June 22, 2011

The Constitution of the United States - Article I

My study of the Constitution begins here:
Article I
Section 2, Clause 5:
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment
Once Senators begin spouting off about how Congress should start Impeachment Hearings the Senators involved should be required to re-read this Section and Clause.

Section 3, Clause 6:
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.
This is the reason why Senators, even if under the belief that someone has conducted themselves in a manner that would warrant Impeachment, should keep their opinions on the matter to themselves. The conflict of interest created by Senators pre-judging they would ultimately be responsible for presiding over would be abundantly apparent. It would also present the appearance of the "judging body" in the event of Impeachment Hearings being biased against the accused by virtue of the fact that a member of the body called for the Hearings, thereby affirming their belief in the accused person's guilt.

Section 8, Clause 3 (The Commerce Clause):
Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
This is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented of the Clauses in the Constitution. Specifically, the middle statement, wherein is indicated that Congress has the power to regulate Commerce "among the several States". This is a simple statement. Commerce among the States is under the purview of Congress. Simply put, this means that Commerce between the States shall be regulated as Congress sees fit. This Clause does not indicate anything other than Commerce among the States, which means Commerce that is not carried out by Citizens and Non-Governmental organizations is exempt from this oversight by Congress. Simply put, if the States wish to conduct Commerce related activity the activity is subject to Congressional approval, and conversely, if a private Citizen, Business or Non-Governmental Organization wishes to conduct Commerce related activity they are free to do so without hindrance from Congressional oversight.

Section 10, Clause 2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
Unless I read this Clause incorrectly, this Clause indicates that all net proceeds collected by States who are able to gain Consent of the Congress to levy taxes on Imports and Exports shall then transfer said proceeds to the US Treasury for their specific Use. This basically means that the gasoline, liquor and tobacco taxes, and other such taxes that vary from State to State are actually the property of the US Treasure, not the State they are collected in. I wonder what would happen if the Treasury were to re-direct the California $0.185/gal gasoline tax from California Department of Transportation projects to something else entirely?

Article II, tomorrow...

No comments: