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"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.
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