With a combined experience of over 65 years, there is almost no situation we have not encountered. One example of that is in the 4th Amendment protection of freedom from search and seizures; PA’s Constitution increases the protections for its citizens in Article 1 section 8 of the PA Constitution. This is a prudential matter left to the resolution of the individual state legislatures. But that was not all—the court also said that mail-in votes had to be counted even if they lacked a postmark indicating they had been sent out on election day itself. As such, it is entirely about federal law. The Articles of Confederation were used until out current US Constitution which was created and modeled after the older Pennsylvania Constitution. As difficult as it is to believe in this day and age, there was a time when different states held their elections for President on different days. The General Assembly may be law declare what offices are incompatible. But in any event, the Constitution vests resolution of these matters with the state legislatures—not with the judiciary. PA is a state that has done just that. But Congress eventually streamlined the election process by passing legislation mandating that the Presidential election be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Any received afterward are invalid. Until last year, Pennsylvania election law only allowed ballots to be submitted through the mail if the voter demonstrated he or she would be absent on election day—the traditional absentee ballot. The next important document created was not our current US Constitution but Articles of Confederation which went into effect on March 1, 1781. But because of the matters at issue, it is highly likely the Court will take the case, regardless of whether or not it changes the final vote tally in such a manner as to decide the Presidential election. Together with The Declaration of Independence; the Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania; and the Articles of Confederation of the United States of America. This site is meant to be a primary source of information about the: text, history, and meaning of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Should you find yourself in a situation where you need legal representation you need to contact criminal defense attorneys that are going to know the law inside and out. The second article will clarify for the general public the complex procedural matters that have taken place in the case. art. The order directs the county boards, in counting ballots, to separate any and all ballots received by mail after November 3 at 8:00 pm from those received before that time. If it is, how should it be done? And everybody agrees that, of themselves, these rules are not unconstitutional. Indeed, the case boils down to the very manner in which the US Constitution structures the state legislatures as participants in Presidential elections. Overview “The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says ‘nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.’ This is a tacit recognition of a preexisting power to take private property for public use, rather than a grant of new power.”597 Eminent domain “appertains to every independent government. All parties in the case agree that these are the rules that the Pennsylvania General Assembly implemented for the Presidential election. Given this, the Court will hopefully hear the case regardless of how or if its resolution affects the outcome of the Presidential election. Mr. Reeves likewise earned his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, graduating in 2007. First, the Pennsylvania constitution of 1776 abolished property requirements for voting as well as for holding office. Rather, it goes to the very heart of the US Constitution’s vesting of such authority with the state legislatures. But all duties imposed and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States. “The public health authority of the states derive from the police powers granted by their constitutions and reserved to them by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” it says here. No member of Congress from this State, nor any person holding or exercising any office or appointment of trust or profit under the United States, shall at the same time hold or exercise any office in this State to which a salary, fees or perquisites shall be attached. You can edit this Venn Diagram using Creately diagramming tool and include in your report/presentation/website. As noted above, the Constitution vests state legislatures, and not the state judiciary, with the authority to set the rules for Presidential elections. The Constitution was ratified by the people at an election held on October 1, 1889, and on November 11, 1889, in accordance with section 8 of the Enabling Act, the president of the United States proclaimed the admission of the State of Washington into the Union. A native of Chicago, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2004 with both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History, having earned his master’s degree within four years of undergraduate study. A few other interesting items mentioned in the article are that the word “democracy” does not appear in the US Constitution, nor does the word “God”. Last Friday evening, in the midst of the media frenzy over the Presidential election, Justice Alito issued a short, page-and-a-half order to all Pennsylvania county boards of election. Under the constitution of Pennsylvania, if there are to be any election law changes, you have to amend the constitution. The article also touches on the fact that the Bill of Rights actually consisted of seventeen amendments, however only ten of the amendments actually passed to become the Bill of Rights. This article is the first of a two-part series. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is the constitution of the incorporated UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Lawyers, journalists, and members of the public are welcome to start here when beginning research about the Pennsylvania Constitution, Pennsylvania constitutional law cases pending in various courts, and current public policy debates concerning the State Constitution. Following the idea of popular rule to its logical conclusion, Pennsylvania created a state government with several distinctive features. More importantly, it goes to the heart of who has the final say in deciding how Presidential elections are to be conducted—the state legislature, or the state judiciary? 2019). The US Constitution was created on May 25, 1787 and put into effect on June 21, 1788. Cases have been lost because attorneys failed to argue the more protections under the PA Constitution and the Courts have stated that if they had they would have won, however since only the US Constitution was argued the case was decided in the Government’s favor. Most had lost family members to epidemics. US constitution is more general PA focuses more on citizens/ is more specific Possible that ideas from the PA constitution were put into the US constitution A decision to move the retirement age from 70 to 75 For a major part of our country’s history, Congress declined to exercise this power. It does not! It operates in an economic capacity and has been used to fool the People into thinking it governs the Republic. Under the guise of applying purely state law, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has, in effect, usurped the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s authority under the Constitution to determine the time, place, and manner of Presidential elections. The powers were created by the people for the people, thus the reason why the US Constitution starts by saying “We the People”. The Bill of Rights was adopted on December 15, 1791. The right to vote was based on a minimal property interest ; it belonged to free men above the age of twenty-one who had resided in the state for one year and had paid public taxes , as well as to the sons of freeholders. Most of our treasured rights that we as American have today come from these 27 Amendments, the right to bear arms, the right to free speech, the right of protection from the government in search and seizures, and many more. Again, there is a ton of legal precedence and case law going way back to support states and cities using police powers during a public health emergency. It is also about far more than allegations of election fraud. The Constitution vests the state legislatures with the authority to do this and mentions nothing about state courts. Not surprisingly, those opposing the Republican Party’s cert petition has raised these arguments as grounds for denying the cert petition. As such, it is to be hoped that the Court will agree to hear the case in full. In other words, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the election boards to include as valid votes lacking any proof that they were actually cast on November 3, 2020—the day Congress has set for the Presidential election. § 906, the Constitution, as adopted by referendum of December 16, 1873, shall be known and may be cited as the Constitution of 1874. The rights granted by the Pennsylvania Constitution were among the most liberal in the United States at that time. Do mail-in ballots need to be received by election day itself, or is it sufficient for them to arrive later, so long as they are post-marked the day of the election? All officers, whose selection is not provided for in this Constitution, shall be elected or appointed as may be directed by law. Now do the same thing again in the 2019-20 session. But it seems to me that the opponents of cert, as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, are on thin ground. The federal Congress, in turn, is vested with the authority to pass a law mandating that all states hold the voting for President on the same day throughout the country. Research handout which guides students students through the process of comparing the amendment process of the U.S. Constitution and the PA Constitution. Pennsylvania created the most radical state constitution of the period. He spent six-and-a-half years as an Assistant Missouri Attorney General in Jefferson City, Missouri, before returning to St. Louis and entering private practice. Now, why is that? Find common ways in which state constitutions differ from (and are similar to) the U.S. Constitution, and take a closer look at your own state constitution. John M. Reeves, an appellate lawyer in St. Louis, is the founder and owner of Reeves Law LLC. The lawsuit, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Kathy Boockvar, et al., presents the question of whether, under the United States Constitution and federal law, state courts can overturn the express enactments of state legislatures regarding the time, place, and manner of holding Presidential elections. This is not a matter of state law such that the US Supreme Court cannot review it. This got me thinking about our US Constitution and our PA Constitution and other general misconceptions with the law. But it nevertheless concluded that it could extend the deadline, not on federal constitutional grounds, but rather on the nebulous provision of the Pennsylvania state constitution providing that “[e]lections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.” Pa. Const. Article one, section eight, clause one of the Constitution, the Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties imposed, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. Absentee ballots, furthermore, had to be received by the respective county board of elections no later than 5:00 pm on the Friday before election day. The Constitution of 1874 was modified and renumbered by extensive amendments on May 17, 1966, November 8, 1966, and May 16, 1967; and by proclamation of the Governor For example, under State law, the Governor has a line-item veto, but the President is expressly prohibited from exercising a line-item veto. Mr. Reeves has authored over 250 appellate briefs, including several in the Supreme Court of the United States. He was President of Pennsylvania from October 17, 1785, to November 5, 1788, declining on account of his advanced years to continue in office. By statute, 1 Pa.C.S. US Constitution. