Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Bill of Attainder

                    The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I, Section 10, Clause 1:  "No State shall … pass any Bill of Attainder…."  This clause in the Constitution tells American citizens that they do not need to be concerned about being convicted of a crime by the legislature instead of having a fair trial with a jury.  More information on this subject can be found here.  

                    "The Framers regarded bills of attainder and ex post facto laws as so offensive to liberty that they prohibited their use by both Congress (Article I, Section 9, Clause 3) and the states.  The Framers had observed the use of bills of attainder by Parliament, particularly in cases of treason, and they were determined to deny the national legislature any such power.  As Justice Samuel Chase noted in Calder v. Bull (1798), the Framers applied the prohibition to the states `[t]o prevent such and similar acts of violence and injustice.'"  (See David F. Forte in The Heritage Guide to the constitution, 170.)

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