Lapas attēli

It may be admitted that some of these limitations if enforced do now and then impede and even prevent some governmental action desired by some group or section of the people, but while action in violation of these limitations might benefit its sponsors it would necessarily be at the expense of others. Those who seek such legislation against others would quickly appeal to these limitations if legislation were directed against themselves. The noisiest declaimers against these guaranties fall back for protection upon the constitutional guaranty of freedom of speech. So long as these barriers are maintained every individual, no matter how poor and feeble, will be, theoretically at least, secure in some rights against the attacks of the many. Without such barriers every individual is at the mercy of an inconstant majority. Without such barriers justice cannot be said to be secured. Lord Treasurer Burleigh of Queen Elizabeth's time declared that England could never be ruined by its kings, but only by its

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Parliament. If the safeguards of the federal and state constitutions are maintained, neither Congress nor the state legislatures can ruin America. If the American people should ever consent to the removal of these safeguards they would give evidence of their want of self-restraint, of their unwillingness and even incapacity to govern themselves, and would pave the way for the man on horseback as the French Revolution paved the way for Napoleon. To deprive a single one of his rightful liberty is to endanger the liberties of all.



NDER our federal and state form of gov


ernment the question naturally arises where should be lodged the power to determine whether in a given instance either department has encroached on the proper field of any other department, and whether either department has encroached on the constitutional rights of the individual citizen. It should be evident that neither the executive nor the legislative department is a fit depositary of such power. Both these, from the nature of their powers, are aggressive. They act of their own volition. They initiate proceedings and measures to carry out policies. In their activities they are apt, con

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sciously or unconsciously, to overstep the boundary lines between the departments and also the limits set for the protection of the citizen against such activities. Again, questions may and often do arise between the government and the individual citizen that are not political questions, but are questions of private right, the right of the individual against the government. The disputants are the individual citizen or group of citizens on the one hand, and the government on the other whether that government be a monarchy, a republican or representative government, or a pure democracy. In such case it would seem clear that one party should not have the power to decide the question. It is an

axiom that neither party to a

should be the judge in the matter.


The legis

lature that enacts a statute claimed by a citizen to be beyond its powers and to deprive him of some right guaranteed to him by the constitution, should not be the judge of the question any more than should the complaining citizen. So the

executive should not be the judge where a citizen claims it has exceeded its powers to the detriment of his constitutional or statutory rights. Even if a statute be enacted or ratified by the people directly, under the modern initiative and referendum, and a citizen claims that the statute deprives him of some right guaranteed by the constitution, the people should not be the judge; much less should a majority. If the individual is left to be the judge of his constitutional or legal right as against the government, the result would be anarchy. If the government, even the most popular government, is to be the judge, the result would often be tyranny. There would be occasions, as there have been, when an excited people or majority would tyrannize over the individual, indeed over the minority. To secure alike the people against anarchy and the individual against tyranny, power must be vested in some impartial, independent arbiter to determine authoritatively and finally the relative rights and duties of each under the constitution.

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