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"Why? The American Liberty League." by Jouett Shouse, November 1, 1934. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky Am_Lib_Leag_6 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. "Why? The American Liberty League." by Jouett Shouse, November 1, 1934. American Liberty League. American Liberty League. Washington, D.C. 1934. 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. branches. Where one man, or one bureau, is lawmaker, prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and sheriff, there is no protection for the citizen. There is no justification, under the traditional American system of government, for permitting an executive bureau to issue orders having the force of laws and subjecting citizens to criminal or civil penalties; there is no justification for permitting an executive official to take over the legislative prerogative of levying taxes and specifying the purposes and manner of disbursement of revenues. The need for rigid observance of constitutional restrictions is always greater in emergencies than in more normal times because the emergencies produce constant pressure for disregard or evasion of limitations. Such pressure is dangerous enough when exerted upon the Senate or the House, though in Congress the interests of one group or section may be counterbalanced by the conflict with other groups or sections and the net result is likely to be action in the interest of the entire nation. However, a totally different situation arises when Congress evades its constitutional responsibilities and delegates legislative powers to one man or one bureau. What the Liberty League Believes The American Liberty League believes that Congress, having been elected to represent the people, should not shirk its task by delegating authority to bureaus to promulgate arbitrary regulations having the force of laws. Likewise, the League believes that Congress should not attempt to delegate judicial power to executive bureaus. The Courts of the nation and not government bureaus should pass upon questions of civil justice. It is also the belief of the League that the right to authorize the spending of public funds and to raise revenue is solely the function of the legislative branch of the government and that balanced budgets and sound fiscal policies are possible only while Congress retains its full responsibility for the nature and manner of spending public money. In its efforts to promote its beliefs before the American people, the League will deal in facts and not in visions. Its objective is to persuade the elective officials of the government to follow the principles in which the League believes. The methods which the League will utilize while working for this objective will vary with the situations presented. However, they will be effective methods and they will be unremitting. Why? The American Liberty League By JOUETT SHOUSE President AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE l^ational Headquarters NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING WASHINGTON, D. C. Why? The American Liberty League FOR several thousand years some hundreds of churches have been advocating respect for and observance of the Ten Commandments. So far, complete success has not been attained. For more than one hundred and fifty years the American people generally have assumed that the Federal Constitution was so firmly established that it needed no continuing advocacy for its protection. Events of the past few years have indicated that this was false optimism. That explains why the American Liberty League came into existence and why its founders intend that it shall remain in existence for as long as may be necessary. The Edict of A constitution has been the American ^Â£Â±? owâ„¢â„¢^" the powers of government. People That is certainly true as ap- plied to a government in existence at the time the constitution is adopted. But the American Constitution is more than that. It is the actual charter of the Federal Government; it called that government into existence; it specified what the government may do and what it may not do; it is the edict of the people of the United States. The Constitution of the United States amounts to a contract between the people and the officers of government; executive, legislative, and judicial. That contract delegates to officials the power to do certain things and it forbids them to do certain other things. Contracts may be modified or cancelled, but only by mutual consent or by methods specified in the contracts. The Federal Constitution contains adequate provisions for its own modification through the orderly processes of amendment. If the American people wish to change the form of their government from a federal republic with limited powers to an absolute dictatorship or to state socialism, they can do so by appropriate amendments to the Constitution. However, so far, they have done nothing of the kind, and the existing contract is still binding, whether it is observed or not. One basic purpose of the American Liberty League is to see to it that this contract is complied with faithfully, honestly, completely, and without evasion under the camouflage of giving new names to unconstitutional proposals. A l\_ationdl By the very nature of its 'Nonpartisan bi-partisan parentage and JXon-rarusan mernbership the League ;s Movement not a partisan organization. Neither is it an organization devoted to the interests of any particular segment of the population, geographic, social, racial, or financial. The League's aims are very definite. They are as public as it has been possible to make them. They are embodied in its articles of incorporation as follows: "The particular business and objects of the Society shall be 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." It will be noted that the statement of principles links the "rights of persons and property." There is a very good reason for that conjunction. In the view of those who comprise the membership of the League the superficially drawn distinction between "human rights" and "property rights" is a catch-phrase and nothing more. The two so-called categories of rights are inseparable in any society short of Utopia or absolute communism. To protect a man's so-called human rights and strip him of his property rights would be to issue him a fishing license and then prohibit him from baiting his hook. Bureaucracy Menaces Furthermore there is one very clear lesson to be learned ^ t from history namely, that All Rights governmental disregard for property rights soon leads to disregard for other rights. A bureaucracy or despotism that robs citizens of their property does not like to be haunted by its victims. The prevention of governmental encroachments upon the rights of citizens was one of the principal reasons for the division of the Federal Government into the Legislative, Judicial and Executive