Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Supreme Court’

The Argument of Tyrants

June 28, 2012

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Apr 19, 1956

A Daily Thought

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves! — William Pitt

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jun 30, 1928

“How Liberty is Lost”

Insofar as the present dictatorships in Europe are concerned, Mr. Lippmann demonstrates satisfactorily that they have been caused by the knuckling in of people who surrendered to tyrants because of their fear, fear concerning their individual futures, fear about their jobs, fear of their truculent neighbors, always fear, fear, fear.

That sort of a condition cannot arise in a country that keeps its mind upon a fair distribution of wealth. Such a distribution does not mean, and can never mean, the ladling of money out of the public coffers to the undeserving. It does mean a wide distribution of jobs and of opportunities and a careful husbanding of the savings or accumulations of those who are smart enough to keep an eye out for the future.
…..

The American citizen of today who is blinded by constant sobbing references to his condition, to the “goodness” of the present administration, needs cast his attention upon the methods employed which have resulted in continued and widespread fear, the fear that grows on the tree of insecurity.

And there is no greater insecurity than to depend for one’s life upon the nod of an ambitious man looking for more power.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Jul 20, 1938

Sen. Goldwater may be a super, right-wing Republican, but that has not kept him from some fundamental points in what follows:

To understand the importance of the federal Constitution, we must recognize that it is primarily a system of restraints against the natural tendency of government to expand in the direction of absolutism.

We all know the main components of the system. The first is the limitation of the federal government’s authority to specific, delegated powers. The second, a corollary of the first, is the reservation to the states and the people of all power not delegated to the federal government. The third is a careful division of the federal government’s power among three separate branches. The fourth is a prohibition against impetuous, alteration of the system — namely, Article V’s tortuous but wise, amendment procedures.

Was it then a democracy the framers created? Hardly. The system of restraints on the face of it, was directed not only against individual tyrants, but also against a tyranny of the masses. The framers were well aware of the danger posed by self-seeking demagogues — that they might persuade a majority of the people to confer on government vast powers in return for deceptive promises of economic gain.

And so they forbade such a transfer of power — first by declaring, in effect, that certain activities are outside the natural and legitimate scope of the public authority, and secondly by dispersing public authority among several levels and branches of government in the hope that each seat of authority, jealous of its own prerogatives, would have a natural incentive to resist aggression by the others.

But the framers were not visionaries. They knew that rules of government, however brilliantly calculated to cope with the imperfect nature of man, however carefully designed to avoid the pitfalls of power, would be no match for men who were determined to disregard them.

In the last analysis of their system of government would prosper only if the governed were sufficiently determined that it should.

“What have you given us?” a woman asked Ben Franklin toward the close of the Constitutional Convention.

“A republic,” he said, “if you can keep it!”

We have not kept it. The system of restraints has fallen into disrepair. The federal government has moved into every field in which it believes its services are needed.

The state governments are either excluded from their rightful functions by federal pre-emption, or they are allowed to act at the sufferance of the federal government. Inside the federal government both the executive and judicial branches have roamed far outside their constitutional boundary lines.

…..

The Constitution is not an antique document. It is as pertinent today as it was when it was written. Our great error has been in departing from the Constitution as a document to restrain the concentration of power.

How do you stand, sir?

Daily Chronicle (Centralia, Washington) May 9, 1960

Delaware County Daily Times (Pennsylvania) Feb 22, 1966

Surely, We Must Be Dreaming

June 26, 2012

Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona) Jul 9, 1957

It’s more of a nightmare, really.

Thomas Jefferson versus the Supreme Court

May 16, 2012

Image from American Presidents

Thomas Jefferson versus the Supreme Court.

In the year 1798 Congress passed an act to punish certain kinds of libel, commonly called the ‘Sedition Act.’

