Twenty, Six and Eleven. Powers Granted Under the Constitution


By Richard H. Frank

Given the powers enumerated in Articles I, II and III of the Constitution, adopted to severely limit the authority of the Federal Government,  how can the Congress, the President and the Supreme Court justify much of the legislation that has become law over the past 40 years?

Congress would have us believe that the commerce clause and providing for the general welfare gives them blanket authority to legislate whatever they deem appropriate. This is contrary to the intent of the Founders and is explicit in the Tenth Amendment.  Over the past 40 years Congress and the Executive Branch of our government have exceeded their authority granted under the Constitution. Much of the social legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in recent decades is not the province of the Federal government but should have resided with the States. The same is true of the pending Health Care Bill working its way through Congress today and should be challenged on the basis of being non-constitutional.

 Tests for legislation being constitutional needs to be applied to bank bailouts, takeover of the auto Industry, economic stimulus and all other social programs leading to redistribution or leveling as defined by the Founders. The Founders warned against the “welfare state” and Jefferson wrote,” If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.” Jefferson also warned against deficit spending and stated it was immoral for one generation to pass on the results of its extravagance in the form of debt to the next generation.

The Founders had no crystal ball enabling them to foretell the future but relied upon history when analyzing the successes and failures of other forms of governments. They did everything they felt possible to write a constitution in a manner to protect the people from government taking them toward socialism or communism. However, government has moved away from the basic principles that the Constitution was built upon and today we find we are faced with the very problems the Founders warned against.

The creation of federal agencies allowed imposing regulations and restrictions, issuance of Presidential executive orders, all without constitutional authority, have become accepted practices as having the force of Law. Precedent must not replace the Constitution. We must assure that our elected representatives adhere to the principles of the constitution which they are sworn to preserve, protect and defend. Should they not uphold these principles we must either recall them or vote them out of office.

The Tenth Amendment is clear in stating,” The powers not delegated to the United States (Federal Government) by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”.  We must return the balance of power enumerated in the Constitution to the States by repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment and again allow the State legislatures to appoint senate representatives. No longer should the Federal Government be allowed to bypass the states in disregard of the constitution when passing legislation. The States are sovereign republics under the Constitution and must retain the power to check an oppressive Central (Federal) Government.

One Response

  1. I wholeheartedly agree, but how in Heaven’s name are we to get our reps to listen? The media won’t cover anything that smacks of conservatism. All the faxes & emails get read by some dweeb if they’re read at all. The form letters I get back are a joke.
    I fear that if next Nov’s elections don’t radically change/reverse the path we’re on there might be another revolution.
    As a believer, I pray for Christ to step out on that cloud and call us home. But if not………
    Keep your powder dry.

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