The Character of the Cases in which Acts of Congress have been Declared Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States
On almost every occasion when an act of the National Legislature has been declared invalid by the Supreme Court of the United States there has been some adverse criticism because the Court's decision was contrary to the views of some particular section, party or class. It has been asserted on numerous occasions by those opposed to the exercise of this power by the Court that the framers of the Constitution did not intend to grant such power and there were no precedents to support this doctrine. In the introduction It will be my purpose to show that certain state courts had recognized this doctrine prior to the Convention and also that it was intended by the framers of the Constitution that the Supreme Court should exercise this power.In reviewing several of the criticisms it was noted there was a general tendency on the part at the writers to cite specific cases in support of their contention that the Supreme Court had abused its power. Thus, in arriving at such conclusion only a few cases were actually considered. This method of criticism is obviously open to the objection that the conclusion in each instance was reached without a consideration of the whole subject.It will, therefore, be my purpose in Chapter V to analyze all cases in which acts of Congress have been weld unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. An attempt will be made to indicate as clearly as possible, in each case, the constitutional question involved and the Court's reason for holding the particular statute Invalid.