On Friday, January 11, Thom Hartmann debated Terence Jeffrey of the Cyber News Service, formerly the Conservative News Service. Jeffrey refers to himself as a "Constitutionalist", an "Originalist". His views very much remind me of the things that Ron Paul says.
It really makes no difference who's calling himself or herself a "strict Constitutionalist". What matters is what he or she means by that label.
Recently, in the fifty-eighth year of my life, I began seriously reading The US Constitution. I recommend that those who are young and, barring a catastrophic experience, have a good number of years in front of them study this document and other records that were created during the framing of The Constitution. Study the debates and the points of view that were expressed when Jefferson's draft was presented to the convention.
Disclaimer: When I write that I've recently begun to seriously read The Constitution, one should note that the words "recently begun" are key. I'm not a constitutional lawyer. In fact, I'm not a lawyer at all. Consequently, I'm not, in any way shape or form, an expert on The Constitution of The Former United States of America (The FUSA – hopefully to soon return to its former United state).
What Hartmann and his guest discussed pretty much focused on the powers that the founders agreed Congress should have. Consequently, the discussion focused on Article I of The Constitution.
(I'll be italicizing some sections and/or words that I personally find interesting in this beginners' discussion of our Constitution.)
Article I, Section 1 of The Constitution reads as follows:
"All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
According to Dictionary.com, the word "legislative" means:
1. "Of or relating to the enactment of laws.
2. Resulting from or decided by legislation.
3. Having the power to create laws; intended to legislate.
4. Of or relating to a legislature."
So, according to the meaning of the word "legislative" as published by Dictionary.com,
"All legislative Powers (the power to create laws) herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States..."
The laws that Congress may pass, according to "strict Constitutionalists", are spelled out in the document (herein) in question, i.e., The Constitution. So, if Congress tries to create a law dealing with anything other than the powers granted them in The Constitution, the law will be, by definition, unconstitutional.
Section 2 and Section 3 merely state who may become a member of Congress.
However, Section 4 gives us a bit more insight as to what those ratifying The Constitution had in mind for Congress.
Though Section 4 deals mostly with where, when and how Congress shall assemble, there is a portion of that section which seems to give us a bit of insight.
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