In the United States, a contingent election is the procedure used in presidential elections in the case where no candidate wins an absolute majority of votes in the Electoral College, the constitutional mechanism for electing the President and the Vice President of the United States. A contingent election for the president is decided by a vote of the United States House of Representatives, the contingent election for the vice president is decided by a vote of the United States Senate; the contingent election procedure, along with the other parts of the presidential election process, was first established in Article Two, Section 1, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, modified by the 12th Amendment in 1804. Contingent elections are rare, having occurred only three times in American history, all in the early 19th century. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson was pitted against his own vice-presidential nominee in a contingent election due to problems with the original electoral procedure. In 1824, the presence of four candidates split the Electoral College, Andrew Jackson lost the contingent election to John Quincy Adams despite winning a plurality of both the popular and electoral vote.
In 1836, faithless electors in Virginia refused to vote for Martin Van Buren's vice-presidential nominee Richard Mentor Johnson, denying him a majority of the electoral vote and forcing the Senate to elect him in a contingent election. In the United States, the president and vice president are indirectly elected by the Electoral College, which consists of 538 presidential electors from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Presidential electors. Since the election of 1824, a majority of the states have chosen their electors on a statewide winner-take-all basis, based on the statewide popular vote on Election Day. Maine and Nebraska are the only two current exceptions, as both states use the congressional district method. Although ballots list the names of the presidential and vice presidential candidates, voters choose electors when they vote for president and vice president; these presidential electors in turn cast electoral votes for those two offices. Electors pledge to vote for their party's nominee, but some "faithless electors" have voted for other candidates.
A candidate must receive an absolute majority of electoral votes to win the presidency or the vice presidency. If no candidate receives a majority in the election for president or vice president, that election is determined via a contingency procedure established by the 12th Amendment. In such a situation, the House chooses one of the top three presidential electoral vote-winners as the president, while the Senate chooses one of the top two vice presidential electoral vote-winners as vice president; the contingent election process was modified by the 20th Amendment, which took effect in 1933. The amendment reduces the length of lame-duck sessions of Congress; as a result, the lame-duck Congress no longer conducts contingent elections, with the newly-elected Congress instead conducting contingent elections. For example, if a contingent election had been held to determine the outcome of the 1936 presidential election, the 75th United States Congress would have been charged with conducting the contingent election.
In the 75th Congress, all members of the House of Representatives, one-third of the members of the Senate, had been elected in the 1936 elections. Section 3 of the 20th Amendment specifies that if the House of Representatives has not chosen a president-elect in time for the inauguration the vice president-elect becomes acting president until the House selects a president. Section 3 specifies that Congress may statutorily provide for who will be acting president if there is neither a president-elect nor a vice president-elect in time for the inauguration. Under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the Speaker of the House would become acting president until either the House selects a president or the Senate selects a vice president. None of these situations has occurred; the Constitution's silence on this point could have caused a constitutional crisis in the 1801 contingent election, as the House of Representatives seemed for a time to be hopelessly unable to resolve Jefferson–Burr Electoral College deadlock.
Pursuant to the 12th Amendment, the House of Representatives is required to go into session after the counting of the electoral votes to vote for president if no candidate for the office receives a majority of the electoral votes. In this event, the House is limited to choosing from among the three candidates who received the most electoral votes; each state delegation votes with each state having a single vote. A candidate is required to receive an absolute majority of state delegation votes in order for that candidate to become the president-elect; the District of Columbia, not a state, does not receive a vote. The House continues balloting. A delegation that did not give a majority of its vote to any one candidate was marked as "divided," and thus did not award its vote to any candidate. However, the requirement for a majority vote of the state's delegation is not present in the Constitution, future contingent elections could require only a plurality, rather than a majority, of the state delegation to vote for a candidate.
Previous contingent elections were held in a closed session, the votes of each member of the House was not revealed. The Constitution does not require a closed session for contingent elections, future contingent elections could be held in an open se
Article One of the United States Constitution
Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress. Under Article One, Congress is a bicameral legislature consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Article One grants Congress various enumerated powers and the ability to pass laws "necessary and proper" to carry out those powers. Article One establishes the procedures for passing a bill and places various limits on the powers of Congress and the states. Article One's Vesting Clause grants all federal legislative power to Congress and establishes that Congress consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In combination with the Vesting Clauses of the Article Two and Article Three, the Vesting Clause of Article One establishes the separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government. Section 2 of Article One addresses the House of Representatives, establishing that members of the House are elected every two years, with congressional seats apportioned to the states on the basis of population.
