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San Juan Capistrano:
5:30 pm
@ Bravo’s California Fresh
31772 Rancho Viejo Road
  San Juan Capistrano
Launch Date: 
May 11, 2021    

Pocket Constitutions provided for all attendees

Constitution Class Handout

Instructor: Douglas V. Gibbs



Lesson 02


Legislative Powers


Establishing the
Legislative Branch



Legislative Powers

Article I, 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.


Article I establishes the Legislative Branch of the
federal government.  Article I, Section 1
of the U.S. Constitution establishes the two parts of Congress, and grants all
legislative powers to the two Houses of the Congress of the United States.  When studying the language used in Article I,
Section 1, the original intent by the Founding Fathers becomes clear.


The first word in the first section of Article I is
the word “all.”  The definition of all
is “the whole of a particular thing.”


The next words in Article I, Section 1 are legislative
.  Legislative powers are the
ability to make law, modify law, repeal law, and anything else that has to do
with affecting law.


The next word in the clause is “herein.”  The primary definition of herein is
“here in this document.”


After herein is the word granted.  Granted is defined as “to give,” “to
allow,” or more specifically “to legally transfer.”  If powers are granted, then there must be a
“grantor,” as well as a grantee.  As we
learned in our discussion regarding The Preamble, the “grantor” of the
authorities enumerated in the Constitution is the States.


“Shall be” is definitive.  The Constitution in its first clause reads,
“All legislative powers herein granted shall be. . .,” shall be meaning
“it is,” or “it will be.”


“Vested” is much like “granted.”  Vested is a legal transfer of something, or
in this case, an allowance to have legislative powers at the federal level
granted to Congress.


The Congress of the United States is the legislative
branch of the federal government, and this clause indicates that not only will
the Congress be granted all legislative powers given to the federal government,
but that the branch of government consists of two houses; a Senate and House of Representatives.


All legislative powers, according to this clause, are
granted to the Congress by the States for the purpose of making law, modifying
law, or repealing law.  The powers are
herein granted, which means that the laws must fall within the authorities
granted by the text of the U.S. Constitution. 
In other words, laws made must remain consistent with the “powers herein


Based on language used in the first clause of the
United States Constitution, when members of the judiciary legislates from the
bench, or the President issues an executive order to modify a law, such action
is unconstitutional.  After all, “all
legislative powers” were granted to the Congress, not to the judicial branch,
or the executive branch.


Since all legislative powers belong to the Congress,
that means any regulations by federal departments that are not in line with
laws made by the Congress that are in line with the authorities granted by the
Constitution are unconstitutional as well. 
All legislative powers belong to the Congress, therefore any
“legislative actions” by regulatory agencies, which are a part of the executive
branch, are not in line with the original intent of the Constitution.


Powers the federal government has were “granted” by
the States.  “We The People of the United
States” granted those powers to the federal government through the
Constitution.  Therefore, if the federal
government acts in a manner that is not consistent with the contract between
the States and the U.S. Government, the States have the option to ignore those
unconstitutional actions by the federal government.  This action of ignoring unconstitutional law
is the States’ way of being the final arbiters of the Constitution.  The term for this kind of action by a State
is nullification.  Thomas
Jefferson, in his draft of the Kentucky Resolutions, explained that any
unconstitutional law is null and void, and as an illegal law, the States have
the right to nullify it.


The concept that only Congress has legislative powers,
only the executive branch has executive powers, and the judicial branch only
has judicial powers, as described in the first sentence of each of the first
three articles of the Constitution, is called Separation of Powers.  The purpose of this philosophy is to disallow
different branches from abusing the powers not granted to that branch, as well
as to protect against collusion.


The Separation of Powers also exists between the
States, and the federal government.  Most
authorities granted to the federal government are powers the States did not
reserve to themselves.  Most authorities
retained by the States are not authorized to be administered to by the federal
government.  There are a few authorities
that are concurrent, meaning that both the federal government, and the
States, have some authority over the issue. 
One issue that is concurrent is immigration, which will be addressed
later in this book.  Sole authority over
a particular power is called Exclusive


House of Representatives

Article I, Section 2 establishes, and defines, the House
of Representatives
.  The members of
the House of Representatives are divided among the States proportionally.  As it is today, the House of Representatives
was the voice of the people in the federal government.  Each Representative is chosen to serve for
two years, which means every two years every Representative is up for
re-election, if they choose to run.


