1
   

Senator Frist: an enemy of our written Constitution?

 
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 04:34 pm
JWK:

You have repeatedly failed despite several inquiries to explain your use of "ACRS" or "American Constitutional Research Service" after your signature.

Are you attempting to portray yourself as an expert or an authority (legitimate or otherwise) on the subject matter being discussed? If not, what is your purpose in identifying yourself as affiliated with "ACRS" or as the "founder" of "ACRS?" What is the mission of "ACRS?" Did you create "ACRS" as a bona fide service? or as a fictitious entity to lend credibility to your articles?

It's bewildering and several of us want to know why you sign "ACRS" after your name.

I guess Brandon, a member who expresses his personal opinion on the morality of a lot of issues, could create a fictitious entity known as the "AMRS" or the "American Morality Research Service," write articles and commence threads stating his opinions on morality and throw in some quotes of dead Americans, and sign all of his writings: Brandon9000, AMRS.

It would be odd; it would give me the impression that he was trying to portray himself as an expert or authority on morality . . . but I think it would be a false impression. :wink:

So, what's the deal with your use of "ACRS?"
0 Replies
 
john w k
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 05:21 pm
Debra_Law wrote:
Please provide United States Supreme Court authority that conclusively supports your position that the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research.


Never said "...the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research" That is an insinuation you made up, just as you always make things up about what I write.

For what I really wrote and my thoughts concerning the issue see my post to Brandon

But, in general, the founding fathers agreed free enterprise to be the best depository in the advancement of science, and intentionally sought to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts by granting a limited power to Congress to protect the work of authors and inventors by issuing patents and copyrights!

Madison's Notes on the convention of 1787 reveals that Charles Pinckney, on August 18th during the federal convention, proposed a power to be vested in Congress "To establish seminaries for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences", but this proposal, as many other proposals, was rejected by the Convention, and the only power agreed upon by the Framers and Ratifiers relating to the advancement of science, was the limited power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". How? "... by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." See Art.1, Sec. 8. U.S.Constitution

JWK
American Constitutional Research Service

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. ... The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State." [/b]Federalist Paper No. 45
0 Replies
 
john w k
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 05:41 pm
goodfielder wrote:
thanks john w k - I understand it more now. So to understand the Constitution it's necessary to read it as it was when it was written. I imagine that the various amendments have also to be read when they were written as well?


To answer your question, Jefferson sums it up as follows:

"On every question of construction [of the Constitution], let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."--Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322.

Also see:

"If the Constitution was ratified under the belief, sedulously propagated on all sides, that such protection was afforded, would it not now be a fraud upon the whole people to give a different construction to its powers?" Justice Story commentaries


When you hear the phrase "activist judges", it generally refers to judges in robes without their hoods who use their position of public trust to make the constitution mean whatever they want it to mean, in spite of what the framers and ratifiers intended and is recorded in the historical records during which time our Constitution was framed and ratified, and by doing so, these activist judges impose their personal predilections and fancies as being the rule of law___ a practice perfected by the House of Lords in England during the 1600’s.


Regards,

JWK
ACRS
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 06:26 pm
john w k wrote:
Debra_Law wrote:
Please provide United States Supreme Court authority that conclusively supports your position that the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research.


Never said "...the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research" That is an insinuation you made up, just as you always make things up about what I write.


It is not my fault that you do not share a common understanding of the English language that the rest of us have. Apparently, your inability to convey your "real" message--which you appear twist and turn when you're doing your evasion maneuver--makes a rational discussion impossible.

Here's what you said:

JWK wrote:
“July 18, 2001—Nashville, TN: Tennessee Senator Bill Frist today announced his support for embryo stem cell research, including tax payer funding of the destructive practice.”

Senator Frist supports using the force of government to finance stem cell research?

And by what constitutional authority does Senator Frist rely upon to use the force of government in such a manner?


