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At issue in Sweezy v. New Hampshire (1957) was whether a state investigation of alleged subversive activities deprived a speaker at a university of due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the New Hampshire attorney general's investigation did violate the speaker's constitutional rights. In light of the impact that Sweezy played in the larger realm of litigation on the constitutionality of loyalty oaths, even though it did not deal with such oaths per se, this entry reviews its history and judicial analyses in detail.

Background

In 1951, during a time of anticommunist fears, political blacklisting, and Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigations into “un-American activities,” the legislature of the State of New Hampshire passed the Subversive Activities Act. Provisions in the ...

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