Section 2 includes various rules for the House of Representatives, including a provision stating that individuals qualified to vote in elections for the largest chamber of their state's legislature have the right to vote in elections for the House of Representatives. Section 3 addresses the Senate, establishing that the Senate consists of two senators from each state, with each senator serving a six-year term. Section 3 required that the state legislatures elect the members of the Senate, but the Seventeenth Amendment, ratified in 1913, provides for the direct election of senators. Section 3 lays out various other rules for the Senate, including a provision that establishes the Vice President of the United States as the president of the Senate. Section 4 of Article One grants the states the power to regulate the congressional election process, but establishes that Congress can alter those regulations or make its own regulations. Section 4 requires Congress to assemble at least once per year.
Section 5 lays out various rules for both houses of Congress, grants the House of Representatives and the Senate the power to judge their own elections, determine the qualifications of their own members, punish or expel their own members. Section 6 establishes the compensation and restrictions of those holding congressional office. Section 7 lays out the procedures for passing a bill, requiring both houses of Congress to pass a bill for it to become law, subject to the veto power of the President of the United States. Under Section 7, the president can veto a bill, but Congress can override the president's veto with a two-thirds vote of both chambers. Section 8 lays out the powers of Congress, it includes several enumerated powers, including the power to lay and collect taxes and tariffs for the "general welfare" of the United States, the power to borrow money, the power to regulate interstate and international commerce, the power to set naturalization laws, the power to coin and regulate money, the power to establish federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court, the power to raise and support military forces, the power to declare war.
Section 8 provides Congress the power to establish a federal district to serve as the national capital, gives Congress the exclusive power to administer that district. In addition to various enumerated powers, Section 8 grants Congress the power to make laws necessary and proper to carry out its enumerated powers and other powers vested in it. Section 9 places various limits on the power of Congress, banning bills of attainder and other practices. Section 10 places limits on the states, prohibiting them from entering into alliances with foreign powers, impairing contracts, taxing imports or exports above the minimum level necessary for inspection, keeping armies, or engaging in war without the consent of Congress. 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 a vesting clause that bestows federal legislative power to Congress. Similar clauses are found in Articles II and III.
The former confers executive power upon the President alone, the latter grants judicial power to the federal judiciary. These three articles create a separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government; this separation of powers, by which each department may exercise only its own constitutional powers and no others, is fundamental to the idea of a limited government accountable to the people. The separation of powers principle is noteworthy in regard to the Congress; the Constitution declares that the Congress may exercise only those legislative powers "herein granted" within Article I. It by implied extension, prohibits Congress from delegating its legislative authority to either of the other branches of government, a rule known as the nondelegation doctrine. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that Congress does have latitude to delegate regulatory powers to executive agencies as long as it provides an "intelligible principle" which governs the agency's exercise of the delegated regulatory authority.
That the power assigned to each branch must remain with that branch, may be expressed only by that branch, is central to the theory. The nondelegation doctrine is used now as a way of interpreting a congressional delegation of authority narrowly, in that the courts presume Congress intended only to delegate that which it could have, unless it demonstrates it intended to "test the waters" of what the courts would allow it to do. Although not mentioned in the Constitution, Congress has long asserted the power to i
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
Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states. The amendment supersedes Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures, it alters the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate, allowing for state legislatures to permit their governors to make temporary appointments until a special election can be held. The amendment was proposed by the 62nd Congress in 1912 and became part of the Constitution on April 8, 1913 on ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures. Sitting Senators were not affected by the Amendment's provisions until their existing terms expired, so the Amendment took six years to implement; the transition began with two special elections in 1913 and 1914 - the first in Maryland and the second in Alabama. The transition began in earnest with the November 1914 election, was complete on 4 March 1919 when the Senators chosen at the November 1918 election took office.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures; when vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. Under Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, each state legislature elected its state's senators for a six-year term; each state, regardless of size, is entitled to two senators as part of the Connecticut Compromise between the small and large states.