If it is now your position that the Constitution allows (rather than prohibits) Congress to fund scientific research, what is your real complaint? If Frist is supporting a constitutional (as opposed to unconstitutional) bill to fund scientific research, why do you label Frist as an enemy of the written constitution?


Quote:
But, in general, the founding fathers agreed free enterprise to be the best depository in the advancement of science, and intentionally sought to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts by granting a limited power to Congress to protect the work of authors and inventors by issuing patents and copyrights!


So what? If you're not claiming that the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research, why are you labeling Frist as an enemy of the written constitution?


Quote:
Madison's Notes on the convention of 1787 reveals that Charles Pinckney, on August 18th during the federal convention, proposed a power to be vested in Congress "To establish seminaries for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences", but this proposal, as many other proposals, was rejected by the Convention, and the only power agreed upon by the Framers and Ratifiers relating to the advancement of science, was the limited power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". How? "... by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." See Art.1, Sec. 8. U.S.Constitution

JWK
American Constitutional Research Service


So what? What does Charles Pinckney's alleged views on copyrights and patents have to do with governmental funding of scientific research? And, what difference does it make anyway? If you're not claiming that the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research, why are you labeling Frist as an enemy of the written constitution?


Here is what Hamilton said Federalist No. 78:

Quote:
The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated.


http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_78.html

Congress commands the purse! Are you now going to argue against Hamilton and the Federalist Papers?
0 Replies
 
tommrr
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 08:46 pm
So if someone thinks the gov't should not fund research for stem cells, would the same line of thinking apply to them funding cancer research, AIDS research, arthritis or any other type of scientific research? To me, finding out what progress we can make in science is promoting the general welfare of the citizens. Just my opinion.
0 Replies
 
john w k
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 08:55 pm
Debra_Law wrote:

Please provide United States Supreme Court authority that conclusively supports your position that the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research.


john w k wrote:

Never said "...the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research" That is an insinuation you made up, just as you always make things up about what I write.


Debra_Law wrote:

It is not my fault that you do not share a common understanding of the English language that the rest of us have. Apparently, your inability to convey your "real" message--which you appear twist and turn when you're doing your evasion maneuver--makes a rational discussion impossible.


Once again Debra provides nothing to support her made up assertion that my position is “…the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research.“ Her rebuttal is groundless and based upon innuendo, assertions and unsubstantiated conclusions drawn from what I wrote in the thread which are alleged to substantiate that my position is “the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research”. But note the absoluteness of the statement made by Debra portraying my alleged position.

Now, as to what my feelings really are in this matter, surprisingly they are to be found in this very thread in my post to Brandon, which Debra conveniently ignores in order to perpetuate her mischaracterizations concerning what my position really is.

Quote:

John wrote to Brandon

This brings us to the question of federal funding for NASA. An argument can be forcefully made that the founders, having knowingly and intentionally delegating power to Congress to raise and support Armies, and to provide and support a Navy, etc., the framers and ratifiers, without question, intended that Congress ought to have sufficient authority and powers in the area of national defense. I would imagine that if Congress’ funding of NASA was indeed restricted to those specific areas which are without question essential to our national defense, the framers and ratifiers would have had no objection to such funding. So, to remark on your conclusion that NASA must be abolished, I do not know if that statement would be constitutionally applicable across the board



Come now Debra, how about an apology?


JWK
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 09:05 pm
john w k wrote:
Debra_Law wrote:

Once again Debra provides nothing to support her made up assertion that my position is "Â…the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research."

JWK


Oh, give it up, JWK. Read your title to this thread, and just give up.
0 Replies
 
john w k
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 09:13 pm
JWK wrote:

Quote:
Madison's Notes on the convention of 1787 reveals that Charles Pinckney, on August 18th during the federal convention, proposed a power to be vested in Congress "To establish seminaries for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences", but this proposal, as many other proposals, was rejected by the Convention, and the only power agreed upon by the Framers and Ratifiers relating to the advancement of science, was the limited power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". How? "... by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." See Art.1, Sec. 8. U.S.Constitution

JWK
American Constitutional Research Service


Debra Responds:

So what? What does Charles Pinckney's alleged views on copyrights and patents have to do with governmental funding of scientific research? And, what difference does it make anyway? If you're not claiming that the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research, why are you labeling Frist as an enemy of the written constitution?


