To the Editors:
Ernest Mandel, the Belgian Marxist scholar, was twice barred from visiting the United States in 1969. This reversion to McCarthyism by the Justice Department has stirred considerable protest in this country and abroad.
Eight American scholars from seven Eastern universities have joined Mandel in bringing suit in federal court for an injunction restraining the government from excluding him from the US. This case is the first challenge to the restrictive provisions of the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act excluding aliens solely because of their political opinions.
Two main issues are plainly posed in this case. Do American citizens have the constitutional right to hear all views? We believe that the government does not have absolute power to refuse citizens of other countries admission to the US for any reason, thereby exercising arbitrary censorship over what Americans can hear and discuss.
A three-judge panel heard the arguments in Brooklyn on June 24. Whatever their decision, the case will be appealed by one side or the other to the US Supreme Court.
There are heavy expenses incurred in preparing this suit and carrying it through to a successful conclusion, even though fees for counsel are being paid for by the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. The outcome of this test case is so vitally important to our civil liberties, especially to the free exchange of ideas in the academic community, that we urge you to contribute generously to the fund for defraying these legal costs.
Checks should be made out to: Mandel Case—NECLC, Room 913, 25 East 26th Street, New York, N.Y. 10010.
Laurent B. Frantz
Paul M. Sweezy
[partial list of signatures]
November 19, 1970