Article 1 Of The Constitution

Explaining what Article I of the Constitution of the United States means. Defining Congress, Legislature, House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Constitution is a founding document for the United States, but what exactly does the first Article mean? Article I establishes the 3 branches of the government.

Section 1 establishes the name of the Legislature to be the Congress a two-part body made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Section 2 begins to define the House of Representatives, which is known as the lower house of Congress. Each member must be at least 25 years old, a citizen of the United States for 7 years. The people elect members every two years. Each state has at least one representative but many have more based on their states size. The Speaker of the House is chosen by the members.

Section 3 defines the second half of the Congress the Senate, the upper house of Congress. Each member must be at least 30 years old, a citizen for 9 years. Each state has two Senators no matter what the population is. The members are in the Senate for a 6-year term, and were originally appointed by the legislator of the state they were from. The Vice President is the leader of the Senate, and only votes if there is a tie.

Section 4 states that each state can establish their own method of electing members of the Congress. Also it requires that Congress has to meet at least once a year.

Section 5 says that the Congress must have a certain amount of members present in order to meet, and that fines may be set for members who are not in attendance. Stating that members may be expelled, the house must keep a journal to record of their information, and both houses have to give permission to each other in order to adjourn.

Section 6 states that Congress will be paid, they cannot be detained while going to and from Congress, also that they cannot hold another office while they are in Congress.

Section 7 gives the details of how bills can become laws. All bills for raising money has to start out in the House. Bills must pass through both house in the exact same form, then they are sent to the President. The President can either accept the bill to become law by signing it or he can veto it. If he does neither for ten days it becomes law but if Congress sends the bill to the President and then adjourn after 10 days it does not become law. Once it is vetoed the bill is returned to Congress, and if it passes the house with a two-thirds majority, it becomes law over the veto.

Section 8 defines the powers of Congress. They can establish and maintain an army or navy, also to establish post offices, courts, regulate commerce between the states, declare war, and to raise money. Within this section is the Elastic Clause allowing Congress to pass any law necessary for the carrying out of the previously listed powers.

Section 9 gives the limits of Congress. This prohibits legal items such as habeas corpus, bills of attainder, and the ex post facto laws. There can be no laws that give preference of one state over another, no money can be taken from the treasury without a duly passed law, also no title of nobility shall ever be established by the government.

Section 10 prohibits the states from several things. The states cannot make their own money, declare war, or do most of the things that are prohibited by Congress in Section 9. Also they cannot tax goods from other states, or have navies.

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