MOUNT VERNON — Part 4 of the Constitution Lecture Series was presented on Wednesday by Mark Zanghi, attorney at law. He discussed Articles IV, V, VI and VII of the Constitution of the United States, and pointed out that certain words in the Constitution are capitalized. He said “it was intended by the founders that those particular words be given great meaning.”
Article IV, Section 1 is the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which says that any public acts, records and judicial proceedings of each state should be enforced by every other state. For example, whenever a court of one state renders a verdict against a civil litigant, the Full Faith and Credit Clause requires the other states to abide by that verdict.
“Also,” he continued, “if a litigant who lost in one state has assets in another state that were needed to satisfy the judgment, the Full Faith and Credit Clause obligates the second state to cooperate in making those assets available to the judgment creditor. If you win a judgment against someone in Ohio and they have assets in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania is obligated to assist you in your recovery [of those assets].”
The Privileges and Immunities Clause is Section 2 of Article IV. It states that citizens of each state are entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in other states. Zanghi said the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the clause to mean that states cannot discriminate against out-of-staters with regards to constitutional rights or important economic activities. He explained, “Whenever a citizen ventures into another state, that state has to give him or her the same civil rights that it would give its own citizens. Whenever you travel from one state to the next, to the next, to the next, each state cannot discriminate against you. You are equal under the laws. Under the Constitution you are an equal person there.”
Zanghi explained why that clause was included in the Constitution. “When you look back at the Articles of Confederation, you had a very disjointed union of 13 colonies with different types of government. People weren’t treated the same going from one colony to the other. What the Privileges and Immunities Clause does is make us all citizens of the United States.”
Article IV, Section 2 Clause 3 is the Extradition Clause, which states that someone charged in any state with treason, felony and other crime and who is apprehended in another state will be returned to the state in which the crime was committed.