Rather than engage in the insipid ritual of emitting a few conventional and boring and repetitive words in this season of hope and joy, usxcanada went data shopping to try to find a present to post for Brockers. The following perspective on U.S. passport is cross-posted from the growing archive (in less than one year, more than 300 annotated entries) over at USxCanada InfoShop. What will 2013 bring? Certainly to many in our circle, hopes for freedom to be obtained, and joy in freedom achieved.
The extraordinary Mrs. Shipley: how the United States controlled international travel before the age of terrorism
Connecticut Law Review 43:3 (Feb 2011) 819-888
[389 footnotes] Career civil servant Ruth B. Shipley acted as chief of the Passport Division of the U.S. State Department from 1928 to 1955. Shipley personally reviewed every passport application, and prior to 1958 Supreme Court decision, her actions were subject to no judicial review. Shipley denied passports to Paul Robeson, Arthur Miller, Linus Pauling, and “many other” Americans during the 1950s. Kahn’s article explores how Shipley acquired such power and how the US passport became an instrument to prevent rather than permit travel. A backgrounder opening (825-842) provides a history of travel controls from 1789 to the Shipley era. Originally the passport was “a document [issued by the country that the traveler sought to enter] that granted a foreigner permission to pass into or out of a country’s ports” (825) — the opposite of what the passport came to be. Kahn concludes that current administration of U.S. citizens has achieved the Shipley effect through authority “diffused among intelligence analysts in multiple agencies who now compile watchlists of people deemed too dangerous to travel.” In this environment, judicial review is crippled by “the traditional deference accorded to national security and the sometimes secret processes by which that government interest is secured” (887).