Constitution of the United States/Art. I

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Constitutional Law Treatise
Table of Contents
US Constitution.jpg
Constitutional Law Outline
Introduction
The Preamble
Article I Legislative Branch
Art. I, Section 1 Legislative Vesting Clause
Art. I, Section 2 House of Representatives
Art. I, Section 3 Senate
Art. I, Section 4 Congress
Art. I, Section 5 Proceedings
Art. I, Section 6 Rights and Disabilities
Art. I, Section 7 Legislation
Art. I, Section 8 Enumerated Powers
Art. I, Section 9 Powers Denied Congress
Art. I, Section 10 Powers Denied States
Article II Executive Branch
Art. II, Section 1 Function and Selection
Art. II, Section 2 Powers
Art. II, Section 3 Duties
Art. II, Section 4 Impeachment
Article III Judicial Branch
Art. III, Section 1 Vesting Clause
Art. III, Section 2 Justiciability
Art. III, Section 3 Treason
Article IV Relationships Between the States
Art. IV, Section 1 Full Faith and Credit Clause
Art. IV, Section 2 Interstate Comity
Art. IV, Section 3 New States and Federal Property
Art. IV, Section 4 Republican Form of Government
Article V Amending the Constitution
Article VI Supreme Law
Article VII Ratification
First Amendment: Fundamental Freedoms
Religion
Establishment Clause
Free Exercise Clause
Free Speech Clause
Freedom of Association
Second Amendment: Right to Bear Arms
Third Amendment: Quartering Soldiers
Fourth Amendment: Searches and Seizures
Fifth Amendment: Rights of Persons
Sixth Amendment: Rights in Criminal Prosecutions
Seventh Amendment: Civil Trial Rights
Eighth Amendment: Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Ninth Amendment: Unenumerated Rights
Tenth Amendment: Rights Reserved to the States and the People
Eleventh Amendment: Suits Against States
Twelfth Amendment: Election of President
Thirteenth Amendment: Abolition of Slavery
Thirteenth Amend., Section 1 Prohibition on Slavery and Involuntary Servitude
Thirteenth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Fourteenth Amendment: Equal Protection and Other Rights
Fourteenth Amend., Section 1 Rights
Fourteenth Amend., Section 2 Apportionment of Representation
Fourteenth Amend., Section 3 Disqualification from Holding Office
Fourteenth Amend., Section 4 Public Debt
Fourteenth Amend., Section 5 Enforcement
Fifteenth Amendment: Right of Citizens to Vote
Fifteenth Amend., Section 1 Right to Vote
Fifteenth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Sixteenth Amendment: Income Tax
Seventeenth Amendment: Popular Election of Senators
Eighteenth Amendment: Prohibition of Liquor
Eighteenth Amend., Section 1 Prohibition
Eighteenth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement of Prohibition
Eighteenth Amend., Section 3 Ratification Deadline
Nineteenth Amendment: Women's Suffrage
Twentieth Amendment: Presidential Term and Succession
Twentieth Amend., Section 1 Terms
Twentieth Amend., Section 2 Meetings of Congress
Twentieth Amend., Section 3 Succession
Twentieth Amend., Section 4 Congress and Presidential Succession
Twentieth Amend., Section 5 Effective Date
Twentieth Amend., Section 6 Ratification
Twenty-First Amendment: Repeal of Prohibition
Twenty-First Amend., Section 1 Repeal of Eighteenth Amendment
Twenty-First Amend., Section 2 Importation, Transportation, and Sale of Liquor
Twenty-First Amend., Section 3 Ratification Deadline
Twenty-Second Amendment: Presidential Term Limits
Twenty-Second Amend., Section 1 Limit
Twenty-Second Amend., Section 2 Ratification Deadline
Twenty-Third Amendment: District of Columbia Electors
Twenty-Third Amend., Section 1 Electors
Twenty-Third Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Twenty-Fourth Amendment: Abolition of Poll Tax
Twenty-Fourth Amend., Section 1 Poll Tax
Twenty-Fourth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Presidential Vacancy
Twenty-Fifth Amend., Section 1 Presidential Vacancy
Twenty-Fifth Amend., Section 2 Vice President Vacancy
Twenty-Fifth Amend., Section 3 Declaration by President
Twenty-Fifth Amend., Section 4 Declaration by Vice President and Others
Twenty-Sixth Amendment: Reduction of Voting Age
Twenty-Sixth Amend., Section 1 Eighteen Years of Age
Twenty-Sixth Amend., Section 2 Enforcement
Twenty-Seventh Amendment: Congressional Compensation