The courts of the United States proceeded to execute it. A number of persons were indicted under it, convicted, and sentenced. But the President (Thomas Jefferson) deeming the act unconstitutional, arrested the execution of judgments of the court in every instance. The courts would convict and pronounce sentence upon the criminal, and the President would pardon; and yet the Union did not fall to pieces. At length Congress became satisfied of the unconstitutionality of the act, and suffered it to expire by its own limitation.

One of the parties, named Matthew Lyon, was convicted under the ‘Sedition Act.’ and sentenced to pay a fine. The fine was collected. The pardon of the President released him from imprisonment, but did not refund the fine paid or collected; but thirty years afterwards, Congress restored to the heirs of Lyon the amount of the fine and interest.

Says President Jefferson: “I discharged every person under punishment or prosecution under the Sedition law, because I considered and now consider that law to be a nullity as absolute and palpable as if Congress had ordered us to fall down and worship a golden image.” (Jefferson’s Works, 4, 556.)

It is the practice of late to hold up before the mind such frightful pictures of ‘collision,’ ‘resistance,’ ‘civil discord,’ ‘revolution,’ ‘anarchy,’ and ‘dissolution,’ that it would seem that any effort of resistance to the exercise of unauthorized power, and every attempt faithfully to execute official duty imposed by the Constitution and laws, is to be dreaded as an approach to treason; that every diversity of opinion or action between the functionaries of the two governments (State and United States) must terminate in the dissolution of the Union; that the hope of the nation rests, not so much in the intelligence and patriotism of the people, as in the successful pursuit of a run-away negro. But the real danger to the Union consists not so much in resistance to laws constitutionally enacted, as in acquiescence in measures which violate the Constitution. Is is much safer to resist unauthorized and unconstitutional power, at its very commencement, when it can be done by constitutional means, than to wait until the evil is so deeply and firmly rooted that the only remedy is revolution. — A.D. Smith, Judge of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Richland County Observer (Richland Center, Wisconsin) Apr 27, 1858

Across the Path of Popular Impatience

March 19, 2012

Image from Mission to Learn

VANDENBERG ON CONSTITUTION
(Lansing State Journal)

If one will take a fairly complete history of the United States and therein trace the history of the United States supreme court, from the beginning to the present time, one will find that the decisions of the court, from first to last, have stirred a good deal of political impatience.

Numerous times there has arisen expression of impatience and vexation because the public might not all at once, on impulse, do what it thought it wanted to do. On these occasions, uniformly, there arose a hue and cry against the high court because it applied the agreed rules.

As one glimpses back over the occasions of impatience one will look in vain to find an instance in our history where the results of impatience would have been better than the results of less hurried and more thoughtful procedure. Wherein would we change our past, if we could?

Watch a documentary about Arthur H. Vandenberg at the GVSU website

The other night in Chicago, Senator Vandenberg of this state, was the chief speaker at the observances held the evening of Constitution Day. His chief thesis was that we should venerate the constitution not because it is old, not because it was made by the founding fathers, not because it has been much lauded, but because it is useful, highly useful to us now.

We think that exceedingly well put. It is little wonder that Senator Vandenberg looms large as a guiding figure in the affairs of the nation, these days. He puts leading contention so clearly, so forcefully. The constitution is not a relic of horse and buggy days, it is the guiding and saving principle among us now, was his way of expressing his thought.

The new dealers are of course saying many a time and often these days that they too are for the constitution. Yes, perhaps in the main, though Professor Tugwell does not appear to be for retention of any of it. But how about the vast impatience that arose a year or two back when the constitution prevented the public from rushing pell mell to a larger extension of federal powers over the nation? In those days the new dealers in congress uniformly always spoke of the supreme court as “those nine old men.” Measures were introduced to nullify their power. Even the president advised that a certain measure be passed even if it were not constitutional.

In those instances, the issue was not the whole constitution. Few wanted to discard it altogether. The issue, the point of impatience, was because the constitution prevented us from rushing all at once to a vast enlargement of federal power. We think the time will come, as it has always come in the past, when pretty much every sound American will be deeply glad that the constitution prevented us from rushing headlong to greater extension of federal power at this time.

