Friday, May 23, 2014

Kent v. Dulles case brief summary

Kent v. Dulles, 358 U.S. 116, (1958)
 
o   McCarthyism was going on and the Communist scare  so these cases arise contextually
o   Facts: Kent wanted to fly to Helsinki (guess hes a communist) for some type of rally, his passport application was denied by the Secretary of State. 
o   What are Kent’s rights after he gets the denial letter—what does he do?
§  He had a right to a hearing, but he challenged the fact that he couldn’t leave
o  
o   Dr. Walter Briehl, a psychiatrist, also applied for a passport, but was refused for communist party membership
§  Dr. Briehl objected that “affiliations” were irrelevant to right to a passport and “every American citizen has the right to travel regardless of politics.” 
o   Court: “the issuance of passport is a discretionary act on the part of the secretary of state…but a passport is not to be refused to an American citizen even if his character is doubtful.  Unless there is reason to believe that he will put the passport to an improper lawful use.”
§  Supreme court said: So standing alone, a communist affiliation was not enough to deny a passport
§  “the right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without the due process of law under the fifth amendment.”
o   The Dissent: secretary not authorized to deny a passport to a communist whose travel abroad would be inimical to our national security—dissent said that was wrong

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Search Terms:  passport, American citizen, communist party, passport denial, right to travel

"Does an American citizen have a right to travel?"

"Are political affiliations enough to deny a United States citizen a passport?"

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