31 January 2020

An End of the Month Check In w/ MB: Word on the Street; TPC News; Miscellany & What-not

Greetings, fearless readers, and I sure hope it's lovely out there. And speaking of lovely, how 'bout the weather today? Just delightful. 

The Piedmont Chronicles

Your Source for the REAL Story
Let's dig right in.

Word on the Street
So I heard this about a week ago & figured it was just B.S., but now after talking with a few folks these last few days it is looking as if the one & only JC Henderson may very well declare for Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Newton Co.

If this is indeed the case - and it's looking more & more like it is - then this speaks to a phenomenon this writer, and others, have been aware of for at least a couple of years.

There's a growing rift on the Democratic side of the aisle here in Newton Co. You've got the current Chairman, Marcello Banes, clearly aligned with the Stephanie Lindsey/Divine 9/NewRock Legal Society crowd, and then you've got ole JC with his 4th District political machine & ward heelers, the Ministers' Union & our ole pal Wm T. "Tommy" Criag, Esq. (as we're told).

The GOPers in the home county could have a real opportunity to exploit this divide if just the right candidate could be found for Chair (think along the lines of a Ken Malcolm) & if so - then a real opportunity may exist for them to take back control of the Chairmanship.

Such interesting dynamics. Politics - you gotta love it!

TPC News
So, I can't lie, I'm feeling pretty good about things TPC at the moment. 

For starters, we had the most posts in a month (33 w/ this one)that we've had since April of 2019. 

And the big one - the most page views in a month since July of 2018! 

Folks, I'm so happy about this. And it couldn't have been done without our crack, top-notch team of contributors & writers - Kayla Leasure, Perrin Lovett, Ellis Millsaps, Ryan Ralston & last, but certainly not least, Bess Tuggle
. Thanks so much, guys. 

Miscellany & What-not 

- So Sam Hay has it out for Stan Edwards, I'm told. I sure hope ole Sammy Boy doesn't forget about me, though! But seriously, I thought the decision to close down the VFD on 142 was made in 2016, before Stan was elected, but I might be wrong on that. Regardless, it seems as if some folks have been piling on. But, those insurance premium increases, right? Man, that's rough...

- Got to tip my hat to the Alice Queen & the Newton Citizen. They've been doing some pretty good reporting lately.

- Speaking of the "other" papers, what's up w/ the Covington News? Those last few papers have been awfully thin...

- And finally, it's almost time for The Super Bowl! Who you got? Chiefs or the 49ers?

Okay for now, buckaroos, until next time. 

- MB McCart 

30 January 2020

[MB McCart] - Following Up on the Proposed Refugee Shelter Situation

Last week I'd written an article in which I discussed the proposed refugee shelter on Turner Lake Circle that the Covington Planning Commission had previously voted unanimously to deny.

In that piece, I wrote the following:

What may have gotten lost in the shuffle with this situation (and also in part due to the higher interest given to the proposed apartments on Hwy 36), however, was that the owner of this property had to also sign off on this petition. That owner?

Ricky Mock, of Mock Properties I LLLP.

After that piece came out, I had a few folks tell me I was either being unfair, or was simply flat-out wrong. I'd said that Ricky Mock was the owner of the property & had signed off on the paperwork. 


So, obviously, I was correct (see above).

However, as I am ever after the REAL Story, I decided to follow up & reached out to Mr. Mock.

On Tuesday morning I had about a 5 minute chat with the man I got the following information according to Mr. Mock:

- there was never a signed lease between Mock & the proposed tenant.

- Mock had purportedly told the lady who was trying to do this: "I don't the city is gonna go for this...don't think you'll get approved."

- Mock also said the lady was not forthcoming with information, and that he did not have any knowledge of the refugee aspect of this shelter.


As always, thanks for reading.

- MB McCart 



29 January 2020

[Ryan Ralston] - AMERItocracy

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp made public his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  
One recommendation he asked of lawmakers is to cut the funds to public defender offices throughout the state by more than $3 million—and increase funds to prosecutors by the same amount. 
More than $2 million of the anticipated “savings” would come from a hiring freeze placed on vacant positions to public defender offices - in other words - let’s ensure there is no reprieve for overworked public defenders and staff. They can - and will - do more with less. 
Governor Kemp’s opposition to adequately fund public defender offices guarantees a reduced proficiency in the state’s capacity to provide constitutional mandated counsel to those who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. Yes, even the indigent citizen is entitled to legal representation. 

