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Strict vs Broad Interpretation of the Constitution

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Strict vs Broad Interpretation of the Constitution

  1. 1. Strict vs Broad Interpretation A Tutorial to Reading the Constitution Prepared to get lawyered
  2. 2. Interpretation  The action of explaining the meaning of something In foreign languages, you interpret the meaning of the other language into your own You do interpretations all the time in school!
  3. 3. Interpreting the Constitution  The Constitution is short and not very specific  Founding Fathers wanted to allow the Constitution to grow as the country grew
  4. 4. Strict Interpretation  Literal reading of the Const. ◦ Follow the Const. strictly by what it says  If it’s not in the Const., it can’t be done  Powers not granted to the Gov’t in the Const. are given to the states under Amendment X
  5. 5. Strict Interpretation  If the Const. does not give the Gov’t the power to regulate education, it cannot regulate education  If the Const. does not say the Gov’t can buy land from other countries, the Gov’t cannot buy land from other countries
  6. 6. Broad Interpretation  Liberal reading of the Const. ◦ Implied powers- powers that are not stated in the Const. but are needed to execute the stated powers in the Const.  Use of necessary and proper clause (elastic clause) ◦ Congress has the power to make laws that help them execute their duties
  7. 7. Broad Interpretation  Used to expand power of Gov’t  Commerce Clause- gives Congress power to regulate trade ◦ Later broadly interpreted to give Congress power to regulate interstate trade
  8. 8. Review  Strict Interpretation ◦ Tries to limit power of gov’t ◦ If it isn’t written, it’s not allowed  Broad Interpretation ◦ Tries to expand power of gov’t ◦ If it’s implied, it’s allowed

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