The Supreme Court ruled that the right to travel was part of the liberty guaranteed by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and that Congress had not authorized the secretary of state to deny passports because of beliefs or political affiliations.

In 1948 the Department of State established a policy of not issuing passports to communists, communist sympathizers, or individuals considered security risks. When Rockwell Kent was denied a passport, he argued that the policy was unconstitutional. Speaking for a 5-4 majority, Justice William O. DouglasDouglas, William O.;Kent v. Dulles[Kent v. Dulles] held that the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 did not authorize the secretary of state to withhold passports from citizens because of their beliefs or political activities. Douglas reasoned that the right to domestic and international travel was a constitutional right; therefore, the Court would have to assume that Congress would not have attempted to curtail the right without an explicit statute. In order to get Justice Felix Frankfurter to join the majority, Douglas did not consider the constitutional powers of Congress to restrict travel. As a result of the decision, nevertheless, passport application forms ceased to ask questions about Communist Party membership. Expanding on Kent, the Court limited the authority of Congress to restrict travel in Aptheker v. Secretary of State[case]Aptheker v. Secretary of State[Aptheker v. Secretary of State] (1964).Travel, right to;Kent v. Dulles[Kent v. Dulles]

Aptheker v. Secretary of State

Cold War

McCarran Act

Shapiro v. Thompson

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