The Law: Exercise in Futility

The Subversive Activities Control Board, which Congress set up in 1950 to force Communists to register, has become the Federal Government's best-known on-the-job retirement program. Though inspired by the McCarthy era, when it was designed as a key Red hunter, the board has never registered a single subversive, much less controlled one. Most of its activity has been confined to watching lawyers battle over its right to survive.

Last week the Supreme Court declined to bother with what may be the final battle. It refused to review a lower-court ruling that barred the board from labeling individuals as members of the Communist...

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