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Beilan, Lerner, and the Court’s Shift, Passport Cases, and Congress’s Court-Curbing Climax

Beilan, Lerner, and the Court’s Shift, Passport Cases, and Congress’s Court-Curbing Climax

(October Term 1957)

Chapter:
(p.109) 8 Beilan, Lerner, and the Court’s Shift, Passport Cases, and Congress’s Court-Curbing Climax
Source:
The Supreme Court and McCarthy-Era Repression
Author(s):
Robert M. Lichtman
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037009.003.0008

This chapter discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions during its October 1957 term. The continued heavy flow of “Communist” cases produced fourteen signed decisions and two via per curiam opinions. The outcomes were mixed, but they revealed a shift in the Court’s direction. The government prevailed in two state public-employee loyalty cases and three criminal contempt cases. However, it lost five deportation decisions, two decisions testing the State Department’s authority to deny passports on political grounds, and two narrow rulings invalidating state laws that conditioned the receipt of government benefits on signing a non-Communist oath. It also lost the two per curiam decisions—one reviewing the issuance of less-than-honorable Army discharges to “subversive” draftees and the other a contempt-of-Congress case against Dennis lawyer Harry Sacher.

Keywords:   Communist cases, public employee loyalty, criminal contempt, deportation, State Department, passport, U.S. Supreme Court, McCarthy era

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