UP POPS THE DEVIL
The time honored question of the validity of the eighteenth amendment occurs with all the regularity and swiftness of measics, mumps, and all the other child maladies. This time the attack comes from one of the Federal courts with the argument based on the legality of the ratification methods employed by the various state legislatures at the time when the prohibition acts were awaiting their consent. The decision is handed down by Judge William Clark '11, in the District Court of New Jersey.
According to the findings of the court, amendments which involve a transfer of power from the individual states to the United States cannot be ratified constitutionally by the same methods as those which affect merely a change in the machinery of government. Of this kind are the twelfth and the seventeenth, which vary the procedure in the election of the President or the Sehators, or those which limit powers of the state or federal governments. The constitution specifically provides for amendments of this nature, the shifting of power, and states that the proposed laws must be ratified by constitutional conventions elected from the various states.
Whether or not the argument will be considered sufficiently sound by the supreme court is a question that will have to wait. Regardless of his personal views on prohibition, Judge Clark is to be Highly commended for the skill and sincerity with which he attacks a law that he believes to be constitutionally unsound. Enforcing laws which are evidently ill adapted to cope with an admittedly idealistic purpose, must seem to him, particularly in his official capacity, like trying to fit square pegs into round holes. If his decision is upheld by the Supreme Court, the unwieldy pegs possibly may be reshaped.