The American people can have greater extension of power if they so desire. But if they follow the constitution and respect it the American people will achieve larger application of federal power through calm deliberation and understanding.

The constitution of the United States stands across the path of popular impatience, not of considered popular decision.

This is no long the horse and buggy age but the principle of the wheel on each four corners of a conveyance is still sound.

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Sep 23, 1936

Packing the Supreme Court

December 21, 2011

Supreme Court Packing Case:

What About Some Future President with Dictatorship Ideas?

El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) Mar 9, 1937

RUSH! – A Big Order for FDR:

Pack the Supreme Court

CONGRESS – “We didn’t ask for that!”

El Paso Herald-Post  (El Paso, Texas) Mar 16,  1937

Packing the Supreme Court

Patronage and the Vote

El Paso Herald-Post  (El Paso, Texas) Mar 22,  1937

Three Rousing Cheers for Approval!

While labor disputes and war continue.

El Paso Herald-Post  (El Paso, Texas)  Mar 29,  1937

Age of Miracles!

The Supreme Court Lays Golden Eggs!

El Paso Herald-Post  (El Paso, Texas) Apr 2,  1937

The Supreme Court’s Inconspicuous Start

December 20, 2011

Image from Architect of the Capitol

Supreme Court Of The United States Had An Inconspicuous Start

Washington — In a small and undignified chamber on the first floor of the unfinished Capitol of the United States, there assembled in 1801 a body of nine men who probably in the next few years did as much as anyone to mold the still malleable forms of the American Government.

The recent reconvening of the Supreme Court for its 1927-28 term, from October to June here, recalls the inauspicious beginnings of the body in the days of John Marshall. No branch of the Government and no institution under the Constitution, it has been said, has sustained more continuous attack or reached its present position after more vigorous opposition. Today, in black-robed dignity, under the benign smile of Chief Justice William H. Taft, the court sits in assured national respect, in the room in the Capitol which was the Senate Chamber 50 years ago. In 10 or 15 years more the court will sit in its own million-dollar building authorized by the last Congress, to be located on the hill near the Library of Congress.

Quarters Were Inconspicuous

But in 1801, and in the year of the famous Marbury vs. Madison decision, which decided once and for all the court’s power to review, and, if need be, declare unconstitutional acts of Congress, the Supreme Court sat in a chamber only 24 feet wide, 30 feet long, 21 feet high, and rounded at the south end. This was the room casually set aside for it only two weeks before the court came for the first time, in 1800, to the “Federal City,” known now as Washington, D.C.

After 12 years of control by the Federalists, John Adams had been defeated. Jeffersonian Democracy was to have its opportunity. Feeling ran high. Along the unpaved streets of the little capital-town that is now the center of America’s co-ordinated Government, new and old office-holders came almost to blows. Riding into power came the “Anti-Federalists” or Republicans, not to be confused with the present party of that name. Eventually they were to become the Democratic party. Tammany Hall still inscribes its campaign inscription with “Democratic-Republican candidates.”

The Anti-Federalists, with Jefferson, had won the executive and the legislative fields in 1800, but it was the Federal strategy to hold control of the judiciary. A short time before retiring, President Adams almost doubled the number of inferior federal courts and filled them with supporters. Then on Jan. 20, 1801, a little while before leaving office, he sent the name of his Secretary of State to the Senate for confirmation as the _______ Justice. It is recorded that John Marshall, under the stress of the times, nearly failed confirmation at the outset of his 34 years in office.

Image from awesomestoriesMARBURY VS. MADISON

Mingled With the People

John Marshall, the man who upheld the right of judicial review and thereby definitely confirmed that the American Government should ride three-wheeled instead of tandem, with equal powers divided between executive, legislative and judiciary, was regarded as a tower of strength by the Federals. He as a man who felt he could mingle with the people without losing dignity, for he pitched quoits, dressed carelessly, read novels ceaselessly, it is said, and went to market — basket on arm.

