Sunday, November 21, 2010

Part 3

The Constitution of the United States

As Seen By an Average American.

Part 3

Note: The following text in bold is a transcription of the Constitution in its original form

Article. IV. Relation of the States to Each Other (Sections 1 and 2) and Federal – State Relations (Section 3 and 4)

Section. 1.

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.

Each State shall have control of their own proceedings.

Section. 2.

The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

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.

No Person held to Service or Labour 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 Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Citizens of one State will not have to show papers or identification to travel from one State to another. All citizens will have the same privileges and rights regardless of what State they reside in. The second paragraph simply says that one State will not harbor fugitives from another State, upon request they will extradite fugitives. The third paragraph was directed towards indentured servants and slaves, both of which are no longer practiced. It was one point of contention in the late 1800’s when the Southern States claimed that the Northern States had broken their contract with them when it came to slavery and the harboring of escaped slaves to the North.

Section. 3.

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.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or 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 3 is simply protecting the States borders from being rewritten into new States or to add land to other States. There are questions as to whether or not the formation of West Virginia, which was originally a part of Virginia, was Constitutional or not. During the time of the Civil War, or War of Northern Aggression if you prefer, Virginia seceded from the Union but the North Western portion of the State remained loyal to the Union. Because of this that portion of Virginia was accepted into the Union as a new State. The questions come in as to whether or not the Southern States actually seceded or not. According to various accounts President Lincoln did not believe the States could secede so that would mean they were only rebelling making the formation of West Virginia unconstitutional. If the States could secede then the formation of West Virginia was just a new State being admitted to the Union from a different country altogether which is legal. Either way we have WV.

The second part of this leads back to Article I; giving Congress the authority to take lands for needful buildings. This section allows them to make rules and regulations for those lands, in other words, military bases, Post Offices, etc…

Section. 4.

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.

Section 4 of Article IV is where the Federal Government promises to protect the borders of the States. If the Section 2 of this Article granted the Citizens of each State all privileges and immunities of the Citizens of the Several States then the Federal Government would not need to protect the States from invasion from each other. This would obviously mean invasion from outside the borders of the United States. This section also gives the Federal Government the authority to act in times of domestic violence; these are the cases where the Federal Government have called out the National Guard.

Article. V.

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.

The Framers of the Constitution knew they were not perfect and knew there was no way they could predict how the country would change or what types of technological advances would come along. There was no way they could have ever imagined that we would be dealing on a global scale the way we are today or traveling from one country to another in the matter of hours, much less to other States in a matter of hours. They addressed this lack of knowledge by providing for a method to amend the Constitution to meet the changing times. They stipulated that it would take a super majority of both Houses of Congress or a super majority of the legislatures of the Several States to even make a proposed Amendment. To have the Amendment approved it would take a super majority of the States Legislatures to ratify it to become a part of the Constitution. To date there are 27 Amendments to the Constitution, the first 10 were written and added prior to the ratification of the Constitution because of concerns the States had about the Constitution not being specific enough in some areas. Once an Amendment is placed in the Constitution it will remain for the life of the Constitution, even if another Amendment abolishes it as the 18th Amendment, Prohibition was abolished by the 21st Amendment. This is a way to preserve history and to be able to look back at what has worked and has not worked. The Constitutional Convention process of Article V is the only correct way to change the Constitution, not interpretations by politicians of Supreme Court Judges.

Article. VI. The National 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.

To fight the Revolutionary War the Colonies went into debt with several Nations, including the French. The Framers felt they needed to honor those debts and any others incurred by the Colonies prior to their Independence from British rule if they were ever to be taken seriously on the international scene.

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, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

In the area of treaties made with other Nations the Constitution and the Federal Government is the supreme Law of the Land. In other words the several States have, by accepting this Constitution and becoming a part of the United States, granted the Federal Government the power and authority to deal with foreign Governments.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and 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 Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

All officers of the United States per the Constitution shall take an oath to support and defend it, every Congressman, every Supreme Court Judge, every Federal District Court Judge and the President. In keeping with the freedom of religion that the Framers believed in this oath was to be free from religious test or bindings, you did not have to be of a certain religion or any religion at all to be an elected official in the Federal Government or a Supreme Court of District Court Judge/

Article. VII. Ratification of The Constitution

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

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,

In keeping with the super majority, or two thirds, the Framers determined that this Constitution would not even become effective until at least nine of the original Colonies ratified, approved, the Constitution. All States had to agree to the terms of the Constitution to become a member of the Union of States, that was the date they became a State.

