Article II: The Legislative Branch

Section 1: The Legislature[1]

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a lower chamber, known as the House of Representatives, and an upper chamber, known as the Senate.[2]

Section 2: The House of Representatives

2.1 Composition

The House of Representatives shall be composed of 501 Members chosen every second year by the voters of the several states in accordance with Article VI — Elections. Congress may modify the number of members by law, provided that the number of House seats must be an odd number.[3]

Seats in the House of Representatives shall be apportioned among the states during the first year of each new decade, based on the average number of voters who voted in each state in the two most recent Presidential general elections; but each state shall have at least one Representative. Each Representative shall have one vote.[4]

2.2 Eligibility[5]

When he/she takes office, a Representative must be

  • At least 25 years old;
  • At least 7 years a citizen of the United States;
  • Less than 19 years a Member of the House of Representatives;[6] and
  • A resident of the state from which he/she shall have been chosen.

2.3 Vacancies[7]

When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

2.4 Officers; Power of Impeachment[8]

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers and shall have the sole power of impeachment. The Speaker, who may or may not be a Member, shall have no vote unless the House be equally divided.

Section 3: The Senate

3.1 Composition[9]

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of Senators from each state, chosen by the voters for a six-year term of office; and each Senator shall have one vote.  The number of Senators from each state is one fifth of the number of Representatives from that state, with fractions always rounded up, so that each state will have at least one Senator.[10] All Senators shall be elected at large by all the voters in a state.

Seats in the Senate shall be divided as equally as they may be into three classes (Class I, Class II, and Class III). For any state, the number of seats assigned to each Class shall be the same, as nearly as possible. One Class shall be elected every two years. Thus one-third of the total Senate, and one-third of the Senate seats from each state, shall be elected every two years.[11]

When, due to the decennial Congressional reapportionment, the number of Senators for any state is decreased, the next Senator from that state whose term of office is expiring shall not be replaced after his term expires. When the number of Senators from any state is increased, a new Senator from that state shall be elected at the next election, and that seat will be assigned to Class I, II, or III, so that, as far as possible, one third of the Senate remains elected every two years, and one third of the Senators from each state remains elected every two years.[12]

The first election cycle following reapportionment will include separate primary and general elections for all three Senate classes. This will include elections for 6-year terms for all the seats in the class normally scheduled for elections that year, as well as elections for 4-year terms and for 2-year terms for those seats in the other two classes which do not have an incumbent.

The election of Senators shall take place in accordance with Article VI – Elections.

3.2 Eligibility[13]

When he/she takes office, a Senator must be

  • At least 30 years old;
  • At least 9 years a citizen of the United States;
  • Less than 17 years a Senator;[14] and
  • A resident of the state from which he/she shall have been chosen.

3.3 Vacancies[15]

When vacancies happen in the representation of any state, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

3.4 Chancellor

In accordance with Article VI – Elections, voters shall elect a Chancellor to a four-year term of office in even-numbered years not evenly divisible by four. The Chancellor shall preside over the Senate. The Chancellor shall have no vote unless the Senate be equally divided.

The Chancellor must meet the same eligibility requirements as the President of the United States. The Chancellor is first in line to succeed the President should the office of President become vacant. A person may be elected to the office of Chancellor a maximum of two times. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of Chancellor, the President shall nominate a Chancellor who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote in both chambers of Congress; this nominee must meet the eligibility requirements to become Chancellor and must also be a Member of Congress.

The Chancellor shall appoint a Chancellor Pro Tempore, with the concurrence of a majority of Senators present and voting. The Chancellor Pro Tempore shall preside over the Senate in the absence of the Chancellor, or when the Chancellor is serving as Acting President.

