THE SUPREME COURT: Only Feds for the Reds

For his operations as western Pennsylvania's top Communist Party leader, Steve Nelson, 53, was convicted in two courts. A Pennsylvania Court of Quarter Sessions gave him a stiff 20-year sentence and $10,000 fine for twelve violations of the 37-year-old state sedition act; then a Federal District Court added a milder five-year term for Smith Act violations. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out (6-3) Nelson's conviction by the state of Pennsylvania, ruled that the Federal Government alone may prosecute those who advocate its overthrow.

The ruling threw a large question mark...