Article I Legislative Branch

Overview[edit | edit source]

Article I of the U.S. Constitution establishes the Legislative Branch of the federal government. Section 1, the Legislative Vesting Clause, provides that all federal legislative powers are vested in the Congress.[1] As the Supreme Court stated in 1810, "[i]t is the peculiar province of the legislature to prescribe general rules for the government of society."[2] One influential legal scholar in 1826 described "[t]he power of making laws" as "the supreme power in a state."[3] As discussed elsewhere, however, the Founders limited Congress's power by only vesting the legislative powers "herein granted" by the Constitution, by creating a bicameral legislature, and by creating checks in the other branches.[4]

Section 2 of Article I outlines the makeup and certain unique powers of the House of Representatives, and Section 3 does the same for the Senate. Sections 4 through 6 address procedural matters common to the two Houses, including elections, assembly and adjournment, legislative procedures, and certain privileges and limitations on Members.

As mentioned, the Constitution does not grant Congress "plenary legislative power but only certain enumerated powers."[5] Sections 7 and 8 outline the exercise of those enumerated powers. Section 7 addresses the procedures for enacting legislation, including special provisions for bills raising revenue, and the general requirements of bicameralism and presentment--the need for a bill to pass both Houses of Congress and be presented to the President for signature.[6] Section 8 enumerates Congress's specific legislative authorities, including the power to tax and spend, to borrow money, to regulate interstate commerce, to establish uniform rules on naturalization and bankruptcy, to coin money, to punish counterfeiters, to establish post offices, to regulate intellectual property, to establish courts, to punish maritime crimes, to declare war, to raise and support armies, to govern enclaves, and to make other laws "necessary and proper" for executing these enumerated powers.

Section 9 denies certain powers to Congress, including by restricting the slave trade; generally denying the ability to suspend the writ of habeas corpus; prohibiting bills of attainder and ex post facto laws; restricting direct taxes, export taxes, and appropriations; prohibiting ports preferences; and prohibiting titles of nobility and foreign emoluments. Section 10 denies certain powers to the states, including by preventing states from entering into treaties, issuing bills of credit or coining money; prohibiting bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, or laws impairing the obligations of contracts; and by restricting states' ability to impose duties on imports or exports. Section 10 also provides that states may not take certain actions without Congress's consent, including laying duties of tonnage, keeping troops or engaging in war, or entering into compacts with other states or foreign powers.

Section 1 Legislative Vesting Clause[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
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 2 House of Representatives[edit | edit source]

Clause 1 Composition[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 2 Qualifications[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 3 Seats[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 4 Vacancies[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 5 Impeachment[edit | edit source]

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

Section 3 Senate[edit | edit source]

Clause 1 Composition[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
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.

Clause 2 Seats[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
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.

Clause 3 Qualifications[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 4 President[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 5 Officers[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 6 Impeachment Trials[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 7 Impeachment Judgments[edit | edit source]

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

Section 4 Congress[edit | edit source]

Clause 1 Elections Clause[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
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.

Clause 2 Assembly[edit | edit source]

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

Section 5 Proceedings[edit | edit source]

Clause 1 Authority[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
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.

Clause 2 Rules[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 3 Records[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 4 Sessions[edit | edit source]

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

Section 6 Rights and Disabilities[edit | edit source]

Clause 1 Pay, Privileges, and Immunities[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
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.

Clause 2 Bar on Holding Federal Office[edit | edit source]

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

Section 7 Legislation[edit | edit source]

Clause 1 Revenue[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
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.

Clause 2 Role of President[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
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.

