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Government The Courts

Subversives In South Carolina Mostly Safe 200

Posted by kdawson
from the as-you-were dept.
sabt-pestnu sends in an update on our story about South Carolina and subversives. "According to Eugene Volokh, the Raw Story article has got it backwards. Westlaw says that the cited statute dates back to 1951, when a lot of anti-Communist statutes were being enacted nationwide. What brought Raw Story's attention to it may be that South Carolina is once again trying to repeal the archaic law. And in any event, a half-century-old case (Yates vs. United States, 354 U.S. 298 (1957)) took most of the teeth out of such laws."
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Subversives In South Carolina Mostly Safe

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  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday February 15, 2010 @09:41PM (#31151218) Homepage
    Huh? Lawrence v Texas, which threw out the remaining anti-sodomy laws was decided in 2003. Renquist didn't die until 2005. So it wasn't the Roberts court. (I'd argue with the claim that the current court is "hyper-conservative" but that's a separate issue).
  • by grandpa-geek (981017) on Monday February 15, 2010 @09:52PM (#31151288)

    It was a similar kind of law passed back then. I don't know if it was repealed or is just being ignored because it was declared unconstitutional. Someone named Ober had pushed it.

    There were a lot of these laws passed during the time Senator Joseph McCarthy was conducting his witch hunts ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H investigations. There was also something at the time called the House Un-American Activities Committee that did similar things (often involving guilt by vague association) . Then came the famous Army-McCarthy hearings ("point of order, point of order", "sir, have you no decency") that discredited McCarthy. The HUAC seemed to melt away, various laws went to court and were declared unconstitutional, and the whole situation wound down.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:41PM (#31151566)

    Hardly. He's just claiming that current government violates the constitution(s), and that IF he had signed an oath to defend said constitution(s), he would then be obligated to attempt an overthrow. He isn't saying the constitution(s) obligate(s) him to do anything of the sort. Nor saying requiring such an oath as a condition of employment violates them.

  • by Miseph (979059) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @02:36AM (#31152782) Journal

    Uh, what? "Quaker" is to The Society of Friends what "Mormon" is to the Church of Latter Day Saints; a colloquial term for church members. I suppose that some Quakers out there might be offended by the term, but I've never heard of it, and there are actually a decent number of them in my area.

    As for preaching against their fellow man... no, not really. The Quakers are pretty well known for teaching peace, tolerance, equality and universal love. They were one of the first groups to outright condemn slavery in the United Sates, and also one of the first to take direct action against it (Quaker craftsmen, particularly shipbuilders, refused to make anything that would be used for the purpose of slavery, including those used for the slave trade; they also ran many of the stops on the underground railroad, and often provided material assistance to escaped blacks once in the North). They were also one of the first modern sects to allow female ministers, and have long supported and worked for equal rights for men and women.

    They're also shockingly badass for radical pacifists, throughout their history they have maintained a reputation for being downright fearless when it comes to issues of faith vs. the powers that be. It took some serious stones to tell the king of England that you will not remove your hat in his presence because the only authority which you respect is the Lord, even more when the circumstances are such that the king is pissed you're not following the state religion in which he is the voice of God.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @07:12AM (#31153834)

    Whats far more likely is a brain-dead local authority tries to dust them off and apply them and SCOTUS tosses them out. You and I may not always like the outcome of SCOTUS decisions but they do tend to serve the Framers' intent of keeping legislators and their more ridiculous laws in check.

    Woah, holly shit, have you even been watching the news lately? Just a few weeks ago SCOTUS shot down rules limiting the amount of money corporations can donate to politicians. That doesn't even scratch the surface of what they have been doing...

  • by spartacus_prime (861925) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @10:01AM (#31154594) Homepage
    Except, you know, Jefferson Davis wasn't President of the United States.
  • by Garwulf (708651) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @10:42AM (#31154968) Homepage

    "You are playing a definition game. McCarthy wasn't simply looking for Communists, he was looking for a threat to the American way of life. Oddly enough, it wasn't there."

    Actually, yes it was. It just wasn't where he was looking.

    McCarthy was an opportunist who destroyed a lot of lives while running a witch hunt for communists - more or less taking what the FBI was doing and running rampant with it. And, up until the mid-1990s, the history books didn't have the information the FBI did from the NSA. So, accepted history was that it was only a witch hunt, and the wasn't really a communist threat.

    And then, in the mid-1990s, the NSA declassified the Venona intercepts.

    In fact, there WAS a serious Soviet infiltration of the United States government at some of the highest levels. It was detected because of duplication of some of the one-time pads (an otherwise unbreakable type of code) that allowed some Soviet intelligence communications to be decoded, and revealed the spy rings.

    You can read about it here: http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/declass/venona/index.shtml [nsa.gov]

  • by Garwulf (708651) on Tuesday February 16, 2010 @11:21AM (#31155388) Homepage

    Well, that's the thing - as Venona indicates, they didn't go undetected. In fact, a lot of spies were caught because of Venona. The Rosenbergs, for example. And, some Soviet activities had a definite impact on sabotaging U.S. foreign policy - as I recall, one of the reasons China was able to go communist was that either the U.S. Treasury or State department had a high-level Soviet spy who made certain that funds earmarked for supporting Chiang Kai-Shek never arrived, allowing Mao Zedong to succeed.

    When you start looking at the intelligence picture of the Cold War, particularly in the late 40s, 50s, and early 60s, you see VERY interesting things happening. And you have to look very carefully to see it. One of the things to keep in mind is that an intelligence success tends to be secret - it's the intelligence failures that are public.

    (Modern examples: Bin Laden's satellite phone being tapped by the NSA and used to foil Al Qaeda operations up to 2000 vs. September 11, 2001.)

    Wikipedia has an article that's a good place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Soviet_and_Russian_espionage_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

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