AP Government Post #2

Read Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution.  Does Congress have too much power?  Is the “necessary and proper” clause outdated?  Are there enough checks and balances today?  Are there any powers of Congress that you would limit?  If yes, which ones?

Article 1 Section 8

This post will close on Sept 14 at 5:00 PM.  Please refer to the rubric on how points are earned.

63 thoughts on “AP Government Post #2

  1. The power of congress is limited just enought to ensure that they create a structured way of living, especially in the ecomony. As for the Necessary and Proper Clause still holds a purpose in allowing congress leeway in regulatory decisions such as their right to establish a national bank to make regulating currency easier. Although this clause leaves many things to interpretation it still hold value in our governmental sysytem. Checks and Balances are also still in effect in todays government however, the idea of seperation of power seems to be blurred because of the democratic/republican ratio as of now. When it comes to limiting power, I feel the president is holding too much authority with immigration and should be regulated.

    • I completely agree that the president should be limited especially with immigration regulation. However, I feel as if that applies to only the current presdient and possibly one or two more from the past, but if there was a way to limit the power of the current president would be ideal to hold the government together.

    • I agree with you, i think the president’s power should be limited because they can abuse it. The president has the power to pardon people and he can pass executive orders. I also think the president is holding to much power with immigration and he should be regulated.

    • I completely agree with you! The president should have limited powers due to the ability they have to abuse it. It is a large role placed onto one person and it is blatant that power can go to one’s head. I feel there should be more of a crackdown on the president’s power over immigration regulation as the new ideas are a bit extreme and seem to be doing more damage than real help.

    • I agree, the thing about the president’s power that makes it tricky is that it is consolidated in the hands of one person. Overall, Congress actually has by far the most power of the three branches, but this is distributed among congressmen and senators such that their individual power is far less than that of the president. As for checks and balances, I do agree that Congress has enough checks on its authority, as listed in both the Bill of Rights (alongside the rest of the Constitution), and in Article 1, Section 9 which explicitly limits Congress from certain actions.

  2. According to the article, Congress does not have too much in government, and that is made sure of with checks and balances in place. The “Neccessary and Proper” Clause can seem outdated in many cases seeing as it was written long ago, but the main principle of the clause is still modern. I think there is not quite enough checks and balances becuase if most of the government is run by one party, laws that half the country do not prefer can be easily pushed through government. However, people of parties nowadays do not always agree with others of their same party, so currently “checks and balances” are enough. I would limit the supreme court a little bit more becuase sometimes (although they are suppose to be unbias) judges run bias in cases that need to be nuetral due to their controversial case in the first place.

    • I understand what you mean by memebers of the same party having disputes over policy and other issues of the government. I see how this can help balance out the power, but at the same time, the fact that one party still has more control in the government than the other can offset these balances when it comes to certain issues.

    • When thinking of limiting powers, the supreme court never really come to mind but I totally understand where you are coming from. After reading your response I now also agree that the supreme court also should be limited because they are biased and we need an unbiased ruling when coming to any case and especially and serious case that makes it to the supreme court.

      • The supreme court did not come to mind at first either, but with coming up issues in law enforcement our law enforcers need to be focused on the constitution yet at the same time on current ideas while staying unbiased which is difficult but necessary.

      • I agree that the Supreme Court justices are not inherently politically neutral, and may appear biased at times of ruling, but I do believe it is because they are human. They all have their own and individual political views which is what I believe most of their rulings are based off of. Although, a rather skeptical ruling may fall into place from time to time which may not be totally politically correct but more traditional and biased.

    • I agree with you, and I like that you brought up bias in the Supreme Court. It can often be a serious issue in terms of ruling court cases. It may turn into something political, rather than clear and traditionally neutral justice.

    • I completely agree that even though it was written centuries ago, it is still able to remain relevant because the courts are able to manipulate the clause and make it relate to current issues without being explicit in its written intent.

    • I agree that the Supreme Court is a little biased, which should be prevented, but I do not know how we would be able to prevent that because everyone has their own strong opinions and its somewhat inevitable.

    • I agree, there are plenty of checks and balances in place to keep Congress from excessive power. Article 1, Section 9 make very clear provisions of what Congress is not allowed to do, alongside the amendments and the bill of rights. Furthermore, I think it is logical that Congress has the most power as they are more directly elected by the citizens.

