Congress and Repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment
Since submission to the states by the present Congress of a proposal for repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment seems improbable, this question is likely to be one of the first to engage the attention of the 73rd Congress at the special session now expected to convene in mid-April. The Blame resolution, favorably reported to the Senate by the Judiciary Committee, January 9, 1933, qualified repeal by reserving to Congress concurrent power to prohibit or regulate the saloon. It stipulated ratification by state legislatures rather than by the convention method favored in the 1932 platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties. The resolution in this form was opposed by the Democratic leaders of the House, who indicated that if it were adopted by the Senate, they would make no effort to bring it to a vote in the lower body at this session.
The Garner resolution, conforming with the Democratic platform demand for outright repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, which was taken up by the House on the first day of the current session, failed by six votes to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority. Favored by 168 Democrats, 103 Republicans, and one Farmer-Laborite, it was opposed by 44 Democrats and 100 Republicans. The latter group included 11 Democratic and 70 Republican “lame clucks.” Existence of large Democratic majorities in both houses of the new Congress furnishes ground for the contention that that body will adopt a repeal resolution in substantial agreement with Democratic pledges.
Consideration of Liquor Control Methods by the States
The prospect that the Eighteenth Amendment will be taken out of the Constitution in the comparatively near future has resulted in action by several states looking toward formulation of definite plans for regulation of the liquor traffic within their borders. Advisory commissions charged with such tasks have been appointed by the governors of Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Ohio, and the Rhode Island legislature has passed a bill providing for the creation of a similar body. Measures forbidding any future return of the saloon were approved by the people of three western states in referenda held at the November, 1932, election. In Michigan the voters approved an amendment to the state constitution authorizing establishment of a liquor control commission to have complete charge of the alcoholic beverage traffic within that state.