Was bribery instrumental to the approval of the Thirteenth Amendment?

Was bribery instrumental to the approval of the Thirteenth Amendment?

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The movie Lincoln suggests there was a fair bit of bribery involved in the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Are there actual records of this? Any sound history books or articles that discuss it?

I found a book, written by Brown professor Michael Vorenberg, called Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment (Cambridge University Press), which discusses the issue on pages 198-203, citing several contemporary sources.

The author mentions a few exchanges made for votes, like appointing the brother of a congressman to a certain position. But he remarks that

There is not one reliable source, nor even an unreliable one, that reports the president making any specific promise in exchange for a vote for the amendment.

He then reviews some statements to the effect that money changed hands, but concludes that

Evidence of bribe taking by anyone voting for the amendment has yet to surface.

So it appears that it was indeed all just politics as usual. Some promises, some favors, some patronage, but no corruption or bribery strictly speaking.

I'm not very familiar with this history but some quick research suggests that the movie greatly exaggerates the historical facts.

A prominent historian discusses the historical veracity of Lincoln in The Atlantic and states that, "Lincoln probably didn't bribe congressmen to pass the 13th Amendment, but he instructed others to do so." Unfortunately this particular article does not elaborate the point further or provide any sources.

Consistent with this but similarly brief, an article in the New Yorker about the life of William H. Seward states that "Lincoln and Seward [… ] offered political positions to editors who supported [the Amendment] and Seward hired disreputable lobbyists to secure the votes of resistant Democrats and ambivalent border-state Unionists."

Here is a blog entry (also by a historian) which identifies some details of the movie which are entirely fictional:

The movie makers invent a series of quick scenes involving fictional congressmen and the bribes that it takes to sway them. The most notable example of this corruption involves Rep. Clay Hawkins of Ohio (Walton Goggins) who Bilbo / Spader initially switched with the promise of a postmastership in Millersburg, Ohio. The movie actually has President Lincoln himself commenting cynically on this news by remarking, “He's selling himself cheap, ain't he?” (Scene 13). All of this is made up.

Question: Was bribery instrumental to the approval of the Thirteenth Amendment?…

Yes bribery was instrumental, and not just bribery with patronage jobs.

Pulitzer Prize winning author David Herbert Donald in his biography entitled Lincoln (page 554) quotes Thaddeus Stevens the leader of the Radical Republican faction as saying

"the greatest measure of the nineteenth century was passed by corruption aided and abetted by the purest man in America"

I started out upon the theme that giving patronage jobs wasn't legally the same as bribery. Upon researching the facts, it seems the movie's political correctness understates the bribery which occurred in passing the 13th Amendment. The primary historical objection to the events in the movie from my research wasn't whether malfeasance occurred but that the movie placed Lincoln's fingerprints directly on said malfeasance, it even had Lincoln taking part in negotiations with the congressmen. Several accounts I read stated Lincoln was too shrewd and careful a politician to have his fingerprints anywhere near the sausage making which was interfacing with Congress in 1865. History however is vague about Lincoln's direct involvement beyond saying "any means necessary" to his secretary of state Seward in order to obtain the votes. To Seward, any means necessary did include patronage and outright bribes. The amendment passed as the movie depicts during a lame duck congress ([the amendment passed 119-56, a two-vote margin][]), with sixteen Democrats abstaining all but two lame ducks. source History also shows patronage jobs even an ambassadorship not discussed in the movie going to those lame duck congressmen who voted in favor or abstained. I also found at least one source stating Seward made use of a "large fund" earmarked for bribes in his efforts.

  • ambassadorship to Denmark

    Congress passes the 13th amendment 150 years ago today
    The administration took advantage of the timing of the lame-duck Congress by offering patronage jobs-and in one case an ambassadorship to Denmark-to defeated Democrats.


  • Any means necessary!
  • a great quote from the leader of the Radical Republicans Thaddeus Stevens
  • Seward's "large fund for bribes"

    Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
    Lincoln instructed Secretary of State William H. Seward, Representative John B. Alley and others to procure votes by any means necessary, and they promised government posts and campaign contributions to outgoing Democrats willing to switch sides. Seward had a large fund for direct bribes. Ashley, who reintroduced the measure into the House, also lobbied several Democrats to vote in favor of the measure. Representative Thaddeus Stevens later commented that "the greatest measure of the nineteenth century was passed by corruption aided and abetted by the purest man in America"; however, Lincoln's precise role in making deals for votes remains unknown.


  • Lincoln didn't "directly" bribe congressmen.

    Fact-Checking 'Lincoln': Lincoln's Mostly Realistic; His Advisers Aren't
    Sean Wilentz, one of those rare historians who moves seamlessly between the academy and the public sphere, noted that "Abraham Lincoln was, first and foremost, a politician." Lincoln probably didn't bribe congressmen to pass the 13th Amendment, but he instructed others to do so.


Abraham Lincoln and the two 13th Amendments
According to New York Times commentator David Brooks, Lincoln to achieve his goals, “feels compelled to ignore court decisions, dole out patronage, play legalistic games, deceive his supporters… The movie shows a character-building trajectory, common among great politicians, which you might call the trajectory from the Gettysburg Address to the Second Inaugural.” And therein lies the film's failing to demarcate Lincoln's diametric journey between his two 13th Amendment.


Congress passes the 13th amendment 150 years ago today
As the 2012 Steven Spielberg biopic “Lincoln” portrayed, the president and Secretary of State William Seward were willing to strong-arm border Unionists and horse-trade with reluctant Democrats to secure their votes or at least their abstentions in order to lower the threshold for a two-thirds majority. The administration took advantage of the timing of the lame-duck Congress by offering patronage jobs-and in one case an ambassadorship to Denmark-to defeated Democrats.


  • Fact-Checking 'Lincoln': Lincoln's Mostly Realistic; His Advisers Aren't
  • Abraham Lincoln and the two 13th Amendments
  • Congress passes the 13th amendment 150 years ago today
  • How True is Lincoln
  • Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union
  • The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Missing 13th Amendment

In the winter of 1983, archival research expert David Dodge, and former Baltimore police investigator Tom Dunn, were searching for evidence of government corruption in public records stored in the Belfast Library on the coast of Maine.

By chance, they discovered the library's oldest authentic copy of the Constitution of the United States (printed in 1825). Both men were stunned to see this document included a 13th Amendment that no longer appears on current copies of the Constitution. Moreover, after studying the Amendment's language and historical context, they realized the principle intent of this "missing" 13th Amendment was to prohibit lawyers from serving in government. So began a seven year, nationwide search for the truth surrounding the most bizarre Constitutional puzzle in American history -- the unlawful removal of a ratified Amendment from the Constitution of the United States.

Since 1983, Dodge and Dunn have uncovered additional copies of the Constitution with the "missing" 13th Amendment printed in at least eighteen separate publications by ten different states and territories over four decades from 1822 to 1860. In June of this year (1991), Dodge uncovered the evidence that this missing 13th Amendment had indeed been lawfully ratified by the state of Virginia and was therefore an authentic Amendment to the American Constitution. If the evidence is correct and no logical errors have been made, a 13th Amendment restricting lawyers from serving in government was ratified in 1819 and removed from the U.S. Constitution during the tumult of the Civil War. Since the Amendment was never lawfully repealed, it is still the Law today. The implications are enormous.

Before we consider the issue of ratification, we should first understand the Amendment's meaning and consequent current relevance.

MEANING of the 13th Amendment

The "missing" 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:

At the first reading, the meaning of this 13th Amendment (also called the "title of nobility" Amendment) seems obscure unimportant. The references to "nobility," "honour," "emperor," "king," and "prince," lead us to dismiss this Amendment as a petty post-revolution act of spite directed against the British monarchy. The U.S. modern world of Lady Di and Prince Charles, make anti-royalist sentiments seem so archaic and quaint, that the Amendment can be ignored.

  • First, "titles of nobility" were prohibited in both Article VI of the Articles of Confederation (1777) and in Article I, Sections 9 and 10 of the Constitution of the United States (1787)
  • Second, although already prohibited by the Constitution, an additional "title of nobility" amendment was proposed in 1789, again in 1810, and according to Dodge, finally ratified in 1819. Clearly, the founding fathers saw such a serious threat in "titles of nobility" and "honors" that anyone receiving them would forfeit their citizenship. Since the government prohibited "titles of nobility" several times over four decades, and went through the amending process (even though "titles of nobility" were already prohibited by the Constitution), it's obvious that the Amendment carried much more significance for our founding fathers than is readily apparent today.


To understand the meaning of this "missing" 13th Amendment, we must understand its historical context -- the era surrounding the American Revolution. We tend to regard the notion of "Democracy" as benign, harmless, and politically unremarkable. But at the time of the American Revolution, King George III and the other monarchies of Europe saw Democracy as an unnatural, ungodly ideological threat, every bit as dangerously radical as Communism was once regarded by modern Western nations. Just as the 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia spawned other revolutions around the world, the American Revolution provided an example and incentive for people all over the world to overthrow their European monarchies.

Even though the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War in 1783, the simple fact of our existence threatened the monarchies. The United States stood as a heroic role model for other nations, that inspired them to also struggle against oppressive monarchies. The French Revolution (1789-1799) and the Polish national uprising (1794) were in part encouraged by the American Revolution. Though we stood like a beacon of hope for most of the world, the monarchies regarded the United States as a political typhoid Mary, the principle source of radical democracy that was destroying monarchies around the world. The monarchies must have realized that if the principle source of that infection could be destroyed, the rest of the world might avoid the contagion and the monarchies would be saved.

Their survival at stake, the monarchies sought to destroy or subvert the American system of government. Knowing they couldn't destroy us militarily, they resorted to more covert methods of political subversion, employing spies and secret agents skilled in bribery and legal deception -- it was, perhaps, the first "cold war". Since governments run on money, politicians run for money, and money is the usual enticement to commit treason, much of the monarchy's counter- revolutionary efforts emanated from English banks.

DON'T BANK ON IT (Modern Banking System)

The essence of banking was once explained by Sir Josiah Stamp, a former president of the Bank of England:

The last great abuse of the U.S. banking system caused the depression of the 1930's. Today's abuses may cause another. Current S&L and bank scandals illustrate the on-going relationships between banks, lawyers, politicians, and government agencies (look at the current BCCI bank scandal, involving lawyer Clark Clifford, politician Jimmy Carter, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and even the CIA). These scandals are the direct result of years of law-breaking by an alliance of bankers and lawyers using their influence and money to corrupt the political process and rob the public. (Think you're not being robbed? Guess who's going to pay the bill for the excesses of the S&L's, U.S.-taxpayer? You are.)

The systematic robbery of productive individuals by parasitic bankers and lawyers is not a recent phenomenon. This abuse is a human tradition that predates the Bible and spread from Europe to America despite early colonial prohibitions.

When the first United States Bank was chartered by Congress in 1790, there were only three state banks in existence. At one time, banks were prohibited by law in most states because many of the early settlers were all too familiar with the practices of the European goldsmith banks.

Goldsmith banks were safe-houses used to store client's gold. In exchange for the deposited gold, customers were issued notes (paper money) which were redeemable in gold. The goldsmith bankers quickly succumbed to the temptation to issue "extra" notes, (unbacked by gold). Why? Because the "extra" notes enriched the bankers by allowing them to buy property with notes for gold that they did not own, gold that did not even exist.

Colonists knew that bankers occasionally printed too much paper money, found themselves over-leveraged, and caused a "run on the bank". If the bankers lacked sufficient gold to meet the demand, the paper money became worthless and common citizens left holding the paper were ruined. Although over-leveraged bankers were sometime hung, the bankers continued printing extra money to increase their fortunes at the expense of the productive members of society. (The practice continues to this day, and offers "sweetheart" loans to bank insiders, and even provides the foundation for deficit spending and the U.S. Federal government's unbridled growth.)


If the colonists forgot the lessons of goldsmith bankers, the American Revolution refreshed their memories. To finance the war, Congress authorized the printing of continental bills of credit in an amount not to exceed $200,000,000. The States issued another $200,000,000 in paper notes. Ultimately, the value of the paper money fell so low that they were soon traded on speculation from 5000 to 1000 paper bills for one coin.

It's often suggested that the U.S. Constitution's prohibition against a paper economy -- "No State shall. make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a tender in Payment of Debts" -- was a tool of the wealthy to be worked to the disadvantage of all others. But only in a "paper" economy can money reproduce itself and increase the claims of the wealthy at the expense of the productive.

"Paper money," said Pelatiah Webster, "polluted the equity of our laws, turned them into engines of oppression, corrupted the justice of our public administration, destroyed the fortunes of thousands who had confidence in it, enervated the trade, husbandry, and manufactures of U.S. country, and went far to destroy the morality of U.S. people."


A few examples of the attempts by the monarchies and banks that almost succeeded in destroying the United States:

According to the Tennessee Laws (1715-1820, vol. II, p. 774), in the 1794 Jay Treaty, the United States agreed to pay 600,000 pounds sterling to King George III, as reparations for the American revolution. The Senate ratified the treaty in secret session and ordered that it not be published. When Benjamin Franklin's grandson published it anyway, the exposure and resulting public uproar so angered the Congress that it passed the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798) so federal judges could prosecute editors and publishers for reporting the truth about the government. Since we had won the Revolutionary War, why would U.S. Senators agree to pay reparations to the loser? And why would they agree to pay 600,000 pounds sterling, eleven years after the war ended? It doesn't make sense, especially in light of Senate's secrecy and later fury over being exposed, unless we assume U.S. Senators had been bribed to serve the British monarchy and betray the American people. That's subversion.