The eligibility of a Representative as explained by
Article I, Section 2 requires that the candidate must be at least twenty-five
years of age, and been a citizen of the United States for at least seven
years.  The age is lower than for
Senators.  Representatives were not
expected to be as politically savvy as the Senators, and tended to have less
experience.  The age requirement simply
reflected that.  Political knowledge and
experience tends to come with age.


was a serious concern to the Founding Fathers.  The requirement that Representatives have
been citizens of the United States for at least seven years reflects that
concern.  Seven years, for a
Representative of the people, was assumed to have been long enough for the
Representative to have thrown off any allegiances to other nations.


The third clause of Article I, Section 2, includes the
3/5s clause, which was changed by the 14th Amendment following the
American Civil War. 


The Southern States used slaves for their agricultural
economies.  The southern states were
needed to ratify the new constitution. 
As a condition for ratifying the Constitution, the southern states
demanded that the slaves be counted as one whole person each.  The idea was that if the slaves were counted
as whole persons, the apportionment would tip the scales in their favor through
increased representation in the new United States House of Representatives.
White populations in the southern states were lower in number when compared to
the northern states, due to the rural nature of the Slave States to the south.


The Northern States, under the heavy influence of
merchants, political elitists, and a group of abolitionists, wanted the slaves
counted as “zero” in order to reduce the number of representatives
the southern states would receive, which would give the majority to the northern
states, thus giving the north more legislative power.  With this additional voting power in the
House of Representatives, the northern states sought to have greater influence
on the federal government through legislation. 
The plan was to use their legislative power to tyrannically force the
southern states into submission, and to eventually abandon slavery.


In the interest of compromise, to convince the
southern states to ratify the constitution, while giving the northern states
the satisfaction that the southern states did not get exactly what they wanted,
the decision was made that slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a whole person for
the sake of apportionment.  In other
words, it was not a declaration that they believed blacks to be less than a
person, but simply to affect the census in such a way that too much power
through apportionment would not be given to either The North or The South,
while also ensuring that the Constitution got ratified.


G.R. Mobley, author of We the People, Whose
Constitution Is It Anyway?
, believes the Founding Fathers missed a great
opportunity to abolish slavery.  He
supports the idea that the 3/5s Clause was an error in judgment by the Founders,
and that the authors of the Constitution should have only allowed those States
that rejected slavery to be members of the union under the Constitution.  By failing to ratify the Constitution the
southern slave states would then have been on their own as a separate union.  Pressure from the Spanish in Florida, and the
threat of invasion by Spanish forces, would have then encouraged the slave
states to abolish slavery, so that they may rejoin the union, and enjoy the
strength of the union of all thirteen States.


Historically, it is impossible to know if that is
exactly how it would have played out. 
Regardless of the opportunity, the Founders largely believed they had to
compromise to ensure every State remained a member of the union, and ensure
that they would receive the required nine ratifications of States in order to
put the new federal government into motion.


Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, in addition to
containing the 3/5s Clause, also establishes the census.  The census is a required a head count to be
taken once every ten years in order to determine the enumeration for
establishing the number of Representatives each State shall receive.  The clause also indicates that the number of
Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand.  This means there cannot be more than one
Representative for a district of thirty thousand.  However, it does not indicate there must be
one Representative per thirty thousand. 
If that was the case, we would have thousands of Representatives.


Article I, Section 2, Clause 4 states that whenever
vacancies happen in the House of Representatives, it is the duty of the
Executive Authority to issue Writs of Election to fill such vacancies.  What this means is that the Governors of the
States have the duty to ensure there is a special election to fill any vacancies
that may happen in the House of Representatives.


The House of Representatives chooses for itself its
own Speaker of the House, and other officers.


According to Article I, Section 2, Clause 5, the House
of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment.  To impeach is to charge with misconduct.  The formal process of impeachment may lead to
removal of an official accused of unlawful activity or other offenses deemed to
be impeachable offenses.  Impeachment is
not defined as removal from office, though removal from office is often the result
of impeachment proceedings.  In history,
two presidents have been impeached, but neither were removed from office.  The presidents who faced impeachment were
Andrew Johnson (serving as President of the United States from 1865 to 1869),
and William Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001). 
President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before impeachment proceedings


The United States Senate

Article I, Section 3 established, and defines, the United
States Senate
.  The representation of
the States in the U.S. Senate is equal, two per State.  The Senators serve for six years, which means
every two years an election is held for one-third of the Senate seats.  The required minimum age of a Senator is
thirty years, five years older than that of a Representative.  The increased age requirement for Senators
reveals the importance of longer life and political experience, as considered
by the Founding Fathers.  Allegiance to
the United States also remained important to the framers in the U.S. Senate,
requiring that Senators need to be nine years a citizen of the United States,
rather than the seven years as required of Representatives.


