In this post, the Anti-Federalist writer, The Federal Farmer, addressed an interesting concern that the authors of the Constitution assumed a common understanding of some principles and, therefore, did not include explanatory or specific definitions of certain items that could, perhaps, be misconstrued and abused. Here are his thoughts.
August Glen-James, editor
What we have long and early understood ourselves in the common concerns of the community, we are apt to suppose is understood by others, and need not be expressed . . .
There appears to be in the constitution, a studied brevity, and it may also be probable, that several explanatory articles were omitted from a circumstance very common. What we have long and early understood ourselves in the common concerns of the community, we are apt to suppose is understood by others, and need not be expressed; and it is not unnatural or uncommon for the ablest men most frequently to make this mistake. To make declaratory articles unnecessary in an instrument of government, two circumstances must exist; the rights reserved must be indisputably so, and in their nature defined; the powers delegated to the government, must be precisely defined by the words that convey them, and clearly be of such extent and nature as that, by no reasonable construction, they can be made to invade the rights and prerogatives intended to be left in the people.
—The Federal Farmer