The Instigator
wjmelements
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
darnocs1
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points

The Constitution is flawed...(full resolution below)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,372 times Debate No: 10659
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (9)

 

wjmelements

Pro

Resolved: The Constitution's flaws keep the United States federal government from being limited.

"The Constitution" refers to the Constitution of the United States that was ratified in 1787. http://www.archives.gov...

"flaw" - an imperfection or weakness and especially one that detracts from the whole or hinders effectiveness http://www.merriam-webster.com...

"limited government" - a type of government in which its functions and powers are prescribed, limited, and restricted by law http://dictionary.reference.com...

Note: USFG stands for United States Federal Government.

Contentions:
I. The Elastic Clause
II. Wartime Exceptions and Suspension of Habeas Corpus
III. The General Welfare Clause
IV. The Supreme Court

I. The Elastic Clause
"Congress shall have Power...To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any Department or officer thereof."
Though it has been speculated that the original intent of the Elastic Clause was to allow congress the power to make laws that fulfilled the enumerated powers listed before [1], it is common knowledge that it now means that "congress may pass all laws necessary and proper." [2] This means that the USFG can do essentially anything it wants.

II. Wartime Exceptions and Suspension of Habeas Corpus
"The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
This has been interpretted to mean that anyone opposing the government in war time can be arrested [3].

Abraham Lincoln even wents so far as to arrest Maryland Congressmen in order to keep them from voting on secession [4]. During the Civil War, it was declared that "the habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy will no longer be tolerated", essentially ending free speech [4]. In the Civil War, Congress also passed a law that "authorized [the President] to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in any case throughout the United States or any part thereof" [4]. The government also closed down a multitude of newspapers that spoke out against the war [4]. Peaceful protesting was outlawed.

III. The General Welfare Clause
"The Congress shall have Power To...provide for the...general Welfare of the United States"
Some authors argue that "In its original context, promoting the general welfare meant that all expenditures from the public treasury must benefit the public at large" [5], but the General Welfare Clause has been used to justify any government social program or law whatsoever, including federal subsidies [6], the social security system [5], and the welfare state [6].

IV. The Supreme Court
Given all the Judicial Power in the United States [7], the Supreme Court has arbitrary power to construe the meaning of the Constitution in any way they desire. This is the last nail in the coffin: the government can determine that it has no limits at all.

V. Conclusion
There are no significant limits in the Constitution due to flaws that can be interpreted to mean anything the USFG desires.

[1] http://www.america-betrayed-1787.com...
[2] http://www.socialstudieshelp.com...
[3] http://www.infoplease.com...
[4] http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org...
[5] http://www.america-betrayed-1787.com...
[6] http://westernfrontamerica.com...
[7] http://www.usconstitution.net... (Section II)
darnocs1

Con

I look forward to an interesting debate! Best of luck to my opponent.

For clarification, I will be accepting the definitions provided by my opponent.

I will be presenting an alternate view on the resolution, and will then refute my opponent's arguments point by point. I will further tie in my own arguments in my refutation to show why the Constitution's flaws do not keep the USFG from being limited.

I stated resolved: that the Constitution's flaws do not keep the USFG from being limited

Contentions:
I. The issue lies in the flaws of interpretation and a lack of accountability

The issue lies in the flaws of interpretation and a lack of accountability.
We see many actions of the government being taken today, many of which can be considered "illegitimate" or essentially unlimited. As a result, the government ends up often times making legislative and policy changes that are not beneficial to America as a whole. I, like my opponent, believe that a limited government is the best kind. However, the reason for the government's seemingly "unlimited" power is both the flaws in the way the Constitution is interpreted (not written) and a failure on behalf of American citizens to hold the government accountable for doing what is right. The Constitution ought to be adhered to in the way the Founding Fathers meant it. Yes, we can't magically read the Fathers' minds, however we can look at historical documents that they wrote. John Adams, 2nd President of the United States said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." While I am not advocating a "religious" government, this statement–as well as many others from other Fathers–show both the expectation and concept behind the USFG: a limited government that is held accountable and in check by it's constituents. Adams said, "The people have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge - I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers." 
In order to have a limited government, the Constitution must be interpreted properly–as the Founding Fathers intended–and in order for that to happen, American people must hold the government accountable.

