Many of the problems plaguing the country today are so complex that it is a great relief to face one which leaves no doubt as to just what is right and what is wrong. This is the case with the proposals to curb the functions of the Supreme Court, which have suddenly sprang up since the N.R.A. decision. In the first place, these propositions lack the element of good sportsmanship. Behind them lies the all-too-plain implication that an umpire is useful only so long as he agrees with the home team.
But to weigh these proposals specifically, it should be noted that they rest upon a very shortsighted and superficial view. Mr. David Lawrence has performed a service by publishing conspicuously in his United States News the figures which show how many acts of Congress have been held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. In one hundred and forty-six years of legislative history, Congress has enacted 24,016 public acts and resolutions. Of this total, only fifty-nine have been held unconstitutional, in whole or in part, by decisions of the Supreme Court.
In passing on the unconstitutionality of the fifty- nine acts it has voided since 1789, the Court had to decide seventy cases. Twenty-seven of those seventy were____________________