"State and district offices" shall be filled by the executive, says a law of North Dakota. Accordingly the governor of that state, to fill a vacancy in the Senate, appointed Gerald P. Nye as Senator, although North Dakota statutes do not ordinarily mean Congressional offices by the term "State . . . offices." Worst of all the governor did not consult his legislature, as the Federal Constitution provides, in making the appointment.
Thereupon, conscientious and righteous strict constructionists matched wits with conscientious and righteous loose constructionists, in a revival of the oldest political battle in America, a battle which has had for participants the greatest personalities of American history, a battle which is, in fact, as old as the Constitution itself. Tuesday the strife subsided--temporarily. The loose constructionists had won. Gerald P. Nye became the "second youngest" Senator.
The denouement revealed, however, that these virtuous Senators, the militant interpreters of the Constitution, were not thinking about the Constitution at all. Some of them were thinking about the World Court, and some about the Republican administration and some about the new tax bill. Those who liked all these things, lost; and those who did not, won. The score was 41-39. Then the Senators put their well-worn, eighteenth-century, uniforms of strict constructionists and loose constructionists away, where they may be ready to hand for the next sham battle--Constitutionally speaking.