Constitution Triva

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Lewis Shepherd 8 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #74245

    Genio
    Participant

    I took my son to the national Archives for fathers day. My father day present were these triva cards. I thought that I would share with you a question every evening and hopefully encourage a healthly , open and transparent forum on Constitution rights that we might have known and may have not known. Anyhow, I hope everybody will enjoy and learn.

    Can a state set term limits for its U.S. Senators?

    No, The Constitution, which defines the qualification for serving in the Senate, sets no term limits. The Supreme Court, in the US Term Limits V. Thornton(1995), rejected an Arkansas constitutional amendment that limited senators from Arkansas to 2 terms. The Supreme Court observed that qualifications for membership in Congress was determined by the Constitution and could not be limited by the states.

  • #74323

    Lewis Shepherd
    Participant

    I knew one of the founders of the US Term Limits group (Cleta Mitchell, I believe her name was, from Arkansas). The group was well-intentioned, if a little “overly passionate” perhaps. I know that in parallel with that Arkansas amendment they also were trying to rally support nationwide for a regular Constitutional amendment, which would of course have to get many more states onboard to be implemented. Hasn’t been as much momentum behind that effort since the early ’90s, be interesting to see whether the current economic climate and low approval ratings for Congress will spark any revival in the term-limits movement.

    I’m a huge fan of the Constitution, and of better public awareness of it – so I like your Trivia posting idea! Thanks – lewis

  • #74321

    Genio
    Participant

    You are welcome.

    Thank you for participating and sharing. I hope it will continue.

    All The Best

  • #74319

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    Constitution Trivia question of the day is:

    Does the Constitution give the Supreme Court the right to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional?

    Although the Constitution does not say that specifically, the Supreme Court has interpreted Articles III and IV as giving the federal courts the final say over the meaning of the Constitution and all federal officals to comply with its rulings. The Supreme Court first exercised the right of judical review in Marbury v Madison(1803) when it ruled a federal statute unconstitutional.

    All The Best

  • #74317

    Cindy Lou Baker
    Participant

    I’ll be looking forward to more of these. What a nice Father’s Day activity! cb

  • #74315

    Genio
    Participant

    I am glad that you are looking forward, and enjoying my postings.

    Thank you for participating and sharing. I hope it will continue.

    How could a constitutional amendment passsed by Congress in 1791 be ratified by the states in 1992?

    Unlike recent constitutional amendments, the Twenty-seventh Amendment had no time limit for ratification. That amendment, which dealt with congressional pay increases, was introduced by James Madison in the First Congress and sent to the states. An insufficient number of states ratified the amendment and it lay dormant until the 1980s, when public reaction against congressional pay increases led states to revive and ratify it during George.H.W. Bush presidency.

  • #74313

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    Can taxes ever be used as a means of social regulation?

    Yes, Since the case of United States V. Sanchez(1950), the Supreme Court has accepted the use of taxes to regulate or discourage certain activites that the community wishes to control, such as drug use, gambling, and possession of some types of weapons. The courts have decided that this a legitimate exercise in taxing power despite its collateral regulatory purpose.

    All The Best

  • #74311

    Genio
    Participant

    Under the Constitution, how long a term do Supreme Court justices serve?

    There is no time limit. Article III, Section 1, states that justices of the Supreme Court and other federal judges ” shall hold thier offices during good Behaviour.” Justices can therefore serve for life or until they choose to retire. The only way to remove a Supreme Court justice is by impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate. In 1803, the House of Representatives impeached Justice Samuel Chase for behaving in an “arbitrary, oppressive, and unjust” manner on the bench, but Senate did not convict him and he served until his death, in 1811.
    All the Best

  • #74309

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    Who can be impeached and in what court can they be tried?

    Any officer of the federal government can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors” by the majority votes of the House, but he or she is tried in the Senate rather than in a court. Accourding, to Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution, ” the Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” Conviction requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate. The House has impeached seventeen officials; twelve federal judges, one Supreme Court Judge, one Senator, one cabinet member, and two presidents. But, the Senate found only seven of these offical guilty and removed them from office.

    All The Best

  • #74307

    Genio
    Participant

    Does the Constitution require states to provide attorneys for defendants who cannot afford to hire thier own?

    Yes, The Supreme Court decided in Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) that under the Sixth Amendment defendants charged with serious crimes have the right to have an attorney in the state as well as federal courts.

    The Sixth admendment states”In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trail, by an impartial jury…to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

    In 1938, the Supreme Court ruled that the government must provide counsel for defendants in federal court trials who cannot pay for one. But, the Court did not extend this right to state trials until Gideon v. Wainwright.

