Article Two of the United States Constitution
Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, which carries out and enforces federal laws. Article Two vests the power of the executive branch in the office of the President of the United States, lays out the procedures for electing and removing the president, establishes the president's powers and responsibilities. Section 1 of Article Two establishes the positions of the president and the vice president, sets the term of both offices at four years. Section 1's Vesting Clause declares that the executive power of the federal government is vested in the president and, along with the Vesting Clauses of Article One and Article Three, establishes the separation of powers between the three branches of government. Section 1 establishes the Electoral College, the body charged with electing the president and the vice president. Section 1 provides that each state chooses members of the Electoral College in a manner directed by each state's respective legislature, with the states granted electors equal to their combined representation in both houses of Congress.
Section 1 lays out the procedures of the Electoral College and requires the House of Representatives to hold a contingent election to select the president if no individual wins a majority of the electoral vote. Section 1 sets forth the eligibility requirements for the office of the president, provides procedures in case of a presidential vacancy, requires the president to take an oath of office. Section 2 of Article Two lays out the powers of the presidency, establishing that the president serves as the commander-in-chief of the military and has the power to grant pardons and require the "principal officer" of any executive department to tender advice. Though not required by Article Two, President George Washington organized the principal officers of the executive departments into the Cabinet, a practice that subsequent presidents have followed; the Treaty Clause grants the president the power to enter into treaties with the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. The Appointments Clause grants the president the power to appoint judges and public officials subject to the advice and consent of the Senate, which in practice has meant that presidential appointees must be confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate.
The Appointments Clause establishes that Congress can, by law, allow the president, the courts, or the heads of departments to appoint "inferior officers" without requiring the advice and consent of the Senate. The final clause of Section 2 grants the president the power to make recess appointments to fill vacancies that occur when the Senate is in recess. Section 3 of Article Two lays out the responsibilities of the president, granting the president the power to convene both houses of Congress, receive foreign representatives, commission all federal officers. Section 3 requires the president to inform Congress of the "state of the union"; the Recommendation Clause requires the president to recommend measures he deems "necessary and expedient." The Take Care Clause requires the president to obey and enforce all laws, though the president retains some discretion in interpreting the laws and determining how to enforce them. Section 4 of Article Two establishes that the president and other officers can be removed from office through the impeachment process, further described in Article One.
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, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows Section 1 begins with a vesting clause that confers federal executive power upon the President. Similar clauses are found in Article I and Article III; the former bestows federal legislative power to Congress, the latter grants judicial power to the Supreme Court. These three articles create a separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government. In addition to separation of powers and important to limited government, each independent and sovereign branch provides checks and balances on the operation and power of the other two branches; the President's executive power is subject to two important limitations. First, the President lacks executive authority explicitly granted to Congress. Hence the President cannot declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, or regulate commerce though executives had wielded such authority in the past.
In these instances, Congress retained portions of the executive power that the Continental Congress had wielded under the Articles of Confederation. In fact, because those actions require legislation passed by Congress which must be signed by the President to take effect, those powers are not executive powers granted to or retained by Congress per se. Nor were they retained by the U. S. Congress as leftovers from the Articles of Confederation; the Articles of Confederation, Continental Congress and its powers were abolished at the time the new U. S. Congress was seated and the new federal government formally and replaced its interim predecessor, and although the President is implicitly denied the power to unilaterally declare war, a declaration of war is not in and of itself a vehicle of executive power since it is just a public declaration that the U. S. government considers itself "at war" with a foreign political entity. Regardless of the inability to declare war, the President does have the power to unilaterally order military action in defense of the United States pursuant to "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces".
By U. S. law, this pow
Third Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Third Amendment to the United States Constitution places restrictions on the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent, forbidding the practice in peacetime. The amendment is a response to Quartering Acts passed by the British parliament during the buildup to the American Revolutionary War, which had allowed the British Army to lodge soldiers in private residences; the Third Amendment was introduced in Congress in 1789 by James Madison as a part of the United States Bill of Rights, in response to Anti-Federalist objections to the new Constitution. Congress proposed the amendment to the states on September 28, 1789, by December 15, 1791, the necessary three-quarters of the states had ratified it. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson announced the adoption of the amendment on March 1, 1792; the amendment is one of the least controversial of the Constitution and is litigated, with the American Bar Association calling it the "runt piglet" of the U. S. Constitution. To date, it has never been the primary basis of a Supreme Court decision, though it was the basis of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit case Engblom v. Carey.
