Constitution Interpretation Essay

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History/Mr. Bedard Exam 2 October 12, 2010 Constitutional Interpretation Constitutional interpretation, or constitution construction, is the term most often used by our founding fathers. It is the process by which meanings are assigned to words in the constitution to enable legal decisions to be made that are justified by it (Lecture). The two main classifications of constitutional interpretation are known as strict construction and loose construction. Strict construction is the literal interpretation of the words of the constitution as they are written, while as loose construction is the contextual interpretation of the words of the constitution (Notes). Possibly the founder and the greatest strict constructionist was Thomas Jefferson. Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution states the delegated powers, and Jefferson being a strict constructionist viewed that congress should only have the powers that are exactly written in the section. On the other side, there was Alexander Hamilton who was a loose constructionist believed in the Elastic clause which was in Section one of the constitution (Lecture). The Elastic Clause states that Congress shall have the power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carting into execution the foregoing powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof (Angel&Gerberg). Jefferson as a strict constructionist believed that this would give Congress unlimited power. The relevance of constitution interpretation in our time is that when the constitution was written they could not see into our time the 21st century and therefore we need interpretation to help with the problems that arise in our
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