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The Case for the Constitutionality of the Social Security Act, 3 Law and Contemporary Problems 298 (1936)


The lawyer's task in this symposium is simple and unhappy. He need not speculate about the effects of the Social Security Act on life, on business, on government. He need not concern himself about the probabilities of expected benefits or suggested evils." Those thrilling jobs have been assigned exclusively to other contributors. Moreover, constitutional dogma teaches that, in his professional capacity of advising on constitutionality, the lawyer, as the judge, need not even persuade himself of the wisdom or folly, the desirability or undesirability, of the legislation-not even that the legislation is perhaps a little more wise than foolish or a little more foolish than wise. It is sufficient if the legislative determination has some reasonable support. The work of the Committee on Economic Security, the legislative hearings and the remainder of this symposium establish that support-and beyond peradventure. So the lawyer's job is simple: "to lay the article of the Constitution which is invoked beside the statute which is challenged" and, "uninfluenced by predilection for or against the policy disclosed in the legislation," see "whether the latter squares with the former. "

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