The Smith Act

From the Southampton Press (LTE):

Congress, in response to the far-right’s Nazi “America First” movement of the late 1930’s, enacted the Alien Registration Act of 1940. This law made it a “federal criminal offense to advocate the violent overthrow of our government or to organize or be a member of any group or society devoted to such advocacy.”

By the late 1940’s, this law, known popularly as the Smith Act, was employed to root out Communists from political, business and social organizations.

On January 6, one of the foundations of our democracy, our Congress, was attacked, verbally and physically, by a mob. This attack was planned and directed by the head of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, with the full aid, support and cooperation of Republicans Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham — and, yes, Lee Zeldin.

It is time for the Department of Justice to take action, using laws like the Smith Act.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” — Voltaire.

Stephen Ring

Hampton Bays

About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
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1 Response to The Smith Act

  1. Stephen, it’s interesting that the Smith Act cut both ways. Although initially devised to deal with right-wing extremists, they used it later to go after left-wing folks. Clearly, we need something better.

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