Article I, Section 3 originally required that Senators
were chosen by the legislatures of the States, rather than voted into office
directly by the voters.  The appointment
of Senators by their State legislatures changed to the vote of the people in
1913 with the ratification of the 17th Amendment.  By the State legislatures appointing the
Senators, it made the Senate the voice of the States, while the House of
Representatives was the voice of the people. 
By the Houses of Congress being different, it created a natural check
and balance, which did not allow the representation of the people to accomplish
anything without approval of the voice of the States, and vice versa.


Article I, Section 3, Clause 4 establishes the Vice
President as the President of the Senate. 
The Vice President, though a member of the executive branch, is also
connected to the legislative branch.  The
Vice President may preside over the sessions of the U.S. Senate, and even
participate in the debates, but in the end, the Vice President has no vote in
the U.S. Senate, except as the tie-breaking vote.


During the early days of our nation the Vice President
attended a large number of sessions of the Senate.  He served as the voice of the executive
branch in the Senate, ensuring the States’ representation in Congress had the
opportunity to be exposed to the executive branch’s opinions regarding the
issues that concerned the States, and the union as a whole.


As with the House of Representatives, the Senate
chooses its own officers.  One of those
officers is the President pro tempore, which is the President of the
Senate when the Vice President is not present.


The House of Representatives has the sole power of
impeachment.  Article I, Section 3,
Clause 6 gives the U.S. Senate the authority to try all impeachments.  No conviction can be reached unless two-thirds
of the U.S. Senate membership is present. 
Impeachment cannot extend further than the removal of the impeached from
office, and the disqualification to hold any office in the future.  However, a legal case can still be brought
against the convicted from other sources, according to the law.  Since the U.S. Senators were originally
appointed by the legislatures of the individual States, this means that
impeachment charges could be brought by the people (House of Representatives),
but it took the States (Senate) to hear the case, and make the final
determination after all evidence was provided. 
During impeachment hearings, the Chief Justice presides over the
hearing, as provided by Article I, Section 3.


The 17th Amendment changed the dynamics of our
governmental system.  Note that many
functions by the executive branch are subject to the advise and consent
of the Senate.  The Senate ratifies
treaties, holds hearings for any appointments the executive branch nominates,
and the Senate holds the sole power for holding hearings on impeachments.  This is because actions by the federal
government are subject to approval by the States.  The States granted the federal government its
powers in the first place.


The House of Representatives, as the voice of the
people, and the Senate, as the voice of the States, and the natural check and
balance that is the result of that relationship between those two Houses of
Congress, also enables both Houses together to be a valuable check against the
executive branch.  One of the emanations
of that correlation is the ability of Congress to override a veto with a 2/3
vote.  The authority to override vetoes
was established to enable the People, and the States, when they are in full
agreement regarding a proposed bill, to be able to ensure a law is put into
place, and to constrain the executive together through the power of combined


Elections and
Assembly of Congress

Article I, Section 4 begins, “The Times, Places and
Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be
prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” 
This clause establishes that each State
may have its own methods for electing members of the Congress.  The same applies, as determined in Article
II, to presidential elections.  If there
is a discrepancy, or a question regarding the acceptance of ballots, it is not
the job of the courts to make final determination.  Article I, Section 4 gives that authority to
the State legislatures.


The same clause adds, after giving the State
legislatures authority over federal elections, that Congress may at any
time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing


Congress, as discussed earlier, is bicameral.  The two Houses of Congress are the House of
Representatives, and the United States Senate. 
The House of Representatives, at the time of the writing of the
Constitution, was designed to be as it is now, the voice of the people.  Representatives have always been elected by a
direct vote.  The United States
Senate was the voice of the States, appointed by the State legislatures.  The appointment of the Senators by
representatives of the people is an example of an indirect vote.


