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No. 106 "What The Constitution Means To The Citizen," by Hon. George W. Maxey, Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, March 1936. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky Am_Lib_Leag_106 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. No. 106 "What The Constitution Means To The Citizen," by Hon. George W. Maxey, Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, March 1936. American Liberty League. American Liberty League. Washington, D.C. 1936. This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. AN INVITATION TO JOIN THE AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE We extend to every American citizen who believes m the fundamental principles which gave birth to the Constitution of the United States an invitation to become a member of the American Liberty League. You may indicate your acceptance of this invitation by filling in the necessary information as to your name and address on the enrollment blank below and mailing it to American Liberty League, National Press Building, Washington, D. C. There are no fees or dues. If you are willing and able to give monetary help for the League's support your contribution will be appreciated, as our activities are supported entirely by the voluntary gifts of our members. ENROLLMENT BLANK Date_ I favor the principles and purposes of the American Liberty League and request that I be enrolled as a J regular \ *contributing Signature- member. Name (Mr. Mrs. Miss) County â™¦As a contributing member I desire to give $- to help support the activities of the League: Cash herewith_Installments as follows:_ WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO THE CITIZEN â˜… â˜… â˜… HON. GEORGE W. MAXEY Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE Rational Headquarters NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING WASHINGTON, D. C. Document No. 106 March, 1936 What the Constitution Means to the Citizen you have finished with this pamphlet please past it on to tome friend or acquaintance who might be interested, calling his attention to the membership blank on page 24. Blessings brighten as they leave us." People usually pay little heed to the things which serve them best. Almost everyone takes the Constitution as a matter of course just as a child takes its mother. What the absence of constitutional guarantees means most Americans may not know but their Old World ancestors did. Many years ago in England a man named Walker kept a tavern called "The Sign of the Crown." He told his little boy that he would make him "heir to the Crown," meaning the tavern. Because he thus used the word "Crown" he was accused of "compassing the death of the king." He was executed for "constructive treason." A certain English king once killed a white buck which belonged to Thomas Burdett. The owner in his anger said he "wished the buck, horns and all, was in the belly of him who counseled the king to do it." As the king had acted on his own initiative in the matter, Burdett was charged with constructive treason and executed. When James II was king, Algernon Sidney, one of the noblest of men, jotted down in his own private memorandum his ideas of desirable changes in the government. His desk was rifled and the papers revealed. He was executed. The theory was that to express an idea was to commit "an overt act" and if the idea was objectionable to the rulers, the offense was "constructive treason." Outrages such as these are impossible under the United States Constitution. It defines treason and prescribes its proof. Chief Justice Marshall in 1807, in the trial of Aaron Burr, forever outlawed from this country the crime of "constructive treason." Albert J. Beveridge in "The Development of the American Constitution" By that series of opinions [in the Burr Case], John Marshall forever overthrew the cruel, brutal, inhuman, illogical British and European doctrine of constructive treason, and established in place of it the humane, reasonable, American doctrine of actual and personal treason. Careful scholars have estimated that, during our Civil War, those opinions of Chief Justice Marshall saved the lives of thousands of innocent men and women who otherwise would have been sacrificed to the passions of war. In Strachey's "Elizabeth and Essex," the author describes the execution of Dr. Lopez during the reign of "Good Queen Bess." In an era when suspicions were rife this useful and unoffending man had been wrongfully accused of plotting against the queen. He was convicted on false testimony in a mere mockery of a trial. He and two others were sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Strachey thus describes the execution: The three men, bound to hurdles, were dragged up Holborn, past the Doctor's house, to Tyburn. A vast crowd was assembled to enjoy the spectacle. The old man was strung up, and then cut down while still conscious. Then the rest of the punishment castration, disemboweling and quartering was carried out. After the second man was executed the third man was brought forward. His ears were filled with the shrieks and the moans