The following is the original text of Article 6 of the United States Constitution:
Article 6 of the Constitution
Article 6 consists of three sections, which collectively assert the supremacy of the Constitution in establishing laws and treaties.
Our forefathers were wise in knowing that people would constantly attempt to undermine the Constitution and create exceptions to further their own agenda, even through unconstitutional means.
Article 6 avoids any treasonous interpretations.
No state laws should overrule federal laws.
Article 6 covers all bases in clarifying that no state or individual can come to a legal agreement that contradicts the privileges and laws laid out within the pages of the original US Constitution (now housed in the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC).
Additionally, Article VI of the Constitution established freedom of religion.
The 6th Article contains three sections and can be better understood when broken down.
Why Article 6 is Still Important Today
Some might say that our current society is on the verge of self-destruction. Over the past decade, the United States Constitution has been challenged time and time again by those who have no respect for its authority.
Contentious issues in the constitution are those from the right to life to the right to bear arms. Many have and continue to insist that the Constitution got it wrong and needs to be upgraded for today.
The eternal life of the constitution
People fail to realize that the United States Constitution was written for all time and is as relevant today as when it was first written.
The Constitution is not a piece of clay made to be remolded at any time for each individual. It is a strong foundation, unyielding to new philosophies and special circumstances.
Wise words from President Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln once said,
“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
Article 6 declares that all Constitutional Amendments and laws will forever be the final law of America, and no citizens or states will ever change that.
Section One of Article 6
Article 6, Section 1 is a formal notification that the United States government initially took the burden of debt upon itself. America had accrued this debt before implementing the Constitution and the separate states coming together in unity.
In doing so, the United States Founding Fathers garnered instant respect for being known as a government that takes care of its own. This initial wave would set the tone for how our nation would handle debts for generations to come.
Henceforth, the United States of America was known as a moral nation that handled its responsibilities promptly and maturely.
Section Two of Article 6
Article 6, Section 2 contains what is known as the Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause is where the United States Constitution is deemed the Supreme Law of the Land. If you are a citizen of the United States of America, you will respect and abide by the laws set forth within the said document.
Judges and Congress members must abide by the Constitution firmly, and no state law can contradict the Constitution or other federal law subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Also, state laws cannot violate treaty agreements made with America – past or present.
Section 2 declares that while state governments do have the power to create their own laws when necessary, they cannot overlook or negate the Supreme Law of the Land as outlined in the Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court.
Section Three of Article 6
Article 6, Section 3 continues the main theme of the ultimate authority of the United States Constitution. Still, it also sets additional provisions for religious freedom within the US federal government.
Initially, it states that any and all persons who are involved in the United States federal government – be it in the judicial branch, the chief justice, vice president, acting president, president, officer, or those in Congress – are legally bound to adhere to the US Constitution by swearing an oath.
Here, we see the No Religious Test Clause come into play. It states that while taking an oath to abide by the Constitution is required to work in the State, Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches of the United States government, no one should have to take any religious test to be admitted into the government.
Did You Know That England Had a Religion Test?
From approximately 1673 to 1689, anyone who wanted to work in that government had to renounce Roman Catholicism and accept the Anglican doctrine taught by the Church of England. That automatically disqualified protestants and Catholics from working in civil service.
By mandating no religious test be deemed to hold a position within the American government, our Founding Fathers, such as James Madison, set a precedent that no man should be judged based solely upon their religious beliefs.
Purpose of Article 6 of the Constitution
“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.”
– Judge Learned Hand
The United States Constitution was created in order to establish a strong foundation by which all people should be governed. The Constitution’s beauty is that it establishes a base whereby all men truly are treated with equality and respect.
In a way, it’s almost comparable to a holy text in that it has stood the test of time, despite how many people have relentlessly tried to change it.
It is our obligation as US citizens to hold onto Article 6 of the United States Constitution like a banner for everyone to read, as people will try to dismiss the liberties and boundaries established within the pages of that document.