Article III, Section 3, Clause 2:
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
The Confiscation Act of 1862
to suppress Insurrection, to punish Treason and Rebellion, to seize and confiscate the Property of Rebels 1 raised issues under Article III, § 3, cl. 2. Because of the constitutional doubts of the President, the act was accompanied by an explanatory joint resolution which stipulated that only a life estate terminating with the death of the offender could be sold and that at his death his children could take the fee simple by descent as his heirs without deriving any title from the United States. In applying this act, passed pursuant to the war power and not the power to punish treason, 2 the Court in one case 3 quoted with approval the English distinction between a disability absolute and perpetual and one personal or temporary. Corruption of blood as a result of attainder of treason was cited as an example of the former and was defined as the disability of any of the posterity of the attained person
to claim any inheritance in fee simple, either as heir to him, or to any ancestor above him. 4