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Chief Justice Hughes dissenting in United States v. Macintosh, supra, p. 635. Whatever attitude we may individually hold toward persons and organizations that believe in or advocate extensive changes in our existing order, it should be our desire and concern at all times to uphold the right of free discussion and free thinking to which we as a people claim primary attachment. To neglect this duty in a proceeding in which we are called upon to judge whether a particular individual has failed to manifest attachment to the Constitution would be ironical indeed.
Our concern is with what Congress meant to be the extent of the area of allowable thought under the statute. By the very generality of the terms employed it is evident that Congress intended an elastic test, one which should not be circumscribed by attempts at precise definition. In view of our tradition of freedom of thought, it is not to be presumed that Congress in the Act of 1906, or its predecessors of 1795 and 1802,17 intended to offer naturalization only to those whose political views coincide with those considered best by the founders in 1787 or by the majority in this country today. Especially is this so since the language used, posing the general test of "attachment” is not necessarily susceptible of so repressive a construction.18 The Government agrees that an alien “may think that the laws and the Constitution should be amended in some or many respects” and still be attached to the principles of the Constitution within the meaning of the statute.
17 See Note 12, ante.
18 In 1938 Congress failed to pass a bill denying naturalization to any person "who believes in any form of government for the United States contrary to that now existing in the United States, or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization which advocates any form of government for the United States contrary to that now existing in the United States.” H. R. 9690, 75th Cong., 3d Sess.
Without discussing the nature and extent of those permissible changes, the Government insists that an alien must believe in and sincerely adhere to the "general political philosophy" of the Constitution. Petitioner is said to be opposed to that “political philosophy," the minimum requirements of which are set forth in the margin.20 It was argued at the bar that since Article V contains no limitations, a person can be attached to the Constitution no matter how extensive the changes are that he desires, so long as he seeks to achieve his ends within the framework of Article V. But we need not consider the validity of this extreme position for if the Government's construction is accepted, it has not carried its burden of proof even under its own test.
The district court did not state in its findings what principles held by petitioner or by the Communist Party were opposed to the Constitution and indicated lack of attachment. See Note 6, ante. In its opinion that court merely relied upon In re Saralieff, 59 F. 2d 436, and United States v. Tapolcsanyi, 40 F. 2d 255, without fresh examination of the question in the light of the present record.
19 Brief, pp. 103-04. Supporting this view are In re Saralieff, 59 F. 2d 436; In re Van Laeken, 22 F. Supp. 145; In re Shanin, 278 F. 739. See also United States v. Tapolcsanyi, 40 F. 2d 255; Ex parte Sauer, 81 F. 355; United States v. Olsson, 196 F. 562, reversed on stipulation, 201 F. 1022.
20 “The test is . . . whether he substitutes revolution for evolution, destruction for construction, whether he believes in an ordered society, a government of laws, under which the powers of government are granted by the people but under a grant which itself preserves to the individual and to minorities certain rights or freedoms which even the majority may not take away; whether, in sum, the events which began at least no further back than the Declaration of Independence, followed by the Revolutionary War and the adoption of the Constitution, establish principles with respect to government, the individual, the minority and the majority, by which ordered liberty is replaced by disorganized liberty." Brief, p. 105.
33 F. Supp. 510. The Circuit Court of Appeals deduced as Party principles roughly the same ones which the Government here presses and stated "these views are not those of our Constitution.” 119 F. 2d at 503-04.
With regard to the Constitutional changes he desired petitioner testified that he believed in the nationalization of the means of production and exchange with compensation, and the preservation and utilization of our "democratic structure . . . as far as possible for the advantage of the working classes." He stated that the "dictatorship of the proletariat” to him meant "not a government, but a state of things” in which "the majority of the people shall really direct their own destinies and use the instrument of the state for these truly democratic ends.” None of this is necessarily incompatible with the “general political philosophy" of the Constitution as outlined above by the Government. It is true that the Fifth Amendment protects private property, even against taking for public use without compensation. But throughout our history many sincere people whose attachment to the general constitutional scheme cannot be doubted have, for various and even divergent reasons, urged differing degrees of governmental ownership and control of natural resources, basic means of production, and banks and the media of exchange, either with or without compensation. And something once regarded as a species of private property was abolished without compensating the owners when the institution of slavery was forbidden.21 Can it be said that the author of the Emancipation Proclamation and the supporters of the Thirteenth Amendment were not attached to the Constitution? We conclude that lack of attachment to the Constitution is not shown on the basis of
21 See generally Thorpe, Constitutional History of the United States (1901), vol. III, book V.
Compare the effect of the Eighteenth Amendment.
the changes which petitioner testified he desired in the Constitution. · Turning now to a seriatim consideration of what the Government asserts are principles of the Communist Party, which petitioner believed and which are opposed to our Constitution, our conclusion remains the same the Government has not proved by "clear, unequivocal and convincing" evidence that the naturalization court could not have been satisfied that petitioner was attached to the principles of the Constitution when he was naturalized.
We have already disposed of the principle of nationalization of the agents of production and exchange with or without compensation. The erection of a new proletariat state upon the ruins of the old bourgeois state, and the creation of a dictatorship of the proletariat may be considered together. The concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat is one loosely used, upon which more words than light have been shed. Much argument has been directed as to how it is to be achieved, but we have been offered no precise definition here. In the general sense the term may be taken to describe a state in which the workers or the masses, rather than the bourgeoisie or capitalists are the dominant class. Theoretically it is control by a class, not a dictatorship in the sense of absolute and total rule by one individual. So far as the record before us indicates, the concept is a fluid one, capable of adjustment to different conditions in different countries. There are only meager indications of the form the “dictatorship" would take in this country. It does not appear that it would necessarily mean the end of representative government or the federal system. The Program and Constitution of the Workers Party (1921-24) criticized the constitutional system of checks and balances, the Senate's power to pass on legislation, and the involved procedure
for amending the Constitution, characterizing them as devices designed to frustrate the will of the majority. 22 The 1928 platform of the Communist Party of the United States, adopted after petitioner's naturalization and hence not strictly relevant, advocated the abolition of the Senate, of the Supreme Court, and of the veto power of the President, and replacement of congressional districts with "councils of workers” in which legislative and executive power would be united. These would indeed be significant changes in our present governmental structurechanges which it is safe to say are not desired by the majority of the people in this country—but whatever our personal views, as judges we cannot say that a person who advocates their adoption through peaceful and constitutional means is not in fact attached to the Constitutionthose institutions are not enumerated as necessary in the Government's test of "general political philosophy," and it is conceivable that "ordered liberty" could be maintained without them. The Senate has not gone free of criticism and one object of the Seventeenth Amendment was to make it more responsive to the public will.23 The unicameral legislature is not unknown in the country.24 It is true that this Court has played a large part in the unfolding of the constitutional plan (sometimes too much so in the opinion of some observers), but we would be arrogant indeed if we presumed that a government of laws, with protection for minority groups, would be impossible without it. Like other agencies of government, this Court at various times in its existence has not escaped
- Petitioner testified that this was never adopted, but was merely a draft for study.
23 See Haynes, The Senate of the United States (1938), pp. 11, 96-98. 106-115, 1068–74.
24 Compare Nebraska's experiment with such a body. Nebraska Constitution, Article III, § 1. See 13 Nebraska Law Bulletin 341.