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by their statesmen, their jurists, their bench and bar, will more clearly than ever before see and observe the divergence of powers between the federal and State governments, as defined by the federal Constitution. If there be needed amendments to the federal Constitution, either extending or limiting the federal power, let them be made as prescribed by the Constitution. Let there be no revolutionary construction to augment the powers of the federal government at the expense of the States. As I have already shown, our federal government is soon to be a Continental Republic, with an unbroken cordon of forty-seven States, extending from Ocean to Ocean, bound together by a common interest and linked with a common destiny. The voting constituency of these respective States determines the official organism of the federal government; for they, and they alone, elect the congressmen, senators and the President; and the President and Congress in turn appoint the corps of officials, including the judges. This Continental Republic of States in turn, through their federal government, governs, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, the outlying territory of Alaska and the insular possessions of Hawaii, Porto Rico, Guam, Samoa, the Panama Zone, and the Philippines.
Professor Bryce, in his American Commonwealth, says, the American States, their history, their constitutions and laws, and their institutions, exceed in interest those of the United States itself; that so little has been written about the States, and so much about the United States, that foreigners know but little of the States. We can assure Mr. Bryce that the Americans care much for their States, and their affections go out to them as much as to the Nation itself.
To the philosophic minded American, there is a charm in the difference between the States, their laws, constitutions, institutions, and even their prejudices and provincialisms, just as there is a charm in the variety in the topography, climate, productions and industries of the States. This
divergence is, in many ways, more desirable than a dead and unbroken uniformity, just as a landscape of mountain, lake, valley, forest, river and plain is more enticing than one of unbroken prairie or forest.
If the question were put to the people of any State of the Union, whether it should be merged with some other State, or be subdivided into two or more states, there would, I doubt not, be an almost, if not quite, universal consensus of opinion in every State against either proposition. Not one of the New England States would permit itself to be lde the Middle States; nor would Texas, though it has the reserved right to do so, permit itself to be subdivided into other States.
Each State, with its history and traditions, with laws and institutions adapted to its conditions and wants, stands forth in generous rivalry with the others for excellence in government; and, let me add, with a common and undivided loyalty to the Nation. No State would consent to have the star which represents it in the National flag erased, nor its coat of arms or seal destroyed.
I am reminded of a pretty story which Judge Phillips, of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, tells of a civil service examination held in his District, where one of the class, a big, strapping, gangling boy was asked, "Are you a grammarian?” and he replied. growing about three feet taller as he said it, “No, damn it, 1 am a Missourian.'
So it will be found all down the line of the American States, a local pride and love on the part of the people for the State in which they live.
In the discussion of the relative powers of the federal government and the States, great injustice has been done the States by much use of a narrow phrase, in which the governmental powers of the States are spoken of as the
police powers of the States. I do not know who originally invented that phrase. It came either from a narrow, technical mind, or from some arch enemy of the States. The proper phrase to be used in all such questions is "governmental powers." What are the powers of the federal government ? What are the powers of the States? Some of these powers are exclusive in the federal government; some exclusive in the States; some are concurrent in both governments. Where, in the exercise of the powers, there is a conflict, the powers of the federal government prevail. In all cases, the question is one of governmental, not of police, powers.
The phrase “ "police powers," as attempting to define governmental powers, dwarfs and minimizes the issue.
The federal government will and should control commerce between the states and foreign nations; its power rightfully extends to the reasonable control and improvement of our interstate and international rivers, lakes and seas; to the fair regulation of interstate and international highways, whether railroad or earthroad; to the gathering of information from all sources, on all topics, to better enable the nation to discharge its Constitutional duties. It rightfully covers the regulation of commerce between the States, with foreign nations and with Indian tribes, to the end that commerce be made free and be not obstructed. Free, like the winds; free, like the currents of the river rising in the mountain springs and flowing unvexed to the sea; free from the interference of the States; free from strangling monopolies of every form; and, above all, free from the unnecessary and tyrannical exactions and restrictions of the federal government itself. Commerce, however, as used in the Constitution, refers to the physical movements of men and things, in trade and exchange, in passing from place to place, and not to every character of business.
Gentlemen, if the time shall come when the integrity of the States, their powers and jurisdictions over their domestic affairs,
the lives, liberties, properties and business of their peoples, shall be unduly invaded by the encroachments of the federal government, with its bureaucratic and autocratic administrations, there will awaken a power like that which came to the rescue of the federal Union when its integrity and life were assailed. When that time comes, these American States, composing this Continental Republic of which I have spoken, through their voting constituencies, which are created by and whose qualifications are prescribed by each State, will stand as a unit for the preservation of the States, each and all of them; and there will be no sectional divisions, as there were over the slavery question, to draw the States apart: and the mandate will go forth from the States choosing the official organism for the federal government, calling to power men whose first duty will be to see that the inherent and inalienable rights of the States are respected and preserved. In this way, a great nation, which will preserve its own autonomy and that of the States, and which will be doubly strong from the fact that it does not seek to draw unto itself power not belonging to it, and does not intermeddle with that which does not concern it, will be established, maintained and perpetuated.