The beauty of the US Constitution, it does not differentiate between socioeconomic classes. We are all guaranteed the right to an attorney.  
The $3 million slash is in addition to more than $1.2 million in cutbacks to public defender offices Governor Kemp recommended for the current fiscal year. 
Governor Kemp’s 2021 budget proposal would allocate $2 million in funds to recruit and retain prosecutors. 
The notion that the budget for public defender offices is on the chopping block but funding for more prosecutors – to include more for the DJJ – is requested, while the state offers hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to the film industry, is ridiculous. In other words, the scales of justice are being tipped in favor of the state.
Yes, this is the same film industry that – despite the legislature’s generosity – is threatening to boycott Georgia for its “heartbeat” bill. 
Yes, this is the same bill the state will spend millions of taxpayer dollars defending in court. 
Why would our government want more of its citizens under sentence and on probation?  
If you answered for purposes of generating revenue, you’d be correct. 
This proposal is lauded by some within our legislature – namely Republicans - as a win-win for taxpayers, because it saves money and does not take away from other agencies
What the what? 
And who will continue to suffer? The exploited indigent described above. 
Is saving money more important than protecting your constitutional rights? Of course not, but you’re going to have a hard time convincing the legislature of this fact – especially the ones that lean right.  
What the legislature is acknowledging with the acceptance of these budget cuts is their lack of foresight. They are willing to trade short-term savings for a more expensive long-term reckoning. Rest assured it will come. History has an uncanny way of repeating itself. 
Guess what guys and girls, you can save more than $3 million annually by demanding criminal justice reform and not wasting taxpayer funds prosecuting victimless crimes. 
Governor Kemp also stated Georgia is “under siege” by violent street gangs. He promised more resources for law enforcement but wants to cut funding to those who defend the constitutional rights of all accused individuals. Yes, even gang members are entitled to legal representation. 
The beauty of the US Constitution, it does not differentiate between Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Aryan Brotherhood, Ghost Face Gangsters, etc. All are guaranteed the right to an attorney. 
After reading crime statistics published by Jason Pye of FreedomWorks, which contradict Governor Kemp’s assertion street gangs murder, rape, and rob with impunity in Georgia, it makes one wonder, why the sudden need to cut funding for public defender offices? After all, violent crime decreased in Georgia between 2010 and 2017. 
If we’re going to have more law enforcement officials and prosecutors to combat the threat street gangs pose, why not have enough public defenders to ensure the constitutional rights of the accused are protected. 
That’s what public defender offices do. They protect your constitutional rights. 
Governor Kemp touts his proposed budget cuts to streamline state government and follow-through on campaign promises. 
Is this the most fiscally responsible way to do it? History tells us otherwise. 
Addressing the subject of street gangs is an important social issue. Those accused of committing crimes in the furtherance of a street gang face harsh prison and probation sentences. The demand for proper legal counsel is just as necessitating. The whole there’s-a-tough-new-sheriff-in-town mentality to address this problem is dated. It regresses any progress made over the past decade within the criminal justice system as it relates to protecting a defendant’s constitutional rights. Incarceration and probation are not innovative ideas. They do not deter violent crime. Even crime committed by gang members. Yet, the legislature wants more taxpayer dollars for both. Sing after me boys and girls, “The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round…”
A politician making the claim they are tough on violent crime, when crime statistics show violent offenses are on the decline, might get them re-elected, but it does nothing for addressing the actual issues faced by our state and the criminal justice system. Facts are stubborn things. 
Governor Kemp’s proposed budget is over $28 billion. Georgia has more than $2.5 billion in reserve funds, yet the governor feels cutting $3 million from the budget of public defender offices will make or break the state budget.  
The 6th Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the rights of criminal defendants - including the right to a public trial without unnecessary delay – and the right to a lawyer. It is not followed by “…if you can afford one.” 
The right to legal counsel is ingrained in the American psyche. You can likely recite your Miranda warnings verbatim: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you….” 
Why is this so difficult for a politician to understand? 
Public defender offices are aligned with constitutional mandates. Repeated a little louder for those in the back, CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATES. They protect the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS of those unable to hire private representation. The aforementioned exploited indigent. 
Why would the state legislature consider budget cuts to public defender offices a good idea? 
There are other areas in which the state can streamline government efficiency and save $3 million. 
For one. Eliminate the death penalty. Doing so removes the need for the office of the capital offender. That saves well over $3 million annually. 
If the legislature does cut the budget for public defender offices, while simultaneously hiring more prosecutors, it would delay justice, not make it more efficient. 
Yes, more arrests will be made, and more cases added to criminal dockets, but without enough public defenders to represent the accused, a trial cannot proceed. Again, it’s one of those pesky rights guaranteed by the constitution. 
This poses a potential problem of logistics for officials on a local level, too. Jails will be required to house the accused longer – while awaiting trial - which increases the tax burden on the citizen. It also raises concerns about the whole presumption of innocence thing, and according to the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution, our right that: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” 
Governor Kemp’s goal to reduce gang activity will increase criminal prosecutions that require more public defenders, not less
In fiscal year 2019, public defender offices throughout the state received 144,224 new cases. That is a 20% increase from 2017.  The state can only prosecute these individuals as fast as public defender offices can represent them. This proposed lack of sufficient funding for public defender offices can lead to individuals appealing their conviction, citing ineffective counsel. If a new trial is granted, it would cost taxpayers more money to retry the case. 
Having adequate staff at public defender offices is essential to the integrity of the criminal justice system. Anything less is a disgrace. 
The law is now something that is being done to the people. It is adversarial in nature. These proposed budget cuts limit the people’s ability to defend themselves from their own government.  
Public defender offices are being asked to defend the constitutional rights of their clients and absorb the inefficiency of state government. 

