The first ten amendments were proposed and adopted largely because of fear that Government might unduly interfere with prized individual liberties. The people wanted and demanded a Bill of Rights written into their Constitution. The amendments embodying the Bill of Rights were intended to curb all branches of the Federal Government in the fields touched by the amendments — Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
Altering the Constitution has become the daily business of the Federal Government which the document is supposed to guide and limit. Both Congress and the judiciary assume, and exercise, countless powers they aren’t entitled to.
The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.
I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people’ (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any definition.
Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.
Under our Constitution, the federal government has delegated, enumerated and thus limited powers. Power is delegated by the founding generation or through subsequent amendment (that makes it legitimate); enumerated in the constitution (that makes it legal); and limited by that enumeration. As the 10th Amendment says, if a power hasn’t been delegated, the federal government doesn’t have it.
Continue reading “The growth of the General Welfare and Commerce clauses”
I want a government small enough to fit inside the Constitution.
Under this Constitution … the states, respectively protected by the National Government under a mild, parental system against foreign dangers, and enjoying within their separate spheres, by a wise partition of power … It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and a usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin.
Here is the basic problem for transnational progressives: If the U.S. Constitution remains vital, their ultimate goal of global governance is unattainable.
Constitutions are checks upon the hasty action of the majority. They are the self-imposed restraints of a whole people upon a majority of them to secure sober action and a respect for the rights of the minority.