Sunday, May 10, 2009

Enumerated Powers Series

Over the next several weeks, I am going to analyze each of the powers granted to the US Federal Government as enumerated in the US Constitution. Each enumerated power will have its own article, and I will index it by the keywords "enumerated powers" for future reference. I will review the powers granted to all of the branches of government: Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution -- The powers granted to congress, Article II, Section 2 -- The powers of the president, and Article III, Section 2 -- The powers of the judiciary.

It should be all too obvious from reading the Constitution that the US Federal Government should be strictly limited to the enumerated powers, but politicians always want more power. Once the government has exceeded the enumerated powers, special interests then encourage the government to do more to favor them. It's all downhill from there. It takes a lot of work and vigilance to keep our government constrained to the constitutionally enumerated powers.

There are those who would suggest that the enumerated powers are too restrictive. That the Constitution is a "living document", and that it doesn't mean now what it meant when We the People ratified it 230 years ago. That argument should insult your intelligence! If it is to mean anything, it has to mean now what it meant then. Imagine your reaction if your landlord or your credit card company announced that your contract is a "living document", and that it means whatever they want it to mean. Imagine their reaction if you made the same announcement. Contracts have, and must have, very specific legal meanings, or they are useless. The same is true of the Constitution. If the Constitution is obsolete, then we must renegotiate it through the amendment process.

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