According to Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, bills of attainder and ex post facto laws are unconstitutional. Bills of attainder declare an individual or a group of individuals guilty of crime and assess punishment without a trial. Ex post facto laws make an activity illegal retroactively.Know More
England used bills of attainder commonly during the 18th century, applying them to both Great Britain and the British colonies. It was anger over some of these acts that motivated the colonists to begin the American Revolution. The writers of the constitution made it illegal for Congress to enact such bills in the new nation. James Madison believed bills of attainder and ex post facto laws to be contrary to the new country's underlying social compact and that the people of the United States were wary of public policy that so easily fluctuated.
Ex post facto laws are bills that change the legal status of an activity with retroactive results. In declaring the activity illegal, such laws give the government the right to convict a person of the crime, even though it was committed before the activity became illegal. Other ex post facto laws increase the penalty for a crime, allowing the government to try the individual with the new, stricter law rather than the one in effect when he committed the crime. The Constitution protects citizens from such laws.Learn more about The Constitution
The Federalist Papers were written as a series of letters and essays in support of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. These articles were written from 1787 to 1788 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.Full Answer >
In the United States, the concept of nullification promotes the idea of states' rights in its asserting that a federal law can be resisted or nullified by a state government if that law is found to be one which is not specifically outlined in the U.S. Constitution. The underlying premise behind nullification is that the state should prevail in any disagreement between federal and state power. Supporters of nullification believe that the individual states maintain the right to declare a federal law as unconstitutional.Full Answer >
The U.S. Constitution was ratified through votes in the individual state legislatures. According to Article VII of the Constitution, it would go into effect when nine of the 13 state legislatures approved the document.Full Answer >
"In order to form a more perfect union" is a direct quote from the preamble of the U.S. Constitution that helps establish the purpose of the document. Prior to its independence, the United States was still a union of states, but "in order to form a more perfect union," the Constitution was created.Full Answer >