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No. 131 "A Reply To Secretary Wallace's Question `Whose Constitution?' The Dominant Issue Of The Campaign," By Raoul E. Desvernine, Chairman, National Lawyers Committee and Member of the Executive Committee of the American Liberty League, August 9, 1936.
No. 131 "A Reply To Secretary Wallace's Question `Whose Constitution?' The Dominant Issue Of The Campaign," By Raoul E. Desvernine, Chairman, National Lawyers Committee and Member of the Executive Committee of the American Liberty League, August 9, 1936. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky Am_Lib_Leag_131 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. No. 131 "A Reply To Secretary Wallace's Question `Whose Constitution?' The Dominant Issue Of The Campaign," By Raoul E. Desvernine, Chairman, National Lawyers Committee and Member of the Executive Committee of the American Liberty League, August 9, 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. JOIN THE AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE The American Liberty League is organized to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States and to gather and disseminate information that (1) will teach the necessity of respect for the rights of persons and property as fundamental to every successful form of government and (2) will teach the duty of government to encourage and protect individual and group initiative and enterprise, to foster the right to work, earn, save, and acquire property, and to preserve the ownership and lawful use of property when acquired. The League believes in the doctrine expressed by George Washington in his Farewell Address that while the people may amend the Constitution to meet conditions arising in a changing world, there must "be no change by usurpation; for this * * * is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.** Since the League is wholly dependent upon the contributions of its members for financial support it hopes that you will become a contributing member. However, if you cannot contribute it will welcome your support as a non-contributing member. Enrollment: Blank American Liberty League National Press Building Washington, D. C. Date......... I desire to be enrolled as a member of the American Liberty League. Signature Town .................................. County.......................... State. Enclosed find my contribution of $........ to help support the activities of the League. A REPLY TO SECRETARY WALLACE'S QUESTION WHOSE CONSTITUTION! THE DOMINANT ISSUE OF THE CAMPAIGN â˜… â˜… â˜… By RAOTJL E. DESVERNINE Chairman, National Lawyers Committee and Member of the Executive Committee of the American Liberty League AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE National Headquarters NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING WASHINGTON, D. C. (131) Document No. 131 August, 1936 Wh 'hen you have finished with this pamphlet please pass it on to some friend or acquaintance who might be interested, calling his attention to the membership blank on page 24. A Reply to Secretary Wallace's Question Whose Constitution! The Dominant Issue of the Campaign QECRETARY HENRY A. WALLACE has presented the dominant issue of the campaign by appropriately raising the question as to who owns the Constitution.1 This question is most timely, as the activities of his associated New Dealers, during the past three years, have caused serious doubt in the public mind as to who the New Dealers think really owns the Constitution. Can it be that this book was written in one of those lucid moments when Henry Wallace himself succumbed to the unfortunately too general impression that the President, and not the people, owns the Constitution, an idea to which certain of Mr. Roosevelt's recent utterances and many of his actions give color? It is tragically amusing to observe Secretary Wallace seeking solace for his unconstitutional immorality in the constitutional mythology of Mr. Irving Brant's "Storm Over the Constitution." He embraces Mr. Brant's arguments so enthusiastically even officially sponsoring his book by writing an introduction to it that one wonders if Mr. Wallace has not long felt the need of some sedative for his conscience, troubled or at least confused, as it must be, by his futile efforts to thus far reach his "New Frontiers" by alien and forbidden means. We are, nevertheless, grateful to him for letting the New Deal skeleton out of the closet and confirming our accusations as to the real, but concealed, objectives of the New Deal.2 MR. WALLACE'S QUESTION is categorically answered by the Declaration of Independence 1 ""Whose Constitution An Inquiry into the General Welfare" by Henry A. Wallace. (Reynal & Hitchcock.) 2 "Democratic Despotism" by Raoul E. Desvernine. (Dodd Mead & Co.) 3 and by the Constitution; and to those who accept such answers, no further answer is necessary. The Declaration of Independence states that "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." This doctrine establishes two basic principles: First, that the people are the original source and ultimate I repository of sovereign power; and Second, that, therefore, Government must derive its power 1 from the people and, consecruently, can have only such powers as are expressly granted to it by the people. This principle is the cornerstone upon which all democracies are founded. In acknowledgment and fulfillment of these principles, the preamble of the Constitution emphatically proclaimed the Constitution to be the act of the sovereign people. Thus the Constitution emanated from the people and was not the declaration of the thirteen individual States, made jointly and severally, in their sovereign capacity. Yes, Mr. Wallace, ultimate