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Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board

Senator Joseph Mccarthy

Senator Joseph McCarthy became notorious for leading a witch hunt in the form of trials of alleged Communists in the 1950s. After practicing law in Wisconsin and serving in the Marine Corp during World War II, McCarthy was elected to the Senate as a Republican in 1946. McCarthy served his first three years quietly, until his explosive 1950 speech where he claimed that 205 Communists had infiltrated the State Department. In response, a Senate committee ordered McCarthy to provide evidence to support his allegations. Although McCarthy failed to produce any evidence, he became a vocal leader of the anti-Communist movement and his message resonated with citizens who feared the spread of Communism.

Senator McCarthy chaired the Senate's Government Committee on Operations and headed its subcommittee on investigations beginning in 1953. McCarthy used his position to continue his attack on Communism and accused many people of being Communists or Communist sympathizers through the Committee's trials. When the Democrats took control of the Senate in 1954, Senator John L. McClellan replaced McCarthy as chair of the investigating committee. Senator McClellan criticized McCarthy's tactics and pushed to have him censured, which occurred in 1955. McCarthy's censure led to the decline of his political influence. McCarthy died in 1957.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board - Significance, Registration Requirement Struck Down, Senator Joseph Mccarthy