of his companions and hiB eyes with every detail of the contortions. He was cut down too soon, and, lusty and desperate, he fell upon his executioner. The crowd made a ring and watched the fight. Then two stalwart fellows rushed forward and this victim too was disemboweled and quartered. The ABOVE described infamies were committed in the "Elizabethan age" of England, the age which produced Shakespeare. Those responsible for them considered themselves civilized and religious, as did those Americans who in Salem late in the seventeenth century permitted the hanging of supposed witches. Executing condemned persons by hanging, drawing and quartering prevailed in England for nearly six hundred years. The first victim was the Welsh prince, David, in 1284. In 1305 William Wallace, the Scottish patriot, was similarly executed. In 1867 the Fenians, Burke and O'Brien, were sentenced "to be hanged, drawn and quartered." That this sentence was not carried out was a matter not of right but of "royal grace." Parliament abolished this method of execution in 1870. By a mere act of Parliament it could be restored. No act of Congress could make such a method of execution legal in the United States, for our Constitution forbids "cruel and unusual punishments." The mere fact that people consider themselves civilized and enlightened is no guarantee that they respect human rights. On the twentieth of last month press dispatches announced that the Nazi Minister of Justice in Berlin had just issued a decree that after September 1st "persons would be punished for acts which were not crimes when they were committed and that a judge would have power to decide whether a defendant deserved to suffer for sins against 'the popular sense of what is right.'" Last April Fritz Husemann, a leader of the German Mine Workers Union, was taken into custody and shot. The official report was that he was "killed attempting to escape." This is known to be untrue. The fact is that he was arrested without reason and executed without trial. American newspapers of July 29th carried items stating that in Hanau, Prussia, Father Ludwig Roth was sentenced to 8 months' imprisonment for declaring in his pulpit: "Human life is worthless in the new Germany." SuCH THINGS could not happen here, for our Constitution is a citadel of human rights. Before the time of its adoption, 1789, rulers had for centuries enslaved thought, shackled enterprise and suppressed ambition. The masses were mostly peasants and in the name of government they had been robbed by so-called "nobles" armed with battle-ax and spear. Of the oppressed peoples of the Old World, the most robust and self-reliant came to this new continent. All they asked was land and freedom. They found plenty of work, for their minds were alert and their hands were willing. They were energetic, thrifty and self-denying. As they became prosperous and the government attempted to despoil them, they boldly challenged it to battle. After a six-year struggle against an empire, they achieved their independence. They then organized a government suitable to their sturdy, liberty-requiring character. They made it clear to the Congress they created that its business was not to be the legislative manufacturing of economic or any other kind of straitj ackets; they made it clear to the Chief Executive that he was not the master but the first servant of the Nation. The Constitution, like the Decalogue, contains numerous and emphatic "Thou shalt nots" and places far beyond the reach of any governmental interference certain fundamental rights essential to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The most exalted position created was President, and, lest its occupant might sometime be tempted to exercise ungranted powers, it is provided that before a President enters on the execution of his office, "he shall take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The framers of that document regarded an oath as something registered in heaven and assumed that no man so honored and so sworn would violate it. To SAFEGUARD individual rights the framers of the Constitution created the Supreme Court with authority to say, when the facts warranted, to the President and Congress: "Your acts are void because you are attempting to do what the Constitution declares you must not do." That all nations have recurring periods of passion is a matter of history. In such periods individual freedom is trampled under foot in republics as well as in monarchies. Never have been human rights more insecure than they were 6 in France after the monarchy had been destroyed, "the rule of the people" proclaimed, and the tricolor of "liberty, equality and fraternity" unfurled. In certain European countries where within two decades emperors have been dethroned and men from humble life have become the heads of state, the lives and liberties of countless individuals are with cruel injustice being daily forfeited. History records that during the many civil commotions in England thousands of the best men and the purest patriots fell by the hand of the public executioner. In the "bloody assizes" held in Winchester in 1685, 320 men