xt7wwp9t2q46_118 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7wwp9t2q46/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7wwp9t2q46/data/59m61.dao.xml American Liberty League 37 linear feet archival material English University of Kentucky This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Jouett Shouse Collection (American Liberty League Pamphlets), No. 121 "An American Philosophy" Speech of Jouett Shouse before the American-Whig Cliosophic Societies of Princeton University, April 30, 1936 text No. 121 "An American Philosophy" Speech of Jouett Shouse before the American-Whig Cliosophic Societies of Princeton University, April 30, 1936 2013 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7wwp9t2q46/data/59m61/59m61_121/Am_Lib_Leag_121_001/Am_Lib_Leag_121_001.pdf section false xt7wwp9t2q46_118 xt7wwp9t2q46 THE AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE  
The American Liberty League is organized to defend E ·
and uphold the Constitution of the United States and to Q » »
gather and disseminate information that (1) will teach §  
the necessity of respect for the rights of persons and E
property as fundamental to every successful form of gov- §
ernment and (2) will teach the duty of government to E
encourage and protect individual and group initiative §
and enterprise, to foster the right to work, earn, save, 5 E
and acquire property, and to preserve the ownership and   * * * y
lawful use of property when acquired. i .
The League believes in the doctrine expressed by g A
George Washington in his Farewell Address that while i ‘
the people may amend the Constitution to meet condi- Q
tions arising in a·changing world, there must "be no E I Speech of
change by usurpauon; for this * * * is the customary g _
weapon by which free governments are destroyed.” § JOUETT SHOUSE
Since the League is wholly dependent upon the con- E President of the American Liberty League
tributions of its members for financial support it hopes § A
that you will become a contributing member. However, E before the
if you cannot contribute it will welcome your support as E American Whig Cliosophic Societies of
a non·contributing member. E A -
5 Princeton University, at Princeton,
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Enrollment Blank   April 30, 1936
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Date ........ .   py
• . • • • • S     C
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I desire to be enrolled as a member of the   ,... gl`? N
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E Document N0. 121
(121)   »

All AHl€I°lC3H Philosophy - stitution. The Judiciary thus was intended
to function as a check upon both the other
* branches. That was very briefly the restricted,
f constitutional, democratic form of government
Y0UR socimms have honored me with °°¤*=°iV€¤l bY the f°“¤f*i¤% fathers-
the opportunity to address you this evening on f The Wlsllem of lllelll arrangement has eee:]
certain aspects of thc philosophy of popular   demonstrated by the measure of the nations
government. The time chosen for such a dis- g glewlll lll Weellll and pewer and by the degree
cussion is peculiarly appropriate. We meet here   l5° Wlllcll Ollr elllzells llaVe_l°eell enabled le ee`
on an annivcrsarv Of the dav when Om, Own Q Joy those l1bert1es and pr1v1leges so definitely
Republic was born. It was on April 30, 1789,   susrsntcsd by the Cellsllllltlell
that George Washington took the oath of office   A _ _
as first President of the United States. Our   FOARTUNATE FACTOR lll em, netlenel ee-
advcmurc in government was than undertaken, g reer has been the sturdy•res1stance Americans
on untried seas and with the Constitution as A always have Set up egemet Pliepeeele ef ex-
the only chart to show the way. It was on that L pe°lleme’ lempellery er etherwlee’ thet Weuld
day, (mc hundred and fortvécvcn vgars ago, throw out of gear that carefully contrived and
that a free people, recently emerged from a 1 ¤mP1Y Plleved meehmer? ef g°"°‘f“m°"l· We
revolutionary war, put into operation a design   heve eeme e leeg Wey emee Wveellmgten eteee’ V
for popular rule whose just powers were to bg   W1tl1· hand on the Bible, on the balcony over.
