Rockwell Hearing Delayed As Court Studies Validity of Indictment
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Rockwell Hearing Delayed As Court Studies Validity of Indictment

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Circuit Court Judge Walter T. McCarthy postponed today until May 4, hearing on charges made against George Lincoln Rockwell, anti- Jewish agitator, in a grand jury presentment last week The judge questioned the legality of the presentment and deferred the hearing pending study of the legal issues by the court and a court-appointed attorney.

Rockwell, who sought to establish a Storm Troops organization in Northern Virginia on the Hitler model, was cited by the grand jury for disorderly conduct and maintaining a public nuisance at his home here. In a raid on his home after the indictment, police seized weapons, swastikas and other insignia and a quantity of ant-Jewish literature.

Rockwell, a former naval officer, appeared in court as his own attorney and filed motions for suppression of the seized evidence and dismissal of the charges. The court, while deferring action on the charges, permitted the police to retain the seized material until a ruling May 4.

The grand jury presentment charged that Rockwell had produced and distributed "un-American hate literature designed to incite riot, cause consternation and alarm and create a breach of the peace."

Rockwell told the court that what the police said were clubs were actually pieces of firewood. But Commonwealth’s Attorney William J. Hassan insisted the clubs were carried by Rockwell’s storm troopers when they illegally stopped and searched autos on the public streets.

(The Washington Post and Times Herald, in an editorial, defended Rockwell’s "constitutional right" to agitate against Jews. It said Rockwell’s beliefs "are as reprehensible to this newspaper as they surely are to most Americans, but he has a constitutional right to hold and express these beliefs so long as he does not thereby violate any law " It said Rockwell should be tried for disturbance of the peace if he had, "in fact, committed a nuisance, " rather than on "what he thinks of Jews, Negroes or Adolf Hitler.")

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