Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Constitutional Study: Congressional Powers

Article 1

Section 8

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal*, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Well, since I am a Constitutional Fundamentalist I must admit that, indeed, Congress does have the final say about War. Whether people agree or not, it is clearly stated in the Constitution what the rules are. I don't really see where there is much controversy or question about it.

In regards to Iraq, my personal feelings about it are that it would be irresponsible and immoral for Congress to hastily withdraw funding for the war. I don't know what the best answer is because I'm not a military or stategic expert. But common sense kind of says that withdrawal isn't really the easy option that some make it out to be.

And I'm pretty much disgusted at all the Congresspeople who are hollering about their "20/20 hindsight" about their previous votes for the war. Of course, we all can name many things in our pasts that we would have changed had we known then what we know now. It's completely meaningless for people like John Edwards to jump up and say that they have changed their minds now. You can't go back and change what you did. Just accept it and move on.

Anyway, regardless of my individual feelings about it I have to accept the final decision of the representatives of my fellow citizens. This is the way it works in America. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don't. And when you don't, it's always best to move on instead of whine and complain about your loss, or to flippantly say you've changed your mind in hindsight.

* written authority granted to a private person by a government to seize the subjects of a foreign state or their goods ; specifically : a license granted to a private person to fit out an armed ship to plunder the enemy

Hey, how can I get one of those? ;-)

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