sovereignty resides in the people and in the people alone, and the Constitution and any amendment thereof must have the sanction of, and a mandate from, the people to have any just validity. It is obvious that once the people have formally expressed their sovereign will in a written Constitution, that we must look to that Constitution to ascertain what the people intended. All of their previously divergent proposals and debated opinions must be taken to have been compromised and merged in, and to have been authen- j| tically expressed by, that written document. jj The document must speak for itself. THE CONSTITUTION can not be maintained as the supreme law of the land unless its supremacy can be asserted and protected. The individual and States' rights guaranteed by the Constitution can not be maintained, and the integrity of the governmental system established by the Constitution can not be preserved, without some instrumentality of adjudication. Its disputed meanings and contested applications must be adjudicated by some agency with a recognized finality, if order, uniformity and practical justice is to prevail. Such essential power has been vested in the Supreme Court and without the Supreme Court thus functioning, the Constitution would be stripped of all its vitality and made a mere scrap of paper. If you object to this power in the judiciary, who do you propose as the arbitrator of constitutional controversies? To now attack the right of the Supreme Court to declare legislative and executive acts invalid is provoked only by resentment against constitutional restraints judicially imposed upon those seeking freedom therefrom. This must he so as the people can at any time amend the Constitution in any way they please, even to remove this restraint of the judiciary if they so wish. How easy, therefore, to be respectful of the popular will, if such be your desire! To DEBATE the origin of this power is to indirectly challenge its validity after the Supreme Court has held it a proper and essential prerogative and after the nation has accepted and acted upon that determination for so many years. It is simply casting about in the graveyard of constitutional theory for some corpse to give a semblance of justification for activities and ambitions judicially repudiated. The Supreme Court must determine the intention of the authors of the Constitution as expressed in the Constitution and their finding must be binding if law and order are to exist. Is it not a wise, and in fact, a necessary rule that the judiciary shall determine the intention of parties as expressed in a written document? All the debates in the Constitutional Convention, the writings of the Founding Fathers, and all the surrounding facts and circumstances attending the formulation of the Constitution, are, of course, invaluable and competent evidence to reach an interpretation of what was or what was not intended by its authors. Any historical light cast on this is obviously of great importance; but once a determination is made that determination is final and conclusive until the people have otherwise ordained by amendment. This is the primal concept of our constitutional philosophy. Suppose you and Mr. Brant can demonstrate historically that the Supreme Court has altered or misinterpreted the original intent of the Founding Fathers? Then what? At least if you intend that our traditional constitutional democracy shall survive, you must not undertake to circumvent the judicially adjudicated application of the Constitution by accommodating its interpretation to your own personal opinions and theories. When any orthodox constitutionalist professes devotion to the doctrine of the Founding Fathers, they accept the interpretations and adjudications of the courts as to what that doctrine was and is and do not follow their own wishful opinions as to what that doctrine should be. You and your historical preceptor, Mr. Brant, however, advocate now returning to the Founding Fathers by jumping over all of the decisions of the courts thereby denying the value and efficacy of precedent and tradition, a revolutionary attitude to any one trained in the Common Law; or, as you also suggest, by appointing judges who will look to the pleasure of the President as the fountain-head of all law. NOW, mr. WALLACE, you and others may not be satisfied with all the interpretations of the Constitution made by the Supreme Court. But why labor under the delusion, or for some concealed reason give the false impression, that because the Supreme Court has made a particular decision, that the popular will has been thereby thwarted and permanently blocked? Are you not confusing your wishes, no matter how sincere you may be in believing that they are in the public interest, with the will of the people as determined in the manner in which they have prescribed that their will shall be ascertained? How else, Mr. Wallace, do you arrive at your opinion as to what the popular will is? If you are convinced that your policies are for the general welfare, why not submit them to popular opinion in the manner prescribed by the people themselves? Why all this discussion of what the Constitution was intended to or intended not to mean? We are told what it does mean and if you do not like the interpretation given it, you certainly know how to change it. Does not your suggestion that the Court has changed its mind and may with a different judicial personnel again change its mind, suggest that you advocate "amending" the Constitution by packing the Court with men whose views will be sympathetic to yours? Furthermore, why all this furor as to the inadequacy of the Constitution and its being outmoded by the march of time? If the Founding Fathers created a Government, or