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in the Senate or House of Representatives; and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each House, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and the Secretary … Constitution of 1968. There is no ambiguity about the language in Pennsylvania’s election law—only those mail-in ballots received by 8 pm on election day are valid, legal ballots. The main difference is that in the PA Constitution rights to Clean Air, water, and Natural resources are stated. Additionally the First Amendment was not actually the First Amendment, but ended up being the first because other amendments in front of our current First Amendment were not passed. The issues are too important on their own for the Court to ignore. Review by the US Supreme Court is only available when the issues relate to federal law. I, §5.” It did this despite admitting that there was no evidence of any civil or military power hindering people from voting on election day. This case is about far more than the ultimate winner of the Presidential election. The lawsuit, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Kathy Boockvar, et al., presents the question of whether, under the United States Constitution and federal law, state courts can overturn the express enactments of state legislatures regarding the time, place, and manner of holding Presidential elections. Capitalization is NOT insignificant when one is referring to a legal document. redistricting reform: Pennsylvania’s Constitutional Amendment Process Working to Ensure Fair Districts & Fair Elections www.fairdistrictsPA.com 1 § 906, the Constitution, as adopted by referendum of December 16, 1873, shall be known and may be cited as the Constitution of 1874. THOMAS MIFFLIN was born in Philadelphia in 1744. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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. In fact, though, the order is part of a major lawsuit currently pending before the Supreme Court, the outcome of which could have serious consequences for election law across the country regardless of whether it practically impacts the results of the Presidential election. If the issues are purely state law, the US Supreme Court has no authority to hear the case. Even more critically—should mail-in voting be allowed? Nevertheless, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that because of potential hardships some may experience in mailing in their ballots, the November 3, 8 pm deadline had to be extended by three days to Friday. The judicial power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a unified judicial system consisting of the Supreme Court, the Superior Court, the Commonwealth Court, courts of common pleas, community courts, municipal courts in the City of Philadelphia, such other courts as may be provided by law and justices of the peace. A Venn Diagram showing Washington vs. Copyright © 2020 Manchester and Associates - PA. All rights reserved. Lets start at the beginning the US declared it independent from England by creating the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. In other words, this case is about preserving the ability of state legislatures to make their own prudential judgments about how best to conduct Presidential elections, and not be second-guessed and overridden by the state judiciary. But the legislation does not consider as valid any ballot received after 8:00 pm on the day of the election. Constitution of 1968. By purporting to rely on the Pennsylvania state constitution, and not the federal Constitution or federal law, as the basis for extending the deadline, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is hoping to avoid having the US Supreme Court review it. The application of the articles and amendments of the Constitution comprise constitutional law. Again, this is a matter of prudential judgment left to each state legislature. There are numerous important ways in which Executive powers under the Pennsylvania Constitution differ from the Presidential powers provided by the United States Constitution. In May, 1787, he was a delegate to the convention which framed the constitution of the United States. The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 was the state's first constitution following their declaration of independence and has been described as the most democratic in America; although it notably based rights in "men" not in "persons," as contemporaneous constitutions did in neighboring areas such as New Jersey, and as the 1689 English Bill of Rights and 1787 U.S. Constitution and 1791 U.S. Bill of Rights … The article discussed some general misconceptions like, that fact that most of our rights do not come from the Constitution but from the Bill of Rights which was passed several years after the current US Constitution. But while Congress, pursuant to its Constitutional authority, has mandated the date on which the Presidential election must take place, the individual state legislatures are still vested with a large amount of discretion to decide the place and manner of the elections. For example, while Congress has set the date on which the election is to take place, it has said nothing about the closing time by which all votes must be cast on that date. § 1. Find him on Twitter @reeveslawstl. The US Constitution was created on May 25, 1787 and put into effect on June 21, 1788. More critically, the Pennsylvania General Assembly did away with the requirement that ballots sent through the mail be received by 5:00 pm on the Friday before the election. Nevertheless, this past September 17 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order directing the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and all Pennsylvania county election boards to accept as legal all mail-in votes received up to three days after November 3, contrary to what the General Assembly passed. Unified judicial system. The Bill of Rights was adopted on December 15, 1791. Here, we will examine the underlying legal