Fundamental Powers of the State

Governance is the art and science of carefully balancing the competing needs and values of society, all demanding acceptance and preeminence. Insofar as the government and the people are concerned, their intervals may every now and then clash, for which a careful weighing of various considerations have to be done that the demands of authority do not lead to slavery and the recognition of the claims of liberty do not end up in anarchy. On the side of authority, you have the inherent and fundamental powers of the government -- police power, eminent domain, and taxation -- powers by which its objectives may be enforced and implemented. On the other end, you have the guarantees and safeguards found in the Bill of Rights.

Insofar as this interplay between power and authority, on one hand, and liberty and freedom on the other is concerned, note must be taken of the fact that just like anything else, values, concepts and weights change through time. What may have been recognized as outside the domain of the State regulation in the past would no longer be so immune from governmental interference in later years. As the Court said in one ease. :what was 'robbery' in 1874 is now called 'social justice'."

These fundamental powers are inherent in the national government and are only exercised by the local government units as a result of delegation. Thus, it is important to determine which power is implicated if exercised by a local government unit but not when the national government itself wields it.

In the exercise of police power, there must be compliance with the requirements of legitimate ends being accomplished throught legitimate means. As for the power of condemnation, the Constitution already provides the allowable limits of its exercise -- public use and just compensation Taxation, of course, must not be exercised in an oppressive and confiscatory manner.

Further, the powers, separate and distinct as they are, may also come together and collaborate in the accomplishment of a state objective.