even if the Supreme Court has judicially made the Government, inadequate or impracticable, or of a character no longer desired by the people, does not the Constitution itself make adequate provision for its "modernization"? If you can sustain your thesis why not submit it to the people? Are you and your colleagues not really seeking for political reasons to accomplish by indirection that which you know wiU be denied by a popular referendum? What concealed fears do you harbor? If the Constitution was conceived and has been developed so as to give special preference to the "property interests" against the "general welfare" why not correct it and make it truly expressive of the "general welfare"? Certainly, you, above all others who are so solicitous for and believe so firmly in the people can not believe that the people can not be made to see where their interests lie, or that the people are not able to adequately express, promote, and protect, their own interests? Another fundamental error in your understanding of our institutions! An elected President and an elected Congress have received a mandate from the people to perform the duties and exercise the functions delegated respectively to the executive and legislative branches of the government; but they have not received a mandate from the people to interpret the Constitution. The Supreme Court alone has that mandate from the people. This is just as true as that the President cannot exercise legislative functions or the Congress executive functions. An election only gives the person elected a mandate to exercise the specific functions assigned by the people in the Constitution to the office to which he was elected. We have seen President Roosevelt condemned for usurping legislative functions. We now find you proposing that he should usurp judicial functions. Your proposal means exactly that. If the Supreme Court should be composed of judges whose opinions will yield to the President's notions, that would violate the mandate of the people. That mandate, as expressed in the Constitution, established the Supreme Court as an independent and coordinate branch of the government and there is absolutely no evidence of the people having thus far changed that mandate. Your proposal makes the Supreme Court, without popular sanction or mandate, a mere administrative and obedient agency of the Executive. It is not necessary expressly to abolish the legislature and the judiciary to remove them as independent branches of the government, in order to vest complete power in the President. The same practical results can be accomplished by suffering them to continue in form but stripping them of their independent integrity and making them subservient to the Executive will. You and your colleagues are surely writing an understandable record of your intentions as to what kind of government you purpose to give us. MUCH OF THIS may seem platitudinous but it goes to the very heart of the argument of your book. You lose yourself in your own labyrinth because you start from and stubbornly pursue wrong fundamentals. You construct your entire argument on the two false premises: First, that your interpretation instead of the Supreme Court's interpretation of what the authors of the Constitution intended should control; and Second, that the Constitution can and should be made expressive of what you presume to be the popular will of the general welfare by means other than those specifically prescribed by the people. You seem to be laboring under the impression that you can democratically serve the "general welfare" by imposing your policies upon the people without their authentic consent, simply because your policies are in your opinion for the "general welfare." If you believe that, you do not believe in the basic principle of democracy but rather in a paternal totalitarianism or a beneficent dictatorship. At any rate, your argument discloses that you have little faith in, or do not understand the fundamentals of, a constitutional democracy maintained by an independent judiciary. YOU DISCLAIM the need of amending the Constitution and propose in your introduction to Irving Brant's book another method of accomplishing your objectives in the "general welfare." You say: "The important thing ... is to elect Presidents who will nominate the right men to the Supreme Court." In other words, you propose to substitute the "presumed will of the people as conveyed to a f yes-man Supreme Court by a popularity-hunt- ing President" for "an authority arrived at by the balanced interplay of legislative and executive and judicial functions, all acting according to their best wisdom under the rules of the game and all subject to correction or inspiration by the similarly sportsmanlike voice of the people." To put it still another way, you contend that the Constitution is the property of the President, and not of the people, to the extent that President Roosevelt, supported by his Democratic Congressional Majority, has been vested with unrestrained power to act according to his own conceived notions of the general welfare by imposing his interpretations of the Federal Government's powers through subservient or accommodating judicial appointees. In short, you propose a Government of a Man or a Group of Men for a Government of Laws. You have here with courageous frankness defined the dominant issue of the campaign. You have here clearly exposed the method by which the Administration intends to carry out its policies and its platform without constitutional amendments. You have naively pleaded guilty to the indictment presented against the New Deal. In your previous book "New Frontiers" you claim to have "tried to condense into broad material objectives the philosophy of the New