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Article

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The Supreme Court under Fire, 6 Journal of Public Law 428 (1957)

Abstract

"Not since the Nine Old Men shot down Franklin Roosevelt's Blue Eagle in 1935 has the Supreme Court been the center of such general commotion. . . ." The reasons are plain. In the closing weeks of the October term, 1956, the Court handed down a spate of opinions boldly reasserting its authority to review and overturn federal and state action-judicial, legislative and executive--of the highest sensitivity: the Court upset Smith Act convictions; curbed federal and state legislative investigations of "un-American" or "subversive" activity; limited state authority to refuse admission to the bar on the basis of alleged past Communist belief; vindicated the exercise of the privilege against self-incrimination by one charged with conspiring to defraud the government of taxes; protected the right of a fugitive Communist and his abettors to be free from unlawful search and seizure; required that a defendant charged with filing a false non-Communist affidavit be furnished access to government witnesses' reports to the FBI; cast grave doubt on federal authority to court-martial civilian dependents of American military personnel stationed abroad; and gave renewed evidence that the principles declared in the School Segregation Cases would not be compromised.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1957

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