Wandering Autumn

Exploring change and the life that comes with it

Things not in the Constitution

May 11, 2016 

Here are a list of powers and so on that are not explicitly given to the Federal government in the Constitution, at least in how it was originally ratified:

  • The power to establish a national flag
  • The power to establish a set of laws dictating how to treat the national flag
  • The power to establish a pledge of allegiance to a national flag
  • The power to establish a national anthem
  • The power to establish any coats of arms or seals for any portion of the government
  • The power to grant trademarks
  • The power to grant passports
  • The power to establish embassies in foreign nations1
  • The power to establish any government websites
  • The power to publish the laws passed by the legislature in a public setting
  • The power to establish a Department of Justice
  • The power to represent itself in any suit brought against it by a private citizen
  • The power not to be sued by a private citizen2
  • The power to establish a signals intelligence organization, such as the NSA
  • The power to establish an organization to combat currency counterfeiting, such as the Secret Service3
  • The power to establish an organization to provide bodyguards to the President, such as the Secret Service
  • The power to establish a Department of Defense4
  • The power to establish an organization to aid in inter-state criminal investigations, such as the FBI
  • The power to establish a foreign intelligence organization, such as the CIA
  • The power to prevent private citizens from acquiring or detonating nuclear weapons
  • The power to have an IT department
  • The power to launch satellites
  • The power to establish and regulate an air force5
  • The power to write laws making corruption illegal6
  • The power to compensate any employees of the Federal government aside from the President, Vice-President, judges, and members of Congress7
  • The power to provide compensation of any sort other than salary to members of Congress et al. such as medical insurance, pensions, or vacation days
  • The power to establish national holidays
  1. Just the power to appoint ambassadors 

  2. Called sovereign immunity 

  3. Just provide for the punishment of counterfeiters, but no provision for an agency to investigate or bring legal charges against counterfeiters 

  4. The Constitution refers to the “executive departments”, but provides no explicit mechanism for establishing them, nor what they should be 

  5. Just “land and naval forces” 

  6. Bribery is cause for impeachment of a “civil officer”, which is not explicitly defined 

  7. Officers of the United States are appointed, but no provision is given for what their roles are or how they are to be compensated; in fact, they are to be “established by Law”, without any explicit provision for the legislature to establish them 

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