Appellants, native-born citizens and residents of the United States, are ranking officials of the Communist Party of the United States. After hearings under State Department regulations, appellants' passports were revoked under § 6 of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950, which provides that, when a Communist organization is registered, or under final order to register, it shall be unlawful for any member with knowledge or notice thereof to apply for or use a passport. Appellants filed suit asking that § 6 be declared unconstitutional as a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and that the Secretary of State be ordered to issue passports to them.

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Appellant, the Reverend Mr. B. Elton Cox, the leader of a civil rights demonstration, was arrested and charged *538 with four offenses under Louisiana law—criminal conspiracy, disturbing the peace, obstructing public passages, and picketing before a courthouse. In a consolidated trial before a judge without a jury, and on the same set of facts, he was acquitted of criminal conspiracy but convicted of the other three offenses. He was sentenced to serve four months in jail and pay a $200 fine for disturbing the peace, to serve five months in jail and pay a $500 fine for obstructing public passages, and to serve one year in jail and pay a $5,000 fine for picketing before a courthouse. The sentences were cumulative.

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Appellant was convicted of violating a Louisiana statute which provides:

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This case is the culmination of protracted litigation involving legislative investigating committees of the State of Florida and the Miami branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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Petitioner, the prevailing party in Greene v. McElroy, 360 U. S. 474, comes to this Court for a second time. Prior to April 23, 1953, petitioner was employed by a private corporation producing mechanical and electrical parts for military agencies of the United States. On that date the corporation discharged him because of the revocation of his security clearance by the Department of the Navy. Following his challenge of this revocation, this Court held in 1959 in Greene v. McElroy, supra, that "in the absence of explicit authorization from either the President or Congress the respondents were not empowered to deprive petitioner of his job in a proceeding in which he was not afforded the safeguards of confrontation and cross-examination." Id., at 508. On remand the District Court, declaring that revocation of petitioner's security clearance was "not validly authorized," ordered that all rulings denying petitioner's security clearance be *151 "expunged from all records of the Government of the United States."[1]

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Petitioners, attorneys engaged in the general practice of law, instituted this declaratory judgment action, 28 *606 U. S. C. § 2201, against respondent, the Attorney General of the United States, in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The complaint alleged that petitioners had been:

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