As the representation of the people, and the States,
Congress was not seen as the greatest potential danger in the federal
government.  Congress was the voice of
the people and the States in the federal government; the eyes of the parents to
ensure the central government did
not grow beyond the authorities granted to it. 
With Congress representing the oversight by the people, and the States,
the oversight powers given to the federal legislature often led to other
authorities that allowed Congress to act as a check and balance against
potentially dangerous government activity. 
Giving Congress oversight authorities was a way to ensure that Congress
participated in the concept of a government “by the consent of the governed.”


Though elections were established with the State
legislatures prescribing the times, places and manner of holding elections, as
a check and balance against that authority, Congress may pass laws to “make
or alter such regulations


At the end of the clause giving Congress the authority
to act as an oversight regarding the manner in which elections are held, a
qualifier is present, expressing, “except as to the Places of chusing


A majority of delegates at the Federal Convention in
1787, by the conclusion of the assembly, were strong supporters of the
sovereignty of the States, and the parental nature of the States in relation to
the newly formed federal government, and the duty of the States as the final
arbiters of the United States Constitution to ensure the new government
functioned within the limitations granted to it.  A part of that function by the States
included the very important fact that the States had a voice in Congress with
appointed U.S. Senators.  The framers did
not want that authority to be tinkered with, so they remind future generations
at the end of this clause that though Congress has lawmaking authorities, and
oversight authorities, manipulating the dynamics of government where the
people, and the States, have a voice
in the United States Congress is something not to be fiddled with.  A similar advisement also appears at the end
of Article V., “and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its
equal Suffrage in the Senate.”


Oversight powers by the States were seen by the
framers as being a right of the States, and as with natural rights of the
people, a right is not something that should be able to be taken, but if the
holder of the right wishes to give it away, no law can prevent such a foolish


The second paragraph of Article I, Section 4 reads, “The
Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year
.”  The first thought regarding this clause by
the typical reader may be, “Of course.  How
can they get anything done if Congress isn’t assembling?”


Another question may be, “Why did the framers feel it
to be necessary to insert this clause into the Constitution?”


During the convention in 1787, there were some who
felt this clause was “overburdensome.” 
Government was not supposed to dominate their everyday lives.  The members of Congress were not professional
politicians, nor did they care to be. 
They had businesses to run, and lives to live.  Surely, the attitude of many of the Founding
Fathers was, there is not enough business to compel Congress to meet every
single year!


Those who supported the concept of an annual meeting
reminded the others that Congress was the check the people and the States had
available to them in the federal government. 
It was the duty of Congress to serve as a check against the President,
and the federal judiciary.  To be an
effective check, Congress must meet at least once per year.  The clause, it was argued, was for the
benefit of the people.


In present day politics, the opposite seems to be the
norm.  Government is viewed as being
broken if they do not act on an endless and constant flow of issues,
committees, and crises.  Politicians view
their position as their job, rather than a service they are providing.


Originally, the required meeting day was the first
Monday in December.  That was later
changed to noon on the third day of January by the 20th Amendment.


Congressional Procedure

Article I, Section 5 requires Congress to have a
minimum number of members present in order to do business.  That majority constitutes a quorum,
and if the Congress deems it necessary, the present members may set fines for
members who do not show up. The Houses of Congress may remain in session,
during which no formal business is conducted because the House does not have a
quorum, so as to prevent executive actions that may be carried out during
recess.  This kind of session is called a
pro forma session.


In Article II, Section 2, the President is given the
authority to make recess appointments, when Congress is not in
session.  Normally, the United States
Senate has advise and consent authority over appointments, which means
that appointments of personnel to fill vacancies are possible for the President
to grant, but such appointments requires the approval of the United States
Senate (voice of the States).  If the
Senate is not in session, and an appointment is necessary, the President may
make appointments, but the terms of those appointments only last to the end of
the Senate’s next session.  If the Senate
is in a pro-forma session, the President may not make any appointments.  With Congress only in session when there is
work to be done, and the Founders believing that would likely only be once a
year, the ability of the President to make appointments when Congress is not in
session was a valuable, and necessary, tool. 
In today’s political environment, it seems like Congress is always in
session, so recess appointments are not as common.


In early January of 2012, President Barack Obama used
a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray the new Director of the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The
CFPB is a powerful bureaucracy created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial
overhaul legislation.  However, even
though most of the members of Congress were on vacation, the United States
Senate was still in session.  President
Obama’s definition of recess, it turned out, was broader than the
Constitution’s definition.  In reality,
the U.S. Senate was in pro-forma session. 
John Berlau, Director of CEI’s Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs,
called the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray
“very troubling,” criticizing both Obama’s controversial use of a
recess appointment, and the selection of Cordray itself.  Berlau later asked, “What’s next, appointing
nominees when the Senate takes a bathroom break?”


