Congress or the Supreme Court: Which Shall Rule America?

By Egbert Ray Nichols | Go to book overview

AMERICA'S MAGNA CHARTA*

Representative DANIEL A. REED, of New York

The Supreme Court of the United States is the great forum, the Runnymede, the Charta Island, the last refuge of the humblest citizen. While this great institution of impartial justice stands unimpaired the life, the liberty, and the property of every American citizen will be secure from legislative tyranny and arbitrary executive action. The Federal Constitution for 147 years has stood the test of every war and every economic storm. Under its beneficent and wise provisions the Nation has prospered and the people of the United States have enjoyed a measure of prosperity and liberty unknown to the citizens of any other nation.

How prophetic are the words of one of the distinguished fathers of our Federal Constitution, who almost a century and a half ago graphically portrayed that only under "a good constitution can liberty be enjoyed and be secure." Let me quote this man:

The influence of a good or bad constitution is not less powerful on the citizen, considered as individuals, than on the community, considered as a body politic. It is only under a good constitution that liberty--the priceless gift of heaven-- can be enjoyed and be secure. This exalting quality comprehends, among other things, the manly and generous exercise

____________________
*
Excerpt from the address of Rep. Daniel A. Reed of New Yorkin the House of Representatives, June 18, 1935. Cong. Record v. 79 (cur. file) No. 125, P. 9971.

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