Civil liberties author to speak about Supreme Court case involving Communism and UB

Release Date: March 14, 2013

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Civil liberties activist Marjorie Heins will appear at the University at Buffalo on March 25 to discuss her latest book, which details a Supreme Court decision that made it unlawful for states to discriminate against Communist Party members.

The book, called “Priests of Our Democracy: The Supreme Court, Academic Freedom, and the Anti-Communist Purge,” examines the right to academic freedom and events leading up to the court’s 1967 decision in Keyishian v. Board of Regents.

In the early 1950s, teachers and professors were the targets of investigations into their political beliefs and associations, and this landmark decision held that states cannot prohibit employees from being members of the Communist party, ending an era of political repression and heresy hunts.

Heins, who used collections in the University Archives to conduct research for the book, will be joined by former UB professor Newton Garver, one of the original plaintiffs, and Richard Lipsitz, the lawyer who handled the case.

The event, at 509 O’Brian Hall on UB’s North Campus on March 25, is co-sponsored by University Archives and the Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy. There will be food served at noon followed by a discussion from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

For more information, contact:  Nancy Nuzzo, director of the music library and special collections, at or (716) 645-2935.

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