QUOTE(astronerd @ Jan 15 2004, 03:01 AM)
It is a wrong-headed idea that insists that the U.S. Constitution applies to any citizen or group of citizens that are NOT in the Federal Governing body.
While I would agree with your point that the Constitution is the blue print for how our government is to conduct their affairs, there are instances where it very specifically addresses issues pertaining to the citizens (about as close to actually writing a law).Article 3
Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
This does not apply just to members of the federal government.Clause 2: The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
This is where Congress based their power to create the Patriot Act.
Back to the question asked: Who does it apply to? In this instance it applies to anyone who commits treason against the Unite States. The Patriot act (based off Clause 2) takes a broader sweep and applies to “basically” anyone regardless if you’re a citizen, or if you’re a citizen living abroad. Enforcing those laws internationally is based on the legarl reciprocation agreements with each country.
2. There is unlimited opportunity to use Citizen in every article, but yet they choose to use "Person" and they are specific when it comes to Elected Office, in the use of Citizen, but not so in other catagories.
PiedPiper – when this country was formed and this document created, we obviously didn’t have the naturalization laws that exist now. At that time if you had permanent residence here then you were considered what we now clearly define as a citizen and covered by all laws, both Federal and State. There just simply wasn’t a need to explicitly spell it out.
I’m often amazed at the impact of how one word or phrase in this document could have impacted our history.