v. Kennedy, GASTELUM-QUINONE

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtGOLDBERG
Citation10 L.Ed.2d 1013,83 S.Ct. 1819,374 U.S. 469
Decision Date17 June 1963
Docket Number293,GASTELUM-QUINONE,Nos. 39,P
PartiesJose Mariaetitioner, v. Robert F. KENNEDY, Attorney General of the United States (two cases)

374 U.S. 469
83 S.Ct. 1819
10 L.Ed.2d 1013
Jose Maria GASTELUM-QUINONES, Petitioner,

v.

Robert F. KENNEDY, Attorney General of the United States (two cases).

Nos. 39, 293.
Argued March 19, 1963.
Decided June 17, 1963.

David Rein, Washington, D.C., for petitioner.

Page 470

Bruce J. Terris, Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Mr. Justice GOLDBERG delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case, stripped of its procedural complexities, raises the question whether an alien long resident in this country is deportable because, for a period during 1949 and 1950, he paid dues to and attended several meetings of a club of the Communist Party in Los Angeles. The Immigration and Naturalization Service sought and obtained an order for petitioner's deportation on the ground that these facts established petitioner's membership in the Communist Party of the United States within the meaning of § 241(a)(6)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 66 Stat. 163, 204—205, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(6)(C). 1 Whether membership was so established turns on the application of two decisions of this Court which construed the immediate predecessor of § 241(a) (6)(c,), § 22 of the Internal Security Act of 1950, 64 Stat. 987, 1006, 1008. In Galvan v. Press, 347 U.S. 522, 528, 74 S.Ct. 737, 741, 98 L.Ed. 911, it was held that deportability on the ground of Communist Party membership turns on whether the alien was 'aware that he was joining an organization known as the Communist Party which operates as a distinct and active political organization * * *,' and

Page 471

in Rowoldt v. Perfetto, 355 U.S. 115, 120, 78 S.Ct. 180, 183, 2 L.Ed.2d 140, it was held, in elaboration of Galvan, that the alien must have had a 'meaningful association' with the Communist Party in order to be deportable. The evidence in the record, to which the standards set sorth in these decisions must be applied, was all elicited at hearings before the Service's special inquiry officer in 1956. This evidence consists solely of the testimony of two government witnesses, petitioner having chosen to introduce no evidence.

The special inquiry officer entered a deportation order against petitioner on February 28, 1957. The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed petitioner's appeal on November 14, 1957, on the ground that the record established his voluntary membership in the Communist Party. A few weeks later, this Court decided Rowoldt v. Perfetto, supra, and petitioner asked the Board to reconsider its decision in light of the opinion in that case. The Board denied the application, pointing out that the record as it stood still supported the deportation order. It did, however, order a reopening of the proceedings before the special inquiry officer so that petitioner might have a chance to offer rebuttal testimony and thereby bring himself, possibly, within the framework of the Rowoldt decision.

At the reopened hearing, however, petitioner's counsel took the position that on the record as it stood the Government had failed to establish Communist Party membership in the sense contemplated by the Rowoldt decision, and therefore chose not to offer further evidence. The Government also offered no additional evidence. The special inquiry officer reaffirmed his previous decision and the Board of Immigration Appeals on May 18, 1959, dismissed petitioner's appeal. Petitioner thereupon filed an action in Federal District Court for review of the deportation order. That court granted the Government's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of

Page 472

Columbia Circuit Affirmed the dismissal, Gastelum-Quinones v. Rogers, 109 U.S.App.D.C. 267, 286 F.2d 824, and this Court denied a petition for certiorari, 365 U.S. 871, 81 S.Ct. 902, 5 L.Ed.2d 861.

Petitioner read the Court of Appeals' opinion as suggesting that § 241(a)(6) (C) would not have applied to him if he had introduced evidence that he had not personally advocated the forcible overthrow of the Government.2 He therefore moved before the Board of Immigration Appeals that the deportation hearing be reopened to permit him to introduce evidence that he did not personally advocate the violent overthrow of the Government. The Board of Immigration Appeals heard oral argument on the motion and, on August 1, 1961, denied it.