  3. I dont believe congress has too much power. I feel like it has the powers necessary to run our country correctly. I do however, feel like sometimes they abuse there powers. In a way the necessary and proper clause is somewhat outdated, but i feel like it is still relevant because as our country develops there may be things that need to be added to their list of powers and this clause gives them that cushion of adding or ruling in favor of or against something (case wise) in the future if ever necessary. I believe that there are enough checks and balances today but they can always be improved to make sure no one branch is overstepping or abusing their power. I say it can be improved overall because there are still many people who try and abuse their powers in congress so in a way that means we could use a better form checks and balances of government. If there was any one branch i would limit as of today, it would have to be the executive branch because i feel like our president abuses his powers constantly.

    • I agree with the fact that checks and balances could be improved, as everything can, but I don’t think that they necessarily need to be. While the current president does abuse his power and take advantage of certain situations, there are people in office that control his actions. In general, as seen by previous presidents who know how to properly run a country, the executive branch does not hold too much power.

      • You brought up a really good point that I agree with! Its not really the system as a whole thats faulty, its certain people overstepping their bounds and not following the rules. The system itself isn’t all inherently flawed, its some peoples actions that skew the governments agenda.

    • I agree, I feel that a more strict form of checks and balances should be in place in order to keep congressmen from abusing their power or try to change things that arent particular faor or within their jurisdiction. I also agree about limiting the presodential power because thereare times when they tty to do things that may not benefit America as a whole, but rather thensleves or individual people.

    • I agree that the executive branch needs to be limited. With how our current president runs our country, there is definitely too much power in his hands such as with his executivr orders.

    • I agree with the fact that our system works but also think that if some part of the government needed to be revised it would be the legislative because there is more potential to abuse power and prevent others from being elected. The executive branch in my opinion is not that powerful.

  4. The powers of Congress, stated in Section 1 Article 8 of the Constitution, act as guidelines for what it can and cannot do. In this sense, Congress does not have too much power. The enumerated powers are necessary for the successful sustainability of the country. The Necessary and Proper clause is not necessarily outdated as its interpretation and use is based on the needs of the time of use. It can provide leeway for actions deemed mandatory, but could lead to wrongful overruling were it not for Checks and Balances. A power I would limit, however, is that of the executive branch. I feel as though— as mentioned in class— the president has too much power in certain situations (such as executive orders).

    • I agree with your mentioning executive order, that was a really good point! I agree that the executive branch could be more restricted in that sense.

    • I guess I did not really consider limiting the powers of the President– I was thinking of the executive branch as a whole. You brought up a good point about executive orders. It seems a little unfair that one person, the President, gets a say in the matter. Do you think the rest of the executive branch has too much power, too?

    • I agree in how you said the Necessary and Proper clause could be taken advantage of and used wrongly, for example in Lopez vs. US. But as you said checks and balances help in minimizing damage from such misuse.

  5. The powers that congress has stated in Section 1 Article 8 does not seem to be too powerful. It has enough power, but has checks and balances and Section 1 Article 8 acts as a guideline for its abilities. I feel the Necessary and Proper clause is not outdated, it just has less of a needed function in todays society due to all the changes and laws made to the government already. There is nothing too powerful that congress has, other that being able to pass any law (even if unconstitutional) and it standing until challenged by the supreme court. standing. I would limit the presidential powers a bit however; pardons and executive orders can and have been abused.

    • I agree with your argument about passing unconstitutional laws; it seems unfair that Congress has all the power to pass laws and it isn’t quite checked by other branches.

    • I agree, and I like that you brought up how pardons have been abused along with executive orders. I also like that you brought up the argument of unconstitutional laws being passed.

    • I agree. Especially with your thought on how the presidential powers should be limited due to executive orders and being abused. It was a great point. Also the point you made about Congress being able to pass any law (including if they are unconstitutional). I feel that is the only area congress needs to be limited in. Besides that, I feel their power is at an okay state as of right now.

    • I also agree with your viewpoint on executive orders and pardons. Its a pretty large amount of power to place in one branch of government, and while the practices shouldn’t be completely eradicated, they should have to go through and be processed through the system of checks and balances just like all other things.

  6. Congress does not have too much power. They do control many aspects of the federal government, but due to checks and balances, they are not capable of taking advantage of that power. Today, the checks and balances are perfectly fine. The “necessary and proper” clause is not outdated. There are always going to be instances that aren’t explicitly spelled out somewhere, so we have to give Congress the option to utilize some power even if it wasn’t previously needed. There aren’t any powers that I would limit.