Now let's see how all of my opponent's examples fall directly in line with my arguments today.

Refutation

Contention 1: The Elastic Clause
My opponent states it himself: "the original intent of the Elastic Clause was to allow congress the power to make laws that fulfilled the enumerated powers listed before." The Constitution was written with the idea in mind of keeping the government limited. The problem is that people are power hungry. Lord Acton said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Fred Woodworth said, "If human beings are fundamentally good, no government is necessary; if they are fundamentally bad, any government, being composed of human beings, would be bad also." The reason that the USFG can do "anything it wants" is because of flaws in interpretation, not in the flaws of the Constitution. If these so-called "flaws" were to be changed today, the government would eventually find some way around them.
Contention 2: Wartime Exceptions and Suspension of Habeas Corpus
My opponent again so clearly puts my own argument: flaws in interpretation of the Constitution is the problem. "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." My opponent then says, "This has been interpreted to mean that anyone opposing the government in war time can be arrested." True. But what does it actually *say* ? Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended *unless* in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it. Yes, Lincoln claimed that the "public safety" meant censoring free speech, but was that actually the case? Speculation and interpretation are most certainly not the same thing as original intent.

Contention 3: The General Welfare Clause
The government's duty should be to promote (not necessarily provide) the general welfare of the United States–aka, the American citizens. Whether the clause means funds should be spent only in the peoples' direct benefit, or whether it means that the government's actions should benefit the majority of the people, the fact remains that the government "justifying" subsidies, social security and welfare are not in the "general interest" of the people. While these programs may help some, the focus should be on the majority–hence the word "general," not "the few that you the government can get the favor of." General–not individual–welfare may be promoted by the government.

Contention 4: The Supreme Court
Going back to my original argument, the way that the government can be limited is by the people keeping it accountable. The Constitution also allows for Congress to make exceptions to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court: (Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2) "the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction … with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make." So the ultimate power of interpreting the Constitution is not entirely within the Judicial Branch. And once again, if the Constitution is to be upheld, the people must work to keep the government accountable for doing what is right and thus being limited.

Conclusion:

While my opponent rightfully says that the USFG is not sufficiently limited, my opponent makes the faulty assertion that the lack of limitation comes from flaws in the Constitution. The true flaws lie in bad interpretation, not "weaknesses" of the Constitution itself. In order for government to truly be limited, the people must hold the government accountable–America was built with the ultimate power to be vested in the people, and for the government to be limited and lawful, the people must not give away that right.
Debate Round No. 1
wjmelements

Pro

I apologize to my opponent and the audience, but I had to rush this round for lack of time.

==In response to my opponent's contention:==
Flaws in interpretation and the "lack of accountability" are a direct result of the Constitution. My opponent has brought up how John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." This is quite a flaw in the Constitution. It cannot expect its officials or citizens to be omniscient. It ignores the flaws of man, and poorly defines its limits on power, allowing government to expand. This is how various clauses have come to be abused. This falls in line with my first three contentions.
I also contend that there is no "lack of accountability" (although if there was, this would be the Constitution's fault), but that the accountability system in the Constitution doesn't work. It trusts all the Judicial Power to the Supreme Court, an oligarchy, that has historically abused its power. This falls in line with my fourth contention.

==Contention 1==
It is clear that the way the Elastic Clause was written allows it to be abused. The necessary and proper clause allows the interstate commerce clause to be abused because it allows the USFG "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution" the regulation of whatever the government sees to be interstate commerce. Everything indirectly affects interstate commerce, so the government has the power to regulate it. This is a flaw of the Constitution, not of interpretation.