The United States Bank had been opposed by the Jeffersonians from the beginning, but the Federalists (the pro-monarchy party) won out in its establishment. The initial capitalization was $10,000,000 -- 80% of which would be owned by foreign bankers. Since the bank was authorized to lend up to $20,000,000 (double its paid in capital), it was a profitable deal for both the government and the bankers since they could lend, and collect interest on, $10,000,000 that didn't exist.

However, the European bankers outfoxed the government and by 1796, the government owed the bank $6,200,000 and was forced to sell its shares. (By 1802, the U.S. government owned no stock in the United States Bank.)

The sheer power of the banks and their ability to influence representative government by economic manipulation and outright bribery was exposed in 1811, when the people discovered that European banking interests owned 80% of the bank. Congress therefore refused to renew the bank's charter. This led to the withdrawal of $7,000,000 in specie by European investors, which in turn, precipitated an economic recession, and the War of 1812. That's destruction.

There are undoubtedly other examples of the monarchy's efforts to subvert or destroy the United States some are common knowledge, others remain to be disclosed to the public. For example, David Dodge discovered a book called "2 VA LAW" in the Library of Congress Law Library. According to Dodge, "This is an un-catalogued book in the rare book section that reveals a plan to overthrow the constitutional government by secret agreements engineered by the lawyers. That is one of the reasons why this Amendment was ratified by Virginia and the notification was lost in the mail. There is no public record that this book exists." That may sound surprising, but according to The Gazette (5/10/91), "the Library of Congress has 349,402 un-catalogued rare books and 13.9 million un-catalogued rare manuscripts." There may be secrets buried in that mass of documents even more astonishing than a missing Constitutional Amendment.


In seeking to rule the world and destroy the United States, bankers committed many crimes. Foremost among these crimes were fraud, conversion, and plain old theft. To escape prosecution for their crimes, the bankers did the same thing any career criminal does. They hired and formed alliances with the best lawyers and judges money could buy. These alliances, originally forged in Europe (particularly in Great Britain), spread to the colonies, and later into the newly formed United States of America.

Despite their criminal foundation, these alliances generated wealth, and ultimately, respectability. Like any modern member of organized crime, English bankers and lawyers wanted to be admired as "legitimate businessmen". As their criminal fortunes grew so did their usefulness, so the British monarchy legitimized these thieves by granting them "titles of nobility".

Historically, the British peerage system referred to knights as "Squires" and to those who bore the knight's shields as "Esquires". As lances, shields, and physical violence gave way to the more civilized means of theft, the pen grew mightier (and more profitable) than the sword, and the clever wielders of those pens (bankers and lawyers) came to hold titles of nobility. The most common title was "Esquire" (used, even today, by some lawyers).


In Colonial America, attorneys trained attorneys but most held no "title of nobility" or "honor". There was no requirement that one be a lawyer to hold the position of district attorney, attorney general, or judge a citizen's "counsel of choice" was not restricted to a lawyer there were no state or national bar associations. The only organization that certified lawyers was the International Bar Association (IBA), chartered by the King of England, headquartered in London, and closely associated with the international banking system. Lawyers admitted to the IBA received the rank "Esquire" -- a "title of nobility". "Esquire" was the principle title of nobility which the 13th Amendment sought to prohibit from the United States.

Why? Because the loyalty of "Esquire" lawyers was suspect. Bankers and lawyers with an "Esquire" behind their names were agents of the monarchy, members of an organization whose principle purposes were political, not economic, and regarded with the same wariness that some people today reserve for members of the KGB or the CIA.

Article 1, Sect. 9 of the Constitution sought to prohibit the International Bar Association (or any other agency that granted titles of nobility) from operating in America. But the Constitution neglected to specify a penalty, so the prohibition was ignored, and agents of the monarchy continued to infiltrate and influence the government (as in the Jay Treaty and the US Bank charter incidents). Therefore, a "title of nobility" amendment that specified a penalty (loss of citizenship) was proposed in 1789, and again in 1810. The meaning of the amendment is seen in its intent to prohibit persons having titles of nobility and loyalties to foreign governments and bankers from voting, holding public office, or using their skills to subvert the government.


The missing Amendment is referred to as the "title of nobility" Amendment, but the second prohibition against "honour" (honor), may be more significant.

According to David Dodge, Tom Dunn, and Webster's Dictionary, the archaic definition of "honor" (as used when the 13th Amendment was ratified) meant anyone "obtaining or having an advantage or privilege over another". A contemporary example of an "honor" granted to only a few Americans is the privilege of being a judge: Lawyers can be judges and exercise the attendant privileges and powers non-lawyers cannot.

By prohibiting "honors", the missing Amendment prohibits any advantage or privilege that would grant some citizens an unequal opportunity to achieve or exercise political power. Therefore, the second meaning (intent) of the 13th Amendment was to ensure political equality among all American citizens, by prohibiting anyone, even government officials, from claiming or exercising a special privilege or power (an "honor") over other citizens.

If this interpretation is correct, "honor" would be the key concept in the 13th Amendment. Why? Because, while "titles of nobility" may no longer apply in today's political system, the concept of "honor" remains relevant. For example, anyone who had a specific "immunity" from lawsuits which were not afforded to all citizens, would be enjoying a separate privilege, an "honor", and would therefore forfeit his right to vote or hold public office. Think of the "immunities" from lawsuits that U.S. judges, lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats currently enjoy. As another example, think of all the "special interest" legislation the U.S. government passes: "special interests" are simply euphemisms for "special privileges" (honors).

WHAT IF? (Implications if Restored)

If the missing 13th Amendment were restored, "special interests" and "immunities" might be rendered unconstitutional. The prohibition against "honors" (privileges) would compel the entire government to operate under the same laws as the citizens of this nation. Without their current personal immunities (honors), US judges and I.R.S. agents would be unable to abuse common citizens without fear of legal liability. If this 13th Amendment were restored, the entire U.S. Government would have to conduct itself according to the same standards of decency, respect, law, and liability as the rest of the nation. If this Amendment and the term "honor" were applied today, U.S. Government's ability to systematically coerce and abuse the public would be all but eliminated.

Imagine! A government without special privileges or immunities. How could we describe it? It would be . almost like . a government . of the people . by the people . for the people!

Imagine: a government . whose members were truly accountable to the public a government that could not systematically exploit its own people! It's unheard of . it's never been done before. Not ever in the entire history of the world.

Bear in mind that Senator George Mitchell of Maine and the U.S. National Archives concede this 13th Amendment was proposed by Congress in 1810. However, they explain that there were seventeen states when Congress proposed the "title of nobility" Amendment that ratification required the thirteen states, but since only twelve states supported the Amendment, it was not ratified. The Government Printing Office agrees it currently prints copies of the Constitution of the United States which include the "title of nobility" Amendment as proposed, but un-ratified.

Even if this 13th Amendment were never ratified, even if Dodge and Dunn's research or reasoning is flawed or incomplete, it would still be an extraordinary story. Can you imagine, can you understand how close the US came to having a political paradise, right here on Earth? Do you realize what an extraordinary gift our forebears tried to bequeath us? And how close we came? One vote. One state's vote.

The federal government concedes that twelve states voted to ratify this Amendment between 1810 and 1812. But they argue that ratification require thirteen states, so the Amendment lays stillborn in history, unratified for lack of a just one more state's support. One vote.

David Dodge, however, says one more state did ratify, and he claims he has the evidence to prove it.


In 1789, the House of Representatives compiled a list of possible Constitutional Amendments, some of which would ultimately become our Bill of Rights. The House proposed seventeen the Senate reduced the list to twelve. During this process that Senator Tristrain Dalton (Mass.) proposed an Amendment seeking to prohibit and provide a penalty for any American accepting a "title of Nobility" (RG 46 Records of the U.S. Senate). Although it wasn't passed, this was the first time a "title of nobility" amendment was proposed.

Twenty years later, in January, 1810, Senator Reed proposed another "Title of Nobility" Amendment (History of Congress, Proceedings of the Senate, p. 529-530). On April 27, 1810, the Senate voted to pass this 13th Amendment by a vote of 26 to 1 the House resolved in the affirmative 87 to 3 and the following resolve was sent to the States for ratification:

  • Maryland, Dec. 25, 1810
  • Kentucky, Jan. 31, 1811
  • Ohio, Jan. 31, 1811
  • Delaware, Feb. 2, 1811
  • Pennsylvania, Feb. 6, 1811
  • New Jersey, Feb. 13, 1811
  • Vermont, Oct. 24, 1811
  • Tennessee, Nov. 21, 1811
  • Georgia, Dec. 13, 1811
  • North Carolina, Dec. 23, 1811
  • Massachusetts, Feb. 27, 1812
  • New Hampshire, Dec. 10, 1812

Before a thirteenth state could ratify, the War of 1812 broke out with England. By the time the war ended in 1814, the British had burned the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and most of the records of the first 38 years of government. Whether there was a connection between the proposed "title of nobility" amendment and the War of 1812 is not known. However, the momentum to ratify the proposed Amendment was lost in the tumult of war.

Then, four years later, on December 31, 1817, the House of Representatives resolved that President Monroe inquire into the status of this Amendment. In a letter dated February 6, 1818, President Monroe reported to the House that the Secretary of State Adams had written to the governors of Virginia, South Carolina and Connecticut to tell them that the proposed Amendment had been ratified by twelve States and rejected by two (New York and Rhode Island), and asked the governors to notify him of their legislature's position. (House Document No. 76) (This, and other letters written by the President and the Secretary of State during the month of February, 1818, note only that the proposed Amendment had not yet been ratified. However, these letters would later become crucial because, in the absence of additional information they would be interpreted to mean the amendment was never ratified).

On February 28, 1818, Secretary of State Adams reported the rejection of the Amendment by South Carolina. [House Doc. No. 129]. There are no further entries regarding the ratification of the 13th Amendment in the Journals of Congress whether Virginia ratified is neither confirmed nor denied. Likewise, a search through the executive papers of Governor Preston of Virginia does not reveal any correspondence from Secretary of State Adams. (However, there is a journal entry in the Virginia House that the Governor presented the House with an official letter and documents from Washington within a time frame that conceivably includes receipt of Adams' letter.) Again, no evidence of ratification none of denial.

However, on March 10, 1819, the Virginia legislature passed Act No. 280 (Virginia Archives of Richmond, "misc.' file, p. 299 for micro-film): "Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that there shall be published an edition of the Laws of this Commonwealth in which shall be contained the following matters, that is to say: the Constitution of the united States and the amendments thereto. " This act was the specific legislated instructions on what was, by law, to be included in the re-publication (a special edition) of the Virginia Civil Code. The Virginia Legislature had already agreed that all Acts were to go into effect on the same day -- the day that the Act to re-publish the Civil Code was enacted. Therefore, the 13th Amendment's official date of ratification would be the date of re-publication of the Virginia Civil Code: March 12, 1819.

The Delegates knew Virginia was the last of the 13 States that were necessary for the ratification of the 13th Amendment. They also knew there were powerful forces allied against this ratification so they took extraordinary measures to make sure that it was published in sufficient quantity (4,000 copies were ordered, almost triple their usual order), and instructed the printer to send a copy to President James Monroe as well as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. (The printer, Thomas Ritchie, was bonded. He was required to be extremely accurate in his research and his printing, or he would forfeit his bond.)

In this fashion, Virginia announced the ratification: by publication and dissemination of the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

There is question as to whether Virginia ever formally notified the Secretary of State that they had ratified this 13th Amendment. Some have argued that because such notification was not received (or at least, not recorded), the Amendment was therefore not legally ratified. However, printing by a legislature is prima facie evidence of ratification. Further, there is no Constitutional requirement that the Secretary of State, or anyone else, be officially notified to complete the ratification process. The Constitution only requires that three- fourths of the states ratify for an Amendment to be added to the Constitution. If three-quarters of the states ratify, the Amendment is passed. Period. The Constitution is otherwise silent on what procedure should be used to announce, confirm, or communicate the ratification of amendments.

Knowing they were the last state necessary to ratify the Amendment, the Virginians had every right announce their own and the nation's ratification of the Amendment by publishing it on a special edition of the Constitution, and so they did.

Word of Virginia's 1819 ratification spread throughout the States and both Rhode Island and Kentucky published the new Amendment in 1822. Ohio first published in 1824. Maine ordered 10,000 copies of the Constitution with the 13th Amendment to be printed for use in the schools in 1825, and again in 1831 for their Census Edition. Indiana Revised Laws of 1831 published the 13th Article on p. 20. Northwestern Territories published in 1833. Ohio published in 1831 and 1833. Then came the Wisconsin Territory in 1839 Iowa Territory in 1843 Ohio again, in 1848 Kansas Statutes in 1855 and Nebraska Territory six times in a row from 1855 to 1860.

So far, David Dodge has identified eleven different states or territories that printed the Amendment in twenty separate publications over forty-one years. And more editions including this 13th Amendment are sure to be discovered. Clearly, Dodge is onto something.

You might be able to convince some of the people, or maybe even all of them, for a little while, that this 13th Amendment was never ratified. Maybe you can show them that the ten legislatures which ordered it published eighteen times we've discovered (so far) consisted of ignorant politicians who don't know their amendments from their. ahh, articles. You might even be able to convince the public that our U.S. forefathers never meant to "outlaw" public servants who pushed people around, accepted bribes or special favors to "look the other way." Maybe. But before you do, there's an awful lot of evidence to be explained.


In 1829, the following note appears on p. 23, Vol. 1 of the New York Revised Statutes:

In 1854, a similar note appeared in the Oregon Statutes. Both notes refer to the Laws of the United States, 1st vol. p. 73 (or 74).

