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US Governmental Power

Discussion in 'Debates' started by SuperDyl, May 2, 2017.

  1. SuperDyl

    SuperDyl Active Meeper

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    After debating on the marijuana legalization thread for a bit, I ran against a hard issue a decided it needed a new thread. Here's the question we're debating: what should the United States of America's federal government have the power to do? I'll try to moderate a bit, stepping in to fix issues with differing points of views on definitions or such so the debate can continue.
     
  2. Deinen

    Deinen S'all Good Man

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    They should have the powers outlined by the U.S Constitution.
     
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  3. SuperDyl

    SuperDyl Active Meeper

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    Sure governmental powers are outlined in the Constitution to some degree, but not very specifically. Look at the Supreme Court: they're only supposed to exist as the highest US court. Nothing is said about how to have a Supreme Court passed that. Also, the United States was more of a group of allied countries (as state usually is a word for country). It wasn't until later that people saw themselves as one nation. The founding fathers quarreled about power and wanted so little federal control because no country wants to be controlled by another.

    Looking at the Constitution sounds like an easy answer, but there are many issues with that from very undetailed "explanations" to changing ideas of the federal government's role.

    I have now added a link to a copy of the Constitution for reference: Constitute
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  4. kwagscraft

    kwagscraft Popular Meeper

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    The constitution basically says that they can do whatever the hell they want.
     
  5. Deinen

    Deinen S'all Good Man

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    ....?

    Wot?

    The only powers the U.S government are those outlined in the Constitution, if not there, the government does not have those powers. The Supreme Court was outlined by that Constitution, why would we need another Supreme Court?

    The founding fathers had mixed opinions about the role of the Federal government, some for more fed power, some for less. But I'm not sure what you are getting at.
     
  6. SuperDyl

    SuperDyl Active Meeper

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    Here's a copy of the Constitution: Constitute . It doesn't outline in accordance to the Supreme Court anything other than

    1. The Supreme exists as the highest US court.
    2. Courts can exist under the Supreme Court.
    3. A list of jurisdictions for the Supreme Court to judge a case.
    4. Supreme Court justice's term limits and that they will be payed.
    5. A jury is needed in cases not including impeachment.

    This list misses many parts of what the Supreme Court does and how it is set up, along with any indication of how lesser courts should work whatsoever. This isn't a rule book but a set of guidelines.
    --- Double Post Merged, May 2, 2017, Original Post Date: May 2, 2017 ---
    Here is another: the tenth amendment.

    "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."
     
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  7. MeepLord27

    MeepLord27 Active Meeper

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    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,"

    Seems pretty clear to me, governments are supposed to secure your rights, if they aren't doing that, screw em. Any and all legislation the government makes that can't be shown to protect your rights indirectly or directly is outside of its power.

    I'm not really sure that the debate we ran into in the marijuana thread was about the power of the government, its more about how the government can use that power.
     
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  8. Deinen

    Deinen S'all Good Man

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    I'm still not following what your overall arching point or intention is, I'm sorry.

    In this example, the makeup of the Supreme Court is dealt with on the legislative level, and the number of justices appointed are dictated by legislative bills, such as the Judiciary Act, etc. Additionally composition of lower courts and their juridiction is also set up by the legislative branch.

    Again, I just don't get the path you are going with this, not because of you, but it's just not clicking for me yet.

    Are you saying that the Constitution should be more detailed? Are you saying it should be a guide to be heeded but not followed directly?

    I agree the Constitution isn't perfect, such as the Louisiana purchase was an unconstitutional act, but greatly benefitted our country.
     
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  9. lfpnub

    lfpnub Popular Meeper

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    The court was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, Article 3 doesn't say much about the Courts.

    I think the government should have the powers in the constitution, anything needed to carry them out, and any upheld by the Supreme Court (Unless they get overturned in a later ruling)
    I also think it should have inherent powers (Taxation, borders, trade, etc...)
     