He was reared in Fauquier county, Va., served in the Revolution, and was the oldest of a family of 15. From the same state came his arch-opponent in constitutional theory, Thomas Jefferson, the new President. At one end of the unpaved Pennsylvania avenue, in the White House, sat the man who believed in states’ rights; in the stuffy room over the basement, east entrance hall, of the unfinished Capitol sat John Marshall, the very embodiment of the theory of a strong central government.

Decision Delayed Two Years

The incident that made the Supreme Court what it is today came almost at once. Under the act rushed through by the Federalists establishing additional judicial offices a certain William Marbury and three others were named justices of the peace in the District of Columbia. Jefferson coming into office instructed James Madison, as Secretary of State, to refuse to issue their commissions. Marbury and his associates moved by their counsel in December, 1801, in the Supreme Court for a mandamus — a writ requiring a person to do a specified act. A delay of two years ensued. Justice Marshall did not have congested dockets to excuse his delay, but weightier political reasons for withholding judgment.

Then from the small room in the Capitol in 1803 was first enunciated from the Supreme Bench in unmistakable language the doctrine that judicial control over legislation is implied in the provisions of the Federal Constitution. In fact, Chief Justice Marshall was the first man who declared an act of Congress unconstitutional.

Image from Free North Carolina

Comment Still Continues

The Marbury vs. Madison decision declared Marbury was entitled to office and that a mandamus was the rightful remedy. However, the application for the latter from the Supreme Court was denied, on the ground that the authority given the Supreme Court by a recent Judiciary Act of Congress was not warranted by the Constitution. Comment has continued on the decision from that day to this.

The right of judicial review is still challenged. Chief Justice Walter Clark of North Carolina, for example, declared the authority of the court is a “doctrine never held before, nor in any country since,” and attacked it as giving sovereignty in the Nation to a majority of the court — “to five lawyers, holding office for life, and not elected by the people.” On the whole, however, the Nation has supported the Marshall view. The whole course of American democratic development since then has been founded upon it.

Today as the nine Supreme Court justices file into their decorous chamber, led by Chief Justice Taft, smiling broadly, and greeted with old-time pomp of prim, deferential bows from clerk and court attaches, they probably have to thank John Marshall not only for their expanded quarters but for the dignity and power which, under him, the great judicial body has obtained.

— Christian Science Monitor.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Oct 13, 1927

X-Raying The Constitution

December 19, 2011

Image from Frugal Café Blog Zone

X-Raying The Constitution

The Constitution does not grant the Supreme Court specific power to declare legislation constitutional or unconstitutional. Nevertheless the court has declared many New Deal acts invalid. How has it gained this power? How has it exercised it through the years? Why have its decisions created a situation that has given rise to agitation for Constitutional change? In this last of his series on “Ex-Raying the Constitution,” John T. Flynn, NEA Service author-economist, reviews the history of the court’s domination over state and federal legislation.

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By JOHN T. FLYNN
(Copyright, 1936, NEA Service, Inc.)

A gentleman by the name of William Marbury, one day in the year 1800, filed a suit against James Madison, Secretary of State, to compel him to deliver a commission appointing him Justice of the Peace in Washington, D.C. Thomas Jefferson had just been elected President, sweeping the old Federalist party into the dust-bin. But the Federalists had several months left before inauguration to provide some jobs for “deserving” Federalists. Among others a law was rushed through setting up numerous judicial jobs. And on March 2, just two days before he was to go out of office, John Adams appointed William Marbury a Justice of the Peace under this law. He made many other appointments in this last hurry.

But the hurry was too much. Adams wanted to vacate the capital before Jefferson arrived. He wanted to snub Jefferson. And so in the haste of clearing out a terrible tragedy happened to poor Mr. William Marbury. His eleventh hour commission was not delivered to him. Many others failed to out. And when Jefferson came in he ordered them all cancelled. Marbury thereupon brought a mandamus action again James Madison, Jefferson’s Secretary of State, to force the delivery of the commission.

