Aside from my parents’ case, United States v. Dennis is perhaps the most famous McCarthy Era Red Scare legal action. In that case the government convicted the leaders of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) of conspiring to organize a revolutionary movement. Once the hysteria abated, the Supreme Court decision upholding that conviction became one of the more embarrassing episodes of our judicial history.
Federal Judge Joseph Tauro put yet another dent in our First Amendment rights two weeks ago when he dismissed a suit brought by five animal rights activists. The activists had claimed that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) made them fearful of protesting in public against animal abuse committed by corporations, and therefore, impinged upon their First Amendment rights. The law states that anyone can be prosecuted if their actions cause property loss to an animal-related business or laboratory, or who