The amendment as proposed by Congress in 1789 reads as follows: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. In 1765, the British parliament enacted the first of the Quartering Acts, requiring the American colonies to pay the costs of British soldiers serving in the colonies, requiring that if the local barracks provided insufficient space, that the colonists lodge the troops in alehouses and livery stables. After the Boston Tea Party, the Quartering Act of 1774 was enacted. One of the Intolerable Acts that pushed the colonies toward revolution, it authorized British troops to be housed wherever necessary, including in private homes; the quartering of troops was cited as one of the colonists' grievances in the United States Declaration of Independence. After several years of comparatively weak government under the Articles of Confederation, a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia proposed a new constitution on September 17, 1787, featuring a stronger chief executive and other changes.
George Mason, a Constitutional Convention delegate and the drafter of Virginia's Declaration of Rights, proposed that a bill of rights listing and guaranteeing civil liberties be included. Other delegates—including future Bill of Rights drafter James Madison—disagreed, arguing that existing state guarantees of civil liberties were sufficient and that any attempt to enumerate individual rights risked the implication that other, unnamed rights were unprotected. After a brief debate, Mason's proposal was defeated by a unanimous vote of the state delegations. For the constitution to be ratified, nine of the thirteen states were required to approve it in state conventions. Opposition to ratification was based on the Constitution's lack of adequate guarantees for civil liberties. Supporters of the Constitution in states where popular sentiment was against ratification proposed that their state conventions both ratify the Constitution and call for the addition of a bill of rights. Several state conventions proposed a provision against the quartering of troops in private homes.
At the 1788 Virginia Ratifying Convention, Patrick Henry stated, "One of our first complaints, under the former government, was the quartering of troops among us. This was one of the principal reasons for dissolving the connection with Great Britain. Here we may have troops in time of peace, they may be billeted in any manner — to tyrannize and crush us." In the 1st United States Congress, following the state legislatures' request, James Madison proposed twenty constitutional amendments based on state bills of rights and English sources such as the Bill of Rights 1689. Several revisions to the future Third Amendment were proposed in Congress, which chiefly differed in the way in which peace and war were distinguished, whether the executive or the legislature would have the authority to authorize quartering. However, the amendment passed Congress unchanged and by unanimous vote. Congress reduced Madison's proposed twenty amendments to twelve, these were submitted to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789.
By the time the Bill of Rights was submitted to the states for ratification, opinions had shifted in both parties. Many Federalists, who had opposed a Bill of Rights, now supported the Bill as a means of silencing the Anti-Federalists' most effective criticism. Many Anti-Federalists, in contrast, now opposed it, realizing that the Bill's adoption would lessen the chances of a second constitutional convention, which they desired. Anti-Federalists such as Richard Henry Lee argued that the Bill left the most objectionable portions of the Constitution, such as the federal judiciary and direct taxation, intact. On November 20, 1789, New Jersey ratified eleven of the twelve amendments, rejecting Article II, which regulated Congressional pay raises. On December 19 and 22 Maryland and North Carolina ratified all twelve amendments. On January 19, 25, 28, 1790 South Carolina, New Hampshire, Delaware ratified the Bill, though New Hampshire rejected the amendment on Congressional pay raises, Delaware rejected Article I, which regulated the size of the House.
This brought the total of ratifying states to six of the required ten, but the process stalled in other states
Timeline of drafting and ratification of the United States Constitution
The drafting of the Constitution of the United States began on May 25, 1787, when the Constitutional Convention met for the first time with a quorum at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to revise the Articles of Confederation, ended on September 17, 1787, the day the Constitution drafted by the convention's delegates to replace the Articles was adopted and signed. The ratification process for the Constitution began that day, ended when the final state, Rhode Island, ratified it on May 29, 1790. In addition to key events during the Constitutional Convention and afterward while the Constitution was before the states for their ratification, this timeline includes important events that occurred during the run-up to the convention and during the nation's transition from government under the Articles of Confederation to government under the Constitution, concludes with the unique ratification vote of Vermont, which at the time was a sovereign state outside the Union; the time span covered is 5 years, 9 months, from March 25, 1785 to January 10, 1791.