Petitioner then brought the present action in the District Court, praying that the Board be ordered to reopen the deportation hearing and that the Attorney General and his agents be enjoined from enforcing the outstanding deportation order. A preliminary injunction to the latter effect was also requested. The court denied the motion for preliminary injunction on August 14, 1961, and the Court of Appeals summarily affirmed this denial on September 13. Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari in this Court to review the denial of preliminary injunctive relief, and THE CHIEF JUSTICE ordered deportation stayed until the petition should be disposed of. Meanwhile, summary judgment was granted the Government on the merits of petitioner's complaint, which was thereupon dismissed, a disposition which was summarily affirmed by the Court of Appeals on February 23, 1962. Petitioner filed an additional petition for certiorari to review this judgment. We granted both petitions. 371 U.S. 860, 83 S.Ct. 115, 120, 9 L.Ed.2d 98. No. 39 involves the preliminary injunction,

Page 473

and No. 293 relates to the ultimate dismissal of petitioner's complaint on the merits.

In determining whether, on the record before us, the Government has fulfilled its burden of proving that petitioner was a 'member' of the Communist Party of the United States within the meaning of § 241(a)(6)(C), we must recognize at the outset what the history of the times amply demonstrates,3 that some Americans have joined the Communist Party without understanding its nature as a distinct political entity. The Rowoldt decision, as well as other decisions of this Court, reflects that there is a great practical and legal difference between those who firmly attach themselves to the Communist Party being aware of all of the aims and purposes attributed to it, and those who temporarily join the Party, knowing nothing of its international relationships and believing it to be a group solely trying to remedy unsatisfactory social or economic conditions, carry out trade-union objectives, eliminate racial discrimination, combat unemployment, or alleviate distress and poverty.4 Although the Court specifically recognized in Galvan, supra, 347 U.S. at 528, 74 S.Ct. at 741 that 'support, or even demonstrated knowledge, of the Communist Party's advocacy of violence was not intended to be a prerequisite to deportation,' it did condition deportability on the alien's awareness of the 'distinct and active political' nature of the Communist Party, ibid. This, together with the requirement of 'meaningful association' enunciated in Rowoldt, supra, 355 U.S. at 120, 78 S.Ct. at 183 led the Court to declare later that in Galvan and Rowoldt it

Page 474

had 'had no difficulty in interpreting 'membership' * * * as meaning more than the mere voluntary listing of a person's name on Party rolls.' Scales v. United States, 367 U.S. 203, 222, 81 S.Ct. 1469, 1483, 6 L.Ed.2d 782.

The operation in practice of this wise distinction is illustrated by Rowoldt, to which we think the present case is analogous on its facts. In Rowoldt, the sole evidence in the record was Rowoldt's statement to an inspector of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in the course of which he admitted voluntary membership but said nothing which indicated that he had been aware while a member that the Communist Party was a 'distinct and active political organization.' Mr. Justice Frankfurter, speaking for the Court, concluded that '(f)rom his own testimony in 1947, which is all there is, the dominating impulse to his 'affiliation' with the Communist Party may well have been wholly devoid of any 'political' implications.' 355 U.S., at 120, 78 S.Ct., at 183. The Court therefore decided that the record was too insubstantial to support the order of deportation. The same is true here. The testimony of the two government witnesses establishes only that between either late 1948 or early 1949 and the end of 1950 or early 1951 petitioner was a dues-paying member of a club of the Communist Party in Los Angeles, and that he attended about 15 meetings of his Party club, one executive meeting of the group, and one area Party convention.

One witness, Scarletto, testified to having joined the Communist Party in Los Angeles in 1947 'under the supervision of the F.B.I.' At a date which he did not recall, but which he thought was in late 1948 or early 1949, Scarletto was assigned to the El Sereno Club, which 'was one of the large divisions (of the Communist Party) which was split up later.' There were 'approximately 32 members in the El Sereno Club at that time,' and Scarletto was the press director of the club. Scarletto was only in the El Sereno Club for 'a few months' when

Page 475

it 'was split up into smaller units for security reasons.' During these few months, Scarletto testified, he was introduced to petitioner at an El Sereno Club meeting and saw him there one other time. Since attendance at club meetings was restricted to Communist Party members, Scarletto inferred that petitioner was a member of the Party.