==Contention 2==
The question is posed of who determines if public safety is in danger. Public Safety is an abstract concept, and it can be threatened by practically anything, so the government has the right to regulate practically anything. This is a flaw of the Constitution, not of interpretation.

==Contention 3==
General Welfare is also an abstract concept. The question is posed of who is to determine if the general welfare is promote by a policy. As a result, the government can do anything as long as it feels it is promoting the general welfare.

==Contention 4==
The courts created by Congress are considered "inferior" to the Supreme Court [1]. Therefore, the Supreme Court, capable of overruling lesser judges, still effectively has all Judicial Power.

==Conclusion==
The Constitution has abstract limits that allow its present loose interpretation. The Founding Fathers failed in their intentions by poorly defining limits in power. The accountability system set up, further, is flawed. This affirms the resolution. Thank you.

==Source==
[1] http://www.usconstitution.net...
darnocs1

Con

Totally understandable.

I'll start by addressing the arguments against my contention, and then covering the flaws of my opponent's contentions.

How can flaws of interpretation be the fault of the Constitution? My opponent ignores the fact that it is possible for us to know–based on other documents the Founding Fathers wrote, things they said, etc–what the original intent of the Constitution is. For clarification, this quote of John Adams was not from the Constitution, merely a quote showing the mindset of one–and many–of the Founding Fathers. While man does have inherent flaws in his nature, it is still possible to strive for excellence. Do we not say, "let us strive to be as good as we can possibly be" ? While perfection is certainly not attainable, and I am not advocating achievement of it, it is possible to strive for the highest good–more specifically, that outlined in the Constitution. Government's prime role ought to be to respect the individual rights of all humans, and to abide by popular sovereignty. My opponent says there is "no lack of accountability," but yet he says in the same sentence that "the accountability system doesn't work," as "it trusts all the Judicial Power to the Supreme Court." The Constitution was designed so that people would have ultimate control. Whether man abuses and twists the original intent of the Constitution are not flaws of the document itself, rather, as my opponent put it, "flaws of man."

==Contention 1 Refutation==
While this may be the case (although not *everything* is linked to interstate commerce), the Constitution was designed so that *the people* would be able to decide and rule the government. "For the people, by the people." If the government attempts to alter the meaning of the Constitution, it is then up to the people to overthrow or reform the flawed government.

==Contention 2 Refutation==
Who determines public safety? The people; once again, my concept of popular sovereignty. Take the analogy of the restaurant: if you visit a restaurant, who best knows what you want to eat–you, or the waiter? Likewise, the *people* not the government decide what is best for themselves. The Constitution was *designed* to promote this concept, but the government has twisted and misinterpreted the original intent.

==Contention 3 Refutation==
The same logic used above applies here. The people, not the government, decide what is best for themselves, despite what the government does. The government is not acting in the interests of the people with the healthcare bill because the majority of people oppose it. This is an illegitimate action.

==Contention 4 Refutation==
People hold the power, and people keep the government accountable–so is the argument of the Constitution. The Constitution was designed for a people that seek to uphold it's values. If you seek to destroy is or usurp it's power–and thus the power of the people–any government will likely succeed at doing so. Man has a way of twisting things to their own mindset.

Conclusion
The Constitution was written with a direct purpose in mind–individual rights and popular sovereignty–and when the government becomes corrupt, it is up to the people to alter or abolish it. The Constitution is not flawed, rather, the government's interpretations and actions are. The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
wjmelements

Pro

I thank my opponent for understanding and will make more thorough arguments this round.

==The negative case==
While in my contentions I have and will continue to outline that the Constitution was vague in its vision for limiting government, my opponent has insisted that it is the flaw of interpretation. He may only demonstrate that on the individual case level. Every flaw I've identified was a flaw in the Constitution itself, and each individual case was conceded by my opponent in round 2.
My opponent also frequently points out the intent of the founding fathers. Their intent is irrelevant in regard to what they produced, a limitless government.
"The Constitution was designed so that people would have ultimate control" is untrue in many senses. First, the founding fathers went to great lengths to limit direct democracy, so that "the people" would not have ultimate control. Ben Franklin equated democracy to "two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch [1]". In fact, the power of "the people," if left unchecked by a working constitution, will gradually erode individual liberty, as it has in the United States. Second, "the people" do not have ultimate control. Ultimate control lies with an oligarchy in the form of an appointed Supreme Court whose membership cannot be checked by any group, including "the people" (see my fourth contention).

