It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


What are the Powers / Limitations of Congress?

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:20 PM

The Constitution of the United States

How much power exactly does Congress have according to the Constitution for the united States? What are it's Limits?

The reason I pose these questions, is to remind others of uS Constitution so they have a starting point come Election time. Hopefully we can Choose the Canidates that are prepared to follow the Constitution to the letter and actually do their job once elected.

Article I - The Legislative Branch

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9 - Limits on Congress

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

(No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.)

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

I included Section 10 So the arguement for States rights can be clearly defined.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:21 PM

Bill of Rights

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Amendment 3 - Quartering of Soldiers. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.


Amendment 7 - Trial by Jury in Civil Cases. Ratified 12/15/1791.

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Amendment 8 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Amendment 9 - Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

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.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 07:57 PM
It is very importiant to point out that people will attempt to twist the words in this Document to suit their needs. Some even try to use the Defintion of the words as they are defined today.

This is a mistake. When a document is writen over 200 years ago comon sence would dictate that some of the words are no longer used or their meaning has with time.

For example: Take the word Gay it still means Happy but it can also be used to describe homosexuality. Could that have been envisioned 100 or 200 years ago? I think not.

The 2nd Amendment is probally one of the most interperted of all the bill of rights.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Lets break it down to demonstrate how its meaning and importance in keeping our republic.

"A well regulated Militia,"

What is a well regulated Militia?

From my reading of material from the colonial era, I have come to
understand that "well regulated militia" had a meaning at that time
(ca. 1789) in the nature of "a properly functioning militia" - which
would mean something along the lines of a properly trained and equipped militia (since it was common at that time for militiamen to bring their own firearms, with which they were already proficient.)

On the original meaning of the 2nd Amendment
Henry E. Schaffer

Militia can be best defined as:
American males between the ages of 17 and 45 are Militia.

"being necessary to the security of a free State"

With out The Ability for one to defend themselves, their Families and their property, how can we have a free state? Who is responsible for YOUR Security? Who can Protect the People from an overreaching government?

The Militia.

" the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Keep = Own
Bear = Carry

The rest has not changed.

Now when the 13 States agreed to have a Federal Government they Ceeded their ability to limit or infinge in any way on the core of basic rights.

State have no athority to regulate Firearms and neither does the Federal Government.

The right of the People to own and carry Firearms cannot be made un-lawful.

Rights come from God, Privlegles come from man. Never trade a right for a privlege.

We the people have a duty to keep our elected officials in compliance with the Constitution. This comes with a price tag though...

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.
Thomas Jefferson

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Ronald Reagan

Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.
Ronald Reagan

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
Abraham Lincoln

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
George Carlin

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Thomas Jefferson

We must not let our Republic vanish off the face of the Earth. We must Wake up ourselves and then others.

[edit on 19-5-2010 by SWCCFAN]

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 08:00 PM
reply to post by SWCCFAN

"How much power exactly does Congress have according to the Constitution for the united States? What are it's Limits?"

Exactly what you and I are willing to put up with before pulling the trigger.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 08:08 PM

Originally posted by TheComedian
reply to post by SWCCFAN

Exactly what you and I are willing to put up with before pulling the trigger.

Now that is the $64 Trillion Question now isn't it? That is one question I will not answer on here nor to any man. That is between me and God.

I pray that time never comes. If it does well .... may God have mercy as I will not.

I have all my God given rights still and no man has yet deprived me of them. If my lines are crossed I will react accordingly depending on the situation.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 08:24 PM
You may want to check out the classes I was doing on RATS on the Supreme Court's interpretation of the commerce clause. I tried to do a class tonight on Skunkworks, but it seems nobody wants to participate.

According to the Supreme Court's case law, Congress has fairly broad powers under the commerce clause to regulate all sorts of activities. Where the precise limit lies is a bit murky.

Here you will find links to four Supreme Court cases that discuss Congress' powers under the commerce clause.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 08:36 PM
reply to post by SWCCFAN

In the District of Columbia v. Heller the Supreme Court goes into graphic detail as to what the Second Amendment reads. This case is a perfect illustration of how the Supreme court can turn a few words of the constitution into voluminous case law.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 08:57 PM
In fairness to the SCOTUS regarding District of Columbia v. Heller, it is not the SCOTUS that is taking simple words and turning it into voluminous case law, but rather it was the radical differences in interpretation between government and the private individual that forced the Court to go into great detail regarding the 2nd Amendment. The government argued that the right to keep and bear arms is a collective right belonging to well regulated militias, and Heller argued that the 2nd Amendment speaks to an individuals right to keep and bear arms.