Here is what Hamilton said Federalist No. 78:

Quote:
The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated.


http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_78.html

Congress commands the purse! Are you now going to argue against Hamilton and the Federalist Papers?


ANSWER

But Debra my dear, I seen nothing in your quote from Hamilton which appears in Federalist Paper 78, to remotely suggest Congress is authorized to spend money from that ‘purse” on whatever objects it so desires. I guess no such indication appears because Hamilton forcefully states the following observation in Federalist 83, in reference to the general welfare clause, "...the power of Congress...shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd as well as useless if a general authority was intended..."

Hamilton’s words in Federalist No. 83 are also in harmony with that of Jefferson:

"Our tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only landmark that divides the Federalists from the Republicans, that Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant they should provided for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently that the specification of power is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money." (letter from Jefferson to Gallatin, June 16th, 1817)

And Madison, in No. 41 Federalist, explaining the meaning of the general welfare clause to gain the approval of the proposed constitution, states the following:

"It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes...to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and the general welfare of the United States amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor [the anti federalists] for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction...But what color can this objection have, when a specification of the object alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not ever separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?...For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power...But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning...is an absurdity."

Likewise, in the Virginia ratification Convention Madison explains the general welfare phrase in the following manner so as to gain ratification of the constitution:

"the powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction."[3 Elliots 95] [also see Nicholas, 3 Elliot 443 regarding the general welfare clause, which he pointed out "was united, not to the general power of legislation, but to the particular power of laying and collecting taxes...."]
Likewise, George Mason, in the Virginia ratification Convention informs the convention
"The Congress should have power to provide for the general welfare of the Union, I grant. But I wish a clause in the Constitution, with respect to all powers which are not granted, that they are retained by the states. Otherwise the power of providing for the general welfare may be perverted to its destruction.".[3 Elliots 442]

For this very reason the Tenth Amendment was quickly ratified, to intentionally put to rest any question whatsoever regarding the general welfare clause and thereby cut off the pretext to allow Congress to extended its powers via the wording “promote the general welfare“ and tax and spend for whatever purpose it may desire..

But according to our resident legal analyst , Debra, Congress and the SCOTUS are free to do what they so desire, and in spite of the intent and beliefs under which our constitution was agreed upon by the people.


JWK

Justice Story writes in his commentaries: "If the Constitution was ratified under the belief, sedulously propagated on all sides, that such protection was afforded, would it not now be a fraud upon the whole people to give a different construction to its powers?"
0 Replies
 
john w k
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 09:28 pm
roger wrote:
john w k wrote:
Debra_Law wrote:

Once again Debra provides nothing to support her made up assertion that my position is “…the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research.“

JWK


Oh, give it up, JWK. Read your title to this thread, and just give up.


Just did! See nothing in the title which asserts “…the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research.“
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 12:46 am
tommrr wrote:
So if someone thinks the gov't should not fund research for stem cells, would the same line of thinking apply to them funding cancer research, AIDS research, arthritis or any other type of scientific research? To me, finding out what progress we can make in science is promoting the general welfare of the citizens. Just my opinion.


Not just your opinion--it's an opinion shared by all branches of our federal government. Congress may use its taxing power to to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson wrote: ". . . the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare is the purpose for which the power is exercised."

In 1896, the Supreme Court relied on "the great power of taxation to be exercised for the common defence and general welfare'' to sustain the federal government's right to acquire land at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg to be used as a national park.

