A century after the Bolshevik Russian Revolution of 1917 spurred the United States to implement its Red Scare policies — where fears of communist espionage and overthrow propelled the country to build up anti-communist hysteria — the state of California at least may finally be rolling back some of those laws.
Lawmakers in the state assembly narrowly approved Monday repealing a law enacted during the second Red Scare of the 1940s and '50s that banned communists from holding jobs in government. The bill must now pass through the Senate.
While the bill eliminates part of the law that allows public employees to be fired for being a member of the Communist Party, employees can still be fired for ties with any organization seeking the overthrow of the government.
Some Republicans objected to the repeal vote.
Assembly member Randy Voepel, a Southern California Republican, invoked the U.S.’ long-standing position of fear-mongering against North Korea and China, saying communists there are "still a threat."
"This bill is blatantly offensive to all Californians," added assembly member Travis Allen, a Republican who represents a coastal district in Southern California, reported AP. "Communism stands for everything that the United States stands against."
The news has also sent the right wing in the state to respond with fury, with many tweeting with anger at the news on Twitter.
The Communist Party USA, founded in 1919, has an estimated membership of 5,000 nationwide.