Why both? 

28 January 2020

[Perrin Lovett] - The Seven Laws and the Turnaround of Education 2020

In 1886, John Milton Gregory propounded Seven Laws of Teaching. These have, today, been universally dismissed by the credential-heavy, intelligence-absent cabal that is state education.

In their defense, whatever else they may be, the students today are eager to learn, at least in the very early years. That’s one of two shining points of pride in the school systems, the other being the dedication of most of the teachers. The shame enters with the handcuffing of the teachers and the deliberate dulling of the adventurous young brains. The system has departed, willfully, from the rules with predictable results.

Here follows a brief summary examination of Gregory’s Laws versus modern reality.

Law One. The teacher possesses complete knowledge of the subject and teaches from literal authority. From thence, the knowledge passes from leader to pupil without diffidence or degradation. Again, today, the teachers generally know and the students, initially, want to understand. The disconnect comes from a foremost emphasis on pedagogy, on the systematization of everything of procedure at the expense of everything material, wherein quality control kills quality.

Law Two. Keep the class centered on the lesson. Do not proceed without the full attention of the students. This is today, completely lost after maybe the fifth grade. So many years of command and control have turned off the child’s mind at the worst time - when hormones commence natural interference. Strategically, all is already lost. Tactically, more attention is paid to phones and games and other instruments of immediate satisfaction than to the lecturing or questioning instructor. The repeated Socratic inquiry is met with blank stares and grunts of “Huh? What?” 

Law Three. Communicate clearly in a language known to both student and teacher. This is a challenge under any circumstances, given the gap between the ages and experiences of the two groups. It is made much worse today by the general loss of literacy skills (reading and writing) and SPEAKING skills among both groups. In the near future, any instruction may be impossible as the grunting and distracted students of today attempt to educate future generations of even more confused grunters.

Law Four. Through easy, natural steps, build new knowledge upon that which is already known. We used to call this cumulative learning or, simply, building blocks. Today, there is, at just about any given level, nothing upon which to build upon. Without Sally, Dick, and Jane, there is no progression to Bunyan, Shakespear, or Flaubert. Without 2+2, there is no quadratic expression nor slope differentiation.

