Thomas Jefferson Constitutional Powers Usurped by the Supreme Court

Thomas Jefferson Supreme Court Usurpation of Power (Click to enlarge)

Thomas Jefferson Supreme Court Usurpation of Power (Click to enlarge)

For anyone who doesn’t know the Supreme Court itself in the United States has become Unconstitutional, from ruling things Constitutional that are anything but, to assuming powers not delegated to it by the Federal Constitution, nor intended for it by the Framers. Wake up people! The House of Representatives in Congress are the People’s Power in the Federal Government. The Senate and Senators represent their respective states and the interest of those states. When you let the Executive or Senate Encroach you nullify that Power. The People’s Power: One of the House of Representatives Powers is of the Purse i.e. Funding or Defunding those things the Executive branch puts forth. People you’re letting the Media con you into thinking a government shut down because of funding disputes is a bad thing. The people are the real power in the United States, we are the final arbitrators of the Constitution. If we find the things the Executive, Legislative or Judicial powers of the United States are doing to be Unconstitutional, we can view them as null and void ourselves. We don’t need the Supreme Court to rule them Unconstitutional.  The Constitution begins with:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It does not say We the Executive, We the Legislature, or We the Judiciary, it says WE THE PEOPLE!

“All power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution.” ~ James Madison; June 8, 1789


Article IX of the Constitution says: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Article X says: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In a letter to Mr. M. M. Coray, under date of October 21, 1823, Thomas Jefferson said:

At the establishment of our Constitution the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the Government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a free hold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors, only passed silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping by little and little the foundations of the Constitution and working its change by construction before any has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm had been visibly employed in consuming its substance.

“Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty-making power as boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution. If it has bounds, they can be no others than the definitions of the powers which that instrument gives. It specifies and delineates the operations permitted to the Federal Government, and gives all the powers necessary to carry these into execution. Whatever of these enumerated objects is proper for a law. Congress may make the law; whatever is proper to be executed by way of a treaty, the President and Senate may enter into the treaty; whatever is to be done by a judicial sentence, the Judges may pass the sentence. Nothing is more likely than that their enumeration of powers is defective. This is the ordinary case of all human works. Let us then go on perfecting it, by adding, by way of amendment to the Constitution those powers which time and trial show are still wanting.”Thomas Jefferson to Wilson C. Nicholas,Writings of Jefferson, Paul L. Ford Ed., viii. 247. (Monticello, Sep. 1803.)

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Judge Roane

Popular Forest, September 6, 1819.

Dear Sir,—I had read in the Enquirer, and with great approbation, the pieces signed Hampden, and have read them again with redoubled approbation, in the copies you have been so kind as to send me. I subscribe to every title of them. They contain the true principles of the revolution of 1800, for that was as real a revolution in the principles of our government as that of 1776 was in its form ; not effected indeed by the sword, as that, but by the rational and peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people. The nation declared its will by dismissing functionaries of one principle, and electing those of another, in the two branches, executive and legislative, submitted to their election. Over the judiciary department, the constitution had deprived them of their control. That, therefore, has continued the reprobated system, and although new matter has been occasionally incorporated into the old, yet the leaven of the old mass seems to assimilate to itself the new, and after twenty years’ confirmation of the federated system by the voice of the nation, declared through the medium of elections, we find the judiciary on every occasion, still driving us into consolidation.

