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Strict vs. Loose Construction

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Robert Pawlak

on 28 January 2011

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Transcript of Strict vs. Loose Construction

Strict vs. Loose Construction (Interpretation) Hamilton represented the Federalists The Federalists supported a strong national government Jefferson represented the Democratic-Republicans The Democratic-Republicans wanted more state power, less national government power Democratic-Republicans were known as strict constructionists because they wanted the powers of the national government limited to what was allowed by the Constitution Federalists were known as loose constructionists because they said they had all the power that was "necessary and proper" to run the government This was known as the "necessary and proper" clause Article 1, section 8, clause 18: "The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." As a result of these two different ways of looking at the Constitution, many decisions made by the national government can be looked at in terms of strict or loose construction. The following examples will be used to decide whether the decision made by the national government was an example of strict or loose construction. Native Americans are attacking settlers along the frontier. Congress raises money for an army to defend the settlers. Spain closes the port of New Orleans to U.S. shipping. The President makes a treaty with Spain allowing the use of the port of New Orleans. To protect U.S. shipping on the Mississipi River, the President gives permission to buy land west of the river. The President sends an expedition to map out new land on the continent and to claim that land for the United States. Congress takes possession of a republic that had been part of another country. Congress offers to buy land from Mexico. The President does not allow citizens of the United States who disagree with the government to have a trial while the United States is fighting a war. A citizen is arrested for passing out anti-government papers. Congress declares war against another country. Congress places a tax on cigarettes. Congress refuses to ratify a treaty the President has signed with another country. Congress authorizes a new look to the dollar bill. The President demands new roads be constructed to fix our aging roads. Congress decides to tax items purchased over the internet. Certain video games are declared morally offensive and are banned by Congress. It could happen. Admit it, this is you! What is the verdict on strict vs. loose construction?
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