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ARTICLE VII. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law.
ARTICLE VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
ARTICLE IX. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
ARTICLE X. 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.
ARTICLE XI. The judicial powers of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit, in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another State, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign State.
ARTICLE XII. The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as VicePresident, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as VicePresident, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted ; the person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before
the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
ARTICLE XIII. SECTION I.-Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
SEC. II. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
ARTICLE XIV. SECTION I.-All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
SEC. II.-Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twentyone years of age in such State.
SEC. III.—No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold ar office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
SEC. IV.-The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing in. surrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations, and claims shall be . held illegal and void.
SEC. V.-The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
ARTICLE XV. SECTION I.-The right of citizens of the United States to vote shalı not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
SEC. II.-The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Construction of the Constitution. The interpretation of a law by a tribunal is the declaration by that tribunal of the meaning of the law as derived from its terms merely. When the mere words are not sufficient to yield this meaning, recourse is had to "construction” of the law, the intention of the law-makers and the circumstances under which it was passed being taken into consideration. Construction begins where interpretation ends. It is evident that the construction of general provisions of the United States Constitution, applying them to particular cases, offers ground for wide differences of opinion as to powers granted or acts permitted. The view that the strict letter of the Constitution must be adhered to in all cases is called the strict construction theory. The view that the Constitution should be liberally construed, thus giving to the Federal Government much power denied to it under the other view, is called the broad or loose construction theory. The tendency of this construction is to centralization by strengthening the hands of the Federal Government. It is plain that a political party espousing the former view would shift its position but little with time, the letter of the Constitution being its sheet-anchor, while the body supporting the latter view would appear in forms varying with the particular cause advocated by
them, their contention being of necessity for a particular reform asserted by them to come within the scope of the Constitution. And so it has been. The Democratic Republican party has been the strict construction party, and it has had the Federal, the Whig, and the Republican parties successively opposed to it, as advocates of the establishment of a United States bank, of excise laws, of a navy, in the first case; of a protective tariff and of internal improvements in the second; and of the power of the Federal Government to control slavery outside of the States, and subsequently of emancipation and of reconstruction, in the third. But the Democratic-Republican party does not now favor strict construction in the same way as in 1790. Changes made by the opposition have proved beneficial and have been permanent, and the strict construction view of each period has acknowledged accomplished facts of the past. Moreover, even the Democratic Republican party, when in power, favors broader construction than when in opposition, and the broad-constructionists are apt to insist on rather strict construction when their opponents are in power. The Civil War and the reconstruction period following it, led to the passage of many Acts by Congress based on principles of the loosest construction, and while many of these, as the Ku-Klux Acts (except the conspiracy section), have been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court, others, as the Civil Rights Bill, have been declared unconstitutional. In several recent cases the Supreme Court has shown a tendency to decide cases by a rather strict construction of the Constitution. (See Civil Rights Bill.)
Consul. (See Foreign Service.)
Contested Elections.—The history of Disputed Presidential or Vice-Presidential Elections is given under that head. The courts of every State decide as to the validity of the votes cast, and the two Houses of Congress see that this vote is authenticated in accordance with the laws. Each House of Congress is the sole judge as to its own members, and any contest as to a seat in either House is decided by that House. The
testimony is taken by the appropriate committee, and after its report the House decides. Contestant and contestee are each allowed a sum, not to exceed $2,000, for expenses actually incurred in the contest and properly vouched for, and special appropriations for compensation to contestants are frequently made.
Contraband of War.–Articles carried by neutrals in vessels or otherwise, which are for the assistance of enemy in carrying on war, are said to be contraband
The term embraces arms, ammunition, materials for manufacturing gunpowder, armed vessels, provisions intended for the military forces, and the like. According to international law, these are liable to seizure and to confiscation by order of a prize court. No recompense is made to the neutral except in the case of provisions. During the Civil War the phrase “contraband of war
was applied to negro slaves who came within the Union lines. This use of it originated with General Benjamin F. Butler, who, being in command of the Department of Eastern Virginia in 1861, refused to return fugitive slaves, declaring that they were contraband of war.
His position was disaffirmed by the Government.
Contracts, Impairing the Obligation of.-- Article 1, section 10, clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States provides that “ no State shall . . pass any
law impairing the obligation of contracts.” It will be noticed that this restriction applies only to the States, and that Congress is under no restraint in this respect. The decision in the Dartmouth College case (which see) is the most important in the interpretation of this clause of the Constitution.
Convention of 1787.— The government of this country under the Articles of Confederation had been a failure, and the remedy suggested by many was by means of a convention of the States.
This was pro posed in 1781 in a pamphlet by Pelatiah Webster, and within the next few years the Legislatures of New York and of Massachusetts adopted resolutions of similar tenor. In 1786 a resolution of the Virginia Legislature,