Now, to the affirmative case.

==Elastic Clause==
My opponent concedes here that the Elastic Clause allows Congress to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper, as deemed by Congress, to regulate Interstate Commerce, in any way Congress sees fit. My opponent's only objection is that "the people" are ultimately in control of said Congress. It has been demonstrated that the people have full authority under the literal meaning of the Constitution to infringe on individual liberty.
My opponent also mentions the ability of a group of people to stage a coup and overthrow their government. I would now like to point out the sheer unlikeliness of such an operation being successful, given the size and strength of the modern United States military in comparison to the common man. I also question any benefit that might arise as a result.

==Wartime Exceptions, Suspension of Habeas Corpus, Public Safety==
My opponent provides no refutation to my case regarding the problem with the clause enabling the suspension of habeas corpus, but instead brings up popular sovereignty. This is addressed above and below.
I contend my opponent's statement, that "the *people* not the government decide what is best for themselves" under the United States Constitution. Congress (the government) gets to decide what is best for the population through its possession of legislative power [2]. The people may elect the government once every so many years, but the government makes the decisions.
My opponent gives an individual sovereignty metaphor (waiter, customer) to demonstrate popular sovereignty that is easily debunked. I counter it with another metaphor: A man walks into a bar. Who knows better what he wants to drink: himself, or everyone else there?
Unchecked power infringes upon individual liberty. The Constitution fails to prevent this.
I also question my opponent's opinion on the case in which the majority wishes that the government enslave a portion of the population for military duty.

==General Welfare Clause==
My opponent, again, concedes that the general welfare clause is open for interpretation and so serves to allow the government whatever will it wants. This is a flaw in the Constitution that prevents the protection of the individual.
My opponent again defaults to popular sovereignty. This has been addressed above.

==Supreme Court==
The point was brought up earlier during my refutation of the negative case, but I shall reiterate that nobody can hold the Supreme Court accountable.
My opponent makes a final argument, stating that any government can fail. However, I have demonstrated that the reason our government is constitutionally unchecked is because of flaws in the Constitution itself.

==Conclusion==
While my opponent insists that the flaws are issues of improper interpretation, I have demonstrated that the Founding Fathers are to blame, for they have left a number of holes in the protection of our individual rights. The lack of effective limits on the United States Federal Government is due, therefore, to flaws in the Constitution itself. The resolution is affirmed. Thank you.

==Sources==
[1] http://www.cancertutor.com...
[2] http://www.usconstitution.net...
darnocs1

Con

==Negative Contention: The issue lies in the flaws of interpretation and a lack of accountability==
My opponent claims that it's only possible to "demonstrate [flaw of interpretation] on an individual case level." Not the case. As I showed throughout my previous speeches, all the so-called "flaws of the Constitution" are not truly the flaws of the document itself, but a failure to interpret it's meaning correctly, and a lack of accountability to interpret it properly.
My opponent said that "the intent of the founding fathers…is irrelevant." Why? Because "they produced a limitless government." But did they produce it? Or did the previous generations of officials? Once again, the intent of the founding fathers was absolutely clear. The real problem doesn't lie in the Constitution being flawed, but rather a failure to respect two important doctrines that America was founded upon–protection of rights and adherence to popular sovereignty–and flaws of interpretation. As for the concept of popular sovereignty that my opponent says doesn't exist, it was one of the very reasons America became her own nation–not because of taxation, but taxation without representation! Now, there is not near as much popular sovereignty as before, but that's not to say that the Constitution is at fault. The government–whether the Constitution had been written one way or another–would still find a way to use it's power unlimitedly, and the existing problems would still be here.