Deal" and now you enlighten us as to the means by which you intend to consummate it. You have removed the perplexity which we have all been under as to how the Roosevelt Administration intended to carry out its program in the face of the recent decisions of the Supreme Court without proposing a constitutional amendment. Your official position in the Administration entitles you to speak creditably for its philosophy and for "the instruments of public power" which the Administration proposes using. The legislative and administrative activities of the Roosevelt Administration, the platform adopted at the Philadelphia Convention, and the speeches of the President himself, all confirm the views which you express. As a matter of fact, your proposal as to a "second" way to "amend" the Constitution has a vital significance, particularly as the President himself, in his Little Rock speech, all but declared it. IT IS SIGNIFICANT that there should be such common understanding of the ideas and proposal of your hook amongst so many eminent book reviewers, political commentators and journalists. We can't all be wrong! In concluding your book you say: 10 "We in the United States should eventually be prepared if necessary to work out in the spirit of Madison a mechanism which would embody the spirit of the age as successfully as the Constitution of 1787 mirrored the philosophy of the eighteenth century." Your book has attempted to prove that, "the spirit of the age" demands the obliteration of the States and the vesting of unlimited centralized power in the Federal Government to do anything which it deems expedient in the "general welfare," all without the prescribed sanction of the people, but through a handpicked and subservient judiciary. To characterize that as "the spirit of Madison" is historical blasphemy. You then make this perfectly astounding statement: "We may hope that such action can be taken as bloodlessly as the Constitution was enacted and that the handiwork will be as enduring." The natural corollary to, and the subtle implication of, this expression of hope of yours is that you think revolution even possible, and perhaps justified to achieve your objectives, if constitutional processes move too slowly. Certainly, this statement of yours demands clarification. As it stands, it logically and properly permits this amazing inference to be drawn which we confidently trust was not intended. We are, therefore, forced to conclude from the argument in your book that you believe that the Constitution should belong to the President and not to the people, so that the President may be the better able to bless the people with his personal benefactions and, fearing that the people may in their ignorance or slothfulness not see the advisability of authentically granting the necessary power to the President, that this power should be conferred on the President by imposition upon the people and without their expressed mandate given in their prescribed form. If, Secretary Wallace, that is not your answer to your own question, then your book is absolutely meaningless and political twaddle. 11 in SEEKING TO PROVE historically that the "broad material objectives of the philosophy of the New Deal" can be effectuated within the Constitution as originally intended by the Founding Fathers, in addition to your major premise which we have just dealt with, you make supporting arguments which are equally fallacious and historically untrue. We select a few as pat illustrations. Your statement that "The new government was to be a national union of people, and not a union of sovereign and independent states" is just not true. If there is one thing about which the Supreme Court has been consistently and unanimously certain, it is that our Constitution established a limited Federal Government of only expressly delegated and necessarily implied powers; a Federal Union of autonomous States. The preamble to the Constitution only states the sanction upon which it is predicated and the general objectives sought to be obtained; but it does not contain any grant of power. The form of government and the powers with which that government was to be implemented are set forth in the body of the Constitution. Doesn't it strike you as significant that the body of the Constitution is so explicit in the enumeration of the powers delegated to the Federal Government, and that in fact it contains more prohibitions against the exercise of power than grants of power? "Now the spirit of the preamble to the Constitution, with its faith in united effort directed toward justice and the common welfare, was needed as badly as it had ever been needed in 1787 or 1858. Moving in this spirit, the people of the United States might meet their common problems by common actions. Otherwise, they would be defeated by warring pressure groups and narrow legalisms." This is, indeed, a pious platitude which everyone can accept without compromising any opinion which they might have. But the common welfare can be just as completely defeated by the "warring pressure groups" of the New Deal through their recently 12 exposed methods and by the self-accommodating broad "legalisms" of the New Deal which have been so conclusively condemned by the Supreme Court. The people have prescribed in exact form the "united effort directed toward justice and the common welfare" that they want, and the only way you can move forward "in this spirit * * * to meet common problems by common action" is to proceed in faithful accord with the letter and spirit of what they have prescribed. In 1787 THE FOUNDING FATHERS clearly saw the necessity for some "common action" but they were equally mindful of the need for local self-government and were significantly apprehensive of