Essay PreviewMore ↓
While the 1995 case involved a federal law against carrying a gun within a certain distance of a school, this year's case involved a woman suing two men for rape under a federal law. Neither case was about whether the law was good or bad. The cases were about Constitutional limits on the powers of the federal government -- and all our freedoms depend upon maintaining those limits.
The feds have been getting around the Constitutional limits by claiming to be regulating interstate commerce. But the Supreme Court didn't buy it.
Rape is already illegal in every state. What the recent ruling said in effect was: You are in the wrong courthouse, lady. Sue those so-and-so's in the state courthouse down the street. State courts have the power to do everything up to and including executing people, so sending a case to a state court is no wrist slap.
Why does it matter whether a case is tried in a federal court or a state or local court? It matters because a concentration of power is dangerous. The people who wrote the Constitution of the United States understood that -- and feared that -- even if too many of us today do not.
The familiar division of federal power among the President, the Congress and the Supreme Court was just the beginning. The Constitution also made it possible to impeach anybody who abused his power. In addition, the crucial 10th Amendment to the Constitution said that the federal government had the power to do only what it was specifically authorized to do, while the people or the states could do whatever they were not specifically forbidden to do.
This was understood for about 150 years. Then, during the heady days of the New Deal, the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce was stretched to include virtually anything that the politicians in Washington chose to regulate. In one case, the federal government's agricultural laws were applied to a man who grew his own food in his own backyard.
How to Cite this Page
"Argumentative Essay: The Dangerous Expansion of Federal Power." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Jan 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Civilian ownership of firearms has for more than two hundred years been the very cornerstone upon which the liberty of the public has been supported. The very reason that Americans have never suffered a tyranny on the scale of Nazi-Germany has been due to the proliferation of firearms in the hands of the general public. The Second Amendment to the Bill of rights of the United States Constitution states "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." In order to understand that right, the modern reader must understand the semantics of the eighteenth century.... [tags: Second Amendment The Right To Bear Arms]
977 words (2.8 pages)
- There is a disease running rampant on the streets of Washington DC. It is a disease that cripples the economy, destroys jobs and leaves Americans living on the streets. Inordinate spending perpetuates the sickness and corrupt politicians keep the cure at bay. Federal expansion is ruining the lives of American citizens and creating a society of impecunious and pusillanimous citizens, unable and unwilling to speak out against the higher power which controls every aspect of their lives. “Where are our (sic) Men of abilities.... [tags: federal expansion, economy, spending, taxes]
1837 words (5.2 pages)
- ... With less pollution pouring in the air from nuclear energy, the only concerns are the cost and accident-prone stability. Until research is done to view alternatives or precautions to be taken, nuclear power is a dangerous concept to consider. Even renewable sources can damage the environment. Hydroelectric dams can start to degrade and crack resulting in the flooding of forests like what occurred in Quebec (“Energy”). As human beings, we are prone to accidents. There is no such physical concept that is perfect, so a source of energy can be a dangerous hunt.... [tags: Nuclear power, Energy development]
1789 words (5.1 pages)
- The energy industry is beginning to change. In today’s modern world, governments across the globe are shifting their focuses from traditional sources of power, like the burning coal and oil, to the more complex and scientific nuclear power supply. This relatively new system uses powerful fuel sources and produces little to no emissions while outputting enough energy to fulfill the world’s power needs (Community Science, n.d.). But while nuclear power seems to be a perfect energy source, no power production system is without faults, and nuclear reactors are no exception, with their flaws manifesting in the form of safety.... [tags: Nuclear Power Essays]
3279 words (9.4 pages)
- HAVING shown that no one of the powers of the federal government is unnecessary or improper, we must expand upon the clause in the proposed Constitution, which grants Congress the power to establish a UNIFORM rule of naturalization. It is of common national sentiment that the United States is to form one consolidated government that will be uniform in its laws and establish a stable, uniform government. It is of utmost importance that the government will have the sole power to establish the rule of naturalization for if each state had the power to prescribe its own distinct rule, in similarity to the current Confederation, then there could be no uniformity among the states.... [tags: United States, United States Constitution]
