Communist Party, U.S.A. v. Catherwood
367 U.S. 389 (1961)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Communist Party, U.S.A. v. Catherwood, 367 U.S. 389 (1961)

Communist Party, U.S.A. v. Catherwood

No. 495

Argued May 4, 1961

Decided June 12, 1961

367 U.S. 389

Syllabus

The New York State Industrial Commissioner terminated petitioners' registrations and liability for state taxation as employers under the New York State Unemployment Insurance Law, and the New York Court of Appeals sustained such action, on the ground that it was required by the Communist Control Act of 1954, which declares that the Communist Party of the United States is an instrumentality of a conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the United States by force and violence, and that it and any of its successors

"are not entitled to any of the rights, privileges, and immunities attendant upon legal bodies created under the jurisdiction of the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof."

This termination of state registration had the indirect effect of increasing petitioners' tax rate under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act from about 1% to 3%. The Internal Revenue Service continued to treat petitioners as covered by the latter Act, and to collect taxes from them thereunder.

Held: the Communist Control Act of 1954 does not require exclusion of petitioners from New York's unemployment compensation system; the judgment is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings. Pp. 367 U. S. 389-395.

8 N.Y.2d 77, 168 N.E.2d 242, reversed and case remanded.

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