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  •  But the 10th amendment (0+ / 0-)

    doesn't actually say what you claim that it says. Nowhere is the word "specifically", "expressly" or "explicitely" or one similar to them in it, which destroys the enumerated powers interpretation. The idea that the constitution limited federal powers to only the ones literally mentioned in it is simply absurd, and I never understood people who claim otherwise. It would have been a dead letter had it been so constricted.

    Are you saying that the National Banks, Railroad Act, Homestead Act, Federal Reserve, Social Security, Air Force, Interstate Highway System, etc., are all unconstitutional? Never mind the insanity of each state building its own equivalent system and somehow coordinating it with the other states. The whole point of the constitution was to give the federal government enough powers to make it viable, which it wasn't under the Articles of Confederation. This was how the framers saw it at the time, as evidenced by their correspondence, diaries and other writings, and this is how SCOTUS has interpreted it over the centuries, e.g. McCullough v. Maryland. I.e. "Implied Powers".

    I'm not saying the the federal government has unlimited powers, or the power to regulate and involve itself with purely local matters. It does not. But in matters that clearly pertain to interstate commerce or national defense, it certainly has the power to do so, as per Article I, Section 8. And they're not just the powers specifically granted in it, e.g. creating an Army and Navy and maintaining the Post Roads, but ones that naturally derive from general powers stated in it, e.g. "common defense" and "general welfare". The framers didn't intend for the government's powers to be unlimited, but they also clearly didn't intend for the its powers to be limited to only those explicitely granted. Figuring out what the actual limits are, is the job of SCOTUS.

    It's one thing to claim that many of the government's powers represent bad policy. It's another thing entirely to claim that many of its powers are unconstitutional.

    Sorry, but Paul, Scalia, et al, are quite wrong on this.

    I do agree with his stance on our current wars and national security policy, though, on both policy and constitutional grounds. Unlike some of the policies that he views as unconstitutional, but which are not, e.g. Federal Reserve, Social Security, because they derive from government's general powers and are nowhere prohibited by the constitution, policies like warrantless wiretaps and indefinite detention are clearly unconstitutional, because they're prohibited by the constitution, e.g. 4th Amendment.

    But as for the 10th Amendment, if it really meant what you believe it meant, the US would not be a viable country, and would long ago have split along regional lines.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 06:13:46 AM PDT

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    •  It's a matter of how it's interpreted I guess. (1+ / 0-)
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      Thanks to the loopholes interpreted under the commerce clause apparently the Federal government has no limits.  If the Feds can bust sick people for growing a pot plant on their windowsill for personal use, in accordance with state law, then I guess the 10th amendment really is meaningless. Most of what the Federal government does these days is unconstitutional IMHO, it's just a piece of paper sitting in a museum in DC.

      "The more laws, the less justice."

      by Denverlibertarian on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 06:46:02 AM PDT

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      •  Well I'll agree with you (0+ / 0-)

        that the constitution doesn't give the federal government essentially unlimited powers, both because its core granted powers don't imply or allow ANY power, and because its restrictions clearly limit the powers that it does have.

        E.g. the terrorist assassination program is clearly unconstitutional, because it lacks due process, not to mention seriously bad policy.

        Also, the so-called "originalists", "strict constructionists" and anti-activists on SCOTUS lost any credibility as such in rulings like Bush v. Gore, Lawrence v. Texas and Seattle Schools. They basically vote for or against any ruling based on intended outcomes, not consistent principles. There are very few federal judges today who are genuine 10th Amendment "originalists", and those who claim to be ones are usually liars.

        "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

        by kovie on Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 07:07:23 AM PDT

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