Thirty nine men signed the Constitution, forever putting their names in the history books. These men bet their fortunes and their fame on a dream they called a Republic, a country for the People, not a country that would rule over the People.

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from


Geo: Read Gunning Bedford jun John Dickinson Richard Bassett Jaco: Broom


James McHenry Dan of St Thos. Jenifer Danl. Carroll


John Blair James Madison Jr.

North Carolina

Wm. Blount Richd. Dobbs Spaight Hu Williamson

South Carolina

J. Rutledge Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Charles Pinckney Pierce Butler


William Few Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire

John Langdon Nicholas Gilman


Nathaniel Gorham Rufus King


Wm. Saml. Johnson Roger Sherman

New York

Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey

Wil: Livingston David Brearley Wm. Paterson Jona: Dayton


B Franklin Thomas Mifflin Robt. Morris Geo. Clymer Thos. FitzSimons Jared Ingersoll James Wilson Gouv Morris

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Part 2

The Constitution of the United States

As Seen By an Average American.

Part 2

Note: The following text in bold is a transcription of the Constitution in its original form.

This part will focus on the Executive and Judicial Branches of the Federal Government.

Article. II. The Executive Branch

Section. 1.

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, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

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 Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

This just specifies the number of electors for each State in what is called the Electoral College. This also states that no member of Congress or any other person holding public office for the Federal Government can be appointed as an elector for their State.

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 chuse 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 chuse the President. But in chusing 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 chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

This specifies how the President and the Vice-President will be elected. They are to be elected by the Electors of each State, not by popular vote of the People. The State electors will vote for two persons, at least one must be from another State and submit all the names of those voted on and the number of votes for each to the Congress. The President of the Senate will open and count all the votes in the presence of both houses of Congress. The person with the majority of votes will be the President, the person having the next highest number, as long as it is a majority shall be Vice-President. If there is a tie then the House of Representatives will vote on them to determine who will be President. The list from the States could be anywhere from 2 to 10 or more names. No where does it say that the People will elect the President. It also says the Vice-President will be elected in the same manner, not chosen by the person running for President as there running mate. In other words we could, if this method was actually followed, end up with a President and Vice-President of different parties.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

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.

If you will remember, to be elected to Congress you did not have to be a natural born citizen, you just had to be a citizen, natural born or naturalized. To be President you must be a natural born citizen, the clause allowing for just a citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution is well past, unless you are around 200 years old. It also states that you must have been in the States for 14 years, in other words you can not be legally living abroad and run for the office of President. I have read that this is all because the Framers believed only a natural born American would have a vested interest in the continued success of the United States.

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, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

All this is saying is that the Vice-President falls under the same requirements as the President for eligibility and that the Vice-President will become President in any case where the President can no longer perform the duties of the office.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, 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.

This says the President will get paid while in office, nothing about being paid a retirement, or retainer, or what ever you want to call it after leaving office. It also states that they will receive no pay from any other Government entity, Federal or otherwise.

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."

The oath of the Presidency is specific, what is interesting is that it says nothing about preserving, protecting or defending the United States, only the Constitution of the United States.

Section. 2.

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, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

The President will be the ultimate leader of our Armed Forces. This section also alludes to there being executive departments; it does not say what these departments will be. It also gives the President the ability to grant pardons except in the case of impeachments, in other words the President may pardon prisoners.

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.

The President and only the President has the authority to deal with foreign Governments. The President may also, with the advice and consent of Congress appoint Ambassadors, Judges, and other public ministers and officers whose appointments are not established in the Constitution. It also gives the power of vetting these appointments to Congress.

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.

This part allows the President to make appointments to positions normally requiring vetting by Congress while Congress is in recess without having to wait for the vetting process. These appointments are to expire at the end of the next Congressional session, meaning they would have to go through the vetting process to continue in their position.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, 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.

