AMERICA'S INFANT PSYCHOSIS
"STATE HOUSE versus PENT HOUSE", Legal problems of the Rhode Island Race-Track Row by Zechariah Chafee Jr. Professor of Law in Harvard University and Member of the Rhode Island Bar; The Books Shop, Providence; 165 pages, paper cover.
NEW York's newest Congressman, Bruce Barton made a novel bid for election to a law-creating body by promising to repeal a law every day of his term in office Here was a public display of a widely held opinion which is expressed in Middletown by "There are too dammed many laws in this country." Governor Quinn, the Wizard of West Warwick and Walter O'Hara, the Pawtucket Flash concur in this opinion, for according to Professor Chafee these two bulls have locked horns in, of all places, the china shop of the legal system, and they have broken most of the china.
Chafee's booklet, entitled "Dorr Pamphlet No. I", is one of the brightest and most entertaining clinical reports made lately on New England Politics. Anybody with a sense of humor will enjoy the dry wit which pervades all but the most legal parts. There is a feminine appeal, too, in the shape of Mrs. O'Hara and her disappointed horses, and a good bit of Drama in the clash of two sections of the Democratic Party, each led by strongwilled, self-made men. Unfortunately in Rhode Island.
"When two strong men stand face to face
Though they come from the ends of the earth," they telephone their lawyers. A good punch on the nose of one or the other of the two men would have settled the leadership of the Rhode Island Decocracy more quickly than the present litigation, which will drag out for years and leave the victorious merely the man whose legal crutch contains the smallest percentage of rubber.
The basis of the pamphlet are Professor Chafce's articles in the CRIMSON last November discussing the legal aspects of the Narragansett Park mix-up. These articles have been expanded considerably, packed between a clarifying introduction and a voluminous set of appendices, and salted down with a fistfulls of apt quotations. As an Added Feature there is a photostat of the famous "Star Tribune" asserting Governor Quinn to be in an insane asylum and (for the kiddies) lots of pictures of soldiers and horses.
Really the most valuable and most interesting parts of the phamphlet are the round-by-round stories of the legal battle. The analysis of Quinn's attempts to shut up the Race Track will be instructive to young lawyers how not to conduct a suit. Serious readers will be fascinated by the exhaustive, well-documented, and clear discussions of the legal posers involved in the Governor's proclamation of martial law and of the nature and power of the State Racing Commission, a model for all quasi-judicial executive bodies whose mush-room growth in the government worries many lawyers. "This bodes some strange cruption to our state," quotes Professor Chafee from Hamlet.