In denying the right they [the Supreme Court] usurp [comandeer; take a position of power or importance illegally or by force] of exclusively explaining the constitution, I go further than you do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist, of an opinion that ” the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the judiciary is derived.” If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se [one who commits suicide or who dies from the effects of having committed an unlawful malicious act: an act of deliberate self-destruction.]. For intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one too, which is unelected by, and independent of the nation. For experience has already shown that the impeachment it has provided is not even a scare-crow; that such opinions as the one you combat, sent cautiously out, as you observe also, by detachment, not belonging to the case often, but sought for out of it, as if to rally the public opinion beforehand to their views, and to indicate the line they are to walk in, have been so quietly passed over as never to have excited animadversion, even in a speech of any one of the body entrusted with impeachment. The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please. It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also ; in theory only, at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice, as fast as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law. My construction of the constitution is very different from that you quote. It is that each department is truly independent of the others, and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the meaning of the constitution in the cases submitted to its action ; and especially, where it is to act ultimately and without appeal. I will explain myself by examples, which, having occurred while I was in office, are better known to me, and the principles which governed them.

Thomas Jefferson: Confidence in Government (Click to enlarge)

Thomas Jefferson: Confidence in Government; Sedition Act (Click to enlarge)

A legislature had passed the sedition law. The federal courts had subjected certain individuals to its penalties of fine and imprisonment. On coming into office, I released these individuals by the power of pardon committed to executive discretion, which could never be more properly exercised than where citizens were suffering without the authority of law, or, which was equivalent, under a law unauthorized by the constitution, and therefore null. In the case of Marbury and Madison, the federal judges declared that commissions, signed and sealed by the President, were valid, although not delivered. I deemed delivery essential to complete a deed, which, as long as it remains in the hands of the party, is as yet no need, it is in posse [what is possible] only, but not in esse [what is real], and I withheld delivery of the commissions. They cannot issue a mandamus [“writ of mandate” which orders a public agency or governmental body to perform an act required by law when it has neglected or refused to do] to the President or legislature, or to any of their officers. [The constitution controlling the common law in this particular.]

When the British treaty arrived, without any provision against the impressments [recruitment by force] of our seamen, I determined not to ratify it. The Senate thought I should ask their advice. I thought that would be a mockery of them, when I was predetermined against following it, should they advise its ratification. The constitution had made their advice necessary to confirm a treaty, but not to reject it. This has been blamed by some; but I have never doubted its soundness. In the cases of two persons, antenati [ancestors], under exactly similar circumstances, the federal court had determined that one of them (Duane) was not a citizen; the House of Representatives nevertheless determined that the other (Smith, of South Carolina) was a citizen, and admitted him to his seat in their body. Duane was a republican, and Smith a federalist, and these decisions were made during the federal ascendancy.

These are examples of my position, that each of the three departments has equally the right to decide for itself what is its duty under the constitution, without any regard to what the others may have decided for themselves under a similar question. But you intimate a wish that my opinion should be known on this subject. No, dear Sir, I withdraw from all contests of opinion, and resign everything cheerfully to the generation now in place. They are wiser than we were, and their successors will be wiser than they, from the progressive advance of science. Tranquillity is the summum bonum [the highest good] of age. I wish, therefore, to offend no man’s opinion, nor to draw disquieting animadversions [criticism or censure] on my own. While duty required it, I met opposition with a firm and fearless step. But loving mankind in my individual relations with them, I pray to be permitted to depart in their peace; and like the superannuated [old fashioned, out of date] soldier, “quadragenis stipendiis emeritus”[not sure on translation: “After forty serving their terms, retire”] to hang my arms on the post. I have unwisely, I fear, embarked in an enterprise of great public concern, but not to be accomplished within my term, without their liberal and prompt support. A severe illness the last year, and another from which I am just emerged, admonish me that repetitions may be expected, against which a declining frame cannot long bear up. I am anxious, therefore, to get our University so far advanced as may encourage the public to persevere to its final accomplishment. That secured, I shall sing my nunc demittis [the prayer of Simeon in Luke 2:29–32]. I hope your labors will be long continued in the spirit in which they have always been exercised, in maintenance of those principles on which I verily believe the future happiness of our country essentially depends. I salute you with affectionate and great respect.

In a letter to Thomas Ritchie, under date of December 25, 1820, Mr. Jefferson said: “But it is not from this branch of government [the House of Representatives] we have most to fear. Taxes and short elections will keep them right.

