Constitutional Law – Judicial Determination of Constitutional Questions – The Necessity of Explicit Authorization of Administrative Officers to Take Actions Which Limit First Amendment Freedoms

Appellant applied for renewal of his radio operator’s license but refused to complete an FCC form relating to past and present affiliations with the Communist Party and other organizations which advocate the violent overthrow of the United States Government. At that time, and later in a hearing granted by the FCC, appellant relied upon the first amendment to justify his refusal. Subsequently the FCC denied his application. On appeal to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, held, affirmed, one judge dissenting. Pursuant to its power to grant licenses in the public interest,1 the FCC may impose a loyalty oath as a qualification for a license. Such qualification does not abridge appellant’s rights under the first amendment. Borrow v. FCC, 29 U.S.L. Week 2011 (D.C. Cir. June 30, 1960), cert. denied, 364 U.S. 892 (1960).