342 U.S. 524 (1952), 35, Carlson v. Landon

Docket Nº:No. 35
Citation:342 U.S. 524, 72 S.Ct. 525, 96 L.Ed. 547
Party Name:Carlson v. Landon
Case Date:March 10, 1952
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 524

342 U.S. 524 (1952)

72 S.Ct. 525, 96 L.Ed. 547

Carlson

v.

Landon

No. 35

United States Supreme Court

March 10, 1952

Argued November 26, 1951

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS

FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

Syllabus

1. Under § 20(a) of the Immigration Act, as amended by § 23 of the Internal Security Act, the Attorney General may, in his discretion, hold in custody without bail, pending determination as to their deportability, aliens who are members of the Communist Party of the United States when there is reasonable cause to believe that their release on bail would endanger the safety and welfare of the United States. Pp. 526-547.

2. The lack of a clause in the Constitution specifically empowering such action does not render Congress impotent to require the expulsion of resident alien Communists. Pp. 533-537.

(a) So long as aliens fail to obtain and maintain citizenship by naturalization, they remain subject to the plenary power of Congress to expel them under the sovereign right to determine what noncitizens shall be permitted to remain within our borders. P. 534.

(b) The doctrines and practices of Communism teach the use of force to achieve political control clearly enough to give constitutional basis, according to any theory of reasonableness or arbitrariness, for Congress to expel known alien Communists. Pp. 534-536.

3. Under orders from the Acting Commissioner of Immigration, certain aliens were arrested under warrants issued after enactment of the Internal Security Act, charging them with being members of the Communist Party and directing that they be held in custody pending determination of deportability. They petitioned for habeas corpus. Respondent filed returns alleging that there was reasonable cause to believe that their release would endanger the welfare and safety of the United States. Later, he filed affidavits that the Service had evidence indicating that each petitioner was,

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at the time of arrest, a member of the Communist Party, and had, since 1930, participated, or was then actively participating, in the Party's indoctrination of others to the prejudice of the public interest.

Held:

(a) The refusal of bail in these cases was not arbitrary or capricious, or an abuse of power, and did not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Pp. 537-542.

(1) The discretion as to bail vested in the Attorney General by the Internal Security Act was broad enough to justify petitioners' detention without bail as a menace to the public interest. Pp. 537-541.

(2) There is no denial of due process under the Fifth Amendment in the detention of alien Communists without bail, pending determination of deportability, where there is reasonable cause to believe that their release on bail would endanger the safety and welfare of the United States. Pp. 541-542.

(b) The delegation to the Attorney General of discretionary authority to detain such aliens without bail pending deportation hearings does not constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative power or violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, because the statute contains definite legislative standards for deportation and such authority is to be exercised within the framework of the Subversive Activities Control Act to guard against Communist activities pending deportation hearings. Pp. 542-544.

(c) The Eighth Amendment does not require that bail be allowed in the circumstances of these cases. Pp. 544-546.

4. Prior to enactment of the Internal Security Act, an alien Communist was arrested under a warrant charging that he was subject to deportation as an alien member of an organization advocating the violent overthrow of the Government, but he was released on bail. After the effective date of the Act, he was again taken into custody under the same warrant, and held without bail under an order from the Acting Commissioner of Immigration, based on §§ 22 and 23 of the Internal Security Act.

Held: he must be released unless, within a reasonable time, in the discretion of the court, he is rearrested under a new warrant. Pp. 531, 546-547.

187 F.2d 991, affirmed.

187 F.2d 802, judgment vacated and cause remanded.

No. 35. In habeas corpus proceedings, a district court held that respondent had not abused his discretion in ordering petitioners held without bail pending deportation

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hearings. 94 F.Supp. 18. The Court of Appeals reversed. 186 F.2d 183. On rehearing and after introduction of certain evidence, the district court again sustained petitioners' detention without bail. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 187 F.2d 991. This Court granted certiorari. 342 U.S. 807. Affirmed, p. 547.

No. 136. In a habeas corpus proceeding, the district court sustained detention of respondent without bail pending determination of deportability. The Court of Appeals reversed. 187 F.2d 802. This Court granted certiorari. 342 U.S. 810. Judgment vacated and cause remanded, p. 547.

REED, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE REED delivered the opinion of the Court.

These cases present a narrow question with several related issues. May the Attorney General, as the executive head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service,1 after taking into custody active alien communists on warrants,2 charging either membership in a group that advocates

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the overthrow by force of this Government3 or inclusion in any prohibited classes of aliens,4 continue them in custody without bail at [72 S.Ct. 528] his discretion pending determination as to their deportability, under § 23 of the

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Internal Security Act?5 Differing views of the Courts of Appeals led us to grant certiorari. 342 U.S. 807.

I. Facts. -- The four petitioners in case No. 35 were arrested under warrants, issued after the enactment of the Internal Security Act of 1950, charging each with being an alien who was a member of the Communist Party of the United States.6 The warrants directed that they be held in custody7 pending determination

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of deportability.8 Petitions for habeas corpus were promptly filed alleging that the detention without bond was in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment9 and the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and that § 20 of the Immigration Act, as amended, was also unconstitutional. See note 5, supra. The allegation appears below.10

Respondent filed returns defending his orders of detention on the ground that there was reasonable cause to believe that petitioners' [72 S.Ct. 529] release would be prejudicial to the public interest and would endanger the welfare and safety of the United States. These returns were countered by petitioners with allegations of their many years' residence spent in this country without giving basis for fear of action by them inimical to the public welfare during the pendency of their deportation proceedings,

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their integration into community life through marriage and family connections, and their meticulous adherence to the terms of previous bail, allowed under a former warrant charging deportability. See note 8, supra. On consideration of these undenied allegations, the trial court determined that the Director had not been shown to have abused his discretion.11 This order was reversed on the ground that the Director

must state some fact upon which a reasonable person could logically conclude that the denial of bail is required to protect the country or to secure the alleged alien's presence for deportation should an order to that effect be the result of the hearing.12

On rehearing, the Director made allegation, supported by affidavits, that the Service's dossier of each petitioner contained evidence indicating to him that each was, at the time of arrest, a member of the Communist Party of the United States, and had, since 1930, participated, or was then actively participating, in the Party's indoctrination of others to the prejudice of the public interest. There was no denial of these allegations by any of the petitioners, except Hyun, or any assertion that any of them had completely severed all Communist affiliations or connections.13 As to Hyun, the denial was formal, and did not include any affidavit denying the facts stated in the Director's affidavit. As the allegations are set out by the Court of Appeals in the carefully detailed opinion of Circuit Judge Stephens, we refrain from any further restatement

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here.14 The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's determination that there was substantial evidence to support the discretion exercised in denying bail.

Respondent Zydok, in case No. 136, was arrested in August, 1949, under a recent warrant charging that he was subject to deportation as an alien with membership in an organization advocating the violent overthrow of the Government. Act of October 16, 1918, as amended, 8 U.S.C. (1946 ed.) § 137. At that time, he was released on $2,000 bail. Later, a deportation hearing was held by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, but this Court's decision in Wong Yang Sung v. McGrath, 339 U.S. 33, necessitated a second deportation hearing.

After the effective date, September 23, 1950, of the Internal Security Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 987, respondent was again taken into custody by petitioner on the 1949 warrant, pursuant to radiogram direction from the Acting Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization referring to § 20 of the Immigration Act of 1917, as amended by § 23 of the Internal Security Act. The respondent was held without bail by petitioner under an order from the Acting Commissioner of Immigration. The rearrest was based on § 22 of the Internal Security Act of 1950, which provides [72 S.Ct. 530] for the...

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