“The judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working underground to undermine the foundations of our constitutional fabric. They are construing our Constitution from a coordination of a general [federal] and special [local] government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in English law to forget the maxim, ‘Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem.’ [‘it is the duty of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction.’ It denotes that a good judge’s duty is to amplify the remedies of the law] We shall see if they are bold enough to take the daring strides these five lawyers (judges) have lately taken. Having found from experience that impeachment is an impracticable thing, a mere scarecrow, they consider themselves secure for life; they skulk for responsibility to public opinion, the only remaining hold upon them, under a practice first introduced into England by Lord Mansfield. An opinion is huddled up in conclave (perhaps by a majority of one), delivered as if unanimous, and with the silent acquiescence of lazy or timid associates by a crafty chief judge (Marshall), who sophisticates the law to his mind by the turn of his own reasoning. A judiciary law was once reported by the Attorney General to Congress requiring each judge to deliver his opinion seriatim and openly, and then to give it in writing to the clerk to be entered on the record. A judiciary independent of a king or executive alone is a good thing, but independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a republican government.”

In a letter to Archibald Thweat. under date of January 19, 1821, Mr. Jefferson further said:

I am sensible of the inroads daily making by the Federal into the jurisdiction of its coordinate associates, the State governments. The legislative and executive branches may sometime err, but elections and dependents will bring them to rights. The judiciary branch is the instrument which, working like gravity, without intermission, is to press us at last into one consolidated mass. Against this I know no one who, equally with Judge Roane himself, possesses the power and the courage to make resistance, and to him I look and have long looked as our strongest bulwark. If Congress fails to shield the States from danger so palpable and so imminent, the States must shield themselves, and meet the invader foot to foot.

In a letter to Mr. C. Hammond, under date of August 18, 1821, Mr. Jefferson declared:

“It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression, that the germ of dissolution of our Federal Government is in the constitution of the Federal judiciary, an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless steps like a thief over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States and the government of all be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed, because when all governments, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the check provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the Government from which we separated. It will be as in Europe, where every man must either be pike or gudgeon, hammer or anvil. Our functionaries and theirs are wares from the same workshop, made of the same material and by the same hand. If the States look with apathy on this silent descent of their Government into the gulf which is to swallow all, we have only to weep over the human character formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron, and the blasphemers of man as incapable of self-government become his true historians.”

In a letter to Colonel Nicholas, under date of December 11, 1821, Mr. Jefferson said:

“I fear, dear sir, we are now in such another crisis, with this difference only, that the judiciary branch is alone and single handed in the present assaults on the Constitution. But its assaults are more sure and deadly as from an agent seemingly passive and unassuming. May you and your contemporaries meet them with the same determination and effect that your father and his did the alien and sedition laws, and preserve inviolate a Constitution which, cherished in all its chastity and purity, will prove in the end a blessing to all the nations of the earth.”

In a letter to William T. Barry, under date of July 2, 1822, Mr. Jefferson said:

“We already see the power installed for life, responsible to no authority, advancing with a noiseless and steady pace to the great object of consolidation. The foundations are already deeply laid by their decisions for the annihilation of constitutional States’ rights and the removal of every check, every counterpoise, to the engulfing power of which themselves are to make a sovereign part. If ever this vast country is brought under a single government, it will be one of the most extensive corruptions, indifferent and incapable of a wholesome care over so wide a spread of surface. This will not be borne, and you will have to choose between reformation and revolution. If I know the spirit of this country, the one or the other is inevitable. Before the canker is become inveterate, before its venom has reached so much of the body politic as to get beyond control, remedy should be applied. Let the future appointment of judges be for four or six years, and renewable by the President and Senate. This will bring their conduct at regular periods under revision and probation, and may keep them in equipoise between the general and special government. We have erred in this point by copying England, where certainly it is a good thing to have the judges independent of the King. But we have omitted to copy their caution, also, which makes a judge removable on the address of both legislative houses. That there should be public functionaries independent of the nation, whatever be their demerit, is a solecism in a republic of the first order of absurdity and inconsistency.”

