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show. But a great many people will say--they always do when questions of this kind come up-“Oh, well, if it is unconstitutional let the Supreme Court say so; pass the law and meet the wishes of the good people who are advocating it, and if it is unconstitutional the Supreme Court will declare it to be void.”'
That is, as the newspapers express it, simply passing the buck to the Supreme Court; but, gentlemen, you can not do that in this case.
That is the main thing I had in my mind to say to you when I accepted the invitation of the good people to come here to-day and address you—to call attention to that fact, that the Supreme Court, judging from the decision recently rendered, is not in a position to protect the States against this invasion of their rights, this infringement of their liberties. In the maternity bill a similar provision is found. Appropriations were made which could not be shared in only by such States as should qualify under the provisions of the act, and submit to certain conditions.
A bureau was created to administer the law, and to determine how the money should be spent. Liberal powers were conferred upon that bureau. Congress delegated absolute discretion to that bureau to make any regulations it saw fit, gave it the same kind of power that the Russian bureaucracy has. You have no appeal from any ruling it might make and the State could not get a dollar of that money unless it chose to comply with such regulations as the bureau made and subject itself to those onerous conditions.
The constitutionality of that act was disputed by certain individuals or taxpayers on the ground that it involved the appropriation of money illegally, and taxing people for purposes for which Congress had no right to tax them. That was one ground.
The State of Massachusetts instituted a proceeding in the Supreme Court challenging and disputing the validity of this so-called maternity bill. The Supreme Court of the United States I can not help but think, if they had felt at liberty or felt that they had the right and power to determine the question, had jurisdiction to determine it, would have held that it was unconstitutional, but that great court said, after stating the case-I read from the case entitled Massachusetts v. Mellon (262 U. S. p. 480):
We have reached the conclusion that the cases must be disposed of for want of jurisdiction without considering the merits of the constitutional question.
That is what they did in that maternity case, they held that they had no jurisdiction to pass on a law of that kind, and I have not been able to find yet any way by which you could test this act unless you put penalites in it different from those which are included in the act now, unless you put penalties upon individuals in the shape of fines or something like that. Otherwise I don't see any way of testing it out.
So then, gentlemen, if you pass this bill, it is the law, and every state in the Union will be subject to it and will be powerless to dispute or contest it. The responsibility rests with you to determine whether or not this invasion of the rights of each of the States shall be stopped at the threshold.
I hardly realize, I think you gentlemen hardly realize, how intense the feeling of a great many people is beginning to be. They are just beginning to wake up. Only a few people see it at present, but they
will see it, there will be plenty of people that will take the trouble to make them see it, and when they realize that their liberties are passing away in this fashion their state of mind will not be easily described.
But I want to say that there is no possibility of having your action in passing this law reviewed by the Supreme Court, because they have declared that they have no jurisdiction in such a case. That is what they say, as expressed in their opinion in the other case referred to, that they did not feel at liberty to consider the case on the merits of the constitutional question.
Therefore, I say again, gentlemen, the responsibility rests with you gentlemen, elected by the people to represent them here. The people themselves are absolutely helpless. Their liberties may be taken away in a night, and they won't know it. They are as helpless as passengers on an express train rushing through the night, they have to depend on the fidelity and courage and alertness of the man at the switch, and I say, gentlemen, that is where you stand, and we are here to appeal to you not to desert your post.
Mr. Robsion. I would like to ask the gentleman a question or two. Mr. MARBURY. I will be glad to try to answer any.
Mr. Rossion. You feel, do you not, that the Volstead Act is an invasion of the rights of the American people and unwarranted?
Mr. MARBURY. What is that law? Oh, you mean the Volstead prohibition act?
Mr. ROBSION. Yes.
Mr. MARBURY. Would you like an expression of my personal feelings on that subject?
Mr. Robsion. Well, you can say yes or no to that question.
Mr. MARBURY. Do you think that is relevant to the issues here involved? I did not come here to discuss the prohibition question.
Mr. Robson. But I thought we might get your viewpoint on some of these important questions before Congress and the American people.