This contrasted with the House of Representatives, a body elected by popular vote, was described as an uncontroversial decision. There were many advantages to the original method of electing senators. Prior to the Constitution, a federal body was one where states formed nothing more than permanent treaties, with citizens retaining their loyalty to their original state. However, under the new Constitution, the central government was granted more power than before. Additionally, the longer terms and avoidance of popular election turned the Senate into a body that could counter the populism of the House. While the Representatives operated in a two-year direct election cycle, making them accountable to their constituents, the senators could afford to "take a more detached view of issues coming before Congress". State legislatures retained the theoretical right to "instruct" their senators to vote for or against proposals, thus giving the states both direct and indirect representation in the federal government.
The Senate was part of a formal bicameralism, with the members of the Senate and House responsible to distinct constituencies. Members of the Constitutional Convention considered the Senate to be parallel to the British House of Lords as an "upper house", containing the "better men" of society, but improved upon as they would be conscientiously chosen by the upper houses of state republican legislatures for fixed terms, not inherited for life as in the British system, subject to a monarch's arbitrary expansion, it was hoped that they would provide abler deliberation and greater stability than the House of Representatives due to the senators' status. According to Judge Jay Bybee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, those in favor of popular elections for senators believed that two primary problems were caused by the original provisions: legislative corruption and electoral deadlocks. There was a sense that senatorial elections were "bought and sold", changing hands for favors and sums of money rather than because of the competence of the candidate.
Between 1857 and 1900, the Senate investigated three elections over corruption. In 1900, for example, William A. Clark had his election voided after the Senate concluded that he had bought votes in the Montana legislature, but analysts Bybee and Todd Zywicki believe this concern was unfounded. In more than a century of legislative elections of U. S. senators, only ten cases were contested for allegations of impropriety. Electoral deadlocks were another issue; because state legislatures were charged with deciding whom to appoint as senators, the system relied on their ability to agree. Some states could not, thus delayed sending representatives to Congress. Deadlocks started to become an issue in the 1850s, with a deadlocked Indiana legislature allowing a Senate seat to sit vacant for two years. Between 1891 and 1905, 46 elections were deadlocked across 20 states; the business of holding elections cause
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. In Congress, it was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865; the amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865. On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State William H. Seward proclaimed its adoption, it was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted following the American Civil War. Since the American Revolution, states had divided into states that allowed or states that prohibited slavery. Slavery was implicitly permitted in the original Constitution through provisions such as Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 known as the Three-Fifths Compromise, which detailed how each slave state's enslaved population would be factored into its total population count for the purposes of apportioning seats in the United States House of Representatives and direct taxes among the states. Though many slaves had been declared free by President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, their post-war status was uncertain.
On April 8, 1864, the Senate passed an amendment to abolish slavery. After one unsuccessful vote and extensive legislative maneuvering by the Lincoln administration, the House followed suit on January 31, 1865; the measure was swiftly ratified by nearly all Northern states, along with a sufficient number of border states up to the death of Lincoln, but approval came with President Andrew Johnson, who encouraged the "reconstructed" Southern states of Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia to agree, which brought the count to 27 states, caused it to be adopted before the end of 1865. Though the amendment formally abolished slavery throughout the United States, factors such as Black Codes, white supremacist violence, selective enforcement of statutes continued to subject some black Americans to involuntary labor in the South. In contrast to the other Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment was cited in case law, but has been used to strike down peonage and some race-based discrimination as "badges and incidents of slavery."
The Thirteenth Amendment applies to the actions of private citizens, while the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments apply only to state actors. The Thirteenth Amendment enables Congress to pass laws against sex trafficking and other modern forms of slavery. Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Slavery existed in all of the original thirteen British North American colonies. Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment, the United States Constitution did not expressly use the words slave or slavery but included several provisions about unfree persons; the Three-Fifths Compromise, Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of all other Persons".
This clause was a compromise between Southerners who wished slaves to be counted as'persons' for congressional representation and northerners rejecting these out of concern of too much power for the South, because representation in the new Congress would be based on population in contrast to the one-vote-for-one-state principle in the earlier Continental Congress. Under the Fugitive Slave Clause, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, "No person held to Service or Labour in one State" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9, Clause 1 allowed Congress to pass legislation outlawing the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that, "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis in Dred Scott v. Sandford for treating slaves as property.
