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The Green Bag

time, Chief Justice, delivered the ablest opinion on this subject in 1825 in the case of Eakin v. Raub, 12 S. & R. 330. By reference to that opinion it will be found that Justice Gibson admitted in that opinion that it had been univer sally held that courts had the power to declare legislative acts void, and it was the duty of the courts so to hold, but that the legislature also had power to pass upon the question. The majority of the court in that case including Chief Justice Tighlman, expressly held that such power was exclusively in the courts, saying: "But it is a duty, however irk some, which they are bound to perform, without regard to personal considera tions, for no principle can be better estab lished — none more conducive to per sonal liberty and security of property — none of which the people of this free country can more justly boast — none which so pre-eminently distinguishes our American Constitution over every other country and government, than the doctrine which has prevailed since their formation in the courts of all these states from Maine to Georgia, that the people possess the sovereign right to limit their law-giver, and that acts contrary to the Constitution are not binding as laws. The concurrence of statesmen, of legislators and of jurists, uniting in the same construction of the Constitution, may ensure confidence in that construction." It is thus seen that this whole argu ment against the courts is based upon a false premise. Hence it is not only untrue, but immoral, to say that the nine men of the Supreme Court annul the will of a hundred millions of people. In America the people are the absolute masters and controllers of themselves and all their governmental agencies, and have the right to the last word al ways. They are the supreme power and

recognize no superior. As the Supreme Court has often said, they may make and unmake constitutions at will. They may exercise all powers themselves or create governmental agencies and bestow upon these agencies just such powers as they please, and with such limitation as they may wish. No one will ques tion the absolute right of the American people to create or abolish any govern mental agency at will. They may destroy the Supreme Court, the Congress and the office of President. They have the right to destroy our representative re public, and establish an absolute mon archy, or any other kind of government, including absolutism or socialism, headed by a popular leader, if they wish. This question is one of wish, and wisdom, and not one of power. If the Supreme Court in the construction of a statute reads into it something not intended to be there, the Congress can at once pass another law changing the rule of the court. If Congress and the people were not satis fied with the reading into the Anti-Trust Act the word "reasonable," they had the absolute right at once to change the law and to make their will impertive upon the court. If the court renders a decision "striking down" an act of Congress or of the legislature of a state as in conflict with the Constitution, an amendment may be at once proposed and adopted by the people conferring upon Congress or the state legislature the necessary power. The "bakeshop" decision was rendered in 1905. Has any amendment yet been proposed giving the lacking power to the state? The people of the United States have no one but themselves and Congress to blame for the loss of revenue resulting from the invalidity of the income tax law, held void in 1895. When Congress met in December, 1895, it had the right and power to propose an amendment, calling