derived from the consent of thegoverned.   leeklllg Bleed and _ Wall Streete We have
The Government then inaugurated was   glewll mellerle Tllllltyelve new _ State? leave
founded upon traditional American ideals. The Q been added te the tlllrteen ef W-eehmgten S ume'
Constitution provided for a social and economic   Our pepuletlee has grewu fer beyene tee
structure in a political framework in which l dreams el those who Sew the meugueellen m
individual freedom and individual enterprise   l7e9‘ Llle hee teken en new eemplexluee In-
could live. Under this system citizens were to l fluslry has expellelleed an lmlelleeeell llcenelele
work out their Own Social and economic Salvw mation. Five times the Nation has sent its sons
tion in their own way, with only such restric- 4 inte lvere _There heve beee bank pemeS’ de-
tions as might be necessary imposed only in the t pl'eeSleee’ letter eeetlenel dleputee From all
manner Set out in the Constitution. 3 these tests the Const1tut1on has emerged tr1-
, umphant and unscathed. Shall we now listen
i to those who would cut and fashion that basic
A DUAL GOVERNMENT was f0I`m€d to 031'YY i law to fit some new conception of government,
out those Pu1`P0S€S• C€i't¤i¤ definite P0W€1‘S   hastily arrived at, and liable to change with any
WB1‘6 delegated to the national Government, l ygcuyying temptation to try yet other expedi-
while all powers not so delegated were reserved I ents? ‘ We no longer wear powdered wigs and
to the States and to the people. The powers of l flourish snuff boxes, they tell us,-——then why
the Federal Government were divided between v cling to the old styles in government? The
the Legislative, the Executive and the Judicial f people will know how to answer that question.
branches. This division established a system 4 The issue is secure in their hands.
of checks and balances between the Legislature 1 _ Faithful adherence to proved policies has
and the Executive. To the Supreme Court was . come honestly to Americans of this generation.
given the duty of judging and determining all   They have inherited a steadfastness of purpose
cases of law and equity arising under the Con- 1 from the men who won our liberties. Even
2 l 3

 the most easna] study of our early history re. jeopardize established justice or the blessings
veals that the fathers meant what they said, ef liherty-
said what they meant, and then went forthwith
to translate their words into deeds. Fifty-five THE FIQHT for these essentials did not end
of their courageous leaders signed a Declaration when (jornwaiiis was otitgeneraied gn the Del-
ef Independence eontaining a deiianee end a aware. It did not end at Yorktown, or with
ereed ef h·eedem· They pledged themselves re washington iaiaai aaai of snags. sash sus-
euppert theee Prineiloies with their iiVes» their ceeding President has been called upon to give
fortunes and their sacred honor. Six months his oath to preserve, protect and defend the
iatere ih ttiinnment ef tiiat Piedgev they were Constitution. In facing constitutional questions
fighting at Trenton, Princeton and Morristown. today We are not fencing with aeadetnies_ We
are confronting conditions.
THE EVENTS ieading uP te the inauguration i I have spoken here of anniversaries. If there
not a new Government were not disjointed and are any who believe that there is no longer need
aeeidentar They eh were perte ef a Pattern· i‘ of keeping our sentries on the frontiers of human
The Constitution eVentuaiiY was what it was K rights and liberties, let them give attention to
neeause the tatners Pianned it tnat waY· They it another anniversary. It was on January 3, I777,
knew not the Preeise ferm the enarter would   that Washington lifted the hearts of his country-
take, hut there hever was a deuht ee te its men by his success at Princeton. One hundred
fundamentals. When Washington with his ill- and {ifty.nine years from that day, on January
clad soldiers came to take the Princeton road 3, 1936, a Pygsidgnt of the United States per.
he was eiearing a thoroughfare ieading straight sonally delivered to Congress his annual mes-
frem the Deeiaration ef indeloendenee te a sage on the state of the Union. So that millions
Constitution which would reassert and make might hear he Spoke intg a radio niiorophone_
effective the principles of Seventy-Six. Wash- This is what hg said;
ington disclaimed any attributes of statesman- ‘ _ _ _
. . . r ‘In thirty-four months we have built up new in-
sh1p, but he had common sense lifted to heights Stmmcms of public power- In the hands of 3 pew
ef genius' He knew what ne Wtinted• He knew ple°s Government this power is wholesome and
what his countrymen wanted. When his officers proper. But in the hands of political puppets of an
wguld have made him king, he spurned the economic autocracy such power would provide
Crown, but not as Caesar did, with reservations. shackles for the liberties of the people. Give them
. · . their way and they will take the course of every
He mem Wha he Sed- The met exvhm te M. ,... Y at the p..t.p,w.r for s..m..1...,  
philosophers why his little Battle of Princeton, Siavcmem for the pub1ic."
