The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, September 18, 2003

Continuing education on the McCarthyism Big Lie - #94: the Truman Loyalty Oath was abolished WHEN?

Perhaps the guys at Fox, smarting from their loss against that titan of American journalism, Al Franken - recall that, according to the complaint they filed against the flabby funster, Murdoch's minions mistook his sitcom for a straight political show! - should sponsor a tome on the great Liberal Lie: that McCarthyism was an invention of Tail Gunner Joe, rather than Woodrow Wilson, Attorney-General A Mitchell Palmer, the Democrat Congressional majorities who voted for the Smith Act and the McCarran Act - and the humble haberdasher from Independence, MO who, in 1947, instituted by Executive Order 9835 the Loyalty Oath for Federal employees [1].

That the Federal judiciary were not sparklingly independent in the late 40s and early 50s is news to no one: as Chief of the Supremes, Fred Vinson was a border state man after Truman's heart [2].

But it surprised me (at least) to learn that a decision striking down the Oath programme (as violating the Fifth Amendment) had to wait until 1969 [3]! All through the years of maximal liberal sanctimony in the White House (Carter excluded - and not for the first time...) the so-called McCarthyite witch hunt continued, in somewhat abated form. Leaving that ultimate liberal foe, Richard Nixon, to call it a day!

  1. Of course, Harry Truman vetoed the McCarran Act - by 1950, red-baiting wasn't so appealing for a guy grandfathered from the 22nd Amendment.

  2. And things would surely have gone differently with the schools desegregation cases had he survived to deal finally with them.

  3. Once again, the dead tree alone holds the intelligence: in my case, Freedom and the Court by Henry J Abraham (1972), referring (p164) to the DC Circuit Court decision in Stewart v Washington (301 F Supp 610). Apparently, the case was not appealed to the Supreme Court, and the oath programme was quietly dropped.

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