United States Electoral College
The United States Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, constituted every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, an absolute majority of 270 electoral votes is required to win an election. Pursuant to Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, the legislature of each state determines the manner by which its electors are chosen; each state's number of electors is equal to the combined total of the state's membership in the Senate and House of Representatives. Additionally, the Twenty-third Amendment provides that the District of Columbia is entitled to a number of electors no greater than that of the least populous state. Following the national presidential election day in the first week of November, each state counts its popular votes pursuant to that state's laws to designate presidential electors. Most all states allot all their electoral votes to the winning candidate in that state, no matter how marginal the candidate's win.
State electors meet in their respective state. The results are certified by the states and D. C. to Congress, where they are tabulated nationally in the first week of January before a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives. If a majority of votes are not cast for a candidate, the House resolves itself into a presidential election session with one presidential vote assigned to each of the fifty state delegations, excluding the District of Columbia; the elected president and vice president are inaugurated on January 20. While the electoral vote has given the same result as the popular vote in most elections, this has not been the case in a few elections, including the 2000 and 2016 elections; the Electoral College system is a matter of ongoing debate, with some defending it and others calling for its abolition. Supporters of the Electoral College argue that it is fundamental to American federalism, that it requires candidates to appeal to voters outside large cities, increases the political influence of small states, discourages the excessive growth of political parties and preserves the two-party system, makes the electoral outcome appear more legitimate than that of a nationwide popular vote.
Opponents of the Electoral College argue that it can result in a person becoming president though an opponent got more votes. Most polls since 1967 have shown that a majority of Americans favor the president and vice president being elected by the nationwide popular vote; the Constitutional Convention in 1787 used the Virginia Plan as the basis for discussions, as the Virginia proposal was the first. The Virginia Plan called for the Congress to elect the president. Delegates from a majority of states agreed to this mode of election. After being debated, delegates came to oppose nomination by congress for the reason that it could violate the separation of powers. James Wilson made motion for electors for the purpose of choosing the president. In the convention, a committee formed to work out various details including the mode of election of the president, including final recommendations for the electors, a group of people apportioned among the states in the same numbers as their representatives in Congress, but chosen by each state "in such manner as its Legislature may direct."
Committee member Gouverneur Morris explained the reasons for the change. However, once the Electoral College had been decided on, several delegates recognized its ability to protect the election process from cabal, corruption and faction; some delegates, including James Wilson and James Madison, preferred popular election of the executive. Madison acknowledged that while a popular vote would be ideal, it would be difficult to get consensus on the proposal given the prevalence of slavery in the South: There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people; the right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections; the Convention approved the Committee's Electoral College proposal, with minor modifications, on September 6, 1787. Delegates from states with smaller populations or limited land area such as Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland favored the Electoral College with some consideration for states.
At the compromise providing for a runoff among the top five candidates, the small states supposed that the House of Representatives with each state delegation casting one vote would decide most elections. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison explained his views on the selection of the president and the Constitution. In Federalist No. 39, Madison argued the Constitution was designed to be a mixture of state-based an
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
United States Statutes at Large
The United States Statutes at Large referred to as the Statutes at Large and abbreviated Stat. are an official record of Acts of Congress and concurrent resolutions passed by the United States Congress. Each act and resolution of Congress is published as a slip law, classified as either public law or private law, designated and numbered accordingly. At the end of a Congressional session, the statutes enacted during that session are compiled into bound books, known as "session law" publications; the session law publication for U. S. Federal statutes is called the United States Statutes at Large. In that publication, the public laws and private laws are numbered and organized in chronological order. U. S. Federal statutes are published in a three-part process, consisting of slip laws, session laws, codification. Large portions of public laws are enacted as amendments to the United States Code. Once enacted into law, an Act will be published in the Statutes at Large and will add to, modify, or delete some part of the United States Code.
Provisions of a public law that contain only enacting clauses, effective dates, similar matters are not codified. Private laws are not codified; some portions of the United States Code have been enacted as positive law and other portions have not been so enacted. In case of a conflict between the text of the Statutes at Large and the text of a provision of the United States Code that has not been enacted as positive law, the text of the Statutes at Large takes precedence. Publication of the United States Statutes at Large began in 1845 by the private firm of Little and Company under authority of a joint resolution of Congress. During Little and Company's time as publisher, Richard Peters, George Minot, George P. Sanger served as editors. In 1874, Congress transferred the authority to publish the Statutes at Large to the Government Printing Office under the direction of the Secretary of State. Pub. L. 80–278, 61 Stat. 633, was enacted July 30, 1947 and directed the Secretary of State to compile, edit and publish the Statutes at Large.
