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Does the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution mean exactly what is says?
Politics

docday
Sep 19, 2007
4 votes
8 debaters
2
1


+ Add Argument

3
Yes


thewhitedwarf
Sep 19, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
that depends, are you a lose constructionalist or a strict constructionalist. i am the former.

 
gogopoet
Sep 19, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Just so folks know what we are talking about: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. "

How can it mean anything other than what it states? This debate is like asking whether Godiva chocolates are chocolate.

 
docday
Sep 19, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Of course it does. But the fact that our Federal Government has taken on so many more responsibilities than it has been assigned by the Constitution does make one wonder. Much of what it now does is, literally, UNconstitutional.

Alas, Judges simply have more fun with their political buddies down at The Club if they're willing to go along with their so vitally important plans to dominate others. So, unfortunately, the courts widely ignore this amendment, to the great detriment of the republic.


 
thales
Sep 19, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: docday Show

We get a little loose when we don't like the question. :-)

 
helpme
Sep 20, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: donmega Show

In most states, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit but It is perfectly legal to carry a weapon in plain view. Most do not know this and it is a pretty strange sight to see someone doing this.

 
gogopoet
Sep 20, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: thales Show

Likewise there is room for debate as to what the amendment says, but that wasn't the question posed for debate. The question was whether or not it says what it says.

 
gogopoet
Sep 20, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: docday Show

RE: "Well, it's exactly like asking where in the Constitution the Feds were assigned the responsibility to do most of what they're into these days."

Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. You haven't presented a direct corelation for us to debate. A LOT of Federal authority derives from their ability to control the Nation's purse strings.

RE: "Nationalizing Healthcare is very clearly not authorized by the Constitution,"

Show me where it says our government is prohibited from doing that?

RE: "This is a lot more important than chocolate."

Of course the issue is more important than chocolate, but an analogy like that tend to clarify a point better than a lon-winded arguement and I like brevity.

 
tggdan3
Sep 21, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Where there is legalese there will be someone to exploit it.

The federal government is given the power by the constitution to regulate INTERSTATE commerce.

The feds (and the supreme court has agreed) that this gives the feds the right to regulate anyone who uses roads or public property. You own a diner? Was your bread purchased out of state? You sell cars? Were they made out of state? That gives them the power to regulate everything when that clearly was not the intent.

 
helpme
Sep 21, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gogopoet Show

I can't argue for stupidity. Nice point.

 
helpme
Sep 21, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: donmega Show

I don't either. But I personally do not have a problem with erring on the safe side as long as it doesn't infringe on the basic right.

In fact it doesn't clarify what "bearing arms means",either way.

 
gogopoet
Sep 21, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: docday Show

RE: "Since the Constitution is a document of enumerated powers, the burden is on you to show where it says that our government is given that power. "

Article. I. - The Legislative Branch Note
Section 8 - Powers of Congress

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;

Healthcare falls under the category of the general welfare.

 
gogopoet
Sep 21, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: docday Show

Your arguement is entirely semantic since the usage of the two words makes them synonymous. What is debateble is what the amendment says/means not whether it means/says what it means/says.

 
masterdebator
Sep 21, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
it wont once bush is done with it.

 
helpme
Sep 22, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: donmega Show

And some think that concealing is not in the true spirit of the constitution. That is why we have people who interpret the const.

Personally I think we all should carry guns, openly or concealed.

 
gogopoet
Sep 23, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: docday Show

RE: "'General Welfare' isn't a category, it's a blank check."

You forgot three important parts of the phrase, "provide for the... " Granted the framers didn't foresee, at the time, that in the 2000s a person wouldn't be able to pay a doctor in eggs or chickens, but times change and needs change and what it means to provide for the general Welfare changed. A nationalized healthcare plan, whether directly administered by the state or established as an insurance program, has become something our governemnt needs to address for the general welfare of the country. When too many workers spend too much time being sick rather than being productive, it hurts everyone and that's the bottom line.

RE: "why was the sentence you quoted constructed of 44 words, describing OTHER federal duties such as collecting taxes, paying debts, and providing defence?"

My guess is that the framers wanted to make sure the money collected wasn't spent on things of no benefit to the general welfare, such as private roads, personal estates - you know - things Louisiana politicians are infamous for spending money on. That sounds pretty restrictive to me.

 
+ Add Argument

1
No


donmega
Sep 19, 2007
2 convinced
Rebuttal
Why should it? The Second Amendment as written: 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.
Bear means CARRY, arms means WEAPONS, however, that right is infringed on by every state, and a whole lot of people act like anyone who would own a firearm is some kind of defective.

 
thales
Sep 19, 2007
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gogopoet Show

In fairness, there's some room for debate on the Godiva thing.

 
docday
Sep 19, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gogopoet Show

Well, it's exactly like asking where in the Constitution the Feds were assigned the responsibility to do most of what they're into these days.

For instance, Nationalizing Healthcare is very clearly not authorized by the Constitution, yet we have serious political "leaders" proposing it, gullible citizens salivating over it, pundits solemnly discussing it, yet nobody is laughing it off the public stage for it's clear UNconstitutionality.

This is a lot more important than chocolate.

 
docday
Sep 19, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: thewhitedwarf Show

Please forgive me, I'm new here. Don't loose constructionist arguments belong in the "No" column? Do I understand you correctly?

 
donmega
Sep 20, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: helpme Show

I'm aware of that. I just didn't see that "unless they conceal it" provision in the second amendment.


 
gogopoet
Sep 20, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: helpme Show

One must be careful with those "concealed weapons" laws. In Mississippi they interpret the word "concealed" so loosely that a gun laying right on your desk is concealed because people can't see the side touching the desk.

 
docday
Sep 20, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gogopoet Show

I wrote:
"Nationalizing Healthcare is very clearly not authorized by the Constitution."

You wrote:
Show me where it says our government is prohibited from doing that?


My short answer:
Since the Constitution is a document of enumerated powers, the burden is on you to show where it says that our government is given that power.


My long answer:
We The People, speaking through the US Constitution, delegate certain "enumerated powers" to the federal government. The government may exercise only those powers defined therein. Most appear in a surprisingly short list in [1]Article 1 Section 8.

James Madison, in [2]The Federalist Papers, #45 wrote:
"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 key word from Madison above is "defined". Clearly, if it's not an enumerated power, the feds can't do it.

BUT
Just in case the point isn't completely clear, further emphasis is provided by the 10th Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The power to nationalize healthcare or any other business is not enumerated anywhere in the Constitution.





[1] http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution_transcript.html

[2] The Federalist Papers is a collection of essays published in 1788 to urge ratification of the proposed Constitution. In lobbying for its adoption, the essays explain particular provisions of the Constitution in detail. The Founders' realistic view of human nature revealed in these essays led directly to the establishment of our constitutional system of limited powers. Some years later, Thomas Jefferson called The Federalist Papers the "best commentary on the principles of government ever written." Today, The Federalist Papers are often used to help interpret the intentions of those who drafted the Constitution. See http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html



 
docday
Sep 20, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gogopoet Show

Actually, the question was whether or not it MEANS what it says.

Many apparently believe this to be debatable, since I understand that courts have often re-interpreted or simply ignored it. I find that simply incredible.

 
donmega
Sep 22, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: helpme Show

Bearing means now the same as it did then, to carry.

 
docday
Sep 22, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gogopoet Show

"General Welfare" isn't a category, it's a blank check. If alive today, I believe the constitutional framers would truly regret the use of those two words. Inclusion of that phrase has given many who argue for the expansion of federal power an opening which appears to allow the feds to do anything they desire. Was that what the framers intended? Did they intend that federal powers be defined by the two words "general welfare"?

If so, why did the states consider ratification during the course of several years? That much time just to consider two words?

If so, why did Hamilton, Madison, and Jay write The Federalist Papers, containing 85 essays totaling 191,890 words to convince the citizens of New York and other states that ratification was the correct choice? Why write 191,890 words simply to explain 2?

If so, why did proponents argue so forcibly that it is a constitution of enumerated powers, indeed a LIMITED government? Two words?

If so, why did proponents argue that federal powers are "few and defined", and those which are to remain in the State governments are "numerous and indefinite"? Few, certainly, but "defined"? By two vague words? And with the carte blanche of "general welfare" in the federal back pocket, what exactly would be left to the states? "General welfare" doesn't leave much "numerous and indefinite" lying around.

If so, why did the framers write a lengthy constitution of 4,440 words if just those two would have sufficed?

If so, why was the sentence you quoted constructed of 44 words, describing OTHER federal duties such as collecting taxes, paying debts, and providing defence? Why bother? Those two words cover all that ground and more! If those two words were intended to have the weight that is argued, that entire paragraph, not to mention the rest of Article 1 Section 8 and much of the rest of the 4,440 words of the Constitution, could have been boiled down to these twelve: The Congress shall have the power to provide for the general welfare. COULD have. WAS not. CONCLUSION: Those two words weren't meant to have the power over the rest of the words in the Constitution that they seem to have over those who say they were.

The "general welfare" argument is a common one, but does it logically hold water? Did the framers go to the lengths they did to create a limited government simply to have it all trumped by those two words apparently giving carte blanche to the federal government?


 
docday
Sep 22, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: tggdan3 Show

Dittos!

 
docday
Oct 04, 2007
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: gogopoet Show

RE: Granted the framers didn't foresee, at the time, that in the 2000s a person wouldn't be able to pay a doctor in eggs or chickens, but times change...

Indeed, but human nature has not. The Framers went to extraordinary lengths in their attempt to create a framework based upon thoughtful principles that would protect the people and the country from the blind ambition of their leaders. The extent to which we have let our guard down to such ambition is appalling. Proposals to expand federal power which give no thoughtful consideration to the potential abuse of such power are utterly reckless and unworthy of serious debate.

 


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