When There is an Emergency There Is No Constitution

In 1933, Congressman Beck, speaking from the Congressional Record, states,

"I think of all the damnable heresies that have ever been suggested in connection with the Constitution, the doctrine of emergency is the worst. It means that when Congress declares an emergency, there is no Constitution. This means its death. It is the very doctrine that the German chancellor is invoking today in the dying hours of the parliamentary body of the German republic, namely, that because of an emergency, it should grant to the German chancellor absolute power to pass any law, even though the law contradicts the Constitution of the German republic. Chancellor Hitler is at least frank about it. We pay the Constitution lip-service, but the result is the same."

Congressman Beck is saying that, of all the damnable heresies that ever existed, this doctrine of emergency has got to be the worst, because once Congress declares an emergency, there is no Constitution. He goes on to say,

"But the Constitution of the united States, as a restraining influence in keeping the federal government within the carefully prescribed channels of power, is moribund, if not dead. We are witnessing its death-agonies, for when this bill becomes a law, if unhappily it becomes a law, there is no longer any workable Constitution to keep the Congress within the limits of its Constitutional powers."