the concentration of unlimited power in the Federal Government. The Articles of Federation had, in fact, proved "a rope of sand," but the Founding Fathers were most cautious to skillfully segregate and scatter governmental prerogatives, not only between the several departments of the Federal Government, but also between the clearly differentiated jurisdictions of the Federal Government and the States; and also to expressly limit the powers of the Federal Government. If they had intended any such form of government as you impute to them, they need not to have been so meticulous in this distribution of power and in the enumeration of the powers granted to the Federal Government. At any rate, the Supreme Court of the United States throughout its history has not sustained your reading of what the Founding Fathers intended; and will you not accept the Supreme Court as the final judge? In the period of the great controversy immediately preceding and during the Civil War, there was no effort to make an all-comprehensive and inclusive central government such as you now advocate and seek to attribute to the Founding Fathers. Even the great controversy over the right of secession was not because of any alleged right of the Federal Government to control the internal affairs of the several States. It was simply that a State once 13 a part of the Union must continue as a part of the Union. The Union then, as in the days of the Founding Fathers, was not understood to mean the surrender of all local rights of self-government to a central government. It was still a "Union" not a single Government. We CHALLENGE the historical accuracy of your assertion "That the framers of the Constitution were successful in writing into the enduring law of the land 'We, The People of the United States' concerning the nation as a union of people instead of states, and establishing the Federal Government as the instrument of general welfare." They never had any such nationalistic concept. The integrity of the sovereignty of the States was maintained and the Federal Government was only established "as the instrument of general welfare" in specifically enumerated matters. Purely to serve your own purposes, you are here attempting to construe the preamble as a granting clause. The phrase, "general welfare" only appears in one other place in the Constitution (Section 8, Article I) and even there it has not been given any such broad application as you contend. Haven't you been taught this by the Hoosac Mills decision? Or, is it that you just refuse to accept every interpretation by the Supreme Court which does not sustain your views? If, on the other hand, you would like to transform our governmental system into that form because of the alleged nationalization of matters previously considered only local, you have all the means available; and how easy this should be for you, who believes that "56% of the people agree that the Federal Government should have the right of say over state governments." It seems to us that if you really believe what you say, you are wasting a lot of time shadow-boxing and logic-chopping. In SPEAKING of the Supreme Court's invalidation of your pet legislation, the N.R.A. and 14 the A.A.A., the two keystones to the arch of the New Deal, you say: "There may have been much in these acts and in their administration which was unwise. But the grounds taken by the Supreme Court in invalidating them raise a most fundamental question as to the ability of our form of government at crucial times to meet nationally the problems that have become national in scope." This is pure sophistry. The only question raised and decided was whether or not the specific legislative act before the Court was within the scope of the Federal power. Your statement assumes that the "crucial times" could not be met in any way whatsoever within the Constitution; and that the "problems" had "become national in scope," and therefore could only be met nationally in the specific form and through the particular constitutional process utilized by the New Deal. We challenge that assumption. MOREOVER, after the invalidation of these laws, the "crucial times" did not become more acute but, as a matter of fact, business improved. Has it ever occurred to you that these laws were even bad economics and had retarded recovery? Perhaps, as recent events have shown, it is fortunate that your solutions were prevented from becoming "national in scope." Even the "economic predilections," which you impute to the Court, have not been demonstrated to be unsound. On the other hand, have your "economic predilections" of a planned economy through governmental regimentation been proved sound and what the people want? Bear in mind, your proposals did not amount to only improving and modernizing our existing economic system and correcting its conceded abuses. They proposed an entirely different system. You have not been "adapting" our economic machinery to new conditions. You have attempted to scrap the entire machine and give us in its place a new machine which you can't prove the people have ever said they wanted. Your confession that "much in these acts IS or in their administration" was unwise, when now read with your "greatest legalized steal in history" comment on the A.A.A. decision is truly whimsical. Your zealous ambition to reach the mystical "New Frontiers" of your "New Order" has perhaps made you so impatient with the institutions and processes of the established order that even you are intellectually confused; or, perhaps, you are so anxious to give the people "an abundant life" that you want to jump over 150 years of constitutional history to give the people your conception of their just reward without making them "suffer" the delay of