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 Bill of Rights written by James Madison comprises the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution and is found on every copy of the Constitution. Readers can access a copy of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights on the website of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.Full Answer >
There are many reasons for why the U.S. Constitution has endured for over 200 years, but the most important is that it was designed to change and grow with time. Article Five, which details the process for amendments, was created by the Founding Fathers to allow the Constitution to be updated as necessary.Full Answer >
The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights and were passed by Congress on Sept. 25, 1789 and ratified on Dec. 15, 1791. As of 2014, there are 27 amendments to the Constitution.Full Answer >
Enumerated powers are the specific responsibilities granted to the U.S. Congress by the U.S. Constitution. They are found in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution.Full Answer >