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

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

USE VAST STATE POLICE FORCES
W. H. S. Thomson United States District Judge Western District, PennsylvaniaLOOKING at the Amendment itself, three basic facts distinctly appear:
1. The sole, and definitely stated purpose of the Amendment, is to prohibit

". . . the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from, the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof, for beverage purposes."

2. The Amendment does not define the word "intoxicating," that is, does not undertake to fix the alcoholic content, which, when present, makes any given liquor intoxicating.
3. The Amendment is not self-enforcing. Hence it requires an act of Congress to fix the alcoholic content which makes a liquor intoxicating, together with such provisions relating to exceptions, limitations, procedure and punishments, as will carry into effect the Amendment in its true spirit and purpose.

The Enforcement Act

We here reach the heart of the problem. What shall be the provisions of this act of Congress? On its wisdom or unwisdom depends the success or failure of prohibition as a national policy. In drafting this statute, the broadest conceptions of the wisest statesmen, the best brain and heart of the nation, might well be employed. Their united wisdom may still be inadequate for the full accomplishment of their purpose.

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