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Who Killed the Constitution?

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Tags U.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/24/2008Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

The Constitution spelled out that the federal government is limited to 16 powers. Is it allowed? should be the first question about any proposed legislation. Today there are no recognized limits. The Supreme Court declared in the late 1930s that everything the federal government does will be assumed to be constitutional.

The Tenth Amendment has been made irrelevant. The Executive branch issues orders on its own. The Legislative branch believes there are no limits to their powers. The Judicial branch commits atrocities like the Interstate Commerce Clause applying to a bushel of wheat produced for personal consumption.

Is the Constitution a flexible, living document? Yes, by amendment, but no by whimsical changes. Would you like to have living breathing rules for basketball or poker? Of course not.

Presented to homeschool parents and students at the Mises Institute, 23 September 2008.

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