In the most recent of the efforts of the last several years to protect the ranks of officers and employees of the federal government from infiltration by foreign agents and persons whose interests are inimical to those of the United States, President Truman, on March 21, 1947, issued his "Loyalty Order." The first item in the pattern of statutes, orders, and regulations which supplies the background for the controversial Order No. 9835 was the Hatch Act of 1939, by which Congress prohibited federal employees from membership in organizations advocating the overthrow of the constitutional form of government. One year later, an addition to the Civil Service Act conferred on the War and Navy Departments the power to remove from the classified civil service anyone guilty of conduct opposed to public interest in the defense program, and this was followed in 1941 by the initiation of the now routine Congressional practice of attaching to appropriations bills, provisos that no funds should be paid to anyone advocating the overthrow of the government by force. Under the authority of two preceding Executive Orders, the Civil Service Commission, in March, 1942, issued its War Service Regulations, denying examination or appointment in the classified civil service, if there were a reasonable doubt as to the loyalty of the individual to the United States. To implement further these statutes and regulations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was authorized to investigate federal employees who were members of subversive organizations or who allegedly advocated the overthrow of the federal government by force. No consideration of the background of the order would be complete without including the work of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which from its inception in 1938 has exerted a substantial force in the direction of anti-subversive measures. The last measure in the overture to Order No. 9835 came late in 1946 with the establishment of the President's Temporary Commission on Employee Loyalty, to investigate and determine whether security provisions in the executive branch afforded adequate protection against disloyal and subversive persons, and to recommend procedures and standards for judging the loyalty of employees and applicants. Acting upon the report of this commission, the President issued his Order, Prescribing Procedures for the Administration of an Employee Loyalty Program in the Executive Branch of the Government.
William J. Schrenk, Jr.,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW--THE PRESIDENT'S LOYALTY ORDER--STANDARDS, PROCEDURE AND CONSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol46/iss7/5