Mr. MARBURY. If the argument I have made does not appeal to you, my personal opinion in regard to the Volstead Act probably would not appeal to you.
I have no desire to conceal my opinions, however; I think the Volstead Act was a terrible mistake. I do not think it has advanced the cause of temperance. It is adopting a similar method to the method adopted by Spain 300 years ago to try to advance religion by force instead of persuasion. I won't say it is unconstitutional, because the Supreme Court says it is constitutional, although I was inclined to think it was unconstitutional before the Supreme Court spoke; I never dispute the decisions of that tribunal and I am not prepared to say that they were wrong, by any means.
Mr. Robison. You draw a rather gloomy picture of the future of this country, I mean of the action of Congress, and what it has done and may do against the interests of the people. I can not share your views on that subject. Do not the representatives in Congress come from the people; are they not the men sent here every two years as the representatives of the people who elect them?
Mr. MARBURY. Yes, sir. People have talked that way for 2,000 years, and every single attempt at Republican government in the past has finally failed, because of this very thing I am talking about here, the greater and greater concentration of power in the hands
of a central government. If you will read what Patrick Henry said you will find that he predicted that this Government would do just what you are trying to do by this bill, and that it would be destructive to the Nation.
Mr. ROBISON. I suppose you think the people feel so alarmed about this that they will see to it that Congress does the right thing.
Mr. MARBURY. I hope so; but I do not think you ought to put too much of a burden on them.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM L. RAWLS, BALTIMORE, MD.
Mr. Rawls. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I will only occupy a few minutes of your time, because I believe if you can not show in a very few minutes that this proposed legislation is in violation of the fundmental principles on which our Government is based, then I do not think you would ever convince anybody upon that proposition at all.
Briefly stated, gentlemen, the proposition is this: You propose to make an appropriation and distribute that appropriation among the States upon condition that the States shall comply with certain rules prescribed by Congress. Now, I have stated that, you will observe, as an abstract proposition. There is no one in my hearing that can deny that I have stated the principle of this bill accurately, with absolute literal accuracy. You are merely applying that principle to education; you are fixing the sum at $100,000,000, but the principle will embrace a billion or two billion, or the entire resources of the people. You must admit that.
You' must admit that if you can fix the conditions contained in this bill—to the three or four conditions with reference to what the States shall do--then you can appropriate on the one side any amount of money, on the other side you can prescribe any condition, you can make it all-embracing, without limitations.
If you can appropriate money for the purposes of education in the States upon condition that the State shall comply with certain rules prescribed by Congress, then you can prescribe any condition with reference to education. You can prescribe that the State shall follow a certain curriculum in its schools. If you can do that with reference to education, you can do it with reference to public health, you can do it with reference to the administration of justice in the States, there is no part of the State government that is beyond the reach of your power. Such action presupposes unlimited power to raise money, unlimited power to gather in the resources of the people of this nation, unlimited power to appropriate it and pay it back upon such conditions as you choose to impose.
Can you carry on any government without money? Can any State in the Union exist without the
power to raise money and without resources from which to raise it? Under the principle of this bill you can drain every State in the Union of its resources, you can put a State in a situation where it is bound to surrender its power to you and subject itself to your dictation.
I think that statement of this proposition will go unchallenged throughout every discussion of it.
Mr. ALLEN. I don't think so. I think you are making an exemely strong statement, sir.
Mr. Rawls. Do you mean to deny that Congress, if it can impose these conditions on the States with reference to this appropriation, can not go so far as to call upon the States to pay $500,000,000 for such a purpose?
Mr. RoBsion. Congress might, but we are not going to do it.
Mr. Rawls. You can not do it, because the Constitution of the United States won't permit you to do it.
Mr. Robsion. You must not assume that all the patriotism and wisdom resides in yourself.
Mr. Rawls. I disclaim any such assumption, sir.
Mr. RobsION. Congress has some regard for the people of this country.
Mr. Rawls. I appreciate that. I am presenting this question from my viewpoint, and I know that those opposed to me may be just as sincere in their convictions as I am in mine, and I am not challenging their sincerity.
