David Rein (1914–1979), a civil liberties lawyer, argued several cases before the Supreme Court, many of them dealing with First Amendment issues. Among them are Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath (1951); Harisiades v. Shaughnessy (1952); W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America v. Clark (1967); and Secretary of the Navy v. Avrech (1974). The first three decisions involved the punishment or regulation of individuals or groups associated with the Communist Party. The Avrech case involved the court-martial of a member of the military for allegedly disloyal statements.
Born in New York City, Rein earned undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University. During Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, he worked at the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Office of Price Administration. After serving in the Marines in World War II, he formed a law firm with Joseph Forer, a partnership that lasted for more than 30 years.
In the 1950s, Rein represented many individuals called before the House Un-American Activities Committee headed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. He later represented soldiers who spoke out against the Vietnam War.Send Feedback on this article