Article I, Section 5 also allows each House of
Congress to determine its own rules, keep a journal to record proceedings and
votes, and that neither house may adjourn
without the permission of the other.  Section
5 also establishes that if a member of a house does not follow the established
rules, the house may punish its members for disorderly behavior, and by a two
thirds vote may actually expel a member from Congress.


The establishment of rules, holding a hearing in
regards to the breaking of those rules, and punishing a member for his
behavior, as set forth by Article I, Section 5, was used when Charles Rangel
broke the rules of the House of Representatives.  He faced a panel for his actions, and was
punished by censure in December of
2010.  He later sued, spending about a
third of his 2014 campaign cash on legal bills in a failed bid to overturn his
fall from congressional grace.  On
December 11, 2013, a federal judge in Washington dismissed the lawsuit, filed
by Rangel in the previous April, to get the censure overturned.


mandate to keep a journal to record proceedings and votes was included in this
section because the Founders wanted government to be transparent, accessible,
and accountable to the people.  Deals
behind closed doors were not supposed to be a part of our political system.

Compensation, Privileges, Restrictions

When President George Washington took office, he
refused to accept the constitutionally allowed compensation for holding the
office.  He viewed his office as being a
privilege, and an opportunity to once again serve the country he loved.  During the Constitutional Convention,
Benjamin Franklin considered proposing that elected government officials not be
paid for their service.  By the end of
the debate, it was decided that government representatives should receive fixed
stipends by which they may be compensated for the devotion of their time to
public service.  It was also determined,
however, that the compensation should not be so high that it would become the
motive for seeking office.


Article I, Section 6 of the Constitution addresses
compensation, and the rules regarding such. 
Section 6 also establishes that members of Congress may not be detained
while traveling to and from Congress, and that they cannot hold any other
office in government while in Congress.


Protection from arrest while traveling to and from
Congress was not only a privilege based on those enjoyed by their counterparts
in the British Parliament, but also a protection from political enemies who may
wish to keep certain members of Congress from voting.


This section also indicates that no member of Congress
shall be appointed to a later office if while in Congress the office was
created, or a raise in pay was enacted for that office.


To explain this clause, let’s visit a recent violation
of it during the Obama administration.


After Barack Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election,
he announced that Hillary Clinton would be his new Secretary of State.  The position of Secretary of State received a
pay raise while Hillary Clinton was a member of the United States Senate.  Article I, Section 6 states that “No
Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be
appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which
shall be been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased
during such time.
  Since Clinton was
a Senator at the time the position of Secretary of State was given a raise,
technically she was not eligible for the position to which she was
appointed.  To resolve this problem, and
still allow Mrs. Clinton to accept the position, the Democrats applied the Saxbe Fix, meaning they undid the
raise, and Hillary Clinton received the compensation that was in place before
the vote she participated in while in the Senate. The Saxbe Fix, or a Salary
rollback, is an unconstitutional action. 
The clause in the Constitution is clear: “No Senator or
Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to
any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have
been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such


The Saxbe Fix, or the rollback of the salary, does not
change the fact that the emoluments increased during the time Hillary Clinton
was in the U.S. Senate.


As a
tool, the Saxbe fix was nothing new.  The
salary rollback in the case of a violation of Article I, Section 6, a mechanism
by which the President of the United States can avoid restrictions by the
United States Constitution which prohibits the President from appointing a
current or former member of Congress to a position that was created, or to an
office position for which the pay and/or benefits were increased, during the
term for which that member was elected until the term has expired, was first
used in 1909.  The “Saxbe” name was
applied to the political maneuver later in history.  The Saxbe Fix is named for William Saxbe, a
Senator appointed Attorney General by President Richard Nixon in 1973.



Suspend proceedings to a later time and/or place.


Procedure for publicly reprimanding a public official for inappropriate
behavior. There are normally no legal consequences. Censure is not mentioned in
the Constitution, but is a procedure devised by the legislature as a tool for
formal condemnation of a member of the congressional body.


of the United States:
The legislative branch of the
federal government which consists of two houses; a Senate and House of
Representatives.  The Congress is the
only part of the federal government granted the authority of legislative


confer, give, or bestow. A gift of legal rights or privileges, or a recognition
of asserted rights, as in treaty.  To
legally transfer.


