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LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal,1 and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States,2 and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings; and
Implied Powers of Congress. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.3
SECTION 9. POWERS FORBIDDEN TO THE UNITED STATES
Absolute Prohibitions on Congress. [The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.] 4
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus5 shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
No bill of attainder or ex-post-facto law6 shall be passed.
1 Letters granted by the government to private citizens in time of war authorizing them to capture the enemy's vessels.
2 Namely, the District of Columbia.
3 This is the so-called "Elastic Clause" of the Constitution, because it confers upon Congress the right to do whatever may be necessary to carry out the powers vested by the Constitution in the national government. Compare this provision with Article VI, Paragraph 2, on the Supremacy of the Constitution, and with the Tenth Amendment on State Rights.
4 "Person," meaning slave. This temporary provision refers to the importation of slaves, which was prohibited by Congress in 1808
5 "Habeas corpus." This writ requires an accused person, who is in prison, to be brought into court in order that it may be determined whether he can be legally held or not.
6 "Bill of attainder or ex-post-facto law." An "attainder" was a special act in English law, by which a person could be condemned to death or banished without having the power of defending himself in a court of justice. An "ex-post-facto law" is a law imposing punishment for acts committed before the law was passed.
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
No capitation1 or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken. [Extended by Amendment XVI.]
No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State.
No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another; nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.
No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
SECT10N 10. POWERS FORBIDDEN TO THE STATES
Absolute Prohibitions on the States. No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; 2 Coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex-post-facto law,3 or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
Conditional Prohibitions on the States. No State shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any State on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.
No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war, in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.
ARTICLE II. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
SECTION I. PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT
Term. The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years,4 and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:
Electors. Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and
1"Capitation" tax. One levied on each head or person,--a poll tax.
2 "Letters of marque and reprisal" (see note 1, p. xii).
3 "Attainder or ex-post-facto law" (see note 6, p. xii).
4 The Congress of the Confederacy in 1788 fixed the 4th of March, 1789, for the inauguration of the President, and three years later a law was passed decreeing that the day selected should continue to stand. It has been said that Franklin first suggested the 4th of March, because it was found that for the two ensuing centuries that day would fall on Sunday less often than any other. See the "New Encyclopædia Americana," Vol. VII, article, "Inauguration Day."
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
representatives to which the State may be entitled in Congress: 1 but no senator or representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.
Proceedings of Electors and of Congress. [The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the president of the Senate. The president of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said house shall, in like manner, choose the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.]2
Time of choosing Electors. The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; 3 which day shall be the same throughout the United States.
Qualifications of President. No person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.
Vacancy. In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President,4 and such officer shall act accordingly until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
1 See Table of Representation in Appendix.
2 The whole of this paragraph in brackets has been superseded by the Twelfth Amendment.
3 The electors are chosen on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, preceding the expiration of a Presidential term. They vote (by act of Congress of February 3, 1887) on the second Monday in January, following, for President and Vice President. The votes are counted and declared in Congress on the second Wednesday of the following February.
See the Presidential Succession Act of 1886 (§ 392).
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
Salary. The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation1 which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Oath of Office. Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
SECTION 2. POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT
Military Powers; Reprieves and Pardons. The President shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several States, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments,2 upon any subject. relating to the duties of their respective offices; and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.3
Treaties; Appointments. He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
Fill Vacancies. The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.
SECTION 3. DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT
The President's Message; he may convene Congress; he shall receive Public Ministers, execute the Laws, and commission Officers. He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union,4 and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.
1 The President receives $75,000 a year; the Vice President, $12,000. Previous to 1873 the President received $25,000 a year; from 1873 to March 4, 1909, he received $50,000 a year.
2 The executive departments are the Departments of State, the Treasury, etc. (see § 200 and § 392, note 1); the heads of these departments are members of the President's cabinet or private council.
3 "Impeachment" (see note 5, p. viii).
4 Washington and John Adams read their messages to Congress. Jefferson sent his written message to that body, and his example has ever since been followed.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY SECTION 4. IMPEACHMENT
Removal of Officers. The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment1 for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
ARTICLE III. JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
SECTION 1. UNITED STATES COURTS
Courts established; judges. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.2 The judges, both of the Supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation 3 which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
SECTION 2. JURISDICTION OF UNITED STATES COURTS
Federal Courts in General. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; -- to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; -- to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; -- to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; -- to controversies between two or more States; -- between a State and citizens of another State;4 -- between citizens of different States; -- between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.
Supreme Court. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction.5 In all other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction,6 both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
Trials. The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.
I "Impeachment" (see note 5, p. viii).
2 Congress established nine Circuit Courts, nine Circuit Courts of Appeal, a Court of Claims, and one or more District Courts in each of the States, besides one in Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico. It has also established a Commerce Court and a Court of Customs Appeals.
3 "Compensation." The Chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States receives a salary of $15,000, and the associate justices $14,500 each.
4 But compare the Eleventh Amendment.
5 "Original jurisdiction," namely exclusive jurisdiction.
6 "Appellate jurisdiction," that is, cases may begin in the lower courts, and may be carried by appeal to the Supreme Court.
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
SECTION 3. TREASON
Treason defined. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
Conviction of Persons accused of Treason. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
Punishment. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder1 of treason shall work corruption of blood,2 or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted.3
ARTICLE IV. RELATIONS OF THE STATES TO EACH OTHER
SECTION I. OFFICIAL ACTS
Rights of State and Records. Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
SECTION 2. PRIVILEGES OF CITIZENS
Privileges of Citizens of States. The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.
Fugitives from justice. A person charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.
Fugitive Slaves and Other Fugitives held to Labor. [No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.] 4
SECTION 3. NEW STATES AND TERRITORIES
Admission of States. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
1 "Attainder." Punishment. This seems to be the meaning of the word here. See Story's "Commentary on the Constitution," p. 466.
2 "Corruption of blood." Under the old English law, since repealed, a person attainted or convicted of treason was disabled from holding, inheriting, or transmitting an estate.
3 As a matter of fact, no person in the United States has ever been put to death for the crime of treason.
4 This was the basis of the first Fugitive Slave Law in 1793, and also of the second and last in 1850. This clause has been superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
Territory and Property of United States. The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory Dr other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
SECTION 4. PROTECTION OF THE STATES
Republican Government guaranteed to every State. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion, and on application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.
ARTICLE V. AMENDMENTS
Amendments, how proposed; how ratified. The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided [that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and] that no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.1
ARTICLE VI. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Public Debt. All debts contracted, and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.2
Supremacy of the Constitution; Federal Laws; Treaties; State judges. This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.3
Official Oath; Religious Test. The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all *executive and
1 The words inclosed in brackets were a temporary provision.
2 "The Confederation." The first Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1781, and which was superseded by the present Constitution. There is a second provision respecting the public debt in the Fourteenth Amendment.
3 In the words of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Constitution, while it stands, is "A law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times and under all circumstances" (judge Cooley's "Principles of Constitutional Law," p. 33).
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test1 shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
ARTICLE VII. RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION
Ratification. The ratification of the Conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same.
Done in convention, by the unanimous consent of the States present, the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.
In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names.
President, and Deputy from Virginia
NEW HAMPSHIRE PENNSYLVANIA VIRGINIA
JAMES MADISON, JR.
RICHARD DOBBS SPAIGHT
WILLIAM SAMUEL JOHNSON
GUNNING BEDFORD, JR.
CHARLES C. PINCKNEY
NEW JERSEY MARYLAND GEORGIA
DANIEL [OF ST. THOMAS]
Attest: WILLIAM JACKSON, Secretary
1 See too the First Amendment, for a second provision respecting religion.