Jefferson resisted the suit, asserting that the Supreme Court had no power to interfere with the executive department. Thus the first great battle between President and Court was fought. And the case of Marbury vs. Madison became historic.

The tongues wagged, because it was felt John Marshall and his court would decide against Jefferson and that Jefferson would ignore the decision. But Marshall turned out to be too astute. He made one of the most cunning legal decisions in the history of the Court. Jefferson claimed the Court could not interfere with other departments of the government. But Marshall decided the case in favor of Jefferson and Madison. This is, he refused to order Marbury’s commission delivered. But he decided it on the ground that the congressional act under which Marbury was appointed was unconstitutional. Thus Marshall gave Jefferson the decision, but he did it by supporting the very principle which Jefferson so bitterly assailed. He asserted the right of the Court to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional.

That famous case — 136 years ago — settled that point and determined the whole course of our history. Because it is fair to assume that had Marshall held the Court could not declare laws unconstitutional, this would have been the end, as Senator Borsh had put it, of the inviolability of the written Constitution.

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And so it has been in the Supreme Court that all the great constitutional battles of the last 136 years have been fought.

As already pointed out, these battles have revolved around two great tendencies. One has been the effort of the central government to increase its power. The other has been the effort of the propertied groups to prevent the states and nation from exercising control over their affairs.

First let us look at the struggle of the central government to exercise wider power over national concerns, particularly in the economic field. It’s not a new fight. It didn’t begin with the New Deal. The federal government has sought to increase its field through the power of taxation, through the power to regulate commerce among the several states and with foreign nations and through its power over postoffices and post roads.

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One of the great weapons used by Congress to extend its power has been what is known as the commerce clause, under which Congress has power to deal with foreign and interstate commerce.

But in the last forty years countless battles have been fought over two points. What is commerce? What is interstate commerce? It was on this point the famous Schechter chicken NRA case was decided. The Court held that the poultry men in the case, while they handled chickens which were shipped in from other states, were not engaged in interstate commerce. When the poultry arrived at their plant, it was held there, handled there and the workers who did the work there were engaged in a business which was wholly within the state. Goods are in interstate commerce only when they are in “current” or “flow” not merely into the state, but into the state an on, with the manufacturer merely performing some function which is connected with this flow of the commodity in question.

Under this decision, a tremendous limitation was put upon the power of Congress to reach out and deal with various types of business on the ground that it is interstates.

Another weapon of Congress is taxes. Taxes were used in the AAA case. One of the first attempts to regulate industry through taxation was in the famous child labor cases.

The power to tax is the power to destroy. The courts have held that Congress can tax even to destruction. But the tax must be a legitimate tax — that is, for the purpose of raising revenue. Otherwise it would be invalid.

In the AAA cases, Congress attempted to tax processors to raise funds to pay benefits to farmers. This case also involved the power of Congress under the general welfare clause. This clause is frequently invoked to extend the power of Congress. In the famous AAA case, the Court held that Congress had no power to regulate agriculture, that under general welfare clause it could aid agriculture — that is give it benefits, but that if it attached conditions to the benefits, that could be regulating agriculture indirectly and that, therefore, the tax, imposed to aid this plan, was invalid. It was not a legitimate exercise of the taxing power.

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The other great series of battles about the Constitution have to do with the effort of organized business to prevent the states or Congress from interfering with it. These fights are made chiefly under the so-called “due process” clauses of the fifth and fourteenth amendments.

The first first on this subject came in 1875 in the famous Granger cases. States started regulating railroads rates. The roads held that fixing rates was equivalent to taking property from the roads and hence was depriving them of property without due process of law. The Supreme Court upheld the right of the States in this famous case — Munn V. Illinois, 113, U.S. This became then the charter for all our state regulatory commissions in the utility field.

But later the court began narrowing this view. It held that a New York statute prohibiting bakeries from employing men for more than 10 hours a day was a violation of the due process clause. It has held that commissions in fixing rates must allow utilities a fair return on investment or they will be depriving them of property without due process of law. It has held that laws fixing minimum wages for women and children are violations of the due process clause.

