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one which related to the apportionment of representatives in Congress and the one about the compensation of members of Congress.
Q. Do the first ten amendments bind the states?
A. No. They restrict the powers of the national government. They do not bind the states; but various of their restrictions have been applied to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Q. Does not the Constitution give us our rights and liberties?
A. No, it does not, it only guarantees them. The people had all their rights and liberties before they made the Constitution. The Constitution was formed, among other purposes, to make the people's liberties securesecure not only as against foreign attack but against oppression by their own government. They set specific limits upon their national government and upon the states, and reserved to themselves all powers that they did not grant. The Ninth Amendment declares: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Q. What protection is given to a person accused of crime under the jurisdiction of the United States?
A. The Fifth Amendment declares that no person, except one serving in the land or naval forces or the militia in time of war or public danger, can be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury. No person can be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb for the same offense. No one in a criminal case can be compelled to be a witness against himself, or be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. Private property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation. By the Eighth Amendment excessive bail and fines and cruel and unusual punishments are prohibited. The original Constitution forbids ex post facto laws and bills of attainder, limits the punishment for treason, protects the right to a writ of habeas corpus, and secures trial by jury.
Q. Is the right to speedy trial guaranteed?
A. Yes. The Sixth Amendment expressly states that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury within the district of the crime, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. He is entitled to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to be allowed to compel the attendance of witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Q. Is the right of trial by jury in civil cases also assured?
A. Yes. Amendment Seven preserves the right of trial by jury in suits of common law involving the value of more than twenty dollars.
Q. What has been the longest period during which no amendment has been added to the Constitution?
A. Sixty-one years, from 1804 to 1865. This period elapsed between the Twelfth and Thirteenth Amendments.
Q. Since the organization of the present Republican Party have more amendments been added to the Constitution during the Republican or Democratic administrations?
A. Five amendments have been added during Republican administrations; two during Democratic administrations; and two were sent to the states during Republican administrations and ratified during Democratic administrations.
QUESTIONS ON LATER AMENDMENTS
Q. How long did it take the states to ratify the income tax amendment?
A. The Sixteenth Amendment was proposed to the states on July 12, 1909, deposited with the secretary of state on July 21, ratified by the thirtysixth state on February 3, 1913, and declared ratified on February 25, 1913.
Q. It has been stated that the Prohibition Amendment was the first instance of incorporating a statute in the Constitution. Is this so? ?
A. No. Those portions of the Constitution which specifically dealt with slavery and the slave trade (Art. I, sec. 9, cl. 1; Art. IV, sec. 2, cl. 3) were both of this character. They were made obsolete by time limit in one case and the Civil War in the other.
Q. How many amendments to the Constitution have been repealed?
Q. If the Eighteenth Amendment is repealed, why is it necessary to call the new one repealing it the Twenty-first?
A. The Eighteenth Amendment will indeed remain in the Constitution, but a notation will be added to the effect that it is repealed by the Twenty-first.
Q. What is the Twentieth Amendment and when was it adopted?
A. This is the so-called "Lame Duck" Amendment, which changes the time for the beginning of the terms of the President, Vice President, and the members of Congress. The term of the President and Vice President begins on January 20, and that of members of Congress on January 3. It was adopted upon the ratification by the thirty-sixth state, January 23, 1933, and certified in effect on February 6.
Q. Why was a constitutional amendment necessary to change the date of the beginning of the terms of President, Vice President, and members of Congress? A. The Constitution fixes the terms of President and Vice President at
of senators at six years, and of representatives at two years. Any change of date would affect the terms of the incumbents. It was therefore necessary to amend the Constitution to make the change.
Q. If the President-elect dies, who becomes President at the beginning of the term for which he was elected?
A. The Twentieth Amendment provides that in this case the Vice Presidentelect shall become President.
Q. Does the Twentieth Amendment do away with the electoral college?
A. Thirteen, without respect to population or importance; but while approval is considered final, rejection is not while within the time limit, if one is prescribed by the amendment.