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The National Association for Constitutional Government was formed for the purpose of preserving the representative institutions established by the founders of the Republic and of maintaining the guarantees embodied in the Constitution of the United States. The specific objects of the Association are:

1. To oppose the tendency towards class legislation, the unnecessary extension of public function, the costly and dangerous multiplication of public offices, the exploitation of private wealth by political agencies, and its distribution for class or sectional advantage.

2. To condemn the oppression of business enterprise,-the vitalizing energy without which national prosperity is impossible; the introduction into our legal system of ideas which past experience has tested and repudiated, such as the Initiative, the Compulsory Referendum, and the Recall, in place of the constitutional system; the frequent and radical alteration of the fundamental law, especially by mere majorities; and schemes of governmental change in general subversive of our republican form of political organization.

3. To assist in the dissemination of knowledge regarding theories of government and their practical effects; in extending a comprehension of the distinctive principles upon which our political institutions are founded; and in creating a higher type of American patriotism through loyalty to those principles.

4. To study the defects in the administration of law and the means by which social justice and efficiency may be more promptly and certainly realized in harmony with the distinctive principles upon which our government is based.

5. To preserve the integrity and authority of our courts; respect for and obedience to the law, as the only security for life, liberty, and property; and above all, the permanence of the principle that this Republic is "a government of laws and not of men."

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Tinkering With the Constitution'

By Joseph R. Long
Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University

There has recently been formed a society, with headquarters in Brooklyn, having for its object the securing of an amendment to the federal constitution. The society calls itself a "Committee on the Federal Constitution," and the amendment which they advocate is one providing easier modes of amendment than those prescribed in Article V. They propose to "carry on a campaign of education in favor of this measure through the daily and periodical press, book and pamphlet publication, letter and circular, pulpit and platform." Among the members of this committee are men of national reputation and of the highest rank in the intellectual world. When men of this character unite upon such an undertaking, the movement is entitled to at least respectful consideration. And this is not the first nor the only effort that has been made to accomplish the same object. During the recent period of unrest through which we have been passing, in which the courts, the Constitution, and our fundamental political institutions generally, have been subjected to the attacks of the muckrakers, a number of resolutions have been introduced in Congress proposing similar amendments. Such an amendment was introduced by Senator La Follette in 1912, and its adoption has been urged upon Congress by the legislature of Wisconsin. And even since the adop

'Reprinted from the Yale Law Journal of May, 1915, by permission of the author and of the Yale Law Journal Company.

tion of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments in the single year 1913, these "gateway" amendments are being proposed.

The theory, of course, upon which this radical change in our fundamental law is being urged is that the Constitution does not now express the real will of the people, and that it is practically unamendable in the modes now provided. As stated in the published platform of the Brooklyn committee, "the people of the United States have not control over their fundamental law at the present time, save in a minor degree. The consequence is, our institutions do not reflect the popular will, but in reality other forces over which we have only a measure of control. Our community life, therefore, is not what it would be had we the power to shape it in our own way." We propose in this paper briefly to inquire whether this contention is true. The satisfactory solution of the problem will require some examination of the history of proposed amendments to the Constitution.

When the Constitution was submitted to the states in 1787, its framers did not regard their work as final but contemplated that amendments would be made from time to time. Accordingly they provided in Article V a mode, or rather two modes, of amendment. Their expectation that amendments would be proposed in the future. has been amply realized. While the Constitution was still before the people

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