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is administered to him by any one of the members of the Senate.
§ 601. The members of the several State legislatures, and all the executive and judicial officers of the States, are required, before they proceed to execute the duties of their espective offices, to take the oath or affirmation, to be administered by the person who is authorized by the law of the State to administer the oath of office, and a record or certificate is to be made of it, in like manner as of the oath of office.
§ 602. All officers appointed under the authority of the United States, are required to take the oath or affirmation before entering upon their official duties.
§ 603. This clause contains the important provision that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. This prohibition was intended to restrain the effects of sectarian bigotry and intolerance, and prevent a union of church and State, such as we find in England and in many countries on the continent of Europe.
§ 604. In England, and in some other countries, public officers, before entering on the discharge of their official duties, are required to take an oath or make a declaration in favour of the established religion of the country. Such oaths or declarations are called tests. The Constitution of the United States does not establish any particular form of religious worship, or restrain the free exercise of any form, and it therefore abolishes religious tests, as inconsistent with its principles of religious liberty.
"ARTICLE VII. The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same."
§ 605. At the time of the formation of the Constitution there were thirteen States. This clause does not require that all the States should assent to the Constitution, for a single State would then have been enabled to defeat the wishes of all the others. Nor does it make a majority sufficient; but it adopts a medium course, and declares that the ratification by the conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of the Constitution between the States thus ratifying it.
§ 606. Had the Constitution been ratified by no more than nine States, those nine States only would have composed the Union, and the remaining States would not have been members of it.
For the proceedings attending the ratification of the Constitution, see § 46.
§ 607. The final clause of the Constitution is as follows:"DONE in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names."
It was then signed by
Presidt and deputy from Virginia,
and by thirty-eight other delegates, being one or more from each of the original thirteen States, except Rhode Island, by whom no delegate was appointed.
ARTICLES IN ADDITION TO, AND AMENDMENT OF THE
§ 608. MUCH opposition was made to the ratification of the Constitution, in the conventions called by the States. The reasons for the opposition were different in their nature, but a very general opinion was entertained, that something should be added in the nature of a Declaration of Rights, which should positively assert and establish certain rights of the people. Many of the States, although they ratified the Constitution, expressed a wish that such amendments should be adopted.
§ 609. Accordingly, at the first session of the first Congress, begun and held in the city of New York, March 4, 1789, Congress, after duly considering the fact that the conventions of a number of the States, at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be adopted, passed a resolution on the 25th of September, 1789, twothirds of both houses concurring, to propose twelve articles to the legislatures of the States, as amendments to the Constitution.
§ 610. Ten of those articles having been finally ratifie by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States, became amendments of the Constitution of the United States on the 15th day of December, 1791.
§ 611. These amendments, constituting the first ten of
the whole number of amendments, were ratified by the States, as follows:
By New Jersey, 20th November, 1789.
By Virginia, 15th December, 1791.
§ 612. Subsequently another amendment, the eleventh, was proposed at the first session of the third Congress, 5th March, 1794, and was declared in a message from the President of the United States to both houses of Congress, dated 8th January, 1798, to have been adopted by the constitutional number of States. The twelfth amendment was proposed at the first session of the eighth Congress, 12th December, 1803, and was adopted by the constitutional number of States in 1804.
613. We have already presented these amendments, commencing on page 48, and we are now to consider each cne in its order:
"ARTICLE I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of griev ances."
§ 614. We have already seen that no religious test can ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States, (§ 603.) The object of the present amendment is to go still further, and in general terms to restrict Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. One purpose sought to be effected by this provision, is to prevent the supremacy of any religious denomination in consequence of national patronage, or by authority of law, and to maintain the separation of church and State.
§ 615. At the same time the Constitution extends its protection alike to all religious denominations, and by thus allowing to every citizen the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of his conscience, secures equal religious liberty. In this way the Constitution seeks to avoid the injustice, intolerance, and other evils which have accompanied the establishment of State religions in the Old World.
§ 616. This article also prohibits Congress from making any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. The liberty of speech and of the press has always been considered to be the right of a free people. In many coun tries, however, it is narrowly restricted. Some govern ments prohibit the printing of books on particular subjects, unless they have been previously examined and approved by an officer of the government. Others require an author to obtain a license before he can publish. Similar restraints have been applied also to newspapers and periodicals, which are even now in some countries subjected to a censorship and to other restrictions.
§617. Although, by the Constitution, a man may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, yet