See U S v. GETTYSBURG ELECTRIC R. CO., 160 U.S. 668 (1896)

In 1936, the Supreme Court wrote the following with respect to the GENERAL WELFARE clause:

Quote:
Since the foundation of the nation, sharp differences of opinion have persisted as to the true interpretation of the phrase. Madison asserted it amounted to no more than a reference to the other powers enumerated in the subsequent clauses of the same section; that, as the United States is a government of limited and enumerated powers, the grant of power to tax and spend for the general national welfare must be confined to the enumerated legislative fields committed to the Congress. In this view the phrase is mere tautology, for taxation and appropriation are or may be necessary incidents of the exercise of any of the enumerated legislative powers.

Hamilton, on the other hand, maintained the clause confers a power separate and distinct from those later enumerated is not restricted in meaning by the grant of them, and Congress consequently has a substantive power to tax and to ap- [297 U.S. 1, 66] propriate, limited only by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States. Each contention has had the support of those whose views are entitled to weight. This court has noticed the question, but has never found it necessary to decide which is the true construction.

Mr. Justice Story, in his Commentaries, espouses the Hamiltonian position. 12 We shall not review the writings of public men and commentators or discuss the legislative practice. Study of all these leads us to conclude that the reading advocated by Mr. Justice Story is the correct one. While, therefore, the power to tax is not unlimited, its confines are set in the clause which confers it, and not in those of section 8 which bestow and define the legislative powers of the Congress. It results that the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution.

But the adoption of the broader construction leaves the power to spend subject to limitations.

As Story says: 'The Constitution was, from its very origin, contemplated to be the frame of a national government, of special and enumerated powers, and not of general and unlimited powers.' 13

Again he says: 'A power to lay taxes for the common defence and general welfare of the United States is not in common sense a general power. It is limited to those objects. It cannot constitutionally transcend them.' 14

That the qualifying phrase must be given effect all advocates of broad construction admit. Hamilton, in his [297 U.S. 1, 67] well known Report on Manufactures, states that the purpose must be 'general, and not local.' 15 Monroe, an advocate of Hamilton's doctrine, wrote: 'Have Congress a right to raise and appropriate the money to any and to every purpose according to their will and pleasure? They certainly have not.' 16 Story says that if the tax be not proposed for the common defense or general welfare, but for other objects wholly extraneous, it would be wholly indefensible upon constitutional principles. 17 And he makes it clear that the powers of taxation and appropriation extend only to matters of national, as distinguished from local, welfare.


U.S. v. BUTLER, 297 U.S. 1 (1936).
0 Replies
 
kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 01:43 am
kelticwizard wrote:
The Federalist papers might be useful as one clue to the founders' intent, but they are not, by themselves, binding. You can't quote Federalist papers as if they have the weight of Supreme Court decisions. They do not.


john w k wrote:
And what is your point, if any, with reference to the discussion and what I have posted?


Here we go. It's the " Just Play Dense And They'll Give Up Trying Defense".

My quote is self-explanatiory. You can quote the Federalist Papers a hundred times and you would not have the legal weight of a single court decision.



john w k wrote:
As to the "weight" of a Supreme Court decision, its weight depends upon the documentation contained in it which demonstrates and confirms the intent of the Constitution as contemplated by those who framed it and the people who adopted it.


You see, this is where you go wrong. This is why you sprinkle your entire argument with quotes from the Federalist Papers and the personal opinions of some Founding Fathers, and you still lose.

Let's put it this way. You and I are appearing before the US Supreme Court arguing opposite sides of a case.

You come out with a hundred quotes from the Federalist Papers which seem to support your view, along with another hundred quotes from individual Founding Fathers-but not a single Supreme Court decision which is ruled on point.

I come out with no quotes from the Federalist Papers, no quotes from individual Founding Fathers. My entire case is a single US Supreme Court decision, and it is ruled on point.

I win the case. You lose the case. End of story.

You keep throwing these quotes around from the Federalist papers around like they are definitive law, and they are not.

