Article 2: The Legislative Branch

 

The lay-out and limitations on the houses of Congress

Article. 2. Section. 1.The Legislative Branch

ALL legislative powers of the Republic are vested in a Congress of Secundus (CoS), made up of a House of the Citizenry (HoC) and a Senate of States (SoS). They may NEVER consign the authority to make Republic LAW or REGULATION to ANY lesser body. Only those ELECTED by the Citizens will EVER be allowed ANY Control over them. Unelected Administrators may ONLY enforce EXISTING laws; they may NEVER, under ANY Circumstances, Create, Modify, or Define them. Service in Legislature MUST NEVER be allowed to become an EXCLUSIVE CAREER. Politician and Criminal are substantively different trades. However, CAREER Politician is exactly Identical to CAREER Criminal. NEVER FORGET THAT!

Article. 2. Section. 2. The House of Citizenry

The House of the Citizenry (HoC) shall be composed of Members chosen every 4 years by the Citizens of the individual states. Anyone seeking office within the body must be a Citizen, a current primary inhabitant of the state and district they wish to represent, and without Felony record. However, No One may EVER be Re-elected to the same office. Furthermore, Citizens may NEVER be elected to more than 2 DIFFERENT offices in their LIFETIME.

Membership in this House is based on state population, having 1 representative per 50,000 RESIDENTS or portion there-of per state. Each state will have at least 1 member, and each member has 1 vote. Their duty is uphold the interests of the Residents on the RoC level, and their districts shall ALWAYS be divided into the MOST BASIC SOLID GEOMETRIC SHAPES possible, and NEVER Gerrymandered IN ANY WAY. A Republic census will be conducted in the year prior to Presidential elections to determine representation. It shall be used for Counting Heads, both Citizen and Non-Citizen, and determining age groups, NEVER for ANY OTHER form of Data Collection.

The HoC shall choose their own Speaker and Officers from their ranks, but members receive NO additional compensation for these Duties. ALL Bills authorizing the spending or collecting of public funds MUST originate within the HoC.

Article. 2. Section. 3. The Senate of States

The Senate of States (SoS) shall be composed of 2 Senators from each state, chosen by the state Legislatures for a term of 8 years. Anyone seeking office must be a Citizen of the Republic, a current primary inhabitant of the state to be represented, and without Felony record. Their duty is to uphold the interests of their STATE on the RoC level. Their nomination is NEVER a matter for the Citizenry at large. This is the STATE’S voice. No One may EVER be Re-elected to the same office. Furthermore, Citizens may NEVER be elected to more than 2 DIFFERENT offices in their his or her LIFETIME.

Once assembled after the 1st election, 1 Senator from each state shall be named “Senior”, and 1 “Junior.” The Senior Senators shall vacate their office at the end of the first 4 years, and the “Juniors” will become the new “Seniors” while new Citizens will be elected by the States to fill the “Junior” offices. In this way, half the SoS will be chosen every 4th year.

If vacancies occur, by resignation or otherwise, the Executive of the state involved may make temporary appointments to either house, until the next meeting of that state’s legislature, or a special election can be arranged to fill the vacancy under the state’s normal rules. Temporary appointees or elected replacements do not sacrifice one of their terms in the office if it is less than 2 years in duration.

The Vice-President of the Republic shall be Leader of the SoS, and preside over all daily affairs, but shall have NO VOTE, except in the case of a tie.

The SoS shall choose their other officers from among their ranks, but members receive no additional compensation for these Duties. They may also, when needed, set rules for the succession of power, in the absence of the Vice President.

Article. 2. Section. 4.General Elections

The General Elections of the RoS will be conducted every 4th year, on the 1st day of November excepting for Sat. and Sun. in which case it will occur the following Monday. ANY Elections involving more than 2 candidates where no candidate receives 50%+1 of the total vote must then be decided by a run-off election involving only the top 2 candidates from the original election. These run-offs shall be held within 1 week of the initial election. Citizens elected shall take up their duties on the 2nd day of January excepting for Saturday and Sunday in which case it will occur the following Monday, this being the annual opening of the CoS session.