fought for a principle, will be remembered in
history long after Aaasriaz and Marsass are _ The impiieations in that eeeertieh will he
forgotten. The courts of Europe acclaimed him, netter understood hr an examination ef reeent
after Princeton, as a military genius, but the nistorY·
people of Europe thrilled at the significance of “
his campaign. IN THE DEPTHS of the current depression
After the revolution, the spirit of the Declara- , the Executive asked for emergency powers, and
tion was infused into the Constitution. The * these were granted by Congress, much as would
old evils of tyranny should never again encroach have been done under war conditions. At first
upon government as set up in America. The the people acquiesced in what was proposed
Constitution was so written and so intended that as only a / temporary brushing aside of Con-
not even the Government thus created could stitutional guarantees. When the emergency
4 5

 continued, however, and eX1;rg.C0nSti[uti0na1 VCISIOIIS of t1`I1C COI1StlU,1ti0I1&I gOV€1'I1H1Cl1t, it
powers granted to the Executive threatened not was hfild in 8110tl1€1‘ Federal C0l11‘t—3I1d the
only to heoorne permanent, hut to widen in decision has not been appealed——that an investi-
Segpe, there eame frgm every Side challenges gating COIl'1II1itt€€ of `[l'1C United States SCIIHIZC
of the National Industrial Recovery Act and of had €¤g8g€d in 811 unlawful S€111‘0}1 and S€iZUl`€
other legislation rushed through Congress, on of thousands of private telegrams. In the Su-
the Same emergengy Plea, withgut thgrgugh pI`€II1C COIIII of IIIC District of C0ll1II1l)l& WBS
inquiry 35 te its eoononiio soundness and in delivered a stern warning against further assist-
alarming disregard ef [lie question ag [0 its 31108 lll such SCEIICIICS 3Hd S€iZl1I‘CS by tl'1C Féd-
oonstitutionality_ eral Communications Commission, a branch of
We had moved so swiftly into a situation the Executive Department of Government.
threatening to the integrity of the established
Government that for a while there was a nation- THESE ASSERTIONS of the power of the
wide feeling of helplessness. It was at this judicial branch to interpret the Constitution,
juncture that the wisely oontrived halanoe of and thus act as a check upon the Legislative and
power between the three branches of Govern- ° Executive branches, were met with outspoken
ment began to reassert itself. It was as if the protest from the President, members of his
Constitution had arisen to defend its own. In · Cabinet and members of both houses of Con-
the charter it was written, “The judicial power gross. It was contended that the Supreme Court
shall extend to all cases in law and equity aris- should not have the power of invalidating acts
ing under this Constitution.” Business enter- of Congress. Some Administration leaders in-
prises and individual citizens had appealed to sisted that such invalidations should be effective
the judicial power in behalf of their guaranteed only by a unanimous decision. Others proposed
rights. that a Supreme Court invalidation should re-
Within one year decisions of the United States quire concurrence by more than a two-thirds
Supreme Court invalidated live major Acts of majority of the Court members. Not only have
Congress. It is impossible here to attempt even speeches been made in public forums and on
a meager review of those decisions. But merely the floors of both houses of Congress in sup-
to mention a few of the outstanding points will port of these contentions, but more than half
indicate how far Congress and the Executive a hundred bills and resolutions have been intro-
had moved into dangerous waters. The Su- duced to bring them to a legislative test.
preme Court found that Congress illegally had In that connection there is reassurance in the
surrendered its law-making powers to the Exec- opinion read by Chief Justice Hughes last Mon-
utive. There had been invasions of the rights day. The case at issue was that of the St.