and women were sent to their deaths by the hangman or the headsman, and several hundred more were ordered to be sold into slavery in the West Indies. Lady Alice Lisle, aged 71, was sentenced in the same assizes to be burned to death because she gave shelter to a non-conformist minister and his companion who were fugitives from Monmouth's army. The charge against her was "harboring traitors." Later King James II "graciously consented" that the hospitable old lady be beheaded instead of burned to death. Human nature acts very much alike everywhere in periods of emotional excitement. The late Professor Burgess, after describing in the Atlantic Monthly of February, 1933, the things he had witnessed as a boy in a border state during the exciting days of 1861, said: "Such experiences threw such a sadness over my young life that I lost faith in the wisdom and goodness of the mass of mankind." That during such periods wisdom and goodness take their leave of many clothed with executive authority is proved by examples from our own history. In OCTOBER, 1864, three citizens of Indiana were arrested by order of a general of the United States Army. They were brought before a military commission, tried on charges based on their opposition to war measures of the government, and were convicted and sentenced to be hanged. The charges against them were so vague in character that their eminent counsel, Jeremiah S. Black, said to the Justices of the United States Supreme Court: The charge is found on this record, but you will not be able to decipher its meaning. The judge advocate must have meant to charge them with some offense unknown to the laws, which he chose to make capital by legislation of his own. May 19, 1865, was the day set for their execution. These men had not lived in the war zone and they never had been in the military or naval service of the United States. The only thing that saved them from death, was the Constitution. They availed themselves of the right to a writ of habeas corpus and their cases reached the Supreme Court. They contended that they had been deprived of their right to trial by jury. Though the executive department of the government, as represented by the Attorney General, demanded their execution on the military verdict, the Supreme Court declared their convictions illegal and set them free. In that case (Ex parte MUligan, 4 Wall. 2), the Court, speaking through Mr. Justice David Davis, said: No graver question was ever considered by us. . . . The founders of our government were familiar with the history of the struggle for liberty and they made secure in a written constitution every right which the people had wrested from power during a contest of ages. . . . Those great and good men foresaw that troublous times would arise, when rulers and people would become restive under restraint, and that the principles of constitutional liberty would be in peril, unless established by irrepealable law. . . . The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences, was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism. . . . Wicked men, ambitious of power, with hatred of liberty and contempt of law, may fill the place once occupied by Washington and Lincoln. . . . Our fathers knew that unlimited power was especially hazardous to freemen. AMONG many other guarantees against invasions of personal rights is that provision of the Constitution forbidding "unreasonable searches and seizures." A potent cause of the War for Independence was "writs of assistance" or general search warrants issued in the Massachusetts Colony on the authority of the British Parliament. These warrants enabled the revenue officers of Boston to enter private houses and search for alleged smuggled goods, without specifying either houses or goods. James Otis maintained that "even an act of Parliament which should sanction so gross an infringement of the immemorial rights of Englishmen should be treated as null and void." John Fiske says the eloquence of Otis in the courtroom attacking writs of assistance is justly remembered as the opening scene of the American Revolution. John Adams said in 1818: "Otis' argument against writs of assistance breathed into the nation the breath of life." The Supreme Court has protected individual citizens whose rights of privacy had been unlawfully invaded by governmental agents armed with search warrants issued without probable cause. In Boyd v. U. S., 116 U.S. 616, that Court said: It is not the breaking of a man's doors, and the rummaging of his drawers that constitutes the essence of the offence, but it is the invasion of his indefeasible right of personal security, personal liberty and private property. the CONSTITUTION protects the citizen in countless other ways. He cannot be arrested without a judicial warrant founded on probable cause. In certain other countries individuals are locked up indefinitely on mere official nods, and hundreds of thousands of human beings are today in prison without knowing what they are accused of or who put them there. Neither friends nor counsel are permitted access to them. Our Constitution guarantees to every defendant a speedy