Because of this disparity in interpretation, The Court, with Justice Scalia rendering the opinion, goes into great detail to explain why the majority reached the decision they did and how that contrasted with the dissenting opinion. Thus, a ruling on the language itself became necessary, which involved referring to other Amendments that spoke directly to an individuals right, and of course, the historical context in which the 2nd Amendment was written, and even the historical context of the meaning of the word militias.

Had the government not taken such a radical view construed to disregard individual rights in favor of government regulation and force, then this particular ruling wouldn't even have been necessary. It is the job of the courts to use all that is available to them in order to render a verdict or ruling. The SCOTUS did so with D.C. v Heller, and the case law it involves is easy to read and clearly construed to favor the rights of individuals over force of government.

[edit on 19-5-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 09:11 PM
reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint

Fantastic Thank you!

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 09:21 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

How are you doing my good man?

The opinion is pretty lengthy and all it does is explain what a few words mean!

I would not hold my breath on this one, though. It was a 5-4 decision. Just wait until the SCOTUS begins to retreat a bit on its ruling and allow for distinctions and exceptions to the rule.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 09:28 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

You are absolutly correct there is no hidden meaning in the 2nd amendment.

The Second Amendment provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” In interpreting this text, we are guided by the principle that “[t]he Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases were used in their normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning.” United States v. Sprague, 282 U. S. 716, 731 (1931) ; see also Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 188 (1824). Normal meaning may of course include an idiomatic meaning, but it excludes secret or technical meanings that would not have been known to ordinary citizens in the founding generation.

No Government State or Federal can ban all firearms. However it seems they may go after the Ammunition.

I would have to say an outright ban on either would result in a revolution.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 09:30 PM
reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint

The bill of rights is clear enough that an 8th grader can have a full grasp of the rights they have. For any Court to attempt to alter its meaning via case law is Sedicious.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint

I am doing well, thank you for asking. I hope you and yours are well also.

The opinion is pretty lengthy and all it does is explain what a few words mean!

I understand it is a lengthy opinion, however it is so because there has been a lengthy debate on the matter. I do also believe, as you suggested because of its 5-4 ruling, that Justice Scalia was prescient enough to understand that this ruling could face further review, and for that reason, he felt compelled to make the strongest argument possible to construe the 2nd Amendment in favor of individual rights. I have no doubt that due to so many regulatory laws regarding the right to keep and bear arms, that this will remain a contentious issue.

When one reads the words of the Founders in an attempt to understand what they thought it meant, it could be argued, that since many of them felt the right to keep and bear arms was a necessary tool in keeping tyrannies at bay and our government in check, that the right to keep and park a harrier jet in ones back yard might exist as well, and even more terrifyingly, since our own government has imprudently developed WMD's, it might be argued that this is a fundamental right of the people as well.

The horrible thing about this issue, in my humble opinion, is the fallacious argument that collective rights are what is addressed by the 2nd Amendment. Collective rights can only exist in one of two ways. Either they exist because they are merely extensions of the inalienable rights of the individual belonging to that collective, or they are the "civil rights" granted by government. It is my firm belief, and based upon plenty of research that The Constitution for the United States of America, and to the best of my knowledge, all state constitutions, do not grant any rights, and merely enumerate certain inalienable rights existing inherently with the people.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 09:47 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

In my Understanding of the second amendment the word Arms was refering to small arms. Pistols, Rifles, Shot guns. Well called in to service for the Country larger arms would be issued. As during that time period it was impractical to own cannons and carry them every you went.

However I would love to have a fighter jet, but I know I would get myself in to trouble if I did have one.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 10:15 PM
reply to post by SWCCFAN

In their own words, here are some of the Founders views on the issue:

"Whereas civil-rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."

~Tench Coxe, in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution~

If the people hope to keep tyrannies at bay in today's modern world, perhaps more than small arms is necessary. Coxe made no distinction about what constitutes private arms.

