United States v. Robel

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United States v. Robel
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued November 14, 1966
Decided December 11, 1967
Full case nameUnited States v. Robel
Citations389 U.S. 258 (more)
88 S. Ct. 419; 19 L. Ed. 2d 508; 1967 U.S. LEXIS 2741
Holding
The United States government cannot deprive the people of constitutional rights, even in the interests of national security
Court membership
Chief Justice
Earl Warren
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · William O. Douglas
John M. Harlan II · William J. Brennan Jr.
Potter Stewart · Byron White
Abe Fortas · Thurgood Marshall
Case opinions
MajorityWarren, joined by Black, Douglas, Stewart, Fortas
ConcurrenceBrennan
DissentWhite, joined by Harlan
Laws applied
First Amendment, McCarran Internal Security Act

United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967), was a case heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. The court ruled that the United States government cannot deprive the people of constitutional rights, even in the interests of national security. Specifically, the right of free association.

The petitioner, Eugene Frank Robel, who worked at Todd Shipyards in Seattle, was indicted in May 21, 1963 for being a member of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) and thus affiliated with it, without being registered with the Subversive Activities Control Board in violation of the McCarran Internal Security Act section 5 (a) (I) (D). Since the act required CPUSA to register as a Communist Party, he was told because of his affiliation with the Party, he also had to register as well, and that he could no longer work at the shipyard because of his affiliation with the Communist Party; Todd Shipyards had been designated a "defense" facility, otherwise known as federal employment, which was illegal under the McCarran Act. Robel appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court.

The Court found the McCarran Internal Security Act violates the defendant's right to free association that is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

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