    In Argersinger v Hamlin (1972), the Court extended its Gideon ruling by specifying that a defendant found gulity of a misdemeanor-ie, less serious crime-cannot be sentenced to jail time unless offered an attorney at trial.

  • #74305

    Genio
    Participant

    Thank you for the enthusiasm, comment and participation. I am happy that you are enjoying and sharing with us your ideas.

    I did a little research tonight just to try and address your question. I hope that you will please tomorrow morning by my attempt to perfectly address and answer your question.

    All the Best and Good Evening.

  • #74303

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    By special request:

    Does the Bill of Rights apply to the states as well as to the federal government?

    In part but not as a whole. Over time, the Supreme Court has interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment’s ” due process clause” as incorporating many of the Bill of Rights guarantees to the states as well as to the federal government. The concept of incorporation has dealt with such fundemental rights as freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition.

    But the Court has not held the states subject to some other rights, such as the right to bear arms or the right to a jury trial in a civil case.

    All The Best

  • #74301

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    True or False?

    The preamble of the Constitution asserts that ” all men are created equal.”

    False, Those words apprear in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence. The preamble to the Constitution makes no assertion of equality but defines government as existing to maintain peace at home, provide national defense, promote the well-being of the people.and protect thier liberties.

    Have a Great 4th of July.

    All The Best

  • #74299

    Genio
    Participant

    Can a state require that candidates for office publicly declare their religious affiliation?

    No. To ensure freedom of religion, Article VI of the Constitution forbids the requirement of any “religious test” as a qualificiation for any office or public trust. Public officials cannot be required to practice or pledge allegiance to any religion in order to hold office.

    All The Best

  • #74297

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning?

    True or False?

    As commander in chief, the president has the authority to fund troops in combat?

    False, Only Congress can appropriate funds for military or civilian purposes. The executive branch can spend only what Congress appropriates, and Congress may not extend any appropriation for longer than 2 years. Traditionally, Congress makes annual appropriations, requiring all military and civilian agencies to request funds every year. This is known as the “power of the purse”. Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution also authorizes Congress ” to raise and support Arnies” and “to provide and maintain a Navy.”

    ALL The Best

  • #74295

    Genio
    Participant

    What date was the constitution ratified on?

    Delegates from all of the states except Rhode Island convened in Philadelphia, PA, the Constitution was drafted in 1787 and presented to the American public on September 17, 1787. The Constitution became law on June 21, 1788 after 2/3 of the states ratified it. The constitution is the “supreme law of the land” because no law may be passed that contradicts its principles. No person or government is exempt from following it. James Madison is often called the “Father of the Constitution.” Not all the states had ratified the Constitution by April 30, 1789 when George Washington became the first President of the United States.

  • #74293

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    Can the government declare an act a crime after it has been committed?

    No, Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution prohibits ex post facto (“after the fact’) laws-laws passed to make an action retroactively illegal after it has been carries out. This protection guarantees that individuals will be warned ahead of time if thier actions are illegal.

    All The Best

  • #74291

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    I often wounder if anyone is still reading this? I can just hope that you all are enjoying the time reading, and the exchanging of facts on one of the greatest documents ever writen.

    Can residents of the District of Columbia vote in presidential elections?

    Yes.

    Even though the District of Columbia is not a state and has only a nonvoting delegate in the House of Representatives, the Twenty-third Amendment, ratified in 1961, gave district residents the right to vote for the president and gave the district electoral votes equivalent to those of the least populous state.

    All The Best

  • #74289

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    Can you the vice president vote in the Senate?

    Yes, but only to break a tie. Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution specifies that the vice president serves as presiding officer of the Senate ” but shall have no vote, unless they are equally divided.”

    Since a majority is needed to pass legislation, a tie vote would effectively defeat a measure, so there is no need for the vice president to vote no.

    But, a yes vote by the vice president on a tie would pass the bill or nomination being considered.

    All The Best

  • #74287

    Genio
    Participant

    Thank you.

    All The Best

  • #74285

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    Is it possible for the presidential and vice presidential candidates on the same ticket to receive a tie vote in the Electoral College?

    Not any longer. As the Electoral College was orginally constituted, the presidential candidate who received the most electoral votes became president and the runner-up became vice president.

    During the 1800 election, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, both members of the Democratic-Repulican Party, won the same number of votes in the Electoral College, so the election had to be decided by the House of Representatives.

    The Twelfth Admendment ratified in 1804, provided that the electors would vote separately for the presidential and vice presidential candidates.

    All The Best

  • #74283

    Al Fullbright
    Participant
  • #74281

    Genio
    Participant

    Thank for sharing. I didn’t know it was Bastille Day.

    Here are some US fun facts about Bastille Day celebrations in differnent cities.

    New Orleans has a large celebration in its historic French Quarter.[6]

    New York City has a large Bastille Day celebration each year on 60th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan

    San Francisco has a large celebration in the downtown historic French quarter.

    Philadelphia’s Bastille Day, held at Eastern State Penitentiary, involves Marie Antoinette throwing locally manufactured pastries at the Parisian militia, as well as a re-enactment of the storming the Bastille.[7]

    Baltimore has a large Bastille Day celebration each year at Petit Louis in the Roland Park area of Baltimore City

    Milwaukee’s four-day [1] street festival begins with a “Storming of the Bastille” with a 43-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower.

    Minneapolis has a celebration in Uptown with wine, French food, pastries, a flea market, circus performers and bands.

    Seattle’s Bastille Day Celebration, held at the Seattle Center, involves performances, picnics, wine and shopping.

    All The Best

  • #74279

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    In honor of the current hearings on the New Supreme Court Justice Confirmation. I asked myself these 2 questions. So, I thought that I would share. I will get back to the cards tommorrow.

    How many justices were on the first Supreme Court and what year did they first meet?

    There were orginally 6 supreme court justices when the supreme court first met. The year was 1789 which is the same year that George Washington became President.

  • #74277

    Genio
    Participant

    Here is what I could discovered last night researching your questions.

    1) I would think there might be more pressure to increase the the court size than reduce the court size due to population increases which are historical precident..

    2)It would only take passage of an act not an admendment.

    3) I don’t know about the possibilty for current events to change the court size, Plus, I have not heard anything on the either the radio or TV.

    Thank you for sharing and inquiring.

    ,

  • #74275

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    Does the Constitution specify the size of the Supreme Court?

    No. Article III of the Constitution gives Congress the power to fix the number of Justices

    Size of the Court

    The United States Constitution does not specify the size of the Supreme Court. Article III of the Constitution gives Congress the power to fix the number of Justices.

    The Judiciary Act of 1789 called for the appointment of six Justices. As the country grew geographically, Congress increased the number of Justices to correspond with the growing number of judicial circuits: the court was expanded to seven members in 1807, nine in 1837 and ten in 1863.

    At the request of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, Congress passed the Judicial Circuits Act (1866) which provided that the next three Justices to retire would not be replaced; thus, the size of the Court would eventually reach seven by attrition. Consequently, one seat was removed in 1866 and a second in 1867. However, this law did not play out to its fruition, for in the Judiciary Act of 1869,[7] also known as the Circuit Judges Act, the number of Justices was again set at nine, where it has since remained.

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to expand the Court in 1937; his plan would have allowed the President to appoint one additional Justice for each existing Justice who reached the age of 70 years 6 months but did not retire from the bench, until the Court reached a maximum size of fifteen justices. Ostensibly, the proposal was made to ease the burdens of the docket on the elderly judges, but the President’s actual purpose was to add Justices who would favor his New Deal policies, which had been regularly ruled unconstitutional by the Court.[8] This plan, usually called the “Court-packing Plan,” failed in Congress. The Court, however, gradually acquiesced to Roosevelt’s New Deal programs and thereby removed the President’s need to alter it. Within six years eight of the nine justices either retired or died, allowing Roosevelt to appoint eight Justices total to the Supreme Court (second only to George Washington) and to promote one Associate Justice to Chief Justice.[9]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States

    All The Best

  • #74273

    Genio
    Participant

    I think Congress has the authority to pass a law expending the Supreme Court to 11.

    I think the law maybe unconstitutional based on age discrimation to set a mandatory retirement age. Yet, Congress would have authority to pass a constitutional admendment to set the term limit based on age which could not be overturned. Currently, there is no time limit.

    Article III, Section 1, states that justices of the Supreme Court and other federal judges ” shall hold thier offices during good Behaviour.”

    All The Best

  • #74271

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi

    Why can’t the President veto part of a bill without rejecting all of it?

    Article I, Section 7, specifies only that a President can return a bill with his objections to Congress, and it gives Congress the opportunity to override that veto with a vote of two-thirds of both houses. In 1995, Congress enacted a line-item veto, by which the president could veto only some provisions of a bill. But in Clinton v. City of New York, 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that the line-item veto violated the Constitution’s requirement that bills be presented in their entirety for the president’s signature or veto.

    All The Best

  • #74269

    Genio
    Participant

    Good Morning,

    Is the Grand Jury a constitutional right?

    Yes, The fifth admendment states, ” No person shall be held to answer for a capital crime, other wise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia; when in actual service in time of war or public danger.”.

    All The Best

  • #74267

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    Is the Fifth Admendment protection from self-incrimination limited to testimony given in a courtroom?

    No, In Miranda v. Arizona(1966), the Supreme Court ruled that the safeguard against self incrimination also applies when the police take suspects in for questioning. Before any question can begin, police must explain to suspects that they have the right to remain silent, that thier statements may be used against them, and that they have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. These are known as the Miranda rights.

    All The Best.

  • #74265

    David L. Friend
    Participant

    Do you have any trivia on the ‘privligies and immunities’ clause from the 14th Amendment? I always wondered why the Supreme Court hasn’t revisited it’s rulings during Reconstruction limiting the interpretation of that clause.

  • #74263

    Genio
    Participant

    Yes,

    Stay tuned until tommorrow. This answer is very interesting. Thank you for the question and the participation.

    All The Best

  • #74261

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    In 1867, a Nevada statute required a $1 tax on every person leaving the state by railroad, stage coach, or other vehicles engaged or employed in the business of transporting passengers for hire. Is this tax allowed?

    No, Crandall v. Nevada, 73 U.S. 35 (1867) was a U.S. Supreme Court case which established that a state cannot inhibit a person from leaving the state by taxing them because of “privileges and immunities” from the 14th Admendment, The opinion of the Court was written by Justice Miller. Chief Justice Chase and Justice Clifford concurred. The Court reasoned that the right to travel is a fundamental right. The people of the United States constitute one nation, and a State may not impose a tax on a person for the “privilege” of leaving the State or for passing through it.

    I wounder if anyone who commutes up north every notices that no tolls either on 95 or the bridges are in the direction of leaving the states, For example, we drive into Delaware then we pay the toll.

    All The Best

  • #74259

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    The Twenty-fourth Amendment prohibits poll taxes in federal elections; does it also prohibit them in the state elections?

    No. The Twenty-fourth Admendment applies only to federal elections. However, the Supreme Court in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) decided that discrimination based on economic status violated the “equal protection clause” of the 14th Amendment. As a result, poll taxes are no longer permitted in either state of federal elections.

    This triva question was complex. I didn’t know what a poll tax was. A poll tax maybe a user fee/tax levied on a citizen to vote in an election. The tax was often raised up or down to prevent certain citizens from different economic status the access to vote.

    All The Best

  • #74257

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    Must all congressional districts be the same size?

    Yes. However, for many years state legislatures gave more representation to large, sparsely populated rural districts than to smaller, heavily populated urban districts.

    In Baker v Carr (1962), the Supreme Court ruled that all legislative districts must be equal in population, on the grounds that qualified voters were no more or less so because they lived in cities or on farms.

    The Supreme Court used the notion of “by the people of the several states” in Article 1 along with the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection clause” to require that congressional districts contain roughly the same number of people.

    All The Best
    I hope you all enjoyed my knowledge of the 14th Admendment. Stay Healthy.

  • #74255

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    I like this one especially after hearing the Sec. Of State encouraging more woman to participate in government.

    How could Jeannette Rankin have served in Congress before the Nineteenth Admendment (woman suffrage) was adopted?

    The Constitution never prohibited women from voting or serving in public office, leaving that for the states to decide. Several western states adopted woman suffrage in advance of the constitutional amendment.

    Jeannette Rankin had been a leader in the movement to gain woman’s right to vote in Montana, and in 1916, after the state changed its laws, she was elected to Congress.

    After 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment prohibited the states from barring women from voting.

    All The Best

  • #74253

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi,

    Does the Constitution stipulate that there must be twelve jurors on every jury?

    No.

    The Constitution simply refers to an impartial jury and does not specify how many jurors must serve.

    For many years, it was assumed that since the English had a tradition of 12 person juries at the time of the Constitution was adopted, that was the number required.

    But, in Williams v. Flordia(1970), the Supreme Court called 12 a “historical accident” and said that a jury’s size could vary according to the seriousness of the crime.

    All The Best:

  • #74251

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    Is it legal for the police to stop and frisk someone even without evidence that the person has committed a crime?

    Yes, The fourth admendment prohibts “unreasonable search adn seizure.”

    In Terry v. Ohio (1968), the Supreme Court decided that when the police see someone acting in a suspicious manner, it is permissible for them to search that person.

    This “Stop and Frisk” action in known as a Terry stop.

    All The Best

  • #74249

    Genio
    Participant

    Hi and Good Morning,

    Is it possible to sue a member of Congress for libel or slander?

    Not for anything said in debate in the Senate or House. The “Speech and Debate clause” of the Article I, section 6, protects anything they might say to uphold the right of Congress to engage freely in debate.

    However, the Supreme Court ruled in Hutchinson v. Proxmire (1979) that the clause protects members only in actions that are essential to legislative process, not what they publish in thier newsletters and in other forums.

    ALL The Best

  • #74247

    Genio
    Participant

    Sorry for missing today.

    I guess that I just need a vaction day.

    All The Best.

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