Smith Act

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Smith Act,

1940, passed by the U.S. Congress as the Alien Registration Act of 1940. The act, which made it an offense to advocate or belong to a group that advocated the violent overthrow of the government, was the basis of later prosecutions of members of the Communist and Socialist Workers parties. In 1957 the U.S. Supreme Court restricted the application of the Smith Act to instances of active participation in, or verbal encouragement of, specific insurrectionary activities.

Smith Act


(also Alien Registration Act), an act passed by the Congress of the USA on June 28, 1940; named for H. Smith, the congressman who introduced the measure. The Smith Act made it a crime to advocate or teach the duty, necessity, or propriety of overthrowing the government by force or violence. When the act was passed it was assumed that it would be used against agents of fascist governments in the USA. However, after World War II (1939–45) it was used against members of the Communist Party. From 1948 to 1955 the Smith Act, along with the McCarran Act of 1950 and other antidemocratic laws, was used as the grounds for 18 trials of leaders of the Communist Party. Many of them were sentenced to long terms in prison solely on the basis of their Marxist views. In 1957 the Supreme Court of the USA set limits to the range of application of the Smith Act. [23–1830–]

References in periodicals archive ?
149) The Court specifically noted that prior to Congress's adoption of the Alien Registration Act of 1940, numerous attempts had been made to enact some form of national alien registration legislation.
The case arose when Pennsylvania citizens sued to enjoin enforcement of the state's Alien Registration Act, passed in 1939.
In addition to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, the federal government interned over 110,000 persons, mostly Japanese immigrants.
192) A further, but more extreme approach could be to revive the 1940 Alien Registration Act, requiring all non-citizens living in the U.
The Alien Registration Act, also known as the Smith Act, was passed by Congress.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the annual report of aliens is required under the 1951 alien registration act and those who do not comply may be fined or imprisoned for violating the law.
The yearly process of requiring all foreigners to report to the agency and pay the annual report fee is mandated under Republic Act 562 or the Alien Registration Act of 1950.
26, a total of 50,414 aliens have already made their annual report as required under Republic Act 562 or the Alien Registration Act of 1950.
Mison said a foreigner who ignores the requirement prescribed by the Alien Registration Act is liable to face deportation proceedings.
The immigration chief said the new requirement was imposed to strictly enforce immigration rules and regulations on national security, public safety and order as prescribed by the Alien Registration Act.
Under the Alien Registration Act of 1950, foreigners staying in the Philippines are required to report to BI within the first 60 days of every calendar year.
reminded foreigners that under the Alien Registration Act of 1950, they are required to report to the BI within the first 60 days of the year.