New Representatives, and Senators from new states, shall be added, as population growth and expansion demands, on the same 4-year cycle. Senior Senators from new states still only serve a 4-year term.

All Citizens must have their names checked off the roles as they vote, and be indelibly marked, by Ink on finger or similar method, to insure only 1 vote per franchise. (Photo ID’s WILL be required IF they are ever adopted.) All voting roles in EVERY community WILL be Purged of all Deceased or Disenfranchised Citizens as they occur, and the roles will be checked once per year in the month of July. This inspection shall be a matter of OPEN PUBLIC RECORD viewable by ALL RESIDENTS. If Even 1 case of voter fraud is found in ANY election, the ENTIRE result will be voided and the election Immediately held again under RRC security, NO EXCEPTIONS.

Article. 2. Section. 5.Congressional Rules

Each House of the CoS shall be the judge of internal elections, and disputes of, the other. Each House may set the rules of its own proceedings within the boundaries of the Constitution, and must publish ALL such rules for public viewing. They may punish members for disobeying these rules, but may only expel a member via impeachment.

The CoS will meet for only 30 to 120 days annually, dependent upon need. An extension may be approved by a 3/4 majority of both houses. Such a vote will extend the session for 2 weeks. Multiple extensions may be allowed on a session, but Only in extreme circumstances, and Only with the approval of the PoR for Each extension after the first.

Campaigning for Republic office shall begin no sooner than the 1st Monday after the end of the current CoS session, or the 1st of May, whichever is LATER, in the election year.

A 4/5 majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, and NO business may EVER be conducted without such a quorum present, excepting for daily adjournment. Both houses may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may choose, regardless of the member’s location. Failure to attend without valid cause MAY Justify Impeachment. Neither House shall adjourn to thwart the other.

Each House must keep a detailed record of its proceedings, and on the occasion of each vote, publish the yeas, presents, and nays of EACH member of either assembly on EVERY question voted upon. This Journal is a matter of public record, open to ANY RESIDENT at ANY time. Forging or otherwise altering this record MANDATES impeachment, as well as laying of Felony Fraud charges.

No measure may be amended once it passes out of its house of origin. There will ONLY be 1 vote per measure, up or down, after passing to the second house. No Procedural votes or Misdirection are ever allowed. Legislation will be brought to the floor in the order they are introduced. The ONLY exceptions are Jury Nullification and Citizen Referendums, which must be voted on as the next order of business after their introduction.

When possible, the CoS must meet Remotely as to remain closer to the Residents they serve. IF direct meeting is Necessary, it will take place in the Capitol District, BUT Citizens should strive to ALWAYS keep elected officials away from the isolation of the “Ivory Tower” of politics. No motion to Adjourn requires approval outside the CoS.

Article. 2. Section. 6.Republic & Public Employment

All members of the CoS receive pay EQUAL to a RRC Lieutenant, but ONLY when the CoS is ACTIVELY in session. Politics MUST NEVER become a CAREER! No one holding ANY position under the RoS may be elected or hired to ANY other position, nor receive pay for more than one job under the Republic at a time.

You MUST resign from ANY current RoS position before accepting or applying for another. It’s ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN to hold ANY office while running for another. Doing so serves the candidate’s needs before the citizens. The needs of the CITIZENRY ALWAYS COME FIRST!

Office Holders may not be arrested during attendance to their duties, or traveling to and from the same with the exception of Treason charges. This is the ONLY privilege Politicians get, EVER!

Unelected Employees may never work for the RoS for more than 8 years TOTAL in their lifetime. Citizenship is not required, and if they are Citizens, it does not count as a term in elected office. Pay for such jobs is FIXED at the CURRENT AVERAGE for similar jobs in the private sector, and RoS Employees may NEVER be members of ANY FORM OF UNION.

