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Government Explanations and Interpretations


The following paper discusses the government explanations and interpretations by analysis of the following statements and questions. The first question regards why there is no right that is absolute and what is meant by the statement that, the power to tax is the power to destroy. The paper also describes in detail about non-violent campaign and what martin Luther king meant by “shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from the people of ill will”.

The essay also talks about the different court-created “levels of scrutiny” and what they are designed to accomplish. Finally; the essay describes in detail why chief justice Marshall in McCulloch V. Maryland, believes congress has constitutional powers to create a national bank.


There are several areas in the legal provisions of the government that need to be clarified to give American citizens a better understanding of what they mean. They include no right which is taken to be absolute where a deeper understanding of its application is important. The power accorded to the government to control taxing processes also needs to be clarified since it is questionable in a situation where it is regarded as destruction power.

Another area is about campaigns that are regarded as non-violent where explanations on the real meaning of non-violence are equally essential. More so, Martin Luther King’s statement on shallow understanding, as well as absolute understanding, forms another important area of interpretation. A different issue concerns various levels that have been created by the court to apply scrutiny in an area that requires examination which should be clearly understood. The last issue in the list of the areas that need clarification is a description of reasons as to why Marshall who is a Chief Justice strongly believes that national bank can be under the constitutional power of the Congress. (Clayton, 1995)

Interpretation on No Right

According to Aharon (2005), the situation where no right is taken as absolute can be explained because the government regards individual rights to be subject to regulation which should be carried out reasonably.

However, in cases where individual rights are not protected by the government, then it occurs that they stop becoming absolute and are put at the same level with the freedom accorded to speech as well as other rights specified in the governing constitution. Therefore, in a case where no right is considered absolute, powers are given to the government to provide restrictions to any given right, but only if the reasons given by the government can meet the constitutional examination. The government should also be in a position to prove the importance of that particular imposed restriction.

Interpretation on taxing power

The slogan where the power to give taxes is considered as destruction power was used by many Americans who were led by John Marshall. This slogan was intended to show the intensity of discontent by Americans concerning how politicians were implementing the power accorded to them to control tax. According to Marshall, politicians destroy the industrial base of America when they impose excessive taxation among Americans, which he refers to be a very irresponsible leadership.

Supporters of the slogan formulated ways in which to reverse the excessive taxation trend where they decided to mobilize Americans to stop paying the portion of income tax that is voluntary to reduce the number of funds that get to the destructive politicians. More so, supporters of the slogan argue that, by failing to pay income taxes, Americans would be helping in the elimination of social problems that have currently dominated the country. (Clayton, 1995)

Description of a campaign that is non-violent

Aharon (2005) found that The issue of what constitutes a non-violent campaign has been a major concern for many since both violent as well as non-violent campaigns are found to have a similar procedure. However, organizations that are committed to campaigns that are free of violence have come up with a set of principles to guide them as well as others in the campaigns. According to the principles, non-violence is a combination of active resistance with civil disobedience which is carried out in form of dialogue.

Those involved in the campaign can refuse to cooperate by withdrawing from an oppressing system of governance, where they give some constructive alternatives to replace what they believe is incorrect. Also, non-violent campaigns integrate efforts directed at bringing reconciliation to conflicting parties which strengthens the society and empowers its members. Other aspects of non-violence in campaigns are recognition of humanity as well as the dignity of other people while campaigning and emphasis on openness which promotes democratic processes through communication.

Roles of Scrutiny Levels

Scrutiny levels can be described as instructions that are used to bring some form of balance in court. They do this by informing courts on how to implement provisions of the constitution during law evaluation. Therefore, in cases where a particular right is being threatened, scrutiny levels require the government to correct the situation. Scrutiny levels include a minimal level that tests the rationality of all laws and all laws that are challenged under the clause of equal protection is required to meet this level. Another is intermediate scrutiny which is the level found at the middle and it is applied when making decisions on constitutional issues taking place through the review of the judiciary.

Others include a rational basis which is the least rigorous review while the most rigorous one is strict scrutiny. Intermediate scrutiny has many uses among them being the evaluation of discrimination laws regarding gender, children as well as speech regulation. On the other hand, strict scrutiny gives the government a burden to provide proof on various legal issues which cannot be passed unless it allows it to. (Clayton, 1995)

Interpretation of Martin Luther King’s Quote

Martin Luther is known for his influential speeches and quotes among them being where he refers to people who possess shallow understanding but in goodwill as sources of frustrations. These people are compared to another category of people who have bad intentions of doing things but have a complete understanding of whatever they are doing. By this, Martin Luther means that shallow-mindedness is very unattractive irrespective of the motive behind it. Although he disregards bad motives, he makes use of it in his comparison to show the importance of having a complete understanding of everything that one decides to engage in. (Aharon, 2005)

Description of Marshall’s Belief about Constitutional Power Possessed by Congress

One question that has raised debate regards whether congress can incorporate a bank. Marshall who was a chief justice believed that congress is empowered by the constitution which would allow it to implement national bank creation. Among the powers enumerated, there is no power regarding the establishment of a bank or the creation of a corporation. However, the argument is that the instrument in place has no phrase similar to articles of confederation that limits the creation of incidental as well as implied powers; which demands that, all things granted should be expressly described through minutes.

Close analysis reveals that the 10th amendment was framed mainly to quiet excessive jealousies that had initially been excited by omitting the word “expressly”. The amendments declare only that, powers not delegated to the US and at the same time not prohibited to the United States deserve reservation to the people or the states. In the enumerated powers, there is no word bank but there are great powers to collect taxes and borrow money as well as regulate commerce. This forms the basis on Marshall’s Belief about Constitutional Power Possessed by Congress. (Clayton, 1995)


Aharon B. Purposive Interpretation in Law, Princeton University Press (2005) pp. 87-112.

Clayton R. The logic of historical explanation, Penn State Press (1995) pp. 287-300.


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