  7. Keeping in mind the powers of the other branches, I don’t think Congress holds too much power; as interpreted from Article I Section 8, Congress’s purpose is to maintain the integrity of the country in terms of the economy and well-being. If any of the other branches had these powers, they would be too powerful. In saying so, I also believe that there are enough checks and balances. Each branch has their respective powers and duties to carry out. I do, however, believe the “necessary and proper” clause is outdated; while the Bill of Rights was written to secure the rights of the people, I still believe that this clause can be dangerous in terms of what Congress deems “necessary and proper”. There also is not much need for this clause anyway because the country has been well established and solidified in terms of laws and regulations. I would limit the power of Congress to act as Authority over the nation — not necessarily take away this power, only limit it. I feel like this power goes with the “necessary and proper” clause where Congress could have the ability to abuse the power.

    • I think the “neccessary and proper” clause is outdated in most aspects as you explain. I believe the overall idea is not dated. The Authroity that Congress has over the nation should be especially limited. Especially with the family seperation. I believe that should be removed as a power completely or given to states to decide upon.

  8. I don’t believe that Congress has to much power because Article 1 Section 8 limits the power of congress. It states what congress can and cannot do. I don’t think the necessary and proper clause is outdated, it’s just not used as often as when it was written in the constitution. I think that there are enough checks and balances today. I would limit the power of the president because i feel like he has too much power. For example he can pardon people and he can pass executive orders.

    • I agree that the presidential pardon seems to be an unnecessary executive power. It gives the president power to essentially invalidate the entire justice system.

  9. I don’t think that congress has too much power. I think that the system of checks and balances in the government efficiently prevents congress from gaining too much power. I don’t think the “necessary and proper” clause is outdated, because it is impossible to anticipate everything that will need to be done with the implied powers of congress, and this clause assures that they have the ability to act within their powers. I do think that for the most part we have enough checks and balances in government for the most part. However I do think that supermen court judges hold a lot of power as single people, as they could be making their decisions with personal prejudice.

    • I agree with your opinion that supreme judges have an immense amount of influence and power. It is possible that they could be using personal prejudice in some cases, and that would be very wrong and unfair. Supreme judges are essential and important figures in government therefore we have to vet them well and make sure they are right for the job.

    • I agree with your statement that the three powers of government do not need to be limited and that there are enough checks and balances in place, at the moment, to keep it that way. I also agree with you on your statement about the Supreme Court judges possibly ruling with political bias. However, it may be impossible to get completely unbiased judges into the Supreme Court because everyone interprets the Constitution differently and may be a bit biased toward or against it.

    • I have not heard of that in the judicial system but I think it’s an interesting viewpoint. The judicial system is extremely unstable because it is the most susceptible to personal bias. Luckly it takes a lot to become a supreme court justice.

  10. I do not believe that congress has too much power, as I believe that it has the necessary powers to run the country smoothly, as has been proved for hundreds of years. It is made sure that congress does not have or gain too much power by the checks and balances of the government. I do not believe that the necessary and proper clause is outdated because at the end of this section of the constitution, it slides in some freedom for congress to do as it sees fit, something that may not be explicitly stated in the constitution. If an extremely difficult and unique situation comes up then congress can do what it deems is needed because of the freedom that the necessary and proper clause provides. I do believe that there are enough checks and balances today. The government has worked decently well for the last couple of decades, and this is largely impart to the checks and balances in our government. If I were to change anything it would be to limit the power of the president, as I feel like the executive branch has a lot of power in the veto and things like that. Overall though, checks and balances are an efficient and effective way to maintain equality between the branches of the government.

    • I agree with you that for multiple decades, the government has worked great. Recently however, the president has made it difficult for every branch to work cohesively. More than ever, checks and balances are important as they keep everyone, and him especially, in line to keep the country running smoothly and efficiently.

    • I agree that the presidential veto seems like a lot of power in one branch, as it can undo the work and decisions of the other branches.

    • I agree with you that Congress does not have too much power. The Constitution is very effective in making checks and balances. I also think that the necessary and proper clause is still important today. You made an interesting point about the President having too much power when it comes to vetos.

  11. The United States Constitution was written in a very clever way. The Founding Fathers knew what they were doing. They wrote the Construction so that no branch of government can over power any other. This is why Congress does not have to much power because; the executive branch can veto any law that is passed by Congress and the Judiciary branch has the power of judicial review to decide if a law is constitutional or not. As for the Necessary and Proper clause, I believe it is far from outdated. Now it was written hundreds of years ago, but the point still remains, that its edition to the Constitution was for the best. Without it I feel that the government would not be as strong as it currently is and a country needs a strong government if it wants to survive in this world.

    There are enough checks and balances in the government for the time being. Now this may change in the future but with the lack of cooperation between the parties currently, I believe that no more are needed. I would not limit any powers of government as it stands currently because I feel that there is no need for it as they all balance each other pretty well.

    • I agree with you that the checks an balances in the government right now are adequate. However, I disagree with you that none of the powers should be limited. I think that some of the executive branch should have their powers slightly more limited.

  12. The government does not have too much power because of checks and balances. The necessary and proper clause was written a long time ago but it is still valid because the debate of whether laws passed are unconstitutional is still a common debate today. Yes, there are enough checks and balances today to ensure that no branch of government ever has too much power. I wouldn’t limit any other powers of the Congress.

    • I agree with you that necessary and proper clause is still valid today. It is important for Congress to be able to create laws that allow them to do their duties as outlined by the constitution.

  13. Congress does not have too much power. In my opinion, the power granted to Congress is granted to ensure the unity of the United States. Of course the states have their own powers, but the ones specifically listed in Article 1, Section 8 are given to Congress because if they were designated to the states, it would be chaotic. Each state printing their own kind of money or establishing their own militia, for example, would make the states more like separate countries rather than pieces of a whole. The Necessary and Proper Clause is not outdated because there are still instances today in which Congress must act on something that is not explicitly stated in Article 1, Section 8– and this power is difficult to abuse because checks and balances exist. There are enough checks and balances today because no one branch of government seems to overpower another. Each has its own responsibility, so I would not limit the powers of Congress because the other two branches exist in part to monitor any abuse of power by the legislative branch.

    • I agree with you i dont think that congress has too much power. The other two branches monitor the legislative branch. I also agree that without article 1 section 8 everything would be chaotic.

    • I agree that the enumerated powers that Congress possesses constitutes unity among the nation, and to limit those powers would be to entrench on the county’s uniformity. The ability for Congress to establish a currency and coin money allows for any commercial disjunction to be avoided. This means that if states were to establish their own means of currency, interstate commerce would no longer be concept, or act harmoniously in the slightest.

  14. It doesn’t seem like Congress has too much power. Article 1 section 8 of the constitution actually states what Congress is allowed and not allowed to do. Which seems appropriate. The necessary and proper clause isn’t outdated. Due to the fact that it is still useful in many cases today. There seems to be enough checks and balances in order for Congress to run the country smoothly. As many others have said, the presidential powers should be limited. Currently, presidential power is being abused and the president is not effectively running the country.

    • I agree that congress doesn’t have too much power. I think that the power of the president should be limited as well. It is crazy how often powers of the president are abused. For example executive orders. Maybe that rule needs to be adjusted so that it is not used in a bad way.

  15. Congress doesn’t have too much power it has the necessary power it needs to run the country effectively. This was why the system of checks and balances were put in place. It seems that there are enough checks and balances today. The necessary and proper clause is not outdated. Although the necessary and proper clause was written a while ago it still is effective today. I like many others would want to limit the power of the president. Most of the time the powers that the president have are abused and mistreated.

    • I pretty much agree with you on everything. It seems like Congress is doing what is necessary to run the country. Presidential power is being abused and mistreated which is why the executive powers should be limited.

  16. Article I, Section 8 acts as a guideline for what Congress can and cannot do, and it gives Congress the power to properly run America. However, Congress itself does not have too much power because of the checks and balances that are in place. I don’t think that the “necessary and proper” clause is outdated because there will always be instances where Congress’s explicit powers don’t apply, and they need room to interpret the situation in order to act accordingly and justly. Yes that power can be taken advantage of but with checks and balances any unjust rulings can be promptly and fairly fixed. In Congress, there would not be any powers that I would limit as I feel they are limited enough. However for the government in general, I feel like right now the executive branch holds too much power as seen with the president’s actions.

    • I agree that the executive branch seems to hold too much power over the other branches. The President is so easily allowed to lift policies Obama created with a simple Executive Order.

    • I think you made an important point by mentioning that Congress needs room for interpretation. I think it’s impossible for one document, the Constitution, to list everything Congress is in charge of when society and its needs are always changing.

