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Frankfurter’s Departure, a Near-Decision in Gibson, and the Era’s End

Frankfurter’s Departure, a Near-Decision in Gibson, and the Era’s End

(October Term 1961)

Chapter:
(p.161) 11 Frankfurter’s Departure, a Near-Decision in Gibson, and the Era’s End
Source:
The Supreme Court and McCarthy-Era Repression
Author(s):
Robert M. Lichtman
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037009.003.0011

This chapter discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions during its October 1961 term. The number of decisions in “Communist” cases dropped sharply—only three signed decisions compared to fifteen in the preceding term. The signed decisions were in routine cases—another prosecution for filing a false Taft–Hartley affidavit, a challenge to Florida’s loyalty oath for public employees, and a group of contempt-of-Congress cases collected in a single decision. The most significant “Communist” case considered during the term, Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, was not decided, because the justices, divided 4–4 following Whittaker’s retirement, ordered reargument. The case marked a convergence of the Court’s lines of decision in NAACP and “Communist” cases.

Keywords:   Communist cases, Taft–Hartley, loyalty oath, U.S. Supreme Court, McCarthy era, Congress, Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, NACCP

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