Collective bargaining “in good faith” is IMPOSSIBLE when the Employer has vast resources not their own, and vested interest in giving the union concessions in return for votes and favors.

Outside of direct employment, the RoS mandates no restrictions, exceptions, or obligations on Unions beyond the requirement that No Union May EVER prevent a company from closing, or relocating their shop. Also, no Resident May EVER:

  1. be kept from working due to Non-Participation in a Union.

  2. be forced to, Join, Stay in, Be Represented by, or Be Fired for Leaving a Union.

  3. be forced to pay ANY money to a Union they’re not a WILLING member of.

Article. 2. Section. 7.Rules for Legislation

Each Individual piece of legislation MUST BE:

  1. judged singly, on its own merits, and NEVER grouped with ANY Other Measure.

  2. no longer than 5, 8.5×11 double-spaced/sided pages, in 12 pt font, and drafted in English understandable to the general public. Words aren’t toys for lawyers. The primary meaning is the always the default. We laid out an entire Republic in very few pages. If you need more than 5 for one law, YOU’RE UP TO SOMETHING!

  3. posted for open public viewing for a minimum of two weeks prior to the FIRST VOTE, so that the citizens may review it before consideration in ether house. Once posted it may NOT be changed in ANY WAY!

  4. read in its entirety on the open floor of EACH house before ANY vote is taken.

  5. justified as to where in THIS Constitution the authority for the law comes.

  6. passed by a 2/3 majority of both the HoC and SoS, then presented to the PoR for endorsement.

Remember: The FIRST way elitists try to gain control is by saying, “It’s too complex for YOU to understand.” NEVER, LET THIS HAPPEN! Prohibit or NULLIFY vague laws that are too open to interpretation. The Citizenry must DEMAND CLEAR and ABSOLUTE Legislation at ALL TIMES.

Once the President signs legislation, it becomes law. If vetoed, it will be returned, with the President’s 1-page objection, to the House in which it originated. The objections are recorded in the House’s journal. The President may ONLY veto or pass legislation, not CHANGE, QUANTIFY, LIMIT, or EXPAND it in ANY WAY.

If vetoed, the originating house of the CoS may reconsider, and re-write it, at which point it must again pass both houses as a New piece of legislation. To directly override a veto requires 4/5 of both Houses to agree; if so, it will become Law over the President’s objection.

If any Legislation is Not signed or vetoed within 10 Days (Saturday/Sunday excepted) of presentation, it will become a Law as if signed. However, if the CoS adjourns during that time so it cannot be returned, the measure is considered to be vetoed.

Every session of the CoS must be open for ANYONE to observe. School children are seated first, to learn how the system works, Citizens next, and then all others, up to the limitations of available space. It must ALWAYS be recorded, preserved, and when possible, broadcast live.

ALL committees and policy discussions MUST also be Recorded, and Broadcast where possible. They MUST be made available for review of the Residents at large. The Republic NEVER has ANY AUTHORITY to keep ANY RoS ACTIVITIES secret from the RESIDENTS. Doing so is an impeachable offense.

Article. 2. Section. 8.Duties of the CoS.

The CoS may NEVER pass ANY Legislation that isn’t APPLIED AND ENFORCED equally to ALL ELECTED or EMPLOYED Officials as well as the Residents at large. No Politicians are EVER Immune, Protected, or Excluded from ANY legislation for ANY reason. Being elected to office NEVER incurs any special privileges other than (Art 2, Sec 6, Para 3.) EVER!

The CoS shall have power to lay/collect taxes, pay the Debts, provide for the common Defense, and in LIMITED ways, promote the general prosperity, with the express and UNALTERABLE position that ALL taxes shall be UNIFORM throughout the RoS. NEVER will one person or profession pay a HIGHER OR LOWER PERCENTAGE than another.

