Soldier gives a brief Constitutional Lesson

[HT: HotAir]

At an ObamaCare town hall meeting in St Louis, a young Army soldier gave a brief but spot-on lesson on constitutional grants (and limits) of power.  Watch the video:

I know that all of the powers for the legislative branch of government are confined in Article 1, Section 8.

Completely correct, with the exception of the fact that subsequent amendments do indeed grant additional powers to the legistative branch.  I try to make this same point when I am arguing with statists on this subject.  The soldier points out that many statists will fall back on a rather lame argument that the “General Welfare” clause grants them more powers but he points out that the founding fathers made it clear that that clause only applied within the constraints of the enumerated powers defined in Article 1, Section 8. 

Politicians try to turn the constitution into some giant elastic document

That is the basic approach of the Left, isn’t it?

One other point that I would like to make involves an appeal to common sense.  Please take a moment to go look at Article 1, Section 8 at this link.  Don’t worry, the list of allowed powers is a lot shorter than you think.  Take a look at that very specific list of powers.   Now here comes the common sense part: why would the founding fathers make such a concise and specific list if they also meant and anything else that you think needs to get done?  Seriously, why would they grant the power to coin money and build post offices and maintain a Navy unless they specifically meant to limit the legislative branch to just those (and a few other enumerated) powers?

What you will find is that some dishonest people will try to selectively quote the last line from Article 1, Section 8 in order to throw up a smokescreen.  They will tell you that it also says that they can “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper…” but they stop there.  They intentionally do not finish that sentence because it continues “for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers”, which means that those necessary and proper laws still have to pertain to the enumerated list of powers.

Underscoring this entire philosophy is the tenth amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The tenth amendment says that if something is not a specifically delegated power then it is unconstitutional, i.e. illegal.  I submit that a significant majority of the federal budget is blatantly unconstitutional and that both parties are guilty.


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