Clause 3 Process[edit | edit source]

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

Section 8 Enumerated Powers[edit | edit source]

Overview of Congress's Enumerated Powers[edit | edit source]

As discussed in more detail in earlier essays, the Framers sought to limit the legislative power only to those powers granted by the Constitution.[7] Section 8 of Article 1 sets out the bulk of Congress's enumerated legislative authorities. Congress's most significant powers, in terms of the breadth of authority, may be its "power of the purse,"[8] referring to its authority to tax and spend[9] and its power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.[10] Section 8 also defines a number of more specific powers. For example, it gives Congress authority to establish uniform laws on naturalization and bankruptcy,[11] establish post offices[12] and courts,[13] regulate intellectual property,[14] and punish maritime crimes.[15] Further, although the President is the Commander in Chief,[16] Section 8 also grants Congress certain war powers, including the power to declare war,[17] to raise and maintain armies and a navy,[18] and to call forth the militia for certain purposes.[19] Apart from these specific powers, Section 8 also provides that Congress may "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers" and other express constitutional powers.[20] This Necessary and Proper Clause gives Congress discretion over the means it chooses to execute its enumerated powers, so long as the goal is "legitimate" and the means "appropriate."[21]

Clause 1 General Welfare[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 2 Borrowing[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Clause 3 Commerce[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

Clause 4 Uniform Laws[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Clause 5 Standards[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Clause 6 Counterfeiters[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

Clause 7 Post Offices[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

Clause 8 Intellectual Property[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Clause 9 Courts[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

Clause 10 Maritime Crimes[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

Clause 11 War Powers[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Clause 12 Army[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Clause 13 Navy[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To provide and maintain a Navy;

Clause 14 Land and Naval Forces Rules[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

Clause 15 Calling Militias[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Clause 16 Organizing Militias[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Clause 17 Enclave Clause[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;-And

Clause 18 Necessary and Proper Clause[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section 9 Powers Denied Congress[edit | edit source]

Clause 1 Migration or Importation[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Clause 2 Habeas Corpus[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Clause 3 Nullification[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Clause 4 Direct Taxes[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

Clause 5 Exports[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

Clause 6 Ports[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

Clause 7 Appropriations[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

Clause 8 Titles of Nobility and Foreign Emoluments[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section 10 Powers Denied States[edit | edit source]

Clause 1 Proscribed Powers[edit | edit source]

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

Clause 2 Import-Export[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

Clause 3 Acts Requiring Consent of Congress[edit | edit source]

Main Article
Clause Text
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
  1. See Art. I, Sec. 1: Overview of Legislative Vesting Clause.
  2. Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U.S. (6 Cranch) 87, 136 (1810).
  3. 1 James Kent, Commentaries on American Law (1826), [1].
  4. See Art. I, Sec. 1: Origin of Limits on Federal Power; Art. I, Sec. 1: Origin of a Bicameral Congress.
  5. Murphy v. NCAA, No. 16-476, slip op. at 15 (U.S. May 14, 2018).
  6. Art. I, Sec. 7, Cl. 2: Overview of Presidential Approval or Veto of Bills.
  7. Art. I, Sec. 1: Origin of Limits on Federal Power; Art. I, Sec. 1: Enumerated, Implied, Resulting, and Inherent Powers.
  8. See, e.g., United States v. Richardson, 418 U.S. 166, 178 n.11 (1974) (discussing Congress's power of the purse).
  9. Art. I, Section 8 Enumerated Powers.
  10. Id. cl. 3.
  11. Id. cl. 4.
  12. Id. cl. 7.
  13. Id. cl. 9.
  14. Id. cl. 8.
  15. Id. cl. 10.
  16. Art. II, Sec. 2, Clause 1 Military, Administrative, and Clemency.
  17. Art. I, Sec. 8, Clause 10 Maritime Crimes.
  18. Id. cls. 12-13.
  19. Id. cl. 15.
  20. Id. cl. 18.
  21. United States v. Kebodeaux, 570 U.S. 387, 394 (2013); McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 421 (1819).