It's not yet clear whether the 13th Amendment was published in Laws of the United States, 1st Vol., prematurely, by accident, in anticipation of Virginia's ratification, or as part of a plot to discredit the Amendment by making it appear that only twelve States had ratified. Whether the Laws of the United States Vol. 1 (carrying the 13th Amendment) was re-called or made-up is unknown. In fact, it's not even clear that the specified volume was actually printed -- the Law Library of the Library of Congress has no record of its existence.

However, because the noted authors reported no further references to the 13th Amendment after the Presidential letter of February, 1818, they apparently assumed the ratification process had ended in failure at that time. If so, they neglected to seek information on the Amendment after 1818, or at the state level, and therefore missed the evidence of Virginia's ratification. This opinion -- assuming that the Presidential letter of February, 1818, was the last word on the Amendment -- has persisted to this day.

In 1849, Virginia decided to revise the 1819 Civil Code of Virginia (which had contained the 13th Amendment for 30 years). It was at that time that one of the code's revisers (a lawyer named Patton) wrote to the Secretary of the Navy, William B. Preston, asking if this Amendment had been ratified or appeared by mistake. Preston wrote to J. M. Clayton, the Secretary of State, who replied that this Amendment was not ratified by a sufficient number of States. This conclusion was based upon the information that Secretary of State John Quincy Adams had provided the House of Representatives in 1818, before Virginia's ratification in 1819. (Even today, the Congressional Research Service tells anyone asking about this 13th Amendment this same story: that only twelve states, not the requisite thirteen, had ratified.)

However, despite Clayton's opinion, the Amendment continued to be published in various states and territories for at least another eleven years (the last known publication was in the Nebraska territory in 1860).

Once again the 13th Amendment was caught in the riptides of American politics. South Carolina seceded from the Union in December of 1860, signaling the onset of the Civil War. In March, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated.

Later in 1861, another proposed amendment, also numbered thirteen, was signed by President Lincoln. This was the only proposed amendment that was ever signed by a president. That resolve to amend read:

In other words, President Lincoln had signed a resolve that would have permitted slavery, and upheld states' rights. Only one State, Illinois, ratified this proposed amendment before the Civil War broke out in 1861.

In the tumult of 1865, the original 13th Amendment was finally removed from the US Constitution. On January 31, another 13th Amendment (which prohibited slavery in Sect. 1, and ended states' rights in Sect. 2) was proposed. On April 9, the Civil War ended with General Lee's surrender. On April 14, President Lincoln (who, in 1861, had signed the proposed Amendment that would have allowed slavery and states rights) was assassinated. On December 6, the "new" 13th Amendment loudly prohibiting slavery (and quietly surrendering states rights to the federal government) was ratified, replacing and effectively erasing the original 13th Amendment that had prohibited "titles of nobility" and "honors".


To create the present oligarchy (rule by lawyers) which the U.S. now endures, the lawyers first had to remove the 13th "titles of nobility" Amendment that might otherwise have kept them in check. In fact, it was not until after the Civil War and after the disappearance of this 13th Amendment, that American bar associations began to appear and exercise political power.

Since the unlawful deletion of the 13th Amendment, the newly developing bar associations began working diligently to create a system wherein lawyers took on a title of privilege and nobility as "Esquires" and received the "honor" of offices and positions (like district attorney or judge) that only they could hold. By virtue of these titles, honors, and special privileges, lawyers have assumed political and economic advantages over the majority of U.S. citizens. Through these privileges, they have nearly established a two-tiered citizenship in this nation where a majority may vote, but only a minority (lawyers) may run for political office. This two-tiered citizenship is clearly contrary to Americans' political interests, the nation's economic welfare, and the Constitution's egalitarian spirit.

The significance of this missing 13th Amendment and its deletion from the Constitution is this: Since the amendment was never lawfully nullified, it is still in full force and effect and is the Law of the land. If public support could be awakened, this missing Amendment might provide a legal basis to challenge many existing laws and court decisions previously made by lawyers who were unconstitutionally elected or appointed to their positions of power it might even mean the removal of lawyers from the current US government system.

At the very least, this missing 13th Amendment demonstrates that two centuries ago, lawyers were recognized as enemies of the people and nation. Some things never change.

THOSE WHO CANNOT RECALL HISTORY . Heed warnings of Founding Fathers

In his farewell address, George Washington warned of ". change by usurpation for through this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed."

In 1788, Thomas Jefferson proposed that we have a Declaration of Rights similar to Virginia's. Three of his suggestions were "freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by jury in all cases" and "no suspensions of the habeas corpus."

No doubt Washington's warning and Jefferson's ideas were dismissed as redundant by those who knew the law. Who would have dreamed the U.S. legal system would become a monopoly against freedom when that was one of the primary causes for the rebellion against King George III?

Yet, the denial of trial by jury is now commonplace in the U.S. courts, and habeas corpus, for crimes against the state, is suspended. (By crimes against the state, I refer to "political crimes" where there is no injured party and the corpus delicti [evidence] is equally imaginary.)

The authority to create monopolies was judge-made law by Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, et al during the early 1800's. Judges (and lawyers) granted to themselves the power to declare the acts of the People "un-Constitutional", waited until their decision was grandfathered, and then granted themselves a monopoly by creating the bar associations.

Although Article VI of the U.S. Constitution mandates that executive orders and treaties are binding upon the states (". and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."), the supreme Court has held that the Bill of Rights is not binding upon the states, and thereby resurrected many of the complaints enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, exactly as Thomas Jefferson foresaw in "Notes on the State of Virginia", Query 17, p. 161, 1784:

  • Will we fight to revive our rights? Or,
  • Will we meekly submit as our last remaining rights expire, surrendered to the courts, and perhaps to a "new world order"?


As we go to press, I've received information from a researcher in Indiana, and another in Dallas, who have found five more editions of statutes that include the Constitution and the missing 13th Amendment. These editions were printed by Ohio, 1819 Connecticut (one of the states that voted against ratifying the Amendment), 1835 Kansas, 1861 and the Colorado Territory, 1865 and 1867.

  1. They offer independent confirmation of Dodge's claims and
  2. They extend the known dates of publication from Nebraska 1860 (Dodge's most recent find), to Colorado in 1867.

The most intriguing discovery was the 1867 Colorado Territory edition which includes both the "missing" 13th Amendment and the current 13th Amendment (freeing the slaves), on the same page. The current 13th Amendment is listed as the 14th Amendment in the 1867 Colorado edition.

This investigation has followed a labyrinthine path that started with the questions about how the U.S. courts evolved from a temple of the Bill of Rights to the current star chamber and whether this situation had anything to do with retiring chief Justice Burger's warning that we were "about to lose our Constitution". My seven year investigation has been fruitful beyond belief the information on the missing 13th Amendment is only a "drop in the bucket" of the information I have discovered. Still, the research continues, and by definition, is never truly complete.


Imagine a nation which prohibited at least some lawyers from serving in government. Imagine a government prohibited from writing laws granting "honors" (special privileges, immunities, or advantages) to individuals, groups, or government officials. Imagine a government that could only write laws that applied to everyone, even themselves, equally.

It's never been done before. Not once. But it has been tried: In 1810 the Congress of the United States proposed a 13th Amendment to the Constitution that might have given us just that sort of equality and political paradise. The story begins (again) in 1983, when David Dodge and Tom Dunn discovered an 1825 edition of the Maine Civil Code which contained the U.S. Constitution and a 13th Amendment which no longer appears on the Constitution:

  1. The 13th Amendment prohibiting "titles of nobility" and "honors" appeared in at least 30 editions of the Constitution of the United States which were printed by at least 14 states or territories between 1819 and 1867 and
  2. This amendment quietly disappeared from the Constitution near the end of the Civil War.
  1. Unratified and mistakenly published for almost 50 years or
  2. Ratified in 1819, and then illegally removed from the Constitution by 1867.

If this 13th Amendment was unratified and mistakenly published, the story has remained unnoticed in American history for over a century. If so, it's at least a good story -- an extraordinary historical anecdote.

On the other hand, if Dodge is right and the Amendment was truly ratified, an Amendment has been subverted from our Constitution. If so, this "missing" Amendment would still be the Law, and this story could be one of the most important stories in American History. Whatever the answer, it's certain that something extraordinary happened to our Constitution between 1819 and 1867.

PROS AND CONS (for Ratification)

Of course, there are two sides to this issue. David Dodge, the principal researcher, argues that this 13th Amendment was ratified in 1819 and then subverted from the Constitution near the end of the Civil War. U.S. Senator George Mitchell of Maine, and Mr. Dane Hartgrove (Acting Assistant Chief, Civil Reference Branch of the National Archives) have argued that the Amendment was never properly ratified and only published in error.

There is some agreement. Both sides agree the Amendment was proposed by Congress in 1810. Both sides also agree that the proposed Amendment required the support of at least thirteen states to be ratified. Both sides agree that between 1810 and 1812 twelve states voted to support ratification. The pivotal issue is whether Virginia ratified or rejected the proposed Amendment. Dodge contends Virginia voted to support the Amendment in 1819, and so the Amendment was truly ratified and should still be a part of our Constitution. Senator Mitchell and Mr. Hartgrove disagree, arguing that Virginia did not ratify. Unfortunately, several decades of Virginia's legislative journals were misplaced or destroyed (possibly during the Civil War possibly during the 1930's).

Consequently, neither side has found absolute proof that the Virginia legislature voted for (or against) ratification. A series of letters exchanged in 1991 between David Dodge, Sen. Mitchell, and Mr. Hartgrove illuminate the various points of disagreement. After Dodge's initial report of a "missing" Amendment in the 1825 Maine Civil Code, Sen. Mitchell explained that this edition was a one-time publishing error:

Dodge dug deeper, found other editions (there are 30, to date) of state and territorial civil codes that contained the missing Amendment, and thereby demonstrated that the Maine publication was not a "one-time" publishing error.


After examining Dodge's evidence of multiple publications of the "missing" Amendment, Sen. Mitchell and Mr. Hartgrove conceded the Amendment had been published by several states and was ratified by twelve of the seventeen states in the Union in 1810. However, because the Constitution requires that three-quarters of the states vote to ratify an Amendment. Mitchell and Hartgrove insisted that the 13th Amendment was published in error because it was passed by only twelve, not thirteen States. Dodge investigated which seventeen states were in the Union at the time the Amendment was proposed, which states had ratified, which states had rejected the amendment, and determined that the issue hung on whether one last state (Virginia) had or had not, voted to ratify.

After several years of searching the Virginia state archive, Dodge made a crucial discovery: In Spring of 1991, he found a misplaced copy of the 1819 Virginia Civil Code which included the "missing" 13th Amendment. Dodge notes that, curiously, "There is no public record that shows this book [the 1819 Virginia Civil Code] exists. It is not catalogued as a holding of the Library of Congress nor is it in the National Union Catalogue. Neither the state law library nor the law school in Portland were able to find any trace that this book exists in any of their computer programs."

  1. Knew they were the last state whose vote was necessary to ratify this 13th Amendment
  2. Had voted to ratify the Amendment and
  3. Were publishing the Amendment in a special edition of their Civil Code as an official notice to the world that the Amendment had indeed been ratified.

Dodge concluded, "Unless there is competing evidence to the contrary, it must be held that the Constitution of the United States was officially amended to exclude from its body of citizens any who accepted or claimed a title of nobility or accepted any special favors. Foremost in this category of ex-citizens are bankers and lawyers."

RATIONALES (for Ratification)

Undeterred, Sen. Mitchell wrote that, "Article XIII did not receive the three-fourths vote required from the states within the time limit to be ratified." (Although his language is imprecise, Sen. Mitchell seems to concede that although the Amendment had failed to satisfy the "time limit", the required three-quarters of the states did vote to ratify.)

Dodge replies: "Contrary to your assertion. there was no time limit for amendment ratification in 1811. Any time limit is now established by Congress in the Resolves for proposed amendments."

In fact, ratification time limits didn't start until 1917, when Sect. 3 of the Eighteenth Amendment stated that, "This Article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified within seven years from the date of submission . to the States by Congress." A similar time limit is now included on other proposed Amendments, but there was no specified time limit when the 13th Amendment was proposed in 1810 or ratified in 1819.

Sen. Mitchell remained determined to find some rationale, somewhere, that would defeat Dodge's persistence. Although Sen. Mitchell implicitly conceded that his "published by error" and "time limit" arguments were invalid, he continued to grope for reasons to dispute the ratification: ". regardless of whether the state of Virginia did ratify the proposed Thirteenth Amendment. on March 12, 1819, this approval would not have been sufficient to amend the Constitution.

In 1819, there were twenty-one states in the United States and any amendment would have required approval of sixteen states to amend the Constitution. According to your own research, Virginia would have only been the thirteenth state to approve the proposed amendment." Dodge replies: "Article V [amendment procedures] of the Constitution is silent on the question of whether or not the framers meant three-fourths of the states at the time the proposed amendment is submitted to the states for ratification, or three-fourths of the states that exist at some future point in time. Since only the existing states were involved in the debate and vote of Congress on the Resolve proposing an Amendment, it is reasonable that ratification be limited to those States that took an active part in the Amendment process."

Dodge demonstrated this rationale by pointing out that, "President Monroe had his Secretary of State. [ask the] governors of Virginia, South Carolina, and Connecticut, in January, 1818, as to the status of the amendment in their respective states. The four new states (Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi, and Illinois) that were added to the union between 1810 and 1818 were not even considered."