trial. The aecusation against him must be duly presented in writing and his accuser must confront him. He must be tried in the district where the alleged crime was committed and he cannot be compelled to testify against himself. He is entitled to an impartial jury fairly selected and he has the right of challenge. The trial must be public; no Star Chamber procedure behind closed doors is permitted. The Government when properly requested must summon witnesses in the defendant's behalf. He is entitled to counsel, and judgment of guilty must be based either upon a voluntary plea of guilty or upon a jury's unanimous verdict. No punishment can be inflicted except that prescribed by law. The trial must be conducted in spirit of fairness. Joseph H. Choate in 1898 said, in referring to the then recent trial of Zola in France: The government took up the challenge [i.e., of Zola to the government for the outrage committed in the Dreyfus Case] and there followed a trial which for reckless and cruel disregard for every principle of right and justice known to us, is surely without a precedent in modern history, yet it purported to be a jury trial. Here such an unfair trial would be a denial of that "due process of law" guaranteed by the Constitution and the resulting verdict a nullity. Another bulwark of individual freedom is that provision of the Constitution which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." In some European countries today millions of people are being persecuted and tortured and exiled because of their race or religion, and freedom of speech, press, and assemblage is non-existent. 10 Here THE citizen's property, as well as his life and liberty, is protected by the Constitution. Our organic law declares that "private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation." In Loan Association v. Topeka, 87 U.S. 655, 665, the Supreme Court denounced arbitrary decrees "under legislative forms" and said: To lay with one hand the power of the government on the property of the citizen, and with the other to bestow it upon favored individuals ... is none the less a robbery because it is done under the forms of law. For nearly one hundred and fifty years the Constitution has served as a protector of American lives, liberty and property. In these days when property is being confiscated in the name of "taxation," when the savings of the thrifty are being confiscated in the name of "recovery," it is gratifying to note that two-thirds of a century ago the Supreme Court of the United States, obedient to its duty to uphold the Constitution, would not permit the Federal Government to confiscate the property of Robert E. Lee, even in the name of patriotism. Though Arlington had been seized in time of great civil strife and made a national cemetery, the Supreme Court said in United States v. Lee, 106 U.S. 196: "Shall it be said that the courts cannot give a remedy when the citizen has been deprived of his property by force, his estate seized without lawful authority, without process of law and without compensation, because the President has ordered it and his officers are in possession?" The Supreme Court, acting in obedience to the prescriptions of the Constitution, answered that question: "No," and applied the appropriate remedy. MANY OTHER examples might be cited as to how the Constitution upholds the rights even of the humblest citizen. These guarantees are the soul-substance of free government. They are as essential to the life of this Republic as roots are to the life of a tree. In the above cited opinion of Mr. Justice Davis, he said: The fathers of this Republic "secured the inheritance [of individual liberty] they had fought to maintain by incorporating in a written constitution the safeguards which time had proved were essential to its preservation." Some persons lightly refer to proposed amendments as "a change in the rules." While a few provisions of the Constitution are merely rules which might be changed without structural damage, most of its provisions are principles which can no more be amended without fatal results to our constitutional government than the Ten Commandments could be amended without shattering the moral and social order of the world. To change by amendment the date of the presidential inauguration from March 4th to January 20th is a change of rule that does not affect the governmental structure. To amend the Constitution so as to take away the judicial power of the Supreme Court or the legislative power of Congress is so to change our house of government as to make it uninhabitable by the spirit of liberty. It REQUIRES the most statesmanlike "engineering" to arrange a delicate balance between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. That power should be distributed among these three branches, if individual liberty is to be secured, is declared by authorities, supported by reason, and affirmed by experience. The dictum of Hobbes was that "Freedom is political power divided into small fragments." He obviously meant that if power is concentrated it becomes tyrannical. Laski says in "Liberty in the Modern State": ThÂ£ one assured result of