Constitutional Potpourri

After finishing Garrett Epps’ new book, I thought I’d mention a couple of goodies that you might find interesting:

1.  The Framers did not refer to the presidential selection system as the Electoral College.  The voters were “electors,” but the Electoral College did not come into use until the nineteenth century.

2.  Treason is still a crime in many states.  The Constitution explicitly refers to state treason in Article Four, but I did not realize that this was still (at least in theory) an offense.  The last person convicted of state treason appears to be John Brown (executed by Virginia in 1859).

3.  There is no constitutional requirement that the capital be in a federal enclave like the District of Columbia.  Article I, Section 8, only permits Congress to do that.  In other words, Congress could make DC a state tomorrow.


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