Wake Up Elbert!

Joseph Story on the Preamble

§ 906. The constitution was, from its very origin, contemplated to be the frame of a national government, of special and enumerated powers, and not of general and unlimited powers. This is apparent, as will be presently seen, from the history of the proceedings of the convention, which framed it; and it has formed the admitted basis of all legislative and judicial reasoning upon it, ever since it was put into operation, by all, who have been its open friends and advocates, as well as by all, who have been its enemies and opponents. If the clause, "to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States," is construed to be an independent and substantive grant of power, it not only renders wholly unimportant and unnecessary the subsequent enumeration of specific powers; but it plainly extends far beyond them, and creates a general authority in congress to pass all laws, which they may deem for the common defence or general welfare. Under such circumstances, the constitution would practically create an unlimited national government. The enumerated powers would tend to embarrassment and confusion; since they would only give rise to doubts, as to the true extent of the general power, or of the enumerated powers. 

§ 462. And, here, we must guard ourselves against an error, which is too often allowed to creep into the discussions upon this subject. The preamble never can be resorted to, to enlarge the powers confided to the general government, or any of its departments. It cannot confer any power per se; it can never amount, by implication, to an enlargement of any power expressly given.It can never be the legitimate source of any implied power, when otherwise withdrawn from the constitution. Its true office is to expound the nature, and extent, and application of the powers actually conferred by the constitution, and not substantively to create them. . . .

§ 1238. The plain import of the clause is, that congress shall have all the incidental and instrumental powers, necessary and proper to carry into execution all the express powers. It neither enlarges any power specifically granted; nor is it a grant of any new power to congress. But it is merely a declaration for the removal of all uncertainty, that the means of carrying into execution those, otherwise granted, are included in the grant. Whenever, therefore, a question arises concerning the constitutionality of a particular power, the first question is, whether the power be expressed in the constitution. If it be, the question is decided. If it be not expressed, the next inquiry must be, whether it is properly an incident to an express power, and necessary to its execution. If it be, then it may be exercised by congress. If not, congress cannot exercise it.

Joseph Story - Commentaries On The Constitution of The United States 1833

Joseph Story Supreme Court Justice 1812-1845

3.  O'Reilly Factor 3-21-17

Bill O'Reilly butchers the US Constitution!

March 14, 2017

On a recent Fox News segment of The Factor with Bill O'Reilly, host O'Reilly states that our constitution contains the powers for congress to control healthcare, education, fair access to jobs, etc.  He is wrong!  Not only does he continue to misinterpret our constitution, he does so by mixing up the constitution with the Declaration of Independence!  He backs up his contention (first video) justifying congress' power over healthcare by using the phrase 'under the constitutional banner of pursuit of happiness' which occurs in the Declaration of Independence and not in the US Constitution!  The word happiness does not occur in the Constitution of The United States!  He then follows up this contention on his next show of The Factor on March 13, 2017 during his Email (second video) segment by answering an email which took him to task on this as an unconstitutional interpretation by citing the 'general welfare' clause of the preamble of the constitution!  O'Reilly is wrong again and can't seem to get things right suffering from his own confusion on this topic.

O'Reilly's interpretation of the Preamble to the US Constitution conflicts with numerous modern day originalist constitutional lawyers such as Michael Farris,   David Barton and Jay Sekulow just to name a few.  I am pretty sure O'Reilly also conflicts with former Justice Antonin Scalia as well on this topic and I know legendary Justice Joseph Story disagrees with O'Reilly!  James Madison in The Federalist Papers #41 should also be consulted on this topic.


Below is an update of O'Reilly saying that federal healthcare is unconstitutional and then saying it should be run through the Medicaid program!

Additional comments added later in this paragraph:

In the above video O'Reilly again tries to both support original intent of the US Constitution while supporting welfare entitlements and simultaneously saying that the feds have no business telling us that we have to buy healthcare.   You can't have it both ways O'Reilly, either the feds can 'promote the general welfare' as you claim or they can't.  O'Reilly also gets caught up in his own convoluted logic by saying that the Supreme Court decisions that say that federal mandates on healthcare and education being constitutional really aren't constitutional just because he says so!  At lease O'Reilly is right about that part of his argument that even though the Supreme Court makes a decision about constitutionality it doesn't mean that they are right!  The justices can be removed from office for other than good behavior according to the constitution which would include unconstitutional decisions!  That is part of our check and balance system of government.  The congress can remove judges from office if the want to by impeaching them!  O'Reilly states that Supreme Court judges should have one rule only for interpreting the US Constitution and that being "What was the original intent"?  As noted in here, I have proven that the original intent of the constitution was clear on the general welfare clause and O'Reilly purposefully perverts that intention.

1. March 9, 2017 O'Reilly Factor on Fox News

2. March 13, 2017 O'Reilly Factor on Fox News at 36:30 of original video

Story & Founding Fathers vs O'Reilly

So who would be a better authority on the true meaning and interpretation of the US Constitution?  Talk show host Bill O'Reilly or former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story?  I'll take the latter.  Joseph Story was cited more times than any other justice during the 1800's in Supreme Court decisions.  He was the youngest man to be appointed to the Supreme Court.  Story's Commentaries On The Constitution of The US are legendary and he was the most influential justice of the 1800's.

So I think we should give much more weight to Justice Story's interpretations on the US Constitution and their  legal precedence over currently held  views like those of O'Reilly.  Story's views on the 'general welfare clause' of the Constitution are quoted here and they invalidate O'Reilly's perversions.  To further investigate this matter in regards to healthcare  and the unconstitutional misuse of the Preamble and find out why O'Reilly is a democrat in his political philosophy read this.

As Thomas Jefferson affirmed:
I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: that “all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people” [the Tenth Amendment]. . . . To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.

Why Be So Persnickety?

The reason this is so important and that I take Bill O'Reilly to task on this even though I like his show and generally agree with his analysis of most things political is that the interpretation that O'Reilly persists in promoting is responsible for the growth of unconstitutional government and intrusion into all areas of our lives on a daily basis.  If federal spending were confined to the enumerated powers (clearly expressed) of the constitution and not enlarged to include things like education, health care, housing, medicine, food and other unconstitutional applications then the federal government would be a fraction of its current size and we would all have more freedom as was originally intended.  O'Reilly is wrong on this and is misleading his viewers and subverting our republican form of government!  He needs to recant!