From a modern perspective, it seems strange that not all states would be included in the ratification process. But bear in mind that this perspective is based on life in a stable nation that's added only five new states in this century -- about one every eighteen years. However, between 1803 and 1821 (when the 13th Amendment ratification drama unfolded), they added eight states -- almost one new state every two years. This rapid national growth undoubtedly fostered national attitudes different from our own. The government had to be filled with the euphoria of a growing Republic that expected to quickly add new states all the way to the Pacific Ocean and the Isthmus of Panama. The government would not willingly compromise or complicate that growth potential with procedural obstacles to involve every new state in each on-going ratification could inadvertently slow the nation's growth.

For example, if a territory petitioned to join the Union while an Amendment was being considered, its access to statehood might depend on whether the territory expected to ratify or reject a proposed amendment. If the territory was expected to ratify the proposed Amendment government, officials who favored the Amendment might try to accelerate the territory's entry into the Union. On the other hand, those opposed to the Amendment might try to slow or even deny a particular territory's statehood. These complications could unnecessarily slow the entry of new states into the nation, or restrict the nation's ability to pass new Amendments. Neither possibility could appeal to politicians.

Whatever the reason, the House of Representatives resolved to ask only Connecticut, South Carolina, and Virginia for their decision on ratifying the 13th Amendment -- they did not ask for the decisions of the four new states. Since the new states had Representatives in the House who did not protest when the resolve was passed, it's apparent that even the new states agreed that they should not be included in the ratification process.

In 1818, the President, the House of Representatives, the Secretary of State, the four "new" states, and the seventeen "old" states, all clearly believed that the support of just thirteen states was required to ratify the 13th Amendment. That being so, Virginia's vote to ratify was legally sufficient to ratify the "missing' Amendment in 1819 (and would still be so today).


Apparently persuaded by Dodge's various arguments and proofs that the "missing" 13th Amendment had satisfied the Constitutional requirements for ratification, Mr. Hartgrove (National Archives) wrote back that Virginia had nevertheless failed to satisfy the bureaucracy's procedural requirements for ratification:

This is an extraordinary admission. Mr. Hartgrove implicitly concedes that the 13th Amendment was ratified by Virginia and satisfied the Constitution's ratification requirements. However, Hartgrove then insists that the ratification was nevertheless justly denied because the Secretary of State was not properly notified with a "certificate of ratification". In other words, the government's last, best argument that the 13th Amendment was not ratified boils down to this:

Though the Amendment satisfied Constitutional requirement for ratification, it is nonetheless missing from our Constitution simply because a single, official sheet of paper is missing in Washington.

  1. Virginia failed to file a proper notice or
  2. The notice was "lost in the mail" or
  3. The notice was lost, unrecorded, misplaced, or intentionally destroyed, by some bureaucrat in Washington D.C.

This final excuse insults every American's political rights, but Mr. Hartgrove nevertheless offers a glimmer of hope: If the National Archives "received a certificate of ratification of the title of nobility amendment from the Commonwealth of Virginia, we would inform Congress and await further developments." In other words, the issue of whether this 13th Amendment was ratified and is, or is not, a legitimate Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is not merely a historical curiosity -- the ratification issue is still alive.

But most importantly, Hartgrove implies that the only remaining argument against the 13th Amendment's ratification is a procedural error involving the absence of a "certificate of ratification".

Dodge countered Hartgrove's procedure argument by citing some of the ratification procedures recorded for other states when the 13th Amendment was being considered. He notes that according to the Journal of the House of Representatives. 11th Congress, 2nd Session, at p. 241, a "letter" (not a "certificate of ratification") from the Governor of Ohio announcing Ohio's ratification was submitted not to the Secretary of State but rather to the House of Representatives where it "was read and ordered to lie on the table." Likewise, "The Kentucky ratification was also returned to the House, while Maryland's earlier ratification is not listed as having been returned to Congress."

The House Journal implies that since Ohio and Kentucky were not required to notify the Secretary of State of their ratification decisions, there was likewise no requirement that Virginia file a "certificate of ratification" with the Secretary of State. Again, despite arguments to the contrary, it appears that the "missing" Amendment was Constitutionally ratified and should not be denied because of some possible procedural error.


Each of Sen. Mitchell's and Mr. Hartgrove's arguments against ratificationbhave been overcome or badly weakened. Still, some of the evidence supporting ratification is inferential some of the conclusions are only implied. But it's no wonder that there's such an austere sprinkling of hard evidence surrounding this 13th Amendment:

According to The Gazette (5/10/91), the Library of Congress has 349,402 un-catalogued rare books and 13.9 million un-catalogued rare manuscripts. The evidence of ratification seems tantalizingly close but remains buried in those masses of un-catalogued documents, waiting to be found. It will take some luck and some volunteers to uncover the final proof.

We have an Amendment that looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. But because we have been unable to find the eggshell from which it hatched in 1819, Sen. Mitchell and Mr. Hartgrove insist we can't . quite . absolutely prove it's a duck, and therefore, the government is under no obligation to concede it's a duck. Maybe so. But if we can't prove it's a duck, they can't prove it's not. If the proof of ratification is not quite conclusive, the evidence against ratification is almost nonexistent, largely a function of the government's refusal to acknowledge the proof. We are left in the peculiar position of boys facing bullies in the schoolyard. We show them proof that they should again include the "missing" 13th Amendment on the Constitution they sneer and jeer and taunt us with cries of "make us". Perhaps we shall.

It's worth noting that Rick Donaldson, another researcher, uncovered certified copies of the 1865 and 1867 editions of the Colorado Civil Codes which also contain the missing Amendment. Although these editions were stored in the Colorado state archive, their existence was previously un-catalogued and unknown to the Colorado archivists.

This raises a fantastic possibility. If there's insufficient evidence that Virginia did ratify in 1819, there is no evidence that Virginia did not. Therefore, since there was no time limit specified when the Amendment was proposed, and since the government clearly believed only Virginia's vote remained to be counted in the ratification issue, the current state legislature of Virginia could theoretically vote to ratify the Amendment, send the necessary certificates to Washington, and thereby add the Amendment to the Constitution.

Was it ratified? There is a lot of evidence that it was. Could all of the following publications have been in error?


Note: The "Laws of the United States" was published by John Duane. Without doubt, Duane was aware of Virginia's plan to ratify this amendment which targeted, amongst other things, the emolument of banking and the agents of foreign banking interests, the attorneys. Currency manipulation led to the failure of numerous banks and in turn to many a personal bankruptcy, including that of Thomas Jefferson. The allegiance of attorneys** has always been with the money state, whether pharaoh, caesar, monarch or corporate monopoly.

** See: "Acts of Virginia", Feb. 20, 1812, p.143.

The Court, in "Horst v. Moses", 48 Alabama 129, 142 (1872) gave the following description of a title of nobility:

The prohibition of titles of nobility stops the claim of eminent domain through fictions of law. Eminent domain is the legal euphemism for expropriation, and unreasonable seizure given sanction by the targets of this amendment.

The debate goes on. The mystery continues to unfold. The answer lies buried in the archives. If you are close to a state archive or large library anywhere in the USA, please search for editions of the U.S. Constitution printed between 1819 and 1870.

If you will, please check your state's archives and libraries to review any copies of the Constitution printed prior to the Civil War, or any books containing prints of the Constitution before 1870. If you locate anything related to this project we would appreciate hearing from you so we may properly fulfill this effort of research.

If you find more evidence of the "missing" 13th Amendment please contact:

David Dodge
POB 985
Taos, New Mexico, 87571

This version of this research text by David Dodge was edited for clarity, and hand-coded in HTML on July 4, A.D. 2002, by The Lawful Path,, and was adapted from a prior version placed on the web by Barefoot Bob, May 5, 1996.

(Isaiah 33:22) For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king he will save us.


President Abraham Lincoln had won the 1860 presidential election as a member of the Republican Party, but, in hopes of winning the support of War Democrats, he ran under the banner of the National Union Party in the 1864 presidential election. [1] At the party's convention in Baltimore in June, Lincoln was easily nominated, but the party dropped Vice President Hannibal Hamlin from the ticket in favor of Andrew Johnson, a War Democrat who served as the military governor of Tennessee. [2] After the National Union ticket won the 1864 presidential election, Johnson was sworn in as vice president on March 4, 1865. [3]

On April 14, 1865, in the closing days of the Civil War, President Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer. The shooting of the president was part of a conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward on the same night. Seward barely survived his wounds, while Johnson escaped attack as his would-be assassin, George Atzerodt, got drunk instead of killing the vice president. Leonard J. Farwell, a fellow boarder at the Kirkwood House, awoke Johnson with news of Lincoln's shooting at Ford's Theatre. Johnson rushed to the president's deathbed, where he remained a short time, on his return promising, "They shall suffer for this. They shall suffer for this." [4] Lincoln died at 7:22 am the next morning Johnson's swearing in occurred between 10 and 11 am with Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presiding in the presence of most of the Cabinet. Johnson's demeanor was described by the newspapers as "solemn and dignified". [5] Johnson presided over Lincoln's funeral ceremonies in Washington, before his predecessor's body was sent home to Springfield, Illinois, for burial. [6]

At the suggestion of Attorney General James Speed, Johnson allowed a military commission to try the surviving alleged perpetrators of Lincoln's assassination. A six-week trial culminated in death sentences for four of the defendants, along with lesser sentences for the others. [7] The events of the assassination resulted in speculation, then and subsequently, concerning Johnson and what the conspirators might have intended for him. In the vain hope of having his life spared after his capture, Atzerodt spoke much about the conspiracy, but did not say anything to indicate that the plotted assassination of Johnson was merely a ruse. Conspiracy theorists point to the fact that on the day of the assassination, Booth came to the Kirkwood House and left one of his cards. This object was received by Johnson's private secretary, William A. Browning, with an inscription, "Are you at home? Don't wish to disturb you. J. Wilkes Booth." [8]

Johnson took office at a time of shifting partisan alignments. Former Whigs and former Democrats contended for influence within the Republican Party, while the remaining Northern Democrats looked to redefine their party in the wake of the Civil War. [9] Johnson's accession left a Southern former Democrat in the president's office at the end of a civil war that had as its immediate impetus the election of Abraham Lincoln, a Northern Republican, to the presidency in 1860. Johnson had served as a Democrat in various offices prior to the Civil War, [10] and he became one of the most prominent Southern Unionists after the start of the war. [11] During the 1864 presidential election, the Republican ticket campaigned as the National Union ticket, and the National Union convention chose Johnson as the party's vice presidential nominee in large part because of Johnson's status as a prominent Southern War Democrat. [12] Though he never declared himself to be a Republican, [13] when Johnson took office, he had widespread approval within the Republican Party. [14]

Johnson's Reconstruction policy quickly alienated many in the Republican Party, while Johnson's patronage decisions and alliance with Seward alienated many Democrats. [15] Instead of allying with either of the established parties, Johnson sought to create a new party consisting of the conservative elements of both parties. [16] In August 1866, Johnson held a convention of his supporters in Philadelphia. The convention endorsed Johnson's program, but Johnson was unable to establish a durable coalition. [17] Towards the end of his term, Johnson pursued the 1868 Democratic nomination, but his alliance with Lincoln and his patronage decisions had made him many enemies in that party. [18]

The Johnson Cabinet
PresidentAndrew Johnson1865–1869
Vice Presidentnone1865–1869
Secretary of StateWilliam H. Seward1865–1869
Secretary of the TreasuryHugh McCulloch1865–1869
Secretary of WarEdwin Stanton1865–1868 †
John Schofield1868–1869
Attorney GeneralJames Speed1865–1866
Henry Stanbery1866–1868
William M. Evarts1868–1869
Postmaster GeneralWilliam Dennison Jr.1865–1866
Alexander Randall1866–1869
Secretary of the NavyGideon Welles1865–1869
Secretary of the InteriorJohn Palmer Usher1865
James Harlan1865–1866
Orville Hickman Browning1866–1869
† replaced ad interim by Ulysses S. Grant in August 1867
before being reinstated by Congress in January 1868

On taking office, Johnson promised to continue the policies of his predecessor, and he initially kept Lincoln's cabinet in place. Secretary of State William Seward became one of the most influential members of Johnson's Cabinet, and Johnson allowed Seward to pursue an expansionary foreign policy. Early in his presidency, Johnson trusted Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to carry out his Reconstruction policies, and he also had a favorable opinion of Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch. He had less esteem for Postmaster General William Dennison Jr., Attorney General James Speed, and Secretary of the Interior James Harlan. [19]

Harlan, Dennison, and Speed resigned in June 1866 after Johnson had broken with congressional Republicans. [20] Speed's replacement, Henry Stanbery, emerged as one of the most prominent members of Johnson's cabinet before resigning to defend Johnson during his impeachment trial. [21] Johnson suspended Stanton after disagreements related to Reconstruction and replaced him with General of the Army Ulysses S. Grant on an interim basis. [22] After clashing with Grant, Johnson offered the position of Secretary of War to General William T. Sherman, who declined, and to Lorenzo Thomas, who accepted. [23] Thomas never took office Johnson appointed John Schofield as Secretary of War as a compromise with moderate Republicans. [24]

Johnson appointed nine Article III federal judges during his presidency, all to United States district courts he did not successfully appoint a justice to serve on the Supreme Court. In April 1866, he nominated Henry Stanbery to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Associate Justice John Catron, but Congress eliminated the seat by passing the Judicial Circuits Act of 1866. To ensure that Johnson did not get to make any appointments, the act also provided that the Court would shrink by one justice when one next departed from office. [25] Johnson did appoint his Greeneville crony, Samuel Milligan, to the United States Court of Claims, where he served from 1868 until his death in 1874. [26]

