More critically, the Pennsylvania General Assembly did away with the requirement that ballots sent through the mail be received by 5:00 pm on the Friday before the election. The second article will clarify for the general public the complex procedural matters that have taken place in the case. For a major part of our country’s history, Congress declined to exercise this power. The rights granted by the Pennsylvania Constitution were among the most liberal in the United States at that time. The application of the articles and amendments of the Constitution comprise constitutional law. At Manchester and Associates, we only practice in criminal defense, thus we understand when people find themselves accused or charged with a crime, and the challenges that each individual case could face in the PA judicial system. The founders were all personally familiar with the Draconian police powers exercised by states when they were drafting the Constitution. By purporting to rely on the Pennsylvania state constitution, and not the federal Constitution or federal law, as the basis for extending the deadline, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is hoping to avoid having the US Supreme Court review it. As noted above, the Constitution vests state legislatures, and not the state judiciary, with the authority to set the rules for Presidential elections. Most legal commentators minimized the significance of Alito’s order, declaring it to be no big deal. But in any event, the Constitution vests resolution of these matters with the state legislatures—not with the judiciary. The lawsuit, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Kathy Boockvar, et al., presents the question of whether, under the United States Constitution and federal law, state courts can overturn the express enactments of state legislatures regarding the time, place, and manner of holding Presidential elections. Most of our treasured rights that we as American have today come from these 27 Amendments, the right to bear arms, the right to free speech, the right of protection from the government in search and seizures, and many more. But the legislation does not consider as valid any ballot received after 8:00 pm on the day of the election. Under the guise of applying purely state law, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has, in effect, usurped the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s authority under the Constitution to determine the time, place, and manner of Presidential elections. Nevertheless, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that because of potential hardships some may experience in mailing in their ballots, the November 3, 8 pm deadline had to be extended by three days to Friday. When arguing search and seizure rights it is imperative that your attorney argues both Constitutions. But then, in 2019, the Pennsylvania state legislature—known as the General Assembly—revised this law to allow mail-in voting for any reason, in addition to absentee voting. “The public health authority of the states derive from the police powers granted by their constitutions and reserved to them by the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” it says here. One example of that is in the 4th Amendment protection of freedom from search and seizures; PA’s Constitution increases the protections for its citizens in Article 1 section 8 of the PA Constitution. The issues are too important on their own for the Court to ignore. art. § 906, the Constitution, as adopted by referendum of December 16, 1873, shall be known and may be cited as the Constitution of 1874. Should the polls close at 5:00 pm? Overview “The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says ‘nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.’ This is a tacit recognition of a preexisting power to take private property for public use, rather than a grant of new power.”597 Eminent domain “appertains to every independent government. I, §5.” It did this despite admitting that there was no evidence of any civil or military power hindering people from voting on election day. Nobody disputes the above provisions of Pennsylvania law. The judicial power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a unified judicial system consisting of the Supreme Court, the Superior Court, the Commonwealth Court, courts of common pleas, community courts, municipal courts in the City of Philadelphia, such other courts as may be provided by law and justices of the peace. No member of Congress from this State, nor any person holding or exercising any office or appointment of trust or profit under the United States, shall at the same time hold or exercise any office in this State to which a salary, fees or perquisites shall be attached. The main difference is that state constitutions tend to be much larger than the constitution drawn up by the forefathers of the United States and all of its ensuing amendments. The Bill of Rights was adopted on December 15, 1791. Together with The Declaration of Independence; the Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania; and the Articles of Confederation of the United States of America. But Congress eventually streamlined the election process by passing legislation mandating that the Presidential election be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. The powers were created by the people for the people, thus the reason why the US Constitution starts by saying “We the People”. "Constitution, Black's Law Dictionary (11th ed. In other words, this case is about preserving the ability of state legislatures to make their own prudential judgments about how best to conduct Presidential elections, and not be second-guessed and overridden by the state judiciary. But it nevertheless concluded that it could extend the deadline, not on federal constitutional grounds, but rather on the nebulous provision of the Pennsylvania state constitution providing that “[e]lections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.” Pa. Const. In May, 1787, he was a delegate to the convention which framed the constitution of the United States. Constitution of 1968. And everybody agrees that, of themselves, these rules are not unconstitutional. Constitution - "the fundamental and