Supreme Quotes, 1021 MEBJ, Pg. 159

PositionVol. 36 3 Pg. 159


No. Vol. 36 No. 3 Pg. 159

Maine Bar Journal

October, 2021


“… [P]eople understand one another with difficulty unless talking face to face.”

Kleindienst v Mandel, 408 U.S. 53, 776 n.2 (Marshall, J., dissenting) (1972) (quoting Albert Einstein, as quoted in Developments in the Law—Te National Security Interest and Civil Liberties, 85 Harv.L.Rev. 1130, 1154 (1972)).

In the 1960s, Ernest Mandel was the editor-in-chief of the Belgian Socialist weekly La Gauche. Mandel was a self-described “revolutionary Marxist” and a prominent advocate for world communism. By statute, however, anyone who advocated communism was prohibited from entering the United States, unless the Attorney General granted a discretionary visa.

In 1962, the Kennedy Administration’s Attorney General (Robert F. Kennedy) authorized a visa, which allowed Mandel to enter the United States as a journalist. In 1968, the Johnson Administration’s Attorney General (Ramsey Clark) authorized a second visa, which allowed Mandel to lecture at various American universities. In 1969, however, the Nixon Administration’s Attorney General (John Mitchell) denied a third visa, which prohibited Mandel from entering the country to lecture at more American universities.

A lawsuit was fled by the American scholars who invited Mandel to speak. Tose scholars insisted they had a First Amendment right to hear Mandel’s lectures, and the government was interfering with free speech by denying Mandel’s visa.

Te Supreme Court disagreed. Writing for the majority, Justice Blackmun did not view the case through a First...

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