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Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath

Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath
Argued October 11, 1950
Decided April 30, 1951
Full case name Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. James Howard McGrath, Attorney General, et al.
Citations 341 U.S. 123 (more)
The judgments are reversed and the cases are remanded to the District Court with instructions to deny the motions that the complaints be dismissed for failure to state claims upon which relief could be granted.
Court membership
</td></tr><tr><th colspan="2" style="text-align:center;background-color: #99c0ff; white-space:nowrap">Case opinions</th></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Plurality</th><td>

Burton, joined by Douglas</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Concurrence</th><td> Black</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Concurrence</th><td> Frankfurter</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Concurrence</th><td> Jackson</td></tr><tr><th scope="row" style="text-align:left">Dissent</th><td> Reed, joined by Vinson, Minton</td></tr><tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center"> Clark took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.</td></tr></table>

Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath, 341 U.S. 123 (1951), was a United States Supreme Court opinion revolving around the right of association.


The United States Attorney General, James Howard McGrath, acting under part three of Executive Order 9835, submitted information on several organizations to the Loyalty Review Board which then declared the organizations to be supporting subversive causes or movements. Under section 9A of the Hatch Act, this information was disseminated among the agencies of the government. The Anti-Fascist Refugee committee was collecting money to distribute among members of the struggle against Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. The district courts and appeals courts had ruled that the organizations could not sue because there was no specified way to redress their grievances in the case.


Justice Hugo Black offered a concurring opinion in which he compared government blacklists to bills of attainder. He appended a passage from the footnotes of the historian Thomas Macaulay's History of England from the Accession of James the Second describing the evils of the great Act of Attainder enacted at the behest of James II.

See also

Further reading

  • Goldstein, Robert J. (2008). "The Grapes of McGrath: The Supreme Court and the Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations in Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath". Journal of Supreme Court History 33 (1): 68–88. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5818.2008.00179.x. 
  • Harris, Robert J. (1956). "The Impact of the Cold War Upon Civil Liberties". Journal of Politics (The Journal of Politics, Vol. 18, No. 1) 18 (1): 3–16. JSTOR 2126673. doi:10.2307/2126673. 

External links

341 U.S. 123 (1951) Link to full text of case on