==Elastic Clause==
When, in the occasion that the elastic clause is misused, it is up to the people to repeal the law. I did not and am not advocating a coup or a revolution as did, say, the French. I am, however, simply saying that it is within the rights and duty of American citizens to choose for themselves what laws they want and don't want. For example, Arizona wants to implement a law to help prevent illegal immigration. The Washington Post states that: "One unifying immigration concern is the widespread perception that the federal government is not doing enough to keep illegal immigrants from coming into the country. Overall, 75 percent of those polled fault border enforcement, and 83 percent support using National Guard troops to patrol the U.S.-Mexico line." [1] These polls show that the majority of the people don't think that the border enforcement is as efficient as it could be–and it is not. The government, however, is not doing anything about it. The flaws don't lie in the interpretation–the Constitution clearly states that the government's job is to protect the borders: to protect states from invasion (Constitution, Article 4, Section 4). In this instance, the government is being unconstitutional–a problem lying in a lack of action, flaws in interpretation, and most certainly not flaws of the Constitution itself. One again, returning to the founding fathers' original intent: James Madison says, ""When we are considering the advantages that may result from an easy mode of naturalization, we ought also to consider the cautions necessary to guard against abuses … aliens might acquire the right of citizenship, and return to the country from which they came, and evade the laws intended to encourage the commerce and industry of the real citizens and inhabitants of America, enjoying at the same time all the advantages of citizens…" [2]

==Wartime Exceptions==
My opponent says he contends the fact that the people, rather than the government, decide what is best for the people. Not only is this statement illogical, but it appears to be contrary to my opponent's entire case. If he is opposed to unlimited government–as am I–why does he persist in saying that the government should decide what is best for the people? This blatant contradiction just goes to show that the people do decide what is best for themselves, not the government. While the government does have necessary power granted by the Constitution, it is up to the people to ensure that the government adheres to that Constitution–officials may be impeached for violations of the Constitution. Not only this, but the supreme court doesn't (Constitutionally) hold all power as my opponent seems to believe. This is seen in Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2: "the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction … with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."
The Constitution gives Congress the power to make exceptions to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court–the court is not all powerful due to flaws of the Constitution, but a lack of accountability from both Congress and the people–who elect Congress. I am not saying that majority rule defines what one person gets. Everyone has inherent individual rights that should never be taken away. However, when it comes to discussing the limits to the powers of government, that power ought to come from the people and that is why America was founded. Obviously popular sovereignty should work within the bounds of rights, but we aren't debating over that. The military analogy is not only theoretical, but, once again, not relating to our debate. That would obviously be unconstitutional, since the Constitution forbids slavery. The Constitution provides limitation to the government. If the government weasels a way around those based on semantics and bribery, it is then up to the people to put government back in line.

==General Welfare==
My opponent's assertion is false. As I said earlier, the people–not the government–decide what is best for themselves. It's simply illogical for the government to be able to decide what the people want. Saying the people want something is different than what they really want.

==Supreme Court==
The Constitution does hold the court accountable: through Congress, which is elected by the people. Take a look at Article 3, Section 2.

==Conclusion==
My opponent's arguments have been, at best, misguided, such as the claim that "nobody can hold the Supreme Court accountable." While an unlimited government is certainly a problem, it stems not from the so-called "flaws of the Constitution," but a lack of accountability and respect for the rights and will of the American people. As seen through logic, history, quotes of the founding fathers themselves, and more powerfully, the Constitution, we see that it is not flawed. The way to stop the unlimited power of government is to take legal action and force the government to step back into line.

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[2] http://www.constitutionparty.com...
Debate Round No. 3
wjmelements

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

==Negative Case==
I maintain that if my opponent wants to argue that he has demonstrated that "all the so-called "flaws of the Constitution" are not truly the flaws of the document itself, but a failure to interpret it's meaning correctly, and a lack of accountability to interpret it properly," then he must actually demonstrate this in refuting my contentions.