This section shows how Congress was not always in session, they were only called into session when the President deemed it necessary.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

This section is self explanatory. If you look into history and into what the meanings of high crimes and misdemeanors were in the British Parliament, which is where our language of the time was based, violation of the oath of office would be reason for impeachment. Care to count how many Presidents were guilty of that?

At the Constitutional Convention George Washington was the one that for the most part coined the term President. The framers were trying to be free from Monarchy and Tyranny so King, Lord and other such titles of nobility were not fitting for the position as the head of the United States. President comes from a Latin word that basically means to preside over. Our President was to be an elected official for the People and he would preside in their behalf.

Article III. The Judicial Branch

Section. 1.

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. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

The only requirement for Judges of the Supreme Court shall be good behavior. There will be one Supreme Court but inferior courts may be established as Congress sees fit.

Section. 2.

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,--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.

This section simply states that the Supreme Court has the power to rule in cases that are outside the States jurisdiction. This also means that the Supreme Court should not be ruling or even hearing cases that are within a single State, even cases where a citizen of a State is filing suit against that State. That is a State matter and should be handled by the States Courts only.

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. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

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.

Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. 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.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Old English is an interesting language to read, but you also have to understand how things worked in those days to understand this section. In those days if your Father was convicted of treason you were guilty simply by sharing his blood. Our Constitution prevents that sort of out dated thinking.

The Supreme Court was given no power to legislate, nor was it given the power to interpret the Constitution as it sees fit. Judges, of any court, are supposed to be impartial except to the law. In the case of the Supreme Court they are the ones that we should be able to go to when there is a question about Constitutionality. Unfortunately over the years there are documented cases where the Constitution was interpreted in different ways depending on the political leanings of the Judges that were sitting on the bench. We have gone from rulings based on the Constitution to rulings based on case law, which is an opinion based on a person and their moral, social and political views. Even our law schools are now teaching Case Law as Constitutional Law, which is not the case.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Part 1

The Constitution of the United States
As Seen By an Average American.
Part 1

Note: The following text in bold is a transcription of the Constitution in its original form.

When the Constitution of the United States was written it was by the hands of men from many walks of life. There were Army Generals, lawyers, shop keepers and farmers all in the same room working toward the same end. Although each had their own ideas of what the construct of this new country should be, they all knew it would be decided in that room by that diverse group of men. In the end they ended up with a document that was written for the People by the People. It was a document that was intended to be understood by all the citizens of the newly formed United States from people of all levels socially and economically. Today this document is being interpreted in so many various ways to fit whatever political agenda is popular at the time, not to benefit the people or even the country, but to benefit the person or party doing the interpretation. Many are saying you have to go back to the source documents to really understand the Constitution, which is not how the Framers intended the Constitution to be read. I do believe you have to go back to the source documents to support your arguments when it comes to defending the Constitution and proving the violations that are being done in its name. The following is my understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments, using only the words in the document itself. I am splitting this up to keep the size down. In the first part will contain the Preamble and Article I which pertains to Congress, probably the most important group in the Government as far as protecting the interest of the People.

Preamble to the Constitution

We the People of the United States,

If you will notice this says, “We the People”, not I the politician, or I the elite, or even I the poor, it’s “We the People”. That line alone should tell you that the Framers of the Constitution intended on this document to be for the people of the United States as a whole, not anyone individual or group above the others.

…in Order to form a more perfect Union,

Following the Declaration of Independence the Articles of Confederation were written to bring the Colonies together in order to fight the British in the Revolutionary War. The Articles of Confederation were hardly more then an agreement for the States to help each other in this endeavor, they were as close to declaring anarchy as one could get without coming right out and saying it. Following the Revolutionary War the leaders of the Colonies realized that the Articles of Confederation would do nothing more then postpone the failure of the Country that they had just fought for, therefore they call together the Constitutional Convention under the pretense of amending the Articles, and instead they completely rewrote the contract that would form the United States of America. The wording “a more perfect union” is important to note, these men were not so arrogant to believe they were forming the perfect union, they knew they would make mistakes and that the people that followed them would make mistakes. Later in the Constitution they gave the means to correct mistakes and to update the Constitution, if we would only follow it.