  17. Article 8, Section 1 grants Congress many powers including collecting taxes, regulating commerce and declaring war. With regards to the enumerated powers, the constitution does not grant Congress too many powers. The “necessary and proper” clause is still important today because it helps Congress make laws that affect the duties that have been granted by the constitution. This still does not give Congress too much power because the Supreme Court and the President can veto or strike down laws that do not fall within Congress’s domain. There are still enough checks and balances today with one exception. I believe that the President’s ability to make executive orders should be limited. The Constitution clearly states what it is Congress’s duty to do, but the President can override that with an executive order. That is why there aren’t quite enough checks and balances.

  18. Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution gives broad authority to Congress on most matters. Furthermore, Article 1, Section 8 makes no reference to what Congress can not do. Equally significant is Section 8’s “Necessary and Proper” Clause, allowing Congress to act beyond the powers explicitly given to them here. When considering factors beyond what is stated in just Section 8, however, Congress does not have too much power. The powers in Section 8 are very important for a country as large as the United States: If the federal government is too weak, this opens the nation up to the problems experienced during the Articles of Confederation. By maintaining a strong central government, Congress is able to maintain nearly uniform laws throughout the states (meaning that a citizen can pass through another state without the laws being drastically changed). This has the added benefit of unifying the nation as well.
    The Necessary and Proper Clause is not outdated either. This part of Section 8 is necessary because times change, and new developments mean that Congress needs to be able to act on those matters as well. Examples include the regulation of weapons of mass destruction, and environmental protection. Because of the Necessary and Proper Clause, Congress is able to act on those issues as well, so I do not consider this clause to be outdated.
    Reading the rest of the Constitution will indicate everything that Congress is not able to do, and the list is large enough that there in fact are enough checks and balances on Congress. Not only does the Bill of Rights prevent Congress from infringing on essential liberties and gives the other branches of government powers that Congress does not have, but Section 9 of Article 1 further prevents Congress from actions such as the suspension of Habeas Corpus (key concept in due process). I would not, therefore, limit any of the powers of Congress, as our Constitution already does so.

  19. In Article 1, Section 8 serves as a marker of enumerated powers given to Congress, such as its ability to impose and collect taxes and to regulate commerce. Although these powers are extensive, the system of checks and balances limit congressional powers to prevent Congress from infringing on personal liberties or other branches of government. So, the powers of Congress remain invariably limited. Henceforth, there is no need for any further limitations in Congressional power, because checks and balances really do serve their purpose. These enumerated powers are also important in ensuring that our country remains unified in their ability to establish a currency and regulate interstate commerce.
    The necessary and proper clause, although centuries old, is still relevant and useful. The Necessary and Proper Clause provides Congress a wider breadth in terms of its jurisdictional authority in order to make sure that the legislative branch is working effectively and up to its intended purpose. It also grants Congress some freedom of interpretation of the Constitution and provide appropriate ruling and lawmaking.

  20. I think that Congress is still limited even with those clauses. They do occasionally abuse their powers and put laws into place that should have been reserved for the state, but the checks and balances system repairs that damage through the courts. Without that clause, our government would not be able to adapt to changing world conditions which would cause an eventual downfall. Thus, although this part of the constitution can be abused it is essential for our government.

  21. Going by the article, Congress does not have too much power, it has just enough. Congress possesses enough powers that it needs to be able to run the country. If Congress does try to abuse their powers, checks and balances are there to monitor and fix that. The main purpose of checks and balances is to balance. The Necessary and Proper clause is still very much used today, although it is a bit outdated.. Of course there is still room to improve and to make things more balanced, but overall I believe that the Congress right now is pretty well balanced.

  22. The thing about the necessary and proper clause is, it was created in an age that wasn’t nearly as advanced as today, so many of the things that are currently causing issues in the court system and that need to be reviewed in accordance with the necessary and proper clause are things that had never even crossed the minds of the people who wrote the constitution, so its a fair point to look at it and argue that it is outdated. And as for whether or not congress has too much power, that is a matter that is up to interpretation from many different sides. The checks and balances system seems to work in the 3 branches, but one thing that causes much of the power worries is the fact that some representatives vote for different reasons, so its not a guarantee that theyre a fair representation of the population they were chosen to stand for.

    • Although, in my initial reply I stated that the Necessary and Proper clause is not outdated, I have come to agree with your point. I do concede that the modern uses of the necessary and proper clause should reflect that of the how the Founding Fathers envisioned. So, I do agree that it is fair to say that the clause is somewhat outdated in the face of the issues that the legislative branch faces today.

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