of the States. The Constitutional guarantees Joseph Stockyards Company which had pro-
of the rights of property had been violated. tested some years ago against a reduction in
In one case it was held that the Executive had rates as ordered by the then Secretary of Agri-
violated an Act of Congress in discharging an ·~ culture. The lawsuit, however, is of minor in-
oiiicer of the Government for purely personal   terest as compared with the opinion it brought
reasons. The Securities and Exchange Com- il forth with general relation to the powers and
mission, a branch of the Executive Department, . Q, the duties of the Supreme Court. Mr. Justice
was held to have transgressed the Fourth Hughes declared that the power of review of
Amendment of the Constitution in attempting the Endings by the legislative branch, or its
to compel a citizen to subject himself to an uu. agent, was necessary "to the end that the Cou-
lawful inquisition. In addition to all these sub- stitution as the supreme law of the land may
6 7

 he maintained? Ho Said tho ratomakiug power t follow proposals so to restrict the judicial pow-
of Congress is limited by the constitutional pro- L ere as te destroy them_ Te do this Would bg te
hihitioaa against taking Pi`oPoi`iY Without duo ' destroy that basic American concept that there
process of law and without just compensation. p Shen bg a balangg ef powers between the Lgg.
i Toad from iiio text of his opiiiioiii L islative, Executive and J udicial branches of the
"When the Legislature acts directly,” he said, “its Govelilllllelle Without that balance We eel"
action is subject to judicial scrutiny and determina- tainly again would face the evils inherent in any
tion in order to prevent the transgression of these System where Powers arg unduly cent;-a]jZed_
limits of power. The·legislature cannot preclude p Without the reviewing and determining power
that scrutiny or determination by any declaration or f h J d. . C ld h {
legislative finding. Legislative declaration or find- 0 t C _ u 1C1ary’ Ongrcss Wou ave un ct-
ing is necessarily subject to independent judicial tered lleeilse to Pass lower regardless of eell'
review upon the facts and the law by courts of com- stitutional restrictions. With a Congress in-
pBt€I1t j`I]I°iSdiCtiOII to [IIC end that the Constitution   to Surrender its Powers to the Exccutivc
as the supreme law of the land may he maintained. We then would See all governmental Powers
Nor can the Legislature escape the constitutional lim- _ _ _
astro,. by authorizing os agent so mars soars,. » Pleeed ie the heade ei eee mea- The Exeeetive
that the agent has kept within that limitation. ;_ oould make laws, although, aa tho Supromo
"Legislative agencies, with varying qualifications, ll Court has said, his powers under the Constitu-
work in a field peculiarly exposed to political de- *~ tion are restricted to the administrative
mands. Some may be expert and impartial, others function
subservient. It is not difficult for them to observe ° _ _ _ _
the requirements of law in giving a hearing and Equally llllpolltallt ls tllls qllcstlolli
receiving evidence. .But to say that their findings of What of the Clllzoll Wlloso I`lgl1lS al'€ U'3llS·
fact may be conclusive where constitutional rights gjgggggd by 10054; lggislgtjgn? Hg might pgiut
°l liberty and l’l`°l’el`lY ale lllV°lV"‘l¤ allllmlgll llle to the particular clause or article in the Con-
evidence clearly establishes that the findings are . . h. h 1 1 U t th . ht . _
wrong ami constitutional rights have been invaded, Sllt“ll°" V lc _° ell Y eullln CCS C lla _ l lll
is to place those rights at the mercy of administra- Vaded- But Wltll llllpetellt eellllts the elllzell
tive officials and seriously to impair the security in- W011ld lSl1€11 be lll tl1C POSltl0I1 of l13Vl11g 8 flgllt
harem in our judicial Safeguards- _ without a remedy. His traditional immunities
"That prospect, with our multiplication of adminis- would become mere make_be]ieVeS_
trative agencies, is not to be lightly regarded. It is
said th::1t we can retain judicial authority to examine ALWAYS THE PEOPLE of the United States
the weight of evidence when the question concerns _ _
the right of personal liberty. But if this be so, it *‘iolii they elelle_llaVe tlle rlglll to amend lllelll
is not because we are privileged to perform our judi- Constitution. There have arisen conditions in
cial duty in that CZISC Hlld for FCEISOIIS of COI1V€l'liCIlC€ the past   made aulcndlnents desirable, and
l° dieteeetd ll lll °lll°l`S‘ Tll° pllllclplc eppiiee such changes in the charter have been accom-
when rights either of person or of property are pro- . . . .
