THE BALANCE WHEEL OF DEMOCRACY
Some such tribunal is clearly essential to prevent an appeal to the sword and a dissolution of the compact.
— James Madison
IN THE mind of the President the chief question in the Supreme Court controversy seems to be one of economic and social reforms. To the opposition it is a question of maintaining our system of government. Mr. Roosevelt and his supporters believe that the end justifies the means, even though the means employed may be irregular. The opposing group replies that no short-cut to stability, even if it should prove effective from the economic point of view, could justify any weakening of our constitutional safeguards in a period when personal rule is gaining on so wide a front in other parts of the world.
To appreciate what is at stake, therefore, it is necessary to understand the government under which we live. The people are always inclined to bemoan the inefficiency of democratic government in times of crisis. Usually they have reason to do so. For self-government is the most complicated method of political control ever devised, and our particular type of federalized, constitutional de