The Court has been holding that the federal government was encroaching on the rights of the states. These problems of regulation belonged to them — they were able to deal with them. One state — New York — tried to deal with one such problem — sweatshops and starvation wages for women in industry. It adopted a minimum wage law for women. Only a few weeks ago the Supreme Court held the law unconstitutional. It violated the due process clause. So the state, too, is as powerless as the federal government to deal with its economic problems.

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It is around these points — the commerce clause, the taxation power and the due process clause — that the New Deal measures have been argued. The court decided the “hot oil” case 8 to 1 against the New Deal; the railroad pension case, 5 to 4 against the New Deal; the AAA case 6 to 3 against the New Deal; the minimum wage law for women, 5 to 4 against the New Deal. It decided the rice millers’ case unanimously against the New Deal. The only cases won by the New Deal were the gold clause case and the TVA.

Two sets of reforms are being urged. One deals with the Court and is a plan to prevent the Court from declaring acts of Congress unconstitutional, save by a two-thirds decision.

The other plan suggests two amendments to the Constitution. The first would change the 5th and 14th amendments which prevents the government from passing regulatory laws because they tend to deprive men of property without due process of law. The other is to give the government outright jurisdiction of industry, corporations, power in all matters affecting the national economic welfare of the nation.

Around these measures, sooner or later, a great national struggle is certain to take place.

Anniston Star (Anniston, Alabama) Jul 12, 1936

Files on Parade

December 17, 2011

WHERE are the President’s orders?
Where can a fellow trail
The code today that he must obey
Or land in a Federal jail?
Where are the latest edicts
Turned out by the cubic mile
By the ABC’s and the XYZ’s;
Where are they found on file?

SOME in the State Department,
Some in the Treasury,
Some in the courts or the weather reports,
Or the trucks of the D.S.C.
Some in the secret archives
Where dust of the ages blows,
And some you’ll find in the Brain Trust’s mind,
But — nobody really knows!

HOW can we find the orders
That tell us the way to do?
The various laws “with teeth and claws”
And fines and sentences, too?
We want to be strictly legal,
But we’re in a haze so far
As to what is what in these laws we’ve got
And where in the heck they are.

SOME in the War Department
And some in the NRA,
And some are kept in the Labor Dept.
And some in the Coast Sur-VEY.
And the Dead Letter Office has some,
And ever the tangle grows,
And the whole blame mess is a matter of guess,
For nobody really knows!

By Berton Braley.

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Dec 29, 1934

Constitution Critics Show Ignorance

December 13, 2011

Constitution Critics Show Ignorance

By James T. Williams, Jr.

UNDER the leadership of the Representative in Congress from the Twentieth New York Congressional District — Mr. Marcantonio — of New York City, who calls himself a Republican, a demand has been issued for the call of a constitutional convention to make over the Constitution of the United States.

Image of LaGuardia and Marcantonio from Spartacus Educational

Mr. Marcantonio, who rattles around in the Congressional shoes formerly worn by the present Mayor of New York City, Mr. LaGuardia, is serving his first term in Congress. Uniting with him in this demand are Congressmen Schneider and Amlie of Wisconsin and Lundeen of Minnesota. The first two call themselves Progressives and the third is a member of the Farmer-Labor party.

These national legislators evidently think very poorly, both of the Constitution and of the Supreme Court of the United States. They attack the latter in this contemptuous language:

In no uncertain terms it (the Supreme Court) has served notice on Congress that the Constitution is not a flexible document to be interpreted liberally and in the light of present-day conditions, but rather an instrument that must be interpreted with relation to the time, conditions, and ox-cart economy of the days when it was written.

This is not a quotation from any decision of the Supreme Court. It cannot be found in any such decision. It is merely an assertion by a group of politicians who are evidently more concerned with misleading the public than they are with telling the truth.

