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1907-08 showed no relaxation of legislative activity in this direction, for they gave us the most revolutionary direct primary laws yet devised: those of Wisconsin, New Jersey, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Washington, and Kansas, leaving out of account less striking measures. Oklahoma came into the Union in 1907 with a startling constitution requiring, among other things, that the legislature shall enact laws for a mandatory primary system which shall provide for the nomination of all candidates in all elections for state, district, county, and municipal offices, including that of United States Senator. In New York, Governor Hughes urged drastic reform in the primaries and party machinery at the legislative sessions of 1908, 1909, and 1910; and in Connecticut a commission has reported to the legislature in favor of direct nominations.

These new laws fix the dates and places of party primaries, provide official ballots furnished by the government to all parties without charge, regulate the composition and powers of party committees, abolish conventions altogether or control their composition and procedure, institute, in many instances, direct nominations by party vote for nominations by conventions, forbid contributions by corporations, compel party committees to account for the receipt and disbursement of funds, limit the amount which the respective candidates may spend, and otherwise control the machinery and practices of all parties.1

1 This whole subject is treated in great detail below, chap. xxx.

PART II

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER VIII

THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE FEDERAL SYSTEM OF
GOVERNMENT

The Doctrine of Limited Government

Ir is a common error to regard the federal Constitution as an instrument relating solely to the government that has its seat at Washington. In reality, it provides a general political system by distributing the public functions between the state and national governments and by laying down certain fundamental limitations on the powers which each may exercise. In other words, while creating a national executive, legislature, and judiciary, and marking out their spheres of power, the Constitution, expressly and by implication, also limits the domain within which the government of each state must operate. It does more: it creates a system of private rights secure against all government interference; it provides for each person "a sphere of anarchy" - of no government so to speak, within which he may act without any intervention on the part of public officials. In some matters the individual is protected from the federal government, in others from the state government, and in still others he is entirely free from both governments. These limitations are not mere political theories or vague declarations of rights; they are fairly precise rules of law expounded and applied by the courts, enforced by proper executive authorities, and respected by the citizens.2

1 See Burgess, Political Science and Constitutional Law, Vol. I, pp. 174 ff. For the constitutional limitations on the federal government, see Readings, pp. 134 ff., and on the state governments, ibid., pp. 391 ff. By a comparison the limitations common to both may be ascertained.

1907-08 showed no relaxation of legislative activity in this direction, for they gave us the most revolutionary direct primary laws yet devised: those of Wisconsin, New Jersey, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Washington, and Kansas, leaving out of account less striking measures. Oklahoma came into the Union in 1907 with a startling constitution requiring, among other things, that the legislature shall enact laws for a mandatory primary system which shall provide for the nomination of all candidates in all elections for state, district, county, and municipal offices, including that of United States Senator. In New York, Governor Hughes urged drastic reform in the primaries and party machinery at the legislative sessions of 1908, 1909, and 1910; and in Connecticut a commission has reported to the legislature in favor of direct nominations.

These new laws fix the dates and places of party primaries, provide official ballots furnished by the government to all parties without charge, regulate the composition and powers of party committees, abolish conventions altogether or control their composition and procedure, institute, in many instances, direct nominations by party vote for nominations by conventions, forbid contributions by corporations, compel party committees to account for the receipt and disbursement of funds, limit the amount which the respective candidates may spend, and otherwise control the machinery and practices of all parties.1

1

1 This whole subject is treated in great detail below, chap. xxx.

PART II

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER VIII

THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE FEDERAL SYSTEM OF
GOVERNMENT

The Doctrine of Limited Government

Ir is a common error to regard the federal Constitution as an instrument relating solely to the government that has its seat at Washington. In reality, it provides a general political system by distributing the public functions between the state and national governments and by laying down certain fundamental limitations on the powers which each may exercise. In other words, while creating a national executive, legislature, and judiciary, and marking out their spheres of power, the Constitution, expressly and by implication, also limits the domain within which the government of each state must operate. It does more: it creates a system of private rights secure against all government interference; it provides for each person "a sphere of anarchy” 1 - of no government - so to speak, within which he may act without any intervention on the part of public officials. In some matters the individual is protected from the federal government, in others from the state government, and in still others he is entirely free from both governments. These limitations are not mere political theories or vague declarations of rights; they are fairly precise rules of law expounded and applied by the courts, enforced by proper executive authorities, and respected by the citizens.2

1 See Burgess, Political Science and Constitutional Law, Vol. I, pp. 174 ff. For the constitutional limitations on the federal government, see Readings, pp. 134 ff., and on the state governments, ibid., pp. 391 ff. By a comparison the limitations common to both may be ascertained.

This system of private rights or individual liberty, however, cannot be understood by learning the clauses of the Constitution which contain prohibitions on the state and federal governments. It is really a difficult and technical branch of law, to be mastered only by a painstaking examination of a long line of judicial decisions interpreting those clauses. Failure to recognize this fact constantly leads to many incorrect assertions about "the rights of American citizens." For example, the police of a city forbid a Socialist parade or break up a street corner meeting; immediately there appear in the newspapers letters from indignant citizens denouncing the police for preventing the exercise of the "rights of free speech guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States." An examination of the clause, however, to which they refer shows that it is Congress that can make no law abridging the freedom of speech, the states being left to their own devices in dealing with such matters. It is not only ill-informed citizens that make this Such a serious and responsible body as the Republican national convention in 1860 asserted in its platform, “That the maintenance of the principles promulgated in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the federal Constitution, 'that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,'-is essential to the preservation of our republican institutions." Of course any student of history and law knows that the Constitution does not embody any such principles, and that the federal government is controlled only by the definite rules of law imposed by the written instrument itself.

The fundamental character of these rules may be best illustrated by a comparison with the English system. Any law passed by Parliament, that is, by King, Lords, and Commons, - must be enforced; it cannot be called into question by any court; the only remedy for the citizen is at the ballot-box when members of the House of Commons are elected. If the British Parliament, therefore, should pass a law confiscating the land now owned by private persons, there would be no relief for the victims, unless the same Parliament or a succeeding one could be induced to repeal the law in question. If the Congress of the

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