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munity." Unless this national conscience is satisfied, I fear the gravest consequences.
In conclusion, may I point out the particular danger involved in one argument advanced. It is said that an emergency exists and, therefore, speed is necessary. There are a few great emergencies such as civil or foreign war which confront a nation from time to time and justify emergency measures, either by legislative or administrative action. But every instance in which an emergency is claimed to exist must be examined with the greatest care. Unless this is done, the country may proceed under the banner of emergency legislation down a road which leads to the abolition of democratic government.
Time, discussion, debate, orderly processes of government--these are the essence of democracy as I see it. The clearest proofs, therefore, should be demanded by a legislative body before it is willing, on the plea of meeting an emergency, to go contrary to the spirit of constitutional democratic government. I have heard no evidence presented which indicates that it is necessary to settle this question of the Supreme Court before the time required for submission of an amendment to the country. Very truly yours, James B. Conant.
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