In a letter to Judge Johnson, under the date of March 4, 1823, Mr. Jefferson said:

“I can not lay down my pen without recurring to one of the subjects of my former letter, for in truth there is no danger I apprehend so much as the consolidation of our Government by the noiseless and therefore unalarming instrumentality of the Supreme Court. * * * For in truth there is at this time more hostility to the Federal judiciary than any other organ of the Government.”

In a letter to Edward Livingston, under date of March 25, 1825, Mr. Jefferson wrote:

“Time and changes in the condition and constitution of society may require occasional and corresponding modifications. One single object, if your provision attains it, will entitle you to the endless gratitude of society, that of restraining judges from usurping legislation. And with no body of men is this restraint more wanting than with the judges of what is commonly called our General [Federal] Government, but what I call our foreign department. They are practicing on the Constitution by inferences, analogies, and sophisms [a fallacious argument, especially one used deliberately to deceive] as they would an ordinary law. They do not seem aware that it is not even a Constitution formed by a single authority, and subject to a single superintendence and control, but that it is a compact of many independent powers every single one of which claims an equal right to understand it and to require its observance. However strong the cord of compact may be, there is a point of tension at which it will break. A few such doctrinal decisions as barefaced as that of the Cohens happening to bear immediately on two or three of the large States may induce them to join in arresting the march of Government and in arousing the co-States to pay some attention to what is passing to bring bark the compact to its original principles or to modify it legitimately by the expressed consent of the parties themselves, and not by the usurpation of their created agents. They imagine they can lead us into a consolidate government, while their road leads directly to dissolution. This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs, but it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is ad libitum [“at pleasure” or at the discretion of the performer] by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution can do what open force would not dare to attempt.”

These opinions and warnings of Jefferson are very pertinent at this time. The pity is that all have not paid heed to them for the past half a century. Now, let us see what another great expounder of the Constitution has said. In a speech at Fort Hill, July 26, 1831, Mr. Calhoun said:

“No one has been so hardy as to assert that Congress or the President ought to have the right or to deny that if vested finally and exclusively in either, the consequences which I have stated would not necessarily follow; but its advocates have been reconciled to the doctrine on the supposition that there is one department of the General Government which, from its peculiar organization, affords an independent tribunal through which the Government may exercise the high authority which is the subject of consideration with perfect safety to all. I yield, I trust, so few in my attachment to the judiciary department. I am fully sensible of its importance and would maintain it to the fullest extent in its constitutional powers and independence, but it is impossible for me to believe that it was ever intended by the Constitution that it should exercise the power in question, or that it is competent to do so, and if it were it would be a safe depository of the power. Its powers are judicial and not political, and are expressly confined by the Constitution to all cases in law and equity arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and the treaties made or which shall be made under its authority, and which I have high authority in asserting excludes political questions and comprehends those only where there are parties amenable to the process of the court.”

Governor Pingree, of Michigan, expressed himself in these words:

* * * I consider government by injunction, unless stopped, the beginning of the end of liberty. Tyranny on the bench is as objectionable as tyranny on the throne. It is even more dangerous, because judges claim immunity from criticism, and foolish people acquiesce in their claims. To enjoin people from assembling peaceably to discuss their wrongs is a violation of first principles. * * * (Railroad Trainmen’s Journal for September, 1897, p. 832.)

