The Supreme Court of the United States: Its Foundation, Methods, and Achievements: An Interpretation

By Charles Evans Hughes | Go to book overview

III
ACHIEVEMENTS -- CEMENTING THE UNION

The Federal Convention did not leave the supremacy of the Constitution, as law binding upon the courts, to implication, however necessary that might be. To remove any possibility of doubt, the Constitution provided: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."1 The judicial power of the United States was vested in the Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress might establish and this judicial power extends to all cases "arising under this Constitution."2 It was manifestly impossible that the Supreme Court should appropriately exercise this power in cases arising under the Constitution without sustaining the Constitution as against any legislation that conflicted with it. Instead of the exercise of this authority being a judicial usurpation, the failure to exercise it would have been an unworthy abdication.

I cannot undertake to review the precedents be

____________________
1
Art. VI. See. 2.
2
Art. III. Sees. 1, 2.

-78-

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The Supreme Court of the United States: Its Foundation, Methods, and Achievements: An Interpretation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • I- Introduction -- Foundations 1
  • II- The Court at Work -- Organization -- Methods 42
  • III- Achievements -- Cementing the Union 78
  • IV- The States and The, Nation 118
  • V- Liberty, Property and Social Justice 157
  • TABLE OF CASES CITED 243
  • Index 257
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