Law Observance: Shall the People of the United States Uphold the Constitution?

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

PUNISH OATH-BREAKING OFFICIALS

Louis Fitz Henry, Judge, United States District Court Bloomington, Illinois

ANY intelligent "plan" must take into consideration the substantial impediments in the enforcement of the 18th Amendment. There is no question of the power of the federal government to enforce any criminal law which Congress may enact. The chief trouble with prohibition enforcement has been the almost total lack of co-operation on the part of the law officers of the several states, and some little political considerations which occasionally creep into branches of the federal service.

I submit the following:


The Plan

Article VI, §, Par. 3, of the Constitution of the United States is as follows:

"These senators and representatives (of the United States)before mentioned and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution is as much a part of the Constitution as the original Article VI.

Until now (after 141 years) the mere sanction of the official oath has been regarded as sufficient. No act to enforce this provision of the Constitution has ever been passed by the Congress of the United States.

Procure the enactment by Congress of a simple statute making it a felony for a public officer to attempt to take office without taking the constitutional oath of office, or to

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