Patrick Anthony McCarran Biography (American Politician)


Who was Patrick Anthony McCarran? Information on American politician Patrick Anthony McCarran biography, life story and political career.

Patrick Anthony McCarran


Patrick Anthony McCarran; American politician: b. Reno, Nev., Aug. 8, 1876; d. Hawthorne, Nev., Sept. 28, 1954. After graduating from the University of Nevada in 1901, he became a farmer and stock raiser in Nevada and, in 1903, was elected to the Nevada legislature.

He was admitted to the bar in 1905 and practiced law for two years in Tonopah and Goldfield, Nev. From 1907 to 1909 he was district attorney of Nye County, Nev., and then practiced law in Reno until 1912, when he was elected an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Nevada, later serving as chief justice (1917-1918). In 1919 he returned to private practice and in 1926 made an unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate. In 1932 he was elected to the Senate, and was thrice reelected, serving until his death, and occupying posts as chairman of the Tudiciary Committee (1943-1946, 1949-1953) and of the special subcommittee on foreign economic cooperation (1950-1952).

A Democrat who was in constant disagreement with the Democratic administrations of his time, Senator McCarran was chiefly known for his sponsorship of two highly controversial measures—the McCarran-Wood Act of 1950 and the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952—which Congress passed over President Harry S. Truman‘s vetoes. The former, also known as the Internal Security Act, required the registration of all Communists with the attorney general and made it unlawful for those with Communist affiliations to participate in defense or government work. The latter, also known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, codified existing immigration legislation; tightened the laws governing the admission, exclusion, and deportation of dangerous aliens; limited immigration from eastern and southeastern Europe; and provided for selective immigration on the basis of skills.

At other times in his career, Senator McCarran opposed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “court-packing” proposals; voted against the British loan of 1941 and the reciprocal trade agreements; favored closer cooperation with Spain, increased aid to Nationalist China, and a curb on the president’s treaty-making powers; and strongly supported Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (q.v.). He was active in legislation establishing the Civil Aeronautics Administration in 1938, and, as leader of the silver bloc, introduced many bills favoring silver.



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