Taxes MUST be Clear, Delineated, and Simple in ALL ways and ALL levels! The Republic, the States, and lesser governments MUST inform the citizens of EVERY PENNY TAKEN from them.

The CoS should keep REGULAR, HONEST, and FREE FLOWING, all commerce between states, but Never to LIMIT IT, and having NO CONTROL WHAT-SO-EVER over commerce WITHIN a state. Furthermore, Commerce is STRICTLY DEFINED as Participating in Trade, not Declining to do so.

The CoS may create inferior RoC courts, and establish treaties with the old world, if needed.

The CoS must promote the advance of art and science, by securing, for limited times, authors and inventors Exclusive rights to their creations and discoveries, and by offering prizes for the first to achieve new breakthroughs, NEVER through ANY form of Subsidies, Grants, or Tax Incentives.

The CoS must Establish uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the Republic. Coin Money and regulate the Value there of, based on A GOLD STANDARD. Determine the value of old world currency, if any, and Fix the Standards of Weights and Measures, based on the metric system. All paper money within the Republic MUST be based on precious metals, most commonly gold, but not excluding silver, copper, or platinum. Un-backed currency is the greatest enemy of moral capitalism that exists. The RoS shall Institute all laws and penalties for monetary counterfeiting. All coinage MUST be, at minimum, 92% pure (22kt) metals, but Framing is permitted.

2 (or more) agencies under the RoS may NEVER DUPLICATE Services or Authority, and Any Accusation of Wrong-Doing must be investigated by agents OUTSIDE RoS control. The findings of such investigation must be publicly announced BEFORE anyone, in any level of government, sees them.

The CoS and President TOGETHER may Mobilize the RRC to defend or execute the Laws of the RoS. At All other times the RRC’s duty is to explore/survey new territory, provide police and fire services, disaster assistance, and search-and-rescue services for the RoS at large.

NO New Powers should EVER be granted to the Republic Without EXTENDED consideration of EACH and EVERY one. The idea is to keep the Republics Powers LIMITED!!!

Article. 2. Section. 9. The Capitol District

The RoS has exclusive control in all matters, over the Republics Capital District (RCD) (2 km x 2 km MAX) created with permission of the involved State(s), and the vote of CoS. The RoS exercises like authority over all property owned by the RoS, and may make all necessary local laws for administering the above delineated properties. Due to the nature of the RCD, it is not, nor EVER will be, entitled to representation in either house of the CoS. Any Resident choosing to Live there does so with this UNALTERABLE Understanding.

Article. 2. Section. 10.Basic Laws of Land and Taxes

No property tax will EVER be laid, at ANY LEVEL of government! The Private Ownership of Property is the Cornerstone of Personal Liberty, and the taxation of it is the first step toward confiscation of it. “Imminent Domain” is a LEGAL FICTION best left to the theorists.

IF (A VERY BIG IF!) a tax on earned income is ever approved, it shall be equal in percentage, from the lowest to highest incomes; Apply to EVERY RESIDENT, with NO EXEMPTIONS MADE FOR ANY REASON; and the MAXIMUM rate of taxation shall NEVER under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES exceed 10% TOTAL (Republic/State/Local). If it’s good enough for God (Tithes) it’s good enough for government. No form of income shall EVER be taxed at a higher or lower rate than any other, and no income may Ever be taxed Twice. If a consumption tax is preferred, it may NEVER be higher than the SAME 10% TOTAL.

Furthermore, if 1 of these tax schemes is adopted, It MUST be to the TOTAL EXCLUSION of the other. The government may, if it can make the argument, impose 1 of these burdens on Residents, but NEVER, under ANY circumstances, may BOTH be imposed. Taxation ISN’T a stimulus to ANY economy, it’s a Retarding factor, and must NEVER become excessive.

