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McCarran Internal Security Act

From Academic Kids

The Internal Security Act, the Subversive Activities Control Act, or the McCarran Act of 1950 required the registration of communist organizations with the Attorney General in the United States and established the Subversive Activities Control Board to investigate persons thought to be engaged in “un-American” activities. Members of these groups could not become citizens. Citizen-members could be denaturalized in five years. It was a key institution in the era of the Cold War, tightening alien exclusion and deportation laws and allowing for the detention of dangerous, disloyal, or subversive persons in times of war or “internal security emergency.” Congress overrode President Harry Truman's veto to pass this bill. Truman called the bill "the greatest danger to freedom of press, speech, and assembly since the Sedition Act of 1798."

Sections of the ISA were gradually ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and it was completely repealed in 1990.

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