The Chancellor (but not the Chancellor Pro Tempore) shall have power to nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, provided two thirds of the Senators present and voting concur;[16] and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of a majority of Senators present and voting, shall appoint federal judges of inferior courts.[17]

In all cases of Chancellor judicial nominations, if the Senate fails to approve or disapprove a nomination within 60 calendar days after the Chancellor has made the nomination, the Chancellor may appoint the nominee, and the nominee may temporarily assume the position to which he was nominated, pending Senate action on that nomination. Such temporary appointments expire when the Senate acts, or when a new Congress convenes, whichever comes first.[18]

3.5 Power to try Impeachments

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 or the Chancellor of the Senate[19] is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

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. A person holding a public office, even while continuing to hold that office, is nevertheless subject to the same criminal and civil laws as any other person.[20]

Section 4 – Meetings

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall commence on the first Sunday in January, unless Congress shall by law appoint a different day.

Wednesdays through Sundays from 4pm to 10pm, except federal holidays, are designated as legislative days. When Congress is in session, it shall meet on designated legislative days, unless Congress adopts a different schedule.[21] Either chamber, when it does not meet with a quorum of members present for three consecutive legislative days, shall be deemed to be in recess.[22]

Section 5 – Membership, Rules, Journals, and Adjournment[23]

Each chamber 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 chamber may provide.

All decisions taken within each chamber shall be by majority vote of members present, except for those specific items in this Constitution II requiring a two-thirds or a three-fifths vote. [24]

Any member may make a motion to call a bill, a resolution, or a Presidential appointment to the floor for a vote; and, if a majority of members present concur, that bill, resolution, or appointment shall become the first order of business in that chamber on the next legislative day; and at that time, such bill, resolution, or appointment will, by majority vote, be either approved, disapproved, or tabled for later consideration.[25]

Each chamber may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.

Each chamber 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 chamber on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Neither chamber, 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 chambers shall be sitting.

In even-numbered years (that is, election years), Congress shall adjourn sine die no later than July 4. Unless called back into session by the President of the United States due to a national emergency, Congress shall not reconvene until the convening of the new Congress following the election.[26]

Section 6 – Compensation[27]

All Members of Congress and the Chancellor shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. However, no law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators, Representatives, or Chancellor shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any office under the authority of the United States or any state which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any office under the United States shall be a member of either chamber during his continuance in office. [28]

Senators and Representatives 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 chambers, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either chamber, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Section 7 – Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, and Presidential Veto[29]

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 earliest effective date of any bill, when enacted by Congress, shall be July 1st following the next Congressional election after passage of the bill. An earlier effective date can only be enacted if (1) the sole purpose of the bill is to repeal a bill which has not yet gone into effect, or (2) an earlier date is agreed to by three-fifths of members present in both chambers upon final passage of the bill.[30]

Every Bill which shall have passed the House and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approves the bill, he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that chamber 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 chamber shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other chamber, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that chamber, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both chambers 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 chamber 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.

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the Senate and House 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 of the House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Section 8 – Powers of Congress[31]

The Congress shall have power as follows:

To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.[32]

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices;

To conduct a census or enumeration of the United States and to maintain estimated census figures at all times. 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;[33]

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by conducting and sponsoring scientific research and cultural and artistic endeavors;[34]

To secure for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries, provided, however, that copyright protection shall not exceed 50 years, and patent protection shall not exceed 25 years;[35]

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare war, authorize privateers and other military proxies,[36] and make rules concerning captures wherever they may occur;

To raise and support the Armed Forces[37] of the United States (on land, on sea, in the air, and in cyberspace);

To make rules for the government and regulation of the Armed Forces;

To provide for calling forth state militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the state 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;

To protect the environment, and to provide for public health and safety by ensuring access to clean and safe water, air, energy, medicines, and the food supply;[38]

To provide financial assistance to the several states, based on the unique needs of each state, for infrastructure projects, for emergency relief from natural disasters, for fulfillment of each state’s obligations under Article I Section 3.8, and for such other purposes as Congress may deem appropriate and necessary;[39]

To provide public financing for federal elections and election campaigns, to regulate and limit campaign contributions, and to mandate full disclosure of the sources and amounts of campaign contributions;[40]

To regulate all federal elections in accordance with Article VI, provided that the actual conduct of the elections is left to the states; and to modify by law any of the provisions of Article VI, provided two-thirds of members present in each chamber agree.[41]

To dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution II shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state;[42]

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over the District of Columbia (unless the District of Columbia chooses to become a state, in accordance with Article I Section 4}, 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, dockyards, and other needful buildings;[43] And

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 II in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Section 9 – Limits on Congress[44]

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus[45] shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder[46] or ex post facto[47] law shall be passed.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

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.