Johnson took office after Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomatox Court House, but Confederate armies remained in the field. On April 21, 1865, Johnson, with the unanimous backing of his cabinet, ordered General Ulysses S. Grant to overturn an armistice concluded between Union General William T. Sherman and Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. The armistice had included political conditions such as the recognition of existing Confederate state governments. On May 2, Johnson issued a proclamation offering $100,000 for the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who many thought had been involved in the assassination of Lincoln. Davis was captured on May 10. In late May, the final Confederate force in the field surrendered, and Johnson presided over a triumphant military parade in Washington, D.C. alongside the cabinet and the nation's top generals. After less than two months in office, Johnson had cultivated the reputation of someone who would be tough on the defeated Confederacy, and his esteem among congressional Republicans remained high. [27]

In the final days of Lincoln's presidency, Congress had approved what would become the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude nationwide. The amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states (then 27) in December 1865, becoming the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. [28] Though Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had freed many slaves in the former Confederacy, the Thirteenth Amendment permanently abolished slavery nationwide and freed slaves in border states like Kentucky. [29]

With the end of the Civil War, Johnson faced the question of what to do with the states that had formed the Confederacy. President Lincoln had authorized loyalist governments in Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee as the Union came to control large parts of those states and advocated a ten percent plan that would allow elections after ten percent of the voters in any state took an oath of future loyalty to the Union. Many in Congress considered this too lenient. The Wade–Davis Bill, requiring a majority of voters to take the loyalty oath, had passed both houses of Congress in 1864, but Lincoln had pocket vetoed it. [30]

At the time of Johnson's accession, Congress consisted of three factions. The Radical Republicans sought voting and other civil rights for African Americans. They believed that the freedmen could be induced to vote Republican in gratitude for emancipation, and that black votes could keep the Republicans in power. [31] Radical Republicans were defined by their views on Reconstruction, the protection of minority rights, and the necessity of a stronger postwar role for the federal government they did not hold unified views on economic matters. [32] The Moderate Republicans were not as enthusiastic about the idea of African-American suffrage as their Radical colleagues, either because of their own local political concerns, or because they believed that the freedman would be likely to cast his vote badly. [31] Nonetheless, they were committed to ensuring that African-Americans were granted more than "nominal freedom," and they opposed restoring Confederate officials to power. [33] The third faction in Congress, Northern Democrats, favored the unconditional restoration of the Southern states and opposed African-American suffrage. [31]

Presidential Reconstruction Edit

Johnson was initially left to devise a Reconstruction policy without legislative intervention, as Congress was not due to meet again until December 1865. [34] Johnson believed that the Southern states had never truly left the Union. With the rebellion defeated, he thought that the South should re-take their place as equal partners under the United States Constitution. Despite the pleas of African-Americans and many congressional Republicans, Johnson viewed suffrage as a state issue, and was uninterested in using federal power to impose sweeping changes on the defeated South. [35] Johnson instead sought to help working class whites overcome the elite planter class, with African Americans still relegated to the lowest rung of Southern society. [36]

Johnson decided to organize state governments throughout the South, acting quickly to reconstitute governments in states that had, until recently, been in rebellion. [37] In May 1865, he removed Nathaniel P. Banks from command in Louisiana after Banks protested the appointment of former Confederate officials by Governor James Madison Wells. [38] That same month, Johnson recognized Francis Harrison Pierpont's government in Virginia, and appointed William Woods Holden as Governor of North Carolina. Johnson subsequently appointed governors to lead the other former Confederate states. He chose those governors without regard to their previous political affiliation or ideology, instead focusing upon their loyalty to the Union during the Civil War. Johnson did not impose many conditions on his governors, asking only that they seek the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment and the repudiation of secession ordinances and the Confederate debt. [37] Alabama Governor Lewis E. Parsons, a Johnson appointee, declared that "every political right which the state possessed under the federal Constitution is hers today, with the single exception relating to slavery." [39] The Southern governors called state conventions that in turn organized new governments and called new elections, from which former secessionists emerged triumphant. The new governments passed strict Black Codes that constituted a virtual re-establishment of slavery. Johnson refused to interfere, as he firmly believed that such matters were state, rather than federal, issues. [40]

Johnson frequently acted to undermine the Freedmen's Bureau, an agency that had been established by Congress in March 1865. Together with the U.S. Army, the Freedmen's Bureau acted as a relief agency and police force in the South, providing aid to both whites and blacks. [41] In September 1865, Johnson overturned a Freedmen's Bureau order that had granted abandoned land to freedmen who had begun cultivating it Johnson instead ordered such property returned to its pre-war owners. [42] Johnson also purged Freedmen's Bureau officers whom Southern whites had accused of favoring blacks. [43] Johnson was less active in curbing the army's authority than that of the Freedmen's Bureau, but the army nonetheless saw its influence decline as soldiers were demobilized following the end of the war. [44]

In addition to quickly restoring state governments and interfering with the work of the Freedmen's Bureau, Johnson also sought to restore the property and civil rights of white Southerners. On May 29, 1865, Johnson offered amnesty to most former Confederates. The order did not include high military and civil officers of the Confederacy, war criminals, and those with taxable property greater than $20,000. In late 1865 and early 1866, on the advice of the Southern governors that he had appointed, Johnson pardoned much of the elite planter class. Subsequently, the planter elite largely re-took power in the South, contrary to Johnson's earlier plans for Reconstruction. [45] Foner notes that the motivation for Johnson's decision to re-empower to the Southern prewar elite, despite his earlier support for the punishment of rebel leaders, "has always been something of a mystery." Foner speculates that Johnson believed that an alliance with the planters would ensure ongoing white domination of the South and boost his 1868 re-election bid. [46] Johnson's 1865 program of presidential reconstruction extinguished any hope of enforcing black suffrage in the aftermath of the Civil War, as re-empowered Southern whites were no longer willing to accept sweeping changes to the pre-war status quo. [47]

Return of Congress Edit

Though not all Republicans favored black suffrage, the passage of the Black Codes and the restoration to power of former Confederate leaders elicited widespread outrage in the party. [48] On its return in December 1865, Congress refused to seat the Southern Congressmen who had been elected by the governments established under Johnson. [49] It also established the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, led by Moderate Republican Senator William P. Fessenden, to investigate conditions in the South. [50] Despite these moves, most members of Congress were reluctant to directly confront the president, and initially only sought to fine-tune Johnson's policies towards the South. [51] According to Trefousse, "If there was a time when Johnson could have come to an agreement with the moderates of the Republican Party, it was the period following the return of Congress". [52]

Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull, leader of the Moderate Republicans and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was anxious to reach an understanding with the president. He ushered through Congress a bill extending the Freedmen's Bureau beyond its scheduled abolition in 1867, as well as a civil rights bill. [53] The civil rights bill granted birthright citizenship to all individuals born in the United States, with the exception of Native Americans, and declared that no state could violate the fundamental rights of U.S. citizens. [54] Trumbull met several times with Johnson and became convinced that the president would sign the measures. To the delight of white Southerners and the puzzled anger of Republican legislators, Johnson vetoed the Freedman's Bureau bill on February 18, 1866. [53] By late January 1866, Johnson had become convinced that winning a showdown with the Radical Republicans was necessary to his political plans – both for the success of Reconstruction and for re-election in 1868. [53] In his veto message, he argued that the Freedman's Bureau was an unconstitutional and unwise exercise of federal power, and added that Congress should not consider major legislation while the eleven former Confederate states were not represented in Congress. [55] Johnson considered himself vindicated when a move to override his veto failed in the Senate the following day. [53] Johnson believed that the Radicals would now be isolated and defeated, and that the Moderate Republicans would form behind him he did not understand that Moderates too wanted to see African Americans treated fairly. [56]

On February 22, 1866, Washington's Birthday, Johnson gave an impromptu speech to supporters who had marched to the White House and called for an address in honor of George Washington. In his hour-long speech, he instead referred to himself over 200 times. More damagingly, he also spoke of "men . still opposed to the Union" to whom he could not extend the hand of friendship he gave to the South. [57] [58] When called upon by the crowd to say who they were, Johnson named Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, and abolitionist Wendell Phillips, and accused them of plotting his assassination. Republicans viewed the address as a declaration of war, while one Democratic ally estimated Johnson's speech cost Democratic Party 200,000 votes in the 1866 congressional midterm elections. [59]

Break with the Republicans Edit

Even after the veto of the Freedman's Bureau bill, Moderate Republicans were hopeful that Johnson would sign the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which had passed Congress with nearly unanimous support from Republicans. Though most of Johnson's cabinet urged him to sign the Civil Rights Act, the president vetoed it, marking a permanent break with the moderate faction of the Republican Party. In his veto message, Johnson argued that the bill discriminated against whites and a dangerous expansion of federal power. [60] Within three weeks, Congress had overridden his veto, the first time that had been done on a major bill in American history. [61] According to Stewart, the veto was "for many his defining blunder, setting a tone of perpetual confrontation with Congress that prevailed for the rest of his presidency". [62] Congress also passed the Freedmen's Bureau Act a second time, and again the president vetoed it this time, the veto was overridden. [63]

Congressional Republicans were angered by Johnson's obstruction of Congress's Reconstruction program, which eventually led to his impeachment. [64] The battle over Reconstruction encouraged both radical and moderate Republicans to seek Constitutional guarantees for black rights, rather than relying on temporary political majorities. [65] Congress had already begun to consider amendments to address the issue of black suffrage and congressional apportionment in light of the abolition of slavery. [66] In late April, the Joint Committee on Reconstruction proposed an amendment that addressed most of the major issues facing Congress. The first section of the proposed amendment enshrined the principle of birthright citizenship in the constitution, and required states to observe the principles of due process and equal protection of the law. [67] Other sections temporarily disenfranchised former Confederate officials, prohibited the payment of Confederate debts, and provided for the reduction congressional representation in proportion to the number of male voters denied suffrage. [68] Johnson was strongly opposed to this proposed Fourteenth Amendment, which he saw as a repudiation of his administration's actions, and he used his influence to oppose the measure. [63] Despite unanimous opposition from congressional Democrats, the amendment passed both houses of Congress in June 1866 and was formally proposed to the states for ratification. [69]

While Johnson clashed with Congress over Reconstruction, ex-Confederates and other Southerners used increasingly violent methods to oppose federal authority and re-establish their own dominance. [44] Through a mix of legal and extra-legal means, many African-Americans were forced into a coercive labor system that left most blacks without true economic freedom. [70] Concerns about cost and a large standing army led Congress to authorize a 54,000-man peacetime army, which was three times the size of the 1860 force but dramatically smaller than the 1865 force. Overstretched army forces kept order in towns and cities, but were forced to withdraw from most rural areas. Even in cities, mobs attacked African-Americans, "carpetbaggers" (Northerners who moved to the South during Reconstruction), and federal forces in upheavals such as the Memphis riots and the New Orleans riot. These riots shocked many in the North and discredited Johnson's Reconstruction policies, resulting in increased support for a continued federal presence in the South. [71] [72]

1866 mid-term elections Edit

Facing opposition in Congress, Johnson sought to boost his supporters in the November 1866 congressional elections. In August 1866, Johnson held the National Union Convention, using the label that the Republican ticket had campaigned on during the 1864 presidential election. [63] Johnson hoped to unite his conservative supporters into a new party, but the convention ended only with a pledge by attendees to support Johnson and his policies in the 1866 campaign. [73] Republican supporters like Seward and Thurlow Weed, and Democratic supporters like Samuel L. M. Barlow, were unwilling to fully break with their party. [74] Following the convention, Johnson campaigned vigorously, undertaking a public speaking tour known as the "Swing Around the Circle". The trip, including speeches in Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Columbus, proved politically disastrous, as the president made controversial comparisons between himself and Christ and engaged in arguments with hecklers. These exchanges were attacked as beneath the dignity of the presidency. [75] The Republicans won major gains in Congress and made plans to control Reconstruction. [75] Johnson blamed the Democrats for giving only lukewarm support to the National Union movement. [76]


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Sherilyn Brandenstein, &ldquoTexas Equal Rights Amendment,&rdquo Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 18, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected. [2]

This means that if the President is fired, dies, resigns, or is unable "to discharge [his] Powers and Duties" (unable to do the things a President has to do), the Vice President will take over their job. The Vice President will do the President's job until they get better (if they are just sick or disabled), or until the next Presidential election (if the President resigned or is dead). If neither the President nor the Vice President can do the President's job, Congress can decide who takes over the President's job. This is all the Constitution says about this subject. [2]

This clause was not very specific. It did not say: [2]

  • Who had the power to say a President was unable to do his job
  • Whether the Vice President would actually become President if he/she had to take over, or would just be "Acting President" (someone who did the President's job, but never got the title of "President")
  • Who would take the Vice President's job if he/she died, resigned, could not do his/her job, or had to take over for the President
  • How (or who) in Congress should decide who would take over if neither the President or the Vice President could do the President's job

In 1841, the ninth President, William Henry Harrison, became the first United States President to die in office. Before this, Representative John Williams had suggested that the Vice President should become Acting President if the President died. [3] Also, after Harrison died, his Cabinet had met and decided that Vice President John Tyler would become "Vice-President Acting President." [4] However, Tyler did not like this idea. He announced that he had become the President, and was not just doing the old President's job. He refused to look at any papers that were addressed to him as "Acting President." [5]

Tyler took the Presidential Oath, moved into the White House, and took over all of the old President's powers. Nobody formally challenged Tyler's claim to the Presidency. Eventually, both Houses of Congress passed a resolution saying that Tyler was the tenth President of the United States. This created "the precedent of full succession." [6] A precedent is a rule or law that might be followed in the future if a similar situation came up again. "Full succession" means that the Vice President would become the President, not Acting President, if the actual President died. The "precedent of full succession" became known as the "Tyler Precedent."