I maintain that the Founder's intent is irrelevant to this debate because this debate concerns whether or not the Constitution is flawed, not whether or not the founders intended to produce a limited government, which they obviously didn't.

My opponent also makes the general argument that any document written to control the size of government would eventually fail. This is irrelevant to the debate, which only concerns the fact that the reason the Constitution failed was its flaws.

==Elastic Clause==
I contend that the Elastic Clause has not and can not be "misused" because the Constitution allows Congress to do anything in its power to regulate, directly or indirectly, interstate commerce. My opponent has not refuted this in two rounds, except to argue about popular sovereignty, which I have argued is effectively unchecked by anything in the Constitution. My opponent has not countered those arguments.

My opponent's long example does not warrant any of the claims he provides before and is entirely unrelated to the Elastic Clause. The lack of enforcement of the invasion clause and naturalization requirements is an issue of unconstitutionality, whilst I am arguing that the Constitution has no significant limits on power that some great government power grab might be considered unconstitutional.

==Wartime Exceptions==
Contrary to my opponent's incorrect observation, no where did I contend that "the government *should* decide what is best for the people"; rather, I proved that it was the case. The rest of the paragraph is entirely irrelevant to the debate (whether or not the government adheres to the Constitution) or out of place (Supreme Court), in which case it is to be addressed later.

My opponent, for some reason, believes my military "analogy" to be "theoretical," even though the draft has enslaved a portion of the population for involuntary military servitude in four different wars (World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War) [1] after the constitutional criminalization of slavery. Popular sovereignty has historically invaded essential human rights, and so "the people" cannot be trusted with the power. But this is a different debate.

No where does my opponent contend my case regarding Habeas Corpus here, and since he has ignored it, he has conceded it.

==General Welfare==
Once again, the government has set an arbitrary standard with the term "General Welfare." My opponent has not contended this except to state that somehow the government is limited because of mob rule. Regardless of who has the power, the power is not limited by any concrete standard, and this power is further enabled by the General Welfare Clause.

==The Supreme Court==
Article 3 Section 2 does not, in fact, allow Congress to overrule the Supreme Court, or hold its decisions accountable. It may only limit the scope of its power to judicial activity. Such regulations of Congress are themselves regulated in the Constitution, which still grants the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction [4] and all the judicial power of the United States [5].

==Conclusion==
-The USFG has unlimited power warranted by the Elastic Clause, which effectively works with the Interstate Commerce Clause to ensure this. Therefore, the resolution is negated.
-The USFG can suspend habeas corpus whenever it deems the public safety is in danger. Therefore, the resolution is negated.
-The USFG can do whatever it sees to be providing for the General Welfare. Therefore, the resolution is negated.
-An unchecked Supreme Court can construe the meaning of the Constitution as it sees fit. Therefore, the resolution is negated.

Indeed, flaws in the Constitution prevent the limitation of the United States Federal Government. Thank you.

==Sources==
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.factasy.com...
[3] http://www.usconstitution.net...
[4] http://www.usconstitution.net...
[5] http://www.usconstitution.net...
darnocs1

Con

I also thank my opponent for the debate. It was quite intellectually stimulating.

==Negative Contention: The issue lies in the flaws of interpretation and a lack of accountability==
My opponent's contenions have been adequately refuted, as will be further seen below. My opponent, on the other hand, has failed to adequately refute my arguments. He says things like, 'the people don't decide what is best for themselves,' and 'the original intent doesn't matter,' but I contest that the people *are* the ones that know what is best for themselves, and the original intent of the Constitution is crucial if we are to uphold it.

My opponent claims that the USFG is unlimited because of flaws of the Constitution. I simply pointed out that if all of the said so-called "flaws" were fixed in my opponent's opinion, the government would still find some way around them–that is inevitable. The way to stop the government from being unlimited is through respect for the people's wishes–accountability–and those people to hold the government to interpret the Constitution correctly; aka, original intent.

