chapter  9
27 Pages

Decisions Are Politics When Constitutional Questions Are Up for Decision

The most flagrant illustrations of the decline involved civil liberties during the Big Red Scare, and famous Court decisions as Schenck v. United States and Abrams v. United States. The Court confronted two difficulties: abrasive internal conflict, combined with strong external resentment from both public opinion and the other branches of government. Albert J. Beveridge defended the Supreme Court more generally against critics of judicial review. The overall trajectory from 1920 until 1938, however, traced a path of constitutional concern, tension, political agitation, and eventual resolution. The contradictory positions that people took on problems of international relations caused them to invoke the Constitution in all sorts of curious ways. The reluctance with which the states granted any measure of power to the central government and the fact that the Constitution was literally wrung from the states by the sheer necessity of social conditions, illustrate the fact.