Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath

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Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
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)
71 S. Ct. 624; 95 L. Ed. 2d 817; 1951 U.S. LEXIS 2349
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
Chief Justice
Fred M. Vinson
Associate Justices
Hugo Black · Stanley F. Reed
Felix Frankfurter · William O. Douglas
Robert H. Jackson · Harold H. Burton
Tom C. Clark · Sherman Minton
Case opinions
Plurality Burton, joined by Douglas
Concurrence Black
Concurrence Frankfurter
Concurrence Jackson
Dissent Reed, joined by Vinson, Minton
Clark took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

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 of 1939, this information was disseminated among the agencies of the government. The Joint 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.[clarification needed] The district courts and appeals courts ruled that the organizations could not sue because there was no specified way to redress their grievances in the case.


The Supreme Court reversed the prior court decisions. 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. doi:10.2307/2126673. JSTOR 2126673. 

External links

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

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