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Legislative flexibility on the part of Congress will be the touchstone of federalism when the capacity to support combustion becomes the acid test of a fire extinguisher. Congressional flexibility is desirable, of course - but only within the bounds of federal power established by the Constitution. Beyond those bounds (the theory of our Constitution goes), it is a menace.
This new philosophy, however, was far from giving the temporal an inherent position and function in the constitution of things. Change was acting on the side of man but only because of fixed laws which governed the changes that take place. There was hope in change just because the laws that govern it do not change.
Although Aristotle may have been right to claim that a desire to know is part of the fundamental constitution of human nature, … Nietzsche is also correct to emphasize that the impulse to evaluate our surroundings, our fellows, and ourselves is at least as deeply rooted in our human nature as is any natural desire to know. Der Mensch ist ein abschätzendes Tier.
Already in this country, as a result of the recent controversy, it is written in the constitution of the socialist party that "any member of the party who opposes political action or advocates crime, sabotage, or other methods of violence as a weapon of the working class to aid in its emancipation shall be expelled from membership in the party." Adopted by the national convention of the party in 1911, this clause was ratified at a general referendum of all the membership of the party. It is clear, therefore, that the immense majority of socialists are determined to employ peaceable and legal methods of action.
I have said that this Nation as founded on a Christian perspective of the nature of man, that we derive our rights from God and not from government. And part of that perspective is that every individual enjoys human rights without regard to what the majority wants. Every individual enjoys human rights, like religious freedom and freedom of conscience, including the freedom not to worship. That is what I have said. That's what I believe in. That goes to the core of what I believe in. It is, I believe, the perspective of the American form of government, and I have been faithful in my record as Attorney General in defending the Constitution when it comes to issues like religious freedom.
The American Constitution is a written instrument full and complete in itself. No Court in America, no Congress, no President, can add a single word thereto, or take a single word threreto. It is a great national enactment done by the people, and can only be altered, amended, or added to by the people.
The Augustan constitution remains one of the major products of the human intelligence. It was a whole into which the parts fitted smoothly, but both whole and parts were elastic and capable of swift adaptation to unforeseen conditions. It was elaborate, but that was necessary, both because of its origin and its purpose.
In all cases where incidental powers are acted upon, the principal and incidental ought to be congenial with each other, and partake of a common nature. The incidental power ought to be strictly subordinate and limited to the end proposed to be obtained by the specified power. In other words, under the name of accomplishing one object which is specified, the power implied ought not to be made to embrace other objects, which are not specified in the constitution.
I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?
Numbered among our population are some 12,000,000 colored people. Under our Constitution their rights are just as sacred as those of any other citizen. It is both a public and a private duty to protect those rights. The Congress ought to exercise all its powers of prevention and punishment against the hideous crime of lynching, of which the negroes are by no means the sole sufferers, but for which they furnish a majority of the victims.