historical investigation is the lesson that uncontrolled power is invariably poisonous to those who possess it. They are always tempted to impose their canon of good upon others, and they assume that the good of the community 12 depends upon the continuance of their power. Liberty always demands a limitation of political authority. Long before Laski it was written: "Power breeds arrogance and arrogance corrupteth the understanding heart." The English author, Sir Henry Maine, said in his "Popular Government," published in 1886: "The Supreme Court of the United States is a unique creation of the founders of the Constitution." He refers to its duties as "annulling the usurpations" of the executive and legislative authorities. He adds: "The success of this experiment has blinded men to its novelty. There is no precedent for it either in the ancient or the modern world." If THE POWER of the Supreme Court to keep the Chief Executive and Congress within those limits prescribed for them by the Constitution is taken away, our written guarantees of personal liberties would become mere "scraps of paper" to be tossed aside at the whim of President or Congress. To amend the Constitution so as to transfer from the states to the general government control of affairs which from time immemorial and by their very nature are primarily of local concern, is to mark the beginning of the end of that nation which consists of "an indestructible union of indestructible states." In every tyranny that has ever existed, a central authority has regulated through bureaucrats the daily lives of the people of a vast domain. Senator Borah recently well said in referring to "the governing of 130,-000,000 people from Washington in all the affairs of daily life from the farmer's wife marketing her chickens to the discretion of the husbandman in his planting and sowing," these things "are done by thousands of bureaucratic ascarides who glory in the display of arbitrary power. In such delegated powers are hatched those ravenous insects as fatal to the liberty of the citizen as the locusts to the field of the toiler." 13 the FRAMERS of our Constitution took the utmost precautions against any attempted establishment of a bureaucracy. They not only limited the power of the general government to matters of general concern but they expressly declared that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively or to the people." Chief Justice Marshall considered the constitutional division of powers between the federal union and the states as the distinguishing feature of this Republic. He said (in 1819) in Mc-Cullough v. Maryland, (4 Wheaton 316): No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the states and of compounding the American people intc one common mass. Jefferson in his letter to James Madison in 1786 insisted that in the new union then proposed to be formed there should be "the proper division of powers between the general and particular governments" and the states should be "kept distinct in domestic matters." * President Andrew Jackson in his Farewell Address said: There have always been those who wish to enlarge the powers of the General Government. Its authority is sufficient for all the purposes for which it was created; these powers are enumerated and every attempt to exercise power beyond those limits should be firmly opposed. For one evil example will lead to other measures still more mischievous, and if . . . supposed advantages or temporary circumstances shall ever be permitted to justify the assumption of a power not given by the Constitution, the Gen- * Jefferson wrote in 1799 to Elbridge Gerry: "I am for preserving to the States the powers not yielded by them to the Union and I am not for transferring all the powers of the States to the General Government, and all those of that government to the Executive." In 1811 Jefferson said: "The true barriers of our liberty are our State governments. . . . Distinct States amalgamated into one as to their foreign concerns, but single and independent as to their internal administration, regularly organized with legislature and governor resting on the choice of the people, and enlightened by a free press, can never be so fascinated by the arts of one man as to submit voluntarily to his usurpation." 14 eral Government will before long absorb all the powers of legislation and we will have one eon-solidated Government. Every friend of our free institutions should always be prepared to maintain unimpaired and in full vigor the rights and sovereignty of the States. Lord Brougham said of the American Union: The devising means for keeping the Union's integrity as a federacy while the rights and powers of the individual states are maintained entire, is the very greatest refinement in social policy to which any age has ever given birth. To TRANSFER to the central government power to regulate matters which are inherently for "home rule" is to throw our entire mechanism of government out of balance. A proper balancing of units is as essential to the successful working of government as it is to the successful working of a piece of machinery or of the solar system. If