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commencing September 5, 1774, and May 10, 1775; at Baltimore, December 20, 1776; at Philadelphia, March 4, 1777; at Lancaster, (Pa.) September 27, 1777; at York, (Pa.) September 30, 1777; at Philadelphia, July 2, 1778; at Princeton, (N. J.) June 30, 1783; at Annapolis, November 26, 1783; at Trenton, November 1, 1784; at New York city, January 11, 1785.
§317. The inhabitants of the District of Columbia are not regarded as citizens of any State, and cannot, therefore, send representatives to Congress, or vote for Presi dent or Vice-President. They are liable, however, to bo taxed by Congress, because the power "to lay and collect taxes" is a general one, without limitation of place; and their local affairs are regulated by Congress. The cities of Washington and Georgetown govern themselves in pursuance of charters granted by Congress.
§ 318. Congress cannot take property within a State for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, and other public buildings, without first purchasing it; nor can such property be purchased from a citizen of a State without the consent of the legislature of the State within which it is situated.
§319. The jurisdiction of Congress over places purchased by the general government, with the consent of a State, is exclusive. The State cannot punish for offences committed there; nor can its officers, within those places, execute writs or legal processes, either civil or criminal, unless the right to do so is reserved by the State. Such offences are to be tried and punished by the courts and officers of the United States.
§ 320. But if the place has not been ceded by a State, or purchased by the United States with the consent of the legislature of the State in which it is situate, the juris
diction of the State is not excluded, but remains in full force, subject, however, to the rightful exercise of the powers of the national government.
[Clause 18.] "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."
§ 321. This clause does not in terms grant any new power, or enlarge or diminish any of the powers elsewhere granted. It simply authorizes Congress to make use of such particular means as may be necessary or proper, in order to execute the general powers conferred by the Constitution upon the federal government or any department or officer thereof.
§ 322. By the Articles of Confederation, (Art. 2,) each State retained every power and right not expressly delegated to the United States. The Constitution, however, has not only conferred upon Congress certain express powers, but has also conferred such other incidental powers (without actually naming them) as may be necessary or proper for carrying into execution the powers expressly granted.
RESTRICTIONS UPON CONGRESS.
Tais section enumerates certain restrictions upon the powers of Congress.
[Clause 1.] "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or Duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."
§ 323. One of the main objects of this clause was to enable Congress to put an end to the introduction of slaves into the United States from abroad, after the year 1808, and to restrain their importation until then, by a tax not exceeding ten dollars for each person; but the clause includes within its language the migration of other persons as well as the importation of slaves.
§ 324. On the 1st of January, 1808, an act of Congress went into effect, which imposed heavy penalties upon persons engaged in the slave-trade; and in 1820 another act declared the slave trade to be piracy, and punishable with death.
§ 325. The restriction in this clause is applicable only
to the migration importation of the slaves or other persons. It, therefore, left Congress at liberty to legislate on the subject of the slave-trade when prosecuted out of the limits of the United States by citizens of the United States. In the exercise of this power, Congress, by an act passed March 22, 1794, forbade citizens and other persons from fitting out any vessel in any place within the United States, for the purpose of carrying on any traffic in slaves to any foreign country.
§ 326. Many other acts have been passed on the subject, the object of which is the entire suppression of the slavetrade by American citizens, and by any and all others in American vessels.
[Clause 2.] "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." Hwrit
§ 327. Writ is a legal term, and means in general a command in writing, under seal, in the name of a king, judge, or other magistrate, directed to a public officer or private individual, requiring him to do something in relation to a suit or other legal proceeding.
§ 328. The writ of habeas corpus mentioned in the above clause is a writ directed to a person charged with detaining another unlawfully in his custody, commanding him to produce the body of the prisoner, and to declare the reason of his detention. It is " a great and efficacious writ," intended to secure personal liberty, and provide a means of redress for all manner of illegal imprisonment and unlawful restraint of the person.
§ 329. The courts of the United States issue this writ in cases falling within their jurisdiction, upon the written application of any person who alleges that he is deprived
of his liberty contrary to law, or upon the application of others in behalf of such person. The writ is directed to him who has the prisoner in custody, commanding him to produce the body of the prisoner, together with the cause of his detention, before the judge by whose allowance the writ is issued.
§ 330. The prisoner must be produced, in obedience to the writ, and then the judge examines the whole matter, and if the imprisonment is illegal, he discharges the party from custody; if legal, he remands him again into custody.
§ 331. This clause provides for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus only in cases of rebellion or invasion, when the public safety requires it; but Congress has never suspended the writ since the Constitution went into operation.
[Clause 3.] "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."
§ 332. Bills of attainder are acts of a legislature which inflict the punishment of death upon persons supposed to be guilty of great offences, without a trial had before a judicial tribunal according to law. Such bills have frequently been passed by the British Parliament in former times, during seasons of violent political excitement, by which the accused have unjustly been deprived of life, without a trial, and upon insufficient or illegal evidence, and even without an opportunity to answer the charge.
§ 333. Ex post facto laws are such as are passed after the act to which they refer has been committed. This clause has been considered as applying only to criminal acts, or to laws for penalties and punishments. Laws which make an act a crime, and punishable as such, which was not a crime when done, or which render an act pu