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

~Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188~

Properly armed in today's modern world would suggest more than just small arms.

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. --

~Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28~

Again, no distinction is made about what constitutes arms, only that they are necessary to keep government in check.

"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms ... "

~Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Pierce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)~

"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."

~James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46~

"To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws."

~John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)~

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."

~Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787)~

Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."

~Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788~

"Whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it."

~Richard Henry Lee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788~

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."

~Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356~

"The right of the people to keep and bear ... arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country ..."

~James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789~

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."

~Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789~

" ... to disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

~George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380~

" ... but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights ..."

~Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29~

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"

~Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836~

"O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone ..."

~Patrick Henry, Elliot p. 3:50-53, in Virginia Ratifying Convention demanding a guarantee of the right to bear arms~

"The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them."

~Zacharia Johnson, delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention, Elliot, 3:645-6~

"The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally ... enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

~Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, p. 3:746-7, 1833~

* "And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress ... to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.... "

~Samuel Adams~

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 10:55 PM
reply to post by SWCCFAN

Courts may not necessarily be altering their meaning as much as they may be attempting to apply the bill of rights to numerous situations, many of which were not envisioned by the founding fathers.

For example, the 4th amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. In the modern era, courts have had to apply the 4th amendment to situations like wire taps, pin registries, and infra-red cameras. Courts do not have the luxury of throwing up their hands and refusing to decide a case because the 4th amendment says nothing about modern technology. They must apply the law, and in doing so, they develop precedent.

Another thing one sees in Constitutional law is that courts have to amplify a phrase. For example, the 5th amendment and 14th amendment both grant "due process." Courts have had to decide what exactly the Constitution means by due process and have apply the Constitution to numerous situations. This in turn, has lead to a robust case law defining what "due process" means.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:02 PM
reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint

Another thing one sees in Constitutional law is that courts have to amplify a phrase. For example, the 5th amendment and 14th amendment both grant "due process." Courts have had to decide what exactly the Constitution means by due process and have apply the Constitution to numerous situations. This in turn, has lead to a robust case law defining what "due process" means.

Where the 14th does arrogantly grant rights, the 5th Amendment does not and there is nothing at all in the language of the 5th Amendment that can be reasonably construed as granting any rights, and more appropriately the language can be construed as a prohibition, or at the very least, a limitation on government.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:15 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

If you do not wish to use the word "granting" that is fine by me. We can thing of Constitutional Provisions as enumerating or protecting various rights, for lack of a better term. If a citizen feels their right to free speech has been deprived by the government, they can go to court and cite the first amendment as a Constitutional basis for the right they feel is being deprived. If under some sort of natural law theory everyone has the divinely granted right to friggle-fraggle, they cannot cite a Constitutional provision which gives them the right to friggle-fraggle. The Constitution does not explicitly enumerate or protect the right to friggle-fraggle.

The Fifth amendment says no person shall be "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The 14th amendment says no State shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Courts read the 5th Amendment as the Constitutional provision which enumerates or protects the people from being deprived of due process by the Federal government. Courts read the 14th Amendment as enumerating or protecting the people from being deprived of due process from State governments.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:20 PM
reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint

If under some sort of natural law theory everyone has the divinely granted right to friggle-fraggle, they cannot cite a Constitutional provision which gives them the right to friggle-fraggle. The Constitution does not explicitly enumerate or protect the right to friggle-fraggle.

If frigggle-fraggling is not harming another soul, and someone, anyone declares that a right, then they have the 9th Amendment to rely upon, and even to some degree the 10th Amendment. The Founders were not idiots, and there was fierce opposition to the Bill of Rights precisely because of the argument you just made, which is exactly why the 9th Amendment exists. Unless you think the Founders thought it would be fun to enumerate certain rights they or no one else is really sure about. Just sort of like jokey pokey sort of fun house Amendment.

posted on May, 19 2010 @ 11:41 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Just because one declares something a "right" and is not harming a soul, it does not mean their "right" is protected by the constitution. If two consenting adults wish to exchange money for sexual favors, rather than gratuitously exchanging sexual favors, they are not harming a soul. This "right" to exchange sexual favors for money, is not constitutionally protected.

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in