Schneiderman (defendant) came to the United States in 1907 or 1908 when he was around three years old. In 1922, he joined the Young Workers League in Los Angeles, where he served as an educational director; in 1924, Schneiderman filed a declaration of intent to become a citizen; and in 1925, he joined the Worker’s Party, the predecessor of the Communist Party of the United States. He received full U.S. citizenship in 1927. He held a series of executive positions in the party beginning in 1930. Schneiderman said that he believed in socialism and Marxist theory and wanted to apply them in the United States, but denied that he supported a violent overthrow of the United States government and the destruction of the Constitution. In 1939, the government started proceedings to cancel Schneiderman’s certificate of citizenship based on allegations of illegal procurement. The trial court found that Schneiderman had not been “attached to the principles of the Constitution” when he applied for naturalization and therefore canceled his citizenship based on Section 15 of the Naturalization Act. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari on appeal.