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not adequate and Congress borrows money.
The ordinary method employed by the government for borrowing money is the sale of bonds.Bonds which are used by governments and corporations when they borrow money are like promissory notes given by individuals when they borrow money promise to pay a certain sum at a specified time. The United States has been able to borrow money at a rate of interest as low as two per cent.
Bankruptcy. - Both Congress and the State legislatures have the power to regulate bankruptcy, but since the national law enacted in 1898 covers the entire domain of bankruptcy it supersedes all State bankruptcy laws.2
Naturalization is the process by which citizens of one country become citizens of another, and Congress has the power “ to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” Under the immigration laws certain persons are not allowed to enter the United States, and naturally such persons are not permitted to become naturalized. This applies to Orientals; and the Chinese, the Japanese, the Burmese, and the East Indians have been refused naturalization.
Postal Service. — Congress has power to establish post offices and post roads. The government may condemn land for post-office sites and could condemn it for post roads should it become necessary. Of course a fair price must be paid the owner for his property. A State is not permitted to establish a postal system, nor is an individual. For instance, express companies could not make a business of carrying first-class mail. Copyrights and Patents. — Congress has the power “to promote the progress of science and of useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." A copyright is the exclusive right of an author or his
1 There are two forms of bonds — coupon and registered. A twenty-year coupon bond has attached to the bottom, like stamps, forty small engraved coupons, and every six months the owner cuts one coupon which represents his semi-annual interest, and has it cashed at bank as he would an ordinary check. Holders of registered bonds receive their interest by checks. A registered bond can be replaced if lost but a coupon bond cannot.
2 For meaning of “ bankruptcy" see U. S. Constitution, Act I, Sec. 8, note.
3“ Post roads" are all letter carrier routes in towns and cities, railroads and canals, and all the waters of the United States during the time that mail is carried thereon.
assignee to print and publish his literary or artistic work. The protection is granted by the government for a period of twentyeight years; renewable for another twenty-eight years. The right extends to maps, charts, engravings, sculpture, dramatic or musical compositions, and pictures, as well as books. In 1912 the Supreme Court decided that moving pictures of Ben Hur, a copyrighted book, was a dramatization, and hence an infringement of the copyright. (See Sec. 120, note.)
A patent is a grant of the exclusive right to manufacture, use, or sell a new and useful invention for a period of years. At present the number of years is seventeen, which term may be extended only by special act of Congress. (See Sec. 99.)
Weights and Measures. — Congress has power to regulate weights and measures. By a recent act of Congress fruit and vegetable barrels packed for interstate commerce must be of a prescribed uniform size. Congress could establish the metric system throughout the United States if it chose to do so.
Judicial Powers. — Congress has power to establish federal courts, to define and punish piracy on the high seas, to define and punish offences against the law of nations, and to punish counterfeiters of federal money and securities.
Power over Federal Districts. -Congress has power to legislate for territories of the United States, the District of Columbia, forts, dockyards, national parks, federal buildings, etc.
War Powers. Congress has power to declare war, to grant letters of marque and reprisal, to make rules concerning captures on land and water, to raise and support armies, to provide and maintain a navy, to make laws governing land and naval forces, to provide for calling out the militia, and to provide for or ganizing, arming, and disciplining the militia.
II. IMPLIED POWERS
48. The Elastic Clause. - The last clause of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, known as the "elastic clause," or the “necessary and proper clause," gives Congress power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper
carrying into execution the foregoing (expressed) powers." Chief Justice Marshall decided that “necessary and proper means “ convenient or useful." Therefore, Marshall concluded that this “necessary and proper" clause implies that Congress might pass any laws which are convenient or useful
in carrying into execution those laws which Congress has a specific, undisputed right to enact.
Subsequent Supreme Court judges have construed the “necessary and proper clause” very liberally; they have practically changed the “and” in “necessary and proper” to “or," so that the Constitution really reads "necessary or proper." With this clause thus interpreted Congress has been able to exercise wider and wider powers.
The Constitution gives the United States express power to punish only four crimes — counterfeiting, felonies committed on the high seas, offences against the law of nations, and treason; but other laws that Congress has express power to enact would be worthless if it could not punish the breaking of them, therefore Congress has the implied right to punish all crimes against the United States.
The Constitution does not specifically allow Congress to charter a National bank, but the great Chief Justice Marshall decided that the right is implied in the power to collect taxes and to borrow money. State banks were not carefully managed and a National bank was “convenient and useful ” for the safekeeping of the taxes collected.
The Constitution does not expressly provide for river and harbor improvements or the building of canals, but the power is implied from the express power to maintain a navy and regulate commerce.
The power of eminent domain is not expressly granted to the United States, but the express powers to establish postoffices and to establish courts implies the necessity of postoffice buildings and court houses, therefore the United States can condemn land for these purposes by the right of eminent domain.1
If our Constitution could be more easily amended the meaning of its clauses need not be “stretched” to meet new conditions, but most of the implied powers would become enumerated powers through Constitutional amendments.
OUTLINE OF THE EIGHTEEN POWERS VESTED IN CONGRESS BY
ARTICLE I, SECTION 8 49. Expressed Powers : I. PEACE POWERS:
1. To lay taxes.
a. Direct (not used since the Civil War, except income tax). b. Indirect.
Excises Internal revenue. 2. To borrow money. 3. To regulate foreign and interstate commerce. 4. To establish naturalization and bankruptcy laws. 5. To coin money and regulate its value; to regulate weights
and measures. 6. To punish counterfeiters of federal money and securities. 7. To establish post offices and post roads. 8. To grant patents and copyrights. 9. To create courts inferior to the Supreme Court. 10. To define and punish piracies and felonies on the high
seas; to define and punish offences against the law of
nations. 11. To exercise exclusive jurisdiction over the District of
Columbia ; to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over forts,
dockyards, national parks, federal buildings, etc. 1 The right of eminent domain is the right that a government exercises in taking private property for a public purpose by paying the owner a fair price for it.
II. WAR POWERS :
to make rules concerning captures on land and water.
50. Implied Powers:
execution the foregoing powers.
QUESTIONS ON THE TEXT critere I sectim.a
1. In what Article and Section of the Constitution are most of the expressed powers of Congress-enumerated ?
2. Upon what clause of this Section is the theory of implied powers based ?
3. What two general views are there as to the proper method of construing the Constitution ?
4. Should a congressman refuse to vote for a law which he thinks a desirable law but unconstitutional?