consultation. Come out of Blunderland, Mr. Wallace, and we will wage battle with you in the arena of public opinion! We will proudly wear "the livery of great national constitutional ideals" and we will not fail to recognize your uniform of a regimented totalitarian state. The American Liberty League YOU HAVE CHARACTERISTICALLY been guilty of even greater wishful thinking in respect of what the American Liberty League teaches than you have in respect of what the Founding Fathers intended or what the people want. You impute ideas to it which you cannot prove from any record or utterance that it has made. You make the League what you want it to be to serve your own purposes, and then gallantly start fighting "windmills." You indulge yourself in an orgy of class tail-twisting and constitutional mythologizing. Let's look at and consider a few typical examples of your "contest" with what you imagine the Liberty League to be. You state that "a quasi-political association" under the name "the Liberty League" was organized to defend the "sanctification of big business" instead of "personal and civil rights." At the same time you charitably concede, however, that the men who wrote the Constitution did think of property and property rights as one of the attributes of liberty. That is exactly the 16 doctrine of the Liberty League. It only contends that property is one of the inalienable human rights granted by the Constitution. As to what constitutes property within the meaning of the Constitution the Supreme Court has many times told us. You impeach the integrity of the Supreme Court on the grounds of personal interest and "economic predilections" in defining property. You resent any one but yourselves defining and applying the Constitution or having any different economic or political "predilections" to yours. The American Liberty League, however, has implicit confidence in the judiciary as a fair, impartial and essential interpreter of the Constitution and the law and as the final arbitrator of constitutional and civil controversies. THE LIBERTY LEAGUE is absolutely satisfied to accept the Constitution as applied and construed by the Supreme Court and similarly to accept any amendment to the Constitution adopted by the people in the manner prescribed by the people. It accords them full sovereignty in the form and fashion which they have ordained. It, however, emphatically challenges the right of any man or group of men at any time enjoying political power to substitute their interpretations of the Constitution for the people's chosen interpreter the Supreme Court by packing the Court or by any other extra-constitutional method; and of changing our political, economic, and social institutions, to fit their new-fangled theories without mandate of the people given in the manner prescribed by the people. That, Mr. Wallace, is the gospel of the American Liberty League, which for obvious reasons you do not seem to want to understand. You want to amend the Bill of Rights by excluding property, or by changing the definition of property given by the Supreme Court to suit your economic views. If you honestly think that the American Liberty League has not been vigilant and enthusiastic in its defense of the right of free speech, free assembly, free worship and the 17 right of petition, you simply do not know the facts. Fortunately, your assumptions are not proof. The record of the Administration with which you are officially connected, is, on the other hand, rather generous in examples of judicially adjudicated violations of the Bill of Rights. YOU write: "The greatest threat to liberty in the United States lies in the excess of that kind of liberty which puts great economic power in a few private hands." Yes, the concentration of such power may prove a threat to liberty, but history has demonstrated and recent world happenings have again forcibly iUus-trated that there is one greater and more possible threat to human liberty and that is great political power in a few hands. Our Founding Fathers certainly understood that "the concentration of unlimited power in any one political unit, no matter how democratic, was despotism." Even assuming that you can prove economic control, in the hands of a few, which we deny, you only offer to substitute political despots for "economic royalists." Furthermore, if you have evidence in your possession to justify your imputations of monopolistic practices of any group of individuals you already have the legal power to prosecute them. As a matter of fact, if you have such evidence it is your sworn duty to prosecute them. It must be that the evidence in support of your accusations is lacking because such prosecutions have been significantly few under the present Administration. Are we to judge your conception of "economic freedom" and "freedom of opportunity" from your recent legislative enactments and their administration? If so it seems that you have written a clear record of the denial of "economic freedom" through governmental regimentation incomparable with anything in American experience. We defy you to name "the few hands" in the United States having any such economic control as you claim and to prove that the Government has not sufficient legal power to protect the people against any alleged abuses of such 18 power within the Constitution. We can, on the other hand, show from the record the political and economic control which you and your colleagues have exercised and claimed, both from the records of the Supreme Court and from the record of the happenings of the last three years. Even the American Liberty League that you regard as so destructive of the general welfare and so unrepresentative of the public interest has more trust and confidence in the