human beings had power to amend the "Constitution" of the solar system and attempted to do so by assigning to some planet the orbit traveled by another since Creation or by increasing the mass of one planet and decreasing the mass of another, it would not require an astronomer to foretell that the solar system was headed for a smash. Sir Henry Maine, in the work above cited, says: The powers and disabilities attached to the United States and to the several states by the Federal Constitution and placed under the protection of deliberately contrived securities have determined the whole course of American history. That history began in a condition of society produced by war and revolution which might have condemned the Great Republic to a fate not unlike that of her disorderly sisters in South America. The provisions of the American Constitution have acted on her like those dikes which strike the eye of the traveler, controlling the course of a mighty river beginning in mountain torrents and turning it into an equable waterway. Americans should beware of any leader who attempts to tamper with the "dikes," for when the dikes are disturbed, the floods come. 15 Conditions resulting from the Civil War presented a great temptation to destroy the constitutional balance between the Federal and State governments. When the end of that war was near and the triumph of the Union assured, there were powerful congressional leaders who declared: "The states in secession must be treated as conquered provinces." Owing to prevailing super-charged emotions, the proposal received wide support. But Abraham Lincoln with flawless wisdom took the position that the seceding states be restored to the Union with all their self-governing powers unimpaired. At the last cabinet meeting he held (ten hours before the tragic end), he said he did not share others' feelings of vindictiveness and it was his policy to "re-animate the states and re-establish the Union." And at that very moment, as though Providence was permitting a preview of what was to be ultimately the nation-wide result of Lincoln's sound statesmanship, there was being raised above the battered ramparts of Fort Sumter the identical flag that had been hauled down under hostile fire four years before, and as it unfurled, thousands of South Carolinians along the Charleston shore began to sing "The Star Spangled Banner." A "strong central government" is always an instrument of despotism. Though Russia is officially a "Union of Republics," its government is in fact one man's will. Lenin said that "there might be any number of parties in Russia, provided that the Communist Party were in power and the members of all other parties in jail." In Germany on July 14, 1933, a decree was promulgated that "there shall be only one political party in Germany," i.e., the National Socalist Party. No Czar's power ever surpassed Stalin's; no Kaiser's power ever equalled Hitler's. Under Czars human lives and property were at least fairly secure. Under Kaisers they were secure. Today the autocrats of each of those countries are limited by no constitution and the people protected by none. Those who would 16 fundamentally alter here the division of federal governmental power between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary, or the balance of powers between the Union and the forty-eight commonwealths, are headed toward the absolutism of a totalitarian state. the TECHNIQUE of those in authority who constantly clutch more power has seldom changed. Anyone who has acquired absolute power has been a good "salesman" of himself. He has professed great zeal for "social justice" and held himself out as a healer of economic ills. If he sought control of a people's religion, he piously declared such control necessary for their souls' salvation. If he took private property for public use without just compensation, he averred that it was for the ultimate good of him despoiled. No tyrant in all history ever suppressed free speech or a free press or sacrificed human lives by wholesale or appropriated to himself private property by the millions without offering the excuse that in so doing he was the "savior of the State." Last year, when a European dictator felt it necessary to explain why in a single day he had done to death, with the merest mockery of a trial, 200 human beings, he declared: If someone asks me why we did not invoke an ordinary court to deal with these men, I can only tell him: "In this hour I was responsible for the fate of the nation, therefore the Supreme Court of the people during these twenty-four hours consisted of myself." Napoleon III was a good "salesman." Elected President of France in 1848, he continually plotted for power and popular support. He had many press agents on the public pay-roll. By December 2, 1851, he had so adroitly placed his friends in strategic positions and so won public favor that he carried out his "coup d'etat" and was proclaimed Emperor. The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th edition, says of him: 17 By various measures such as subsidies, charitable gifts and foundations he endeavored to show that the idea of