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Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956
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Facts Forum. Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956 - File 044. 1956-08. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 5, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1469/show/1443.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum. (1956-08). Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956 - File 044. Facts Forum News, 1955-1956. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1469/show/1443

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum, Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956 - File 044, 1956-08, Facts Forum News, 1955-1956, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 5, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/1469/show/1443.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Facts Forum News, Vol.5, No. 8, August 1956
Series Title Facts Forum News
Creator
  • Facts Forum
Publisher Facts Forum
Date August 1956
Language eng
Subject
  • Anti-communist movements
  • Conservatism
  • Politics and government
  • Hunt, H. L.
Place
  • Dallas, Texas
Genre
  • journals (periodicals)
Type
  • Text
Identifier AP2.F146 v. 5 1956; OCLC: 1352973
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries
  • Facts Forum News
Rights No Copyright - United States: This item is in the public domain in the United States and may be used freely in the United States. The item may not be in the public domain under the copyright laws of other countries.
Item Description
Title File 044
Transcript ^^1 SHOULD WE ADD THREE LITTLE WORDS TO OUR CONSTITUTION? S)enatosr Hennings: There have been several proposals in the past to place additional limitation on the President's treaty- making powers under the Constitution, and all have failed. The most recent attempt is an amendment offered by Senator Dirksen of Illinois. While seemingly harmless, it could have disastrous effects on the conduct of our foreign relations by any President. Previous versions of the amendment have read, and I quote, "A provision of a treaty which conflicts with this Constitution shall not be of any force or effect." The new version has added the three little words, and I again quote, "any provision of," so that the new test of constitutionality is not whether there is a conflict with our Constitution, but whether there is conflict with any provision of our Constitution. Now what would the added words accomplish? I submit that if they are interpreted to be harmless, they are, of course, unnecessary. And if they are interpreted to have an effect, they are indeed very dangerous. First, let's consider their necessity. The wording of the Dirksen amendment clearly implies that at present a treaty or any other international agreement may override the Constitution. And I know this misconception has been widely circulated. Fears have been aroused that our individual liberties, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, could be destroyed under the guise of a treaty. Of course, there is no truth whatever in this statement. The Supreme Court on many occasions has stated that the Constitution is supreme over all laws and treaties. Furthermore, even if a particular treat) is valid under the Constitution, Congress may nullify its effect as domestic law if the Congress so desires. Again, it is said that this amendment would insure that treaties can cover only subjects that properly pertain to foreign relations. This, too, of course, is unnecessary. This concept is already firmly established as proved in the Judiciary Committee Beport which advocates the adoption of this amendment. If, in the future, some treaty were Page 42 made covering a subject which did not properly pertain to foreign relations, it would fail under the Constitution as a fraud on the treaty power. And now I'd like to come to the dangers of this amendment, this so- called Dirlcsen amendment. We face a new rule of interpretation. Our Constitution, instead of standing as an organic whole, might be interpreted piece by piece contrary to centuries of legal practice. A carefully constructed system of checks and balances would be overturned and the President demoted as leader in foreign affairs. Particularly under attack is the little-understood area of international agreements which the President is authorized to make on his own under his power as President to conduct the foreign relations of this country. If the Dirksen amendment were adopted, Article 1 of the Constitution giving legislative power to Congress to regulate foreign commerce, might, for example, be taken out of context. Now the founding fathers of course intended that it be read together with Article 2 giving the President the power to conduct our foreign relations. The Dirksen amendment would thusly operate as a power-play to shift the prime responsibility for the co* duct of foreign affairs from the Pre] dent to the Congress. Such a redisO bution of our constitutional powa would create more problems than would solve. It is simply impossible] provide a constitutional restrict! which will prevent agreements may not like without also eliminate Executive powers we know our g< ernment must have, especially in tin very desperate clays. The new rule of construing the O stitution might invalidate parts of 0< existing treaties of friendship and co< merce, road conventions, narcot drug control treaties, alien proper agreements, and many other treat* that are necessary to protect the rigl> of American citizens abroad. Congrt would not normally legislate in nial of these areas. The necessity of associating W other nations, however, requires 1 United States to act as a unit in i eign affairs and to make treaties j these subjects. We would virtually I forced to return to the chaos of "1 Articles of Confederation in effect lj fore the Constitution was adopt? which taught the framers of the C<>\ stitution that the present system ^ a necessity. "Vigilant Women Oppose New Text Excerpted Irom April, 19S6, Newsletter ol Vigilant Women lor the Bricker Amendment. WHEN the new Dirksen version of the Bricker Resolution was announced, we withheld comment. . . . We have listened with understanding if not with sympathy to the argument that "This is the best that can be gotten at this time." We have discovered, however, that those who talk about this being "the best .... at this time" really mean that this is all they hope to ever get. . . . We have concluded that it is better to continue our fight for an effective amendment. . . . Needless to say, we are sorry that our leaders felt they must compromise this vital issue. ... As Dean Manion has ably said, "When public demand for protection against treaties is increasing by leaps and bounds every hour, why should we accept anything but unequivocal protection in lan guage that no court will dare to tf* construe?" Our position has been set forth detail in a letter to Senator Brickefi1 copy of which follows . . . April 20, 1936 Dear Senator Bricker: It is our understanding that you "M accepted the new Dirksen version of a P^[ posed constitutional amendment as in® porated in the Bricker Resolution ;1 whieh was favorably reported by the Sj ate Judiciary Committee We actively solicited support for JJJ original Bricker Resolution. We would ' f 1 lave done so, however, if we had not •'"j leved and been assured that tlie orig*l spelled out effective Limitations on Uj men in our federal government witfj claims to power would impair our ofxvsm independence and subordinate us l° v international body dominated 1)\ nan ^'j anti-American concepts of government:l (Continued on page 52) Facts Forum News, August,
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