==Elastic Clause==
As I said in my first speech relating to this matter, the issue is a flaw in the interpretation, not the Constitution. My opponent even said: the original intent of the Elastic Clause was to allow congress the power to make laws that fulfilled the enumerated powers listed before." Note, he didn't say "all powers" but only specific ones–aka, the original intent that my opponent says "doesn't matter."

==Wartime Exceptions==
Incorrect. Hitler thought he was doing what was best for the people, but that didn't change the fact that he committed genocide. As mentioned previously, thinking you are doing something and actually doing it are two completely different things that my opponent has gotten confused.

And yes, the analogy is theoretical because, while drafts have been used, they haven't been done in the consent of the majority of the people. And, as also talked about before, the government still has to protect the rights of the individual.

The issue of habeas corpus is really a non-issue, but I'll clarify this argument anyways. As can be seen easily in the wording, "when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it," and thus the USFG can't suspend habeas corpus whenever they want. My opponent then said "This has been interpretted to mean that anyone opposing the government in war time can be arrested." Once again, my opponent is not addressing the issue of his own claim–he says the Constitution is flawed, but yet all his examples talk about wrong interpretation.

==General Welfare==
Actually, it's common knowledge that a definition of the term "general welfare" is essentially, "the greatest possible good for the greatest number of people." If the action doesn't benefit the majority, then it's not general welfare–and who but the people themselves know if it benefits the people? People decide what is best for themselves, not a government that is set up to protect those people.

==The Supreme Court==
Upon examining the Constitution itself, we see that Article 3 Section 2 actually does allow Congress to regulate the supreme court: "the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make." It doesn't mean that Congress can only limit judicial activity, but that the supreme court has appellate jurisdiction *with exceptions and regulations that Congress shall make.* The truth is quite evident in the text.

==Conclusion==
–The USFG does not have unlimited power due to the Elastic Clause, but rather unlimited power because of wrong interpretation as my opponent put it, and a lack of accountability from the people, and is thus limited by the Constitution. The resolution is affirmed.
–The USFG can only suspend habeas corpus in an invasion or rebellion that could harm the public, and is thus limited by the Constitution. The resolution is affirmed.
–The USFG can not do whatever it wants because general welfare is in the eye of the beholder (people), not the bestower (government), and is thus limited by the Constitution. The resolution is affirmed.
–The Supreme Court does not have unlimited power; the Congress can determine what the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over. The resolution is affirmed.
–The issue of popular sovereignty, accountability, and flaws of interpretation have not been adequately refuted by my opponent and thus still stand. The resolution is affirmed.

It is flaws of interpretation, lack of accountability, not flaws of the Constitution, that allow the government unprecedented authority. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
Nice presentation wjm. I think i would have argued that the entire constitution relies on the people electing their representatives. Representatives that will appoint and draw law and interpret law that is largely done by the people's representatives. We put them there, and we can remove them. Volkov once mentioned that we should have some sort of recall ability...i like that.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
I finished with 13 seconds left.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
And those limitations never happened. Would you consider that false advertising?
Posted by mongeese 6 years ago
mongeese
They talked about implied limitations on the Fed's powers.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
They didn't have much to say.
Posted by mongeese 6 years ago
mongeese
Federalist Papers are hardly considered legal documents. They should be, though.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
It came with Federalist Papers ;-)
Posted by mongeese 6 years ago
mongeese
Why couldn't the Constitution come with a FAQ or Glossary?
Posted by comoncents 6 years ago
comoncents
Good luck, as you look like the most popular president in history.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
Yay. Someone accepted it.
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Vote Placed by sllewuy 6 years ago
sllewuy
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Vote Placed by Timl 6 years ago
Timl
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Vote Placed by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
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Vote Placed by Guardian 6 years ago
Guardian
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Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Yvette 6 years ago
Yvette
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Vote Placed by darnocs1 6 years ago
darnocs1
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Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
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