http://www.debatepolitics.com/histor...post1059742884 (Knowing Our History, and The Minds That Shaped It: A Catalog Of Historical Documents)
Just a note, this list was a work of many contributors like you, I simply maintain it.
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate, indeed, the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States. If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy and candor, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of NEW POWERS to the Union, than in the invigoration of its ORIGINAL POWERS. The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained. The powers relating to war and peace, armies and fleets, treaties and finance, with the other more considerable powers, are all vested in the existing Congress by the articles of Confederation. The proposed change does not enlarge these powers; it only substitutes a more effectual mode of administering them."
Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 08-20-11 at 10:20 AM.
1: most sacred or holy : inviolable
2: treated as if holy : immune from criticism or violation <politically sacrosanct programs>
I don't believe that the Constitution was meant to be above criticism, but I do believe it was meant to be above violation. Perhaps, that is what the Authors meant when they made the Constitution the supreme law of the land. As far as changes go, yes, they provided for a method to amend the Constitution. They planned for an orderly change to the Constitution.
I see no reason why any and all parts of the constitution cannot be rewritten, removed, or added to. It's just a piece of paper. The ideas in it are not magically better because they appear in the constitution. And not every idea in it is good. As always, we should distill the bad ideas out, and try new ideas, and keep the ones that are good.
I mean, can we really say that a bicameral legislature is morally superior to a unicameral one? Is a supreme court with lifetime appointments intrinsically better than elected judges? Or perhaps we should choose them by lottery. Who knows. Is is better to have a qualified right to Habeas Corpus, as opposed to one that cannot ever be abridged? Are we better off without an amendment guaranteeing the right of privacy, or without the Equal Rights Amendment? How about the balanced budget amendment? How about codification of statutes so that a person can know for sure what laws affect them on a day to day basis?
A good idea is good of its own merit, not because it was good yesterday. We should always be trying to come up with better ideas.
Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.