Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a constant state of
national emergency. See Senate Report 93-549 (1973), which states:
"Since March 9, 1933,
the United States has been in a state of national emergency. A
majority of the people of the United States have lived their lives under
emergency rule. For 40 years freedoms and government procedure,
guaranteed by the constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by
laws brought forth by states of national emergency..."
"These hundreds of
statutes delegate to the President extraordinary powers, ordinarily
exercised by Congress, which affect the lives of American Citizens in a
host of all-encompassing manners. This vast range of powers, taken
together, confer enough authority to rule this country without reference
to normal constitutional procedures."
"Under the powers
delegated by these statutes the President may: Seize property,
organize and control the means of production; seize commodities [ie. the
People's gold, silver and currency], assign military forces abroad;
institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and
communication; regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict
travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all
Because we have been in a state of national emergency from before most
of you were born, you need to understand how the political and legal
system operates under that state of emergency. This book by William
E. Birkhimer, written 1914 provides the most complete coverage we have
seen of the workings of civil governments during armed conflicts and when
martial law has been imposed to give you a taste of what emergency rule is
all about and how to deal with it from a legal perspective. It
provides a lot of authoritative examples and case studies from throughout
history to make the treatment very practical.
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