If you’ve read the last few posts in my Constitution Revolution series, you’ve probably noticed a bit of a theme: How the Constitution protects us from the government.
I’ve talked about the fact that the way Congress is structured, the impeachment process, and even the process we have for deciding how our elections are held were all designed in ways that protect us from the government.
At this point you might be thinking, “That’s all great, but is that the only topic you’re covering? Why aren’t you talking about any of powers that the federal government has?!”
That’s a great question.
So far I’ve covered the Constitution from Article 1, Section 1 all the way through Article 1, Section 6 and I’ve only made one brief mention of a power that was granted to the federal government (and I won’t make another one until we get to Article 1, Section 8 in a couple of weeks).
There’s a very good reason for that. When we’re dealing with government, it’s extremely important to make sure that we are very careful in deciding what powers we will allow the government to use. But as important as that is, it is every bit as important – if not more so – to make sure that we take appropriate steps to protect ourselves from how those powers might be used.
If you think about it, it should be easy to see why. A government is a group of people that we grant the power to make rules for what you can’t do or what you must do; the power to use force to put you in prison; and even the power to take your money away. When you have a group of people in society who have that kind of power, it’s critical for us as private citizens to be very careful to keep that power in check. Otherwise, it could turn very bad for us very quickly.
With that in mind, let’s turn our attention to Article 1, Section 7. The first clause in this section gives us another very powerful tool that we can use to protect ourselves from the people in our government.
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