Eleven States having thus ratified the Constitution,14 the Continental Congress–which still functioned at irregular intervals–passed a resolution on September 13, 1788, to put the new Constitution into operation. The first Wednesday of January 1789 was fixed as the day for choosing presidential electors, the first Wednesday of February for the meeting of electors, and the first Wednesday of March (i.e. March 4, 1789) for the opening session of the new Congress. Owing to various delays, Congress was late in assembling, and it was not until April 30, 1789, that George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States.

In 1908, the Supreme Court squarely adopted Justice Story’s view of the Preamble in Jacobson v. Massachusetts , holding that while the Constitution’s introductory paragraph indicates the general purposes for which the people ordained and established the Constitution, it has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the federal government.6 Instead, [s]uch powers embrace only those expressly granted in the body of the Constitution, and such as may be implied from those so granted.

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