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It lacks the essential coercive element. Still more, a State would naturally resent all offers of unnecessary protection as an interference in its affairs : not to do so would be a confession of weakness. Again, the frequent employment of the National forces by the President for such purposes, would tend to centralize power and perhaps to establish a military despotism. Hence the National Government's power to interfere is limited by a formal application for protection. The preference of the Legislature to the Governor in making the application, also arises from fear of centralized power.
603. Direct Relation of National Authority to Domestic Violence.-Still it must not be supposed that the National authority, in striking at domestic violence, pursues in every case the roundabout course that has been described. The President is sworn to see that the National laws are faithfully executed ; and if public lawlessness in any way trenches upon those laws, if the operations of the Government are in any way interfered with, then it is his right and duty to intervene, provided, in his judgment, such intervention is necessary. Ordinarily he will, in such case, like the Governor of a State, look first to the civil processes of the courts; these failing, he will issue his proclamation commanding rioters or insurgents to disperse, and then, if he deems it necessary, send the National troops, or even call out the militia of the States, to maintain the public peace. The President can put soldiers on the mail cars to defend the mails, although he cannot put them on passenger cars to defend the lives of passengers, unless called upon by the State authority. President Lincoln acted in accordance with this power in issuing his proclamation of April 15, 1861. President Cleveland did the same in reference to the railroad riots in Chicago in June and July, 1894.
Replying to Governor Altgeld, of Illinois, who had complained that his action was unwarranted, President Cleveland said : "Federal troops were sent to Chicago in strict accordance with the Constitution and laws of the United States, upon the demand of the Post Offios Department that obstruction of the mails should be removed, and upon the representation of the judicial officers of the United States that processes of the Federal courts could not be executed through the ordinary means, and upon abundant proof that conspiracies existed against commerce between the States. To meet these conditions, which are clearly within the province of Federal authority, the presence of Federal troops in the city of Chicago was deemed not only proper, but necessary, and there has been no intention of thereby interfering with the plain duty of the local authorities to preserve the peace of the city.” A case involving the powers of the National Government in such emergencies went up to the Supreme Court from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, in the decision of which the President was sustained. The Court held: (1) That the Government of the United States has jurisdiction over every foot of soil within its territory, and acts upon each citizen ; (2) That it has full attributes of sovereignty over interstate commerce and the transmission of the mails; (3) That the powers thus conferred have been assumed and put into practical exercise by Congressional legislation ; (4) That in the exercise of these powers the Government may remove natural or artificial obstructions to the passage of interstate commerce or the carrying of the nails. 1
NOTE.—The fact that under our system of government the suppression of insurrection and domestic violence, or in other words, the maintenance of public order, falls in the first instance upon the State rather than upon the Nation, has led to some serious diplomatic controversies. Reference may be made to the McLeod case, 1840-41 (See Lalor's Cyclopedia, “McLeod case," and Curtis's Life of Daniel Webster, Vol. II.). Also to the New Orleans riot of 1891, which resulted in the murder of a number of Italian subjects, and to the similar Colorado case occurring in 1895, which were of a very different character, The McLeod case, which came near involving us in war with England, led to the enacting of a law by Congress that, if such cases should thenceforth arise, they should be transferred from the State to the United States courts by writ of habeas corpus. The common usage of civilized nations requires one power to protect the lives and properties of unoffending subjects or citizens of other powers who are either temporarily or permanently within its territory. Moreover, the National Government enters into treaty relations with foreign powers guaranteeing such protec
but under our system the practical guarantee is furnished by the States, not the Nation. The result is that when such subjects or citizens are not duly protected by the State authority, and the power having jurisdiction prefers a complaint or makes a demand for such protection at Washington, the National authorities have nothing to say, except that it is the duty of the States to maintain public order, and that they do not hold themselves responsible. The predicament is an embarassing one. A foreign power knows nothing of the States, but does know the United States, and looks to them for redress. Mr. Blaine, Secretary of State at the time of the New Orleans riot, made the families of the murdered Italians a pecuniary compensation, taking the money from the contingent fund of the State Department. It will not be surprising if, as our foreign relations become more complicated, we shall think it wise to adopt some change in our policy in this particular.
1 In re Debs, petitioner, 158 U. S. 564. See also 64 Federal Reporter, 724.
The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, wheu ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first Article; and that no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
604. Need of the Power.--Changes in the social conditions of a people, which are especially rapid in young and growing states, necessitate changes in the constitution as well as in the laws. At the same time frequent changes are undesirable or they tend to keep the country in turmoil and to beget contempt for the constitution itself. Writers on law teach, and experience confirms the teaching, that fundamental laws should be drawn in broad and comprehensive terms, and not be subject to easy changes. The Articles of Confederation were practically incapable of amendment, and this fact hastened the decline of the Confederation, and so made way for the present Government. The Convention of 1787 guarded well both points of danger; it is not easy to amend the Constitution, but it is possible. During the century that has passed since it went into operation, but nineteen amendments have been proposed, and but fifteen have been ratified.
605. Steps in Making an Amendinent.—These are two in number, proposing and ratifying the amendment-the same steps that were taken when the Constitution itself was made. But the Constitution provides alternative modes both of proposal and of ratification.
Congress may propose amendments by the vote of two-thirds of each House ; or, secondly, whenever the Leg. islatures of two-thirds of the States make an application, Congress shall call a National convention for that purpose. The first is much the more direct and simple mode, and it might seem that it is sufficient; but as Congress might refuse to propose amendments that were demanded by the popular will, the alternative mode was provided, thus making it possible to propose amendments to which both Houses are opposed, and offering a means of escape from this danger. It has never been found necessary to call a convention for this purpose.
An amendment duly proposed must be ratified by the Legislatures, or by the conventions, of three-fourths of the States before it becomes binding. The Constitution itself was submitted to State conventions, because it was essential that the immediate representatives of the people, chosen for that sole purpose, should pass upon it, but in the case of amendments that is not necessary. In the resolution proposing an amendment, Congress always designates that the ratifications shall be had by the Legislatures of the States.
606. Limitations of the Power of Amendment.The Convention provided that no amendment should be made previous to 1808 changing the conclusions that it had reached with so much difficulty in relation to the slave trade and direct taxes. The other limitation was far more important than these two. No State, without its consent, can be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. Ap
parently, this limitation puts this feature of the National system beyond the possibility of change; it is the most permanent part of the Constitution.
607. Form of Amendments.-When the first amendments that were proposed were under discussion in the House of Representatives in 1789, there sprang up a difference of opinion as to the form which they should take. It was first proposed to insert them in the body of the Constitution in the natural places, but it was finally decided to add them as supplements. The form of proposal then adopted has since been followed, viz.: "Resolved, . That the following Articles be proposed as amendments to the Constitution, and when ratified by three-fourths of the State Legislatures shall become valid to ali intents and purposes, as part of the same.”