organic law of a country or state that establishes the institutions and apparatus of government, defines the scope of governmental sovereign powers, and guarantees individual civil rights and civil liberties. First, the Pennsylvania constitution of 1776 abolished property requirements for voting as well as for holding office. The Constitution of 1874 was modified and renumbered by extensive amendments on May 17, 1966, November 8, 1966, and May 16, 1967; and by proclamation of the Governor Compare and contrast the provisions of the U.S. Constitution alongside the state constitutions of Florida and Virginia. But it seems to me that the opponents of cert, as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, are on thin ground. For example, while Congress has set the date on which the election is to take place, it has said nothing about the closing time by which all votes must be cast on that date. Lets start at the beginning the US declared it independent from England by creating the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. But while Congress, pursuant to its Constitutional authority, has mandated the date on which the Presidential election must take place, the individual state legislatures are still vested with a large amount of discretion to decide the place and manner of the elections. The Articles of Confederation were used until out current US Constitution which was created and modeled after the older Pennsylvania Constitution. For example, under State law, the Governor has a line-item veto, but the President is expressly prohibited from exercising a line-item veto. Not surprisingly, those opposing the Republican Party’s cert petition has raised these arguments as grounds for denying the cert petition. Mr. Reeves has authored over 250 appellate briefs, including several in the Supreme Court of the United States. This is not a matter of state law such that the US Supreme Court cannot review it. The Pennsylvania Constitution provides for a Governor to exercise executive power. US Constitution. 8:00 pm? This case is about far more than the ultimate winner of the Presidential election. With the “Bill of Rights” creating the first ten amendments to the Constitution there have been an additional seventeen amendments created, bring the total amount of amendments to date to twenty-seven. The United States Constitution defines the structure of the national government and dictates the scope and limitation of its powers. The federal Congress, in turn, is vested with the authority to pass a law mandating that all states hold the voting for President on the same day throughout the country. Capitalization is NOT insignificant when one is referring to a legal document. Text of Section 1: Proposal of Amendments by the General Assembly and Their Adoption. A native of Chicago, he graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2004 with both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History, having earned his master’s degree within four years of undergraduate study. Copyright © 2020 Manchester and Associates - PA. All rights reserved. For a free consultation we can be contacted toll free at [number type=”1″]. And an Appendix, Containing the Laws now in Force, passed between the 30th Day of September 1775, and the Revolution. § 906, the Constitution, as adopted by referendum of December 16, 1873, shall be known and may be cited as the Constitution of 1874. Under the constitution of Pennsylvania, if there are to be any election law changes, you have to amend the constitution. A few other interesting items mentioned in the article are that the word “democracy” does not appear in the US Constitution, nor does the word “God”. The next important document created was not our current US Constitution but Articles of Confederation which went into effect on March 1, 1781. PA is a state that has done just that. All officers, whose selection is not provided for in this Constitution, shall be elected or appointed as may be directed by law. The right to vote was based on a minimal property interest ; it belonged to free men above the age of twenty-one who had resided in the state for one year and had paid public taxes , as well as to the sons of freeholders. § 1. Now do the same thing again in the 2019-20 session. Research handout which guides students students through the process of comparing the amendment process of the U.S. Constitution and the PA Constitution. Why is the Supreme Court Involved in Pennsylvania? Until last year, Pennsylvania election law only allowed ballots to be submitted through the mail if the voter demonstrated he or she would be absent on election day—the traditional absentee ballot. Lawyers, journalists, and members of the public are welcome to start here when beginning research about the Pennsylvania Constitution, Pennsylvania constitutional law cases pending in various courts, and current public policy debates concerning the State Constitution. More importantly, it goes to the heart of who has the final say in deciding how Presidential elections are to be conducted—the state legislature, or the state judiciary? Find common ways in which state constitutions differ from (and are similar to) the U.S. Constitution, and take a closer look at your own state constitution. Constitution of 1968. 2019). It operates in an economic capacity and has been used to fool the People into thinking it governs the Republic. Following the idea of popular rule to its logical conclusion, Pennsylvania created a state government with several distinctive features. THE BILL PASSED IN THE 2017-18 LEGISLATIVE SESSION. This site is meant to be a primary source of information about the: text, history, and meaning of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Additionally the First Amendment was not actually the First Amendment, but ended up being the first because other amendments in front of our current First Amendment were not passed. If it is, how should it be done? It does not! The Bill of Rights was adopted on December 15, 1791. The US Constitution was created on May 25, 1787 and put into effect on June 21, 1788. Nevertheless, this past September 17 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order directing the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and all Pennsylvania county election boards to accept as legal all mail-in votes received up to three days after November 3, contrary to what the General Assembly passed. Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, 1787-1788 Edited by John Bach McMaster and Frederick D. Stone CHAPTER VI: AFTER THE CONVENTION ROSE [While the members of the Convention were eating their dinner and drinking their toasts at Epple's Tavern, some enthusiastic Federalists were busy in one of the ship-yards preparing a novel method of celebrating their victory. They tend to have a broader scope than the Constitution of the United States. He was President of Pennsylvania from October 17, 1785, to November 5, 1788, declining on account of his advanced years to continue in office. While reading the American Bar Association journal today I came across an interesting article on misconceptions about our US Constitution. He spent six-and-a-half years as an Assistant Missouri Attorney General in Jefferson City, Missouri, before returning to St. Louis and entering private practice. It holds just over 4,500 words while most state constitutions can stretch well over 10,000. Find him on Twitter @reeveslawstl. Rather, it goes to the very heart of the US Constitution’s vesting of such authority with the state legislatures. Here, we will examine the underlying legal issues and the factual background of the case. If concerns existed that may have justified extended the deadline to receive mail-in ballots, those are concerns that the Pennsylvania General Assembly was empowered to address, not the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. A Venn Diagram showing Washington vs. He died in the city of Philadelphia; April 17, 1790. In fact, though, the order is part of a major lawsuit currently pending before the Supreme Court, the outcome of which could have serious consequences for election law across the country regardless of whether it practically impacts the results of the Presidential election. You can edit this Venn Diagram using Creately diagramming tool and include in your report/presentation/website. Most had lost family members to epidemics. Attorney Kevin Hayslett explains in detail the first amendment of the US constitution. The court admitted that no law explicitly gave it the authority to extend this deadline. If the issues are purely state law, the US Supreme Court has no authority to hear the case. Absentee ballots, furthermore, had to be received by the respective county board of elections no later than 5:00 pm on the Friday before election day. Not surprisingly, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania was dissatisfied with this order and accordingly filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, which is still pending. Unified judicial system. As difficult as it is to believe in this day and age, there was a time when different states held their elections for President on different days. The Constitution vests the state legislatures with the authority to do this and mentions nothing about state courts. Here at Manchester and Associates we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But all duties imposed and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States. Is Attorney General Barr Resigning Because His Job is Done? Now, in place of those requirements, all votes submitted via mail must be received by 8:00 pm on election day itself—in this case, November 3. The Constitution of Pennsylvania is the supreme law within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.All acts of the General Assembly, the governor, and each governmental agency are subordinate to it.Since 1776, Pennsylvania's Constitution has undergone five versions. Cases have been lost because attorneys failed to argue the more protections under the PA Constitution and the Courts have stated that if they had they would have won, however since only the US Constitution was argued the case was decided in the Government’s favor. In other words, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the election boards to include as valid votes lacking any proof that they were actually cast on November 3, 2020—the day Congress has set for the Presidential election. The Constitution is known as “the supreme Law of the Land” and all other laws are measured against it. Now, why is that? By statute, 1 Pa.C.S. Pennsylvania created its first constitution on September 28, 1776. Being that the US Constitution is very important in Criminal Defense I wanted to add a few other interesting facts about not only the US Constitution but also the PA Constitution. Again, there is a ton of legal precedence and case law going way back to support states and cities using police powers during a public health emergency. Given this, the Court will hopefully hear the case regardless of how or if its resolution affects the outcome of the Presidential election. redistricting reform: Pennsylvania’s Constitutional Amendment Process Working to Ensure Fair Districts & Fair Elections www.fairdistrictsPA.com 1 All parties in the case agree that these are the rules that the Pennsylvania General Assembly implemented for the Presidential election. The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 was the state's first constitution following their declaration of independence and has been described as the most democratic in America; although it notably based rights in "men" not in "persons," as contemporaneous constitutions did in neighboring areas such as New Jersey, and as the 1689 English Bill of Rights and 1787 U.S. Constitution and 1791 U.S. Bill of Rights … The article also touches on the fact that the Bill of Rights actually consisted of seventeen amendments, however only ten of the amendments actually passed to become the Bill of Rights. With a combined experience of over 65 years, there is almost no situation we have not encountered. The lawsuit, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Kathy Boockvar, et al., presents the question of whether, under the United States Constitution and federal law, state courts can overturn the express enactments of state legislatures regarding the time, place, and manner of holding Presidential elections. 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