Sources: The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia: A Comprehensive Collection of the Views of Thomas Jefferson by Thomas Jefferson
The Life and Writings of Thomas Jefferson Including all his most important public utterances on Public Questions by Samuel Eagle Forman
Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives by House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary

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Constitution of the United States and it’s Governmental Operations (In Plain English)

Constitution of the United States and the operations of the government. by Noah Webster 1832 in his History of the United States (In plain English anyone can understand, even Barack Obama and Members of Congress)



558. Different forms of Government. In Asia the governments are all despotic; whole nations being subject to the arbitrary will of one man, under the denomination of Emperor, Sultan, King, Nabob or other title. In Europe, some nations are governed by the absolute sway of Emperors or kings; some are subject to a body of nobles; others are subjects of forms of government of a mixed character, consisting of a King, of nobles and representatives of the people. When the sole power of making laws is in the hands of one person, the government is called a monarchy, or an empire; the chief is called a monarch, emperor or autocrat; and the government is arbitrary or despotic. When the powers of government all center in a body of nobles, it is called an aristocracy, or oligarchy. The government of England is a mixed form, consisting of a King, lords and commons.

559. Republican Government. These United States present the first example, in modern times, of a government founded on its legitimate principles. By the laws of nature, reason, and religion, all men are born with equal rights. Every person is equally entitled to the protection of his person, his liberty, and his property; and of course is entitled to have a voice in forming the government by which this protection is to be secured. In this country, the people all enjoy these inestimable rights and privileges; and the constitution of the United States, formed by the delegates of the people, and ratified by the people represented in conventions, guaranties to them the enjoyment of their rights. This constitution is truly republican, and forms a splendid era in the history of man.

560. Distribution of the powers of government. In the constitution of the United States, as in most of those of the several states, the government is divided into three branches, a House of Representatives, a Senate, and a President, or executive power. The House of Representatives and the Senate form the legislative power, or power of enacting laws. The president is the chief magistrate, in whom is vested the power of executing the laws; that is, the power of enforcing them, or carrying them into effect. The reasons why the legislative power is vested in two branches or houses, are, that there may be a more full discussion of bills or proposed laws, for the purpose of ample deliberation, and a clear understanding of their nature and tendency; and also that one house may check, if necessary, any hasty or partial measures proposed by the other. The two houses are called the Congress of the United States.

561. Article I. The House of Representatives is composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states. The citizens who have the right of choosing, are called electors; and to be electors, they must have the qualifications which entitle citizens to vote for representatives in the several states; such as suitable age and character, and in some states, property. A representative in Congress must be twenty-five years of age, and have been seven years a citizen of the United States; and at his election, must be a citizen of the state in which he is chosen. The reasons are obvious. The age of twenty-five years is necessary to prevent young men, not mature in judgment, from being elected to one of the most important offices in government: and a man cannot represent a state, unless he is an inhabitant.

562. Apportionment of Representatives. The number of representatives in each state is according to the number of its free persons, and three fifths of all other persons, Indians not taxed being excluded. For the purpose of ascertaining the number of persons, a census or enumeration of inhabitants is taken every ten years; and Congress by law determine the number of inhabitants which entitles to a representative. This number is enlarged every ten years, to prevent the House of Representatives from being too numerous. The house establishes rules of proceeding in conducting debates, and elects a speaker, who presides for keeping order, and enforcing the rules.

563. Senate. The Senate of the United States is composed of two senators from each state, chosen by its legislature for six years, and each senator has one vote. The senators are divided into three classes, and one class or third go out of office every two years, and the vacancies are supplied by new appointments. A senator must be thirty years of age and an inhabitant of the state, and he must have been a citizen of the United States nine years, at the time of his appointment. The Vice President of the United States is president of the Senate, and has no vote, except when the votes of the Senate are equally divided. The smallest states have two senators, and the largest have no more; the senators being considered as representatives of the states, rather than of the people.

564. Distinct powers of the two houses. The House of Representatives has the sole right of impeachment, that is, the right or power to accuse officers of the government for maladministration, or for crimes, offenses, or neglect of duty in their offices. The Senate has the sole right and power to try offenders impeached. Each House is the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members; each determines the rules of its proceedings, and punishes or expels its own members for disorderly conduct. Senators and representatives receive a compensation for their services which is ascertained by law. They are privileged from arrest, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, during their attendance in the session, and in going to and returning from the same. Officers of government cannot hold a seat in either house.

