Our 16th President Abraham Lincoln once said that slavery was a “Peculiar institution”. Long after that statement about slavery he would amend the the thirteenth amendment that abolished slavery. This amendment secured the blessing of liberty for the African Americans. The constitution is built on six basic principles; popular sovereignty, federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, and Flexibility. Out of the six basic principles the constitution is made up of, the flexibility principle is one reason why I am not a slave in America today. Why is that? The flexibility principle allowed the constitution to change as the times and the conditions for the country changed. The flexibility principle best secures our blessings of Liberty to ourselves and Posterity. This is exemplified in the elastic clause, the amendment process, and the act of Judicial interpretation/review.
The first example of how flexibility in our constitution secures the blessings of liberty of ourselves and our posterity is the elastic clause. Otherwise known as the necessary and proper act. U.S. Constitution article one section eight allows congress to pass laws that are necessary and proper with the change in time and condition for the country.The Legislative branch is affected by the elastic clause because the clause decides whether the law being made is necessary and proper for our country. For example, an act that would show the elastic clause would be the ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act. This act was passed in 1990. The ADA prohibited the discrimination of disable people. Before this act was passed, disabled people were denied their blessings of liberty and their posterity. This act was necessary and proper because the disabled people did not have the same liberty as able bodied people. The elastic clause allowed this act to secure the blessing of liberty for disabled people.
The second example of how flexibility in our constitution secures the blessings of liberty of ourselves and our posterity is the amendment process. The amendment process allows congress to add to or change the constitution. An example of the amendment process would be the nineteenth amendment. The nineteenth amendment prohibited a U.S. citizen from being denied the right to vote because of gender. Prior to this amendment women did not have the right to vote. With the principle of flexibility, the law was made by the Legislative branch which in essence secured the blessing of everyone’s liberty and posterity, not just men.
The third and final example of how flexibility in our constitution secures the blessings of liberty of ourselves and our posterity is the Judicial interpretation or review. The Judicial interpretation decides whether what the government does is constitutional or unconstitutional. The Judicial interpretation is seen in the executive branch because the the executive branch implements laws that are created by the legislative branch. The first known use of the Judicial interpretation was during the Marbury v. Madison case. This case was the first decision by the supreme court to declare unconstitutional. The Judicial interpretation was the precedent set that gave the Judicial Branch the ability to declare laws unconstitutional. This secures our blessing of liberty of ourselves and our posterity.
In conclusion, the abolition of slavery, the creation of women’s rights, and the passing of ADA were none of the things the framers of the constitution were actually planning on putting in the constitution. However, their wisdom allowed the constitution to be flexible enough to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, through the use of the elastic clause, the amendment process, and the act of Judicial interpretation or review.
Courtney from Study Moose
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