February 1, 1936 - Editorial - The Duty of Congress, by George Lorimer

President Roosevelt and Congress have been so severely criticized for advocating and passing laws of doubtful constitutionality that it is exceedingly interesting to have a careful and detailed as well as an apparent official defense of their action. Before the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Attorney General Cummings contented that if executive and legislative officers promote no legislation except that entirely free from constitutional doubts, there can never be any laws of new or controversial character.

Constitutional objections have been raised to nearly every important piece of legislation enacted since the beginning of the Government, says the Attorney General.

When something like 2000 suits are brought to test the constitutionality of laws passed in a few brief years, the presumption is exceedingly strong that the lawmakers have been either extraordinarily careless and ignorant or else very astute in passing the buck in the hope of getting at least temporary political credit for doing something they knew in their hearts could not be done. Surely the duty of Congress is higher than this; nor is it along these lines that permanent progress is made. (pg. 22)

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