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Few deportations of radicals were made during the
year. This was chiefly because it was impossible to deport aliens to Russia in the absence of diplomatic relations.
The total number of violations of civil liberty
reported to the American Civil Liberties Union during the year was 316. Compared with the figures for the three previous years this number presents an indication of a trend away from repression. In 1921 there were 558 violations reported; in 1922, 1160; in 1923, 506. The violations are distributed among the four classifications as follows: prosecutions, mob violence, 41; lynchings, 16; meetings stopped, 24. The Condition of Civil Liberties in 1925
Two decisions of the State Department in 1925 are worthy of strict attention because of the bearing of these decisions upon the attitude of the government toward radicals. The first case is that of Count Michael Karolyi, first president of the Hungarian Republic. Karolyi applied for a passport to visit his sick wife in New York and received his passport only on the condition that he refrain from political activities while in the United States. Protests at once went up from over the United States but the ruling of the State Department was not reversed. The issue came up again in the fall when the State Department refused to vias Countess Karolyi's passport to return to the United States on a lecture tour. The reasons for this refusal were not given by the State Department.
The second case of interest is the excercise of the war-time power of the State Department in revoking a passport which had been granted to Shapurji Saklaṭala, a member of the
British Parliament, who was coming to the United States with
was further complicated by the fact that the President has
Under Attorney General Stone the Department of
Justice had cleared up most of the cases involving civil rights and had abolished the system of espionage carried out under Attorney General Daugherty. No cases were begun in Federal Courts involving the expression of opinion only. The sentence of Carlo Tresca, previously mentioned, was commuted to four months and he was released from Atlanta in May. Efforts were made during the year to secure restoration of citizenship for persons imprisoned for the expression of opinions during the war but this has not yet been acted upon by the State Department.
The policy of the Department of Labor to deport foreign radicals was continued thruout this year although very few cases were acted upon.
The Supreme Court handed down four decisions affecting civil liberties during the year: (1) The Oregon public school law which would have abolished public and private schools was
voided; (2) the Court knocked out compulsory arbitration in
industrial disputes in its decision on the Kansas Industrial Court Act; (3) in the case of Benjamin Gitlow, who was convicted under the New York criminal anarchy act, the court sustained the constitutionality of the act, with Justices Holmes and Brandeis dissenting This decision is taken to mean that other state criminal syndicalism and criminal anarchy acts are valid, (4) The fourth case was the refusal of the Court to review the case of Charlotte Anita Whitney, who was convicted under the California criminal syndicalism act. This allowed the conviction to stand--however, the court has agreed to hear the case again. The Federal District Court at Seattle held membership in the I. W. W. to be a bar to naturalization. decision could not be appealed.
The number of prisoners in state prisons convicted under the state criminal syndicalism and sedition laws decreased from 98 at the beginning of the year to 75 at the close. All such persons in prison are members of the I. W. W. In California prisons are found 69, in Washington 5, and in Kansas 1. During the year two were sent to prison under old indictments and 21 were released. Gitlow whose conviction was sustained by the United States Supreme Court was pardoned by Governor Smith on the grounds that he had already served long enough for a political crime. Two convictions were reversed by the Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals on the ground that membership in the I. W. W. was not a violation of the law. In California during the year 18 members of the I. W. W. were released and 2 were sentenced. A notable incident is the disbarment of Elmer Smith, Centralia attorney for