565. Money Bills. All bills for raising a revenue must originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments to such bills, as in other cases. This restriction in regard to the raising of money, is founded on the principle that the House of Representatives is strictly the representation of the people, and is intended to prevent undue appropriation of money, which might be made by a house less dependent on the people. In Great Britain the right of originating money-bills is solely in the House of Commons; but for stronger reasons, as the House of Lords is a body wholly independent of the people, by hereditary right or royal grant of title.

566. Mode of passing bills. Bills, when presented to either house, must be read three times. On the first reading, no debate is had, but a vote is taken for a second reading; and on this reading, the bill, if opposed, is discussed, and then by vote is passed to a third reading, or rejected. Three readings,and regularly on different days, are required, and then, if not rejected, the bill passes to be engrossed. It is then engrossed on parchment, and passed to be enacted. The bill is then presented to the President of the United States, whose signature completes the act, and the bill becomes a law. But if the President objects to it, he returns the bill to the house in which it originated, with his objections in writing; and the bill is reconsidered. If on reconsideration, two thirds of the members are in favor of it, it becomes a law; if not, it dies.

567. Powers of Congress. The powers of Congress are specified in the constitution. They extend to the general concerns of the United States; leaving to the several states the right of making laws respecting their own local interests. The Congress can lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, pay the debts, and provide for the defense and welfare of the United States; but all such duties must be uniform throughout the United States. Congress can borrow money, regulate commerce, coin money, establish post-offices and post roads, institute courts, declare war, raise and support armies, provide a navy, organize the militia, secure to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their writings and discoveries for a limited time, and punish crimes or a violation of their laws.

568. Restrictions of power. Congress cannot pass any ex post facto law, that is, they cannot pass a law to punish a crime after it has been committed; they cannot lay a direct tax, unless in proportion to the census or number of inhabitants; they cannot lay any tax or duty on exports, nor give any advantage to one state over another in commercial regulations; no money can be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of an appropriation by law; no title of nobility can be granted, nor can any officer of the government accept any present, emolument, office or title, from any King, prince or foreign state. No state can enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal, coin money, emit bills of credit, make any thing except gold and silver a tender in payment of debts, or pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts; nor can it lay any imposts or duties on exports or imports, without the consent of Congress.

569. Article II. The executive power is vested in a President, who, with the Vice-President, is elected for the term of four years. These officers are chosen by electors appointed by the states in such manner as the legislatures prescribe. The number of electors in each state is equal to the joint number of senators and representatives in that state. By an amendment to the constitution, the electors meet on the same day, in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom must not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. They must name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots, the person voted for as Vice-President. They make a certified list of all persons voted for,and transmit the same to the President of the Senate, who opens the certificates, in the presence of both houses of Congress, and the votes are counted. The person who has a majority of all the votes is declared President; or if no person has a majority, then from the persons having the highest number of votes, not exceeding three, the House of Representatives elect a President by ballot. In this case the votes are taken by states, each state having one vote. If no person has a majority of votes for Vice-President, then from the two highest on the list, the Senate elect one to be Vice-President.

570. Qualifications of the President. The President must be a natural born citizen of the United States, or a citizen at the time the constitution was adopted: and no person is eligible to that office unless he is thirty years of age and has been fourteen years a resident of the United States. In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the duties of the office, the powers of the President devolve on the Vice-President. The President receives a compensation ascertained by law. He takes an oath to execute his office with fidelity, and to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution, to the best of his ability.