1125 words (3.2 pages)
- When people purchase their meat, they seldom think about the diseases that may come with it. They are confident the meat they are buying is the highest quality their money can afford. However, now and then, there is news of contaminated meat and recalls. This questions the role of the government and its obligation to inform and to serve the public. In the past, the government has passed rules and laws such as the Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and Kevin’s Law. However, they have proved to be insufficient and required a long process to pass such regulations.... [tags: argumentative essay]
907 words (2.6 pages)
- Nuclear power has been around since the first atomic plant was made operational on December 2, 1942. These plants are an efficient way of producing electricity. They can power every electric item we use today, from TV’s to computers and every thing in between. As great as they may seem, how do we deal with the radioactive waste left over. The answer is, we don’t. Until we, as a civilization, find a better way of dealing with this waste, we should hold off on converting fossil fuel plants to nuclear.... [tags: Argumentative Essays, Persuasive Essays]
371 words (1.1 pages)
- In Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh faces a lot of trial and error with the usage of power throughout different quests. Power is seen as the ruler of evil in Gilgamesh’s case. When analyzing the word power, power can be used to separate different social groups, but power can’t stop death which was the ideal lesson Gilgamesh learns throughout his journey. While overcoming different challenges throughout his life, he overcame the power of tradition, the will to survive, and the fear of failure. Power is the most dangerous threat anybody can have especially a careless man.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Humbaba, Ishtar]
1652 words (4.7 pages)
- Most Americans feel the United States of America is a beacon of democracy and raw capitalism, the leader of the “free” world. The founding fathers had every intention of turning the new world into a full fledged democracy, devoid of any monarchy or source of totalitarian power. The constitution itself demands that our government be “of, for and by the people”, and be divided into complex units of checks and balances, designed to thwart any potential power struggle by one specific branch. In essence, the constitution of the United States is a perfect blueprint for democracy in its purest form, with power and control in the hands of its citizens.... [tags: Fed Federal Reserve Anti]
1640 words (4.7 pages)
- Power plants are used to conserve one resource and make it useful to our economy. These power plants help produce much of the world energy. It saves people money and helps benefit from the resources the world provided has humans. Solar power is the most economically viable power for widespread adoption because wind power and atomic power have a higher risk in widespread consequences. They’re less viable in large quantities to the general public and solar power can be safely and easily generated. Atomic Energy is Nuclear energy and it can be produced in large quantities.... [tags: Nuclear power]
1360 words (3.9 pages)
As the years went by, the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution was used repeatedly to circumvent the 10th Amendment. It was very clever -- and very dangerous, because it took down the fence that the Constitution had put around federal power.
Perhaps worse, people began to judge Supreme Court decisions by whether those decisions helped or hurt policies that those people favored or opposed. The whole idea that the courts were there to maintain the framework of law -- on which everyone's freedom depends -- got lost in the shuffle.
When the Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that carrying a gun near a school was not interstate commerce, there was consternation because it was the first time in decades that the high court had said that you couldn't just put "interstate commerce" on everything, like ketchup. Much of the outrage against this decision was based on people's thinking that the court was saying that it was OK to carry guns near a school.
What was truly scary was that people could see no further than the particular law or policy right under their noses. Current shrill reactions to the Supreme Court's ruling that Congress had no authority to create a federal law against rape is equally scary. The court was not voting in favor of rape, but in favor of dealing with rapists in state and local courts -- in order to maintain Constitutional limits on federal power.
At the end of a century that has seen unspeakable horrors from the unbridled powers of governments, you would think that people would understand how important it is to keep federal powers from constantly expanding. Even in totalitarian countries, dictatorial powers did not suddenly appear overnight. The central government's powers just kept steadily growing, using claims to be meeting some particular need or crisis -- until, finally, freedom was all gone.