Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy (Belated) Constitution Day

Somehow I seemed to have missed the parades and nationally televised festivities that mark each September 18th of the year as America observes Constitution Day. Unfortunately there are those who would rather that the the document behind all these celebrations only be brought out, let alone acted upon on, on ceremonial occasions only. Such party-poopers might include the current executive branch of government as well as more than a few members of the legislative branch who find parts of the constitution inconvenient or even at odds with their career plans. There are a few salient features that are worth revisiting which I will list, though not necessarily in order:

Duties of congress include the right

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;


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.

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

Pardon my hack job on the U.S. Constitution though I believe others have done worse.

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