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Revised and Updated
September 1999

by Charles W. Johnson, Parliamentarian,
U.S. House of Representatives


First published in 1953 by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, this 22nd edition of "How Our Laws Are Made" reflects changes in congressional procedures since the 21st edition, which was revised and updated in 1997. This edition was prepared by the Office of the Parliamentarian of the U.S. House of Representatives in consultation with the Office of the Parliamentarian of the U.S. Senate.


The Bill of Rights: Due Process of Law

by Jacob G. Hornberger
March 9, 2005

One of the most deeply rooted principles in American jurisprudence is the concept of due process of law, which is enshrined in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”


Constitutional Issues of Taxation

Most Americans understand that all government functions must be authorized by their state constitution or the Constitution of the United States. While this understanding may not be as firm as it was in our grandparents' day, it is still fairly well acknowledged. However, some feel that when it comes to matters of taxation, the government throws the Constitution out the window and all must follow the dictates of the government or pay the piper. While this is not legally true, there is ample reason for people to feel this way.


Constitutional Malpractice

April 29, 2003

by Robert A. Levy

Robert A. Levy is senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute.

Legislation that caps medical malpractice awards and limits attorney fees cleared the House 229-196 on March 13. That's the seventh malpractice "reform" since Republicans took over the House in 1995. They can expect rougher going in the Senate. Meanwhile, the hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle was thick enough to slice.


The Timeline

Often in the course of researching events for the site, I've wondered where in history those events fall in relation to other national and international milestones. On this page, I've listed many events from U.S. and World history, with specific attention to constitutional events.


Constitution Day, Just What Was There To Celebrate?

by Dennis Kabaczy 

Special to TLE 

September 17, we are informed, is the day we should celebrate the writing of our Glorious Constitution. This constitution, we are told, saved the new republic from the near anarchy of the inefficient Articles of Confederation. Without this constitution, war debts wouldn't have been paid, taxes couldn't have been raised, armies couldn't have been raised, and we would have had 13 (at that time) separate independent though interrelated governments.