Mr. ROBSION. Have you any idea that Congress is going to the extremes that you are arguing here?
Mr. Rawls. I think if you go this far; I think if you once accept that principle, that the way is open for you to go that far, and you can not say, and I can not say, and none of us can predict what the next Congress will do.
Mr. Robson. Congress has recently appropriated money to help the distressed people in this country, the farmers and others. That does not mean that anybody believes they are going to take all the money out of the Treasury to do that.
Mr. Rawls. I am discussing this question from the standpoint of power, and I say that the Constitution of the United States does not contain within it any provision for its own destruction.
Speaking of the principles of our Government as they are found in the Constitution of the United States, we see it is a Government of limited power, it is a Government of delegated powers, and you can not go beyond the limits of the grant. Where is there a syllable in the Constitution of the United States that gives you the power to deal with education? No man can find it. It is one of the most obvious of the reserved powers of the States. No one will challenge that statement. You can not challenge it. Are we to be told that with reference to a subject over which Congress has no power, through this method of appropriation you can assume all power? Is there anything extreme in the statement, I ask
Mr. ALLEN. Yes.
Mr. Rawls. I beg your pardon, if you will permit me to complete my sentence, is there anything extreme in the statement that there are many well-meaning people, perfectly sincere, as sincere as I am, who believe that this entire matter of education ought to be taken over by the Federal Government, that education ought to be standardized ?
Mr. Robsion. What group of people believe that? I have never heard of them.
Mr. Rawls. I think you will find themMr. Robson. I would like you to name any such group of people. Mr. Rawls. I believe you will find a substantial group of people who believe that the Federal Government ought to take that over.
Mr. ROBsion. If anyone has appeared before the committee that · has advocated such a thing I have not heard it.
Mr. Rawls. I am not undertaking to name any such people, but I am saying that I think there are such people
Mr. ROBSION. Do you know of any organization in this country that advocates that the United States Government should take over the whole question of education?
Mr. Rawls. No, sir; I know that you have only recently had before you, or one of those committees, a bill to take over child labor-
The CHAIRMAN. That was a constitutional amendment.
Mr. Robson. Do you oppose an amendment which would give the Federal Government power to prohibit child labor?
Mr. Rawls. Most assuredly so.
Mr. Rawls. No, sir; I am not opposed to its enforcement, because it is a law. If you ask me whether I am opposed to prohibition, I answer, yes. I am in favor of the enforcement of all laws.
Mr. ROBSION. Well, you are opposed to the idea that Congress expressed as to how to enforce the eighteenth amendment?
Mr. Rawls. I beg you pardon?
Mr. ROBsion. You are opposed to the eighteenth amendment and the so-called Volstead Act?
Mr. Rawls. Do you mean to ask whether I favored it at the time of its adoption?
Mr. ROBSION. Yes.
Mr. Rawls. To woman's suffrage? No; I was never opposed to woman's suffrage. I was opposed to the nineteenth amendment; yes.
Mr. Robsion. So you have expressed your dissatisfaction in regard to nearly all of these steps that Congress has taken?
Mr. RAWLS. Yes.
Mr. Rawls. Yes. I have not succeeded in making myself clear at all if I have not conveyed that idea to the gentlemen present. I say you can not pass this law without recognition of the power to the extent that I have mentioned. You absolutely wipe out the Constitution; you make a joke of the Constitution to say that you have unlimited power to appropriate money in this way. A hundred million dollars would seem to me to be a very considerable sum, but if
you have power to appropriate the sum called for here you have the power to appropriate an unlimited sum, and if you can attach these conditions, you can attach any conditions.
Mr. ROBSION. On these important questions you seem to be very much at variance with the gentlemen who sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Mr. RAWLS. I don't think so. Can you direct me to any opinion that is contrary to my statement?
Mr. ROBSION. They have held that the eighteenth amendment is constitutional.
Mr. Rawls. My dear sir, I have not argued that it is not constitutional. You asked me a question that I thought was utterly irrele