Stimulated by the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence, between 1777 and 1804 every Northern state provided for the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery. Most of the slaves involved were household servants. No Southern state did so, the slave population of the South continued to grow, peaking at 4 million people in 1861. An abolitionist movement headed by such figures as William Lloyd Garrison grew in strength in the North, calling for the end of slavery nationwide and exacerbating tensions between North and South; the American Colonization Society, an alliance between abolitionists who felt the races should be kept separated and slaveholders who feared the presence of freed blacks would encourage slave rebellions, called for the emigration and colonization of both free blacks and slaves to Africa. Its views were endorsed by politicians such as Henry Clay, who feared that the main abolitionist movement would provoke a civil war. Proposals to eliminate slavery by constitutional amendment were introduced by Representative Arthur Livermore in 1818 and by John Quincy Adams in 1839, but failed to gain significant traction.
As the country continued to expand, the issue of slavery in its new territories became the dominant national issue. The Southern position was that slaves were property and therefore could be moved to the territories like all other forms of property; the 1820 Missouri Compromise provided for the admission of Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving the Senate's equality between the regions. In 1846, the Wilmot Proviso was introduced to a war appropriations bill to ban slavery in all territories acquired in the Mexican–Ameri
Signing of the United States Constitution
The Signing of the United States Constitution occurred on September 17, 1787, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, when 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, representing 12 states, endorsed the Constitution created during the four-month-long convention. In addition to signatures, this endorsement, the Constitution's eschatocol, included a brief declaration that the delegates' work has been completed and that those whose signatures appear on it subscribe to the final document. Included are, a statement pronouncing the document's adoption by the states present, a formulaic dating of its adoption, along with the signatures of those endorsing it. Additionally, the convention's secretary, William Jackson, signed the document to authenticate the validity of the delegate signatures, he made a few secretarial notes. The language of the concluding endorsement, conceived by Gouverneur Morris and presented to the convention by Benjamin Franklin, was made intentionally ambiguous in hopes of winning over the votes of dissenting delegates.
Advocates for the new frame of government, realizing the impending difficulty of obtaining the consent of the states needed for it to become operational, were anxious to obtain the unanimous support of the delegations from each state. It was feared that many of the delegates would refuse to give their individual assent to the Constitution. Therefore, in order that the action of the Convention would appear to be unanimous, the formula, Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present... was devised. The U. S. Constitution lays out the frame of the nation's federal government and delineates how its 3 branches are to function. Of those who signed it every one had taken part in the American Revolution. In general, they represented a cross-section of 18th-century American leadership, with individuals having experience in local or colonial and state government. Jonathan Dayton, age 26, was the youngest to sign the Constitution, while Benjamin Franklin, age 81, was the oldest. On July 24, 1787 convention delegates selected a Committee of Detail to write-up a draft constitution reflective of the resolutions passed by the convention up to that point.
The final report of this committee, a twenty-three article document, became the first draft of the constitution. Overall, the draft produced by the committee conformed to the resolutions adopted by the Convention, though some portions were rephrased during the process. After it issued this report, the committee continued to meet off and on until early September; the draft constitution section by section and clause by clause. Details were attended to, further compromises were effected. On September 8, 1787, a Committee of Style, with different members, was impaneled to distill a final draft constitution from the twenty-three approved articles; the final draft, presented to the convention on September 12, contained seven articles, a preamble, a closing statement, cleverly written by Gouverneur Morris so as to make the constitution seem unanimous. The committee presented a proposed letter to accompany the constitution when delivered to the Congress of the Confederation; the final document, engrossed by Jacob Shallus, was taken up on Monday, September 17, at the Convention's final session.
Several delegates were disappointed by the numerous compromises contained in the final document, believing that they had impaired its quality. Alexander Hamilton called the Constitution a "worthless fabric", certain to be superseded. Luther Martin regarded it as a stab in the back of the goddess of liberty; the most that Madison and the majority of delegates hoped, was that this practical, workable constitution, planned to meet the immediate needs of thirteen states with four million people, would last a generation. In all, twelve of the thirteen states sent delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Several attendees left before the signing ceremony, three that did not refused to sign. Benjamin Franklin summed up the sentiments of those who did sign, stating: "There are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them." He would accept the Constitution, "because I expect no better and because I am not sure that it is not the best".
