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美国宪法原文和解读(一)

2016-02-15 12:00 纠错

注:美国宪法用较早的英语写成,不易理解。所以蓝色斜体字是对上一部分的解释和说明,希望可以帮助大家很好的理解美国宪法

The Constitution of the United States

The Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Preamble declares that“ We the people” are the authority for the Constitution (unlike the Articles of Confederation, which derived their authority from the states) The Preamble also sets out the purposes of the Constitution.

Article I (Legislative Branch)

The first part of the Constitution, Article I, deals with the organization and powers of lawmaking branch of the national government, the Congress.

Section 1.Legislative Powers All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2.House of Representatives Clause1: Composition and Election of Members. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.

Each state has the power to decide who may vote for members of Congress. Within each state, those who may vote for state legislators may also vote for members of the House of Representatives (and, under the Seventeenth Amendment, for U.S senators) When the Congress was written, nearly all states limited voting rights to white male property owners or taxpayers at least twenty-one years old. Subsequent amendments granted voting power to African men, all women, and everyone at least eighteen years old.

Clause2: Qualifications. No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Each member of the House must be at least twenty-five years old, a citizen of United States for at least seven years, and a resident of the state in which she or he is elected.

Clause3: Appointment of Representatives and Direct Taxes Representatives [and direct Taxes] (Modified by the Sixteenth Amendment) shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, [which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other persons.] The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

A state‘s representation in the House is based on the size of its population. Population is counted in each decade’s census, after which Congress reapportions House seats. Since early in the twentieth century, the number of seats has been limited to 435.

Clause4.Vacancies. When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

The executive authority is the state‘s governor. When a vacancy occurs in the House, the governor calls a special election to fill it.

Clause5. Officers and impeachment The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

The power to impeach is the power to accuse members of the executive or judicial branch of wrongdoing or abuse of power. Once a bill of impeachment is issued, the Senate holds the trial.

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