USA: Smith Act trials of Communist Party leaders (1949 to 1958)

This article is about trials that involved the CPUSA. For other trials, see Smith Act trial disambiguation – Published on en.wikipedia.

The Smith Act trials of Communist Party leaders were a series of trials held from 1949 to 1958 in which leaders of the Communist Party of the United States CPUSA were accused of violating the Smith Act (Maintenance of National Security and the First Amendment), a 1940 statute that set penalties for advocating the violent overthrow of the government.   

The prosecution argued that the CPUSA’s policies promoted violent revolution; the defendants countered that they advocated a peaceful transition to socialism, and that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and association protected their membership in a political party. The trials led to the US Supreme Court decisions Dennis v. United States (1951) and Yates v. United States (1957) … (full long long text and links on en.wikipedia) …

See also about the Smith Act Trials:

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