At other times, Presidents did not die, but they were unable to do their jobs because of illness. For example, during his Presidency, Woodrow Wilson had a stroke. However, the First Lady, Edith Wilson, and the official White House doctor kept the stroke a secret. [7] [8] Because of this, no one took over the Presidency, even though Wilson could not do the job at that time.

Before the 25th Amendment, the office of Vice President had been empty eighteen times because the Vice President died, resigned, or had to take over for the President. [9] For example, there was no Vice President for nearly four years after Franklin D. Roosevelt died. [9]

These problems made it clear that the government needed more specific rules.

Kennedy assassination Edit

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was murdered. Kennedy's assassination made it very clear to Congress that they needed to figure out a solution about presidential succession right away. The United States was in the middle of the Cold War. [10] The new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, had previously had a heart attack [11] in 1955 along with a family history of Johnson men dying relatively young (in their early 60s, which he did in 1973 aged 64). The next two people in line for the presidency were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, John McCormack [12] (who was 71 years old), [13] and the President pro tempore of the Senate, Carl Hayden [12] (who was 86 years old). [14] Congress started moving more quickly.

Proposals Edit

Members of Congress suggested two different amendments to fill in the details missing from Clause 6.

The Keating–Kefauver Proposal suggested allowing Congress to make a law about who should decide when a President is disabled. [15] It was proposed in 1963 by Senator Kenneth Keating of New York, [16] p. 345 and supported by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver. [16] p. 28 However, other Senators were worried that Congress could abuse this power, or would not actually make the law after the amendment was passed. [15] [16] pp. 30–35

The Bayh–Celler Proposal ended up becoming the Twenty-fifth Amendment. [17] On January 6, 1965, Senator Birch Bayh proposed the amendment in the United States Senate, and Representative Emanuel Celler (Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) proposed it in the United States House of Representatives. [17] Unlike the Keating–Kefauver Proposal, it suggested a way to fill the Vice President's position if it was empty, and also set out rules for how a President could be declared "disabled." [15] [16] pp. 348–350

On February 19, 1965, the Senate passed the amendment. However, the House passed a different version of the amendment on April 13. [a] [19] The House and Senate had to form committees to figure out a version of the amendment they could all agree on. [19] On July 6, 1965, both Houses of Congress passed the final version of the amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. [20]

As with all Constitutional amendments proposed by the Congress, the Twenty-fifth Amendment had to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (38 of 50). [18] Ratification was complete 19 months after the Amendment was proposed. Another nine states subsequently also ratified the Amendment three states did not vote to ratify the Amendment. [21]

The states ratified the Amendment in this order: [21]

Order State Date Order State Date
1 Nebraska July 12, 1965 2 Wisconsin July 13, 1965
3 Oklahoma July 16, 1965 4 Massachusetts August 9, 1965
5 Pennsylvania August 18, 1965 6 Kentucky September 15, 1965
7 Arizona September 22, 1965 8 Michigan October 5, 1965
9 Indiana October 20, 1965 10 California October 21, 1965
11 Arkansas November 4, 1965 12 New Jersey November 29, 1965
13 Delaware December 7, 1965 14 Utah January 17, 1966
15 West Virginia January 20, 1966 16 Maine January 24, 1966
17 Rhode Island January 28, 1966 18 Colorado February 3, 1966
19 New Mexico February 3, 1966 20 Kansas February 8, 1966
21 Vermont February 10, 1966 22 Alaska February 18, 1966
23 Idaho March 2, 1966 24 Hawaii March 3, 1966
25 Virginia March 8, 1966 26 Mississippi March 10, 1966
27 New York March 14, 1966 28 Maryland March 23, 1966
29 Missouri March 30, 1966 30 New Hampshire June 13, 1966
31 Louisiana July 5, 1966 32 Tennessee January 12, 1967
33 Wyoming January 25, 1967 34 Washington January 26, 1967
35 Iowa January 26, 1967 36 Oregon February 2, 1967
37 Minnesota February 10, 1967 38 Nevada February 10, 1967
Amendment added to Constitution: February 10, 1967
39 Connecticut February 14, 1967 40 Montana February 15, 1967
41 South Dakota March 6, 1967 42 Ohio March 7, 1967
43 Alabama March 14, 1967 44 North Carolina March 22, 1967
45 Illinois March 22, 1967 46 Texas April 25, 1967
47 Florida May 25, 1967
States That Did Not Ratify the Amendment
North Dakota Georgia
South Carolina

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Alexander Vindman shoots down Democrats' 'bribery,' cover-up claims

The House impeachment hearings Tuesday did not move allegations of bribery closer to President Trump, as witnesses testimony mostly stuck to the transcript of his phone call with the Ukraine president that spurred the probe.

And yet Democrats and Republicans managed to extract from the proceedings a roughly equal amount of ammunition for the impeachment fight in Congress.

A key witness for Democrats, Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman helped bolster their case that Mr. Trump was asking for more than a “favor” in his phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

He described Mr. Trump’s request for investigations of political rival former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and meddling in the U.S. 2016 election as an implied “demand” because of the “power disparity” between the two leaders.

But the military officer also shot holes in Democrats’ claim of a White House cover-up of the July 25 phone call, a claim based on records of the call being put in a top-secret server.

“My understanding is that this was viewed as a sensitive transcript,” Col. Vidman said. “I didn’t take it as anything nefarious.”

In this fashion, the more than 10 hours of testimony presented Americans with a yin and yang of impeachment. There wasn’t the made-for-TV bombshell moment that Democrats were looking for to sell impeachment beyond their base.

And the longer these hearings go on, Democrats increasingly risk losing the public’s attention, said George Mason University political science professor Jennifer Victor.

“There’s a lot of excitement at first and this seems like a really big deal, but the longer it goes on and the more hearings there are … all the details sort of start to run together,” she said. “The main narrative isn’t really changing.”

Mr. Trump pushed Kyiv to investigate Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, who got a $50,000-a-month job on board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holding in 2014, while his father was spearheading Obama White House policy in that graft-riddled country.

Mr. Biden recently boasted of getting Ukraine’s chief prosecutor fired in spring 2016 by threatening to block a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee. The prosecutor was widely viewed as not doing enough to combat corruption. But the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, also was looking into corruption accusations against Burisma and the Ukrainian oligarch running the company.

Democrats are hoping for explosive testimony when Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, faces the impeachment panel Wednesday.

He has emerged as a key go-between for Mr. Trump and Ukraine officials, guiding efforts in Kyiv to set up a White House meeting for Mr. Zelensky and secure commitments for investigations.

He told lawmakers in a closed-door deposition that he communicated to Ukraine officials that U.S. military aid and a White House meeting was contingent on their announcing the investigations. He presumed that was the reason Mr. Trump put a hold on $391 million of military aid, according to his deposition.

Mr. Sondland is poised to be a make-or-break witness, said Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican.

“This impeachment hearing will come down to tomorrow, regardless of which side you’re on — pro-impeachment or not,” he said. “His interactions are the ones closest to the president.”

Democrats argue the link between military aid and investigations constitutes a bribe or extortion, which would be grounds for impeachment.

Republicans pressed every witness on whether they engaged in bribery or were asked to conduct bribes. Each witness said no.

“I was never involved in anything that I would consider bribery or extortion,” Col. Vindman said.

Also denying knowledge of bribery, extortion or other crimes under the guise of foreign policy in Ukraine were Jennifer Williams, a State Department aide assigned to the office of Vice President Mike Pence Kurt D. Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine and Timothy Morrison, the former senior director for European affairs on the president’s National Security Council.

“The problem is in an impeachment inquiry that the speaker of the House says is all about bribery, where bribery is the impeachable offense, not one witness has used the word ‘bribery’ to describe President Trump’s conduct, not one of them,” Rep. John Ratcliffe, Texas Republican, said when questioning Col. Vindman and Ms. Williams.

The two witnesses said they were concerned the July 25 phone call crossed the line from serving the national interest to Mr. Trump’s political interest. But they also testified that they never learned why the military aid was delayed for roughly two months, until September, shortly after the launch of the impeachment inquiry.

Although the military aid was delayed, it was ultimately delivered and there is no evidence that the Ukrainians began any investigations into the Bidens, at Mr. Trump’s behest or otherwise. Mr. Zelensky has said he did not feel he was being pressured or coerced on the phone call, a transcript of which the White House has released.

Mr. Volker said that he never connected the push to investigate the Ukrainian energy company Burisma with an investigation of the Bidens. The Ukrainians could have viewed it that way, he said.

“In retrospect, for the Ukrainians, it clearly would have been confusing,” he said.

Mr. Volker, a longtime diplomat, said he did not believe the elder Mr. Biden would engage in corrupt activities. But he also said there was no harm in investigating unfounded theories, such as Ukraine interference in U.S. elections.

“If there are things like that, why not investigate them?” he said. “I don’t believe there’s anything to them.”

The July 25 phone call spurred a whistleblower, who is believed to be a CIA analyst assigned to the White House, to accuse Mr. Trump of abusing his Oval Office power. The anonymous complaint to the intelligence-community inspector general set off the impeachment inquiry.

Three of Tuesday’s witnesses — Col. Vindman, Ms. Williams and Mr. Morrison — were on the Trump-Zelensky call, the first such people to testify publicly. Their insights promised to beat back the criticism from Mr. Trump and GOP lawmakers that the impeachment case was built on second- and third-hand accounts of events.

Col. Vindman, Ms. Williams and Mr. Morrison did not allege major omissions from the call record released by the White House.

The call record remained the chief exhibit in the impeachment hearings. The Democrats displayed two excerpts from the rough transcript.

Trump: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike … I guess you have one of our wealthy people … The server, they say has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation.”

Trump: “The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, the Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”

The call record does not show a quid pro quo or extortion demand or other linkage to military aid, but Democrats argue that the threat to withhold aid was understood and part of an ongoing pressure campaign of “shadow” foreign policy conducted by Mr. Trump’s private attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Republicans argue that U.S. law requires that a president ensure that aid going to a foreign country isn’t diverted to corrupt officials, which justifies Mr. Trump’s remarks about the Bidens.

Mr. Trump also wanted Ukraine to look into a missing Democratic National Committee server that was hacked by Russia during the 2016 presidential campaigns. An American cybersecurity company called CrowdStrike examined the server to probe the hack, but the server disappeared before it could be handed over to the FBI. Mr. Trump subscribes to an unsubstantiated theory that the server ended up in Ukraine.


Fundamental Canon 5 of the ASCE Code of Ethics states, "Engineers shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their services and shall not compete unfairly with others." Guideline a under that canon further emphasizes, "Engineers shall not give, solicit or receive either directly or indirectly, any political contribution, gratuity, or unlawful consideration in order to secure work."

A key concept in this ethical precept is the existence of an improper motive. Gifts and other contributions are not inherently suspect on their own a gift can be a sincere expression of thanks or appreciation, for example, while making a campaign contribution is an important part of a person's right to participate in the political process. Yet when engineers give gifts to decision-makers on public or private contracts in order to induce those recipients to misuse their roles for the purpose of personal gain, it subverts the process of fair competition that is critical to the efficient, equitable, and ethical delivery of engineering services.

Unfortunately, in an enforcement setting, this focus on motive presents the often difficult task of inferring a donor's thoughts or mind-set in making a gift or payment. In the present case, when contacted by the CPC, the accused member was quick to deny any intent to influence his firm's selection for public contracts. The member claimed that he had known the city manager for nearly 25 years and that over the years the two had developed a close friendship. While acknowledging a habit of generous gift giving, the member claimed that this practice was by no means one-sided the city manager in turn had often sent gifts to the member on holidays and other significant occasions.

With respect to his largest "gift"--the payment of $10,000 in cash--the member asserted that the city manager had just gone through a costly divorce and was suffering financial difficulties. He claimed that the money was intended simply to help his friend through a tough time, with no expectation of a quid pro quo. As further support for his claim, he noted that these gifts had been made when his firm was not seeking to obtain or renew an existing contract, at a time when the city manager had no current or pending decision that might have prompted a corrupt payment.

Indeed, the member claimed that prosecutors had never been able to identify a direct link between his gifts and any specific action by the city manager. He said that his firm was a well-respected business that had worked on city projects for many years and that any contracts it received had been awarded based on the firm's familiarity with the project and its history of successful performance. Though recognizing that his gifts violated the letter of the law, the member felt that his actions had never resulted in any corrupt or unfair advantage, and he expressed bitterness at being unfairly deemed as a player in the larger corruption scheme exposed by the federal investigation.

Upon review of the case, the CPC was not swayed by the member's attempt to disclaim an ulterior motive for his "generosity." The committee felt that the member's payment of $10,000 in small cash amounts showed that the member recognized the illegality of his action and was attempting to avoid detection for the same. The CPC also thought that the member's choice to seek reimbursement as a business expense for the manager's use of a rental home belied the member's claim that his gift giving was sparked by personal friendship.

Most of all, they rejected the member's suggestion that an attempt to influence required a direct quid pro quo and that his payments must be blameless unless they could be directly tied to a specific desired action. Instead, the CPC felt that improper influence could be created by a course of gifts and payments over a period of time and that an employee who enjoyed the benefit of such a regular stream of gifts-and who was eager to see those gifts continue-could easily be swayed to favor decisions that pleased the financial benefactor over those serving an employer's best interests.

