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Sunday, December 31, 2023

Max Constitution Essay

 Essay Prompt: Did the Constitution establish a just and fair government?  

The US, if it had the same government structure that it did in the years after the Revolutionary War, would have completely failed as a country and very possibly no longer exist. However, if you notice that I used the word if, that is because this never happened. And the reason for that is a few papers well over two hundred years old. These papers I am referring to are the Constitution of the United States, one of the most important documents in history. The Constitution set up our country and its laws, but people still wonder, did the Constitution establish a just and fair government? My answer to that would be yes. I believe it did because it ensured that no one person/branch of government would gain too much power, it protects citizens rights, and it protects states rights.

The first reason that I believe the Constitution established a fair government is because no one branch of government can be too powerful. The first example of this would be the Legislative Branch. It is the only branch that can make laws, and also holds one extremely important power. This is the power to impeach, which is extremely important because were there to be some insane president, Supreme Court Justice, or Congressman, the Senate could vote to impeach them. An impeachment is an act of accusing someone of wrongdoing or crime. This has happened recently, and happened twice to Donald Trump. One example of this would be in 2019, when Trump was impeached for using his position as president to get Ukraine to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden. To impeach someone, the Senate must vote two-thirds majority. However, one power the Executive Branch has over the Legislative Branch is the power to veto. This is when the President decides to reject a law. One of the more notable examples of this would be Franklin Roosevelt, the President of the USA in the 1930s and 40s. He vetoed over 372 bills! One example of a power the president has over the Supreme Court would be that they get to select a new Justice when another retires or dies. We have seen this relatively recently when Trump selected Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on September 26, 2020. The final branch is the Supreme Court, which has a couple of key powers. It has the power to hear appeals and overrule a ruling made by a lower court, such as a District Court. It is also able to deem a law unconstitutional, which is a way to hold power over the Legislative Branch. Since Supreme Court Justices serve until retirement without having to be elected, they are able to make decisions out of their own mind, not under the influence of a political party or pressure from voters. As Thomas Jefferson once said “Most bad government has grown out of too much government” referring to the importance of not letting the government grow too powerful, which is a key purpose of the checks and balances system. All of the above reasons really underline why the US Constitution established a fair government, and why no one branch of government has too much power.

The second reason why I believe that the Constitution established a fair government is that it protects the rights of citizens. The first example of this is Article one, which gives citizens the freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, press, and petition. We have seen this being defended in recent years, when rapper Elonis rapped about killing FBI agents in one of his songs. The Supreme Court found that he was not guilty of a real dangerous threat, and his rights to freedom of speech were protected. “If freedom of speech us taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter”. This shows just how important the idea of free speech is to upholding freedom and rights for citizens. The second example was in 1967, in a case known as Katz vs. the United States. Katz was arrested because Federal Agents had placed microphones in a phone booth that he was using after it was suspected that he was illegally gambling. Katz argued that this violated his fourth amendment rights, and the Supreme Court ruled that this was in violation of the Constitution. Katz’s case was a great example of how the Constitution established a just and fair government because it protected his rights as a citizen, and then let him appeal to a higher court when his verdict was unfair. The final example of this is the eighth amendment, which states that no cruel or unusual punishment is legal. This makes sure that the government isn’t able to basically torture people for whatever crime they committed, whether it be a capital crime or some kind of minor offense. This way people can have fair sentences that are predictable, and people know what the punishment for breaking the law is. Even if people are killed by the death penalty, which, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, is only legal in 27 states, they will most likely be killed by lethal injection. This is a relatively quick and clean method of death, meant to minimize gore and suffering.  All of the above reasons show how the rights of citizens are protected, whether it be knowing you will have a reasonable punishment, or knowing you can have a private conversation. In all, this idea contributes to the Constitution having established a just and fair government.

My final reason that the Constitution established a just and fair government is because it protects and establishes the rights of states. The first way that it does this is through the tenth amendment. This amendment establishes that any powers not given to the government by the constitution are reserved for the states. This means that while the US government handles things on a national level, states also have governing power inside the state. These powers include setting laws on drinking and smoking ages, and also issuing licenses for hunting, driving, and marriage. According to, States also operate their own prisons, sewage systems, garbage disposal, and water supply. Another way that states have power is that they have their own government, consisting of governors, mayors, and state senates. The final way that the states hold power is in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House gives power to larger states, because the population of a state determines how many members of the House it gets. The House has 435 members, with states like California, a population giant, having upwards of 50 members. The Senate, which balances out the power of the big states, gives equal representation to small and large states, with 2 representatives from each state totaling in at 100 for the entire Senate. As written in the Constitution, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” This quote shows just how built into the foundation of our country the ideas of State freedom and rights are. In all, I think that the above reasons show why the United States Constitution established a just and fair government.

I believe that the Constitution of the United States established a just and fair government. I believe so because it makes sure that no branch of government becomes too powerful, because it protects the rights of its citizens, and because it protects and establishes the rights of states. In all, the Constitution was a document that changed the entire fate of the world, and established one of the first world power democracies. In all, the constitution is extremely important because if we want to make the world a better place we have to start one country at a time, one government at a time, one document at a time.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Future Hoos?

After a breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we headed to Charlottesville to explore campus and take in a basketball game. We all think it would be a pretty fine place to go to school!