The Constitution is full of no's. It is by telling the government what it cannot do that the Constitution protects our freedoms. The Founders loathed tyranny and sought to erect a government ruled by law, not people. As Thomas Paine wrote in Common Sense, "in America the law is king."This is what the largest problem is today...liberals desire that the government should exceed the authority given it by the Constitution, and believe that the government can take better care of you and your children than you, yourself can...
The First Amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" or abridging freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or the right to assemble and petition government. Americans are allowed to keep and bear arms because the Bill of Rights says that this right "shall not be infringed." It also says no to unreasonable search and seizure, and to cruel and unusual punishment. The Fifth Amendment says that the government cannot deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process, and that private property cannot be taken without just compensation. The Eighth Amendment says no to excessive bail and fines, and the Tenth Amendment says powers not explicitly given to the federal government in the Constitution go to the states or the people. The Bill of Rights says no to the federal government over and over again.
Using the Constitution's amendment-making process, Americans have added even more no's over the years: The 13th Amendment says no to slavery; the 15th and 19th Amendments say no one can be denied the right to vote based on race or sex.
Every clause of Article 1, Section 9, which is all about the limits on Congress, contains the words "no" or "shall not."
There's one "no" in particular that Congress should have paid attention to in the fall of 2008, when the banking crisis reared its ugly head: "No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law." That means only Congress can appropriate money to be spent.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Here's an excerpt of an article by Jim DeMint, Senator from South Carolina. It makes an important point that Democrats often forget. The US Constitution is all about LIMITS to federal power. It sharply delineates what the government can do, but more importantly, in the Bill of Rights, what it CAN'T do...