Jeremy Keeshin Constitution Test – Part 2 – Themes/Characteristics Does the Constitution do a better job of limiting the government’s

power or guaranteeing the individual’s freedom? Relevant Sections Bill of Rights: The first ten amendments to the Constitution protect the individual in many respects. The Anti Federalist legacy, it protected the people from the wrath of the central government by giving them freedom to speak their mind and protect them in court and from government, among other things. Article 1, Section 8: The Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution lists specifically powers given to Congress such as controlling the flow of money and a navy among other things. Article 1, Section 9: This section details the limits on legislative power such as that they cannot act autonomously from the government by making their own money and taxing and signing into alliances among other things. The Constitution does a better job protecting the freedoms of the individual than limiting the government’s power because the specific wording on individuals freedoms in stronger than the vague and general wording about the limitation of government. In the Bill of Rights, specific liberties given to the individual are listed to protect them from an overpowering central government. The important first amendment protects the freedom of speech, press, petition, religion, and assembly, allowing the individual to speak his mind. The second amendment gives the individual the right to bear arms. The individual is also protected from quartering of troops, unfair search and seizure, self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishment, and given the right to a fair trial. These specific measures laid on by the framers guarantee that the individual has certain rights no inherent to them as US citizens and citizens of the world. The precise wording of the Bill of Rights and explicit listing of individual freedoms makes it strongly guarantee the rights of the individual. The Enumerated Powers section of the Constitution is a problem with the limitation of governmental power. Although Article 1, Section 9 attempts to limit the power of Congress, certain aspects of Section 8 outweigh it. An example of this is the Elastic Clause that says that all measures deemed “necessary and proper” to execute the government are allowed. This can be interpreted to override specific limitations set on the government. This demonstrates the ambiguous nature with which the framers wrote about the limitation of government. They may limit it in Section 9 by not allowing a state to act autonomously from the country, etc., but giving the Elastic Clause in the Enumerated Powers takes away from that limitation. The limitations in Section 9 are on very general and almost treasonous actions, which does not limit them in a sense of creating laws. The limitations are also very few to limit the power of the legislature effectively. Because the Constitution is exact in its references to the powers of the people it is stronger than the indefinite way with which it limits the power of Congress. The

Jeremy Keeshin people are also given an elastic clause of a sort by the 9th and 10th amendments, but this would strengthen the protection of individual freedom, not weaken it. This exemplifies the manner of which the individual is protected more by the Constitution than the limitation of government is.