Scarletto was next assigned, some time in early 1949, to the Mexican Concentration Club, which, he testified, was also a unit of the Communist Party of the United States. Petitioner, he said, was put into the same new group. Scarletto shortly became organization secretary of this group, a job which, among other things, gave him the duty of collecting dues, and he testified that he collected dues from petitioner. Scarletto left the Concentration Club in early 1951, when he was transferred by the Party 'to the underground.'...

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34 practice notes
  • Polcover v. Secretary of Treasury, No. 71-1920.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • April 4, 1973
    ...(2) The Supreme Court itself has experienced difficulty in the execution of such a "rule."9 See Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 83 S.Ct. 1819, 10 L.Ed.2d 1013 (1963). (3) A "rule" limiting our appellate review to a determination of whether the district court ......
  • Baxter v. Palmigiano Enomoto v. Clutchette, Nos. 74-1187 and 74-1194
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 20, 1976
    ...See also United States v. Hale, 422 U.S. 171, 176-177, 95 S.Ct. 2133, 2136, 45 L.Ed.2d 99, 104 (1975); Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 479, 83 S.Ct. 1819, 1824, 10 L.Ed.2d 1013, 1020 (1963); Grunewald v. United States, 353 U.S. 391, 418-424, 77 S.Ct. 963, 981-984, 1 L.Ed.2d 931,......
  • Elfbrandt v. Russell, No. 656
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 18, 1966
    ...said office or employment.' 3. Cf. Rowoldt v. Perfetto, 355 U.S. 115, 120, 78 S.Ct. 180, 183, 2 L.Ed.2d 140; Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 83 S.Ct. 1819, 10 L.Ed.2d 1013. 4. The Pugwash Conferences, A Staff Analysis, Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Intern......
  • US v. Restrepo, No. 91 CR 1399 (ERK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • August 17, 1992
    ...95 L.Ed. 886 (1951); Barber v. Gonzales, 347 U.S. 637, 642-643, 74 S.Ct. 822, 825, 98 L.Ed. 1009 (1954); Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 479, 83 S.Ct. 1819, 1824, 10 L.Ed.2d 1013 (1963); Costello v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 376 U.S. 120, 131, 84 S.Ct. 580, 586, 11......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • Polcover v. Secretary of Treasury, No. 71-1920.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • April 4, 1973
    ...(2) The Supreme Court itself has experienced difficulty in the execution of such a "rule."9 See Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 83 S.Ct. 1819, 10 L.Ed.2d 1013 (1963). (3) A "rule" limiting our appellate review to a determination of whether the district court ......
  • Baxter v. Palmigiano Enomoto v. Clutchette, Nos. 74-1187 and 74-1194
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 20, 1976
    ...See also United States v. Hale, 422 U.S. 171, 176-177, 95 S.Ct. 2133, 2136, 45 L.Ed.2d 99, 104 (1975); Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 479, 83 S.Ct. 1819, 1824, 10 L.Ed.2d 1013, 1020 (1963); Grunewald v. United States, 353 U.S. 391, 418-424, 77 S.Ct. 963, 981-984, 1 L.Ed.2d 931,......
  • Elfbrandt v. Russell, No. 656
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 18, 1966
    ...said office or employment.' 3. Cf. Rowoldt v. Perfetto, 355 U.S. 115, 120, 78 S.Ct. 180, 183, 2 L.Ed.2d 140; Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 83 S.Ct. 1819, 10 L.Ed.2d 1013. 4. The Pugwash Conferences, A Staff Analysis, Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Intern......
  • US v. Restrepo, No. 91 CR 1399 (ERK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • August 17, 1992
    ...95 L.Ed. 886 (1951); Barber v. Gonzales, 347 U.S. 637, 642-643, 74 S.Ct. 822, 825, 98 L.Ed. 1009 (1954); Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 479, 83 S.Ct. 1819, 1824, 10 L.Ed.2d 1013 (1963); Costello v. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 376 U.S. 120, 131, 84 S.Ct. 580, 586, 11......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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