FOLLOWING THE INCOME-TAX AMENDMENT IN 1918, THE NEXT VIOLENCE TO
CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLE WAS UNDERTAKEN IN 1916 BY A SOCIALIST-MINDED GROUP
SEEKING TO BREAK DOWN THE TENTH AMENDMENT AND HAVE WASHINGTON ASSUME POLICE
POWER IN THE STATES OVER PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS
As late as 1916, when the attempt at undermining the
States by transgressing the Tenth Amendment was undertaken by a very formidable
and persistent aggregation of forces, the assailants were three times hurled
back in a battle which lasted twelve years. But the contest was close.
The Judiciary in defense of the Constitution
Congress passed two unconstitutional bills and the President, presumably
advised by the Attorney General, signed them. Constitutional government, and
the Tenth Amendment particularly, were saved by the Supreme Court.
Under the direction of the American translator of the writings of the
patriarchs of Communism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, there was begun in
1916 an extraordinary attempt to break down the constitutional structure of the
United States and thereby curtail the liberties of the American.
This woman pushed a bill through Congress which would forbid the moving in
interstate commerce of manufactured articles into the making of which the work
of persons under the age of 18 years had entered. The ostensible idea was to
protect the young from oppression by ruthless employers and uncivilized fathers
and mothers who were taking wages from the servitude of their children. From
the strident propaganda that was organized and turned loose, a stranger just
arriving on the planet would conclude that parenthood on the Earth was covetous
Strategy of Communism in 1916
According to the "Woman Patriot," a paper then published in the
City of Washington, the promoter of the Child Labor Law had boasted that in her
legislative drives she never let appear on the front of the movement the real
intent of the propagandists. That is the basic strategy of Communism. The Child
Labor Act had no relation to child labor, because there was in objectionable
volume no such thing. After the census of 1920 the Department of Labor made a
boastful report to the effect that since the taking of the last decennial
census so many laws of States had lengthened the months of school required; had
set such severe conditions for a youth to qualify for work during vacation, had
so completely forbidden work by minors in theatres and like places and
prohibited working with dangerous machinery, that the so-called child-labor
evil had been all but wiped out.
But even had the States been delinquent in the exercise of their police
power to guard the health, education and welfare of childhood, that could not
have conferred power on Congress to assume jurisdiction. It had no place in the
field of the States. It has been shown from authorities that the States cannot
abdicate their police powers and that Congress cannot take them over.
Had there been a child-labor evil — and there was none of magnitude
— it was for the people at home to make their legislatures take police
But, as before said, the "ballyhoo" was so overwhelming and
ceaseless that many good but uninformed people were taken off their feet, and
they gave way to tears for the American child so victimized by his greedy and
No child-labor problem in 1916
There being no child-labor problem to solve, it is manifest that the
undertaking was to remove the youth of the land away from the police control of
the States — as the National Labor Relations Act, 19 years later, removed
all workers — children and adults — of the country out of
local jurisdiction — and transfer authority over them to the central
Government at Washington. Making the central Government top-heavy would cause
it in time to collapse of its own weight, and the collapse of the finest
specimen of Government securing liberty and property has been the object of
Communism for many years.
Governor Roosevelt denounced misuse of Commerce Clause
The use of the Commerce Clanse of the Constitution to bolster the act of
Congress was one of those lawlessnesses which Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt of
New York denounced in the strongest terms. And when he became President he
broke all records in promoting this sort of legislative malpractice!
Why did men representing the people of the States in Congress vote for a
bill by which the Nation would usurp power not granted to it by the
Constitution, and the States would lose by abandonment powers inherent in them
for the care and protection of youth?
Why did a President with an Attorney General to advise him sign such a bill?
What is an Attorney General for?
Congress could not by its act gather to itself police power over "the
health, morals, safety, education and general well-being of the people."
Nor could the States surrender their local police sovereignty to Washington.
That was decided (219 U. S. 270) in 1911 by the Supreme Court of the United
Of course, when an employer and a father both attacked the act as against
liberty, the Supreme Court in 1918 held (247 V. S. 251) that, although it
pretended to be a regulation of commerce between the States, it was in reality
a seizure from the States of their police power, in violation of the Tenth
Amendment, and therefore unconstitutional.
Did that stop the constitutional illiterates representing the States in the
Congress in their push to degrade their commonwealths?
Congress shifted from Commerce Clause to Taxing Clause
In 1919 Congress passed a Child Labor Tax Act and the President signed it,
presumably with the approval of the Attorney General By that enactment a
destructive tax was placed on the product of child labor, so heavy that the
manufacturer could not sell the goods in competition with other makers. The
Commerce Clause having failed to support the other act, Congress resorted to
the Taxing Clause.
But when a citizen affected by the legislation attacked it, the Supreme
Court in 1922 held (259 U. S. 20) that as the tax imposed was intended to
prevent the manufacture by youth, it would also put an end thereby to the
revenue, for which reason it could not be treated as a revenue act It was
palpably another lawless attempt by Congress to take from under the police
power of the States the supervision and protection of youth.
