- Interrelationship between politics, policy, and government
The term government is used to underline the institutions involved in the making of authoritative public policies on behalf of the entire society. Politics is an ambiguous term that, according to Harold Lasswell, may be defined as “who gets what, when and how” (Caramani, 2008). In this case, it encompasses the mechanisms through which decisions pertaining to the allocation of resources to individuals are made. Policies, on the other hand, refer to the rules, guidelines or frameworks that guide the execution of decisions and the achievement of rational outcomes. The three terms are interrelated as politics determine the actions of the government, while policies determine the frameworks through which the government would attain laid out outcomes (Caramani, 2008). The government, therefore, is guided by politics in determining the resources and their required distribution criteria, while the execution of the political decisions is guided by the policies.
- Fundamental rights.
One of the rights that are considered fundamental by the Supreme Court is the Right to freedom of speech. While there are varied fundamental rights, the government may restrict them in instances where their exercising put the common good in harm’s way. For example, freedom of expression is restricted in instances where it conflicts with other rights and values. This may, for example, be in instances where it involves child pornography (Tushnet, 2008).
- What are the advantages and disadvantages for cities to incorporate?
One of the key advantages for the incorporation of cities is in the enhanced speed of addressing issues pertaining to an area. In fact, the incorporation of most cities is founded on discontent with the level of interest shown in a particular area. The incorporation allows for issues to be quickly addressed as there would be a body solely charged with safeguarding the welfare of the city.
However, the incorporation comes with a downside for the dwellers. This is especially with regard to an increase in the taxes. The incorporated cities would be dependent on franchise fees, proceeds from half-cent sales tax, taxes on utilities, as well as the shared dollars from state revenue. These taxes would have to be shouldered by the residents and business people of the cities.
- Judiciary as the least dangerous branch of the government.
The framers of the constitution believed that the Judiciary made the least dangerous branch of the government as its nature and functions had the least capacity to injure or annoy the constitution’s rights. Their belief was undoubtedly correct as the judiciary did not have some powers that the legislature and the executive had. For example, the legislature controlled the purse and made rules by which every citizen had to adhere. The executive, on its part, held the community’s sword and dispensed the honors. The judiciary, on the other hand, did not have any influence on the purse or the sword, and could not have any direction pertaining to the wealth or strength of the society. This means that it cannot execute any active resolution, unlike its other branches as it only makes judgments while ultimately depending on the other branches.
The entire constitution does not underline the right to privacy. However, the right to privacy has its origin in the Bill of Rights, which reflects James Madison’s and other framers’ concerns pertaining to the protection of certain elements of privacy (Tushnet, 2008). Varied constitutional amendments underlined the right to privacy including the 1st amendment (privacy of beliefs), 3rd amendment (a home’s privacy against demands for use in housing soldiers), 4th amendment (protecting individuals against unreasonable searches), and the 5th amendment (protecting the privacy of personal information).
The right has also been espoused in case laws such as the Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 (1965), where the Supreme Court stated that the rule that forbid the use of contraception among married couples was a violation of marital privacy rights enshrined in the bill of rights (Tushnet, 2008).
While the Supreme Court may have made considerable definitions of the right of privacy, I do not think it has gone too far. This is because there is an element of ambiguity as to whether it is guaranteed alongside other rights (Tushnet, 2008). In essence, it is imperative that the Supreme Court make all efforts to define the boundaries pertaining to the Right of privacy.
- Commerce Clause and The Necessary and Proper Clause
The Commerce Clause outlines the principal powers of the federal government. It gave the United States Congress the power to regulate the country’s commercial undertakings with foreign nations, among the varied states, as well as with the Indian tribes. The clause had significant effects on the powers of the congress with regard to commerce. These powers have been varying in line with the dynamics of the time. Nevertheless, the clause gave the Congress power to have jurisdiction over varied aspects pertaining to interstate and intrastate commerce and non-commerce.
The Necessary or Proper clause gave the Congress the power to make laws that it deemed proper and necessary for the execution of the foregoing powers, as well as other powers that had been vested on the government, or any Officer or department thereof. These two clauses acknowledged the problem that came with the deficiency of federal commerce power according to the Articles of confederation.
These two clauses have often been paired so as to offer a constitutional foundation for varied federal laws. A number of reforms incorporated in the New Deal have been found necessary and proper enactments for the purpose of controlling interstate commerce. In addition, not only have the clauses been paired to uphold federal laws that have any effect on economic activity but also to justify criminal laws pertaining to the federal government.
The Congress used the Necessary and Proper clause in the Federal Kidnapping Act, where it made the transportation of a kidnapped individual across state lines a federal crime as it would amount to an interstate activity. On the same note, the clause justified varied criminal laws pertaining to interfering with the rightful operation of the federal government such as federal laws against the murder or assault of federal employees (Tushnet, 2008). In addition, the Commerce Clause has for more than two centuries been invoked in solidifying fundamental federal responsibilities including corporate entities regulation, road construction, as well as illegality of child labor (Tushnet, 2008).
As much as the clauses may be seen as giving the congress the powers to “overstep” its mandate, I believe that the congress should have such powers. This is because there are numerous gaps in the interpretation of the constitution, which can only be closed by the dynamism that the pair offers especially with regard to commerce and the powers of states.
Tushnet, M (2008). I dissent: Great Opposing Opinions in Landmark Supreme Court Cases. Boston: Beacon Press.
Caramani, D. (2008). Comparative politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.