…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,

These two items work hand in hand; they are the statements that separate the Republic that was formed from an Anarchical society. In order to have “domestic tranquility” there must be justice, fair and equal justice. This is the statement that tells us the Framers intended on us being a nation of laws.

…provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare,

Once again two items that work hand in hand; also two items that have been miss-interpreted. They are also two items that have been misused throughout the history of the United States. The common defense refers to the common defense of all the States in the Union, not one State over another, and not by engaging in police actions that have nothing to do with the welfare of our Nation. The general welfare refers to the general welfare of the Nation as a whole, not the people as individuals. This should be applied to ensuring equal and fair trade between the States and with other Nations as necessary; it also again applies back to the common defense. You are not promoting the general welfare of the Nation when our borders are open to the illegal immigration of thousands of people, it wears on the resources we have in this country. You are also not providing for the common defense with open borders that allow the free flow of illegal drugs, guns, gangs and human smuggling.

…and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

These are the statements that actually can be applied to the people of the United States. The Framers believed that in order for the Republic to survive and prosper liberty, individual liberty, was a must. Without liberty we were just another country with a monarchy, the same type of rule we had just fought and bled to be free of.

…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

If you will notice there is nothing here that says they make this the rule of the land, they established it, and the States had to later ratify it making it the law of the land.

The Preamble of the Constitution is an opening argument, it’s not a statement of law nor is it to be interpreted as enumerated powers to the Federal Government. It is simply a summary of what the Framers were trying to do with the following Articles of the Constitution. Too many times in our history politicians, judges and special interest groups have taken the words of the Preamble and turned them into policy, laws and talking points for the special interests. If this were meant to be law then you could also argue that a lawyer in a court of law could win his or her case based on the opening argument alone without ever having to present facts to back up the opening, that is not the case in a court and it’s not the case when it comes to the Constitution.

Article I
: The Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch was intended to be the branch of the Federal Government that represented the People of the United States and the Individual States themselves, the branch that would ensure equality between the States and to prevent the President from becoming a dictator or a Monarch. Because of the Legislative Branch we have a Republic with indirect democracy, in other words, it’s the Peoples wishes as exercised through elected representatives.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 1 is pretty self explanatory, the Framers felt that in order to properly legislate there should be two houses in Congress to serve as a check and balance on each other. The genius in this is in how they set up each house and why they set them up the way the did.

Section. 2.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section 2 simply states the requirements for the House of Representatives. The name alone should be a clue as to their role in the Government; they are the Representatives of the People, not of the individual States or the Federal Government as a whole, but of the People. It states that the Representatives shall be chosen every 2 years, this was a measure to allow the people to remove Representatives that were not acting in the best interest of the People in a timely manner. The number of Representatives was tied directly to the population of the several States. As other things in history changed this section was changed by Amendments to remove the three fifths person reference and to align this section more to the sentiment that all men and women in the United States were equal, as it should be. It should also be noted that the House of Representatives have the sole power of Impeachment, they are the ones that can call for the Impeachment of President, they are the Peoples voice, no one else has that power.

Section. 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section 3 defines the requirements for the Senate. The members of the Senate shall be chosen by the Legislators of the individual States, not the people of the States. There shall be two per State to ensure that each State has equal representation with the Federal Government. Each Senator will sit for 6 years, although if chosen by the State Legislators the States can write their Constitutions such that they can recall a Senator if that Senator is not acting on the wishes of the State Government. As I stated before the Framers split Congress into two houses to provide for checks and balances, it should be obvious that they put two separate checks and balances in right at the beginning. First one being that the House is chosen by the people according to population to fairly represent the People of the country. The Senate is chosen by the State Governments, 2 per State, to equally represent the States interests which may not always be aligned with the People’s wishes. The second check is that while the House of Representatives has the power of impeachment the Senate has the sole power to try Impeachments. The People may call for the impeachment but the State Governments try the impeached. While both of these checks could look like a way to simply has a continually stagnant Federal Government it was the Framers way of ensuring that the keys to this Union, the People and the individual States would both be represented in a fair and equal manner. This train of thought is evident in the following articles which further define the duties and powers of the Legislative Branch of the Federal Government. The Framers knew that with out the individual States there would be no Union, no United States and without the People there would be no individual States.