ALL forms of Taxation will be paid on an established schedule, or at the time of purchase, and be clearly delineated, NEVER through ANY system of Withholding where funds are removed before the resident receives them. It is the RESIDENT’S money, NOT The Republic’s! Residents MUST be informed of every cent the government takes.

No tax shall EVER be laid on ANY Business or Company. Such entities are legal fictions, in truth; RESIDENTS pay ALL taxes. Businesses ALWAYS pass the cost on to their customers through increased prices. The Resident still pays, regardless of how the law is worded.

Any and All funds Taken from a business’s accounts by the owner(s) for personal use ARE INCOME of the owner(s). A ROUGH guideline: If it’s at your office, it belongs to the company; if it’s at your house, it belongs to you. PRECISE accounts MUST be kept AT ALL TIMES!

ALL land of Secundus not ceded to a resident, or a state, belongs to the RoS and is available for sale to raise funds. Land, once sold, may NEVER be seized for ANY reason. It may be bought for fair market value, IF the owner is WILLING to sell. Individual land ownership is Permanent and Sacrosanct with the following three exceptions.

  1. The RCD is IRREVOCABLY property of the Republic and can never be sold.

  2. Any large precious metal deposits must be owned by the RoS to maintain monetary stability. If a property owner finds such a deposit the RRC survey teams missed, it must be sold to the Republic at a value based on the Average of 3 Independent surveys. (1 chosen by the owner, 1 by the state/territory, and 1 by the RoS) Once “played out” it becomes available for sale like any other land.

  3. All waterways and bodies of water remain the property of the Republic to be managed for the benefit of all, but basic usage will NEVER be denied to bordering land holders. Altering the existing path of waterways through private property requires RoS approval.

The last exception NEVER applies to flood plains, or small bodies of water completely within a property. The first of these is temporary, the second is private property, and outside RoS control.

When a Resident wishes to purchase ANY other land the RoS does not wish to sell, the Republic must Show Just-Cause in open court that the land is of greater benefit to the RoS as a whole, than to the Resident. The burden of proof rests ENTIRELY on the Government. The cost of any improvements to the property made by the ROS will be added into the price.

No tax shall EVER, under ANY Circumstances, be laid on the estates of the dead. Property accumulated during a lifetime of work belongs irrevocably to the decease’s heirs, until willingly sold or spent. IF, and ONLY IF, a resident dies without Will or Heir(s) does the Republic inherit that estate, and only what’s left after ALL outstanding debts are PAID IN FULL. Any resident may have their Will probated prior to death. If it does not stand up in court, the court MUST help them reword it to accomplish Their desired aims. Once upheld in court, it is beyond ANY Postmortem Challenge. If changed, it must go through the probate process again. This may be done as many times as the Resident desires.

No tax shall ever be levied on gifts from one Resident to another; HOWEVER, bribery of public officials or employees is ALWAYS a Felony. If the bribe is accepted, ALL parties are subject to EQUAL prosecution. If declined, only the instigating party can be charged. Recording of such interactions is NEVER a crime, since there is NO “Right of Privacy” for serving officials, serving Rangers, or anyone currently interacting with them DURING the performance of their duty.

Off-duty they have the same privacy rights as any Resident. However, there is also no “Right to Privacy” when a crime is being Committed or Planned. Such “spur of the moment” recordings are admissible, only law enforcement surveillance REQUIRES a warrant, but Entrapment is another Legal Fiction; if you accept, you’re accountable.

No tax, tariff, or duty shall be laid on ANYTHING traded from one state to another, and NO funds shall EVER be drawn from the treasury, except by Appropriation through the HoC.

A regular account of ALL Republic money shall be published quarterly, and the records of such are ALWAYS kept according to STANDARD ACCEPTED ACCOUNTING PRACTICES. The books WILL be open to public review at ALL times. The RoS may NEVER operate under ANY SORT of DEFICIT. If the treasury lacks the funds to undertake a project, it must wait till such funds can be raised through taxes, land sale, or other means.

