Carol Weiss King
Carol Weiss King (24 August 1895 - 22 January 1952) was a well known immigration lawyer and a founding member of the National Lawyer's Guild in the United States. Her Left-leaning career spans from the Palmer Raids to the McCarthy Era.
Born August 24, 1895, Carol Weiss was the youngest child of Samuel and Carrie (née Stix) Weiss. Her father was a founder of the law firm of Frank and Weiss (1875-1880), then practiced alone (1880-1910). Her oldest brother, William S. Weiss, continued their father's firm until forced to stop by multiple sclerosis. Another older brother, Louis S. Weiss, was a founder of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind & Wharton).
Early in her career, she formed a "loose partnership" with radical attorneys. These included Joseph Brodsky, Swinburne Hale, Walter Nelles, and Isaac Shorr. One of Carol Weiss King's first and most durable relationships was with Walter Pollak, a onetime partner of Benjamin Cardozo, whom she met through her brother-in-law Carl Stern. The three of them — King Pollak, and Stern — worked on the Scottsboro Boys cases, which Pollak successfully argued in the U.S. Supreme Court, among other cases.
King also associated with left-wing activists, including members of the Communist Party of the United States of America. She edited the Law and Freedom Bulletin (1924-1931) — an important digest of the American Civil Liberties Union that recorded state and federal cases involving significant questions of constitutional law. She became a founder and principal of the International Juridical Association and the National Lawyers Guild.
In her 30-year career, she represented hundreds of foreign-born radicals threatened with deportation in administrative proceedings in the lower courts and in the Supreme Court. In 1942, she became general counsel to the American Committee for the Foreign Born.
King's best-known client was union leader Harry Bridges, who faced deportation in 1938 for alleged membership in the Communist Party. The case reached the Supreme Court of the United States, which reversed the deportation order during World War II.
Her representation of Communist Party leader William Schneiderman exemplifies her success in enlisting other (male) attorneys to work for free on key constitutional cases — in this case, recruiting Wendell Willkie, the 1940 Republican Party presidential nominee, to represent Schneiderman before the Supreme Court. King won this case in 1943, preventing the Government's revocation of the Communist Party leader’s citizenship.
King herself made only one appearance before the Supreme Court, in Butterfield v. Zydok (342 U.S. 524, 1952), which she lost.
King took on many cases against the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Her most important legal victory came from Sung v. McGrath(339 U.S. 908, 1950). In this case, the Supreme Court acknowledged that INS was subject to the same administrative and procedural rules as all other federal departments. This ruling froze deportation hearings until the INS agreed to comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act.
King also defended "red conspirator" J. Peters against the INS (named by Louis Budenz and Whittaker Chambers as mastermind of a Soviet underground spy ring operating in Washington, DC, during the 1930s and 1940s) and counseled Peters on how to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) (1948-1949).
She also represented petitioner Harisiades in the important U.S. Supreme Court immigration law case Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, 342 U.S. 580, 1952.
The National Lawyer's Guild Immigration Project presents the Carol King award each year in Ms. King's honor to an outstanding immigration advocate.
- "Carol Weiss King". Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Ginger, Ann Fagan (1993). Carol Weiss King, human rights lawyer, 1895-1952. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. ISBN 0-87081-285-8. Unknown parameter
- [Thomas] (March 2011). Red Conspirator: J. Peters and the American Communist Underground. University of Illinois Press. Retrieved 27 December 2010.