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 4 puts the power of election laws for Congress in the hands of the individual State Governments with the caveat that the Congress can enact changes as necessary by law. Although there is the exception that the place of choosing of Senators shall not be changed, that place being in the States Legislations. This has been done, albeit by a Constitutional Amendment, but it has been done and has had consequences.

Section. 5.

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 5 is simply a statement allowing each house to set its own in-house rules of conduct while in session.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 6 is nothing more then a statement allowing members of Congress to be compensated for their services and to be free from prosecution from misdemeanors while in session. It should be noted that when the Constitution was written Congress was not in constant session, they were called to meet only once a year or more if deemed necessary.

Section. 7.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section 7 spells out the process for which bills may be proposed and passed in order to become law. It also contains more of the checks that the Framers felt were necessary to prevent the abuse of either the People or the individual States. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, in other words if you want to tax the People then the Representatives of the People shall be the ones to write the bills. Since the People can be selfish and try to push personal agendas and mandates that may not be in the best interest of the individual States every bill must pass both houses before it can get to the Presidents desk. In order for the best interest of the country as a whole (the general welfare) to be best served the President has 10 days (Sundays excluded) to consider each bill before either signing it into law or passing it back to Congress with his objections in writing to be reconsidered. There is also a clause preventing the slow death of laws that the President does not like just by ignoring them, if he does nothing with the bill in 10 days it will automatically become law, just as if he signed it. This section also states that all bills must be passed by two thirds of each house, not by 51%, but by two thirds, no exceptions. For bills that do not involve revenue either house may initiate the bill, this allows laws or Amendments to be written to the benefit of the People or to the States as each sees necessary. They still have to pass both houses and the President before they can become law, in this manner the country as a whole is best served.

Section. 8

In order to give the proper attention to Section 8 I will put comments after each of the powers enumerated to Congress. There are only 18 powers enumerated to Congress, several of these have been misused and abused while at the same time Congress has taken more powers then they have the right to without protest from the American People or the individual States.

(1) The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

While Congress was given the power to lay and collect taxes and other forms of revenue, remember the bills must be written in the House of Representatives and approved by both houses by a two thirds vote in each, these revenues were meant solely for the payment of debts already incurred, providing for the common defense and for the General Welfare of the United States. This does not mean that they are to be used to create more debt, or to line the pockets of the leaders of special interest groups, or for building bike paths or hiking trails. It also does not mean that the money is to be used for welfare, now commonly called entitlement programs; they are for the general welfare of the United States as a whole.

(2) To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

This is self explanatory, only if you start checking Congress has borrowed so much that the credit of the United States in slipping.

(3) To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To regulate commerce, means to keep commerce regular and fair. It makes sense to have the Federal Government regulate the commerce with other Nations instead of having 50 different (at the time 13) independent Governments trying to negotiate deals. It also makes sense that in order to insure domestic tranquility within the Colonies that the Federal Government should have to power to regulate

(4) To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Congress has the power to determine how a person becomes naturalized, what it takes to become a citizen of the United States. Naturalization is not the same as immigration, immigration is the process of coming into a country, and naturalization is the process of becoming a citizen. Congress also has the power to determine bankruptcy procedures throughout the United States. These laws were to be uniform throughout the country, yet I’m sure if you looked into the laws of various States you will find that there are differences.

(5) To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Congress were the ones that were to coin the money for the United States, they were not to regulate this out to a private entity that would be more concerned with making a profit and keeping the share holders happy then they are of ensuring the “general welfare” of the Nation.

(6) To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

In keeping with the power of regulating coin Congress also had the power to punish those that tried to copy our coin.

(7) To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

Once again this is self explanatory. The Framers knew that being able to send and deliver post would be important to keeping the Nation together, not only for the People, but also for trade and National defense. This is also the only agency that is mentioned by name that the Government was given the power to establish.

(8) To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

While Congress was given the power to promote science and useful arts the Framers put time limits on this power to keep it from becoming a lifetime entitlement.

