The Internal Security Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 987 (Public Law 81-831), also known as the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 or the McCarran Act, after its principal sponsor Sen. Pat McCarran (D-Nevada), is a United States federal law. Congress enacted it over President Harry Truman's veto.
1 Provisions 2 Legislative history 3 Constitutionality 4 Use by the U.S. military 5 Amended 6 Fictional reimagining 7 See also 8 References 9 External links
Its titles were I: Subversive Activities Control (Subversive
Activities Control Act) and II: Emergency Detention (Emergency
Detention Act of 1950).
The Act required Communist organizations to register with the United
States Attorney General and established the Subversive Activities
Control Board to investigate persons suspected of engaging in
subversive activities or otherwise promoting the establishment of a
"totalitarian dictatorship," either fascist or communist. Members of
these groups could not become citizens and in some cases were
prevented from entering or leaving the country. Citizens found in
violation could lose their citizenship in five years. The Act also
contained an emergency detention statute, giving the President the
authority to apprehend and detain "each person as to whom there is a
reasonable ground to believe that such person probably will engage in,
or probably will conspire with others to engage in, acts of espionage
It tightened alien exclusion and deportation laws and allowed for the
detention of dangerous, disloyal, or subversive persons in times of
war or "internal security emergency".
The Act made picketing a federal courthouse a felony if intended to
obstruct the court system or influence jurors or other trial
Several key sections of the Act were taken from the earlier
Mundt–Ferguson Communist Registration Bill, which Congress had
failed to pass.
It included language that Sen. Mundt had introduced several times
before without success aimed at punishing a federal employee from
passing information "classified by the President (or by the head of
any such department, agency, or corporation with the approval of the
President) as affecting the security of the United States" to "any
representative of a foreign government or to any officer or member of
a Communist organization". He told a Senate hearing that it was a
response to what the
House Un-American Activities Committee
Civil libertarians and radical political activists considered the McCarran Act to be a dangerous and unconstitutional infringement of political liberty, as exemplified in this 1961 poster.
Supreme Court of the United States
^ Internal Security Act ^ The Full Text of the McCarran Internal Security Act, accessed June 25, 2012 ^ Title II, Section 103 ^ New York Times: "M'Grath to Press New Curbs on Reds," September 25, 1950, accessed June 25, 2012 ^ Title I, Section 31 ^ Everything2: The Nixon-Mundt Bill Retrieved 2012-04-10 ^ Justia: Scarbeck v. U.S. paragraphs 20-1, accessed June 25, 2012 ^ Harry S. Truman, Veto of the Internal Security Bill, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. ^ "Text of President's Veto Message Vetoing the Communist-Control Bill". New York Times. September 23, 1950. Retrieved April 23, 2013. ^ Trussel, C.P. (September 24, 1950). "Red Bill Veto Beaten, 57-10, By Senators". New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2013. ^ Galvan v. Press, 347 U.S. 522 (1954), ^ Belknap, Michael R. (2004). The Vinson Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 171. ^ Belknap, Michael R. (2005). The Supreme Court Under Earl Warren, 1953-1969. University of South Carolina. p. 79. ^ ALARACT 333/2011 DTG R 311939Z AUG 11 ^ Public Law. "111-383" (PDF). section 1062. 111th Congress. ^ United States Department of Defense DoD Directive 5200.8, "Security of DoD Installations and Resources", 25 April 1991, retrieved August 26, 2005. Archived July 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "50 USC 798". Findlaw. ^ http://cisupa.proquest.com/ksc_assets/catalog/10837.pdf
The Full Text of the McCarran Internal Security Act Department of Defense Instruction, December 2005 (from Defense Technical I