IRISH NORTHERN AID COMMITTEE v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF U.S.
409 U.S. 1080

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U.S. Supreme Court

IRISH NORTHERN AID COMMITTEE v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF U.S. , 409 U.S. 1080 (1972)

409 U.S. 1080

IRISH NORTHERN AID COMMITTEE
v.
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF the UNITED STATES.
No. 72-521.

Supreme Court of the United States

December 18, 1972

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

Mr. Justice MARSHALL, with whom Mr. Justice DOUGLAS and Mr. Justice BRENNAN concur, dissenting.

Petitioner is registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, 22 U.S.C. 611 et seq. (1970). The District Court ordered it to comply with the Act by filing, inter alia, a statement of contributions which included the names of contributors. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed in an unreported order. I believe that the Foreign Agents Registration Act does not authorize the Attorney General to require lists of the names and addresses of contributors, as he has done in 28 CFR 5.201(e). Cf. Kent v. Dulles, 357 U.S. 116 (1958). I would therefore grant the petition for writ of certiorari and reverse. The Foreign Agents Registration Act sets out an extensive scheme to regulate the activities of foreign agents. But the scheme is not all- encompassing. Its purpose is to inform the American people of the activities of the agents of foreign principals so that the people may carefully 'appraise them and the purposes for which they act.' H.R.Rep. No. 1470, 89th Cong., 2d Sess. (1966); 1966 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin.News, pp. 2397, 2398. Congress has determined that we must know the extent to which a foreign agent is supported by his principal so that we may properly evaluate the agent's interest in the views he presents. To that end, the statute requires the agent to disclose 'the nature and amount of contributions, income, money, or thing of value, if any, that the registrant has received . . . from each such foreign principal.' 22 U.S.C . 612(a)(5). Prior to its amendment in 1966, the statute did require the disclosure of the name and address of 'any person who has . . . contributed or paid money or anything of

Page 409 U.S. 1080 , 1081

value to the registrant.' 56 Stat. 248, 252. This provision was omitted in 1966, leaving 612(a)(5) as essentially the only provision requiring disclosure of contributors. [Footnote 1]

The amendments adopted in 1966 were intended to limit the scope of the previous act and thereby to make effective enforcement more likely. In language repeated in each subsequent Committee report on the proposed revision, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations referred to its bill as 'better focusing the act on those individuals performing political or semipolitical activities.' S.Rep. No. 875, 88th Cong., 2d Sess., 1 (1964). 2 The Committee said, 'Too broadly written for today's needs, the present act's disclosure provisions have through the years been too narrowly enforced with the emphasis paid on subversive or potentially subversive [409 U.S. 1080 , 1082]


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