The Powers of Congress

The Scope of Congressional PowersEdit

Congressional PowersEdit

Congress has only those powers delegated to it by the Constitution. There are several reserved powers that are given to the States, such as minimum age for marriage or drivers licenses or public education. Congress does have expressed powers, those powers that are explicitly given to Congress. Expressed Powers included the right to declare war and right to create a national currency. Implied Powers are powers that are reasonable deduction from the expressed powers. Inherit Powers are powers given to the national government because it is a national government.

Strict Construction versus Liberal ConstructionEdit

As soon as the Constitution was ratified, an argument between the construction of the Constitution ensued. The Strict Constructionist, led by Thomas Jefferson, argued the Anti-Federalist position of strict interpretation of the Constitution. According to this idea, only expressed powers and implied powers required to fulfill the expressed powers are powers of Congress. The Liberal Constructionist, led by Alexander Hamilton, argued the Federalist position of the loose interpretation of the Constitution.

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