Poland, whatever the reason, is a powerfulnincentive to further national sovereigntynin neighboring Lithuania.nThe effect of the Polish model onnLithuania does not depend simply onnits proximity. There is a deep historicalnand cultural connection that goes backnto the 14th-century union of the twoncountries — making the second largestnnation in Europe — and the conversionnof Lithuania to the Catholic faith.nThe importance of a common faith isnreflected in the fact that St. Casimir isnregarded as the patron saint for whatnare now two separate countries —nLithuania and Poland.nAn estimated 70 percent of modernnday Lithuania is Catholic, and 80 percentnof its 3.6 million citizens arenethnic Lithuanians. Both Latvia andnEstonia, on the other hand, are historicallynLutheran, and nearly 50 percentnof their population is non-native. Thisnpast September it was announced thatnSoviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev willnmeet with Pope John Paul II in thenVatican while he visits Italy in latenNovember. This unprecedented visitnof an Eastern European pope willnreverberate throughout the world butnespecially among the Catholics ofnEastern Europe. Since he has agreednto receive the Soviet leader, the diplomaticnminuet would only be completednwhen the Pope reciprocates and visitsnthe Soviet Union. However, John PaulnII has insisted that he will visit only ifnthe Ukrainian Catholic Church is legalizednand he can visit his flock in thenUkraine and Lithuania. The impact ofnhis visit could be revolutionary.nIn the midst of these religious developments,nthe leaders of the popularnpolitical movements in the Baltic nationsnhave issued statements calling onnthe United Nations and the Conferencenon Security and Cooperation innEurope to assist them in becomingnindependent. The legal claim of thenBaits, or any other of the 15 SovietnRepublics for that matter, for the rightnof secession is supported in article 72nof the Soviet Constitution. Westernnlegal recognition of the sovereignty ofneach of the Baltic nations lends further,nif marginal, force to their assertion ofnindependence.nIf Gorbachev allows the Pope tonvisit, which seems likely, look to Lithuanianfirst to see if the Soviet Empirenwill begin its transition to a SovietnCommonwealth of independent sovereignnnations.n— Michael Wardern”IMPERIAL CONGRESS” —nmany in the conservative movementnare denouncing it these days. From allnover the right, we hear worries aboutnslipping presidential prerogatives, orndenunciations of Congress’s “meddling”nin foreign policy.nBut I would argue that it is thenImperial Presidency that threatens ournfreedom. Too often. Congress simplynlays down in front of the executivensteamroller. When it attempts to recoverna crumb or two of its constitutionalnprerogatives — as with the WarnPowers Act or the Boland Amendmentn— it is condemned for treading onn”presidential” territory.nSome conservatives — who on otherndays pooh-pooh Reagan-Bush budgetndeficits as meaningless — even make ancause out of the size of Congress’snbudget, which totals .08 percent ofnfederal outlays. Of course Congress’snbudget should be cut — all of Washingtonnneeds a meat axe taken to it.nBut in a city of executive-branch sinkholesnlike HUD, Congress is hardly thenplace to start. Given the gargantuanngovernment we have — which also violatesnthe Constitution, of course — it isnin the taxpayers’ interest for Congressnto have sufficient stafl^, if only to throwna few roadblocks in the way of thenexecutive behemoth. We should alsonremember that all the congressionalnstaffs put together wouldn’t fill onenbureau in HHS.nThe Founders, steeped in the Englishnparliamentary tradition, knew thatnliberty is threatened by kings and dictators,nnot legislators. They saw the progressnof representative government asnthe wrestling of power from the executive.nThat’s why they wrote thenConstitution as they did.nArticle I vests “all [all] legislativenpower” in the preeminent branch ofngovernment, Congress. Congressnalone has power to raise and spendntaxes, borrow, regulate commerce,ncoin money, declare war, create federalncourts and determine their jurisdiction,nand establish the armed forces.nArticle II admonishes the Presidentnto carry out the laws passed by Congress.nHe may veto those laws, but hisnnnveto can be overridden by Congress,nthe final authority. The President maynalso recommend legislation, but as NationalnReview co-founder Frank Meyernwrote 25 years ago, “Recommendnmeans recommend, not demand, notnpressure, not go to the people to arousendemagogic pressures against the Congress.”nThe President is named commander-in-chiefnof the armed forces; henmay appoint ambassadors and judges,nbut only with the consent of the Senate;nand he may negotiate treaties, butnagain only with the consent of thenSenate. There is no mention of foreignnpolicy as a presidential entiflement. Hisnrole as head of the armed forces has anforeign policy dimension only whennCongress has declared war (the Foundersnnot having envisioned Uncle Samnas global gendarme).nArticle III shows that the Foundersnintended the judiciary, despite WarrennCourt imperialism, to be the “leastequal”nbranch. Not only does thenConstitution allow Congress to establishn(or abolish) all federal courts asidenfrom the Supreme Court, Congressncan also — except in certain narrownareas such as lawsuits between states —ndetermine the jurisdiction of the federalncourts, including the SupremenCourt.nFor example. Congress could, bynsimple majority vote, take abortionncases out of the hands of the SupremenCourt and other federal courts, andnleave this question to the states. Thatnsuch a simple and Constitutional solutionnto Roe v. Wade occurs to no one isnample proof of a shriveled Congressnand a swollen executive and judiciary.nTo argue that the Framers intendednCongress to be the paramount branchnof government is not to defend ournpresent representatives and senators.nWith pitifully few exceptions, today’snmembers of Congress represent a sortnof reverse evolution from 1789. Humansnhave turned into monkeys, albeitnwith law degrees. Nonetheless, Congressnremains the branch of governmentnclosest to the people. As itsnretreat on the pay raise showed, it cannbe influenced. A whiff of popular oppositionnmakes the members sit up andntake notice. A hint of possible defeatnwill make them do anything, even thenright thing.nThe Armand Hammers of the woridnJANUARY 1990/7n