National Affairs: On a Loyalty Case

For seven successive years (1947-53) Congress tacked on to the State Department Appropriation Act a rider giving the Secretary of State "absolute discretion" to fire any State Department or Foreign Service employee "whenever he shall deem such termination necessary or advisable in the interests of the U.S." This discretion was to be exercised, said the rider, "notwithstanding the provisions of ... any other law." At the same time the State Department's own internal regulations prescribed a procedure for clearance that, in some cases, gave the Secretary of State no power at all to act. Last week, by a vote of 8-0...

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