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What is meant by ex post facto law ?
The Supreme Court of the United States held, in Calder vs. Bull, 3 Dallas, that the prohibition to pass an ex post facto law meant every law that made an act done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal. Also, a law which aggravated a crime, and made it greater than it was when committed, or which altered the legal rules of evidence, and received less or different proof than the law required at the time of the commission of the offence, so as to convict the person arraigned as an offender. An ex post facto law the same court held, in Fletcher vs. Peck, 6 Cranch, was one which rendered an act punishable in a manner in which it was not punishable at the time of its commission. The prohibition applies both to Congress and. State legislatures. Such a restriction is essential to the just administration of government and the liberty of the people.
Is there constitutional authority to change the name or orthography of any place recognized by the States ?
The power granted by the States to the United States, in the Constitution, “to establish post offices and post roads,” is latitudinously interpreted. It was never intended to give authority to the Postmaster-General to alter the names or the orthography of post offices which were and are recognized by the several States.
During President Harrison's term the Postmaster-General altered the significant and historical name of Newport's News to Newport News. It was so called by colonists, on hearing of coming succor from Governor Newport. Appomattox, also a Virginia village, was named Surrender by President Cleveland's Postmaster-General. Public clamor compelled a restoration of the historic name.
The old historic city of Newburgh on the Hudson was put down in the Federal postoffice records at Washington as “Newburg;” but the citizens clung to the spelling always recognized in New York State documents, “Newburgh."
Congress has no right to interfere with the names of places in the several States. They only have jurisdiction of names in Territories and nowhere else. It is not only absurd, but a usurpation which ought to be promptly rebuked, for a Potsmaster-General to change the name orthography of any town written in State or county judicial records, or incorporated by the legislature. The power once admitted may lead to serious abuse.
What is the flag theory of the States-Union ?
be hoisted on their forts, arsenals, and other buildings, and on territory belonging to the United States, and on their vessels of war, and over the army controlled by them.
The several State flags, such as the blue flag of Virginia and the white flag of New York, were intended to be raised over State troops, and wave over State buildings.
When the President, in the name of all the States, makes requisition on the individual States for troops for the “common defence,” it was intended that each contingent should be mustered under its State flag into the service of the Union. During war the flag of the United States should only be used as the symbol of Union; and when hostilities ceased, State troops should be returned to their governors and resume their State flags.
No mention is made of a flag of the Union in the Constitution. It is an omission.
Is it proper to speak of “the State and Nation"?
It is not. The phrase is a growing absurdity. The States now number forty-five, and more will be admitted. Each has a coat of arms, and each has its methods of self-government, which differ widely from each other in many respects.
States must have and preserve “a republican form of government.” That is their compact as united sovereigns. It has been shown that the United States are not a nation.
What is meant by the House of Representatives of the United States ?
The people of the States in council. The House protects majorities.
What is the Speaker of the House ?
The presiding officer of the people of the States in council. When the election of President is referred by the States to the people, the House resolve themselves into a special council of the people of the States, and then vote as States, separately.
What of the Vice-Presidency and the Senate ?
Article II., section 3, says: “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.” The inhibition is without reservation or qualification. There is no ambiguity here. The electors are not to vote for two inhabitants of the same State for President and Vice-President. It means partial disfranchisement for any attempt of the citizens of one State to monopolize two executive offices at the same time, and during prescribed terms.
As Article II. originally stood, the section did not name “President and Vice-President," but 'two persons,” to be balloted for. The tie vote and fierce struggle between Jefferson and Burr caused the adoption of the amendment which specifically sets forth how separate ballots shall be cast for President and Vice-President. In case of no election, the Senate chooses a Vice-President.
So much for the letter. The spirit, which is the very life of the letter, suggests that the equality and co-equality of the small States will become impaired if a large and populous commonwealth is permitted to have at the same moment, and during four years, two of her citizens in the first and second executive offices of the United States. One of them must be held to be ineligible in his own State. Necessarily the Vice-President would be discarded, as the ballot for President has electoral precedence.
The Vice-Presidency seems to have been of little importance to the framers of the unamended Constitution.
Dr. Franklin called the Vice-President “his superfluous Excellency."
What is meant by the Senate of the United States ?
The States in council. The Senate protects minorities. Because States are constituents of