The Congress: The Duty to Defy

None of the other legislative aims outlined in President Johnson's State of the Union message drew such enthusiastic applause from Congress as his proposal to amend the Constitution so as to give Representatives four-year terms. While formidable opposition was expected in the Senate, most thought that the House would approve quadrennial elections. Last week, in hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, it was clear that the Representatives had had second thoughts.

At issue, of course, is the proper balance between the President and the Congress—a constitutional question as old as the Republic. In testimony before the committee, Attorney General Nicholas...

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