March 25 • Maryland–Virginia conference convenes Initially scheduled to assemble in Alexandria, Virginia on March 21, delegates representing the states of Maryland and Virginia gather at Mount Vernon, the Fairfax County home of George Washington, to address navigational rights in the states' common waterways. Attending what became known as the Mount Vernon Conference were: Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Thomas Stone, Samuel Chase, from Maryland. March 28 • Maryland–Virginia conference concludes Delegates approve a thirteen-point agreement known as the Mount Vernon Compact, regulating commerce and navigation in the waters of the Potomac and Pocomoke Rivers, Chesapeake Bay; the agreement was subsequently ratified by both the Virginia and Maryland General Assemblies, becoming the nation's first interstate compact. January 21 • Conference to address certain defects of the federal government called Virginia General Assembly calls for an interstate convention for the purpose of discussing and developing a consensus about reversing the protectionist trade and commerce barriers existing between the various states.
September 11 • Annapolis Convention convenes Delegates representing Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Virginia meet at George Mann's Tavern in Annapolis, Maryland to discuss ways to facilitate commerce between the states and establish standard rules and regulations. Appointed delegates from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island either arrived too late to participate or otherwise did not attend. Four states: Connecticut, Georgia and South Carolina, did not appoint delegates. September 14 • Annapolis Convention adjourns The convention report, sent to Congress and the legislatures of the various states, contains a request that another convention be held the following May at Philadelphia to discuss amending the Articles of Confederation. November 23 • New Jersey elects delegates to the proposed constitutional convention. David Brearley, Jonathan Dayton, William Houston, William Livingston, William Paterson will attend. December 4 • Virginia elects delegates to the proposed constitutional convention.
John Blair Jr. James Madison, George Mason, James McClurg, Edmund Randolph, George Washington, George Wythe will attend. December 30 • Pennsylvania elects delegates to the proposed constitutional convention. George Clymer, Thomas FitzSimons, Benjamin Franklin, Jared Ingersoll, Thomas Mifflin, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, James Wilson will attend. January 6 • North Carolina elects delegates to the proposed constitutional convention. William Blount, William Richardson Davie, Alexander Martin, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson will attend. January 17 • New Hampshire elects delegates to the proposed Philadelphia Convention. Nicholas Gilman and John Langdon will attend. February 3 • Delaware elects delegates to the proposed constitutional convention. Richard Bassett, Gunning Bedford, Jr. Jacob Broom, John Dickinson, George Read will attend. February 10 • Georgia elects delegates to the proposed constitutional convention. Abraham Baldwin, William Few, William Houstoun, William Pierce will attend.
February 21 • Convention to discuss revisions to the Articles of Confederation called The Congress of the Confederation calls a constitutional convention "for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein and when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the States render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and the preservation of the Union". March 3 • Massachusetts elects delegates to the upcoming constitutional convention. Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King, Caleb Strong will attend. March 6 • New York elects delegates to the upcoming constitutional convention. Alexander Hamilton, John Lansing, Jr. and Robert Yates will attend. March 8 • South Carolina elects delegates to the upcoming constitutional convention. Pierce Butler, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, John Rutledge will attend. April 23 • Maryland elects delegates to the upcoming constitutional convention.
Daniel Carroll, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Luther Martin, James McHenry, John Mercer will attend. May 5 • A motion to send delegates to the constitutional convention fails in the Rhode Island General Assembly. May 14 • Constitutional Convention scheduled to begin As only a small number of delegates have arrived in Philadelphia, the convention's opening meeting is postponed for lack of a quorum. May 14 • Connecticut elects delegates to the constitutional convention. Oliver Ellsworth, William
Article Seven of the United States Constitution
Article Seven of the United States Constitution sets the number of state ratifications necessary in order for the Constitution to take effect and prescribes the method through which the states may ratify it. Under the terms of Article VII, constitutional ratification conventions were held in each of the thirteen states, with the ratification of nine states required for the Constitution to take effect. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, doing so on December 7, 1787. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, ensuring that the Constitution would take effect. Rhode Island was the last state to ratify the Constitution under Article VII, doing so on May 29, 1790; the Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same. On September 20, 1787, three days after its adoption by the Constitutional Convention, the drafted Constitution was submitted to the Congress of the Confederation for its endorsement.
