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Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board

Significance, Registration Requirement Struck Down, Senator Joseph Mccarthy


William Albertson


Subversive Activities Control Board

Petitioner's Claim

That the requirement of the Internal Security Act of 1950 (the McCarran Act) that members of the Communist Party register with the attorney general violates the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Kevin T. Maroney

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

John J. Abt

Justices for the Court

Hugo Lafayette Black, William J. Brennan, Jr. (writing for the Court), Tom C. Clark, William O. Douglas, Abe Fortas, John Marshall Harlan II, Potter Stewart, Earl Warren

Justices Dissenting

None (Byron R. White did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

15 November 1965


This registration requirement of the McCarran Act was struck down as an infringement on a citizens Fifth Amendment rights.

Related Cases

  • Communist Party of the United States v. Subversive Activities Control Board, 367 U.S. 1 (1961).
  • United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law. Minneapolis, MN: West Publishing, 1998.

Further Readings

  • Belfrage, Cedric. The American Inquisition, 1945-1960: A profile of the "McCarthy Era." New York, NY: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1989.
  • Schrecker, Ellen. The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford Books, 1994.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972