Law Five. Using the child’s natural curiosity, push him to explore and understand the truth as, or even before it is presented. Channel the energies, so to speak. Elementary-aged children still constantly exhibit the natural inclination to gain the wonders of the universe. However, in a system bent on crushing such possibility and replacing it with fear and mediocre complacency, there is little to channel even if there is a direction in which to flow.

Law Six. Mandate the reproduction of acquired knowledge, by the student, in a manner of her expression and with words of her own. The children should make the subject matter, whatever it is, their own. This step requires subject matter, energy, interest, and common language, all woefully lacking today.

Law Seven. Review, review, REVIEW! Build what follows upon what already exists and is plainly understood. This is replaced today with TEST, TEST, TEST! While a test, generally at the end of a study, serves to confirm understanding, we have reached the point where the test itself is the course of study. The French concept of le Bac comes to mind as a proper example - the finality of enterprise with confirmation of success or suggestion of needful remediation. In American schools, there’s the teacher’s biology test, the local system’s assessment of skills gained from the teacher’s biology class, the state’s standardized test of the same, outside standardized testing of the same, and more, in addition to testing of the teacher’s test. And, of the teacher. Test overload, with or more likely without underlying factual comprehension.

Why are these laws out of fashion? Simply put, it’s because they are aimed at literal education. That’s not the goal of modern schools. They serve two purposes: 1) fostering listless conformity, and 2) providing make-work for nit-to-mid wits. As when any industry descends from an enterprise into a racket, two classes of people evolve - doers and parasites. Given enough time, the parasites take over, outnumbering and overpowering the doers. In education, the doers are the teachers. The parasites are the educrats, administrators, and hangers-on.

Nigh on two years ago, I regaled you with news of a new parasitical office in Georgia education:

In Georgia, they suck so bad that, in 2017, the Gold Dome Goon Gaggle gifted the people the State School Turnaround Office. This new agency is more than an admission of failure. It’s also a makework program! (Peruse their website). Therein they state six focus features, which I herein address and [render to plain meaning]:

Prioritization for grants - [Gettin’ that graft on!]

Support from an Improvement Specialist - [Makework]

Ga DOE Resources - [Wasting tax money]

Support with securing and coordinating parent & community resource - [Wasting more money]

Leadership development - [Wasting graft money on makework]

Support in implementing a school-driven improvement plan - [This nebulous “plan” is the only point arguably related to improving education. Why is its implementation dead last on the list?]

Only a year old, the Office is already “helping” the failing schools of Richmond County. Well, not all of them. I think the magnet schools and an IB program aside, all RC schools - by an honest metric - are failing or failed. (“All” means 33 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 8 high schools, the 4 magnets, and 3 “special” schools). That’s a total of 59 schools in trouble, minus a few exceptions. But, the State will just help the ones on the select list of special failures. Oops. Not all of them either, it seems. For now, only six out of thirteen schools will be “helped.” Screw those other kids!

It turns out that I was a little overly optimistic. The mantra was really: screw all the kids! The office only attempted to “help” less than twenty schools state-wide, out of 105 that were nominally eligible (out of many, many more that are technically failed). But, it seems that predictably all the grafting and make-working got in the way, to the point that the office has been closed. Further, the chief turnaround make-worker has resigned under a cloud of impropriety and incongruence. Imagine that. These news items are just as well; I again looked through the office’s website and I cannot find a single thing that relates to education. However, under the “Meet the Team” tab I did discover confirmation of Tom Ironsides’s proclamation about the prevailing demographics in educational administration, as mentioned sarcastically in THE SUBSTITUTE. 

I also noticed several more plainly disturbing things. If you’re in the child education business, and if your partners include a likely CIA front company and some outfit with a logo strangely reminiscent of NAMBLA’s symbolism, then you may be setting up for failure. Wait a minute! That could be the new motto for the schools: Failing every child, every day, in every way! Your taxes, by the way, pay for all this nonsense. But, it doesn’t have to be like this.

What to do? Abolishing the schools comes to mind as the only sensible outcome. The Georgia public schools, as a whole - like most across the nation-shaped kind of place, are terminal and cannot be turned around. Previously, among many other solutions, I have sung the benefits of the classical education model. A glimpse of hope is provided by Magdalen College’s (NH) PARTIAL great books reading list. Instead of spending millions of dollars on failure, idiots, consultants, and bafflegab Powerpoint maps to nowhere, spend a tiny fraction of the money on books! There is no reason why a younger child cannot get a head start on some of these titles unless of course that child is trapped in a Georgia public school. Hey, y’all! Turn that around.

