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Facts Forum News, Vol. 4, No. 8, September 1955
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Facts Forum. Facts Forum News, Vol. 4, No. 8, September 1955 - File 055. 1955-09. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 25, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/489/show/474.

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. (1955-09). Facts Forum News, Vol. 4, No. 8, September 1955 - File 055. Facts Forum News, 1955-1956. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/489/show/474

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. 4, No. 8, September 1955 - File 055, 1955-09, Facts Forum News, 1955-1956, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 25, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/489/show/474.

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. 4, No. 8, September 1955
Alternate Title Facts Forum News, Vol. IV, No. 8, September 1955
Series Title Facts Forum News
Creator
  • Facts Forum
Publisher Facts Forum
Date September 1955
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. 4 1955; OCLC: 1352973
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries
  • Facts Forum News
Rights No Copyright - United States
Item Description
Title File 055
Transcript treaties would have lo be submitted to the forty-eight state legislatures for ratification. Mr. MacBride concedes that this would be rare but not impossible. The situation would arise only in tin- case of a treaty effecting domestic law beyond the authority of Congress. As Mr. MacBride says, "ll is clear that Congress heis power to legislate in most <>f the areas with which treaties are con- cerned: war, peace, foreign commerce, tariffs, immigration, and the concerns of aliens within the country." An added commentary is the fact that Canada's procedure for enforcement of treaty law internally depends In some cases upon the ratifications of the various provincial legislatures, yet our neighbors to the north have, if anything, been able to conduct their foreign affairs more efficiently and more harmoniously than have we. It is just remotely possible that our own foreign affairs could be better conducted if treaties were prohibited from changing our federal form of government, altering our Constitution, or impinging upon our individual liberties and right of local self-government. We have heard the chorus of protests againsl "lying lhe President's hands." flic refrain slems usually from ignorance, perhaps even when it issues from those supposedly well-informed in foreign affairs. Mr. MacBride nails this one down with his comment on the effeel of the provision which includes the "which" clause: "By adopting this rule the United States parts company with Cuba, Mexico, Liberia, and the Phil- ippines—the only other nations in thc world which may have internally self- executing treaties. This change is in- tended to carry out the spirit of the Constitution, which entrusts the legislative power to the Congress, not to the President and the Senate. Since treaty law is as much law when it impinges upon the individual as any other kind of law, it is fitting that thc House of Representatives participate in its creation." The "which" clause simply provides that such implementing legislation must be constitutional. Those who write blithely of thc President's "constitutional" powers are often Writing with little or no reference to the Constitution itself. They are thinking in '■Tin- of the unlimited power attendant upon the European concept of national sovereignty as distinguished from the 'dea of a constitutional federal republic. This attitude seems to find expression in 'he remarks of Justice Sutherland in the '■urtiss-Wright case, when the court held that even if a statute were unconstitutional if confined to domestic affairs, " is not so since it relates to foreign affairs. The more recent State Department dictum that "there is now no real difference between domestic and foreign wfairs" completes the picture of internationalist thinking on thc treaty issue. PACTS FORUM NEWS, September, 1955 Justice Sutherland's definition of the source of federal power in the foreign policy field deserves quotation: "... the investment of the federal government with the powers of external sovereignty did not depend upon the affirmative grants of the Constitution. The powers to declare and wage war, to conclude peace, to make treaties, to maintain diplomatic relations with other sovereignties, if they had never been mentioned in the Constitution, would have vested in the government as necessary concomitants of nationality." A later assertion of Justice Sutherland affords opportunity for interesting speculation: "As a member of the family of nations, the right and power of the United States . . . are equal to the right and power of the other members of the international family." Consider the proposition that the limits of treaty power of our federal government generally, and of the President specifically, be established, not by the Constitution. but by the power "of other members of the international family." Some seem so to wish it, for they say that we must not limit the President's authority and weaken him in dealing with Soviet Russia. Perhaps a constitutionally restrained President cannot effectively deal with a Communist dictator. Perhaps he should he able to eleeil from ei position of equal power. It is never put quite this way. To sum up the position of Bricker Amendment advocates, the President should not have the power, by the simple expedient of making an agreement with the head of a foreign power, to legislate —and then enforce—domestic law in the United States. This century has a word for this kind of government. Nor should the President and the Senate have this power, for the Constitution clearly states (Article I, Section 1) that "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." Of course, in all this we will have to get away from the rather prevalent notion that the Congress is a sort of noisy debating society that spends too much time carrying on "inquisitions" when it should be formalizing the President's legislative program. STORY OF THE "BRICKER" AMENDMENT Frank Holman's book is a most valuable contribution to the constitutional debate. Mr. Holman, a past president of the American Bar Association, gives a clear, incisive presentation which is unusually well designed for the general reader and average American citizen. This book is a document which will be of considerable permanent significance —a sort of twentieth century Federalist Papers. The first printing amounted to 100 thousand copies, and additional printings are certainly to be expected. It is difficult in a review to indicale the scope of a volume such as this. There is scarcely a page or paragraph that could be termed unimportant to the issue under discussion. Whereas Mr. MacBride's book gives special attention to the history of treaty law since the adoption of our Constitution, Mr. Holman deals particularly with the present-day conditions and modern "'interpretations" that have turned treaty law into a threat to constitutional government and individual freedom. Story o) the "Bricker" Amendment is just that— the story of the growing awareness ol the new threat posed by treaties and executive agreements dealing with domestic affairs, and the story of the movement that arose to secure a constitutional amendment to prevent abuses. The American Bar Association made an extensive four-year study of the issue. The Senate Judiciary Committee made an exhaustive study ami approved the Bricker Amendment by a strong majorily. The resolution finally reached the floor of the Senate where the President's interference and influence succeeded in forestalling its adoption. Mr. Holman writes, "Except for the unprecedented and unconstitutional interference of the President in a purely legislative process of government, an adequate amendment could have been passed." President Eisenhower was the first president in the history of our country to interfere in the amendment process. President Washington refrained from any interference with lhe adoption of our first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights. These placed very severe — and very necessary — restrictions upon the powers of the federal government. Indeed, these, too, "tied the hands of the President," in matters of autocratic power. The present administration first opposed any constitutional amendment. Popular demand was so strong, however, that the administration was forced into a "face-saving" maneuver—that of supporting an amendment, but one which would provide no safeguard against unconstitutional legislation by means of treaties or executive agreements. From a position of opposing any amendmenl the administration switched to the position of attempting to dictate to the Congress the precise wording of a constitutional amendment. Nothing could more clearly illustrate the new extra- constitutional attitude that prompted the drive to restrain treaties and executive agreements to constitutional bounds. Mr. Holman brings out many facts of great importance. For instance, after Mr. Dulles assured the Judiciary Committee that the administration would not press for ratification of the Genocide Convention, U. S. delegates to the United Nations twice voted for a resolution calling (Continued on Page 60) Page 53
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