The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Kevin! I'm honored!
It was an astute observation.
Since it's a restainig order, can we make Citizen Arrests? Pelosi and Boxer, Schumer and Barney dickwidget Frank. We have the means to do so.
The Constitution is not a restraining order, but the source of the federal government's power. Whenever the feds exceed the enumerated powers explicitly granted to them by the Constitution, they are outside their legal authority and deserve the same treatment as any other criminal gang.
The situation is slightly more complicated with respect to the states. Each state derives its powers from its own constitution, but in some areas they are also restrained by portions of the federal Constitution. E.g., the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were written as restraining orders for the states as well as the feds.
"...The purpose of a constitution in a Constitutional Republic is as a restraint on the powers of government,"
Gotta disagreed with ya, here.
When I read the defining document (set aside the BOR here, it's important), all it does is outline what the government is and what it is to do, not what it isn't to do.
If my seventh grade civics is not failing me, the BOR (the more delineated restraint) was adopted in 1791, with the Constitution being ratified in 1788(?). Restraint on power was, certainly, one of the foremost issues of the peoples of that time, but it was something that clearly came after the authorization of government, which, to my mind, is what the Constitution is more precisely about.
Read it again. It doesn't authorize government, it establishes it and sets the ground rules for its operation. It delineates powers, and establishes those checks-and-balances they told us about in those classes, where any single branch of the government can thwart the other two even if they collude to overreach. The Executive branch does this, the Legislative branch that, and the Judicial the other.
First, I'd say that authorize versus establishing, in this instance, is arguing semantics.
Second, I know what the document says, and I am fully aware of the intended purpose of the branches acting as counter weights to the other two. I LIKE the idea of a gridlocked government. The less they do, the better. The problem is that they DON'T tend to actually DO that, do they? They've been in active collusion with one another, viewing themselves, regardless of branch, as the elites, would you not agree?
The rights of the peoples of the country aren't discussed AT ALL in the Constitution, and it should have been plainly evident that that was the topic at hand, from your own admission in your post.
These two things, as far as I'm concerned, are separate animals that have been in constant struggle since about 1791, with the rights of the people being, pretty clearly, on the losing end of things, almost without exception.
I'm starting to think of the Constitution as a kind of alarm system trip wire.
Governments will not be restrained by pieces of paper or noble sounding ideas. They morph and grow however the people allow them to.
All the Constituion does is to give us a way to detect when it goes beyond the boundaries we've set for it.
Markm, the Constitution does enumerate certain powers for the government, but beyond these, the government may not go. That is how it is, in effect, a restraining order. Thus, I stand by my statement.
True, dj, neither government nor common thugs are bothered by pieces of paper. Both are only bothered by high velocity lead moving in their direction.
Lately whenever I hear the word government I remember that great exchange from Die Hard:
Holly Gennero McClane: After all your posturing, all your little speeches, you're nothing but a common thief.
Hans Gruber: I am an exceptional thief, Mrs. McClane. And since I'm moving up to kidnapping, you should be more polite.
You make it seem like The One, or Harry, or Nancy, or even Eric or Janet were doing something more than just flapping their gums (or their ears). They ARE NOT the REAL problem. THAT distinction is reserved for their Enablers. Those OTHER fine individuals who have ALSO taken that same oath and who ALSO are deliberate liars on a daily basis. The Thugs with Guns who ENFORCE each and every edict, no matter HOW UNCONSTITUTIONAL it may be. THEY are the ones who must FIRST be strung from the trees. After THEY are exterminated, then cleanup of the REMAINING swill becomes FAR easier. And can be MUCH MORE PERSONAL and APPROPRIATE as well.