The transportation or importation into any state, territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, marijuana, cocaine, or any other mood-altering substances, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited. In states where such substances are permitted by state law, Congress shall not prohibit them. Congress shall make no national law regarding the manufacture, import, export, possession, or use of such substances.[48]

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.

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 any present, emolument, office, title, or payment, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, foreign state, or other public or private foreign entity.[49]

Section 10 – Powers Prohibited of States[50]

No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; authorize privateers or other military proxies for the state[51]; print or coin money; emit bills of credit; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title of nobility.

No state shall, without the consent of 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 control of Congress.

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.

Section 11 – Transition from the 1787 Constitution to this Constitution II[52]

After this Constitution II becomes effective, and before the beginning of the year when the first elections under this Constitution II will be held, the Vice President, acting as President of the Senate, will arrange for an orderly transition from the Congress under the 1787 Constitution to the Congress under this Constitution II.

Following the procedure specified in Article II Section 2.1, the 501 seats in the House of Representatives shall be apportioned to the several states. After the apportionment of seats in the House, apportionment of seats in the Senate is automatic.

The three Senate Classes shall continue as they did in the Senate, and on the same schedule.[53] Senators currently in office will be assigned to the same Class in the Senate as they had in the Senate, and will continue to serve as Senators until their current six-year terms expire, including Senators whose seats will not be renewed under the apportionment provisions of Constitution II.

Every Senate seat will be assigned to Class I, Class II, or Class III, as follows:

  1. For states with at least three Senate seats, the same number of seats will be assigned to each Class, so that, following this initial assignment, 0, 1, or 2 seats from each of these states remain to be assigned to a Class.
  2. For states with two Senate seats, and for states with two seats remaining to be assigned after step (a), one seat will be assigned to each of two Classes.
  3. All remaining seats will be assigned to a Class.
  4. The Vice President will ensure that
    1. The Class assignment of each incumbent Senator remains the same;
    2. The size of each Class in future elections is the same, or does not differ by more than one seat; and
    3. The number of seats for each state in each Class also does not differ by more than one seat.

The first Senate elections under this Constitution II will follow the procedure for the first election each decade following reapportionment, as specified in Article II Section 3.1.

The last Vice President under the 1787 Constitution will continue to serve for two years as the first Chancellor under this Constitution II.

[1] The 1787 Constitution is often confusing when using the term “House(s)”, which sometimes refers to the House of Representatives and sometimes refers to either the House or the Senate, or to both of them together. To avoid that confusion in Constitution II, the term “House” always refers to the House of Representatives, the term “Senate” refers to the Senate, and the terms “body” or “chamber” is used to refer to either or both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

[2] Slightly reworded from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 1.

[3] The 1787 Constitution specified the number of seats in the House awarded to each of the thirteen original states, but allowed Congress to modify the total number of House seats. A law passed in 1913 (when the US population stood at 92 million) set the total number of seats at the current 435. It seems advisable to revisit the total number of seats since we now have 330 million people, and to remove the enumeration of particular states from the Constitution. Also, it seems advisable to have an odd number of seats in order to avoid any possibility of a tie when counting Electoral Votes for President. (This will become apparent when reading Article VI on elections.)

[4] The 1787 Constitution based the apportionment of seats in the House to each state on the population of free people in each state, plus 3/5 of a person for each slave; it did not count Indians at all. In Constitution II, the total population of each state is used for drawing the boundaries of Congressional Districts, so the notion of the decennial census in the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 2, is still needed. However, in Constitution II, the apportionment of House seats to each state is based, not on each state’s total population, but rather on the number of people who voted in the last two Presidential elections. This novel idea serves several purposes: 1) This provision encourages citizens to vote, because more voters means more Representatives in the House; 2) Similarly, this provision encourages states to design election procedures that will maximize voter turnout, rather than intentionally discouraging certain kinds of voters from exercising their franchise; and 3) The numbers cannot be easily fudged, since the number of votes cast in every election are publicly announced and readily available.