After eight days of debate, the opposing sides came to the first of many compromises that would define the ratification process. The Confederation Congress voted to release the proposed Constitution to the states for their consideration, but neither endorsed nor opposed its ratification; the Constitution was ratified by the 13 states between December 7, 1787 and May 29, 1790 as follows: In 1787 and 1788, following the Constitutional Convention, a great debate took place throughout the United States over the Constitution, proposed. The supporters of the Constitution began the ratification campaign in those states where there was little or no controversy, postponing until the more difficult ones. On July 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, thus establishing it as the new framework of governance for the United States. Though enacted, four states, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island remained outside the new government; the Congress of the Confederation chose March 4, 1789 as the day "for commencing proceedings under the Constitution."
Virginia and New York ratified the Constitution before the members of the new Congress assembled on the appointed day to bring the new government into operation. After twelve amendments, including the ten in the Bill of Rights, were sent to the states in June 1789, North Carolina ratified the Constitution. Rhode Island, after having rejected the Constitution in a March 1788 referendum, called a ratifying convention in 1790. Faced with the threat of being treated as a foreign government, it ratified the Constitution by the narrowest margin. Secessionists have used Article VII to argue that states have a right to secede from the Union by revoking their ratification of the Constitution. Virginia's ratification of the Constitution declared that, "the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression." New York and Rhode Island's ratifications declared that, "That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people, whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness."
The New York Convention contemplated going a step farther, adding language to the effect that "there should be reserved to the state of New York a right to withdraw herself from the union after a certain number of years." The Madison federalists opposed this, with Hamilton, a delegate to the convention, reading aloud in response a letter from James Madison stating: "the Constitution requires an adoption in toto, for ever". Hamilton and John Jay told the convention that in their view, reserving "a right to withdraw inconsistent with the Constitution, was no ratification"; the New York convention ratified the Constitution without including the "right to withdraw" language proposed by the anti-federalists. At the start of the Civil War, four of the original thirteen states seceded from the Union, South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina. In their ordinances of secession they declared that their newly elected conventions were repealing the acts of the previous conventions ratifying the Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln maintained that secession was unconstitutional, these States along with the other Confederate States were defeated. Timeline of drafting and ratification of the United States Constitution The Federalist Papers Anti-Federalist Papers Gary Lawson & Guy Seidman, When Did the Constitution become Law, 77Notre Dame L. Rev.1 Steve Mount, The Federalists and Anti-Federalists, usconstitution.net
Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791. It expresses the principle of federalism and states' rights, which supports the entire plan of the original Constitution for the United States of America, by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the people; the amendment was proposed by the 1st United States Congress in 1789 during its first term following the adoption of the Constitution. It was considered by many members as a prerequisite to many state ratifications of the Constitution and to satisfy demands of Anti-Federalists who opposed the creation of a stronger federal government; the drafters of this amendment had two purposes in mind: first, as a necessary rule of construction. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.
The Tenth Amendment is similar to an earlier provision of the Articles of Confederation:Each state retains its sovereignty and independence, every power and right, not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled. After the Constitution was ratified, South Carolina Representative Thomas Tudor Tucker and Massachusetts Representative Elbridge Gerry separately proposed similar amendments limiting the federal government to powers "expressly" delegated, which would have denied implied powers. James Madison opposed the amendments, stating that "it was impossible to confine a Government to the exercise of express powers; when a vote on this version of the amendment with "expressly delegated" was defeated, Connecticut Representative Roger Sherman drafted the Tenth Amendment in its ratified form, omitting "expressly." Sherman's language allowed for an expansive reading of the powers implied by the Necessary and Proper Clause. When he introduced the Tenth Amendment in Congress, James Madison explained that many states were eager to ratify this amendment, despite critics who deemed the amendment superfluous or unnecessary: I find, from looking into the amendments proposed by the State conventions, that several are anxious that it should be declared in the Constitution, that the powers not therein delegated should be reserved to the several States.
Words which may define this more than the whole of the instrument now does, may be considered as superfluous. I admit they may be deemed unnecessary: but there can be no harm in making such a declaration, if gentlemen will allow that the fact is as stated. I am sure I understand it so, do therefore propose it; the states ratified the Tenth Amendment, declining to signal that there are unenumerated powers in addition to unenumerated rights. The amendment rendered unambiguous what had been at most a mere suggestion or implication; the phrase "... or to the people." Was appended in handwriting by the clerk of the Senate as the Bill of Rights circulated between the two Houses of Congress. The Tenth Amendment, which makes explicit the idea that the federal government is limited to only the powers granted in the Constitution, has been declared to be a truism by the Supreme Court. In United States v. Sprague the Supreme Court asserted that the amendment "added nothing to the as ratified."States and local governments have attempted to assert exemption from various federal regulations in the areas of labor and environmental controls, using the Tenth Amendment as a basis for their claim.
