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USC Article I

You may have heard somewhere that there are three branches of government. If not, there are, and they are the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

 

This is where Article One of the Constitution enters the picture

Article I:

Section 1 states:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of theUnited States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

 

Article One sets forth the structure, duties, powers and membership requirements of the legislative branch.

 

It is therefore the longest of the Constitution’s seven Articles, at a whopping ten sections.

For that reason, covering it will require several blog entries.

 

Section two establishes the House of Representatives. I’ll explain each paragraph of it in simple, easy to understand terms. Because the Constitution is the supreme law of the United States, I recommend that you read it for yourself. 

Section 2

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.

 

This means that Representatives from each state—referred to as the “several states”—are elected by the residents of those states to two-year terms. Buried in the polite “Enlightenment-era” language is the unmistakable message that you need not plan on voting, if you wouldn’t be eligible to serve in your state’s legislature or vote for its members. Most states required voters to be free, male, at least twenty-one years of age and property-owners. If you failed any of those qualifications, you weren’t voting.

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 theUnited States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

 

This is simple; to be a Representative, you must be twenty-five, a U.S. citizen for at least seven years and live in the state you wish to represent…and you can’t be planning to move. Similar requirements apply to Senatorial candidates, and this is why Hillary Clinton had to move to New York, in order to run for her Senate seat. You must establish and maintain residency.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within thisUnion, 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 theUnited 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, Pensylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

 

That’s right…prior to the Sixteenth Amendment of 1913, states paid the taxes, because the Federal government had no power to levy an income-tax. States levied their income-taxes, and then paid taxes to the Federal government.

This is also where the notorious “three-fifths” compromise appears, where native-americans weren’t counted and slaves were only counted as three-fifths of a person, for the purposes of establishing representation in Congress.

This is also where a Census is mandated every ten years. Contrary to what you may have heard form those on both ends of the political spectrum, the census isn’t about hunting illegal immigrants or committing fraud. It’s about ensuring you are adequately represented in Congress. If you evade the census, you not risk being fined, but deny yourself a voice in government.

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

 

Simply put; if someone dies or resigns after being caught on an open-mic, talking about spanking his lobbyist mistress, the governor has to call an election to fill the vacancy.

The House of Representatives shall chuse (it was spelled that way) their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

 

This provides for the House electing its Speaker, Sergeant-At-Arms, Majority and Minority Leaders, and so on.

It also establishes that any impeachment, whether of a Federal Judge or the President, takes place in the House.

 

A word on impeachment…

Many people think that when a politician is impeached, they are immediately removed from office.

An impeachment is the equivalent of a preliminary hearing or a grand-jury. It’s simply a device to ascertain whether the charges against the defendant merit the time and expense of a trial, or are like the anecdotal guy who tattooed his will on a private part of his anatomy…unable to stand up in court.

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