[5] Except for the term limit clause in italics, these provisions are adapted from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 2.

[6] This provision implements term limits for the House. Ten 2-year terms is specified as the maximum amount of time a member may remain in the House.

[7] Copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 2.

[8] Copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 2.

[9] One of the fundamental improvements of Constitution II over the 1787 Constitution is replacing the unrepresentative Original Senate with the population-based New Senate.

[10] That is, a state with 1 to 5 House seats will have one Senator; a state with 6 to 10 House seats will have two Senators; a state with 11 to 15 House seats will have three Senators; and so on. This provision mandates that every state shall have at least one Senator. This scheme still gives more power to states with small populations than is strictly justified based on population alone, but it is vastly fairer than the current scheme of two Senators per state regardless of population, and it is much easier to implement than a scheme based only on population, which would require election districts that cross state boundaries.

[11] This paragraph mirrors the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 3, except for the clause dealing with the equal distribution of Senate seats from each state across the three Senate Classes.

[12] This provision could result in the election of a Senator to a newly-created seat for a term of only two years or four years, that is, until such time as that seat’s class next comes up for election.

[13] Except for the term limit clause in italics, these provisions are adapted from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 3.

[14] This provision implements term limits for the Senate. Three 6-year terms is specified as the maximum amount of time a member may remain as a Senator.

[15] Adapted from the 1787 Constitution, Amendment 17. However, that Amendment gave the governor the power to make temporary appointments to fill vacancies. This Constitution II stipulates that vacancies will be filled by an election, and is exactly the same for both chambers.

[16] Lifetime appointment of a Supreme Court justice is a matter that should be carefully considered and receive the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. In the past, this notion has been imposed by the use or threatened use of the filibuster, but since the filibuster is eliminated in Constitution II, it is advisable to require a two-thirds majority for Supreme Court appointments.

[17] Except for the clause in italics, this provision is copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article II Section 2.

[18] Senate inaction on Presidential nominations has become habitual, ordinary, and utterly ridiculous in terms of the smooth functioning of Government. This is especially (but not only) true of the judiciary. The federal judicial system cannot function without adequate judges on the bench. This provision ensures that nominees will be approved or disapproved within two months of their nomination, or they will be allowed to serve without Senate confirmation.

[19] The Chancellor, were he/she impeached by the House, should not preside over his/her own trial. Therefore, the Chief Justice should carry that responsibility.

[20] Holding a high public office does not shield the incumbent from prosecution for any crime.

[21] Important Congressional debates should occur in prime time and on weekends, when many more Americans could pay attention.

[22] This provision requires each chamber to be either in session or in recess. It cannot use an artificial device of meeting briefly with only a few members in order to pretend that it is still in session.

[23] Except for the two paragraphs in italics, this section is copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 5.

[24] The current rules and traditions of both chambers seem designed primarily to impede action, from the Senate filibuster and the right of any Senator to place an indefinite hold on a Presidential nomination, to House rules that prevent bills from reaching the floor even though they enjoy wide bipartisan support. This provision, and the next one, restore the original intent of the 1787 Constitution, that is, Congress should act by majority vote; and most importantly, Congress should actually act.

[25] This provision allows either chamber to vote on items that a majority of the members want to vote on.

[26] This provision allows currently-elected politicians to campaign without missing important meetings in Congress, and also eliminates the “lame duck” session of Congress. Combined with the greatly shortened election season and shortened time between the general election and the convening of the new Congress and the inauguration of the new President, this also greatly shortens the time during which the U.S. Government is held in limbo between an outgoing and incoming Congress and Administration. In an era of instant communication and high-speed transportation, we no longer need the lag times necessitated in the past by slow postal service and horse-and-buggy transport.

[27] This section is adapted from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 6, and Amendment 27.

