After reading Article One Section 8 of the United States Constitution, I came across a list of Enumerated powers granted to the Federal Government. It states that “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.” It goes on to list powers such as: To borrow money on the credit of the United States, to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes, etc.
Even with the powers granted to Congress, there are still limits on federal and state legislative power. The Commerce Clause characterizes the balance of power between the federal government and individual states. Under the Commerce Clause, Congress has the authority to pass laws in regards of human behavior not mentioned in the Constitution.
The Tenth Amendment denies Congress the right to pass any law it sees fit. However, in the court system, interpretation of the Commerce Clause has defeated the arguments of those who claim that the Tenth Amendment should set substantial limits on the power of Congress.
I feel that many powers of Congress are those that have the ability to be interpreted very broadly especially to fit a purpose. Though it may seem that there are expansive powers deemed to Congress, the 10th Amendment keeps Congress from getting carried away. If it didn’t, we might have a revolution like they’ve done in Europe.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia