Congress or the Supreme Court: Which Shall Rule America?

By Egbert Ray Nichols | Go to book overview

SUPREME COURT CRITERIA OF ACTION*

Representative CHARLES H. BRAND, of Georgia

The presumption is in favor of validity, and only when the question is free from reasonable doubt will the Supreme Court hold an act of Congress to be in violation of the Constitution. ( 173 U. S. 509.)

This court has the power to declare an act of Congress to be repugnant to the Constitution, and therefore invalid. But the duty is one of great delicacy and only to be performed where the repugnancy is clear and the conflict irreconcilable. Every doubt is to be resolved in favor of the constitutionality of the law. ( Mayor v. Cooper, 6 Wall. 251.)

In Adkins v. Children's Hospital ( 261 U. S. 525) the court said that every possible presumption stands in favor of an act of Congress until overcome beyond rational doubt.

The duty of this court in construing a statute which is reasonably susceptible of two constructions, one of which would render it unconstitutional and the other valid, to adopt that construction which saves its constitutionality. ( 213 U. S. 367.)

A construction of a statute which makes its constitutionality doubtful is to be avoided if possible. (270 U. S. Sup. Ct. 466., par. 1.)

____________________
*
Taken from the remarks of Rep. Charles H. Brandof Georgiain the House of Representatives, May 1, 1928. Cong. Record V. 69, Pt. 7, P. 7572, May 1, 1928.

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