Publication Date


Document Type


First Page



[I]t is undoubted that those provisions of the constitution which deny to the legislature power to deprive any person of life, liberty, and property, without due process of law, or to pass a bill of attainder or an ex post facto, are inconsistent in their spirit and general purpose with a provision which, at once without trial, deprives a whole class of persons of offices held by them, for cause, however grave. It is true that no limit can be imposed on the people when exercising their sovereign power in amending their own constitution of government. But it is a necessary presumption that the people in the exercise of that power, seek to confirm and improve, rather than to weaken and impair the general spirit of the constitution.