Enumerated Powers Of Congress Essay

1332 words - 6 pages

What it is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the Constitution of the United States? For most people they think of the Bill of Rights, and the rights and freedoms they invoke. They would be right to an extent, but what they fail to realize is that the Constitution more importantly grants enumerated powers to the three different branches of government. Along with these powers, the Constitution also creates a series of checks and balances. These checks and balances keep one branch of government from having too much power. Between these three branches, none has as many enumerated powers listed than the legislative branch of government.
The Constitution is broken down into ...view middle of the document...

(Constitution Art. I § 8 , 1787)

The list of Congresses enumerated powers may seem immense, but some of these

powers are used frequently, while others almost never at all. Lets take Congresses power

to create and levy taxes. (Constitution Art. I § 8 , 1787) You hear debates about this in the

media all the time. In fact, many political campaigns are ran on the platform of either

cutting existing taxes, or promising that no new taxes will be created. Senator John

McCain from Arizona, pledged this in his most recent senate election campaign. While congress practices this power numerously, they hardly ever exercise other powers; such as

the power of impeachment. Under the Constitution "the President, Vice President, and all

civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and

conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." (Constitution

Art. II § 4, 1787) In the history of American government this has only been occurred 16

times; including two U.S. Presidents. The first person to be impeached by congress was

Senator from Tennessee William Blount in 1799. He was impeached by the house, but

was later dismissed of charges by the senate.(B Brunner) Under the Constitution, only the

House of Representatives may draft articles of impeachment, and the Senate is

responsible for deciding if they are guilty of the crime, and if the crime is grounds for

removal from office by a two-thirds majority vote. (Constitution Art. I § 2 & 3, 1787) Of

the two presidents impeached, Johnson in 1868 and Clinton in 1998, neither were found

guilty by the senate, or removed from office. (B Brunner)

When our founding fathers were drafting the Constitution, they were well

aware of the evils of man, and power. That’s why when they were creating the

Constitution, devices of checks and balances were incorporated into the document.

They knew that enlightened statesmen would not always be in control, and they wanted a

safe guard from one branch of the government from becoming too powerful. An example

of such checks and balances is the ability to pass bills...

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