the court has considered the available evidence and concluded that the information is “necessary in the interests of justice or national security or to prevent riots or crimes” does not constitute a violation under section 10 of the law for a journalist unless the court has considered the available evidence and concluded that This information is “necessary in the interests of justice or national security or to prevent riots or crimes.” Similarly, people who refused to provide information to the courts were detained in prison – sometimes for years – for contempt.