Neither did that decision stop the constitutional illiterates of the States
in Congress in their determination — or in the determination of the
Communist-minded and unschooled sentimentalists who were lashing them — to
weaken their commonwealths and enlarge the central Government.
The energy and fury behind this movement of Communism, supported by weeping
women and educators, was frightening.
Members of Congress make third effort to degrade their States
Having failed twice in "dashing itself against the imprisoning walls of
the Constitution," as Bryce described our legislative body, Congress
proposed in 1924 an amendment to the Fundamental Law which would empower it to
prohibit labor throughout the United States of persons under the age of 18
It was immediately rejected by enough legislative bodies in the States to
defeat it, but every time new legislatures were elected the promoters again
During the pendency of the proposal before the legislatures of the States,
20 of them repeatedly rejected it, in Massachusetts 8 times, in New York 7
times, in Texas and South Dakota 6 times, and in 3 other States 5 times.
In 23 instances attempts were made in Congress to modify the resolution so
as to draw in some of its reckless implications, but they were voted down
— sometimes howled down without a record vote.
When President Roosevelt took office he immediately urged legislatures to
adopt it, which course was an illegal interference by the Executive with the
functions of the States. It was also contrary to his declarations as Governor
of New York. Some States acted as he requested; but when he telegraphed
"my native State" to ratify the proposal, the legislature of New York
promptly rejected it.
The rejection of the proposal by the legislatures shows that many
Congressmen were as badly informed of the wishes of their constituents as they
were on the Constitution.
Peril from uneducated public opinion
What insidious and unseen power could maintain for more than a dozen years
that assault on the constitutional integrity of the United States? Why was
there not force enough in public opinion to check Congress in its wayward
It may be that the defeat which Congress suffered in 1918 in the first
decision of the Supreme Court respecting Child Labor was the cause of its
classing in the Revenue Act of 1919 the compensation of the judges as income
subject to taxation and thereby reducing their compensation, which the
The way to cure the weakness is by requiring the schools, colleges, and
universities to make everyone graduating a sound constitutional scholar.
About forty of our States have laws requiring the teaching of the
Constitution of the United States in public and private schools, but in not one
State is our Great Charter thoroughly taught as a separate study to the youth
who are to govern the land and hold the destinies of the Republic.
Could you believe this?
To show that references herein to constitutional illiteracy are not
extravagant or unjust, it is mentioned that in March, 1947, a dispatch from
Washington said that a member of the House of Representatives from the great
State of Illinois and a member from the great State of Louisiana introduced
bills making it a felony to try to bribe an athlete. There had recently been
much in print about crookedness in baseball and other sports. The boy or girl
leaving school before reaching High, as over 16 per cent of them do (while half
of the 1,700,000 leave before the end of the second year), to govern the United
States and direct its destiny, should know better than that. It is an
indictment of schools, colleges, and universities that members of Congress
should introduce such bills. Felonies fall within the police power of the
The man power of Congress has undergone change
Congress has no Sumner, no Conkling, no Cameron, no Hoar, no Ingalls, no
duplicates of the many old worthies — chosen for the Senate by
legislatures instead of popular vote — with experience in taking the
President by the sleeve and showing him back to his place.
When the States take back their Union they should tolerate no more weak
Congresses. It is discreditable to them as governmental entities and to their
people entrusted with the present and the future of the Republic that there
should have been Congresses deserving of the epithet of "rubber
General and thorough constitutional education only hope
They should require that every man and woman appearing to register as a
voter present a card showing membership in One Great Union, a certificate from
the County Superintendent of Schools that the bearer has passed a thorough
examination in writing on both the History and the Constitution of the United
States. The requirement of an examination in writing would disqualify,
properly, the illiterates who control the great cities which drag down the
States. The predicament of the State with an unclean city is likened in the
memoirs of Senator Hoar of Massachusetts to the eagle in Tennyson, "caught
by his talons in carrion and unable to rise and soar."
It would also repair the damage done by the delinquent States which
frustrated the Australian ballot and
gave to the political bosses in the cities for the use of their illiterates the
"straight ticket" — and too often the control of the
The rescue of the Union by the States and the preservation of it perpetually
is that easy.
Spinsters worry about Maternity and Infancy
While the proponents of the Child Labor Acts and the proposed Child Labor
Amendment drove their measures through Congress, like-minded groups "put
over" in 1921 An Act for the Promotion of the Welfare and Hygiene of
Maternity and Infancy, and for Other Purposes.
In a strong argument against the power of Congress to pass such a bill under
the Constitution, Senator Reed of Missouri read the catalogue of the names of
the women throughout the land leading the move toward centralism — and not
one of them was married!
