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§ 133. The Supreme Court is vested with power to decide on the constitutionality of all laws: this point has not been directly before them, but they may be considered as having decided it upon principle, by the application of certain rules which they have laid down.

§ 134. The court have decided1 that the power to regulate commerce is the power to prescribe the rule by which commerce shall be governed;

§ 135. That, like all other powers vested in Congress, it is complete in itself, and has no other limits than such as are prescribed in the Constitution;

§ 136. That the power to regulate implies in its nature full power over the thing to be regulated.

§ 137. Now, if Congress have power to tax all articles in all modes (as they have, under the clause to lay duties, imposts, &c.), and have besides the power to regulate commerce without limitation as to the subject matter, then it is impossible to avoid the conclusion, that they have the power to make any discrimination whatever, in the duties to be levied, no matter for what purpose, whether of revenue or protection, is answered thereby.

138. But if any thing were wanting to make conviction perfect, it would be found in the uniform practice of the government, whether administered by those who were co-laborators in its formation, or by those who grew up under it from the adoption of the Constitution to the present day; in the opinions, often expressed, of the wisest and most distinguished statesmen; and finally, in the admissions of the ablest opponents of the protective policy.

§ 139. The power to regulate commerce is exclusive in the general government. The full power to regulate a particular subject implies the whole power, and leaves no residuum. A grant of a power to regulate

1 Gibbons vs.

Ogden, 9 Wheaton, 189.
2 Brown vs. Maryland, 12 Wheaton, 419, 445.

necessarily excludes the action of all others, who would perform the same thing.

§ 140. The power to regulate trade and commerce extends to the coasting trade and fisheries, within or without a state, wherever it is connected with other states, or with foreign nations; it extends to the regulation and government of American seamen on board of American ships, and to conferring privileges upon American ships in domestic as well as foreign trade.1

§ 141. It extends also to quarantine, pilotage, and salvage laws; to the construction of light-houses; to the removal of obstructions in creeks, harbours, and sounds; and to the establishment of ports of entry for the purposes of foreign commerce.

§ 142. These powers have all been exercised in the enactment and enforcement of various laws regulating the collection of the revenue, the government of seamen, the mode of navigation, and the improvement of harbours.

§ 143. This section of the Constitution contains also the power, which has been often exercised, of regulating intercourse with the Indian tribes. The Supreme Court have decided that Congress have the exclusive right of pre-emption to all the Indian lands within the territories of the United States. This right the United States have constantly exercised; neither the states nor any individuals are allowed to purchase lands from the Indians.

144. In the case of the Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia,3 it was decided that a tribe, situated within the territorial limits of a state, but exercising the powers of government and national sovereignty, under the guarantee of the general government, is not a foreign state in the sense of the Constitution; but is entitled to sue in

1 2 Story's Comm. 518. 28 Wheaton, 543; 6 Cranch, 142. 35 Peters' R. 1, 16, 17.

the courts of the United States. Such a tribe is to be deemed politically a state, that is, a distinct political society, but is not a foreign state. It is a domestic dependent nation, and is to be deemed in a state of pupilage.

Its relation to the United States is that of a ward

to a guardian.

§ 145. As it respects foreign nations, the Indian tribes within the limits of the United States are considered as completely within the control and protection of the United States; so that the interference of any foreign nation with those Indian tribes, or an attempt to seduce their good-will from the United States, would be considered as a cause of war.

§ 146. 4th Clause. To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States.

§ 147. This provision vests the power of naturalization exclusively in the United States.2 In pursuance of this power, Congress have passed a series of laws prescribing the mode of naturalization. Of the classes of persons who may come under these provisions there are three,-1st, Aliens of full age; 2d, Aliens, minors; 3d, Children of citizens born in foreign countries.

§ 148. 1st. The laws provide3 that any alien of full age shall be admitted to citizenship in the following manner. 1st. He shall declare on oath, or affirmation, before any court of record, having common law jurisdiction, a seal and a clerk, in any state or territory, or a circuit or district court of the United States, or before the clerks thereof, two years at least before his admission, that it was bonâ fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and renounce for ever all allegiance to any foreign prince or state of which he may at

! Worcester vs. Georgia, 6 Peters, 559. 22 Wheaton, 259, 269. 3 Act of April, 1802, as amended by the acts of 1804, 1813, 1816, 1824, and 1828.

the time be a citizen or subject. 2d, That he shall, at the time of his application to be admitted, declare on oath, before the aforesaid courts, that he will support the Constitution of the United States, and does absolutely renounce and abjure all allegiance to any foreign prince or state whatever; and particularly that prince or state whereof he was before a citizen or subject, which proceeding shall be recorded by the clerk of the court. 3d, That the court admitting such alien shall be satisfied that he has resided within the United States the continued term of five years next preceding his admission, without being during that time out of the United States, and one year at least within the state or territory where such court is held; and that, during that time, he has behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution, and well disposed to the good of the same,―provided the oath of the applicant shall not be allowed to prove his residence. 4th, That if the alien applying to be admitted shall have borne any hereditary title, or been of any of the orders of nobility in the kingdom or state whence he came, he shall, in addition to those requisites, expressly renounce his title or order of nobility, in the court to which his application shall be made, and it shall be recorded; provided, no alien who shall be a citizen or subject of any country at war with the United States at the time of his application, shall be admitted as a citizen of the United States.

§ 149. 2d. Free white minors,1 who have resided in the United States three years next preceding their arrival at twenty-one years, and who shall have continued to reside therein till the time they may make application, may, after their arrival at twenty-one years of age, and after they shall have resided in the country five years, within the United States, including three years of their minority,

1 Act of May, 1824.


be admitted without having made the declaration first required; provided they shall make such declaration at the time of their admission, and shall further declare on oath, and prove to the satisfaction of the court, that for three years next preceding, it has been the bonâ fide intention of such alien to become a citizen of the United States, and shall otherwise comply with the laws relative to naturalization.

§ 150. The children of naturalized persons, or of those who have become citizens previous to the passage of any law upon the subject, and were under twentyone at the time of their parents' admission to citizenship, shall, if dwelling in the United States, be considered citizens of the United States.

§ 151. 3d. The children of those who now are or have been citizens of the United States shall, though born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, be considered as citizens; provided the children of those who have never resided within the United States shall not be so considered.

§ 152. And it is further provided,' that if an alien make the declaration in the first condition, and pursue the other requisitions as far as may be, and die before he is actually naturalized, the widow and children shall be considered as citizens, and entitled to all the rights of citizens, upon taking the oaths prescribed by law.

Common Law,2 without
Several of the western

§ 153. An alien is, by the power to hold real estate. states, as Ohio, &c., have abrogated this part of the common law by statute, for the encouragement of emigration.

154. The power to pass a general Bankrupt Law is, by this section, vested in Congress. This power was once exercised by Congress in April, 1800; but the law was repealed in 1803. Many efforts have been made

1 Act of March, 1804.

2 2 Blackstone's Comm. 249, 293.

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