And frankly, I don't care if you pretend you don't understand that. Becasue everyone else who reads this will. And I don't have to get you to agree with me to win this argument-I just have to show where you are wrong. As I just did. And as Debra just did in the previous post.
0 Replies
 
kelticwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 02:17 am
tommrr wrote:
So if someone thinks the gov't should not fund research for stem cells, would the same line of thinking apply to them funding cancer research, AIDS research, arthritis or any other type of scientific research? To me, finding out what progress we can make in science is promoting the general welfare of the citizens. Just my opinion.


By "gov't", I assume you mean Federal government.

Don't expect a direct answer to that from John wk anytime soon. That issue has been brought up before and he has not responded to it, for good reason.

As John wk's answer to Brandon about NASA makes clear, he believes the consititution forbids Federal funding to any progam that does not have to do with defense or a few other narrow reasons. So his answer would seem to be that since cancer research, AIDS research, arthritis research do not have anything to do with the national defense, they should not receive Federal funding.

State funding, yes. But not Federal.

Since the overwhelming proportion of Americans are just like you, tommrr, and overwhelminmgly support Federal funds for these things, I am not surpirsed the John wk has not responded to this question before when it was raised.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 03:38 am
john w k wrote:
JWK wrote:

Quote:
Madison's Notes on the convention of 1787 reveals that Charles Pinckney, on August 18th during the federal convention, proposed a power to be vested in Congress "To establish seminaries for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences", but this proposal, as many other proposals, was rejected by the Convention, and the only power agreed upon by the Framers and Ratifiers relating to the advancement of science, was the limited power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". How? "... by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." See Art.1, Sec. 8. U.S.Constitution

JWK
American Constitutional Research Service


Debra Responds:

So what? What does Charles Pinckney's alleged views on copyrights and patents have to do with governmental funding of scientific research? And, what difference does it make anyway? If you're not claiming that the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research, why are you labeling Frist as an enemy of the written constitution?


Here is what Hamilton said Federalist No. 78:

Quote:
The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated.


http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_78.html

Congress commands the purse! Are you now going to argue against Hamilton and the Federalist Papers?


ANSWER

But Debra my dear, I seen nothing in your quote from Hamilton which appears in Federalist Paper 78, to remotely suggest Congress is authorized to spend money from that ‘purse” on whatever objects it so desires.


Congress may use its taxing powers to provide for the Debt, the common Defense, and the general Welfare of the United States. Congress indeed commands the purse.

Quote:
I guess no such indication appears because Hamilton forcefully states the following observation in Federalist 83, in reference to the general welfare clause, "...the power of Congress...shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd as well as useless if a general authority was intended..."


You are not only wrong, but you are misrepresenting Hamilton's words. The Federalist 83 concerns the right to trial by jury. See:

The Federalist 83
The Judiciary Continued in Relation to Trial by Jury
Author: Alexander Hamilton

http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_83.html

Hamilton's statement was NOT in reference to the general welfare clause as you claim; his statement was in reference to legal maxims of interpretation: A specification of particulars is an exclusion of generals and the expression of one thing is the exclusion of another.

Some objected and worried that the federal government would deprive them of the right to trial by jury in civil cases if that right was not explicitly protected by the constitution. Hamilton attempted to alleviate their fears and demonstrate the "proper use and true meaning" of the legal maxims of interpretation. Hamilton said:

Quote:
Having now seen that the maxims relied upon will not bear the use made of them, let us endeavor to ascertain their proper use and true meaning. This will be best done by examples. The plan of the convention declares that the power of Congress, or, in other words, of the NATIONAL LEGISLATURE, shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority was intended.

In like manner the judicial authority of the federal judicatures is declared by the Constitution to comprehend certain cases particularly specified. The expression of those cases marks the precise limits, beyond which the federal courts cannot extend their jurisdiction, because the objects of their cognizance being enumerated, the specification would be nugatory if it did not exclude all ideas of more extensive authority.


