To Protect American Interests : An Evaluation of Justice Sutherland's "Sole Organ" Doctrine
Kirchen, W. Calvin
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This paper attempts to explain Sutherland's controversial language by placing Curtiss-Wright in a deeper historical context. It will be broken into six sections. Section I revisits the beginning of Sutherland's political career to discuss the significance of his early adherence to a doctrine of inherent sovereignty and extra constitutional foreign affairs powers. In particular, the section shows how these theories naturally supported a centralized government in the realm of foreign affairs. Section II seeks to gauge Sutherland's political ideology regarding colonial acquisitions and the use of military force, providing a clear link between these developments and that of an expanded presidency. Section III examines the links between an expanded executive in foreign affairs and commercial expansion by comparing Sutherland's beliefs with the internationalist trade policies of presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and especially William Howard Taft. Section IV discusses the rise of progressivism within the Republican party, and how their critique of the internationalist prerogatives of the Republican establishment compared to Sutherland's beliefs. The goal of this section is to provide a framework for an eventual discussion of how the progressive surge frustrated Sutherland and his mainstream colleagues, and likely gave him reason to believe that expanded presidential powers were necessary to avoid costly political stagnation. Section V resembles the second in that it provides a link between Sutherland and President Warren G. Harding (and to a lesser extent Herbert Hoover and Charles Evans Hughes). Section VI briefly provides readers with the more immediate historical context surrounding Curtiss-Wright.