Thursday, May 23, 2013

Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath case brief

Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath case brief
341 U.S. 123, 71 S. Ct. 624, 95 L. Ed. 817 (1951)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Petitioner organizations challenged the authority of respondent attorney general to include them in a list of communist organizations and to furnish the list to the Loyalty Review Board. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the district court's decision to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Petitioners sought certiorari review.

FACTS: Respondent attorney general claimed authority to designate petitioner organizations as communist. The Court concluded that respondent was not acting within his authority in providing a consolidated list containing the names of all of the organizations previously designated by him as communist to the Loyalty Review Board. One of the petitioners alleged not only to be a civic or insurance organization, but was also declared to be one that was not within any classification listed in Part III, § 3, of Executive Order 9835. Another of the petitioners made affirmative allegations which were incompatible with its inclusion within any of the designated classifications. Thus, the inclusion of any of petitioners in the designated list was an arbitrary and unauthorized act. Because the Court found that the conduct ascribed to respondent by the complaints was patently arbitrary, the deference ordinarily due administrative construction of an administrative order was not sufficient to bring his alleged conduct within the authority conferred by Executive Order No. 9835.

CONCLUSION: The Court reversed the judgments of the appellate court and remanded each case to the district court with instructions to deny respondent attorney general's motion that the complaint be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

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