ZeraLand, USA

On the Nature of "Nation"

United States Constitution – Article I sec 7


Section 7

(clause 1)

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.

The House of Representatives is the House most closely tied to the citizens. Direct election and a two-year “short leash” make them the most accountable to the voters. As such, they are the ones responsible for initiating the raising of revenues. This means Taxes, Duties, Imposts, Excises, and borrowing. This does not mean spending Bills must originate in the House of Representatives.

(clause 2)

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.

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September 9, 2011 Posted by | Article I, Const. Review, Const. Second Reading | , , , , , | Leave a comment

United States Constitution – Article I sec 6


Section 6

(clause 1 – AKA the Speech or Debate Clause)

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.

  • The Members of Congress are compensated for their service. Note: compensation does not specifically mean salary, it can also include things like health care and official expenses.
  • The manor of compensation must be defined (and therefore limited) by law.
  • The money for their pay comes from the Treasury, not their respective State.
  • Members of Congress enjoy a degree of immunity from arrest while attending a session of Congress. This is not the same as Governmental Tort Immunity or Sovereign immunity. This is a recognition that arresting a Member of Congress while Congress is in session, interfering with the Member’s ability to do the business of Congress, could have national consequences that far exceed the value of immediately arresting someone for a misdemeanor offense. It also prevents the President from arresting Members of Congress in order to manipulate a particular vote. When contemplating the meaning of “during their Attendance” and “going to and returning from the same”, consider the state of travel and communication at the time.
  • The ability to speak in an uninhibited manor is necessary to political debate. As such, Members of Congress cannot have their words or intentions questioned outside of chambers. Disagreement is to be expected, but threats, intimidation, and defamation are forbidden.

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September 8, 2011 Posted by | Article I, Const. Review, Const. Second Reading | , , , , , | Leave a comment

United States Constitution – Article I sec 5


Section 5 describes who sets the rules and procedures for each House.

Section 5

(clause 1)

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 the final judge of the election of their members; whether they were legitimately elected and meet the qualifications.
  • A chamber of Congress cannot do business without a simple majority of the members present, except:
    • for the business of adjournment or
    • to compel its members to show up to do business.
  • Each house can determine the methods and penalties that can be used to compel attendance.

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September 6, 2011 Posted by | Article I, Const. Review, Const. Second Reading | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

United States Constitution – Article I sec 4


Section 4

(Clause 1)

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 state legislatures determine the details of holding an election, but Congress can overrule them – except for where to select a Senator. I assume that the last little detail was due to the state legislature selecting the Senators, which would make this an oversight in the 17th amendment, which changes the selection of Senators to a direct popular vote.

(Clause 2)

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.

I find this to be one of the more curious clauses.

Congress must meet at least once every year, starting on the first Monday in December. What makes this so curious is that section 2 of the 20th amendment changes the starting date. This clause states that Congress can change the date through legislation, which means that an amendment was not needed to make the change. Granted, the 20th amendment is about presidential term limits and the succession, but they did throw in a change to the starting date for a Session of Congress. Furthermore, they kept the “unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day” wording. This tells me that the people who wrote the 20th amendment understood that this part of the amendment could have been done in statute. Curious.

<= Article I sec 3
Article I sec 5 =>

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September 5, 2011 Posted by | Article I, Const. Review, Const. Second Reading | , , , , | Leave a comment

Constitution of the United States – Article I sec 3


Section 3 deals with the composition of the Senate:

Section 3

(clause 1)

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.

Where the House represents each State according to its population, the Senate represents the States on an equal basis. This keeps the more populous states from drowning the voice of the less populous states.

Senators are also elected for a longer term than Representatives. This allows for the greater accumulation of experience among Senators. More expertise is asked and expected of them.

With equal representation between states, and being chosen by the state Legislature, Senators are apparently intended to be the professionals of Congress and represent their states at the governmental level rather than directly represent the citizens.

(clause 2)

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.

Senators are divided into three classes, which are elected for overlapping terms. This allows for greater stability in the Senate than might be realized in the House.
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September 1, 2011 Posted by | Article I, Const. Review, Const. Second Reading | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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