Editorial Note

At his press conference on July 1, President Eisenhower was asked to clarify his position on the Bricker Amendment in light of a statement Senator Knowland had made the previous day that the President might have changed his mind about the need for such an amendment. The President said that he had never changed his mind on this subject and that he had always stated his belief that no treaty could “circumvent or supersede” the Constitution. He explained further: [Page 1823]

“Now, I don’t believe it can now, but if there is any amendment necessary to make that simple statement, then such an amendment, if it would quiet fears anywhere in this whole country, would have my support.

“I will never agree to anything that interferes with the constitutional and traditional separation of powers between the departments, and the necessary coordination as specified by our Constitution. So you get into a matter of words and semantics.”

He also pointed out the Attorney General was working with certain Senators to see whether there was “any possible language that satisfies their viewpoint or the particular viewpoint as represented by Senator Bricker and, at the same time, acceptable to the administration.” The text of the President’s press conference is in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953, pages 469–470.