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Among the many arguments advanced in favor of the President's plan for reorganization of the Supreme Court, the question of speed is a favorite one among such men as Homer Cummings and James Farley. Taking a pious and sanctimonious attitude, these gentlemen contend that there is such a crying need for social legislation of the NRA and AAA type, that delay is impossible. We are told that a constitutional amendment to legalize minimum wage laws and maximum hours of work regulations would take too long to put through, and that no time must be wasted in achieving this desired goal.
Such a line of reasoning as this appears pitifully inadequate to those who have observed and studied the constitutional history of the United States. There has never been a time in the development of our country when the need for new laws which had already been declared illegal was so pressing that the passage of those laws couldn't wait until the Constitution had been properly amended. There have always been excitable cranks who have been so convinced of the inherent justice of their proposals, that they were unwilling to tolerate delay or opposition. Messrs, Cummings and Farley have lost no time in telling the world that what they have to offer is so valuable that the American people can't even be given time to consider it. They would have us believe that their way is the only way, and that American forms of constitutional change are out-moded.
The fact that speed has been advanced so seriously as an argument for not submitting the proposed plans to the country, leads one to doubt the honesty of these men's intentions. By trying to take the "Short-cut" in such a furtive manner, they make the public feel that something is being "put over" on them. No one will deny that the abolition of child labor, and reduction of hours of work, as well as elimination of "sweated labor" with impossibly low wages, are very desirable goals, but the present method of packing the Supreme Court to do it, gives the present situation a very unhealthy palor. The cause is a worthy one, but the New Deal remedy is clothed in a conspiratorial garb, which hurts and hinders the high aims for which it is working.
Impulsive and dogmatic, Farley and Cummings find the traditional system of checks and balances a nuisance, and as such they are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their purpose. Blind to the normal way of governmental procedure, they are perfectly willing to give unprecedented powers to a Chief Executive, who already has more power than any President of the United States has ever had before. Like all egotists they are impatient with those who stand for traditional forms of change, and are slaves to the shadows of their own righteousness.
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