  10. SuperDyl

    SuperDyl Active Meeper

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    I was trying to demonstrate that the Constitution can't be our only way to set boundaries on governmental power, as it's vague and obviously meant to not be alone in determining the level of government influence allowed. Just looking at the Constitution will not explain which way the government sould go: more liberal or more conservative.

    Thank you @ifpnub for your opinion.
     
  11. Deinen

    Deinen S'all Good Man

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    You're correct in saying the Constitution is not meant to be alone in determining the level of government influence, there are many factors involved with this including the executive, legislative and judicial branches, the states and the citizens.

    Additionally, the Constitution should not be playing any part in determining whether or not our government should be more conservative or liberal, but we, the people, are supposed to be determining that.
    --- Double Post Merged, May 3, 2017, Original Post Date: May 3, 2017 ---
    Messing with the Constitution is a scary thing. We can all sit around and debate the founders didn't intend citizens to use assault rifles with the 2nd amendment, but what happens next? What about when freedom of speech/religion/press are being mulled on? Once we begin to change around the Constitution, it could cost us all dearly, which is why when people begin talking about Constitutional convention, you kinda know they dunno what they are talking about.
     
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  12. Klitch

    Klitch

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    Powers listed in the constitution for the federal government are expressed powers, the necessary and proper clause allows the federal government to also assume implied powers -- Anything not included in the expressed or implied powers falls in the state powers. Just btw.
     
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  13. Deinen

    Deinen S'all Good Man

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    In theory, in reality there is a lot of grey area.

    Example: The DEA, while the government has no inherent power to prohibit substances, they claim the commerce clause when creating and investing it with power.
     
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  14. Killer2themx

    Killer2themx Popular Meeper

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    I would suggest anyone who reads this post look into the documentary called "Snowden." Truly an amazing story. Also read the book "1984" by George Orwell. I promise you'll see connections to our government.
     
  15. SuperDyl

    SuperDyl Active Meeper

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    I mostly made this thread in response to two connected issues:

    1. I hate debates about the wrong thing on a disconnected thread.
    2. I received this line of reasoning about the government: "The government shouldn't prevent people from doing dumb things." What do you all think about this statement?
     
  16. MeepLord27

    MeepLord27 Active Meeper

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    The government shouldn't prevent me acting stupidly. The reasons for (at least our, but IMO in general any) government doesn't encompass protecting me from myself. Its protecting me from other people. Again, read the declaration of independence, it does a pretty good job of explaining why we have a government.
     
  17. SuperDyl

    SuperDyl Active Meeper

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    I believe this is the passage in the Declaration of Independence which supposedly says governments should only protect people from other people:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

    1. I see from this that governments are created to protect unalienable rights, but it also says that governments receive their powers from their citizens. This says to me that though a government should protect specific rights, the people should decide what power the government has.

    2. Just saying that a government is created to protect rights for its citizens does not mean the government is not given other powers. This statement just states the reason for the creation of a government, and not its duties after that.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  18. MeepLord27

    MeepLord27 Active Meeper

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    They take there powers from the consent of the governed, as in the governed allow the government to protect there rights.
    A government is a social contract between the governed and the government, as a member of the governed, you give up some freedoms, in exchange for security of your rights.

    Please tell me, what rights do I violate by deciding to shoot myself?
    What rights do I violate by using drugs that harm myself?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  19. SuperDyl

    SuperDyl Active Meeper

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    Excuse me, my post from before should have read as such:

    "2. Just saying that a government is created to protect rights for its citizens does not mean the government is not given other powers. This statement just states the reason for the creation of a government, and not its duties after that."

    This edit should help answer @MeepLord27 's question. Basically what I was trying to say (and would have if I didn't have a typo) is that governments may be created to protect rights, but this doesn't make this their sole and only duty.
     
  20. MeepLord27

    MeepLord27 Active Meeper

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    what other duties do they have?
    And to get back to the main point:
    where does the government gets its authority to protect me from myself?
     

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