improving the lot of those who suffer and struggle against the difficulties of life was constantly present in his mind. His was the government of cheap bread, great public works and holidays. His grandiose schemes, sired by his half-baked mind, brought ruin to his country. The disastrous Franco-Prussian War, followed by the Paris Commune, was the fruit of his lust for power, and that war, with its Alsace-Lorraine aftermath, led to the cataclysm of 1914. Democracy descends to a dictatorship with ease. There is never any tarrying at some halfway place, for "easy is the descent into hell." When Thomas Jefferson, John P. Curran and others said: "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," they were not indulging in mere rhetoric. What we are indifferent to we lose. Material from which despotism may be engendered is especially abundant in times of economic stress. Depressions breed discontent, and discontent begets emotions whose heat is incompatible with cool, clear thinking. People in distress over-estimate the omniscience of legislators and the omnipotence of legislation in other words, they confuse government with God. Kings lost their popularity and sometimes their thrones when crops failed. As epidemics sweep the land, quacks multiply. When industry is prostrate, demagogues and visionaries flourish. When people find life's burdens heavy, and long for political "messiahs," there are always those who come forward, assume a prophet's pose, claim to be divinely qualified, and begin to talk about establishing "a new social order." Each proclaims his possession of legislative "keys" to the longed-for paradise of plenty, and the idea is popularized that government is something to live not under but on. With the counterfeit coin of especially glittering promises, some 18 "magician" acquires the place of a statesman. He carefully avoids being called "dictator," for his ambition is not for title but for power. In South and Central America a dictator always retains his title of "President." As mere "window dressing" the forms of free government serve him well. He has no objection to Congress meeting as long as it registers the presidential will. In Europe the title "Leader" satisfies one dictator, while another bears only the modest title of "Secretary of the Communist Party." To the cult of collectivism Russia's "new social order" this "Secretary" has sacrificed not only millions of dollars worth of property but also millions of human lives, thereby supplying history with another demonstration of the fact that such a thing as a "benevolent despotism" is impossible. The Nazi "Leader" of Germany has deprived hundreds of thousands of members of a race of the right to earn their daily bread. He has made them "outcasts" in the land of their fathers. He has oppressed the communicants of two great religions. He has outlawed a fraternal organization whose purposes are humanitarian and whose benefactions are world-wide. There is nothing so intoxicating as the wine of power. Somewhere in most human brains lurks that cave-man inheritance, the spirit of intolerance. The "strong drink" of unrestrained power quickens this intolerant spirit into activity, as witness the scholarly Danton and the once tender-hearted Robespierre turned into terrorists by the intoxication of dictatorship. Arbitrary POWER always marks the end of liberalism and true liberalism is civilization's finest fruitage. Where liberalism prevails every human being possesses all the personal freedom which is consistent with the well-being of others, and there is a free press and freedom of speech and of assemblage and an utter absence of racial and religious bigotry and intolerance. The liberal regards law as the servant of justice and believes a sense of fair play to be one of the 19 highest attributes of man. He can conceive of no master benign enough to make slavery attractive. He would confine government within the ambit of its legitimate authority for he knows that the progress of the race has been marked by the expulsion of government from areas of human activity where for centuries it was only an oppressive intruder. Even in so-called "free governments" i.e., those based on popular suffrage and majority rule the most intolerable tyranny has resulted from attempted regulation of individual conduct in fields where government does not belong and where it cannot efficiently function. It is always better to bear the ills we have than to fly to others which are ten times worse. The surrender of the liberty Americans have enjoyed since Independence was won and the Constitution adopted would be a big price to pay for even certain economic security. It is too high a price to pay for a mere promise impossible of fulfillment and whose attempts to fulfill it will lead to economic chaos and irretrievable industrial catastrophe. For 150 years Americans have had a higher degree of economic security than any other people on the globe. They achieved this under a system which did not discourage industry and did not encourage indolence. Their achievements were due to no dictator but to their own individual efforts. They belonged to a breed