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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1867
Volume 133, Page 5106   View pdf image (33K)
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894 JOINT RESOLUTIONS.

Report of the
Committee.

In the judgment of your Committee it is not
safe to confer any additional powers upon Congress
touching this subject.
The latter clause of the first section declares:
" Nor shall any State deprive any person of life,
liberty or property, without due process of law,
nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the
equal protection of the law." This, and all other
provisions of the amendment, must he read in
the light of the fifth section, and of the interpre-
tation already given by Congress to the same lan-
guage in the thirteenth Amendment already
adopted, namely, section five. The Congress shall
have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation,
the provisions of this Article."
The clause under consideration, for the protec-
tion of life, liberty and property, will he found in
the declaration of rights of every State as a funda-
mental principle of free government. It is a subject
of "internal government," to regulate which
is the sole and exclusive right of every State.
The proposition to vest in Congress the power
of supervision, interference and control over State
legislation affecting the lives, liberty and property
of its citizens and persons subject to its jurisdiction,
is virtually to enable Congress to abolish the State
governments.
The second section relates to the apportionment
of representatives among the several States. This,
too, proposes to abridge the heretofore unquestion-
ed rights of the several States, and to upheave the
foundations so securely laid by our fathers.
The basis of representation fixed by Congress,
is " numbers." This scheme, says Story, " seems
to have obtained more general favor than any
other in the Convention, because it had a natural,
universal connection with the rights and liberties
of the whole people."
1 Story 403: "Every Constitution of govern-
ment in these United States has assumed as a fun"
damental principle, the right of' the people of the
State to alter, abolish or modify the form of its
own government, according to the sovereign plea-
sure of the people, in fact the people of each State



 
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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1867
Volume 133, Page 5106   View pdf image (33K)
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