As such, the CPC found that the member's actions violated Canon 5 of the ASCE Code of Ethics and recommended to ASCE's Executive Committee that he be expelled for a period of three years. The member was informed of this recommendation and advised of his right to present a defense in person or in writing before the Executive Committee, but instead he chose to resign from the Society. When a member resigns following notice of a pending ethics investigation, the resignation is considered to be "with prejudice"--meaning the member cannot subsequently rejoin the Society unless his reinstatement is approved by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee.

In 2006, not long after this case was decided, ASCE's Board of Direction approved an amendment to Fundamental Canon 6, which at the time read: "Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity, and dignity of the engineering profession." This new edit imposed an express obligation on engineers to act "with zero tolerance for bribery, fraud, and corruption," and added supplemental guidelines emphasizing the need for transparency, fidelity, and scrupulous honesty in the "control and spending of monies." As such, if this case were examined under today's Code of Ethics, it is likely the CPC would deem this member's conduct to have also violated Canon 6.

Tara Hoke is ASCE's general counsel and a contributing editor to Civil Engineering.

© ASCE, Civil Engineering, November 2018

Members who have ethics questions or would like to file complaints with the Committee on Professional Conduct may call ASCE's hotline at (703) 295-6151 or (800) 548-ASCE (2723), extension 6151. The attorneys staffing this line can provide advice on how to handle ethics issues or file complaints. Please note that individual facts and circumstances vary from case to case, that some details may have been altered for purposes of illustration or confidentiality, and that the general summary information contained in these case studies is not to be construed as a precedent binding upon the Society.


Very little is known of Nash’s early life. He was born in Virginia to enslaved parents, whose names are unknown. At thirteen, local politician and slaver William C. Preston brought Nash to Columbia, South Carolina. In Columbia, Preston had Nash serve an apprenticeship to a barber and later worked at Hunt’s Hotel as a shoeshiner, bellhop, and waiter. [1] During this time, Nash taught himself to read and write, while gaining exposure to local politics through Preston and the hotel’s clientele. [2]

Nash helped to organize the Union League in Columbia, South Carolina, which was an important and influential Black political organization. [3] In 1864, Nash began a successful career as a politician and businessman. [4] During Reconstruction, Nash became active in the Republican Party. [5] On November 20, 1865, he represented Columbia in South Carolina’s Colored Peoples Convention at Zion Church in Charleston, which convened to oppose the Black Codes. [6] In 1866, he gained notoriety for criticizing the Freedmen’s Bureau’s alleged favoritism towards coastal regions of South Carolina, and was named a magistrate for Columbia in 1867. Nash campaigned for universal male suffrage as a delegate to the National Freedmen’s Convention in Washington, D.C., and was elected to the state senate in 1868. [5] Though Nash opposed the confiscation of former Confederate lands, he was a proponent of land redistribution throughout his political career. To achieve this, Nash proposed higher taxes on large plantations, to force landowners to sell parcels of property to Blacks and poor Whites. [2]

As a senator, Nash was part of a wave of Radical Republicans that gained influence in the U.S. Congress and in state governments across the nation. This U.S. Congress required former Confederate states to adopt new constitutions and ratify the 14th Amendment. South Carolina held a constitutional convention to adopt a new framework of government, and for the first time Black men participated in the election of delegates to this convention. Nash, along with other Black Radical Republicans at the convention, helped write a new constitution. This constitution guaranteed free public education for all children, expanded women’s rights, overturned the state’s Black Codes, abolished debtors' prison, and abolished race as a condition for suffrage. [7] [8]

Beverly Nash and other prominent Black legislators in South Carolina, including Robert DeLarge and Robert Smalls made efforts to reform the state government and continued to work for increased social investment. [8] In 1871 Nash, DeLarge, Smalls, and others attempted to form a new political party. Shortly after, a joint Committee in the state legislature was tasked with examining debt and bribery within the government. [7] The increasing state debt was the subject of political arguments against financial legislation of Reconstruction. [8] Nash held positions in numerous senate budget committees, and drew criticism for his handling of state funds. [9]

In 1887 White Southerners ended the Reconstruction Era by forcibly removing Southern Black politicians from public offices. White Southerners regained control of South Carolina’s government and disenfranchised the Black labor vote. Early in 1887, after White Democrats threatened to expose him for alleged corruption and bribery, Nash resigned from his seat. [2] [8]

Though he never held public office again, after his political career was ended, Nash continued to work in real estate. He died in his home due to heart issues at the age of 66.He is buried at Randolph Cemetery with eight other reconstruction era legislators. [4] [9]

The Smithsonian has a pinback button featuring his visage. [10] Nash also appears in a composite image composed of albumen silver print photographs of 63 South Carolina Radical Republican legislators. The image is subtitled radical members of the South Carolina Legislature. [11] Benjamin R. Tillman later used the composite image as propaganda to disenfranchise African Americans. [12]

The Constitution of the United States

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.

Article I.

Section 1. 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.


Section 2. [1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] [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.] (Note: Changed by section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.) 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.

[4] When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

[5] The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.


Section 3. [1] The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, [chosen by the Legislature thereof,] (Note: Changed by section 1 of the Seventeenth Amendment.) for six Years and each Senator shall have one Vote.

[2] 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.] (Note: Changed by clause 2 of the Seventeenth Amendment.)

[3] 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.

[4] The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

[5] 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.

[6] 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.

[7] 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.


Section 4. [1] 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 Place of Chusing Senators.

[2] The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be [on the first Monday in December,] (Note: Changed by section 2 of the Twentieth Amendment.) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section 5. [1] 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.

[2] Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

[3] 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.

[4] 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.

Section 6. [1] 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.

[2] 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.

Section 7. [1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] 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.


Section 8. [1] 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

[2] To borrow money on the credit of the United States

[3] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes

[4] To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States

[5] To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures

[6] To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States

[7] To establish Post Offices and post Roads

[8] 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

[9] To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court

[10] To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations

[11] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water

[12] To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years

[13] To provide and maintain a Navy

[14] To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces

[15] To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions

[16] 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

[17] 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 &mdashAnd

[18] 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.


Section 9. [1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

[4] No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken. (Note: See the Sixteenth Amendment.)

[5] No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

[6] 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.

[7] 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.

[8] 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.

Section 10. [1] 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.

[2] 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 Controul of the Congress.

[3] 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.

Article II.

Section 1. [1] The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows.

[2] Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

[3] [The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State have one Vote a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice-President.] (Note: Superseded by the Twelfth Amendment.)

[4] The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

[5] No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

[6] [In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law, provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.] (Note: Changed by the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.)

[7] The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

[8] Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: &mdash&ldquoI do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.&rdquo

Section 2. [1] The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States he may require the Opinion in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

[2] He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

[3] The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3.He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4.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 high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section 1. 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 Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section 2. [1] The judicial Power 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 &mdashto all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls &mdashto all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction &mdashto Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party &mdashto Controversies between two or more States, &mdash[between a State and Citizens of another State&mdash] (Note: Changed by the Eleventh Amendment.) between Citizens of different States &mdashbetween 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.] (Note: Changed by the Eleventh Amendment.)

[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 the 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.

[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.

Section 3. [1] Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

[2] The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article IV.

Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2. [1] The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

[2] A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

[3] [No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.] (Note: Superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment.)

Section 3. [1] New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

[2] The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Article V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of it's equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article VI.

[1] All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.


[2] This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

[3] The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth.

In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names.

George Washington-President and deputy from Virginia

New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York
Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey
Wil: Livingston
David Brearley
Wm. Paterson
Jona: Dayton

B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris

Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Basset
Jaco: Broom

James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl Carroll

John Blair-
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina
Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Hu Williamson

South Carolina
J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler

Was bribery instrumental to the approval of the Thirteenth Amendment? - History

When MPP was founded in January 1995, medical marijuana was illegal in every state, and favorable legislation had not been introduced in Congress in a decade. Since then, Congress has approved budget riders to protect state-legal medical marijuana programs every year since late 2014 numerous bills have been introduced to remove federal penalties for state-legal conduct and to end federal marijuana prohibition entirely recreational, adult-use marijuana is now legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia medical marijuana is legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia and much more.

Major accomplishments include:

April 1995 — The U.S. Sentencing Commission voiced its unanimous approval of an amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines, which established shorter sentences for people convicted of cultivating marijuana. MPP was helpful in persuading the commission to vote 7-0 in favor of the penalty reduction, which took effect on November 1, 1995. A subsequent 7-0 vote on September 6 made the change retroactive, resulting in the early release of an estimated 950 federal marijuana prisoners.

November 1996 — California voters pass the first statewide ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in any state. MPP was too young to provide funding to this landmark campaign, but MPP provided legal advice during the drafting of the initiative, as well as a substantive analysis of how other states had already been moving forward with lesser medical-marijuana laws since the 1970s.

December 1997 — The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates voted to adopt a report that (1) recognized the existence of scientific research showing marijuana’s medical value, (2) recommended that doctors and patients should not be punished for discussing marijuana as a treatment option, and (3) urged the federal government to expedite medical marijuana research. MPP worked for months to persuade the AMA to adopt these improvements to a policy that had been fairly hostile to medical marijuana.

November 1998 — MPP worked with local AIDS activists to pass a medical marijuana initiative that the activists had placed on the local ballot in Washington, D.C. Though Congress blocked the city from counting the votes for 10 months, a lawsuit brought by the ACLU revealed that 69% of city voters approved the initiative.

March 1999 — The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued its landmark medical marijuana report, finding that “there are some limited circumstances in which we would recommend smoking marijuana for medical uses.” In early 1998, MPP coordinated the testimony of dozens of medical marijuana patients and researchers at IOM’s hearings.

June 2000 — Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano (D) signed MPP’s medical marijuana legislation into law, making Hawaii the first state to pass a medical marijuana law through its legislature, rather than through a ballot initiative.

April 2000 — President Bill Clinton (D) signed into law an asset forfeiture reform bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.). MPP generated grassroots lobbying pressure in support of the legislation, which makes it more difficult for the government to seize the property of marijuana users, as well as alleged and suspected marijuana users.

November 2002 — Despite being defeated by Nevada voters by a 61% to 39% margin, MPP’s high-profile ballot initiative to remove criminal penalties for adult possession of marijuana generated more public support, dues-paying members, and positive news coverage than any other project in MPP’s history. The coverage of the campaign culminated in a front-page story in the November 4 issue of Time magazine.

December 2003 — MPP funded, through its grants program, litigation that led to a precedent-setting decision by the largest federal appeals court in the country, which ruled that federal laws against marijuana do not apply to sick people who use medical marijuana with the approval of their physicians in states where medical marijuana is legal. This decision was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2005.

July 2003 — Fully 152 members of Congress voted for the “Hinchey Amendment” to the spending bill for the U.S. Justice Department. The legislation, co-written by MPP, would have prevented the DEA from spending any money to raid or arrest medical marijuana patients and caregivers in states that have medical marijuana laws.

May 2003 — Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R) became the first Republican governor to sign medical marijuana legislation. MPP lobbied the Maryland Legislature for four years to pass the bill, which now protects medical marijuana patients from imprisonment.

April 2003 — MPP worked with members of the U.S. House of Representatives to write and introduce the “Truth in Trials Act” in response to the federal trial and conviction of medical marijuana provider Ed Rosenthal, who was not allowed to introduce evidence at trial that he acted in compliance with California state law.

November 2004 — MPP funded and ran the campaign that succeeded in passing a statewide medical marijuana initiative in Montana with 62% of the vote — the highest margin of victory for any of the medical marijuana initiatives that have passed in eight states since 1996. MPP also provided the majority of funding for an initiative to regulate marijuana in Alaska, which failed with 44% of the vote (but still set the record for the largest vote to end marijuana prohibition in any state).

November 2004 — The MPP grants program funded 13 of the 16 local marijuana-related initiatives that passed in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Missouri.

November 2004 — U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), with the assistance of MPP, drafted and introduced the first-ever medical marijuana bill in the U.S. Senate.

September 2004 — The Alaska Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling (issued one year before) that permits adults aged 21 and older to use and possess up to four ounces of marijuana in the privacy of the home — maintaining Alaska as the only state where the non-medical use of marijuana is legal in any context. The MPP grants program funded this litigation.

May 2004 — At the conclusion of MPP’s intensive, three-year lobbying campaign, Vermont became the ninth state to enact a medical marijuana law — and only the second state to do so through its legislature, rather than through a ballot initiative.

January 2004 — In the months leading up to the New Hampshire Democratic primary election, MPP helped persuade a majority of the Democratic presidential candidates, including John Kerry, to pledge to end the arrest of patients in states with medical marijuana laws.

November 2005 — The MPP grants program funded a successful initiative to make the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal under city ordinances in Denver, Colorado.

November 2006 — MPP’s high-profile ballot initiative to tax and regulate marijuana in Nevada received 44% of the vote, tying with Alaska for the all-time largest vote ever to end marijuana prohibition in a state.

November 2006 — The MPP grants program funded successful initiatives to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority in three California cities (Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Santa Monica) and in Missoula County, Montana.

January 2006 — The Rhode Island Legislature overwhelmingly overrode the governor’s veto of MPP’s bill to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest — making Rhode Island the 11th state where medical marijuana use, possession, and cultivation is legal. This was the first state medical marijuana law to be enacted over the veto of a governor.

November 2007 —The MPP grants program funded a successful initiative to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority in Denver, Colorado.

July 2007 — Following an intensive MPP lobbying campaign, MPP helped to garner 165 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives to stop arresting medical marijuana patients — an all-time record of support for medical marijuana access.

November 2008 — MPP’s ballot initiative to remove the threat of arrest and jail for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana passed overwhelmingly in Massachusetts. The successful initiative — the first statewide decriminalization initiative ever — replaced the threat of arrest and jail with a $100 fine.

