Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Harisiades v. Shaughnessy case brief

Harisiades v. Shaughnessy case brief summary
342 U.S. 580 (1952)

Petitioner and appellants sought review of decisions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, respectively, which denied their requests for relief from deportation orders based on former membership in the Communist Party. Petitioner and appellants attacked on constitutional grounds the validity of the Alien Registration Act, 8 U.S.C.S. § 137.

Resident aliens (petitioner and appellants) were deported under the Alien Registration Act (Act), 8 U.S.C.S. § 137, on grounds of former Communist Party membership, at a time when the party advocated government overthrow by force or violence. In all three cases the lower courts denied relief from deportation. Petitioner and appellants attacked the Act on three grounds: (1) that it deprived them of liberty without due process of law in violation of U.S. Constitutional amend. V; (2) that it abridged their freedoms of speech and assembly in contravention of U.S. Constitutional amend. I; and (3) that it was an ex post facto law forbidden by U.S. Constitutional Article I, § 9, cl. 3.


  • On certiorari and direct appeals, the Court upheld the Act's validity, and affirmed the orders of deportation. 
  • The Court held that the government's exercise, through the Act, of its established power to expel an alien after long residence in the United States violated neither due process under U.S. Constitutional amendment V nor the freedoms conferred by U.S. Constitutional amendment I. 
  • The Court found that the Act was a continuation of prior legislation and that, in any event, the ex post facto prohibition did not apply to deportation actions.

Finding none of the constitutional objections to the Alien Registration Act well founded, the Court affirmed the judgments denying petitioner and appellant aliens relief from deportation.

Suggested Study Aids and Books

No comments:

Post a Comment