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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Oh, poor weepy pudge.

    The total population of the United States when that was written was less than half the size of Los Angeles County is now. The Constitution was great, its authors were brilliant, forward-thinking men, astounding foresight, etc.

    But anything has trouble scaling over 200 years. There was huge uproar and griping over Marbury v. Madison but it turned out to be necessary to balance powers. Income tax turned out to be necessary to stabilize the middle class and literally save millions of li

    • Marbury v. Madison is hardly relevant here. What Marshall said is that Congress has implied powers: those powers that are necessary and proper to perform their expressed powers. That is not a blanket "do whatever is in the general welfare" interpretation.

      The point is that it's a living document.

      Feel free to amend the Constitution, if you can. Until then, it is law, and violating it is illegal. Being a "living document" does not mean you can modify the interpretation to fit what you think it SHOULD m
      • I note for the record that your interpretation of the commerce clause to allow the government to build roads and bridges is found nowhere within the Federalist Papers. Read Nos. 12 and 22 for example. Or just look up the commerce clause in the index and read through every mention of it. Every single time, you will find what is discussed is taxes, duties, import taxes, evading import taxes, tariffs, import taxes vs. property taxes, taxes, taxes and taxes.

        It took over a hundred years for our Supreme Cour

        • by pudge (1) on 2003.05.15 16:49 (#20146) Homepage Journal
          I note for the record that your interpretation of the commerce clause to allow the government to build roads and bridges is found nowhere within the Federalist Papers.

          You say that as though it has some relevance to your point, or mine. Mine is that things like Medicare are not in any way related to, and therefore not implied by, any of the expressed/enumerated powers granted to Congress, but that the interstate highway system is.

          That Madison never mentioned it has no bearing, because Madison, to my knowledge, never attempted to limit the scope of the power of interstate commerce regulation. It is therefore not against anything Madison said.

          Regulating tariffs on commerce, it turns out, meant Congress could build roads to facilitate commerce.

          Since "regulating tariffs" is never mentioned in the Constitution, I don't understand your point. What I do know is that in 1824 (hardly over a hundred years), Justice Marshall asserted that Congress could do more than regulate tarriffs when he said Congress could grant a ferry license to Thomas Gibbons in Gibbons v. Ogden. Yes, the 1893 case established roads fell under the Constitutional power, but there were other Congressional actions and, like the 1824 case, judicial decisions that expanded the power beyond what Madison discussed.

          Note that this is exactly what you oppose: tortured interpretation of the Constitution for reasons of practicality.

          I see nothing tortured about it, and I've seen no reasonable argument yet that says it is so. Your best argument is "Madison didn't mention it," and that is hardly convincing, for reasons already mentioned.

          On the other hand, if you think our Supreme Courts are qualified to interpret the Constitution, even though their interpretations may extend Congressional power far beyond what the founders apparently intended, then everything is just fine with our interstates.

          You misunderstand. My concern is not so much with extending beyond intent, but extending contrary to intent. I have been very consistent on this.

          My view on this is simple: I believe an interstate highway system is essential to reasonable interstate commerce. This is certainly more true now than it was in 1824. And that only one body is authorized to regulate interstate commerce, therefore only one body is authorized to control these highways.

          Interstate highways are necessary and proper for interstate commerce (expressed power), and therefore the federal government may create and maintain and regulate those roads (implied power). I would rather they regulated it as little as possible (such as lifting the speed limit restrictings some years ago), but it has the power to regulate, nontheless.

          I feel confident that if Justice Marshall had been around with the advent of the car and truck, he would have agreed. I can't see how it could be said that, in today's age, an interstate highway system is not a necessary and preoper implied power of the expressed power granted in the commerce clause.

          I just don't see how one could twist it to say it can't mean that, unless you are going to say the intent of the commerce clause was limited (and you've given no evidence of that), or that the highway system is not "necessary and proper" in a similar manner to Gibbons' ferry license.