View Poll Results: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

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Thread: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

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    Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    Perhaps I am mistaken but I was taught in my civics class that the United States Constitution was the supreme law of this nation.

    Other members of this forum seem to think the Constitution is not the law, but just a set of guidelines and rights we all have as American citizens.

    What do you think?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    The economy will improve under this bill. If a few people die, it will be for the betterament of this country.

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    Perhaps I am mistaken but I was taught in my civics class that the United States Constitution was the supreme law of this nation.

    Other members of this forum seem to think the Constitution is not the law, but just a set of guidelines and rights we all have as American citizens.

    What do you think?
    Since I am the one who inspired this thread, I think I should make things clear. You made the following statement pertaining to the pepper spraying incident that took place yesterday:

    The Law is the Constitution of the United States, not whatever a police officer says.
    That is false. The police do not refer to the US Constitution to determine what is and isn't legal. They refer to the statutes from a city, state, federal, etc.. Those are the laws we all are expected to follow, and police are duty bound to enforce.

    The constitution is not a set of laws, but rather a set of rules and guidelines used to fashion our laws. Our laws must be in compliance with the constitution, otherwise they are not laws. Many laws throughout our history have been made and enforced that violate the constitution, but because they were not challenged for their constitutionality at the time of passing, they were considered legal and were enforced. When people challenge the constitutionality of a law, it is then the job of our judicial system to determine it's compliance with the constitution.

    For example... You can not say what you want, anywhere you want, at any time you want, and claim the legal right to do so under the constitution's right to free speech. If that were the case, you could break into my home, enter my bedroom at 2am and start reading the bible to me because I didn't attend church, and I would have no legal recourse.

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17 View Post
    Since I am the one who inspired this thread, I think I should make things clear. You made the following statement pertaining to the pepper spraying incident that took place yesterday:



    That is false. The police do not refer to the US Constitution to determine what is and isn't legal. They refer to the statutes from a city, state, federal, etc.. Those are the laws we all are expected to follow, and police are duty bound to enforce.

    The constitution is not a set of laws, but rather a set of rules and guidelines used to fashion our laws. Our laws must be in compliance with the constitution, otherwise they are not laws. Many laws throughout our history have been made and enforced that violate the constitution, but because they were not challenged for their constitutionality at the time of passing, they were considered legal and were enforced. When people challenge the constitutionality of a law, it is then the job of our judicial system to determine it's compliance with the constitution.

    For example... You can not say what you want, anywhere you want, at any time you want, and claim the legal right to do so under the constitution's right to free speech. If that were the case, you could break into my home, enter my bedroom at 2am and start reading the bible to me because I didn't attend church, and I would have no legal recourse.
    If that is the way you wish to define it then I question the constitutionality of police pepper spraying nonviolent protesters.

    Technically though, the Constitution is the "law of the land" as is stated in the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. All laws must be "pursuant thereof" the Constitution. If you wish to define that as a "guideline" rather than Constitutional law, then that is simply the semantic game of the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    The economy will improve under this bill. If a few people die, it will be for the betterament of this country.

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    If you wish to define that as a "guideline" rather than Constitutional law, then that is simply the semantic game of the day.
    The semantics is on your part, not mine.

    This from businessdictionary.com:

    Constitutional Law
    Body of law derived from a country's written constitution. It lays down and guides the duties and powers of the government, and the duties and rights of its citizens and residents.

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim17 View Post
    The semantics is on your part, not mine.

    This from businessdictionary.com:

    Constitutional Law
    Body of law derived from a country's written constitution. It lays down and guides the duties and powers of the government, and the duties and rights of its citizens and residents.
    You should probably look up the definition of "fundamental law" while you are cruising around such a definitive source as "businessdictionary.com".
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    The economy will improve under this bill. If a few people die, it will be for the betterament of this country.

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    You should probably look up the definition of "fundamental law" while you are cruising around such a definitive source as "businessdictionary.com".
    This whole argument is based on your statement:

    The Law is the Constitution of the United States, not whatever a police officer says.
    You know as well as I do, that the constitution isn't the law in this case. The local statutes are the laws, laws that conform to the rules and guidlines set forth by the constituion, as all federal, state and local laws are.

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    I wonder who voted no?...

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by CriticalThought View Post
    Perhaps I am mistaken but I was taught in my civics class that the United States Constitution was the supreme law of this nation.

    Other members of this forum seem to think the Constitution is not the law, but just a set of guidelines and rights we all have as American citizens.

    What do you think?
    In the manner in which you are attempting to imply you mean with regards to "supreme law of the land", no. Colloquially its referred to as the "supreme law of the land". It's called such because, as the foundation of our governmental structure, all our legal system is built upon it. Laws that are not built upon that foundation are subject to collapse, as they lack the necessary structure to remain standing. In a sense you could state its the "laws" of the law, but doing so would be rather abstract and very much akin to saying guidelines.

    However, the constitution itself doesn't really represent "law". Note we state when someone violates the Constitution they are acting "unconstitutionally" not "illegally". It is not illegal for the government to violate an individuals free speech; it is unconstitutional to do so. The "laws" are things passed by congress and signed by the President. Those laws can be judged based on their "Constitutionality" when it comes to the Constitution

    You said "the law" not "a law". At best, the Constitution is "laws" in the generic sense...IE a set of principles or rules with authority under the state with regards to how people (in this case specifically the government) act. However, it wouldn't be "the law" in the sense of breaking "the law" or violating "the law" in a societal or individual sense. The law, in its common use, are the LAWS actually passed by government and enforced by their agents. Said law may be UNCONSTITUTIONAL, but they remain the "Law" until such time that said law is deemed unconstitutional by an appropriate source (and some jackass on the street or interacting with a cop or posting on a message board or writing a newspaper column is not that source).

    So at best in a generic sense its a "law", but its not "the law", and its probably more accurate to describe it as a set of rights of individuals and guidelines/rules for the government.

    If you want to get very "technical" and go on semantics though...

    It is the Supreme Law of the land, but it would be incorrect to say that "The law is the constitution of the united states, not whatever a police offer says." BOTH of those statements is incorrect. The law is FAR more than what the US constitution states, and it is also not just whatever a police officer states. Additionally, on any given action, the Police Officers interpretation of the law is more valid than most given individuals. If a Police Officer says you violated the law with regards to something regarding speech, you can make the ARGUMENT all you want that the law he states is not the law because the Constitution says otherwise. HIS stance IS the law, yours is just an argument up until such point that you have Judge deem it as a valid argument as they...not any random individual...have the power to determine the constitutionality of a law in an official capacity.

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    Zyphlin- you are very wrong.

    the Constitution of the USA and its Amendments are THE highest laws of the land. They are the most important laws in this country, and these laws decide which other laws are legal...or illegal.

    No law in this country is valid, if it contradicts any laws in the Constitution. This makes the Constitution both literally & figuratively, the Law of the Land.

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    Re: Is the US Constitution the Supreme Law of the United States?

    The USA Constitution laws are only what five old men and old women say they are at any particular point in time.

    .

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