The closing endorsement of the U. S. Constitution serves an authentication function only, it neither assigns powers to the federal government nor does it provide specific limitations on government action. It does however, provide essential documentation of the Constitution's validity, a statement of "This is what was agreed to." It records who signed the Constitution, plus where they signed. It describes the role played by the signers in developing the document. Due to this limited function, it is overlooked and no court has cited it when reaching a judicial decision. On the final day of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin delivered an address endorsing the Constitution despite any perceived imperfections. Hoping to gain the support of critics and create a sense of common accord, Franklin proposed, the convention agreed, that the Constitution be endorsed by the delegates as individual witnesses of the unanimous consent of the states present, thus the signers subscribed their names as witnesses to.
The signers' names are, with the exception of Convention Pres
Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states on the basis of population. It was passed by Congress in 1909 in response to the 1895 Supreme Court case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co; the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states on February 3, 1913, overruled the Supreme Court's ruling in Pollock. Prior to the early 20th century, most federal revenue came from tariffs rather than taxes, although Congress had imposed excise taxes on various goods; the Revenue Act of 1861 had introduced the first federal income tax, but that tax was repealed in 1872. During the late nineteenth century, various groups, including the Populist Party, favored the establishment of a progressive income tax at the federal level; these groups believed that tariffs unfairly taxed the poor, they favored using the income tax to shift the tax burden onto wealthier individuals. The 1894 Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act contained an income tax provision, but the tax was struck down by the Supreme Court in the case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court did not hold that all federal income taxes were unconstitutional, but rather held that income taxes on rents and interest were direct taxes and thus had to be apportioned among the states on the basis of population. For several years after Pollock, Congress did not attempt to implement another income tax due to concerns that the Supreme Court would strike down any attempt to levy an income tax. In 1909, during the debate over the Payne–Aldrich Tariff Act, Congress proposed the Sixteenth Amendment to the states. Though conservative Republican leaders had expected that the amendment would not be ratified, a coalition of Democrats, progressive Republicans, other groups ensured that the necessary number of states ratified the amendment. Shortly after the amendment was ratified, Congress imposed a federal income tax with the Revenue Act of 1913; the Supreme Court upheld that income tax in the 1916 case of Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co. and the federal government has continued to levy an income tax since 1913.
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, without regard to any census or enumeration. Article I, Section 2, Clause 3: Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers... Article I, Section 8, Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States. Article I, Section 9, Clause 4: No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken; this clause refers to a tax on property, such as a tax based on the value of land, as well as a capitation. Article I, Section 9, Clause 5: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State; until 1913, customs duties and excise taxes were the primary sources of federal revenue.
During the War of 1812, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander J. Dallas made the first public proposal for an income tax, but it was never implemented; the Congress did introduce an income tax to fund the Civil War through the Revenue Act of 1861. It levied a flat tax of three percent on annual income above $800; this act was replaced the following year with the Revenue Act of 1862, which levied a graduated tax of three to five percent on income above $600 and specified a termination of income taxation in 1866. The Civil War income taxes, which expired in 1872, proved to be both lucrative and drawing from the more industrialized states, with New York and Massachusetts generating about 60 percent of the total revenue, collected. During the two decades following the expiration of the Civil War income tax, the Greenback movement, the Labor Reform Party, the Populist Party, the Democratic Party and many others called for a graduated income tax; the Socialist Labor Party advocated a graduated income tax in 1887.
The Populist Party "demand a graduated income tax" in its 1892 platform. The Democratic Party, led by William Jennings Bryan, advocated the income tax law passed in 1894, proposed an income tax in its 1908 platform. Proponents of the income tax believed that high tariff rates exacerbated income inequality, wanted to use the income tax to shift the burden of funding the government away from working class consumers and to high-earning businessmen. Before Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. all income taxes had been considered to be indirect taxes imposed without respect to geography, unlike direct taxes, that have to be apportioned among the states according to population. In 1894, an amendment was attached to the Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act that attempted to impose a federal tax of two percent on incomes over $4,000; the federal income tax was favored in the South, it was moderately supported in the eastern North Central states, but it was opposed in the Far West and the Northeastern States. The tax was derided as "un-Democratic and wrong in principle".
In Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. the U. S. Supreme Court declared certain taxes on incomes – such as those on property under the 1894 Act – to be unconstitutionally unapportioned direct taxes; the Court reasoned that a tax on income from property should be treated as a tax on "property by