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sive. A State, therefore, 'cannot lay a tas sa is.porterg or on imported goods, because that would be e restraint upon the sale of imported goods, and the importation of foreign goods is a part of commerce, the regulation of which belongs solely to Congress. In like manner, certain acts of the legislature of New York granting, for a term of years, to Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton the exclusive right to navigate the waters within the jurisdiction of that State, with steamboats, were held to be violations of this clause of the Constitution, and therefore void, so far as they prohibited vessels licensed under the laws of the United States to carry on the coasting trade, from navigating the same waters.
$ 233. The authority granted by this clause extends to fisheries along the coast, the government of seamen on board of American ships, to the subject of wrecks, to the enactment of pilotage laws, and of laws regulating quarantine.
Quarantine is a period of time during which a vessel arriving in port, and suspected of being infected with a malignant or contagious disease, is not allowed to communicate with the shore, except under particular restrictions. The object of compelling a vessel to perform quarantine, is to prevent the introduction of disease into the country.
$ 234. This authority extends also to the construction of light-houses and of buoys, to clearing rivers, harbours, and bays of obstructions to navigation, and to constituting ports for the entry of goods; it likewise includes the laying of a temporary embargo, but not of a perpe. tual embargo, because that would have the effect of destroying, not of regulating, commerce. An embargo is a restraint or prohibition on vessels, to prevent their leaving 1 port.
$ 235. The laws which exist in many of the States providing for the inspection of certain articles, such as flour, meat, &c., the laws of the States for regulating their internal commerce, and those with respect to turnpike-roads, ferries, &c., are valid, and are not within the power given to Congress to regulate commerce.
$ 236. By the Articles of Confederation, (Art. 9, sec. 4,) Congress was empowered to regulate the trade and manage all affairs with the Indians who were not members of any of the States, provided the legislative right of any State within its own limits was not infringed. The Constitution, however, gives to Congress the power of regulating commerce with the Indian tribes wherever situated, whether they be within or without the limits of a particular State or of the United States. The Indian tribes within a State, or in the national territories, are regarded as domestic nations, exercising the powers of government, but dependant on the United States, and holding their territory only by right of occupancy.
[Clause 4.] “ To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.”
$ 237. Naturalization means the act by which an alien, or foreigner, becomes a citizen of the United States.
Under the Confederation, each State possessed the power to naturalize aliens. The regulations upon the subject, and the qualifications required by the different States, were various, which led to confusion and to conflicts; for some States required a short, others a long period, of previous residence.
$ 238. The Articles of Confederation (Art. 4) declared that the free inhabitants of each State were entitled to the privileges of citizens in all other States. A foreigner, by becoming naturalized in a State which required a short period of previous residence, could then remove into a State which required a long period, obtain the privileges of a citizen there, and thus evade the laws of the latter State. - $ 239. To remedy the evils in this respect existing under the Confederation, the Constitution gives Congress the power to establish a rule of naturalization which shall be uniform throughout the whole country. This clause does not in express terms prohibit the States from establishing rules of naturalization ; but it has been held that the power of Congress is necessarily exclusive, and operates to restrain the States, because, if each State had power to establish a distinct rule for itself, there would probably be no uniform rule.
$ 240. By an act of Congress, passed in 1790, a foreigner was required to reside two years in the United States before he could become naturalized; in 1795, the period of previous residence was extended to five years; in 1798, it was still farther extended to fourteen years; in 1802, it was again reduced to five years, where it remains at present.
§ 241. Any alien, being a free white person, in order to become a citizen of the United States, must first declare on oath, or affirmation, before some national or State Cuurt, at least two years before his application for admission as a citizen, that it is his intention, in good faith, to become a citizen of the United States, and to renounce all allegiance to the government of which he is at the time a subject. This is commonly called his declaration of intention. Dette
$ 242. Afterward, at the time of his application, he must swear to support the Constitution of the United
States, and to renounce all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign prince or State. It is also necessary that he shall bave resided in the United States five years at least prior to his application, and in the State or territory where he then resides, at least one year, and that during that timo he has behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the gnod order and happiness of the same. The applicant is not allowed to prove his residence by his own oath; but he must bring forward witnesses to the fact, who are citizens of the United States.
$ 243. Children of persons duly naturalized, who are under twenty-one years of age at the time of their parents being naturalized, are, if dwelling in the United States, considered as citizens of the United States. Persons born out of the limits and jurisdiction of the United States, whose fathers were or shall be citizens at the time of their birth, are, by an act of Congress, declared to be citizens of the United States; but the right of citizenship thus acquired, cannot descend to persons whose fathers never resided in the United States. Any woman who might lawfully be naturalized under the existing laws, who is married to a citizen, shall be deemed and taken to be a citizen. If an alien dies after his declaration of intention, but before he is actually naturalized, his widow and children shall be considered as citizens of the United States, and shall be entitled to all the privileges as such, upon taking the oath prescribed by law.
$ 244. Aliens, in applying to become citizens, are obliged to renounce any hereditary title or order of nobility which they may have possessed, or” may become entitled to, in the country from which they save emigrated. $ 245 This clause also invests Congress with the power to establish uniform rules on the subject of bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy and insolvency both arise from inability od the part of a debtor to pay his debts. But there is a differ. ence between a bankrupt law and an insolvent law. The former applies to merchants and traders, and discharges the bankrupt from all responsibility for his debts, so that the property acquired by him after his bankruptcy cannot be seized by a former creditor. An insolvent law merely protects the person of the debtor, leaving any property he may acquire afterward, liable to be seized for the old debt.
$ 246. During the Confederation, the power to establish laws on the subject of bankruptcy was vested in the several States. By the Constitution it is transferred to Congress, because it is closely connected with the regulation of commerce, and because the bankrupts themselves, and their property, may be in different States. If the States were permitted to legislate on the subject at the same time with Congress, much confusion and injustice would ensue from the differences in their eðactments.
$ 247. But it has been held that the power of Congress is not exclusive, and that when it is not actually exercised by the national legislature, the States may pass bankrupt laws. Those laws, however, cannot discharge persons from contracts made prior to their passage, and they only extend to contracts made within the State between citizens of the same State. When a general bankrupt law is passed by Congress, this right of the States is suspended, and the State laws become inoperative.
$ 248. Congress exercised the power granted in this clause, by the passage of a bankrupt law, April 4, 1800, which was repealed December 19, 1803. A second bank. apt law was passed August 19, 1841, and repealed March