In Other News: 

Impeachment: the word of the week is “Supermajority.” 

Corona-virus: Wash your hands, do the math, and relax.

The Masters: 10 weeks, baby!

[MB McCart] - The Latest Mishaps With the Newton Co. Rec Department

There are things you can count on in this world. The sky will be blue; the sun will rise from the east & you can almost always count on dysfunction with the Newton Co. Wreck Rec Department. 

As this publication has been researching for a few weeks now, the Newton County Recreation Commission had, in violation of state law, unanimously approved bonuses for several members of the Recreation Department including its director.

Per a Newton Citizen article:

The bonuses totaled more than $28,500, with each employee receiving 8 percent of their annual compensation, as follows: Executive Director Ternard Turner, $6,166; Assistant Director Dwayne Mask, $5,120; Athletic Manager Horace Stroud, $4,171; Finance Manager Greg Sullivan, $4,298; Recreation Administrator Matt Taylor, $4,373; and Recreation Administrator Kale Curtis, $4,373.
 The bonuses were unanimously approved by the Recreation Commission board at a Thursday, Dec. 12, special called meeting"
[Newton Co. Chairman Marcello] Banes said the payments are not legal under the state’s gratuities clause, which states that the General Assembly shall not grant or authorize extra compensation to any public officer, agent, or contractor after the service has been rendered or the contract entered into. The clause is applied by extension to local governments, authorities and agencies.

That violation of the gratuities clause was the conclusion this writer & a couple others came to 3 weeks ago.

I can tell you that the county drug out the process of responding to this ORR request.

Also, last week, I'd reached out to the Newton Co. Public Information Office to get a public statement. This is what I received back: 

The Newton County Recreation Commission Board voted on & approved a one-time 8% pay bonus for the Newton Co. Recreation Commission staff members Turner, Mask, Curtis, Stroud, Taylor & Sullivan. The action was taken during its duly advertised Dec. 12 meeting & funding was from the current Recreation Commission Budget. The Newton County Recreation Commission, an appropriation of the Newton County Board of Commissioners, is run by the Newton County Recreation Commission Board [emphasis added].

I pretty much knew after reading this response that the BOC was going to be letting the Rec Commission hang in the wind with this one. And while the Citizen article quoted Banes as saying he was "disappointed," my sources tell me it was more like furious.

So, apparently, this obvious violation of the law is all on the Newton County Recreation Commission Board. 

They are as follows:

- John Anglin, Chair

- Timothy Price, Vice Chair
- Mike McCrorey, Sec. 
- Lanier Sims - Newton Rep 
- Sonya Carter - Covington Rep
- Tenard Turner, Director
- Dwayne Mask, Deputy Director
- Keith Davis
- Tiffani Johnson 
- Chris Edgar
- Flemmie Pitts

The kicker, though, is this: after consulting with the county attorney, county manager & Chairman Banes, the Commission Board was told that the bonuses will have to be repaid, and the board has told those six aforementioned employees that they will have to return the money.

Which begs the question - what if they don't have it? They've already spent it. Or, what if they simply just say no? Interesting... 

Well, thank goodness we saw that total sh!tshow with the Rec Commission in 2017 & 2018 and all the various power plays, paydays & tarnishing of reputations that came with it. And by all accounts it seems as if the Rec Department is really doing a great job now!

As the world turns in Covington, Newton Co., GA, USA

- MB McCart

27 January 2020

[Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children] - Hugs & Kisses > A Balanced Till

Once upon a time, not that very long ago, I had a job that I absolutely loved.

Well, I’ve had lots of jobs that I loved. My motto has always been “I will work for no one, but I can work -with- anyone.” This one was special, in its own particular way.