571. Powers and duties of the President. The President is commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the states, when called into actual service of the United States. With the advice and consent of the Senate, he has power to make treaties; he nominates, and with the advice and consent of the Senate he appoints ambassadors and other public ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law. He fills vacancies in offices, which happen during the recess of the Senate, but their commissions expire at the end of the next session. He has power to convene Congress on extraordinary occasions, and it is his duty to give information to Congress of the state of the Union, to recommend measures to their consideration, and in general to take care that the laws are faithfully executed.

572. Article III. Judiciary. The judicial power is that which consists in courts of law appointed to try and determine causes between individual persons and corporations. The constitution vests this power in one Supreme Court, and such inferior courts as the Congress shall ordain and establish. The judges of these courts hold their offices during good behavior. Their powers extend to all cases in law and equity, arising under the constitution and laws of the United States, and to treaties made under their authority; to cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States are a party; to controversies between states, between a state and citizens of another state, between citizens of different states, between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state or its citizens and foreign states, citizens or subjects. Trials of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, must be by jury.

573. Crimes, and rights of citizens. Treason against the United States consists only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Citizens of each state are entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens of the several states. A person charged with a crime, fleeing from justice, and found in another state, must, on demand of the executive of the state from which he fled, be delivered up to be returned to that state, which has jurisdiction of the crime.

Congress may admit new states into the union; and the United States guaranty to every state in the Union, a republican form of government. The constitution and laws of the United States, made in pursuance of it, and all treaties made under the authority of the United States, are the supreme law of the land. Congress cannot make any law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise of it; nor can they abridge the freedom of speech and of the press.

In comparison to other forms of government:

574. Advantages and evils of Monarchy. The advantages claimed for a government by a single person are secrecy and promptness in decision, and energy in action. A single man makes a law or decree without obstacles or delays, from opposing wills or opinions, and without liability to a disclosure of his designs. Hence in war monarchs have sometimes an advantage over republics; and in cases of extreme danger republics have sometimes created a dictator with unlimited powers for a time, to call into action the forces of the state. This was the fact in Rome, and during the war of the revolution Congress invested Gen. Washington with absolute command. But the danger of monarchy, is, that the monarch will, as he always can, oppress his subjects with arbitrary and unreasonable taxes, or violations of their rights. It has been found that few monarchs have exercised a paternal care over their subjects—Most of them have been tyrants, or have wasted the revenue of their kingdoms in luxury and vice and war.

575. Advantages and evils of Aristocracy. When the nobles of a state have the whole government in their hands, and have no dependence on the people for the possession of their power, they are often disposed, like monarchs, to oppress the people by taxes and unjust laws. In addition to this evil, their councils are often distracted with party spirit, by means of the jealousy, selfishness, and ambition of the different members of the government, by which such states are often kept in agitation, and the public interest is sacrificed. To counterbalance these evils, aristocracy may embody much wisdom; as nobles may have the advantage of a good education.

576. Advantages and evils of a Republic. The great benefit of a republican form of government is, that the people, being the source of all authority, elect their own rulers, who, after a limited time, for which they are elected, return to the condition of private citizens. In this case the rulers and ruled have a common interest. If the representatives of the people enact unjust or oppressive laws, the people have a remedy, in the power of electing different men for representatives at a subsequent election, who may repeal such laws. The evils of this form of government are, that ambitious and unprincipled men, in their strife for office, may and often do deceive and mislead the people, or corrupt them by offers of money and offices. In this case, the government often falls into the hands of wicked and profligate men.

577. Success of the Constitution of the United States. As soon as the constitution of the United States was ratified, and organized, the Congress took effectual measures to give it due effect. They passed laws distributing the powers of the government into several departments. They established a department of state, to carry on a correspondence with foreign powers,—a department of the treasury, to manage all the concerns of the revenue,—a department of war, to superintend the affairs of the army,—and a department of the post-office, to conduct the concerns of the public mails. They afterwards established the department of the navy. At the head of each department was placed a head or chief officer. They also passed a law for collecting revenue by duties or imposts on foreign goods imported. They funded the debt of the United States, by appropriating money to pay the interest. They assumed a part of the debts of the states, contracted during the war of the revolution, and provided for the payment of the interest. They established courts for the decision of causes; one in each state, called a district court; and a supreme court, with jurisdiction over the United States. These measures revived public credit, put in motion the enterprise and industry of our citizens, and gave these states rank and honor among the powers of the earth. From that time commenced the prosperity of the United States, which, with little interruption, has continued to this day.

