Have you ever had an idea and thought, “If I were in charge I’d make THIS the law”?

Discussion: Have everyone take a turn describing their great idea and how to implement it.

At the federal level, one misconception about the U.S. Constitution is something called the “general welfare clause.” This has been used by politicians to justify every law they pass as one that benefits the “general welfare” of society. The original intent of this phrase was to ensure that the law would benefit every member of the nation, specifically for the items listed in Article 1, Section 8 where this phrase appears.

For example, a national military benefits everyone so it is appropriate that the Constitution specifies this as a legitimate expenditure of federal money. Thomas Jefferson said “On every question of construction [or interpretation of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates [which were vigorous and examined all sides of the issues], and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” In other words, rather than let modern day judges and legislators tell us what the Constitution means according to their agenda, we should study the original intent of the Framers of the Constitution to understand what they had in mind when they created the document.

Discussion: Ask everyone to think of the various people impacted by their new law and if their law treats all people fairly?

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About the author : Oak Norton

Father of 5 children, husband to 1 amazingly patient woman, entrepreneur, and education advocate.

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