CONSTITUTION: a Government of Enumerated and Delegated Powers

“The government of the United States can claim no powers which are not granted to it by the Constitution, and the powers actually granted must be such as are expressly given or given by necessary implication.”  Martin v. Hunter, (1816) 1 Wheat, (U.S.) 326.

–Chief Justice John Marshall

17 thoughts on “CONSTITUTION: a Government of Enumerated and Delegated Powers

  1. And therein lies the crux of the problem. The Constitution has been thrown out the window, the branches of govt. seem to have a life of their own, and we watch American Idol as Rome burns.

    Texas, what is the title of that post you did on the Constitution? Or is you can’t remember; what are the search words? (Kinda wanted to post that one at another site.)

    • Thanks. I’m going to have to hunt for the post I was thinking on; I’ll know it when I see it. I really wish I had a brain that could store information like a computer……I suppose I just wasn’t wired that way. Hmmm…let’s see… I’m a flippin genius!! (In my own mind, which is fine by me.) I will say that your gravatar only brought me to a picture of your gravatar. Did I break something? You know, it’s really a shame you’re not using your mug as you are very easy on the eyes……jes sayin….

    • Texas,

      Marshall is ( was) a slippery Slope………… Article 1 Section 8 defines the Powers of Congress ……and….. Article 3 Sec 1 & 2 define the Judiciary. The Judiciary was To adjudicate NOT to Legislate …. the Supreme Court was never supposed to have authority over Legislation…(the purvew of Congress).

      What has happened (starting with Marshall) is that by a slow and meticulus process BOTH the powers of Government and of the Supreme Court became larger and basically UN-Constitutional………The SC first used “implication” within the Constitution…then it morphed into “Interpretation” which further morphed into the SC having the Ultimate “Authoritative” decision making ability to descern what IS and IS NOT Constiturtionally Legal.

      But this is most assuredly NOT what the Founders envisioned nor wrote in the Comstitution. We have a situation today where The SC “rules” based on Legal Precidents…..which are nothing more than a huge body of Decisions and Opinions of PRIOR SC justices………In other words the Power to adjudicate was morphed into the power to Legislate based on the SELF-assumed power of a Few SC justices and all subsequent descisions have been based on this collected body of OTHER SC decisions. When in fact the power to decide on the Constitutionality of Legislation etc was NEVER intended to lie with a set of Politically appointed people.

      Further, He set up the argument that in fact there are “implied” powers to the government in the Constitution that allows the Government to do what it wants……..thus from the quote :..”the powers actually granted must be such as are expressly given ………or given by necessary implication.” .

      And therein lies the slippery Slope……in a Kind of..” One hand Giveth and the other Hand taketh away..” strategy, he leaves open the door a crack for what has become over time an “interpretation” of Governmental powers being Plenary instead of Enumerated.

      What the Supreme Court has become is both a symptom of and an office of Extra-Constitutional power.

    • Aurora,
      No, you are not missing anything. The Constitution is clear. Purposely so, as I have explained in my other “constitution”posts.

      Print the Constitution from the US Archives. Read it. I have given guidance in my other Constitution posts on how to read our Constituion in manageable “bites”.

      Those who claim, the Constitution’s plain language does not mean what it says, are plainly wrong. Just because one says, “black = white” or “night = day”; doesn’t make it so.

      Reason and common sense.

        • aurora,

          Could you clear that up for me, please? Because, last time I checked my logic book, if it is not A, then — by definition — it is not A. So I want to make sure I didn’t miss something here.

          • No, it really is that clear. It’s a quote from Francis Shaeffer’s Escape from Reason. In it he explains that post-modern thinkers keep insisting that what is black can also be white, what is up can also be down, but that’s a logical fallacy. A cannot be non-A. It is impossible to hold two equal and opposite positions at the same time. People who insist that you can do that are in fact denying reality which makes them sound delusional.

                • Aurora,

                  When I first read your original comment, I wasn’t sure if you meant what you meant, or whether you were trying to say that just because something is not A, that doesn’t mean it HAS to be “not-A.” I know that sounds obvious now, but we deal with some wacky thinking in our modern world and I was just trying to make sure no one had slipped some Lefty wacko juice into your coffee 😉

            • Ok ….. so…like …2+2 Does NOT equal 5 ??

              It’s close though right ? ….. so who am I to judge….4…5 …kinda similar, only off by 1.

                • But we’re not supposed to Judge Aurora….cultural relativism and all that….

                  Besides Math is just a Cultural artifice “Stolen” from the mohameddans ( who first stole it from the Greeks, Egyptians and Hindus….but who’s counting)…….uhmm stolen from the worshippers of mohamedd and used to make other NON-western cultures feel bad… ;- ) .

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