November 2008 — Michigan passed MPP’s ballot initiative to permit terminally and seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana with their doctors’ approval, making Michigan the 13th medical marijuana state and the first in the Midwest.

January 2008 —In the months leading up to the New Hampshire Democratic primary election, MPP helped persuade all of the Democratic presidential candidates and two of the Republican candidates to pledge to end the arrest of patients in states with medical marijuana laws.

December 2009 — MPP successfully lobbied for the removal of the so-called “Barr Amendment” from the DC appropriations bill. MPP led the fight to end Congressional interference which, for over 10 years, blocked the District of Columbia from implementing a medical marijuana initiative which passed with nearly 70% of the vote. MPP even retained the amendment’s namesake, former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr, to lobby for the amendments removal after he reversed his position in 2007. Following the removal of the amendment, MPP successfully lobbied the District Council to improve the language they were considering to implement the initiative and lobbied the executive branch for reasonable regulations. The regulations’ effective date is April 15, 2011.

November 2009 — The American Medical Association rescinded its previous support of classifying marijuana alongside LSD, PCP, and heroin under federal law. This was the result of nearly three years of behind-the-scenes work, whereby MPP worked with key advocates to persuade lower-level medical associations to bring the issue to the full AMA.

November 2009 — Maine passed MPP’s ballot initiative to expand the state’s existing medical marijuana law by adding regulated dispensaries and additional medical conditions. This was the first initiative to include dispensaries. At the time, New Mexico was the only state with regulated dispensaries.

October 2009 — Following a vigorous campaign from MPP that started during the presidential primaries, the Obama administration announced it would stop raiding medical marijuana patients and providers who are in compliance with state law.

June 2009 — The Rhode Island Legislature overwhelmingly overrode the governor’s veto of MPP’s bill to create “compassion centers” to provide medical marijuana to qualified patients — making Rhode Island only the second state (after New Mexico) to license and regulate medical marijuana dispensing. Rhode Island is also the first state to expand an existing medical marijuana law to establish dispensaries.

November 2010 — The Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, a ballot initiative campaign backed by MPP, successfully passed a ballot initiative making the use and possession of medical marijuana legal and establishing approximately 120 non-profit dispensaries around the state. This made Arizona the 15th state (plus the District of Columbia) to adopt a medical marijuana law.

June 2010 — The Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project, a ballot initiative campaign backed by MPP, successfully completed a signature drive to place a medical marijuana initiative on the November 2010 ballot. The proposed law would make the use and possession of medical marijuana legal and would establish approximately 120 non-profit dispensaries around the state.

June 2011 — The first bill to end federal marijuana prohibition was introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Ron Paul, and a handful of other courageous Members of Congress. The “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2012” (H.R. 2306) would treat marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol under federal law and would allow states to determine their own marijuana policies. MPP was deeply involved in the drafting of this legislation and the lobbying effort to have it introduced. As of the end of 2011, the bill had 20 co-sponsors.

May 2011 — The Delaware Legislature passes and Gov. Markell signs SB 17, which will allow qualified registered patients to obtain three ounces of marijuana every 14 days from state-regulated compassion centers. Initially, one center will be allowed in each of Delaware’s three counties. MPP led the two-year grassroots and lobbying efforts to pass the bill, which is based on MPP’s model bill.

May 2011 — The Vermont Legislature approves S. 17, which will add four non-profit dispensaries to existing law. MPP played an instrumental role in passing this legislation, including by funding a two-year lobbying effort and helping elect a governor who supports sensible marijuana policies.

April and May 2011 — The Maryland General Assembly approves and Gov. O’Malley signs an affirmative defense bill, removing criminal penalties from qualifying patients who possess up to an ounce of marijuana and establishing a work group to study a more comprehensive law. The bill improves upon a sentencing mitigation bill the legislature enacted in 2003, following four years of lobbying by MPP. MPP also played a leading role in the 2011 victory, including in-person lobbying, working with patients, and testifying before legislative committees.

November 2012 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a ballot initiative campaign backed by MPP, successfully passed Amendment 64, making Colorado the only place in the world to have legalized the possession, use, production, distribution, and personal cultivation of marijuana.

June 2012 — The Rhode Island Legislature passes and Gov. Lincoln Chafee signs twin bills to decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana. MPP led the three-year lobbying and grassroots effort for the bills, which reduce the penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to a $150 civil fine for most offenses.

August 2013 — Gov. Patrick Quinn signs The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act into law, making Illinois the 20th medical marijuana state. MPP led the nearly 10-year advocacy effort for the legislation, which included paid lobbyists, grant-funded organizers, TV ads, coordinating testimony, and generating thousands of constituent calls and emails. The law creates a four-year pilot program to allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to purchase marijuana from one of 60 dispensaries, which in turn will obtain marijuana from up to 22 cultivation centers.

July 2013 — Gov. Maggie Hassan signs a bill approved by the New Hampshire Legislature to legalize medical marijuana, making New Hampshire the 19th medical marijuana state. MPP worked for several years to bring about this victory in the Granite State. The 2013 legislation will allow patients with serious illnesses to obtain marijuana from four nonprofit, state-licensed alternative treatment centers.

June 2013 — The Vermont Legislature passes and Gov. Peter Shumlin signs legislation to decriminalize the simple possession of marijuana. MPP led the nearly four-year lobbying effort for the law, which reduces the penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to a civil fine for adults 21 and older. Minors will typically be required to complete diversion.

December 2014 — Congress passes a historic medical marijuana amendment as part of the federal spending bill, marking the first time in history that Congress has approved legislation rolling back the federal government’s war on medical marijuana patients and providers. The bill includes an amendment that prohibits the Department of Justice — which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration — from using funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws.

November 2014 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, a ballot initiative campaign backed by MPP, successfully passes Ballot Measure 2, making Alaska the fourth state to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is taxed and regulated like alcohol.

July 2014 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs legislation making New York the 23rd medical marijuana state. The law’s passage is the product of many years of work by legislative champions, patients, their loved ones, and advocacy organizations, including MPP, Compassionate Care NY, and the Drug Policy Alliance. The new law will protect certain seriously ill patients who use marijuana pursuant to their doctors’ advice from civil and criminal penalties. A number of modifications were made at the insistence of Gov. Cuomo. As a result, patients will not be allowed to smoke medical cannabis, the law will sunset after seven years, and there will be no more than five manufacturers — with a total of up to 20 locations — in the entire state. MPP will continue working to improve the law.

May 2014 — The U.S. House of Representatives votes to end the federal government’s war on medical marijuana! During a debate regarding a Justice Department funding bill, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a longtime MPP ally, offered an amendment intended to block DEA raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. It passed by a surprisingly wide margin — 219-189. The amendment will not become law until it is passed by the Senate and signed by the president. MPP played a key role in building support for this measure, meeting with Congressman Rohrabacher and former Congressman Maurice Hinchey on this amendment for more than a decade, and our lobbying presence in Congress has never been stronger. In 2014 alone, we met with staffers from more than 100 congressional offices, as well as dozens of members in person.

May 2014
— Gov. Mark Dayton signs legislation making Minnesota the 22nd medical marijuana state. MPP and our local affiliate worked for several years to bring about this victory. The law will allow qualifying patients to obtain preparations of marijuana from eight locations. It does not allow smoking. MPP will keep working to improve the law.

April 2014 — Gov. Martin O’Malley signs legislation making Maryland the 21st medical marijuana state. MPP lobbied in support of medical marijuana legislation in Maryland for more than a decade. The legislation will allow state residents suffering from certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. It will also permit registered cultivators to grow medical marijuana and up to 15 licensed dispensaries to distribute the medicine to patients. Possession limits and regulations governing cultivation and dispensary facilities will be determined by a state-sanctioned commission prior to implementation. The measure will officially go into effect on June 1.

April 2014
— Gov. Martin O’Malley signs legislation making Maryland the 18th state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The legislation makes possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a first offense, up to $250 for a second offense, and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. Third-time offenders and individuals under 21 years of age will be required to undergo a clinical assessment for substance abuse disorder and a drug education program. The measure will officially go into effect on October 1. MPP is proud to be a member of the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, which led the charge for this sensible marijuana policy reform in Maryland.

March 2014 — D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signs a bill removing all criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and replacing them with a civil fine of $25. Police will also no longer have grounds to search individuals simply based on the smell of marijuana. In other words, outside of Colorado and Washington, our nation’s capital will soon have the least punitive marijuana laws in the country. Before the bill can become law, however, it must undergo a 60-working-day review process in Congress, likely becoming law in July. MPP, along with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), was instrumental in passing this legislation — by assisting with bill drafting, meeting with members of the D.C. Council, participating in working groups, testifying at hearings, and generating constituent advocacy in support of the bill.

February 2014 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska, a ballot initiative campaign backed by MPP, receives certification for the August 19 primary ballot, giving Alaskans the chance to vote on a ballot initiative that will end the harmful and ineffective policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is taxed and regulated like alcohol. (At 11:59 p.m. on April 20, the state legislature failed to adjourn its session, meaning the initiative was automatically moved to the general ballot on November 4. The change of ballot was due to a constitutional provision requiring initiatives to be placed on the first statewide ballot 120 days following the end of a legislative session.)

June 2015 — The Delaware Legislature passes and Gov. Jack Markell signs a bill to reduce the penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to a simple fine. MPP led the two-year lobbying effort for the law, which reduces the penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana to a civil fine for adults 21 and older. Minors under the age of 18 will be subject to a $100 criminal fine, while those between 18 and 21 will be subject to a $100 civil fine for a first offense and a $100 criminal fine for a second offense.

November 2016 — MPP-backed ballot initiatives to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada successfully pass. MPP was also part of a coalition of groups that coordinated a successful legalization campaign in California, making a total of eight states that have ended marijuana prohibition and replaced it with a system in which marijuana is taxed and regulated like alcohol.

July 2016
— Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs a bill to reduce the penalty for up to 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal offense carrying possible jail time to a violation punishable by a non-criminal fine. MPP’s lobbying team led the two-and-a-half-year advocacy effort, working closely with Clergy for a New Drug Policy and other allies.

June 2016 — Gov. John Kasich signs House Bill 523 into law on June 8, 2016, making Ohio the 25th state to adopt a workable medical marijuana law. The legislation, passed by the Ohio General Assembly the previous week, will allow seriously ill patients to use and purchase medical cannabis that will be cultivated and processed in-state. This legislation was a direct response to an initiative MPP funded and sought to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Although the legislation isn’t as strong as the constitutional amendment we promoted, it shares many of the same critical principles, most especially by ensuring seriously ill patients will no longer be treated like criminals and will have reasonable access to medicine. In conjunction with Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, we plan to continue advocacy efforts to ensure that the State of Ohio lives up to the promises contained in HB 523, while also working to better the program using the ballot initiative proposal as a roadmap for these improvements.

April 2016 — Gov. Tom Wolf signs legislation making Pennsylvania the 24th medical marijuana state. Patients and their families led the effort for years, and MPP played a major supporting role beginning in mid-2015, bringing on a contract lobbyist and a staffer who devoted most of her time to Pennsylvania. MPP helped ensure the bill language was as strong as possible and worked on advocacy and communications, including creating videos of families from Campaign for Compassion. The new law is one of the stronger ones to pass through a legislature. Its broad list of qualifying conditions includes intractable pain and PTSD and up to 150 dispensaries will be allowed.

July 2017 — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signs a decriminalization bill into law, reducing penalties for possessing three quarters of an ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil violation punishable only by a fine. MPP advocated for decriminalization in New Hampshire for more than a decade.

November 2018 — MPP-backed initiatives to legalize adult-use marijuana in Michigan and medical marijuana in Utah pass. In Michigan, MPP played a central role in the campaign from start to finish. From coordinating the initiative drafting to overseeing the production of TV ads, MPP staffers worked alongside an excellent campaign team for two years to make Michigan the first state in the Midwest to adopt legalization. In Utah, MPP led the drafting process and played an important supporting role throughout the campaign. We congratulate the Utah Patients Coalition team on this historic win that will end the heartless policy of criminalizing patients.

January 2018 — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) signs H. 511 into law, making Vermont the first state to legalize marijuana legislatively, rather than by ballot initiative. Beginning on July 1, 2018, it will be legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana. MPP’s staff and lobbyists have led advocacy efforts for medical marijuana, decriminalization, and legalization in Vermont for more than 15 years and continue to work to regulate marijuana like alcohol for adults’ use.

June 2019 — On June 25, 2019, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), which legalizes and regulates cannabis for adults’ use with an unprecedented focus on equity and criminal justice reform. MPP is proud to have played a crucial role in drafting and advancing the CRTA, working hand-in-hand with the dedicated sponsors and the governor’s office. Sales will begin on January 1, 2020.

October 2020 &mdash After successfully legalizing possession and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older in 2018, MPP and its allies in Vermont celebrated another major victory on October 7, 2020, when Gov. Phil Scott announced that he would allow the bill to regulate and tax cannabis sales to become law without his signature. This made Vermont the 11th state to regulate adult-use cannabis sales and the second state to do so legislatively rather than by voter initiative.

November 2020 &mdash MPP-backed initiatives to legalize adult-use marijuana in Montana and medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana in South Dakota pass. MPP staff played a central role in both the Montana and South Dakota campaigns.

These accomplishments and other MPP projects have been featured on the cover of Time magazine in articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Associated Press, and Reuters and in appearances on The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and CNN Headline News.

Watch the video: 13th Amendment (November 2022).

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