people than you, as they have never proposed, or even suggested, that the people should not be given the fullest and freest opportunity to determine themselves the kind and character of their government and the economic and social system under which they choose to live. YOU ALSO SAY: "* * * the relationship between freedom and economic opportunity has undergone great changes with changing economic conditions here and abroad, and no one has the right to talk about 'liberty of opportunity' in America today unless he has some program for meeting these changes and making this liberty real." The Liberty League has never denied that some readjustments are necessary to give the fullest expression to "liberty of opportunity" under changed economic conditions; but the Liberty League has emphatically maintained that the "program for meeting these changes and making this liberty real" proposed by you and your colleagues is a sham because it even destroys the vestige of "liberty of opportunity" which you contend remains by supplanting it with absolute regimentation by an all-powerful government unrestrained by any agency competent to protect individual liberty against that government. You all along assume that because the existing system is not perfect that its perfection can be obtained only through your program. As you say "Our problem today is to make the adjustments necessary in our social mechanism so that we will have social controls where they are needed to enlarge the field of economic opportunity for people as a whole." The trouble 19 with that statement is that yon do not mean it. As repeatedly said, you are not making the "adjustments necessary in our social mechanism" but are setting up entirely new mechanisms. That is the crux of the controversy which you fail to understand. We hope that the foregoing has put you right on the fundamental teachings of the American Liberty League. We will, however, if necessary, be glad to more clearly define our position in the hope that you will understand it. We are even prepared to join issue with you as we know from the record of your activities and utterances that you are diametrically opposed to the fundamental concepts of our doctrine. We can prove that our doctrine is traditional constitutional democracy as ordained by the people in the Constitution and developed and applied by the Supreme Court of the United States in accordance with its mandate from the people. We are confident that the people, no matter how dissatisfied with some abuses of the existing economic and social system, will nevertheless not accept your totalitarian doctrine and we challenge you to ask for a mandate of the people to receive their authentic consent to that doctrine. Irrespective of whether or not you agree with our views we deny your right to impose your views without the sanction of the people. In a word, all the American Liberty League demands is that our constitutional institutions and our economic and social system be prescribed by the people and not by any man or group of men. and MR. WALLACE if you want to debate that issue, which your book has made clear is the real issue, we welcome you as an opponent. We will, however, continue to do everything possible to make the people see through your erroneous assumptions and class invective so that they may get at the real issue. The issue is between constitutional democracy and democratic despotism. 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 Leagne Its Platform Inflation The Holding Company Bill Expanding Bureaucracy Dangerous Experimentation Economic Planning Mistaken But Not New Work Relief The AAA and Onr 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 Story of an Honest Man (The Hagood Case) The New AAA The President's 1936 Tax Proposals New Work Relief Funds The American Form of Government, The Supreme Court and The New Deal Socialization of the Electric Power Industry Social and Economic Experiments Under the Guise of Taxation New Deal Budget Policies The President Wants More Power (leaflet) The Townsend Nightmare (leaflet) A Farmer Speaks (leaflet) Will It Be Ave Caesar? (leaflet) Our New Spoils System (leaflet) The Magi and the Showdown (leaflet) Government by Busybodies (leaflet) Gratitude in Politics (leaflet) 28 Facts About the New Deal (leaflet) New Labels for Old Poisons (leaflet) The New Deal Boondoggling Circus (leaflet) Government by Law Still Forced to Fight Against New Deal (leaflet) Who Are the Economic Royalists? (leaflet) Danger Signals (leaflet) The Duty of the Church to the Social Order Speech by S. Wells Viley PAMPHLETS AVAILABLE (continued) 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 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. Stinchfleld The Redistribution of Power Speech by John W. Davis Time to Stop Speech by Dr. Neil Carothers The Facts In the Case-^Speec/i by Alfred E. Smith The Townsend Utopia Speech by Dr. Ray Bert Wester field Inflation and Our Gold Reserve Speech by Dr. E. W. Kemmerer Entrenched Greed Speech by Dr. G. B. Cutten Should We Amend the Constitution to Grant the National Government General Welfare Powers? Speech by W. H. Rogers The New Inquisition Speech by Jouett Shouse It Can Be Done Speech by Merrill E. Otis The Need for Constitutional Growth by Construction or Amendment Speech by R. E. Desvernine Shall We Have Constitutional Liberty, or Dictatorship? Speech by James A. Reed An American Philosophy Speech by Jouett Shouse The Liberty League Old Friendships Destroyed Speech by Daniel O. Hastings A Federal Union National and State Responsibilities Speech by Fitzgerald Hall Constitntional Heresy Speech by R. E. Des- You Owe Thirty-one Billion Dollars Speech by Jouett Shouse The New Deal vs. Democracy Speech by Jouett Shouse