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ie state ft*
oth a fe
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Members of the Supreme Court of the United Stotes. Left to right, seated: Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Chief Justice
Eorl Warren, Stanley Reed, William 0. Douglas. Standing: Sherman Minton, Harold H. Burton, Tom Clark, and John M. Harlan.
°iriniunist-action organizations" and "Communist-front
""Ionizations,"11 requiring such organizations to register
. " to file annual reports with the Attorney General, giv-
*§ complete details as to their officers and funds.'"
• - - The Communist Control Act of 1954 declares "that
"e Communist Party of the United States, although puf-
*°tedly a political party, is in fact an instrumentality of
.■e'liispiracv to overthrow the government of the United
ates' and that "its role as the agency of a hostile foreign
Wvor renders its existence a clear, present, and continuing
?***-ger to the security of the United States."" It also con-
Pus a legislative finding that the Communist Party is
""iniiinist-action .organization" within the meaning of
1 that vei'r
. eInternal Security Act of 1950, and provides that "know-
*< members of the Communist Party are "subject to all
■"■'Visions and penalties" of that Act. . . .'-
.. "<■ examine these Acts onlv- to determine the congres-
°nal plan. Looking to all of them in the aggregate, the
"elusion is inescapable that Congress has intended to
c'iipy the field of sedition, Taken as a whole, they evince
Congressional plan which makes il reasonable to deter-
'"e- that no room has been left for the stales to supple-
. '"''t it. Therefore, a state sedition statute is superseded,
SardleSS of whether it purports to supplement the fed-
program. Since 1939, in order to avoid a hampering of
uniform enforcement of its program by sporadic local
prosecutions, the federal government has urged local
authorities not to intervene in such matters, but to turn
over to the federal authorities immediately and unevalu-
aled all information concerning subversive activities. The
President made such a request on September 6, 19.39, when
he placed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in charge of
investigation in this field:
The Attorney General lias heen requested hy me to instruct
the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice to take charge of investigative work in matters relating to
espionage, sabotage, and violations of the neutrality regulations.
This task must he conducted in a comprehensive and effective
manner on a national basis, and all information must he care-
hilly sifted out ami correlated in order to avoid confusion and
To this end I request all police officers', sheriffs, and all other
law enforcement officers in the I'mtod States promptly to turn
over to ihe nearest representative of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation anv information obtained by them relating to
espionage, counterespionage, sabotage, subversive activities and
violations of the neutrality laws.
i Edition against the United States is not a local offense
'. le „ - . .1 .- a C :a „1 l.l 1..
's a crime against the nation. As such, it should be
Bl s Ct 399-
^Sc-euted and punished in the federal courts where this
:l''l'"dant litis in fact been prosecuted and convicted and
(i n°W under sentence.13 It is not onlv important but vital
(i',,t such prosecutions should be exclusively within the
5,0-01 of the federal government. . . ."
j, Enforcement of stale sedition acts presents a serious
nger of conflict with the administration of the federal
ls Fori vi News, September. 1956
In his brief the Solicitor General states that forty-two
slates, plus Alaska and Hawaii, have statutes which in
some form prohibit advocacy of the violent overthrow of
established government. These statutes arc entitled anti-
sedition statutes, criminal anarchy laws, criminal syndicalist laws, etc. Although all of them are primarily dine ted
(Continued on page 38)
"50 USC (1955 Supp) S.-c tion S41.
'-Id., Section 843.
'Cnil.-.l States v. Mesarosh [Nelson] (DC Pa) llfi F Supp 345, affd.
I \ all 223 FSd 44!), cert Kr ,350 US 1)22, 100 L pd (Advance P 1-17), 76
s Cl 2 IS.
".177 Pa, al 7(i. till A2d, at 142.
The Public lap,,, and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939 Volume,
pp. 478-479 (1941).