THE ROLE OF THE STATES
THE GOVERNMENTAL SYSTEM established for the United States is one of the most complicated and intricate known to any nation. In theory, it is an indissoluble union of indestructible States, forty-eight of them at this time. The Federal Constitution and most of the State Constitutions embody elaborate provisions for establishing systems of checks and balances, to prevent executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the government from becoming relatively too powerful.
Not all of the relationships between governmental units have been resolved. The debate over whether "the Constitution follows the flag" has not been settled; there were echoes of Senator Augustus O. Bacon's powerful denunciations of imperialism in a recent dissent by Mr. Justice Frank Murphy and Mr. Justice Wiley Rutledge in the case of the Japanese war criminals. The relationship between the States and the Federal government remains undetermined in many particulars; a more conservative Supreme Court than the present could discover a broad