Vanderbilt Law Review

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In a hearing before the Commissioner of Investigation of the City of New York, appellant refused to state whether he was then a member of the Communist Party and based his refusal to answer on the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution. He was thereafter discharged as an employee of the New York Transit Authority pursuant to provisions of the New York Security Risk Law' which allows dismissal of employees of security agencies who are found to be of "doubtful trust and reliability." Without seeking administrative remedies, appellant brought a proceeding in the state court for reinstatement contending that the finding was based solely upon his use of the fifth amendment, thus depriving him of due process. The trial court dismissed the proceeding and the United States Supreme Court, treating the appeal as a petition for certiorari, affirmed. A dismissal from employment based on a refusal to answer questions relevant to employment does not violate due process, and this is so although the refusal is accompanied by the invocation of the fifth amendment.