The Federalist Papers has posted a PDF copy of an Elementary Catechism on the Constitution from 1828 written by Arthur J. Stansbury. I’m publishing it on Mondays in a series of posts. Because the date of publication was 1828, some content has been changed by later Constitutional amendments. There are no sections in the book, so I’m dividing it into any natural breaks of topics and the posts will vary in length. Any emphases within the text are Stansbury’s.
There’s a clear gap between the way things are, and the way things are supposed to be.
XIV. Courts & International Offences
Q. Can Congress erect Courts? that is, make a Law directing that a Judge shall sit at certain places, at certain times, before whom Causes or Criminals shall be tried?
A. Yes, it may appoint as many Courts as it thinks fit; but they must all be inferior to the great Court of the country, called the Supreme Court of the United States.
Q. Can it punish Piracy? that is, robbery committed at sea?
A. Yes, and all other crimes committed there; it can also punish offences against the law of nations.
Q. What do you mean by “the law of nations”?
A. I mean those rules which are agreed upon among all nations (except those who are savages) to regulate their conduct towards each other.
Elementary Catechism on the Constitution posts:
Elementary Catechism on the Constitution (Preface)
I. The Necessity of Government and Its Forms
II. The American Revolution
III. The Occasion and Purpose of the Constitution
IV. State and National Laws
V. The House of Representatives
VI. The Senate
VIII. Impeachment of the President & The Rule of Law
IX. Meetings of Congress
X. Members of Congress
XI. The Making of Federal Laws
XII. Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises
XIII. Finance and Commerce
Book image from The Federalist Papers. Other reading formats of the Elementary Catechism on the Constitution can be found here.