(9) To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

Congress was given the power of inferior Federal courts. This power is better defined in Article III.

(10) To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

This is self explanatory. During the days of the Framers the seas were the route for trade and travel. It was important to protect those trade routes.

(11) To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Congress has the power to declare war, no one else. In the United States there has not been a declaration of war since World War II yet billions of dollars have been spent on military actions overseas.

(12) To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Standing Armies were used against the original Colonists so they felt they were a detriment to the liberty of the citizens and the Union of the States, therefore there were limits placed on how long Armies could be funded. Congress, more specifically the House of Representatives (in other words the representatives of the People) had to vote on the budget, the appropriations, every 2 years.

(13) To provide and maintain a Navy;

The importance of keeping trade routes safe were enough for the Framers to specifically authorize a Navy without including the requirement that Congress must authorize its budget every 2 years. The Navy was not seen as a potential threat to the citizens of the United States but as a defense of the all important trade routes.

(14) To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

Congress was to make rules for the Government and for the fighting forces that were authorized by the Constitution.

(15) To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

There was no standing Army active at the time the Framers wrote the Constitution, therefore they had to have the authorization to call forth the militia, a militia made up of men from the independent States.

(16) 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;

Once the militia was called forth Congress had to have the authority to obtain the funds to arm them and train them. They also had to have the authority to appoint officers that could maintain discipline and lead the militia.

(17) 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, 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, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

This gave Congress the authority to be the local Government for Washington DC. This is also the power that grants the Federal Government authority over needful buildings and lands to be controlled by the Federal Government. Needful buildings would include military bases, post offices and Federal Courts, this does not grant the Federal Government the right to seize lands for monuments and National Parks.

(18) 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.

Once the powers of Congress were spelled out, enumerated, Congress had to have the authority to write laws as necessary to carry out their enumerated powers.

The above 18 items are the sole powers authorized to Congress. These are the powers that the individual States debated on and later ratified making it the law of the land, or if you prefer, the contract between the Federal Government to the individual States and the People.

Section. 9.

(1) 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.

(2) The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

(3) No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

(4) No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

(5) No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

(6) 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.

(7) 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.

(8) 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.

In order to properly control anything you have to have restrictions. The Constitution gave 18 powers to Congress and then set down 8 restrictions as well. To sum up the restrictions are fairly easy, immigration is needed but we want to control it in the future; the Government cannot arrest or detain someone with out cause; no laws shall be written and post dated so it looks like it’s always been there; we will not place taxes and tariffs on exports from one State to another; all States will be treated equally; no unauthorized money may be taken from the Treasury; and the United States will not grant noble titles that leads. I purposely left (4) for last, No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census. Taxation in this country has been in violation of this provision for decades, direct proportion to the census means that everyone pays an equal share, in reality that should be that each State pays to finance the Federal Government based on it’s population, then each State can determine how to tax its citizens. Either way, direct proportion to the census does not say on a sliding scale based on income or lack thereof.

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

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 it's 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 Controul 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.

If there are going to restrictions placed on the Federal Government then there should be restrictions placed on the individual States to prevent undermining the Federal Government. Section 10 does just that, the Federal Government will deal with foreign Governments and take care of all the things that go with that. States can not coin their own money. States will defer to the Federal Government for all aspects of defense unless it is an emergency. All restrictions that were placed on the States were necessary for the Union to remain a Union.

It’s important to note that there is no restriction placed on the States to prevent them from seceding from the Union if the States deem it necessary, this was incorrectly stated during the Civil War. The States were considered to be independent Governments, free to govern as they felt necessary for their own posterity.

Our Politicians will tell you anything they want as far as what the Constitution says, they will twist words just to pass the laws they are pushing for. This country was formed based on the premise that the United States is a collection of smaller individual countries that will write laws as they see fit, the Constitution only takes into account those things that would affect the Union as a whole. In recent history we lost 2 Congressmen that were touted as being outstanding politicians, they brought untold amounts of money into their respective States. The money they brought in was more then there individual States had contributed to the Union; meaning that all the other States were paying for projects that would be of no benefit to the rest of the Nation. That is not the way this country was intended to be run.