Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. Mcgrath 341 U.S. 123 (1951)

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Five members of the vinson court dealt a setback to the harry s. truman administration's anticommunist crusade by condemning the procedures through which the attorney general of the United States listed certain organizations as "totalitarian, fascist, communist or subversive" under the President's Executive Order of 1947 creating a loyalty-security program for all federal employees. Three organizations designated as "communist" by the attorney general complained that they had been stigmatized without an opportunity for a hearing at which they could rebut the government's presumption. Justice harold h. burton concluded that the executive order did not permit the attorney general to make arbitrary, ex parte findings without a hearing. In separate concurring opinions, four Justices concluded that the President's order may have authorized such ex parte proceedings, but did so in violation of the due process clause. Justice hugo l. black also condemned the list as a violation of the first amendment and as a bill of attainder. Justice stanley f. reed, for three dissenters, said the attorney general's actions were appropriate "to guard the Nation from espionage, subversion and sedition."

Michael E. Parrish

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Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. Mcgrath 341 U.S. 123 (1951)

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