The Origins of Civil Liberty:

578. Origin of Civil Liberty. Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes its origin to the principles of the Christian religion. Men began to understand their natural rights, as soon as the reformation from popery began to dawn in the sixteenth century; and civil liberty has been gradually advancing and improving, as genuine Christianity has prevailed. By the principles of the christian religion we are not to understand the decisions of ecclesiastical councils, for these are the opinions of mere men; nor are we to suppose that religion to be any particular church established by law, with numerous dignitaries, living in stately palaces, arrayed in gorgeous attire, and rioting in luxury and wealth, squeezed from the scanty earnings of the laboring poor; nor is it a religion which consists in a round of forms, and in pompous rites and ceremonies. No; the religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.

579. Character of the Puritans. For the progress and enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, in modern times, the world is more indebted to the Puritans in Great Britain and America, than to any other body of men, or to any other cause. They were not without their failings and errors. Emerging from the darkness of despotism, they did not at once see the full light of Christian liberty; their notions of civil and religious rights were narrow and confined, and their principles and behavior were too rigid. These were the errors of the age. But they were pious and devout; they endeavored to model their conduct by the principles of the Bible and by the example of Christ and his apostles. They avoided all crimes, vices, and corrupting amusements; they read the scriptures with care, observed the sabbath, and attended public and private worship. They rejected all ostentatious forms and rites; they were industrious in their callings, and plain in their apparel. They rejected all distinctions among men, which are not warranted by the scriptures, or which are created by power or policy, to exalt one class of men over another, in rights or property.

580. Institutions of the Puritans in America. The Puritans who planted the first colonies in New England, established institutions on republican principles. They admitted no superiority in ecclesiastical orders, but formed churches on the plan of the independence of each church. They distributed the land among all persons, in free hold, by which every man, lord of his own soil, enjoyed independence of opinion and of rights. They founded governments on the principle that the people are the sources of power; the representatives being elected annually, and of course responsible to their constituents. And especially they made early, provision for schools for diffusing knowledge among all the members of their communities, that the people might learn their rights and their duties. Their liberal and wise institutions, which were then novelties in the world, have been the foundation of our republican governments.

581. Effects of the principles and institutions of the Puritans. The principles of the Puritans fortified them to resist all invasions of their rights; and prepared them to vindicate their independence in the war of the revolution. That war ended in the establishment of the independence of the United States. The manifestos, or public addresses of the first American congress, and the act declaring independence, proclaimed to all the world the principles of free governments. These papers circulated extensively in foreign countries. The French officers who assisted in the defense of American rights, became acquainted in this country with the principles of our statesmen, and the blessings of our free institutions; and this circumstance was the germ of a revolution in France. The constitution of the United States is made the model of the new governments in South America; and it is not without its influence in Greece, and in Liberia in Africa. It is thus that the principles of free government, borrowed from the Puritans, have been conveyed to foreign countries, and are gradually undermining arbitrary governments, with all their oppressive institutions, civil and ecclesiastical.

See other articles on history:

The Failure of Marxism and Socialism

The Doctrine of Fascism, Fascism Defined by Benito Mussolini

Non Revisionist Politically Incorrect History of Jesus Christ by Johannes von Müller

Non-Revisionist Politically Incorrect History of the World With Biblical References Part 1

Christianity and the Founding of the United States

History of the Battle of King’s Mountain and it’s Heroes: Part I 1765 to May, 1780

American Statesman: Tribute to President George Washington Part 1