Print this Page
Case Basics
Docket No. 
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Facts of the Case 

In 1974, Philip Agee, a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, announced a campaign "to fight the United States CIA wherever it is operating." Over the next several years, Agee successfully exposed a number of CIA agents and sources working in other countries. When Secretary of State Alexander Haig revoked Agee's passport, Agee filed suit claiming that Haig did not have congressional authorization to do so. Agee also claimed that the action violated his right to travel, his First Amendment right to criticize the government, and his Fifth Amendment Due Process rights.


Did the President, acting through the Secretary of State, have the constitutional authority to revoke the passport?

Decision: 7 votes for Haig, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 22 U.S.C. 211

In a 7-to-2 decision, the Court held that Passport Act of 1926 and other congressional statutes implicitly granted the Secretary of State the power to revoke passports. The Court noted Congress's historical recognition of "Executive authority to withhold passports on the basis of substantial reasons of national security and foreign policy." The Court further held that because the regulations were limited to cases in which there was a likelihood of "serious damage" to foreign policy, Agee's claims concerning the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the right to travel were "without merit."

Cite this Page
HAIG v. AGEE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_83>.
HAIG v. AGEE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_83 (last visited August 25, 2015).
"HAIG v. AGEE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1980/1980_80_83.