[28] This clause has been modified from the 1787 Constitution to remove the word “civil” before the first occurrence of the word “office”, and to add the phrase “or any state”. The purpose of these changes is to prohibit Senators and Representatives from holding military (as well as civil) appointments while they serve in Congress, including the Armed Forces of the United States as well as any state militia.

[29] Except for the paragraph in italics, this section is copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 7.

[30] This provision eliminates the need for a filibuster to delay action on a bill until “the people exercise their right to weigh in”. It also extends to both chambers the same privilege to pass emergency legislation with a super majority, but to enact normal legislation by a simple majority vote.

[31] Except for the clauses in italics, and except also for the clauses noted individually, this entire section is adapted from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 8.

[32] Copied from the 1787 Constitution, Amendment 16.

[33] The first sentence of this provision is adapted from the 1787 Constitution, Article I, Section 2. The second sentence is copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article I, Section 2.

[34] This clause makes the federal role in science and the arts more explicit.

[35] This new limitation on Congressional power is a response to Congress’ abuse of that power in recent decades.

[36] The 1787 Constitution used the now-obsolete phrase “grant letters of marques and reprisal”. In the 18th century, governments sometimes issued “letters of marques and reprisal”, which authorized a private vessel (privateer or pirate ship) to seize and confiscate enemy ships. Constitution II substitutes the phrase “privateers and other military proxies”, meaning essentially the same thing but employing modern terminology. The significance of this passage is that Congress – not the President or any sort of king – has this power.

[37] Constitution II refers to the Armed Forces of the United States rather than to just the Army and the Navy. It addresses all American forces, wherever they may be – on land, on sea, in the air, or in cyberspace. The term “Armed Forces” is preferable to naming the service branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard), since a number of proposals have been made to merge all of the service branches into one, or to restructure them in some other way. The single term “Armed Forces” covers all of our federal military forces, no matter how they are organized in the future.

[38] This provision ensures that Congress has the constitutional authority to pass environmental regulations.

[39] This provision ensures that Congress can issue block grants to the states to help states meet their financial obligations, taking into account the differing needs of each state.

[40] This provision ensures that Congress has the constitutional authority to fund federal elections and to regulate election finances,

[41] Since the specific procedures of Article VI are new, it is wise to provide a mechanism to alter them without the more challenging procedure for amending Constitution II.

[42] Copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article IV, Section 3.

[43] Copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article II Section 8, with additional wording in italics concerning Washington, DC, should it choose to become a state.

[44] Except for the clauses on liquor and other drugs, this section is copied from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 9, although several provisions of that Section are omitted from Constitution II.

[45] A writ of habeas corpus is a demand issued by a court to an executive over whom the court has jurisdiction, demanding that the executive bring to the court someone whom the executive is holding in confinement, and requiring the executive to explain to the court the legal justification for continuing to confine that person. This provision, including the suspension of the privilege during a rebellion or invasion, is lifted directly from British Common Law. It is included verbatim in the 1787 Constitution, Article I, Section 9.

[46] A bill of attainder makes a person or group guilty of treason or other capital offense without a trial, and also takes away the civil rights, property, and titles of the person “attainted”.

[47] An ex post facto law is a law that criminalizes behavior that occurred before the law was passed.

[48] The provisions concerning intoxicating liquors are copied from the 1787 Constitution, Amendment 21. Marijuana and other drugs have been added to Constitution II. This provision ensures that the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other mind-altering substances is entirely a state matter. The federal government will neither compel nor prohibit state action in this realm.

[49] Corporations and other private commercial entities were not typically instruments of monarchical power when the 1787 Constitution was written. The added words make it clear that all such foreign payments, from whatever source, public or private, are prohibited.

[50] This section is copied entirely from the 1787 Constitution, Article I Section 10,

[51] The 1787 constitution used the phrase “grant letters of marques and reprisal”. The phrase “authorize privateers and other proxies for the state” is the modern equivalent.

[52] Article II Section 12 is entirely new.

[53] Under the current Senate election schedule, Class I Senate seats are elected in 2018 and every 6 years thereafter, Class II Senate seats are elected in 2020 and every 6 years thereafter, and Class III Senate seats are elected in 2022 and every 6 years thereafter.

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