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Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath

United States Supreme Court
341 U.S. 123 (1951)


In the late 1940s and early 1950s, persons and organizations with Communist ideological sympathies were widely considered disloyal to the United States. Acting under the authority granted by a presidential Executive Order, United States Attorney General J. Howard McGrath (defendant) identified the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee (Committee) (plaintiff) as a Communist organization. This identification could be used as evidence of disloyalty in proceedings involving government employment, military membership, or government benefits. McGrath identified the listed Communist sympathizers without providing notice, explaining the reasons for the identification, or giving those placed on the list an opportunity to discuss any evidence or challenge the identification. The Committee contended that: (1) it was not a Communist group, and (2) McGrath's action listing the Committee as a Communist organization without any notice or hearing violated the Committee's constitutional right to due process of law. The Committee sued McGrath in federal district court, but the court dismissed the Committee's complaint for failure to state a valid claim. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burton, J.)

Concurrence (Jackson, J.)

Concurrence (Douglas, J.)

Concurrence (Frankfurter, J.)

Dissent (Reed, J.)

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