*     *     *

THE Supreme Court took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States as written. It did not take an oath to support the Constitution only in so far as its provisions are approved by Mr. Marcantonio and other political sappers who are dissatisfied with the Constitution as written and seek to supplant it with a new one.

“The Great Tribunal” in a decision handed down in 1905 said in the words of Mr. Justice Brewer:

The Constitution is a written instrument. As such its meaning does not alter. That which is meant when adopted it means now. Being a grant of power to a government, its language is general, and as changes come in social and political life it embraces in its grasp all new conditions which are within the scope of the powers in terms conferred  .  .  .  It must also be remembered that the framers of the Constitutions were not mere visionaries, toying with speculations or theories but practical men, dealing with the facts of political life as they understood them, putting into form the government they were creating, and prescribing in language clear and intelligible the powers that government was to take.

This is the Constitution which the Supreme Court, under its solemn oath, undertakes to interpret.

*     *     *

ILL-INFORMED politicians sometimes make the mistake of saying that the only difference between the American and British constitutions is that the former is a written document and the latter an unwritten body of law. Their error in this regard, is clearly set forth by Mr. Charles Warren in a book on “Congress, the Constitution and the Supreme Court,” [google preview only] which all political sappers in Congress seeking to undermine the Government of the Constitution would do well to read.

Mr. Warren declares that the real difference between the American and British constitutions is that “the American Constitution (the Constitution of the United States and the Constitutions of the several States) are unalterable and unamendable by a majority of the Legislature itself.”

Mr. Marcantonio is within his rights when he advocates the calling of a Constitutional convention to make over the Constitution of the United States. But when he attacks the Supreme Court, or its refusal to make over the Constitution, he either advertises his abysmal ignorance of the American System of Government or his complete contempt for that system.

Making over the Constitution in not the duty of the Supreme Court. That is the exclusive privilege of the American people. And Mr. Marcantonio insults their intelligence if he pretends otherwise.

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Jun 18, 1935

“Stand Out of My Sunshine!”

December 12, 2011

A COSTLY BLUNDER

MANY business advantages will accrue to the American people from the Supreme Court decision invalidating the NRA.

In spite of frenzied administration propaganda to the contrary, recent disinterested nonpartisan statistical surveys show how the meddlesome NRA RETARDED RECOVERY IN THE UNITED STATES.

The Brookings Institution and the National Bureau of Economic Research have published their conclusions that the NRA definitely interfered with the revival of production.

Furthermore Colonel Leonard P. Ayers, of Cleveland, has shown that in the two years of the NRA codes American industry has made almost THE WORST RECORD among the nations of the world so far as recovery is concerned.

Colonel Ayres has shown that only France had made a less satisfactory record.

Other principal countries in the same period showed INCREASES in industrial production RUNNING UP TO 41 PER CENT, while under the NRA the United States actually revealed A DECLINE OF 9 PER CENT.

The Cleveland economist makes the subjoined vigorous and true indictment of the futile and disturbing major new deal experiment, from which the country has at length been saved by the Supreme Court.

Image from FDR and the Supreme Court

“The first and safest conclusion is that conditions will probably improve after the necessary readjustments to the changed conditions of conducting business have been worked out. It seems quite improbable that the trend of industrial production in this country can continue to decline during the next two years at the rate at which it has declined during the past two years. The natural forces of recovery are operating vigorously in the rest of the world, and they are bound to have at least some effect here unless we erect too many new barriers that restrain them.”

What a blow to the prestige of self-inflated politicians!

Their record is largely one of hampering, rather than facilitating the revival of prosperity.

Perhaps new dealers need anew the advice which Bentham, the British economist, published more than a century ago.

“The request which agriculture, manufacturers, and commerce present to government,” wrote Bentham, “is modest and reasonable as that which Diogenes made to Alexander: ‘Stand out of my sunshine! We have no need of favor. We require only a secure and open path.”

Rochester Evening Journal (Rochester, New York) Jun 18, 1935