April 15, 1933 - Editorial - Changing the Constitution, by George Lorimer

More than ever before, except during armed conflict, the people now look to the President of the United States for leadership, and are willing to invest him with extraordinary powers. Consequently it is significant at the same time not only Congress but the legislatures of 48 states are vindicating their importance in the American system and method of government. Basic in this system and method is the Constitution itself, and that document or charter can be changed only by Congress and the state legislatures. Only a few months ago, the 20th, or Lame Duck, Amendment was carried through, and at the present writing fairly rapid progress is apparently being made on the proposed prohibition-repeal amendment.

In other words, the idea of checks and balances in our scheme of government has not been discarded or proved obsolete. Proposals for amendments to the Constitution must be authorized by a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress. They then go to the states, and do not become effective unless three-fourths of the states, through their legislatures, or through state conventions chosen for that purpose, ratify the same.

Thus the President's approval is not required, and he has no official function to perform at any stage of the proceedings. He has no power or authority in the matter. Changing the Constitution is a legislative function. (pg. 20)

Comment: It seems that Lorimer is now becoming concerned that Executive power is expanding in violation of the Constitution. FDR wanted power that the Constitution forbade him to have, and he knew that amending the Constitution was a purely legislative process that he would have no power over. FDR didn't like this, as we shall see.

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