網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

SECTION 4.-REMOVAL BY IMPEACHMENT

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery or other higher crimes and misdemeanors.

113. Causes for Impeachment.-Judging by the cases of impeachment on record, “high crimes and misdemeanors” include, besides treason and bribery, the abuse of power, intemperance, violence, and neglect. Mere laxity or incompetence in office is not sufficient cause. For offenses not impeachable, unless the President dismisses officers guilty of such, there is no remedy.

114. Civil Officers.—The term “civil officers” is here used in distinction from army and navy officers, who are tried for offenses by courts-martial (see p. 71). Nor does the term include Senators and Representatives. They are amenable to their respective houses.

Questions on the Section.--On what authority are the President's messages to Congress based? When may he adjourn Congress? On what occasions may he call extra sessions? What is the President's most common duty? Who may be impeached?

ARTICLE III.—THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

SECTION 1.—THE UNITED STATES COURTS

The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish. The judges, both of the Supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior; and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

115. Their Necessity.—One of the fatal defects of the Articles of Confederation was that the United States

had no judiciary. The laws of Congress were applied and interpreted by thirteen different and independent courts, from which much contradiction and confusion proceeded. Frequently the laws were not enforced at all, or-what was worse-power not granted by them was usurped by the rulers. Accordingly a Federal judiciary was established. It was made coördinate with the legislative and executive departments, and independent of them in everything except the appointment of judges. It is not possible for Congress or the President to usurp powers not granted them by the Constitution, nor can the States suspend the operations of the Union. Montesquieu once said: “There is no liberty if the judiciary be not separated from the legislative and executive powers." His ideal was realized in the Constitution of the United States.

116. The United States Courts. In addition to the Supreme Court, which is ordained and established by the Constitution, Congress has, by law, created the following inferior courts: The district courts, the circuit courts, the circuit courts of appeals, and the Court of Claims.

117. The District Courts.-Every State has at least one district court and the larger ones have two or three. Usually there is a judge appointed for each district; but in a few instances one judge presides over two district courts. There are about eighty district courts in the United States.

118. Circuit Courts. There are nine circuit courts, each including within its circuit a number of district courts. The circuit courts are regularly presided over by two or three judges; and to each circuit is allotted a

justice of the Supreme Court, who must hold a court at least once in two years in that circuit.

119. The Circuit Courts of Appeals.—To relieve the Supreme Court from an excessive number of appeals, the circuit courts of appeals were established in 1891. In each of the nine circuits two or more of the circuit and district judges hold such a court jointly.

120. The Supreme Court.—The Supreme Court holds its annual sessions in the Capitol at Washington, beginning the second Monday in October. It consists at present of nine justices—one chief justice and eight associate justices—any six of whom constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The decision of a majority of the quorum stands as the decision of the court, although frequently the dissenting opinion of a member or members of the minority is handed down.

121. The Court of Claims.—As it is a rule of governments that they cannot be sued without their consent, Congress, in 1855, established the Court of Claims, in which suits may be brought against the United States. If this court holds a claim to be valid Congress may, and usually does, make an appropriation to pay the claim.

122. Other Courts.—Other courts have been established by Congress, but their jurisdiction does not affect the whole United States. The courts of the District of Columbia have jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters in the District.

123. The Territorial Courts. These consist of a supreme court, district courts, and, in some instances, county courts, presided over by the judge of the district in which the county is located.

124. Consular Courts.—These are held by our consuls in foreign countries. The cases consist of trivial matters arising between Americans and foreigners in business transactions, of the administration of estates of Americans dying within the consular district, and of the settlement of disputes between officers of American vessels and their crews.

125. Appointment of Judges.—All judges of the United States courts proper are appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate, and they hold office during good behavior, which means for life. Any judge having served ten years may resign at the age of seventy, and receive full pay for life. The term of office in the District of Columbia and the Territories is four years.

126. Compensation. The compensation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is $13,000 per annum; of the associate justices, $12,500; of the circuit judges, $7,000; and of the district judges, $6,000.

Questions on the Section.—What court was established by the Constitution? Name the inferior courts of the United States. Name the other courts formed by Congress. Why must Congress not diminish the salaries of judges during their continuance in office? Why does the prohibition not extend to an increase?

SECTION 2.- JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES

COURTS

CLAUSE 1. The judicial powers shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;—to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls;—to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;—to controversies between two or more States;-between a State and citizens of another State; between citizens of different States; be

tween citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.

Cl. 2. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

Cl. 3. The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.

127. Test for Jurisdiction.—The jurisdiction of the United States courts is determined by the nature of the case or by the nature of the parties. If the nature of the case involves the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States, jurisdiction is established no matter who the parties may be. If the nature of the parties involves ambassadors, consuls, the United States, two or more States, citizens of different States, etc., jurisdiction is established no matter what the nature of the case may be.

128. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.—The original jurisdiction of this court is confined to matters affecting foreign countries and the States of our own country. Necessarily such cases are very important. Its appellate jurisdiction extends to all the inferior United States courts, as well as to State courts in certain cases. Appeals from a State court are allowed only when the Supreme Court of that State has rendered a decision that is claimed to be in violation of the Federal Constitution or some Federal law or treaty.

The function of pronouncing upon the constitutionality

« 上一頁繼續 »