To charge with misconduct.  Formal
process that may lead to removal of an official accused of unlawful activity;
impeachment does not mean the removal from office, though removal from office
is often the result of impeachment proceedings.


: The ability to make law, modify law, repeal law,
and anything else that has to do with affecting law.


State power to ignore unconstitutional federal law.


pro tempore
Second highest ranking official of the United States Senate. Vice
President is President of the Senate and the highest-ranking official of the
Senate despite not being a member of the body. During the Vice President’s
absence, the president pro tempore presides over its sessions or appoints
another senator to do so. The president pro tempore is elected by the Senate
and is customarily the most senior senator in the majority party.


Forma Session:
A session in either house of the United
States Congress at which no formal business is expected to be conducted, so as
to fulfill the obligation “that neither chamber can adjourn for more than
three days without the consent of the other.”  Pro forma sessions are also used to prevent
the President from pocket-vetoing bills, calling the Congress into a special
session, and to prevent the President from making recess appointments.


Minimum number of members of an assembly necessary to conduct the business of that


Salary rollback. A mechanism by which the President of the United States can
avoid restrictions by the United States Constitution which prohibits the
President from appointing a current or former member of Congress to a position
that was created, or to an office position for which the pay and/or benefits
were increased, during the term for which that member was elected until the
term has expired. First used in 1909, the Saxbe Fix is named for William Saxbe,
a Senator appointed to Attorney General by Nixon in 1973.


for Discussion


1.  If only Congress can make law, then why do
some politicians believe that Executive Orders can modify law, or that
regulatory agencies can create new regulations to enforce laws that were never passed
by Congress?


2.  The word “granted” reminds us that all powers
once belonged to the States, and some of those authorities were “granted” to
the federal government for the purpose of carrying out the tasks necessary for
the protection, preservation, and promotion of the union.  If the federal government was created by the
States, then how can statists justify their belief that all federal laws trump
all State laws?


3.  Why do you think the Congress has two
legislative houses?


4.  Why do you think representatives are only
elected for two years?


5.  Why is it significant that only the House can
originate bills for raising revenue?


6.  Why is the power of impeachment belonging to
the House so important?


7.  As President of the Senate, what kind of role
should the Vice President play in the day to day activities of the United
States Senate?


8.  Why do you think the House of Representatives
has the sole power of impeachment, but the Senate has the task of hearing the


9.  How are the dynamics of our governmental
system different in relation to how the Senators are appointed, or voted for?


10.  How was the Senate expected to check the
House of Representatives, and work together with the House to check the
Executive and Judiciary?


11.  Why do you think the authority for
prescribing the times, places, and manner of holding elections was given to the
State Legislatures?


12.  Why was Congress given the allowance to pass
laws that may make or alter such regulations?


13.  Why was the federal government prohibited
from influencing the places for choosing Senators?


14.  To conduct business, the houses of Congress
need a quorum.  If they do not have a
majority, they may remain in session through a rule established by Congress
called pro forma.  What advantages does
pro forma give the houses of Congress when it comes as serving as a check
against the executive branch?


15.  Why do you think neither house can adjourn
without the permission of the other?


16.  The houses of Congress establish their own
rules of procedure.  If a member breaks
any of these rules, Congress also has the authority to punish the rule
breaker.  One type of punishment is
called censure.  How is censure an
adequate punishment?


17.  How has the concept of transparency changed
over the last two hundred years?




Mora, “Top Democrat Dodges Question on Constitutionality of Obama Appointments,
Says Pro Forma Sessions Are ‘Games Being Played’,” (January 6,


Dictionary by Farlex;


Andrews, A Guide for Learning and Teaching The Declaration of Independence and
The U.S. Constitution – Learning from the Original Texts Using Classical
Learning Methods of the Founders; San Marcos: The Center for Teaching the
Constitution (2010).


Schweikart and Michael Allen, A Patriot’s History of the United States; New
York: Sentinel (2004).


Notes on the Constitutional Convention, Avalon Project, Yale University:


B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, The Founder’s Constitution – Volume Two – Preamble
through Article I, Section 8, Clause 4; Indianapolis: Liberty Fund (1987).


William B. I’ve Seen the Elephant: An Autobiography. Kent State University
Press (2000).


Douglas V. Gibbs, 2015

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