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Please begin with an informative title:

I'm interested in starting a series related to what The Constitution and the Bill of Rights actually mean. If there's interest, I'll continue it.

Where to begin? At the beginning, I guess.

Follow me beyond the orange croissant.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Please bear in mind, my intention is to lead/begin a discussion, not to "teach" anyone, about what The Constition acually says. Although I work in a legal profession, I am not a lawyer. No matter how much of a heinous hack a member of the SCOTUS is (Alito), my opinion matters less than his/hers. I definitely do not have the last word on interpretation of The Constitution (nor does the POTUS). I'm pretty good at interpreting the law, but NO ONE is perfect at it. So please make comments that are less "authoritative" and more along the lines of "this is the way I see it."

Real, actual lawyers, please weigh in.

Feedback will be critical to the success/failure of this series.

OK, let's go...

The preamble to The Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
What do YOU think this means?

Briefly, my interpretation is this:

Preambles to laws state the intent of the law, and don't necessarily state the law, itself.

"We the people of the United States" is a reference to "we're not British" more than any affirmation that the founding fathers were 100% unified on every issue.

"in Order to form a more perfect Union" doesn't mean "in Order to form a perfect Union". Writing amendments to the constitution is clearly in view.

"establish Justice"; form a legal system for a new country. Duh.

"insure domestic Tranquility"; have a recourse in case the states sqabble, give the citizens a state of mind that we're able to pursue our lives.

"provide for the common defence"; basically, the Fed is able to organize our military if we're threatened.

"promote the general Welfare"; OK this one's contentious. What do YOU think this means? My opinion is that, inter alia this means that ownership of slaves was acceptable at the time of ratification. IOW, if you're a citizen, the Federal Government has the power to "promote" your largess. But, I'm totally open to other interpretations. For example, this could be the passage that supports the CDC, where the Fed is to be relied upon for stamping out epidemics. I'd REALLY like to hear what you have to say about this portion of the preamble.

"do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America"; "we're signing this thing. Bring it on, Britain!

Let the games commence. BUt please, let's be good to each other. The goal isn't to start a pie-fight, it's to better EVERYONE'S understanding of what our country is, or should be, all about.

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