The fifth article merely provides for the method of amendment which is to be made on the proposal of two-thirds of both houses and becomes part of the constitution when ratified by the legislature of three-fourths of the states, or by conventions in three fourths of the states, as may be provided by congress in the proposal. Congress may also by a vote of two-thirds of each house or on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the states call a convention fort proposing amendments.
The limitations on the power of amend ment were that, prior to 1808 the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article should not be affected. The clauses in question were those relating to the importation of slaves, and requiring capitation or other direct tax to be laid in proportion to the population.
It was also provided "that no state, with out its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the senate." Proposed amendments to the constitution need not be approved by the president; Hollingsworth v. Virginia, 3 Dail. (U. S.) 378, 1 L. Ed. 644.
The sixth, article declares that the debts due under the Confederation shall be valid against the United States; that the constitu tion and treaties made under its powers shall be the supreme law of the land ; that public officers shall be required by oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States ; and that no religious test shall be, required as a qualification for office.
The first clause has reference to a then con dition and not to general powers of govern ment; Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393, 15 L. Ed. 691. The second clause is a very vital one, which has been and still is in the course of constant application to test the va lidity of legislation by the states and by con gress. In either case if repugnant to the feder al constitution, laws or treaties, it is void and the courts will so declare it; Caldor v. Bull 3 Dail. (U. S.) 386, 1 L. Ed. 648; Pollock v: Trust Co., 157 U. S. 429, 15 Sup. Ct. 673, 39 L. Ed. 759; and in many other cases, which have declared federal or stake laws uncon stitutional, the principle has been declared. The obligations imposed by the federal con stitution cannot be released or impaired by a state constitution; Dodge v. Woolsey, 18 How. (U. S.) 331, 15 L. Ed. 401; or any constitution or law of a foreign state re ceived into the Union; League v. De Young, 11 How. (U. S.) 185, 13 L. Ed. 657; Herman v. Phalen, 14 How. (U. S.) 79, 14 L. Ed. 334. As to the principles which will be ap plied in testing the constitutionality of statutes, see CONSTITUTIONAL. And as to the
force of treaties after being duly executed and ratified, see TnEArv. Under this pro. vision of the constitution, the constitution, laws and treaties of the United States are made a part of the law of every state; Hauenstein v. Lynham, 100 U. S. 483, 25 L. Ed. 628.
The seventh article directs what shall be a sufficient ratification of this constitution by the states.
In pursuance of the fifth article of the constitution, articles in addition to, and amendments of, the constitution, were pro posed by congress, and ratified by the legis latures of the several states. These addi tional articles are to the following import. The first ten were proposed at the first session of the first congress, in accordance with the recommendations of various states in ratifying the constitution, and were adopt ed in 1791. The dates of the adoption of the subsequent amendments are given be low.
As to the combined effect of the first ten amendments, see infra.
First Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech; or of the press ; or the right of the people to peace ably assemble, and to petition the govern ment for a redress of grievances.
Since this applies entirely to the federal government, there is no provision protecting the religious liberties of citizens the states, and the claim that an ordinance of a state municipal corporation impairs it, raises no federal question ; Ferman v. Munic ipality No. 1 of New Orleans, 3 How. (U. S.) 589, 11 L. Ed. 739; the term "religion" in this amendment refers exclusively to a person's views of his relations to his Crea tor, though often confused with some par ticular form of worship, from which it must be distinguished; Davis v. Beason, 133 U. S. 333, 10 Sup. Ct. 299, 33 L. Ed. 637. The religious freedom secured is not available as a protection against legislation for the punishment of criminals, and their offences are not mitigated by the sanction of a re ligious sect ; Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S. v. U. S., 136 U. S. 1, 10 Sup. Ct. 792, 34 L. Ed. 478; (the Mormon Church case); Reyn olds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 25 L. Ed. 244 ; or by territorial legislation; Davis v. Beason, 133 U. S. 333, 10 Sup. Ct. 299, 33 L. Ed. 637. This provision securing religious freedom is not violated by an appropriation of money by congress to a hospital as compensation for the treatment of poor patients ; Brad field v. Roberts, 175 U. S. 291, 20 Sup. Ct. 121, 44 L. Ed. 168.