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How A Bill Becomes a Law: Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution

How-a-Bill-becomes-a-Law-Kids-Discover

The Constitution’s Article I, Section 7 defines the process by which the federal government passes laws. Section 7 opens with the Origination Clause which requires “Bills for raising Revenue” to originate in the House of Representatives. The second clause and third clauses are known as both the “Presentment Clause” and “Lawmaking Clause”. The Presentment Clause is […]

Why There’s a Specific Presidential Oath of Office

George-Washington-1024x768

The unspoken expectation of the Constitution’s writers in creating the office of the president was that a person they could trust, George Washington, would be the first president. The people who had fought a war to rid themselves of a king created a president with great authority. The power of the president is a result […]

Constitution’s 22nd Amendment: Term Limits for the President

In 1797 President George Washington set a precedent that would not be broken for 143 years. He retired from office after two terms.  In 1940 Franklin Roosevelt ran for and was elected to a third term.  Roosevelt was the first to serve more than eight years, and his success resulted in the Constitution’s 22nd Amendment limiting […]

Constitution’s 25th Amendment: Resolving Issues About the Vice-President

seal of the vice-president

When the Constitution was drafted in 1787, the office of vice-president was created as an afterthought, as a solution to potential problems with the Electoral College. The Constitutional Convention delegates were concerned that if there was only the office of president, all electors would always vote for a favorite son of their state. The result […]

Constitution’s Twenty-Third Amendment: DC Residents Cast Votes for President

District of Columbia

The Constitution provided for a seat of government for the United States. It did not provide voting rights for those living there. The Constitution’s Article I, Section 8, clause 17 empowered Congress to establish a seat of government, and also to exercise exclusive authority over the territory. This authority was established as follows: “To exercise exclusive […]

Twentieth Amendment: Limiting Lame Duck Mischief

Sen. Norris

The Twentieth Amendment to the US Constitution Explaining the need for the Twentieth Amendment is messy.  That is because despite the care taken in drafting, the Constitution left a few matters messy.  The Constitution provided terms of office for House members, Senators and the President.  It did not give dates for when those terms would begin.  It left […]

Howard Baker: A Profile in Courage We Need Today

Senator Howard Baker

The passing of Senator Howard Baker (R-TN) brings to mind a time when the US Congress was held in high esteem.[1]Senator Baker valued country above partisan politics. His passing provokes thoughts comparing the Congress of the 1970’s to the Congress of the 2010’s. A Distinguished Career Highlighted by a Famous Question Senator Baker served 18 […]

Constitutional Question Resolved For a Pay Raise

William Henry Harrison

On April 4, 1841 William Henry Harrison became the first United States president to die in office. The Constitution did not address critical questions regarding succession and the status of Harrison’s Vice-President, John Tyler.  Tyler would act to resolve one of the issues, apparently for personal, not constitutional reasons. Lack of Constitutional Clarity The Constitution’s […]

US Constitution’s Twelfth Amendment: Correcting a Founding Error

Aaron Burr

The Founders’ recognition of human failings drove creation of many constitutional institutions.  Powers were separated and sovereignty divided to protect against human tendencies to accumulate power.  Most institutions were designed with the flaws of humanity in mind. The Founders ignored these considerations of human nature in some instances and the results were mistakes. Among the mistakes was the system […]

Book Review: The Second Revolution and The 2nd Amendment

The Second Revolution

“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an […]