Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | August 12, 2009

The Constitution Is Dead

“The Constitution is dead” from Who Killed the Constitution by Thomas E. Woods Jr. and Kevin R.C. Gutzman.  Finished reading it today.  Pretty timely, when I see a youtube of a fellow challenging a Georgia Congressman on Federal Healthcare.  The fellow asks what is the Constitutional authority for government involvement in healthcare.  The Congressman mumbles about the Preamble with some difficulty.  The young man shoots back about the enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8 – and then is escorted out of the hall.  So much for free speech.

So, who killed the Constitution?  We did.  The Soveriegns of the American Nation created in the Declaration and established in the primary law of the Constitution.   We did it, because we didn’t insist that the three political branches of government – legislature, judiciary and executive – follow, support, reinforce, honor, submit, acknowledge, – the Constitution.

We did it.  We can fix it – but its going to be very, very hard to do.

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Responses

  1. Doesn’t the preamble to Article 1, Section 8 clearly state that the Congress is empowered to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States?

    That “general welfare” clause has been stretched to the point where Congress does indeed have the Constitutional authority (so interpreted) to pass a health care bill, no matter how socialist.

  2. Shaun: Your 2nd para is the point. There are a number of arguments why the preamble doesn’t make the 1787 document the gumby constitution.

    Woods and Gutzman do a great job in laying out why – and many precedents showing how and why – the preamble doesn’t make it constitutional.

    Congress has the authority for those who interpret it so. And it doesn’t for those who interpret it differently- and in my, Woods and Gutzman and others’ opinions – correctly.

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. The general welfare provision referred to the general welfare of the states, meaning when regulating trade between the states, what would be proper for all equally without bias toward one state over others.

    As for the Preamble, The Preamble of any Bill has always been a Declaration of Intent, meaning that it can be used to interpret what follows, and if it aligns with the intent of the preamble, the interpretation is probably accurate. This Preamble also limited amendments, which must follow all intents and purposes as directed in the Preamble. (Otherwise you’re repealing or revising the constitution, altogether seperate from the amending process.

    But you say it’s because we didn’t insist the three branches support, etc the Constitution, but on the contrary. All members of congress, state executive, legislative and judicial brances were to swear an oath to “Support this Constiution” which means all acts proposed by either the state or the federal legislators were to all be agreeable to the Constitution, otherwise it would have to be pronounced null or void by the courts. Nothing repugnant to the Constitution could become part of it, if it does, we’d know that the same forces that controlled the King of Britain, was likely to be in control here. (Not sure what that means really, but apparently related to the Central Bank of England.)


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