1940 July 31

ACLU Demands Federal Investigation of Barriers to the Ballot for Minority (i.e., Radical) Parties


The ACLU on this day sent the U.S. Justice Department a demand for a federal investigation of “concerted attempts to keep minority parties, especially the Communist Party, off the ballot in the upcoming national elections.” Efforts to keep minority parties, it charged, had occurred in 13 states. The ACLU accused the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the American Legion of leading the campaign against unpopular political parties. On September 22, 1940, the state of California, for example, barred the Communist Party from the ballot.

Read: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

Read the ACLU FBI File (not the complete file): http://vault.fbi.gov/ACLU

Learn about the ACLU today: www.aclu.org

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