Kent v. Dulles, 13297.

Decision Date27 June 1957
Docket NumberNo. 13297.,13297.
Citation248 F.2d 600
PartiesRockwell KENT, Appellant,v.John Foster DULLES, Secretary of State, Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit

See 78 S.Ct. 149.

Mr. Leonard B. Boudin, New York City, with whom Messrs. David Rein and Joseph Forer, Washington, D. C., were on the brief, for appellant.

Mr. B. Jenkins Middleton, Atty., Dept. of Justice, with whom Asst. Atty. Gen. George Cochran Doub, Mr. Oliver Gasch, U. S. Atty., and Mr. Paul A. Sweeney, Atty., Dept. of Justice, were on the brief, for appellee. Mr. Lewis Carroll, Asst. U. S. Atty., also entered an appearance for appellee.

Before EDGERTON, Chief Judge, and PRETTYMAN, WILBUR K. MILLER, BAZELON, FAHY, WASHINGTON, DANAHER, and BASTIAN, Circuit Judges, sitting en banc.

PRETTYMAN, Circuit Judge.

Rockwell Kent is an artist. On August 2, 1955, he filed with the Department of State an application for a passport to travel to Europe to paint pictures. He stated he desired to visit England, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Italy and Czechoslovakia, the stated purpose being "prosecution of profession and pleasure". The Director of the Passport Office wrote him under date of September 29, 1955, referring to the action of the Department upon a prior application. Upon receipt of that prior application, executed June 1, 1955, the Department had written him that it was obliged to disapprove the request tentatively, on the ground that the grant was precluded under Section 51.135 of the Department's Passport Regulations.1 The letter of the Department continued, "In your case it has been alleged that you were a Communist." Thereafter the letter contained a long (four printed pages in the joint appendix before us) recital of affiliations with Communist-front organizations, espousals of the Communist cause, and participation in Communist activities. He was advised that he would be required, as a prerequisite to a hearing on his application, to submit a sworn statement as to whether he was then or ever had been a Communist.

On October 27, 1955, counsel for Mr. Kent wrote the Department that his client had taken the position that the demand for an affidavit was unlawful and that he would not respond to such demand. However, on November 8, 1955, an informal hearing was held in the Passport Office, at which hearing Mr. Kent appeared with counsel. In the course of the hearing the Department put certain evidence in the record, principally a copy of Mr. Kent's book, It's Me O Lord, an autobiography. Mr. Kent conceded that anything in the book is accurate. Portions of the book were read into the record. In the course of that hearing Mr. Kent was asked a question directed at each subdivision of Section 51.135 of the Passport Regulations. He was asked whether he would submit a sworn statement as to whether he was or was not a member of the Communist Party, a sworn statement bearing on subsection (b) of the regulation, or a sworn statement as to membership in Communist-front organizations. He refused to submit any such sworn statement. He summarized his position thus: "* * * because I am an American citizen I am...

To continue reading

Request your trial
2 cases
  • Kent v. Dulles
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • 16 Junio 1958
    ...dismissed the complaint. The Court of Appeals heard the two cases en banc and affirmed the District Court by a divided vote. 101 U.S.App.D.C. 278, 248 F.2d 600; 101 U.S.App.D.C. 239, 248 F.2d 561. The cases are here on writ of certiorari. 355 U.S. 881, 78 S.Ct. 149, 2 L.Ed. The Court first ......
  • United States v. Laub
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York
    • 13 Junio 1966
    ...modified 98 U.S.App. D.C. 305, 235 F.2d 532 (1956); Kent v. Dulles, pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals 1956, see 101 U.S.App.D.C. 278, 248 F.2d 600 (1957); Briehl v. Dulles, pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1956, see 101 U.S.App.D.C. 239, 248 F.2d 561 43 Hearings, 8......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT