Ep. 40: U.S. Constitution – Article I, Section 10 – Limits on State Powers

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Ep. 40: U.S. Constitution - Article I, Section 10 - Limits on State Powers
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Show Notes

In this episode, Jason wraps up the discussion on Article I finishing with Section 10 dealing with the limits to state powers. These limits are to protect individual rights as well as ensure that states do not undermine or work against the powers given to the central government.

[1]“No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

[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.”

[3] “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

  • Records of the Federal Convention (see vol 1, vol 2, vol 3).
  • U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Clause 1
    • All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation
  • Edmund Randolph, Virginia delegate to the Constitution Convention about Virginia’s own passage of a Bill of Attainder:
    • “There is one example of this violation in Virginia, of a most striking and shocking nature–an example so horrid, that, if I conceived my country would passively permit a repetition of it, dear as it is to me, I would seek means of expatriating myself from it. A man, who was then a citizen, was deprived of his life thus: from a mere reliance on general reports, a gentleman in the House of Delegates informed the house, that a certain man (Josiah Philips) had committed several crimes, and was running at large, perpetrating other crimes. He therefore moved for leave to attaint him; he obtained that leave instantly; no sooner did he obtain it, than he drew from his pocket a bill ready written for that effect; it was read three times in one day, and carried to the Senate. I will not say that it passed the same day through the Senate; but he was attainted very speedily and precipitately, without any proof better than vague reports. Without being confronted with his accusers and witnesses, without the privilege of calling for evidence in his behalf, he was sentenced to death, and was afterwards actually executed. Was this arbitrary deprivation of life, the dearest gift of God to man, consistent with the genius of a republican government? Is this compatible with the spirit of freedom? This, sir, has made the deepest impression on my heart, and I cannot contemplate it without horror.”
  • Concept and language of Article 10, Clause 2 originates from the Articles of Confederation Article 6:
    • “No state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the united states in congress assembled, with any king, prince or state, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by congress, to the courts of France and Spain.”
  • Rufus King, Maryland delegate to the Constitutional Convention describes the reason Article 10, Clause 2 was proposed:
    • Mr. King, in speaking on the Inspection Laws (Sect.1o, ISt Article),said this was introduced on account of the State of Virginia, where it is the custom to lodge the tobacco in public warehouses for inspection and for safety; that the owner receives a certificate rom the inspecting officerof the quantity of tobacco lodged there; that the State insures it, while there remaining, from fire and other accidents; that these certificates pass from one to another as bank-bills, and that the tobacco is delivered to the person who demands it, on presenting the certificate; that, on receiving it, he pays the charge of inspection and storage, and a premium of insurance, which goes into the public treasury, and amounts to a duty on exportation.”
  • Concept and language of Article 10, Clause 3 originates from the Articles of Confederation Articles 6 & 9
  • Duty of Tonnage – a charge for a ship for entering, docking, or leaving port

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