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CIVIL LIBERTIES DOCKET
Vol. II, No. 4
July, 1957

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS ISSUE


A Partial Accounting: 1955-1957

The American economy is famous for its system of cost accounting. We, in the law, have only recently felt the need for any kind of statistical measures of our product: the justice meted out in American courts and tribunals. We now collect statistics on the factor of time lag, and reforms to lessen calendar congestion are being put into effect. (But see Pudeator, 411.4.)

While evaluation or analysis of U. S. Supreme Court civil liberties decisions1 in the past two terms is impossible here, it is possible to state briefly where we now stand. It is hoped that such an accounting has some value, even though it cannot indicate the relative importance of the various decisions to society, nor can it even mention the cost to the civil liberties defenders (as Pls. or Defs.) in terms of emotional and economic and physical exertion, nor the cost to the American economy in hours of their skilled manpower lost, nor the money cost to the Government's judicial and prosecuting branches.

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OBSCENITY: Having just lost Butler, Alberts, Roth and Kingsley in U.S.S.C., presumably we will continue to have state and federal obscenity statutes and regulations with us for some time (12 and 52).

1950 INTERNAL SECURITY ACT: Test of constitutionality in CA for DC, on remand from U.S.S.C. 1955 term (Comm. Party v. SACB, 211.1).

1954 COMMUNIST CONTROL ACT: Test of constitutionality of Act still in administrative hearings before SACB (Brownell v. Mine, Mill and UE, 212.1, .2).

1952 WALTER-MCCARRAN ACT: To be argued or reargued in U.S.S.C. Fall 1956: constitutionality of DEPORTATION clauses (Rowoldt, 258.1); EXPATRIATION issue (Trop, Nishikawa, Perez, 358.1, .6, .7) ; DENATURALIZATION section (Nowak, Maisenberg). Victory won in wiping out most onerous SUPERVISORY PAROLE provisions (Witkovich, Sentner, Keller, 273.1, .4, .2).

1940 SMITH ACT: Test of constitutionality of "advocacy" section lost in U.S.S.C. (Yates, 241.1). CONSPIRACY cases continue to be possible, if they can meet new stringent standards of proof set in Yates, and new attitudes toward use of informer witnesses who are obvious perjurers (Mesarosh, 241.2). Test of MEMBERSHIP section to be reargued in Fall (Lightfoot, Scales, 242.1, .2).

TAFT-HARTLEY ACT of 1947: Test of constitutionality of non-Communist affidavit section not reached in Jencks (291.1), could be before U.S.S.C. in Fall term if cert. is granted in Bryson (291.3). Test of power of NLRB to refuse certification to Union because of perjury charges against Union officials won (Mine, Mill and Amalg. Meat Cutters, 203.1), .2). See new types of indictments in Pezzati (203.3) and West (291.20), pending in trial cts. And see Witnesses, infra.

CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT: U.S.S.C. sent UAW case back to DC Mich. for trial on merits (56.1).

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10450: Attorney General's power to list organizations as subversive will be before U.S.S.C. in Fall term when Lithuanian Workers Assn. applies for cert. (221.3). Lawyers Guild case still in administrative stages (221.1).

FED'L GOV'T INDUSTRIAL PERSONNEL SECURITY PROGRAM: Test of constitutionality pending in ED Pa. (Webb, 268.8).

ARMY UNDESIRABLE DISCHARGES: U.S.S.C. will hear Harmon and Abramowitz in Fall term (253.4, .6). Cancellation of VA payments on political grounds still nowhere near U.S.S.C. (See Wellman, Thompson, 254.1, .2.)

STATE ANTI-SEDITION LAWS: Despite Nelson decision last year, see cases still pending or newly started (244.2, .5).

STATE LAWS: Alabama's anti-NAACP law will be heard by U.S.S.C. in Fall (Patterson, 204.1). California's tax exemption statute requiring loyalty oaths of churches and veterans to be before U.S.S.C. in Fall (130.1-.4, 266.1-.2).

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The following cases, reported in Vol. I or II of the DOCKET, were concluded as shown:

Contempt of Congressional Committees

One case lost: Arguimbau (no appeal taken from DC decision).

Contempt of Court or Administrative Agency

To be reargued Fall term U.S.S.C.: Yates (333.4), Brown (333.2).

Passports

After suits started, granted to: Nathan, Clark, Foreman, Kamen, Zlatovski, McIntire, Maxfield, Shepard, Boudin, Schachtman, Foreman, Golden. Pending in U.S.S.C. on petitions for cert.: Kent, Briehl (252.21, .22).

Loyalty-Security Dismissals

FBI Informer Witnesses: Right of Confrontation