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State And Local Government

It enacts a written constitution, with all that that implies. It describes the purposes for which that document was adopted, which has implications for interpreting specific provisions. No one can doubt, that this does not enlarge the powers of congress to pass any measures, which they may deem useful for the common defence. But suppose the terms of a given power admit of two constructions, the one more restrictive, the other more liberal, and each of them is consistent with the words . ; if one would promote, and the other defeat the common defence, ought not the former, upon the soundest principles of interpretation to be adopted? Are we at liberty, upon any principles of reason, or common sense, to adopt a restrictive meaning, which will defeat an avowed object of the constitution, when another equally natural and more appropriate to the object is before us?

After all, is it possible for the government to take money and property away from the people who produced it, then spend and distribute it in various ways along political lines, and have economic prosperity as a result? Most of what flows into Washington stays there and is siphoned off by bureaucracy. The rest is distributed as political favors to a select few at the expense of the many. The Post-60s progressive liberals go further, however, and see the purpose of government above all to be that of protecting the rights of the less advantaged – women, the poor, racial minorities, sexual minorities, the disabled – the least among us.

Individuals must give up something, like taxes, to gain the state’s protection. Because citizens busily pursuing their own happiness are too distracted or disinterested to notice when privileged groups shape the government to serve their purposes. The government seeks to balance the interests of the individual with the interests of the community.

This is not surprising for a Constitution that explicitly protected the institution of slavery and gave women no rights. But as the Supreme Court has explained for over a half century, equality is an implicit and inherent part of liberty. Looking at the above functions, you might be wondering what they mean for you and for other citizens on a daily basis. Let’s examine a few of the governmental responsibilities that fall under each Constitutional function. As a member, you’ll also get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.

This includes physical attacks, such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and invisible attacks, such as cyber espionage. The government has the authority to raise and maintain a military for defense purposes and the power to declare war. It can also promote international security by participating in diplomatic efforts, signing treaties and other international agreements, and sending ambassadors to other countries to represent the country and its interests. This means, first, that all members of society are subject to the same laws. In addition, the criminal justice system is charged with enforcing the laws in the same way for all members of society, and all individuals possess the same rights under the law. The equal application includes those who are tasked with administering the law.

Now that you know about government, it’s time to take a stand. In this writing assignment, you’ll be crafting a speech as if you are a politician running for office. You’ll use the first paragraph to address what the government should stand for in your opinion. Then, the next three paragraphs should address three different issues you think the government should be working on. For example, you can choose things like women’s rights, minimum wage, the prison system, healthcare, or anything else you’re interested in.

The Framers’ republic went one step further by dividing power between two “distinct governments” to cite Federalist No. 51—the federal level and the state level, and then subdividing power among separate departments or branches within these governments. For the Founders the purpose of government is to secure and protect the natural rights of its citizens, their right to life, liberty and property. Learn all about the main purposes of government in just a few minutes! Scot Schraufnagel, chair and professor of political science at Northern Illinois University, explains how governments establish laws, maintain order and provide security, protect citizens from external threats, and promote the general welfare. There are many working parts – the “auxiliary precautions” in the system that Madison and the other leading Founders proposed to achieve the twin goals of effective and safe governance. Most recent in the Founders’ experience was the government established by the Articles of Confederation – a “firm league of friendship” that had been too weak to provide an effective form of government.

Disagreements over the extent to which the government should regulate its citizens typically falls along political lines. Conservative citizens feel that the central government should have less control over its people, while liberal citizens advocate for government intervention in the area of social welfare. Finally, governments provide for the “general welfare” of their people.

The supreme court focuses on correcting errors made in lower courts and therefore holds no trials. Rulings made in State supreme courts are normally binding; however, when questions are raised regarding consistency with the U.S. Constitution, matters may be appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court. Implied agreement that people lay down their rights of equality and freedom and give absolute power to sovereign .

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