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Laws thus submitted to be published

Debts exceeding 5 trict shall exceed five per cent. of the assessed property of ments are to be sub District, shall be contracted, unless the law authorizing mitted to the people.

the same shall, at the general election, have been submitted to the people and have received a majority of the votes cast for members of the Legislative Assembly at such election.

(General Clause 41.) The Legislative Assembly shall provide for the publicain District papers tion of said law in at least two newspapers in the District three months.

for three months, at least, before the vote of the people shall be taken on the same, and provision shall be made in the act for the payment of the interest annually, as it shall accrue, by a tax levied for the purpose, or from other sources of revenue, which law providing for the payment of such interest by such tax shall be irrepealable until such debt be paid: Provided, That the law levying the tax shall be submitted to the people with the law authorizing the debt to be contracted.

No extra allow. ances to be made except by act Assembly.

(General Clause 42.) Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That the Legislative of Assembly shall never grant or authorize extra compensa

tion, fee, or allowance to any public officer, agent, servant, or contractor, after service has been rendered or a contract made, nor authorize the payment of any claim, or part thereof, hereafter created against the District under any contract or agreement made, without express authority of law; and all such unauthorized agreements or contracts shall be null and void.

Contracts not authorized void.



to loan give, or extend its credit.

(General Clause 43.) SEC. 16. And be it further enacted, That the District shall never pay, assume, or become responsible for the debts or liabilities of, or in any manner give, loan, or extend its credit to, or in aid of, any public or other corporation, association, or individual.

ing divorces, prac.

(General Clause 44.) Special laws affect- Sec. 17. And be it further enacted, That the Legislative tice in courts real Assembly shall not pass special laws in any of the followlaw descent, &c. &c., ing cases, that is to say: not to be passed.

For granting divorces;
Regulating the practice in courts of justice;

Regulating the jurisdiction or duties of justices of the peace, police magistrates, or constables ;

Providing for changes of venue in civil or criminal cases, or swearing and impaneling jurors;

Remitting fines, penalties, or forfeitures;

The sale or mortgage of real estate belonging to minors or others under disability ;

Changing the law of descent;

Increasing or decreasing the fees of public officers during the term for which said officers are elected or appointed;

Granting to any corporation, association, or individual, any special or exclusive privilege, immunity, or franchise whatsoever.

(General Clause 45.) The Legislative Assembly shall have no power to release or extinguish, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, debt due the Disa liability, or obligation of any corporation or individual to general or private the District, or to any municipal corporation therein, nor shall the Legislative Assembly have power to establish any bank of circulation, nor to authorize any company or individual to issue notes for circulation as money or currency.

(General Clause 46.) Sec. 18. And be it further enacted, That the legislative Extent of legisla. power of the District shall extend to all rightful subjects this act. of legislation within said District, consistent with the Constitution of the United States and the provisions of this act, subject, nevertheless, to all the restrictions and limitations imposed upon States by the tenth section of the first article of the Constitution of the United States ; *

Act confers no


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* Sec. X, Art. I, Cons. U. S., referred to:

1. Limitation of the Powers of the States.- No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit ; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

2. Imposts.—No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all


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But all acts of the Legislative Assembly shall, at ail times, be subject to repeal or modification by the Congress of the United States, and nothing herein shall be construed to deprive Congress of the power of legislation, over said District in as ample manner as if this law had not been enacted.

(General Clause 47.)


Rentrictions Sec. 19. And be it further enacted, That no member of members.

the Legislative Assembly shall hold, or be appointed to, any office which shall have been created, or the salary or emoluments of which shall have been increased while he was a member, during the term for which he was appointed or elected, and for one year after the expiration of such term ;

And no person holding any office of trust or profit under government otfice,

the Government of the United States shall be a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Cannot hold other


(General Clause 48.)

Assembly not to Sec. 20. And be it further enacted, That the said Legispasser post facto and certain other laws. lative Assembly shall not have power to pass any ex post

facto law,

Nor law impairing the obligation of contracts,
Nor to tax the property of the United States,

Nor to tax the lands or other property of non-residents higher than the lands or other property of residents;

Nor shall lands or other property in said District be liable to a higher tax, in any one year, for all general: objects, territorial and municipal, than two dollars on

every hundred dollars of the cash value thereof; Special taxes may But special taxes may be levied in particular sections, be levied for local improvements. wards, or districts for their particular local improvements;

duties and imposts laid by any State on imports or exports shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of Congress.

3. Tonnage DuliesTroops and Ships of WarCompactsWar.- No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay:-[Vide Brightly's Digest, vol. 1, p. 6, notes b, c, d, and e.)

Territorial gorernment not to bor

Nor shall said territorial government have power to borrow money or issue stock or bonds for any object what- row money, except

by act of Assembly. ever, unless specially authorized by an act of the Legislative Assembly, passed by a vote of two-thirds of the entire number of the members of each branch thereof;

But said debt in no case to exceed five per centum of No debt to oxceed the assessed value of the property of said District, unless sessment. authorized by a vote of the people, as hereinafter provided.

five per cent, of as


those cities, &c.

(General Clause 49.) Sec. 21. And be it further enacted, That the property of

County property that portion of the District not included in the corpora- not in Washington tions of Washington or Georgetown shall not be taxed to be taxed for for the purposes either of improving the streets, alleys, public squares, or other public property of the said cities, or either of them, nor for any other expenditure of a local nature, for the exclusive benefit of said cities, or either of thern, nor the payment of any debt heretofore contracted, or that may hereafter be contracted by either of said cities while remaining under a municipal government not' coextensive with the District.

(General Clause 50.) Sec. 22. And be it further enacted, That the property within the corporate limits of Georgetown shall not be Georgetown taxed for the payment of any debt heretofore or hereafter ington, and to be contracted by the corporation of Washington, nor shall the property within the corporate limits of Washington be taxed for the payment of any debt heretofore or hereafter to be contracted by the corporation of Georgetown; and so long as said cities shall remain under distinct municipal governments, the property within the corporate limits of either of said cities shall not be taxed for the local benefit of the other; nor shall said cities, or either of them, be taxed for the exclusive benefit of the ur county. county outside of the limits thereof: Provided, That the Legislative Assembly may make appropriations for the and Cridges. repair of roads, or for the construction or repair of bridges outside the limits of said cities.

Property in

not taxable for Wash



City property not taxable for benefit

Repairs of roads


(General Clause 51.)

Assembly to maintain free-school sys


SEC. 23. And be further enacted, That it shall be the duty tom by taxation and of said Legislative Assembly to maintain a system of free

schools for the education of the youth of said District, and all moneys raised by general taxation or arising from donations by Congress, or from other sources, except by bequest or devise, for school purposes, shall be appropriated for the equal benefit of all the youths of said District between certain ages, to be defined by law.


(General Clause 52.)

Assembly to appoint and prescribe their duties.

SEC. 21. And be it further enacted, That the said Legisla-. tive Assembly shall have power to provide for the appointment of as many justices of the peace and notaries public for said District as may be deemed necessary, to

define their jurisdiction and prescribe their duties; but Justices not 'to justices of the peace shall not have jurisdiction of any land-title cases, or controversy in which the title of land may be in dispute, volved exceeds $100. or in which the debt or sum claimed shall exceed one

hundred dollars: Provided, however, That all justices of the peace and notaries public now in commission shall continue in oflicé till their present commissions expire, unless sooner removed pursnant to existing laws.


(General Clause 53.) Sec. 25. And be it further enacted, That the judicial courts Toahide Congres- of said District shall remain as now organized until abol

ished or changed by act of Congress; but such Legislative

* The Supreme Court of the District of Columbia was established by act of Congress of 3d March, 1863, (ride sec. 1, 12 U. S. Stat.-at-Large, p. 762.) avd was given general jurisdiction in law and equity, and was composed of four justices, or one chief justice and three associate justices.

There was also establisherl, by act of Congress of 27th February, 1801, (vide sec. 12, 2 V. S. Stat.-at-Large, p. 107,) in and for each of the counties of said District a judge termed judge of the orphan's court.

By an act passed at the 2d session of the 41st Congress, (vide Laws of 41st Congress,) the orphans' courts of the District of Columbia were

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