McCarran, Patrick Anthony

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McCarran, Patrick Anthony

Patrick Anthony McCarran was born August 8, 1876, in Reno, Nevada. He graduated from the University of Nevada in 1901 and took up farming for a few years before his admission to the Nevada bar in 1905.

McCarran's career as a jurist was centered in Nevada. He practiced law from 1905 to 1907 in Tonopah and Goldfield, two areas that experienced prosperity due to mining successes. He served as district attorney of Nye County for the next two years before establishing a law practice in Reno. He entered the judiciary in 1912, presiding as associate justice of the Nevada Supreme Court; he rendered decisions as chief justice during 1917 and 1918. He subsequently practiced law until 1926, when he was defeated in an attempt to win election to the U.S. Senate.

In 1932, McCarran again sought a Senate seat and was successful. He represented Nevada until 1954, serving as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, from 1943 to 1946 and from 1949 to 1953, and of the Subcommittee on Foreign Economic Cooperation from 1950 to 1952.

During his lengthy participation in the Senate, McCarran was known for his outspoken beliefs. Most notable was his support of two pieces of controversial legislation that were passed despite the opposition of President Harry S. Truman. The McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C.A. § 781 et seq.) declared that all members of the Communist party must register with the attorney general; it also prohibited anyone with Communist connections to become involved in the government. The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C.A. § 1101 et seq.) imposed stricter restrictions on immigration.

McCarran died September 28, 1954, in Hawthorne, Nevada.

Cross-references

Communism.