The United States' Constitution
in a separate posting.
We would ask that any Consitutional scholars would please take a minute,
or longer, to send us a note concerning possible corrections.
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1787
We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,
promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the
United States of America.
Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a
Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and
House of Representatives.
Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members
chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,
and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite
for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the
Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a citizen of the United States,
and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which
he shall be chosen.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among
the several States which may be included within this Union,
according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined
by adding to the whole number of free Persons, including those
bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed,
three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made
within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the
United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years,
in such Manner as they shall by law Direct. The number of
Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand,
but each State shall have at least one Representative;
and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire
shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island
and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six,
New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six,
Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive
Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers;
and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of
two Senators from each State, chosen by the legislature thereof,
for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election,
they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of
the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the expiration of the
second Year, of the second Class at the expiration of the fourth Year,
and of the third Class at the expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third
may be chosen every second Year; and if vacancies happen by Resignation,
or otherwise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State,
the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the
next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.
No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of
thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States,
and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State
for which he shall be chosen.
The Vice-President of the United States shall be President of the Senate,
but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President
pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall
exercise the Office of President of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.
When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.
When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice
shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence
of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal
from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor,
Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall
nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and
Punishment, according to Law.
Section 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and
Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof;
but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations,
except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year,
and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December,
unless they shall by law appoint a different Day.
Section 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections,
Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a
Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business;
but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day,
and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members,
in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
Each house may determine the Rules of its Proceedings,
punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the
Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.
Each house shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings,
and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may
in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the
Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of
one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the
Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to
any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation
for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury
of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and
Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance
at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning
from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House,
they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected,
be appointed to any civil Office under the authority of the United States,
which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been
increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the
United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance
Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the
House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with
Amendments as on other Bills.
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and
the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the
President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it,
but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House
in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections
at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it.
If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that house
shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent,
together with the Objections, to the other House, by which
it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds
of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such Cases
the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays,
and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be
entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill
shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted)
after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law,
in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their
Adjournment prevent its Return, in which case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate
and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question
of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States;
and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him,
or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of
the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules
and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Section 8. The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties,
Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence
and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises
shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,
and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws
on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin,
and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities
and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing
for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right
to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas,
and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal,
and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use
shall be for a longer term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,
suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for
governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the
United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment
of the Officers, and the Authority of training the militia according
to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever,
over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may,
by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress,
become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to
exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent
of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be,
for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dockyards,
and other needful Buildings;--And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying
into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested
by this Constitution in the Government of the United States,
or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Section 9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any
of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not
be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight
hundred and eight, but a Tax or Duty may be imposed on such Importation,
not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless
when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion
to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue
to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to,
or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence
of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account
of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be
published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States;
and no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall,
without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument,
Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince,
or foreign State.
Section 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or
Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money;
emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender
in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law,
or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties
on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing
it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts,
laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury
of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision
and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of
Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any
Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or
engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger
as will not admit of delay.
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President
of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during
the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President
chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct,
a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives
to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or
Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under
the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot
for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not lie an Inhabitant of
the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of
all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each;
which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to
the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the
President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall,
in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives,
open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.
The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President,
if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed;
and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal
Number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately
chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have
a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House
shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President,
the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State
having one Vote; a Quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member
or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the
States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice
of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of
the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain
two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them
by Ballot the Vice President.
The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors,
and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day
shall be the same throughout the United States.
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States,
at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to
the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that
Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years,
and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death,
Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the
said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the
Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation
or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what
Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly,
until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services,
a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during
the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive
within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the
following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that
I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,
and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States."
Section 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army
and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States,
when called into the actual Service of the United States;
he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer
in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to
the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power
to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States,
except in Cases of impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the
Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators
present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice
and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public
Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other
Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein
otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law:
but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers,
as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law,
or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen
during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall
expire at the End of their next session.
Section 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress
Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their
Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;
he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either
of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to
the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall
think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers;
he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall
Commission all the Officers of the United States.
Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the
United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for,
and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested
in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may
from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme
and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good behavior,
and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation,
which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity,
arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties
made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting
Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty
and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States
shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a
State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;
--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of
different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof,
and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls,
and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have
original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the
supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact,
with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury;
and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall
have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial
shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in
levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them
Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on
the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession
in open Court.
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.
Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the
public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.
And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts,
Records, and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all
Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime,
who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State,
shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from
which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having
Jurisdiction of the Crime.
No person held to Service or Labor in one State, under the Laws thereof,
escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein,
be discharged from such Service or Labor, But shall be delivered up on Claim
of the Party to whom such Service or Labor may be due.
Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union;
but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction
of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two
or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the
Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules
and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging
to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so
construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States,
or of any particular State.
Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union
a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against
Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive
(when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary,
shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of
the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention
for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents
and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures
of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths
thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by
the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the
Year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect
the first and fourth Clauses in the ninth Section of the first Article;
and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of it's
equal Suffrage in the Senate.
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption
of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States
under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made
in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made,
under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme
Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby,
any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the
several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers,
both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound
by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious
Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust
under the United States
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the
Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present
the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one
thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the
United States of America the Twelfth In Witness whereof We have
hereunto subscribed our Names,
Presid. and deputy from Virginia
Wm. Saml. Johnson
Gunning Bedford jun
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
James Madison Jr.
Rich'd Dobbs Spaight
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
William Jackson, Secretary
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