Congress Hall Cafe
Creasy: “The fact of the division of our parliament into TWO houses, neither more or less, has been of infinite importance to our constitutional history. We have escaped thereby the miseries which the instability, the violence and the impassioned temerity of a single legislative assembly have ever produced when that form of government has been attempted…” Manuconst 92
John of Salisbury “”Yet the senate, as the ancients concur, is the name of the office and has maturity of age as its distinguishing mark: for in fact it is called ‘senate’ from ‘senectus’, the Latin for ‘old age’. 81
Chief John Marshal “This is true. But all legislative powers appertain to sovereignty. The original power of giving the law on any subject whatever is a sovereign power.” McC.
Chief Justice John Marshal “That a legislature, endowed with legislative powers, can legislate is a proposition too self-evident to have been questioned.” McC
Section 2.No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.
Brutus III 1787 “The very term, representative, implies, that the person or body chosen for this purpose, should resemble those who appoint them – a representation of the people of America, if it be a true one, must be like the people. It ought to be so constituted, that a person, who is a stranger to the country, might be able to form a just idea of their character, by knowing that of their representatives. They are the sign – the people are the thing signified. It is absurd to speak of one thing being the representative of another, upon any other principle.” dc. 320
Brutus III 1787 “It must then have been intended , that those who are placed instead of the people, should possess their sentiments and feelings and be governed by their interest, or in other words, should bear the strongest resemblance of those in whose room they are substituted.” dc.320
US Constitution Article I Section. 4 “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.”
1 Samuel 8:7 “Yahweh said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me as the king over them. “
Note: In the Book of Exodus God was elected by the nation of Israel to be their King and by covenant to abide by His law. This was an agreement made by the majority. Later, in the First Book of Samuel, God is voted out of office by the Elders who represented the people. God gives an everlasting testimony of a republican principle of free elections when He willing and without violence steps down from public office thereby abiding by the decision of majority. This character was often displayed in Rome with the elections of the consuls and temporary dictators. Again, we see free elections in the American republic when Adams replaced Washington and when Jefferson replaced Adam and without violence or fraud but by reputation and sincere votes. This very act in America’s new constitutional republic sent a powerful message of liberty and freedom around the world and it boasted of a principle that God Himself had demonstrated. The principle of free elections is essential to republicanism and God’s federal system; the opposite principle of elections by violence, fraud, and deceit is of a different kingdom – that belonging to Satan as often demonstrated in corrupted nations, for example, when Caesar declared himself emperor and all future emperors of Rome being elected by use of fear and intimidation and declarations of the military, and in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, where kings were decided by murder and violence.
Article 1 Section 1 All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Noah Webster “Every person, moderately acquainted with human nature, are liable to the influence of sudden and violent passions, under the operation of which, the voice of reason is silenced….This fact suggest the expediency of dividing the power of legislation between two bodies of men, whose debates shall be separate and not dependent on each other, that , if at any time, one part should to be under any undue influence, either from passion, obstinacy, jealousy of particular men, …there might be a power in the legislature sufficient to check every pernicious measure.” 131dc
Madison “…It is not possible to give to each department an equal power of self-defense. In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The remedy for this inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches.” acont60 fed48
Sidney “…who may have something of rectitude in their intentions, and naturally are no incapable of doing well, are drawn out of the right way by the subtlety of ill men who gain credit with them. That rule must always be uncertain, and subject to be distorted, which depends upon the fancy of such a man. He always fluctuates, and every passion that arises in his mind, or in infused by others, disorders him. The good of a people ought to be established upon a more solid foundation. For this reason the law is established, which no passion can disturb. Tis void of desire and fear, lust and anger. Tis mens sine affectu (mind without passion), written reason, retaining some measure of the divine perfection.” 400
Hallam writes that is during the reign of Edward III, Richard II, and the princes of the line of Lancaster that the House of Commons received the acquisition of a right to inquire into the advise upon the public administration of affairs. 247
Note: An absolute monarch will rule according to his passions, and passion of self interest will never serve the best interest of the people. In the US Constitution, legislative power is shared between two assemblies, House and Senate, with a check by the executive. The system of debate over the bill ought to allow the light of reason to remove the ill effects of passion, and to unveil the personal agendas of designing men, and by sincere motivations for the welfare of the people operating by a clear conscience, an element of divine perfection ought to reveal itself within the law. Thomas Jefferson has faith that a majority consensus is a safe heaven against tyranny;Guizot recognized liberty being supported by a sensible majority. It misuse of law that the founding fathers were alerted to, and wisely placed legislative powers in an general assembly, and as a precaution split that assembly as a mutual check.
Note: Acts of of the English parliament, primary legislation, are accompanied by an Explanatory Note setting out the bills background, goal or hope of remedy. Plato in his “Laws” says that bills should come with preambles. Form this we can surmise that the greater the expression, clarity and intent detailed in legislation the less the judicial activism.
Article I Section 6
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same;
Section 6 “and for any speech or debate in either House…”
George Washington “(if you have a mind to command the attention of the House) is to speak seldom, but to important Subjects, except such as particularly relate to your Constituents, and, in the former case make yourself perfectly master of the Subject. Never exceed a decent warmth, and submit your sentiments with diffidence. A dictatorial Stile, thought is may carry conviction, is always accompanied with disgust.” dc.308
Power of Persuasion
Exodus 32:14 “Yahweh repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people.”
Homer writes through Phoenix that the gods are able to yield although they have superior majesty, honor, and power. 153
Declaring War and Peace
Article I Section 8 “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”
Holt writes that in the statutes of 1188, Alfonso of Leon agreed that he would not make war or peace except by the advice of the bishops and nobles of the realm. In Aragon in 1283 Peter III would rely on advice of his nobles, knights, and townsfolk. 77
Note: Congress represents the people, and Congress has the right to declare war or peace.
Necessary and Proper
Timothy Pickering 1787 “Now when powers are given to accomplish any particular thing, it is the dictate of common sense that such other subordinate powers as are indispensably necessary to that end should also be given, either expressly or by fair implication.” 300.dc
Grotius “In all cases of deliberation, not only the ultimate but the intermediate objects leading to the principal ends are to be considered. The final object is always some good, or at least the evasion of some evil, which amounts to the same. The means are never to be considered b y themselves, but only as they have a tendency to the proposed end. Wherefore in all cases of deliberation, the proportion, which the means and the end bear to each other, is to be duly weighed, by comparing them together.” 221
Chief Justice John Marshal “But it may with great reason be contended that a Government intrusted with such ample powers, on the due execution of which the happiness and prosperity of the Nation so vitally depends, must also be intrusted with ample means for their execution. The power being given, it is the interest of the Nation to facilitate its execution. It can never be their interest, and cannot be presumed to have been their intention, to clog and embarrass its execution by withholding the most appropriate means.” McCulloch v Maryland 1819
Article I Section 9, clause 2 “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.”
Hallam on the English common law “The writ of habeas corpus has always been a matter of right.” 234.2
Article I Section 9 clause 8 “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States.”
Pickering “We should also observe, that titles of nobility, a great stimulus to ambition, & the most odious as well as most dangerous distinction between the members of the community, are pointedly excluded form this system.” 291