Monday, August 09, 2010

United States Constitution: Preamble

Certain members of Congress have made it clear that the United States Constitution is too little read or understood. I don't plan to write a constitutional treatise, but today I begin quoting the United States Constitution in small chunks, so everyone can read it.


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The preamble does not create or even recognize enforceable rights. At best, it may aid the interpretation of other parts of the Constitution if those other parts are ambiguous.

When the Government tires to justify regulation under the "general Welfare" clause, it is not the language of the preamble to which they refer. The term "general Welfare" appears again in Article I, section 8, "Powers of Congress."

Still, the preamble tells us something about the intent of the drafters of the constitution. The intent included "secur[ing] the Blessings of Liberty." It seems to me that certain members of Congress and the present administration would like to forget that goal expressed in the Preamble.


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