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 A conversation by two citizens


Boy, no one seems to understand that Supreme Court decision everyone's talking about.


What do you mean?


Wasn’t one of the mandates of the Founders that it be written so that it could be understood by just about anyone?


Yeah, but why do you ask?


Well, if that’s the case, why are so many people, you know—all of those commentators on TV and the press—so confused with what this latest ruling by Chief Justice Roberts? 


I don't understand.


Well, most of those guys say the decision had more to do with what the press would say about him rather than what the Constitution said, or how it will affect all of us. 


No, I don’t think so. I guess it was such a complicated issue that only the Chief Justice, with years of legal education, could be wise enough to issue a just decision.


But if I remember right, just about anyone—even someone without a law degree—could be nominated to a justice on the Supreme Court—so by the Constitution, couldn't anyone on the court be wise enough to just follow the Constitution?


Yeah, but this was different. This time the country needed a really, really wise decision that would put the health care thing to rest and not look partisan.


But that wouldn’t have been a problem if all those smart people just went by what was written by the Founders, right?


How do you mean?


The way I read it is that the Constitution was written to insure the branches of government had only enumerated powers. You know, establish a Navy, Post Office, trade—that sort of thing. Otherwise, they wouldn't be there at all.


But this is different! Just like Social Security, Medicare and food stamps this had to be decided by that part of the Constitution that says: "promote the general welfare," and, and sometimes—it's found in that commerce clause thing that means, means—well, it takes really wise men to figure out what that means.


But what about those enumerated powers?



You should know that when it comes to the general welfare, those enumerated powers don't count—there's no limit.




Just because.


You mean just like the President's enumerated powers don't count when he want to push something on the people he knows would never get past the Congress? Like with that executive order thing?


Yeah, well, kind of.


Just where did the Supreme Court, Congress and the President get the authority to ignore those enumerated—you know—those limits put on the their powers; did it take very, very wise men to figure out when those enumerated powers don't count anymore? Will they ever count in the future?


Well, it's kind of complicated. Maybe we ought to talk about that some other time.