“Today a Kindly President . . . Yet Tomorrow Another President.”

January 19th, 2017

On the eve of the inauguration, while teaching Justice Douglas’s concurring opinion in Youngstown, I had a meta experience that is unlikely to ever recur.

We pay a price for our system of checks and balances, for the distribution of power among the three branches of government. It is a price that today may seem exorbitant to many. Today a kindly President uses the seizure power to effect a wage increase and to keep the steel furnaces in production. Yet tomorrow another President might use the same power to prevent a wage increase, to curb trade-unionists, to regiment labor as oppressively as industry thinks it has been regimented by this seizure.

Today and tomorrow.