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the legislature was declared by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional.
Clause 2.-No State shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by any State on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States ; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the 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.
The authority to levy duties on goods imported belongs properly to the general government. The exercise of this power by the several States, prior to the adoption of the Constitution, was one of the chief causes of the overthrow of the Articles of Confederation. The whole power is now vested in Congress, and the States are by this clause prohibited from laying any duties except with the consent of Congress, and the revenue obtained in such case must be paid into the treasury of the United States.
The object of inspection is to secure a certain standard of excellence in commodities offered for sale, so that purchasers may not be imposed upon. An inspector is appointed under State law, whose duty it is to examine flour, pork, etc., and certify as to its quality. If it comes up to the required standard, he stamps or brands the cask or package accordingly. Sometimes the inspector is paid by the city which appoints him, and sometimes his compensation is obtained by means of fees. To prevent the State from receiving any revenue from this source, the Constitution requires that all fees beyond the cost of inspection shall be paid into the national treasury.
A State can not lay duties on imports or exports indirectly. Maryland once required all importers of foreign goods, and
those selling the same in the original package, to take a license from the State, for which a fee of fifty dollars was to be paid. The Supreme Court decided that the law requiring this was unconstitutional, because it virtually levied a duty on the articles imported.
Case of Maryland.
The Constitution in no other clause refers to taxation of any kind by State authority. But it every-where recognizes the existence of the States as governments, and thus presupposes their power to levy taxes. For the support of its local government a State may tax its citizens, but it may not levy duties on imports, save with the consent of Congress, and for inspection purposes. And the Supreme Court has decided that a State can not levy a tax that shall in any way obstruct the legislation of the general government. Thus a State can not tax United States bonds or Treasury notes, or a bank chartered by the general government, except as provision is made for such State taxation by Congress; while the United States may levy a tax upon State bonds, or banks chartered by the States. "When Congress tax the chartered institutions of the States they tax their own constituents; and such taxes must be uniform. But when a State taxes an institution created by Congress it taxes an instrument of a superior and independent sovereignty, not represented in the State legislature."1
Duties on tonnage are duties on ships. A ship that can carry five hundred tons of freight is said to be of five hundred tons burden. Where duties are levied upon ships, it is Tonnage. in proportion to their capacity, or the amount of freight they can carry. If the States are prohibited from raising a revenue from goods imported, they should also be prohibited from taxing the ships in which the goods are brought.
The other prohibitions in this clause refer to matters of national sovereignty. The whole control of questions relating
1 Story, 1053.
to peace and war, treaties, alliances, etc., is placed in the general government; and nothing can be done by the States in these matters except under its direction. It has been seen that there are implied as well as express prohibitions on the powers of the States. Thus no State can tax the bonds issued by the United States. And State statutes of limitations, and State insolvent laws have no operation upon the rights or the contracts of the United States.
THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.
Sec. 1, Clause 1.-The Executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice-president, chosen for the same term, be elected as follows:
From the Declaration of Independence to the time when the Constitution went into operation, there had been no Executive Department. In the Convention there was no difference of opinion as to the propriety and necessity of establishing such a department distinct from the Legislative. There was not the same unanimity as to the other questions, viz., whether the power should be vested in a single person, what should be the term of office, how the Executive should be chosen, and whether the office should be held a second time by the same person or persons. The vote in the committee of the whole was "That a national Executive be instituted, to consist of a single person, to be chosen by the national legislature (Congress) for the term of seven years." Subsequently the committee of detail reported the same clause, with the addition that he should not be elected a second time. Repeated efforts were made in the Convention by the delegates from Pennsylvania to change the mode of election, so that the Executive might be elected by the people, or by electors, instead of by Congress; but only two States voted for the change. It
was then referred to the committee of one from each State, appointed to report on the unfinished parts of the Constitution, who reported it nearly as it was finally adopted.
A Single Executive.
There is no difference of opinion at the present time in regard to the importance of unity in the Executive. All are agreed that this power must be lodged in the hands of one man. To divide responsibility is to introduce feebleness. Every government should be administered with firmness and vigor. When laws are enacted they must be executed. The maxim that that government is best which governs least, is not true. That government is best which is so promptly and wisely administered that there will be little disposition to violate or evade the law. Republics are often affirmed to be feeble of necessity; but there is no inconsistency between a republican government and great firmness and energy of administration.
The Executive power "shall be vested," that is, is vested. The President duly elected has the power by the Constitution, without any law conferring it on him. The power Power in is vested in the President alone; not in him and the President. his Cabinet. In some of the States the Executive power is exclusively in the Governor; in others the joint action of the Governor and Council is required. The Executive power is not defined in the Constitution. Whatever it is, it is vested in the President. The Constitution authorizes him to do some things which do not necessarily belong to him as President. Thus he has a qualified negative on the legislation of Congress; with the advice and consent of the Senate he can make treaties. But whatever else may belong to the Executive Department, this does, that the President shall see that the laws are executed.
We have seen that the Convention that framed the Constitution decided in committee of the whole that the term of office of the President should be seven years, and that he could not hold the office a second
Both these provisions were subsequently changed; the term of office being made four years, and the restriction to a single term having been stricken out, so that the people may elect the same man to the presidency as many times as they please.
Seven Presidents have been re-elected; viz., Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Lincoln, and Grant. Four have been nominated for a second term, but not elected; viz., John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Van Buren, and Fillmore. was the candidate of a third party. No President has been nominated for a third term.
The question of one presidential term has been much agitated. It is doubtful whether the Convention acted wisely in reducing the length of the term from seven years to four, and in striking out the clause forbidding a re-election. "The election of a supreme executive magistrate for a whole nation affects so many interests, addresses itself so strongly to popular passions, and holds out such powerful temptations to ambition, that it necessarily becomes a strong trial to public virtue, and even hazardous to the public tranquillity. * * This is the question that is eventually to test the goodness, and try the strength of the Constitution."
Objections to a
Besides the excitement attending the election of the executive head of a great nation, which is so great that Mr. Paley condemns all elective monarchies, and thinks nothing is gained by a popular election worth the dissensions, tumults, and interruptions of regular industry with which it is inseparably attended, there is the unfavorable influence on the President himself. It is natural that he should desire the approbation of the people as manifested by a re-election. But the danger is that this desire may tempt him to shape his administration so as to secure a renomination.
Clause 2.-Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of Electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State