April 23, 2010 – Article III of the U.S. Constitution – Cathy Gillespie

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What an exciting first week we have had!  Articles I, II, and III of the United States Constitution, with some outstanding guest bloggers: David Bobb, Andrew Langer and Lawrence Spiwak. 

A big thank you today to Lawrence Spiwak for his thoughts on Article III.  Mr. Spiwak clearly explained the delicate system of checks and balances working  in concert with a strong and independent judiciary.  I loved Mr. Spiwak’s point that the best mechanism for change in the judicial branch is to let the electoral process play out.  That is the best mechanism for change in any branch of the government, but it first requires informed, educated, engaged, and enthusiastic citizens, citizens who know the United States Constituion and our country’s founding principles! 

When reading Article III, I was struck by its brevity, as compared with Articles I and II, and how much latitude Congress was given in establishing the Court system – another example of checks and balances at work.  

I was also very interested in the Alexander Hamilton quote Bill posted from Federalist 78, so I looked it up and thought it worth posting in its entirety:

“Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that in a government which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them.  The executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community.  The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated.  The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse, no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society, and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither Force nor Will, but merely judgement; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of  its judgments.”

“Neither Force nor Will, but merely judgement.”   I had never thought of the differing powers of the three branches in those terms before, but it is true – the executive and legislative branch have many more enforcement mechanisms and sheer power and will at their disposal, than the judicial branch. 

Thank you for joining us this week as we explored the three branches of government in Articles I, II, and III of the Constitution.   The Assignment for the weekend is to read Articles IV, V, VI, and VII and be ready to blog on them, on Monday!  Tuesday we will blog on the Amendments, and Wednesday we will blog on the the first Federalist Paper.

Have a Blessed weekend!

See you on Monday!!

Cathy Gillespie

3 Responses to “April 23, 2010 – Article III of the U.S. Constitution – Cathy Gillespie”

  1. Jim Baxter says:

    The Founding principles of our Constitution clearly state that
    the powers of government are permanently in the mind and
    hand of The People of the United States of America. Thus,
    every elected person is a temporary steward of their office
    and obligated to serve The American People while in office.

    Such elected officials need to be reminded that they do not
    own the office. WE, The American People, are the owners and
    may give orders to the elected & appointed stewards of the office.

    I have yet to hear this important point-of-failure on the part of
    those who seek to ‘change’ our way of life to an historically
    failure-oriented system of non-representation of stewardshp
    to The People. Why?

    Begging compromise won’t work with the ignorant! Freedom is
    the proper enlargement – not fewer choices for the choicemaker!

    semper fidelis
    Jim Baxter
    Sgt. USMC
    WWII & Korean War

    pointman/follower of The Lion of Judah

    + + +

  2. Clearly our Founding Fathers constructed our Republic on Biblical Principles and like anything else our morality MUST have a “Standard of Measure”, because God’s Word never changes and is always JUST. If we depend on what man’s values are we will always fall short of Justice and the Scales will no longer be balanced. Observing how politicians try to “fundamentally” change our society and inplement their idea of “values” is it any wonder why our country is so divided? Consider what would happen if we changed the “Standards of Measure” for other things, (Science, Mathematics, Music, etc.) The Bible says that the “devil is the author of confusion…..” All this does is separate and divide. However I see many coming back to their conservative principles and I’m thrilled.

  3. valerie says:

    In 1787, the year the constitution was written, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance. It states that formal education is to include religion, a “fundamental system of beliefs concerning man’s origin and relationship to the cosmic universe as well as his relationship with his fellowmen.”

    In his farwell address Washington stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports . . . And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained w/o religion.”

    Jefferson wrote a bill for establishing elementary schools in Virginia. It includes the following statement, “No religious reading, instruction, or exercise shall be prescribed or practiced inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.” He must have assumed religion would be taught.

    Franklin outlined five fundamentals in all “sound” religion: one God, the Creator of the universe; said God should be worshipped; the most fundamental good we can do for him is to be good to others; and the soul of man is immortal and will be treated with justice in the afterlife in regards to his conduct here.

    Samuel Adams called the above the Religion of America and equated it with the religion of all mankind.

    These tenets run thru the founder’s writings, and they thought they were so important in “providing good government and the happiness of mankind” that they wanted them taught in school.

    It is obvious from the founder’s own words that they viewed separation of church and state very differently than it is seen today.

    Above facts come from The 5000 Year Leap

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