So You Want to Understand the Constitution

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from Zero Hedge:

If You Want To Understand The Constitution, Don’t Ask A Lawyer

Most Americans say the Constitution is important. Most Americans say it’s crucial for the government to stay within its constitutional bounds. But what exactly are the constitutional limits on federal power? How do we know?

Well, whatever you do, don’t ask a lawyer. Most of them know very little about the Constitution.

I can already hear you protesting. Lawyers know a lot about the Constitution. They learn constitutional law, for goodness sake!

But read closely what I wrote. I didn’t say they don’t know a lot about constitutional law. I said they typically don’t know a lot about the Constitution. There’s a huge difference.

Constitutional law is made up of a bunch of lawyers’ opinions about what the Constitution means. But that’s not how you understand the actual meaning of the Constitution.

I’ve been told that law students prepping for the Bar Exam are told that if the Tenth Amendment is ever among the answers on a multiple-choice question, they can immediately rule it out.

The Tenth Amendment is never the right answer.

Thomas Jefferson had a little different view of the Tenth Amendment. He called it the “foundation of the Constitution.”

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That ‘all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”

The Tenth Amendment makes it unquestioningly clear that the Constitution constrains the general government to very specific and very limited powers. As James Madison explained in Federalist #45, “The powers delegated to the federal government by the proposed Constitution are few and defined.”

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).