Clarence Carson (1926-2003) was a historian who taught at Eaton College, Grove City College, and Hillsdale College. His primary publication venue was the Foundation for Economic Education. Among his many works is the six-volume A Basic History of the United States.
Do the Federal courts have a monopoly of the interpretation of the Constitution? Further, are the judges, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions . . .”? There is little reason to doubt that the prevailing view in the country would give a resounding affirmative answer to the first question. There are dissenters, of course, but so far as they are numerous and widely influential, their dissents are to particular decisions or opinions of the courts, not to the propriety of the courts making some decision.
A great many issues have reached the level of public debate today concerning public education. They range from questions that plumb the philosophic depths to everyday problems of student discipline. They range, that is, from questions as to the origin of life and of plant and animal species on this planet to the question of whether teachers should be permitted to use corporal punishment in the classroom.
The United States Constitution does not mention paper money by that name. Nor does it refer to paper currency or fiat money in those words. There is only one direct reference to the origins of what we, and they, usually call paper money. It is in the limitations on the power of the states in Article I, Section 10. It reads, “No State shall . . . emit Bills of Credit . . . .” Paper that was intended to circulate as money but was not redeemable in gold and silver was technically described as bills of credit at that time.
There are truths to which the passage of time and the gaining of new experience add luster and vitality. So it has been, for me at least, with those contained in Washington's Farewell Address. With each new reading of it, I have been impressed anew with the relevance of so much that he had to say to our own time. Often, too, I discover some new theme or emphasis that I had not been aware of earlier.
When Felix Morley called attention some years ago “to the illogical practice of referring to the central government as the ‘federal government',” he declared that the confusion was “due to historical accident.” What he had in mind was that the supporters of the Constitution, when it was being considered for ratification, called themselves “federalists,” and the government under examination “federal.”
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