I had the pleasure of being a convenience store clerk for about a year and a half. It’s funny how that job works. You get your “regulars.” I knew what they wanted as soon as they stepped in the door. I shared the bottom section of a newspaper between three customers. I knew that bottom paper was going to be a return (the bottom paper almost never gets sold; sports, puzzles and comics were shared). But I also got to -know- them and our neighborhood. Cops got free coffee and soda fountain drinks. I know they weren’t supposed to accept them, but we did it anyway. Anything else for them was $1, except for bad habits. It’s the most secure feeling job I’ve ever had. Working in a law office scared me. Working in the convenience store did not. I had the 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. shift. “The morning chick.” I never requested officer assistance opening the store, but there was always one close by when I opened. (Note: I was at Mamie’s Kitchen at 5:30 to the get the biscuits, and hid my regulars’ favorites in the back of the tray with their names on the back of the bags after getting the coffee going, so I usually opened pushing 6 a.m. eating my Mamie’s grits. My boss was fine with that)

One of the major perks of my job was that I got to spoil my children.

My boys’ were all in high school by then. I had a rule, and you’ve got to remember when I say “boys’” or “kids’” I use those terms loosely. I’ve lost count of the “rent-a-kids” on my list. Come by on your way to school for breakfast. They could pick out a drink and a biscuit, a piece of candy and a fountain drink… They had a wide selection, within reason. The price was always a kiss and a hug over the counter, and it was all worth its weight in gold. There’s -nothing- that can replace that little connection with a teenage animal, and I never got bit!

My till (register) never reconciled. Each time I got a hug and kiss from one of my kids’ I threw cash in the register drawer after they left. I knew pretty much what everything cost and added to it when I paid in. I also knew (after about a year) that the whole store was wired to the gills and my boss knew every move I made from the cameras. Obviously, he approved.

New management and new rules ended up taking over and I ended up moving on, but I value our friendship (him and his family) to this day.

I also still wonder why he didn’t let his boys’ play with mine. Things that make you go “Hhhhmmmm…”

26 January 2020

[Bess Tuggle] - IMHO, The Week in Review: Two Bad Things, Two Good

I like to try to stay positive.  I try really -hard- to stay positive, but C-town and the county are making it really hard to do so this week.  

“Commissioners to explore in-house legal department” (headline in the Newton Citizen) scares the be-jeezus out of me.  Really?  That just sounds like more graft and corruption.  Why, pray tell, do they need an in-house legal department?  Do it right and you don’t need any legal help.  An in-house legal department is just another way of milking the taxpayer’s tit and putting the screws on the in-house legal department.  

Another burr in my butt, for want of better explanation, is the status of volunteer fire departments.  WHY did they get shut down?  Yes, that’s rhetorical.  I’ve bought years’ worth of “Family Portrait” fund raisers to support them.  We had a perfectly good volunteer fire department at the intersection of Highway 142 and Dixie Road.  It now has a “Fireworks” for sale banner on the front and the county is looking for somewhere to build another as our insurance rates go through the roof.   

I’ve got two people/establishments that I tip my hat to this week.

Animal Control is expanding, and they deserve every cent they get.  I was a volunteer there in my younger years (Betty Belairs) and I know how much they go through.  It’s a tough, sad job, and there’s no way to explain how tough and sad it is.  I’m looking forward to the expansion.  Spay/neuter your pets so they don’t need it anymore.

Ms. Melanie Bell gets a hat tip too.  Happy Valentines Day!  Free weddings for the day!  She’s got some large shoes to fill following Henry Baker.  I do believe my wedding is the last off-site wedding he did.  I miss “Uncle Henry,” but I think Judge Bell is filling in just fine.  

- Bess Tuggle 

25 January 2020

The US Constitution & Bill of Rights

*ed. note - w/ the ongoing saga of the impeachment trial in the US Senate it seems as if more & more people are talking about the Constitution (and a lot of these folks seemed to have never spoken about it before, or if so, spoken of it poorly). And though TPC has a dedicated page to the US Constitution, Bill of Rights & additional amendments, I figured - why not just go ahead & do a post? Here's to hoping that the two keys that created our Republic - communication & compromise - can continue while we move ever forward on our path to creating that more perfect union for the benefit of Liberty & Justice. - MBM


The United States Constitution


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.



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.


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.
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.
Representatives and direct Taxes 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 chuse 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.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.


The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.


The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.


Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.


The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.


All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.


The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;-And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.


The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.


No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.