This question was spurred specifically by a discussion I was having with my dad the other day about the constitutionality of the law passed by Congress a while ago which made carrying a gun in a school zone a felony.
The constitutional power cited by Congress was interstate commerce, being that since pupils are future citizens of the United States (and, consequently, participants in the U.S. economy), their protection lies under regulation of commerce.
That is obviously a stretch, if not an abuse, of the powers delegated to Congress, but it did potentially provide for the safety of many American children. While it does degrade the legitimacy of the Constitution, it seems necessary to make the creation of that law a possibility for the federal government, because of the colorful variety of "gun culture" seen among the states.
So, back to the main point. Which do you think is more important, constitutional authority, as well as the preservation of specified powers, or the well-being of the country?
And should the Constitution be changed in favor of greater federal power, so that it does truly become legitimate in terms of modern U.S. society?
The Constitution isn't supreme, that's why there's so many amendments to it. With a constitutional vote, additions can be made.
If it did not come across clearly, what I meant by "supreme" was that the Constitution was created by the Founding Fathers with the intent of being the law of the land - i.e., the document which determines the validity of laws created by the U.S. government. Thus far, amendments have not given Congress extensions of its original powers beyond the ability to enforce the contents of said amendments through legislation.
And power has been abused in the past, despite the production of an overall positive result -- take the Louisiana Purchase, which was unconstitutional and against the fundamental beliefs of then-president Thomas Jefferson, but which nonetheless greatly expanded United States territory, resources, and political power.
I meant this as more of a question to the tune of, where does the extension of the power allocated to any one governmental branch or to the federal government over the state governments, despite its benefit to the American people, cross the line?
If it ever goes to court the courts can still declare the law unconstitutional. Me personally I think that it was a bad law. I think they were just trying to appease the anti gun crowd such as yourself. I guess time will tell if the law is constitutional. I will have to look up this law.
I did it was declared unconstitutional. The constitution should come first. If we need to amend it we can and do. We leave it in place to divide the powers up and keep the different govt branches from getting to powerful.