Pub. L. 81–821, 64 Stat. 980, was enacted September 23, 1950 and directed the Administrator of General Services to compile, edit and publish the Statutes at Large. Since 1985 the Statutes at Large have been prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register of the National Archives and Records Administration; until 1948, all treaties and international agreements approved by the United States Senate were published in the set, but these now appear in a publication titled United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, abbreviated U. S. T. In addition, the Statutes at Large includes the text of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, amendments to the Constitution, treaties with Indians and foreign nations, presidential proclamations. Sometimes large or long Acts of Congress are published as their own "appendix" volume of the Statutes at Large. For example, the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was published as volume 68A of the Statutes at Large.
Revised Statutes of the United States Procedures of the United States Congress Enrolled Bill Federal Register United States Reports California Statutes Laws of Florida Laws of Illinois Laws of New York Laws of Pennsylvania This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the U. S. Government Publishing Office. How Our Laws Are Made, by the Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives. Volumes 1 to 18 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Library of Congress Volumes 1 to 64 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Congressional Data Coalition via LEGISWORKS.org Volumes 65 to 125 of the Statutes at Large made available by the GPO and the Library of Congress via FDsys Sortable by Bills Enacted into Laws, Concurrent Resolutions, Popular Names, Presidential Proclamations, or Public Laws. Volumes 1–124 of the Statutes at Large made available by the Constitution Society Public and private laws from 104th Congress to present from the Government Printing Office, in slip law format with Statutes at Large page references Early United States Statutes includes Volumes 1 to 44 of the Statutes at Large in DjVu and PDF format, along with rudimentary OCR of the text.
United States Statutes and the United States Code: Historical Outlines, Lists and Sources from the Law Librarians' Society of Washington, DC Second Edition of the Revised Statutes of the United States
Article Five of the United States Constitution
Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the process whereby the Constitution, the nation's frame of government, may be altered. Under Article V, the process to alter the Constitution consists of proposing an amendment or amendments, subsequent ratification. Amendments may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a convention of states called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures. To become part of the Constitution, an amendment must be ratified by either—as determined by Congress—the legislatures of three-quarters of the states or state ratifying conventions in three-quarters of the states; the vote of each state carries equal weight, regardless of a state's population or length of time in the Union. Article V is silent regarding deadlines for the ratification of proposed amendments, but most amendments proposed since 1917 have included a deadline for ratification. Legal scholars agree that the amending process of Article V can itself be amended by the procedures laid out in Article V, but there is some disagreement over whether Article V is the exclusive means of amending the Constitution.
In addition to defining the procedures for altering the Constitution, Article V shields three clauses in Article I from ordinary amendment by attaching stipulations. Regarding two of the clauses—one concerning importation of slaves and the other apportionment of direct taxes—the prohibition on amendment was absolute but of limited duration, expiring in 1808. Scholars disagree as to whether this shielded clause can itself be amended by the procedures laid out in 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.
Thirty-three amendments to the United States Constitution have been approved by the Congress and sent to the states for ratification. Twenty-seven of these amendments are now part of the Constitution; the first ten amendments were adopted and ratified and are known collectively as the Bill of Rights. Six amendments adopted by Congress and sent to the states have not been ratified by the required number of states and are not part of the Constitution. Four of these amendments are still technically open and pending, one is closed and has failed by its own terms, one is closed and has failed by the terms of the resolution proposing it. All totaled 11,539 measures to amend the Constitution have been proposed in Congress since 1789. Article V provides two methods for amending the nation's frame of government; the first method authorizes Congress, "whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary", to propose Constitutional amendments. The second method requires Congress, "on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states", to "call a convention for proposing amendments".
This duality in Article V is the result of compromises made during the 1787 Constitutional Convention between two groups, one maintaining that the national legislature should have no role in the constitutional amendment process, another contending that proposals to amend the constitution should originate in the national legislature and their ratification should be decided by state legislatures or state conventions. Regarding the consensus amendment process crafted during the convention, James Madison declared: It guards against that extreme facility which would render the Constitution too mutable, it moreover enables the General and the State Governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other. Each time the Article V process has been initiated since 1789, the first method for crafting and proposing amendments has been used. All 33 amendments submitted to the states for ratification originated in the Congress; the second method, the convention option, a political tool which Alexander Hamilton argued would enable state legislatures to "erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority", has yet to be invoked.
When the 1st Congress considered a series of constitutional amendments, it was suggested that the two houses first adopt a resolution indicating that they deemed amendments necessary. This procedure was not used. Instead, both the House and the Senate proceeded directly to consideration of a joint resolution, thereby implying that both bodies deemed amendments to be necessary; when proposed by James Madison, the amendments were d