An often-repeated quote, from United States v. Darby Lumber Co. reads as follows: The amendment states but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered. There is nothing in the history of its adoption to suggest that it was more than declaratory of the relationship between the national and state governments as it had been established by the Constitution before the amendment or that its purpose was other than to allay fears that the new national government might seek to exercise powers not granted, that the states might not be able to exercise their reserved powers. In Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, the Court overruled National League of Cities v. Usery. Under National League of Cities, the determination of whether there was state immunity from federal regulation turned on whether the state activity was "traditional" for or "integral" to the state government. In Garcia, the Court noted that this analysis was "unsound in principle and unworkable in practice", concluded that the framers believed that state sovereignty could be maintained by the political system established by the Constitution.
Noting that the same Congress that extended the FLSA to cover government-run mass transit systems provided substantial funding for those systems, the Court concluded that the structure created by the framers had indeed protected the states from overreaching by the federal government. In South Carolina v. Baker, the Court said in dicta that an exception to Garcia would be when a state lacked "any right to participate" in the federal political process or was left "politically isolated and powerless" by a federal law. Since 1992, the Supreme Court has declared laws unconstitutional for violating the Tenth Amendment when the federal government compelled the states to enforce federal statutes. In New York v. United States, the Supreme Court invalidated a portion of a federal law fo
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws which respect an establishment of religion, prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights; the Bill of Rights was proposed to assuage Anti-Federalist opposition to Constitutional ratification. The First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress, many of its provisions were interpreted more narrowly than they are today. Beginning with Gitlow v. New York, the Supreme Court applied the First Amendment to states—a process known as incorporation—through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In Everson v. Board of Education, the Court drew on Thomas Jefferson's correspondence to call for "a wall of separation between church and State", though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute.
Speech rights were expanded in a series of 20th and 21st-century court decisions which protected various forms of political speech, anonymous speech, campaign financing and school speech. The Supreme Court overturned English common law precedent to increase the burden of proof for defamation and libel suits, most notably in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. Commercial speech, however, is less protected by the First Amendment than political speech, is therefore subject to greater regulation; the Free Press Clause protects publication of information and opinions, applies to a wide variety of media. In Near v. Minnesota and New York Times v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected against prior restraint—pre-publication censorship—in all cases; the Petition Clause protects the right to petition all branches and agencies of government for action. In addition to the right of assembly guaranteed by this clause, the Court has ruled that the amendment implicitly protects freedom of association.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. In 1776, the second year of the American Revolutionary War, the Virginia colonial legislature passed a Declaration of Rights that included the sentence "The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, can never be restrained but by despotic Governments." Eight of the other twelve states made similar pledges. However, these declarations were considered "mere admonitions to state legislatures", rather than enforceable provisions. After several years of comparatively weak government under the Articles of Confederation, a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia proposed a new constitution on September 17, 1787, featuring among other changes a stronger chief executive. George Mason, a Constitutional Convention delegate and the drafter of Virginia's Declaration of Rights, proposed that the Constitution include a bill of rights listing and guaranteeing civil liberties.
Other delegates—including future Bill of Rights drafter James Madison—disagreed, arguing that existing state guarantees of civil liberties were sufficient and that any attempt to enumerate individual rights risked the implication that other, unnamed rights were unprotected. After a brief debate, Mason's proposal was defeated by a unanimous vote of the state delegations. For the constitution to be ratified, nine of the thirteen states were required to approve it in state conventions. Opposition to ratification was based on the Constitution's lack of adequate guarantees for civil liberties. Supporters of the Constitution in states where popular sentiment was against ratification proposed that their state conventions both ratify the Constitution and call for the addition of a bill of rights; the U. S. Constitution was ratified by all thirteen states. In the 1st United States Congress, following the state legislatures' request, James Madison proposed twenty constitutional amendments, his proposed draft of the First Amendment read as follows: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.
The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments. The people shall not be restrained from peaceably consulting for their common good; this language was condensed by Congress, passed the House and Senate with no recorded debate, complicating future discussion of the Amendment's intent. The First Amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, was submitted to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789, adopted on December 15, 1791. Thomas Jefferson wrote with respect to the First Amendment and its restriction on the legislative branch of the federal government in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists: Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies between Ma