September 19, 1936 - Editorial - Mr. Wallace and the Constitution, by George Lorimer

Secretary of Agriculture Wallace has expressed himself so extensively on the subject of the Constitution and the Supreme Court that his views deserve very careful consideration, since he, presumably, speaks in full sympathy with the purposes of the New Deal, if not as an official spokesman. In speeches he has made tart references to certain Supreme Court decisions knocking out various New Deal measures, he has written a friendly introduction to a book by another author, in which the New Deal viewpoint on these matters is clearly set forth, and he has also written a book of his own which bears the intriguing title Whose Constitution.

Despite its title, Mr. Wallace discusses a great many subjects which have nothing directly to do with the Constitution or the Supreme Court. He has chapters on soil conservation, on the details of the AAA, on tariffs, machinery, population and public opinion. He discusses the question of whether newspapers should be owned by governments, the "dominant contribution of the Protestant concept," science, and economic welfare council. There is also much historical information not connected with the main theme. One reviewer has described the work as a "scrapbook of secretarial musings."

But the Secretary of Agriculture does manage to get in a few strong doses on the announced subject matter. While expressing great admiration for both Constitution and Court, he assumes that the popular will was necessarily thwarted by the Court's unfavorable decisions in the AAA and other New Deal cases. Indeed, in his introduction to another author's book on the same subject, Mr. Wallace goes so far as to say that "the important thing ..... is to elect Presidents who will nominate the right men to the Supreme Court." (pg. 26)

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