Accordingly, you have misrepresented that Hamilton was speaking in reference to the general welfare clause. He was NOT. He was speaking of ALL of Congress's enumerated powers--that ours is a government of limited powers. The taxing power in Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, is just ONE of those enumerated powers. And of course, the "general welfare" clause qualifies the taxing power.

If you really want to know how broadly and how liberally Hamilton viewed the taxing power, you should read the Federalist Papers 30-36 and his other writings.

Everyone agrees that our government is one of limited and enumerated powers. That's NOT the issue. The issue is whether Congress may use its taxing power for the general welfare--and Congress most certainly may. Using its taxing power for the general welfare of the nation is one of Congress's enumerated powers.




Quote:
Hamilton’s words in Federalist No. 83 are also in harmony with that of Jefferson:

"Our tenet ever was, and, indeed, it is almost the only landmark that divides the Federalists from the Republicans, that Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated; and that, as it was never meant they should provided for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently that the specification of power is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money." (letter from Jefferson to Gallatin, June 16th, 1817)


No one ever said that Congress has unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare. That's not the issue. No one is saying that Congress can make any old law it wants to make because it might serve the public interest or the general welfare. However, Congress does have enumerated powers and one of those powers is Congress's taxing and spending power which may indeed be used for the general welfare.



Quote:
And Madison, in No. 41 Federalist, explaining the meaning of the general welfare clause to gain the approval of the proposed constitution, states the following:

"It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes...to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and the general welfare of the United States amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor [the anti federalists] for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction...But what color can this objection have, when a specification of the object alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not ever separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?...For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power...But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning...is an absurdity."


Likewise, in the Virginia ratification Convention Madison explains the general welfare phrase in the following manner so as to gain ratification of the constitution:

"the powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction."[3 Elliots 95] [also see Nicholas, 3 Elliot 443 regarding the general welfare clause, which he pointed out "was united, not to the general power of legislation, but to the particular power of laying and collecting taxes...."]

Likewise, George Mason, in the Virginia ratification Convention informs the convention

"The Congress should have power to provide for the general welfare of the Union, I grant. But I wish a clause in the Constitution, with respect to all powers which are not granted, that they are retained by the states. Otherwise the power of providing for the general welfare may be perverted to its destruction.".[3 Elliots 442]

For this very reason the Tenth Amendment was quickly ratified, to intentionally put to rest any question whatsoever regarding the general welfare clause and thereby cut off the pretext to allow Congress to extended its powers via the wording “promote the general welfare“ and tax and spend for whatever purpose it may desire..

But according to our resident legal analyst , Debra, Congress and the SCOTUS are free to do what they so desire, and in spite of the intent and beliefs under which our constitution was agreed upon by the people.

JWK


Our government is one of limited powers. The fact that Congress's enumerated taxing power was subject to considerable debate and dispute doesn't prove what the "general welfare" clause means; it only proves that there was NO CONSENSUS on the meaning. Accordingly, your allegation that the people collectively agreed on the meaning of the general welfare clause before the Constitution was adopted is without merit.

The fact that Congress (including Federalists and Anti-Federalists) used Congress's taxing power to collect taxes and appropriate money for the general welfare from the very beginning amply demonstrates that they believed that Congress had power over the purse to pay the national debt, to provide for the general defense, and to provide for the general welfare as set forth in Article I, Section 8, Clause 1.

Power over the purse, as qualified by the provisions in Congress's enumerated taxing power, does not mean that Congress can do what is otherwise prohibited by the Constitution.


Quote:
Justice Story writes in his commentaries: "If the Constitution was ratified under the belief, sedulously propagated on all sides, that such protection was afforded, would it not now be a fraud upon the whole people to give a different construction to its powers?"



None of the people's protections or securities guaranteed by the Constitution are affected by Congress's power to tax and consequently spend for the general welfare of the nation.