with no feebleness in its fiber. Americans will continue to achieve the highest degree of economic security attainable by human beings only by reliance on those unamendable virile qualities which made their fathers great. The TYRANNY of an aggressive minority or of an unrestrained majority has always been more merciless and cruel than the tyranny of a king. The very group a man belongs to may turn and rend him. Charles I did not exact as large a toll of lives and liberties as did the mob-spirited Convention which ruled France by assassination and summarily executed scores of its 20 own leaders and members, as well as thousands of others, during the "Terror." Maddened masses are destructive and self-destructive. No more dependence can be placed upon organized majorities than upon disorganized mobs, to respect individual rights. The nation itself must be wisely and well organized to protect such rights, and that is exactly what the American people in convention assembled did when under the leadership of Washington and Madison and Hamilton, they organized this nation according to the plans and specifications of the Constitution they ordained. Fortunate is our nation with its constitutional safeguards of individual rights and an independent Supreme Court to maintain them. As Jeremiah S. Black said in the Milligan Case, above cited: In peaceable and quiet times, our legal rights are in little danger of being overborne; but when the wave of arbitrary power lashes itself into violence and rage, and goes surging up against the barriers which were made to confine it, then we need the whole strength of an unbroken Constitution to save us from destruction. What the hospices of the Saint Bernard pass mean to the storm-pelted Alpine traveler, what an available land-locked harbor means to the gale-swept mariner, what the frontier forts meant to the American pioneers, the Constitution of the United States means now to the American citizen. [Reprinted from Nation's Business] 21 PAMPHLETS AVAILABLE OPIES of the following pamphlets and other League literature may be obtained upon application to the League's national headquarters. Statement of Principles and Purposes American Liberty League Its Platform The $4,880,000,000 Emergency Relief Appropriation Act The Bonus Inflation The Thirty Hour Week Bill The Holding Company Bill Price Control The Labor Relations Bill The TV A Amendments The Revised AAA Amendments The President's Tax Program Expanding Bureaucracy Lawmaking by Executive Order New Deal Laws in Federal Courts Potato Control Budget Prospects Dangerous Experimentation Economic Planning Mistaken But Not New Work Relief The AAA and Our Form of Government Alternatives to the American Form of Government A Program for Congress The 1937 Budget Professors and the New Deal Wealth and Income The Townsend Plan The President Wants More Power (leaflet) The Townsend Nightmare (leaflet) The New Deal Works Program (leaflet) The American Liberty League By Dr. Ray Bert Westerfleld The National Labor Relations Act Summary of Conclusions from Report of the National Lawyers Committee Straws Which Tell The Constitution What It Means to the Man in the Street By John W. Davis How to Meet the Issue Speech by W. E. Borah The Duty of the Church to the Social Order Speech by S. Wells Utley The American Bar The Trustee of American Institutions Speech by Albert C. Ritchie Legislation By Coercion or Constitution Speech by Jouett Shouse PAMPHLETS AVAILABLE (continued) The Imperilment of Democracy Speech by Fitzgerald Hall The Spirit of Americanism Speech by William H. Ellis Today's Lessons for Tomorrow Speech by Captain William H. Stayton The Duty of the Lawyer in the Present Crisis Speech by James M. Beck The Constitution and the Supreme Court Speech by Borden Burr The Economic Necessity in the Southern States for a Return to the Constitution Speech by Forney Johnston The National Lawyers Committee of the American Liberty League Speech by Ethan A. H. Shepley Our Growing National Debt and Inflation Speech by Dr. E. W. Kemmerer Inflation is Bad Business Speech by Dr. Neil Carothers The Real Significance of the Constitutional Issue Speech by R. E. Desvernine Arousing Class Prejudices Speech by Jouett Shouse The Fallacies and Dangers of the Townsend Plan Speech by Dr. Walter E. Spahr What of 1936? Speech by James P. Warburg Americanism at the Crossroads Speech by R. E. Desvernine The Constitution and the New Deal Speech by James M. Carson The American Constitution Whose Heritage? Speech by Frederick H. Stinchfield The American Form of Government Let Us Preserve It Speech by Albert C. Ritchie The Redistribution of Power Speech by John W. Davis Time to Stop Speech by Dr. Neil Carothers The President Has Made the Issue Speech by Charles I. Dawson The Facts In the Case Speech by Alfred E. Smith The Townsend Utopia Speech by Dr. Ray Bert Westerfleld Shall We Plow Under the Supreme Court? Speech by Jouett Shouse Inflation and Our Gold Reserve Speech by Dr. E. W. Kemmerer The Power of Federal Courts to Declare Acts of Congress Unconstitutional Speech by John H. Hatcher The Constitution The Fortress of Liberty-Speech by James A. Reed