The Republic MUST develop and MAINTAIN an Emergency fund equal to the RoS budget for a full year, to deal with such issues as may arise. Once developed, it Must be maintained in FULL VIEW of the public, open to inspection at ANY time, and contain HARD MONEY, never ANY form of BOND, NOTE or ANY other form of IOU. This fund may be expanded beyond one year if the Citizenry or the Republic so wishes. The required level of funds is determined at the beginning of each new year, based on the previous year’s expenditures. The budget of the RoS is RESET to ZERO at the start of the year. EVERY Dollar MUST be justified ANNUALLY.

Once the Emergency fund(s) reaches the required level, all further interest earned on the account MAY be made available for the purpose of building monuments and memorials. NO OTHER RoS funds shall EVER be allocated for this purpose. Such projects are better funded by private groups or Residents, because if enough Residents believe someone deserves a monument or memorial, it will be build through private donations; otherwise how can it be justified? Only RoS level monuments may be built. Local or State monuments NEVER receive RoS funds.

The Emergency Fund may only be used in cases of EXTREME need, agreed upon by both The executive and legislative branches. Any funds used must be replaced as quickly as possible and take priority over ANY and ALL new expenditures. Any Extended use of the fund must be re-approved on a monthly basis by a 2/3 majority of the CoS, and the President. Furthermore, the citizenry may veto any use of the emergency fund by a 50% +1 majority. This does not apply to the RRC when Mobilized. That procedure is outlined in Art. 4. Sect. 2. Para. 5.

Article. 2. Section. 11.States and Money

The Republic, the States or individual banks are FORBIDDEN from coining anything but precious metals, of standard sizes and purities, or printing paper money FULLY (100%) backed by precious metals. Nor may they pass any after-the-fact law, “Bill of Attainder,” or Impair the Obligation of Legal contracts. The RoS neither grants nor recognizes Titles of Nobility. No single state shall EVER make treaties with the old world, or engage in War, unless invaded, or in such danger that delay would make matters worse.

Article. 2. Section. 12.Nullification of Laws

ANY Law, Tax, or Other Legislation passed by the CoS may be NULLIFIED at ANY TIME. Nullification requires a 50%+1 majority in both houses to be removed from the books. This process does not require Presidential approval, but the President may veto it. Overriding such a veto takes a 2/3 majority in both houses. Either house may call for Nullification.

If a Sitting Jury finds their case is based in “Bad Law” they may call for Nullification, but they must judge the current case based on existing law. Jury Nullification MUST be given an open vote by the CoS as its next order of business. Nullification NEVER applies to the Constitution.

Effected Citizens may demand Nullification by referendum. A 50%+1 majority Nullifies a law, REGARDLESS of the WILL of the government. If any attempted nullification fails, it may not be tried again for 1 year. There’s NO LIMIT on the number of attempts to nullify a law.

NO COURT may EVER REINSTATE ANY Nullified Legislation, EVER!

Citizens should Nullify ANY law that is unclear, ANY law that is not enforced Equally on ALL Residents, and ANY law that violates ANY part of this Constitution. Nullified laws, and the reasons for nullification, are ALWAYS recorded for posterity. Conviction of violating a subsequently Nullified law will NOT disqualify a citizen for public office. Once nullified, a law is GONE! Any convictions under it are expunged completely and IMMEDIATELY!

To be reenacted, it must undergo the Entire legislative process again.

Nullification is the one article of the Constitution that MAY NEVER BE AMENDED! Citizens MUST ALWAYS HAVE this power. The reason is simple: “Bad Law” and Unintended Consequences happen and must be dealt with quickly and efficiently. It is also a hard-check on out-of-control government. The Final voice MUST remain that of the CITIZENS. We strongly recommend the Citizens DEMAND this IRREVOCABLE clause be included in their state’s Constitution, and municipal charters.

 

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