The law expired by limitation in 1929 after costing the taxpayers
$11,000,000. The American Medical Association reported that not one new idea
was developed by the expensive experiment. It is the only legislation of the
socialistic sort from which Congress eventually backed away. A constitutional
amendment may some day wipe out the others.
Had the Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction of two cases brought to test the
validity of this Maternity Act, instead of questioning the right of the
plaintiffs (262 U. S. 447), and had it shown for permanency, after the manner
of John Marshall, the line between the power of the Nation and that of the
States respecting such subjects, then A Bill to Alleviate the Hazards of Old
Age, Unemployment, Illness, and Dependency, to Establish a Social Insurance
Board in the Department of Labor, to Raise Revenue, and for Other Purposes,
along with other kindred measures of the "New Deal," might never have
A Judiciary without statesmanship to foresee the consequences to the
Republic of a decision is not what the writers of the Constitution designed.
Where the States might have been constructively busy
While the representatives of the States in Congress were passing
unconstitutional bills to deprive their commonwealths of police power over
youth, maternity, and infancy, and proposing an amendment which the
legislatures of the States rejected, many times by some of the States, the
members of the legislatures were, seemingly, so occupied at home with building
debt that they, also, were at fault regarding the constitutional position and
the obligations of their States.
A notable illustration of this is in their failure to take hold of the
matter of divorce, a subject of police which our "centralists" have
for a long time been asking Washington to regulate. It has been before the
public for a quarter of a century or more, and in January, 1950, it was
discussed in a meeting of workers for improved social conditions. The Committee
on Uniform State Laws of the American Bar Association, which framed bills on
many subjects acceptable to all the legislatures for enactment, gave this
Of course, it is a subject for the States. Massachusetts long ago settled
the question for itself, and all the other States need to do is to copy the
statute of Massachusetts, which was upheld (188 U. S. 14) by the Supreme Court
of the United States in 1903.
How Massachusetts laid down the law
The General Court (legislature) of Massachusetts declared that a decree of
divorce granted to a citizen of that State by a court of another State would be
valid in Massachusetts when the foreign court should have had jurisdiction of
both parties; but that when an inhabitant of Massachusetts should go to another
jurisdiction for a divorce for a cause arising in Massachusetts when both
parties are domiciled there, or for a cause which would not authorize a divorce
in Massachusetts, a decree in such a case would have no effect in that
The Supreme Court of the United States held that law not repugnant to the
Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, requiring the judicial
proceedings and public acts of one State to be given effect in all others.
Massachusetts was not obliged to give credit to a decree to one of its citizens
when obtained against its public policy.
Wherein the decree was void
An inhabitant of Massachusetts went to South Dakota and obtained a decree of
divorce in a suit in which his wife did not appear. Because the court had no
jurisdiction of her the decree was of no force against her in Massachusetts.
The husband returned to Massachusetts and remarried. Upon his death his first
wife brought proceedings to be adjudged his widowed spouse and to be entitled
to administer his estate and take his property. She won.
A similar statute of North Carolina, requiring a spouse domiciled in that
State and desiring a decree of divorce, to apply to a court of North Carolina,
was upheld by the Supreme Court (325 U. S. 226) in 1945, respecting decrees
granted in Nevada when the applicants were not in law domiciled there. The
domicile is the place where a person resides and intends to stay. Marrying in
Nevada immediately after receiving decrees, the two spouses returned to North
Carolina, They were arrested on the charge of bigamous cohabitation, the former
spouse of each being resident in the State.
Plain cure tor laxity in divorces
So it would be a very simple undertaking for the legislatures of the States
to copy the law of Massachusetts or that of North Carolina, both held
That would bring down to earth the whole flock or those "birds of
passage," as one court described them, who are pictured day by day at the
airports taking flight for Nevada, Florida, or Mexico to get quick releases
from the first, second, third, or fourth bondage.
Neglect of this subject has been one of the most censurable delinquencies of
1. This decision by Chief Justice Taft, that a pretended
tax law which is not for revenue is unconstitutional and fraudulent, disposes
of the preposterous proposition of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Congress,
namely, that taxes be made so heavy as to permit no income above $25,000 a
year, and that all incomes be prevented from being "too high."
It also disposes of several poorly considered dicta of
"progressive" judges, that taxes may be levied for regulatory and
2. The Australian ballot groups the names of all the
candidates for one office in one block, all the names of candidates for another
office in another block, and so on. There can be no "straight
ticket." If the voter is too illiterate to find the names of those for
whom he would vote, that is to the advantage of the country.
Penalties are visited upon the citizens who do not vote unless they present
valid excuses. The Australian Embassy said that in 1943 the vote in the Federal
election was 96.3 per cent of the electors. All the States in Australia have
compulsory voting laws.
In our election in 1948 only 47,500,000 persons voted, although, according
to the Bureau of the Census, there were 95,000,000 eligible to vote.
Ohio adopted in 1949 a form of ballot to put an end to the "straight
ticket." That looks like sunrise.
Next | Previous |
Contents | Text Version