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14 B.U. L. Rev. 243 (1934)
Is There a National Police Power; If So, What Is Its Relation to the Recent Federal Statutes Affecting Industry and Trade Generally, Particularly the National Industrial Recovery Act

handle is hein.journals/bulr14 and id is 245 raw text is: IS THERE A NATIONAL POLICE POWER; IF SO,
WHAT IS ITS RELATION TO THE RECENT
FEDERAL STATUTES AFFECTING IN-
DUSTRY AND TRADE GENERALLY,
PARTICULARLY THE NATIONAL
INDUSTRIAL RECOVERY ACT?
By HARRISON J. BARRETTA
The short answer of the average reader, particularly if a lawyer,
to the first part of this question will be: Why discuss such a question;
the answer has been repeatedly given. There is no Federal police
power except as incident to the war power, or other specific powers
delegated to the Federal government by the Constitution.     Not-
withstanding, the repeated declarations in days past, and I will refer to
these later, that there is no such power under the Constitution, we must,
I believe, face this issue squarely. The draftsmen of the Constitu-
tion, sincere and earnest as they doubtless were,' dealt with condi-
tions as they saw them at the time and in the future apparent to them.
No dreamer of that day foresaw the social and economic development
since 1787; nor the great problems of political, social and economic ad-
justment that this has involved. Admittedly under the War Power, in time
of war, the Federal Government is absolutely supreme throughout the
nation. Is not the economic situation with which we must deal even
more serious than if we were in fact at war? We are building on a
charter of government, the Constitution, theoretically devised for all
time, if such a thing is humanly possible ;2 and if we desire to continue
our efforts to build on this written constitution, which may be a de-
batable proposition, though I want to try it a while yet, we may have to
find there are inherent powers thereunder not contemplated by its
founders nor by the Supreme Court of the United States up to this time.
All that has saved our written Constitution is the great wisdom of
its expounders: The Chief Justices, and Justices of the Supreme Court
ALL.B., (1893), George Washington University; (1919), Boston University;
LL.M. (1920), Boston University; Lecturer at Boston University School of Law
on Fundamentals of Law since 1917; Member of the Massachusetts and Fed-
eral Bars; Author: Brooks Adams-An Appreciation. 7 BOSTON UNIVERSITY
LAW REVIEW 107.
'Speaking of the framers of the Constitution: It was an aristocracy, and as such
it had inherited a concept of public duty, quite separate and distinct from the
universal concept of public interest. There were things that Washington simply
would not do, even to serve Washington. He saw the nation that he had helped
to set up, as something apart from and superior to himself, or to any other man in
it-as something deserving and demanding a high measure of devotion. Henry
L. Mencken, American Mercury (1927) xii-251.
'Brewer, J., in In re Debs, 158 U. S. 564, 591: Constitutional provisions do
not change but their operation extends to new matters, as the modes of business
and the habits of life of the people vary with each succeeding generation.Y

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