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The Green Bag

ican people has but one ambition, "to consolidate the work of the past," and Americans are urged, in the con cluding portion, to "complete the French declaration of the rights of the people, and to pay their debt to Europe by applying to international life their en thusiasm as a nation." COLLINS' FOURTEENTH AMEND MENT The Fourteenth Amendment and the States: a study of the operation of the restraint clauses of section one of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. By Charles Wallace Collins, M.A., sometime Fellow in the University of Chicago, member of the Alabama bar. Little, Brown & Co., Boston. Pp. 174 — 33(appendices) + 13 (index). ($2 net.) THAT the Fourteenth Amendment "expressed no new ideals of law and justice," that the guaranties of the first section "are as old as Magna Carta," Mr. Collins recognizes. The significant thing about the Amendment was not that it embodied new guaranties, but that "it shifted the guarantor from the state to the national government." Evidently Mr. Collins is not wholly in sympathy with the principle of centralization here implied, for he speaks of this reaction from the states' rights theory as "in effect ... a repudiation of popular government." Obviously the Amendment belongs to the stage of transition of the United States from a federation to a nation, and is one of the first expressions of the unity of the national consciousness. If litigation has grown up under it in excess of all expec tation, it signifies that the nation is performing a growing share of the work of standardizing and unifying the law throughout the United States. Con sequently we cannot accept Mr. Collins' argument that the states should be allowed greater freedom of action, and that writs of error to state courts should be granted only when the decision of the

state court sustaining the validity of the state statute is unanimous. From the point of view of the advocate of decen tralization and state autonomy, Mr. Collins reaches consistent conclusions, but it seems to us that progressive re forms which may be demanded to make the Constitution more effectually the servant of the people do not rest upon state autonomy as a prerequisite; prog ress in this respect should be truly a matter of national concern, and if the whole country cannot move forward it is not desirable that the goal be ap proached by different paths through a tangle of heterogeneous principles and policies. It should be pointed out that Mr. Collins is not an advocate of state sovereignty. His position is that of one out of sympathy not with national sovereignty, but with centralization and uniformity. He is one of those for whom democracy and decentralization are cognate if not synonymous terms. At a time when advocates of social legislation are urging the extension of appeals from state courts to the United States Supreme Court, it is somewhat surprising to find the contrary position that such appeals be restricted urged in the name of democracy. Certainly such appeals should be extended, and there is need of freer interpretation and new definitions by the Supreme Court of the meaning of "due process of law." Only in that way can the Constitution be made to serve the future needs of the people of the United States. BOOKS RECEIVED The Law Relating to Cheques. By Eric R. Wat son, LL.B. (London) of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law, author of Eugene Aram. His Life and Trial, etc., co-editor of "Byles on Bills." 17th ed. 4th ed. Butterworth & Co., Bell Yard. Temple Bar, London. Pp. xxiv, 148+ 15 (index). A Digest of Equity. By J. Andrew Strahan,