Enumerated Powers




DC Downsizer Michael Mitchell of Alaska compiled this list from Article I of the U.S. Constitution. These are all the powers that the Congress has.
  1. Borrow money
  2. Regulate commerce among the states
  3. Regulate naturalization
  4. Regulate bankruptcies
  5. Coin money
  6. Fix weights and standards
  7. Punish counterfeiters
  8. Establish post offices
  9. Establish post roads
  10. Record patents
  11. Protect copyrights
  12. Create federal courts
  13. Punish pirates
  14. Declare war
  15. Raise an army
  16. Provide a navy
  17. Call up the militia
  18. Organize the militia
  19. Makes laws for Washington, DC
  20. Make rules for the Army and Navy
And that's it! Mitchell continues, "According to the 10th Amendment, all else is controlled by the states or the people."

Go to DownsizeDC.org's Enumerated Powers Act campaign.




According to Judge Andrew Napolitano that number is only 17 (I wonder what three he missed or combined). According to Mr. Napolitano:

"Congresses used that power to control the conditions for production and sale of goods that eventually made their way into interstate commerce. And modern Congresses have used that power to regulate any human behavior they wish, so long as the behavior, when combined with other similar behavior, might conceivably affect the movement of goods or persons in interstate commerce. Thus, today, the water you drink, the air you breathe, the size of the toilet bowl in your bathroom, the number of legs on your desk chair, the strength of the water pressure in your shower in your home, the amount of wheat you can grow in your yard, the amount of sugar manufacturers can put into ketchup, the words you can utter in public or private, are all regulated by the Congress, claiming power under the Commerce Clause."

He also points out that: it would take the "state legislatures of 34 states to enact a resolution by a simple majority vote of each house of the states’ legislatures [to instruct] Congress to convene a constitutional convention. . ."

But as Glen Beck points out, "when the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia for their constitutional convention their orders were to do nothing more than “amend the Articles of Confederation.” By day three they had unofficially agreed to abolish the Articles and create a new form of government". I think Glen has a point here. Without elected officials that truly believe in doing what's right for the people, instead of making themselves more powerful, a constitutional convention would likely lead to the end of our government as we know (or even knew) it. What we truly need are good people to stand up for what's right in the face of almost certain death; something the founding fathers themselves actually did.

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