Congress or the Supreme Court: Which Shall Rule America?

By Egbert Ray Nichols | Go to book overview

FAITH IN THE SUPREME COURT*

GEORGE R. FARNUM

Former Assistant Attorney General of the United States

"No one can read the history of the Court's career without marveling at its potent effect upon the political development of the Nation, and without concluding that the Nation owes most of its strength to the determination of the judges to maintain the National supremacy."

-- Warren: "The Supreme Court in United States History."

"The Constitution," declared Justice Holmes in one of his most celebrated dissenting opinions, "is an experiment, as all life is an experiment." It has proved itself, however, to be a transcendent experiment. Upon its foundation our social, political and economic life were organized and have been developing toward certain ideals--albeit but dimly visualized--for approximately a century and a half. The guardian of its letter and spirit is the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice Hughes, when Governor of New York, went so far as to declare: "'We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is." Those of us who resist any effort to break down its essential integrity rest our faith in its preservation upon our confidence in the collective wisdom of the Court and the enlightened statesmanship of its individual members.

The acute exasperation in certain quarters with re-

____________________
*
Delivered before the Rotary Club, Brockton, Mass.

-267-

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