tected by constitutional restrictions. Under our sys- Pllsllcd in the manner Set forth ln the Consul
tem there is no warrant for the view that the judicial iiliioii itself- A Siiai`P distinction must he
power of a competent court can be circumscribed by drawn, however, between amendments which
any legislative arrangement designed to give effect · merely accommodate the Constitution to chang-
to administrative action going beyond the limits of ing economic Or Social conditions and amend-
constitutional authority.” _
ments which propose to so change our system
_ i of government that its original purposes and
l IN THE LIGHT el that Judgment alle ef le' ideals would be destroyed. To destroy the
coal eels lvlllell _ma‘l"’ Such 8 llmllellllcemelll balance of powers would be to destroy the Con-
lleeessalye ll ls llllllellll l°_ eee how ally e°llSlll' stitution and establish a new form of govern-
ered Plllleseplly ef American Gevelllmelll Call ment, as foreign to the purposes of the original
8 9

Constitution as it would be possible to conceive. V veloped under the Constitution. If one becomes
We have heard in recent responsible utter- momentarily irritated at its restrictions, let him
ances frequent hints of a return to the program pause to remember the benefits it confers. You
of that Recovery Act which the courts de- can not have the one without the other. You
stroyed. We have heard new proposals of price can not create a huge concentrated Federal
Exing and control of wages and hours. It is power unless you destroy important rights of
with deep concern that we note in these sug- local self-government.
gestions no mention of a constitutional amend- This is not to suggest that there may not be
ment to make them legal powers of the Federal v legislation for unemployment insurance, for old
Government. It is hardly conceivable that any age pensions, for the various items that are
attempt is to be made to restore methods of embraced in the title of social security. With
Federal control that already have been con- these objectives I have entire sympathy. It is
demned. But if such a restoration is contem- to suggest that under the Constitution provi-
plated it is within our right to demand that sions of this character come within the province
those plans be embodied in a definitely written ; of the various states rather than of the Federal
amendment to the Constitution and that, in the I government. And if any change is to be made
usual course, the amendment shall be submitted   in existing procedure the American people
to the people. They alone must choose. t must be given the opportunity to weigh all the
equations involved and to express themselves
WHATEVER OUR SYMPATHY with high upon the question. Again I emphasize that the
Social Ohjcctivcs that are Prohibited to the F€d_ right to change constitutional provisions resides
eral Government by the Constitution, let us not in the PBOPIC and in them al0¤€-
be unmindful of two important considerations.
‘ First. Under our dual system the states are THE AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE, of
empowered to deal with all matters that relate which I have the honor to hc President, has for
to the lives and habits af thc p°°P1€‘ And the last twenty months been disseminating, in
certainly this is wise. In a country so vast, with every propel. way, information and argument in
interests so diverse, it is impossible to admin- Support of that American philosophy of which
istcr fmm Wiashingmn a multiplicity °f laws I have been speaking here. It is our conviction
thm <><>¤¤=m1¤1==·*<= ¤ r·=si¤¤·=¤m}¤¤ ¤f the sativi-t am an informed Pubns opinion is the best mg.
tics and the hvcs °f the Amencan P°°pl°’ cvcn ulator of social and economic tendencies. It is
were such a procedure desirable. Witness pro- comforting to know that not in many gcncrw
hibiti°n' _ _ _ tions has there been so active and widespread
Second' The C°uSumti°n was wnttcn f°r the interest in the Constitution as is displayed by
Pr°t°°ti°n af the masses of tha Pc°Bl°‘ when citizens today. Vast numbers are discovering
constitutional rights are evaded or disregarded, that the Old charter is Something more than a
that Pmtccufm is d°Str°y°d' The uiaimcnailcc 1 dusty document, preserved in the museum of
af the Constltutiojh th°r°f°m’ IS a hVmg’ mal i history. They are beginning to realize that it is
issue t° °V°rY_ ?1uz°m’_ no matt? how humble' t V a living force, holding within it our destinies as
The °pp°rtmT1u€S which Amcnca _aH°rdS_and   a nation and as individual citizens. It is our
n° °th°r najum has fmmpamd wlth her; the * strength today in a weary land. May it protect
freedom wh1ch America oHers——and no other   and guide us for many t0m0m_0wS_
people have been permitted to enjoy such free- f
dom—, these are due solely to the wisdom of
the form of government we set up and de-   4