Justice Story never argued that Congress did not have the power to tax and spend for the general welfare. Justice Story wrote:

Quote:
'The Constitution was, from its very origin, contemplated to be the frame of a national government, of special and enumerated powers, and not of general and unlimited powers.'

'A power to lay taxes for the common defence and general welfare of the United States is not in common sense a general power. It is limited to those objects. It cannot constitutionally transcend them.'


See U.S. v. BUTLER, 297 U.S. 1 (1936).

No one is arguing with you that our government is one of limited powers. That's not the issue. Congress was specifically conferred the power to tax for the purpose of providing funds for payment of the nation's debts and making provision for the general welfare. No one has ever argued that the power to provide for the general welfare exists independently of the taxing power. So long as Congress limits its taxing and spending powers to paying our national debt, and providing for the common defense and general welfare of the nation as set forth in the Constitution, Congress is not transcending its constitutional powers.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 04:15 am
snip

john w k wrote:
Once again Debra provides nothing to support her made up assertion that my position is “…the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research.“ Her rebuttal is groundless and based upon innuendo, assertions and unsubstantiated conclusions drawn from what I wrote in the thread which are alleged to substantiate that my position is “the Constitution prohibits Congress from funding scientific research”. But note the absoluteness of the statement made by Debra portraying my alleged position.


Inasmuch as you snipped most of my post that clearly demonstrates your position as outlined in your opening post, your proclamation that I provided no support is without merit.

Go back, read my entire post, and respond: If you're not alleging that Frist is supporting unconstitutional legislation with respect to scientific research, why are you labeling him as an enemy of the Constitution?


Quote:
Now, as to what my feelings really are in this matter, surprisingly they are to be found in this very thread in my post to Brandon, which Debra conveniently ignores in order to perpetuate her mischaracterizations concerning what my position really is.

Quote:

John wrote to Brandon

This brings us to the question of federal funding for NASA. An argument can be forcefully made that the founders, having knowingly and intentionally delegating power to Congress to raise and support Armies, and to provide and support a Navy, etc., the framers and ratifiers, without question, intended that Congress ought to have sufficient authority and powers in the area of national defense. I would imagine that if Congress’ funding of NASA was indeed restricted to those specific areas which are without question essential to our national defense, the framers and ratifiers would have had no objection to such funding. So, to remark on your conclusion that NASA must be abolished, I do not know if that statement would be constitutionally applicable across the board



Come now Debra, how about an apology?


JWK



How do your convoluted musings about NASA clarify your accusation that Frist is an enemy to the written constitution? Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
tommrr
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Aug, 2005 11:51 pm
kelticwizard wrote:
tommrr wrote:
So if someone thinks the gov't should not fund research for stem cells, would the same line of thinking apply to them funding cancer research, AIDS research, arthritis or any other type of scientific research? To me, finding out what progress we can make in science is promoting the general welfare of the citizens. Just my opinion.


By "gov't", I assume you mean Federal government.

Don't expect a direct answer to that from John wk anytime soon. That issue has been brought up before and he has not responded to it, for good reason.

As John wk's answer to Brandon about NASA makes clear, he believes the consititution forbids Federal funding to any progam that does not have to do with defense or a few other narrow reasons. So his answer would seem to be that since cancer research, AIDS research, arthritis research do not have anything to do with the national defense, they should not receive Federal funding.

State funding, yes. But not Federal.

Since the overwhelming proportion of Americans are just like you, tommrr, and overwhelminmgly support Federal funds for these things, I am not surpirsed the John wk has not responded to this question before when it was raised.

Yes I was refereing to the Federal Gov't. I know he won't answer the question, just as he has not answered yours, in spite of your asking it several times. I am just baffled how the title of thread, and the misquoting of the Federalist Papers, which are NOT LAW OF ANY SORT (but good reading, even for those that don't understand them), never seem to be tied together. So let me rephrase the question for JWK, "Just what the hell are you trying to prove here?".
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.09 seconds on 06/25/2022 at 10:46:07