issues and the factual background of the case. TABLE OF CONTENTS (A) Constitution of … statute, 1 Pa.C.S. In other words, the Court has not yet issued an order on whether to accept the case. Being that the US Constitution is very important in Criminal Defense I wanted to add a few other interesting facts about not only the US Constitution but also the PA Constitution. PA Standards Addressed: Eligible Content C.1.3.1.1 Evaluate the structure of the government of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania … And an Appendix, Containing the Laws now in Force, passed between the 30th Day of September 1775, and the Revolution. Text of Section 1: Proposal of Amendments by the General Assembly and Their Adoption. The current Constitution entered into force in 1968, and has been amended numerous times.. Constitution - "the fundamental and organic law of a country or state that establishes the institutions and apparatus of government, defines the scope of governmental sovereign powers, and guarantees individual civil rights and civil liberties. The United States Constitution defines the structure of the national government and dictates the scope and limitation of its powers. If you’ve seen one constitution, have you seen them all? "Constitution, Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. If concerns existed that may have justified extended the deadline to receive mail-in ballots, those are concerns that the Pennsylvania General Assembly was empowered to address, not the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. California Clearly Violated Election Law—Votes are Invalid, Election in Flux: Michigan Lawsuit Analysis, Election in Flux: Detailing the PA Lawsuit Filed by President Trump, Election in Flux: Details You Need to Know, The Weiner Laptop Emerges Again: FBI Agent Speaks, Tracy Beanz with Joe Pags Discussing Spygate and Sally Yates, Heated Senate Hearing on 2020 Election: “Transparency is Not Political”, Holding The Line: Dueling Electors From 7 States Vote For Trump, William Barr Leaves DOJ as Attorney General, Swalwell Refuses to Explain Relationship with Chinese Spy. Published by order of the General Assembly. Compare and contrast the provisions of the U.S. Constitution alongside the state constitutions of Florida and Virginia. While reading the American Bar Association journal today I came across an interesting article on misconceptions about our US Constitution. They tend to have a broader scope than the Constitution of the United States. The court admitted that no law explicitly gave it the authority to extend this deadline. Should the polls close at 5:00 pm? The founders were all personally familiar with the Draconian police powers exercised by states when they were drafting the Constitution. Now we come to Pennsylvania. These rights are a base line of rights that the states are precluded from going below; states can on their own establish more rights for their citizens. Not surprisingly, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania was dissatisfied with this order and accordingly filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, which is still pending. In the United States, each state has its own written constitution.. Usually, they are much longer than the United States Constitution, which only contains 4,543 words.State constitutions are usually longer than 8,500 words because they are more detailed regarding the … Why is the Supreme Court Involved in Pennsylvania? Now, in place of those requirements, all votes submitted via mail must be received by 8:00 pm on election day itself—in this case, November 3. Attorney Kevin Hayslett explains in detail the first amendment of the US constitution. With the “Bill of Rights” creating the first ten amendments to the Constitution there have been an additional seventeen amendments created, bring the total amount of amendments to date to twenty-seven. Is Attorney General Barr Resigning Because His Job is Done? Most legal commentators minimized the significance of Alito’s order, declaring it to be no big deal. The Constitution is known as “the supreme Law of the Land” and all other laws are measured against it. The Constitution of Pennsylvania is the supreme law within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.All acts of the General Assembly, the governor, and each governmental agency are subordinate to it.Since 1776, Pennsylvania's Constitution has undergone five versions. 8:00 pm? Here at Manchester and Associates we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But then, in 2019, the Pennsylvania state legislature—known as the General Assembly—revised this law to allow mail-in voting for any reason, in addition to absentee voting. The Articles of Confederation were used until out current US Constitution which was created and modeled after the older Pennsylvania Constitution. At Manchester and Associates, we only practice in criminal defense, thus we understand when people find themselves accused or charged with a crime, and the challenges that each individual case could face in the PA judicial system. For a free consultation we can be contacted toll free at [number type=”1″]. THE BILL PASSED IN THE 2017-18 LEGISLATIVE SESSION. 15 CONGRATULATIONS ! Immaculate Deception: Election Fraud Evidence “Should Haunt This Country”. It is also undisputed that these procedures do not violate the Constitution. The main difference is that state constitutions tend to be much larger than the constitution drawn up by the forefathers of the United States and all of its ensuing amendments. When arguing search and seizure rights it is imperative that your attorney argues both Constitutions. Pennsylvania created its first constitution on September 28, 1776. The Pennsylvania Constitution provides for a Governor to exercise executive power. The US Constitution explicitly vests authority to determine the manner of Presidential elections with the state legislatures, not the state judiciary. Nobody disputes the above provisions of Pennsylvania law. He died in the city of Philadelphia; April 17, 1790. 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