Dec 1962, Court
U. S. Reds Face Court WASHINGTON (AP)—The Communist party of the United States goes on trial today for refusing to register as an agent of the Soviet Union. The criminal action marks one more step in the government’s long fight to force Communists to comply with the 1950 Internal Security Act. Angry statements fro’’ supporters of the party prefaced the trial. “If the Justice Department is allowed to bring the Communist party to trial as scheduled,” James J. Tormey said, “American democracy itself will be placed in the dock. “No minority party, no American will be safe.” Tormey is executive secretary of the Defense Committee for Gus Hall and Benjamin J. Davis. In a separate case. Hall and Davis have been indicted for refusing to register as individual officers of the Communist party. The Justice Department identifies Hall as general secretary and Davis as national secretary of the party. Hall said the trial ot the party •‘denies the American people their right of political choice.” “For the first time in the history of our country,” he continued, “a political party has been brought into a criminal court and put on trial.” Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy has explained that the 1950 act does not outlaw the Communist party but declares it “is a Communist-action organization, sub stantially controlled, dominated and directed by the Soviet Union.” The Supreme Court uphel dthe law’s constitutionality in a 5-4 decision in Tune 1961. Among other things, the law directed the party to register as a tool of Moscow, to list its officers and members and give an annual financial accounting.