Government: Constitutional Powers and Limits

1210 Words5 Pages
In 1787, the framers signed the Constitution “in Order to form a more perfect Union” (US Const. Preamble). They intended to establish a central government without granting it too much power. To ensure that, the framers both, limited and empowered the government in certain ar- eas. But since the original seven articles of the Constitution are over 200 years old, the framers could not foresee the expansion of the government’s power that has happened until the present day. With the “war on terror” being one of the governments priorities, questions arise if the gov- ernment has become too powerful, especially with regard to practicing surveillance. This essay aims to analyse the limits and powers given to the government by the framers in the…show more content…
The Supreme Court’s most crucial power is the aforementioned power of judicial review. In fact, what probably empowers the government the most are the powers that are not specifically mentioned but that can be implied. In some articles the Con- stitution is intentionally formulated in a rather broad manner, which allows the government to in- terpret the text to its advantage. Congress, for instance, can modify the court system without having to amend the Constitution. All in all, the legislative branch seems to hold the most power; however,it is not only kept in check by the other branches but within the branch itself, which makes it more difficult for Congress to exercise its powers. Hereby, the framers intention of an empowered but still limited government was insured. Nowadays, the original seven articles of the Constitution can widely be interpreted as empowering the government in the surveillance issue. Firstly, the National Security Agency prac- ticing surveillance was established by presidential orders. Here, the Take Care clause can be applied, which empowers the President to ensure that the federal laws are executed. Since the does not have to enforce laws personally, he can establish agencies. Additionally, the agencies fall under the law of lower-level officers, which can be appointed without congressional approval. Further, it can be argued that surveillance is needed to “provide for the common defence, [and] promote the general Welfare”
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