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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Adopted by Congress: 17 September 1787
Put into effect: 4 March 1789

PREAMBLE

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common
defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to
ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution for the
United States of America.

Article I.

Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a
Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate
and a 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.
[Representative 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.](1) 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,](2)
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
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](3).
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, 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 chuse 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.
Judgement 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 Place of Chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting
shall [be on the first Monday in December,](4) 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 Behaviour, 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
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 encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the
United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in
Office.


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.(5)
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate
and House of Representative 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
Defense 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
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, dock-Yards, 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 the
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.(6)
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
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 its 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; 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.

Article II.

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,(7) 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 be 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 am 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.](8)
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
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.](9)
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 Offences
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.

Article III.

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

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 a 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,(10) or Forfeiture except
during the Life of the person Attainted.

Article IV

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 Labour 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 Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim
of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.](11)

Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but
no new State 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
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.

Article V.

The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both House 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, shallbe 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 its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article VI.

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 notwithstanding.
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.

Article VII.

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.

George Washington
President and deputy from Virginia

NEW HAMPSHIRE. GEORGIA.
John Langdon William Few
Nicholas Gilman Abraham Baldwin

MASSACHUSETTS. CONNECTICUT.
Nathaniel Gorham William Samuel Johnson
Rufus King Roger Sherman

NEW JERSEY. NEW YORK.
William Livingston Alexander Hamilton
David Brearley
William Paterson MARYLAND.
Jonathan Dayton James McHenry
Daniel Carrol
PENNSYLVANIA. Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Morris VIRGINIA.
Thomas FitzSimons John Blair
James Wilson James Madison Jr.
Thomas Mifflin
George Clymer NORTH CAROLINA.
Jared Ingersoll William Blount
Gouverneur Morris Hugh Williamson
Richard Dobbs Spaight
DELAWARE.
George Read SOUTH CAROLINA.
John Dickinson John Ruttledge
Jacob Broom Charles Pinckney
Gunning Bedford Jr. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Richard Bassett Pierce Butler

Attest:
William Jackson, Secretary

The Amendments to the Constitution

Ratified 1791-1971

ARTICLES IN ADDITION TO, AND AMENDMENT OF, THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PROPOSED BY CONGRESS, AND RATIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURES OF THE SEVERAL STATES, PURSUANT TO THE 5th ARTICLE OF THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION.(12)

(The first 10 Amendments were ratified 15 December 1791, and form what is
known as the 'Bill of Rights'.)

AMENDMENT I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or
petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

AMENDMENT II

A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State,
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

AMENDMENT III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the
consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by
law.

AMENDMENT IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated;
and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized.

AMENDMENT V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous
crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases
arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service
in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same
offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in
any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property
be taken for public use, without just compensation.

AMENDMENT VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district
wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been
previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of
the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have
compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

AMENDMENT VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty
dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a
jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than
according to the rules of the common law.

AMENDMENT VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor
cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

AMENDMENT X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to
the people.

AMENDMENT XI
(ratified February 7, 1795)

The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend
to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the
United States by Citizens of another State or by Citizens or Subjects of any
Foreign State.

AMENDMENT XII
(ratified June 15, 1804)

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for
President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an
inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots
the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted
for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted
for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the
number of votes for each, which lists 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 the House of Representatives, open all the
certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--The person having the
greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number
be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have
such a majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not
exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of
Representative shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in
choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the
representations 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. [And if the House
of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice
shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then
the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other
constitutional disability of the President.--](13) The person having the
greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice President, if
such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no
person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the
Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist
of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, a majority of the whole number
shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to
the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the
United States.

(ratified December 6, 1865)(14)

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a
punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly
convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their
jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate
legislation.

AMENDMENT XIV
(ratified July 9, 1868)

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are Citizens of the United
States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce
any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the
United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or
property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States
according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number
of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to
vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and
Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the
Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature
thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being
twenty-one years of age,(15) and citizens of the United States, or in any way
abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of
representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of
such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one
years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or
elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office,
civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having
previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the
United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or
judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United
States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or
given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of
two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized
by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and
bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be
questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay
any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against
the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but
all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate
legislation, the provisions of this article.
AMENDMENT XV
(ratified February 3, 1870)

Section 1. The right of Citizens of the United States to vote shall not be
denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on
account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude--

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XVI
(ratified February 3, 1913)

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from
whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and
without regard to any census or enumeration.

AMENDMENT XVII
(ratified April 8, 1913)

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from
each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator
shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications
requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate,
the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill
such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the
executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the
vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term
of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

AMENDMENT XVIII
(ratified January 16, 1919)

[Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the
manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors
within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the
United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for
beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

[Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power
to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

[Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures
of the several States as provided in the Constitution, within seven years of
the date of the submission hereof to the States by Congress.](16)

AMENDMENT XIX
(ratified August 18, 1920)

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or
abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
legislation.

AMENDMENT XX
(ratified January 23, 1933)

Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon
on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and
Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such
terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of
their successors shall then begin.

Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and
such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January,
unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the
President, the President elect shall have died, the
Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have
been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the
President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect
shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the
Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor
a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as
President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and
such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall
have qualified.

Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any
of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose
a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and
for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may
choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon
them.

Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October
following the ratification of this article.

Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by three-fourths of
the several States within seven Years from the date of its submission.

AMENDMENT XXI
(ratified December 5, 1933)

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the
United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or
possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of
intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in
the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from

AMENDMENT XXII
(ratified February 27, 1951)(17)

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more
than twice, and no person who has held the office of President,
or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other
person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President
more than once. But this Article shall not prevent any person holding the
office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall
not apply to any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting
as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from
holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of
such term.

Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures
of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its
submission to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXIII
(ratified March 29, 1961)

Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United
States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole
number of Senators and Representative in Congress to which the District would
be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous
State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they
shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and
Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in
the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of
amendment.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXIV
(ratified January 24, 1964)

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any
primary or other election for President or Vice President, for
electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in
Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by
reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XXV
(ratified February 10, 1967)

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his
death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President,
the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take
office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his
written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of
his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the
contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as
Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the
principal officers of the executive departments or of such other
body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written
declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of
his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties
of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written
declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of
his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal
officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by
law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the
Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written
declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of
his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within
forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within
twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if
Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required
to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President
is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President
shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the
President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

AMENDMENT XXVI
(ratified July 1, 1971)

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen
years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged
by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by
appropriate legislation.


AMENDMENT XXVII

No law, varying the compensation for the service of the senators
and representatives shall take effect, until an election of
representatives shall have intervened.


AMENDMENT XXVIII

Section 1. No candidate for an elected office of the United States
shall accept or solicit campaign funds except individually, from
those citizens of the United States eligible to vote for the
office in question.
Section 2. No candidate for an elected office of the United States
shall accept or solicit a campaign contribution from any
individual constituent in excess of forty hours' wages at the
minimum legal rate, or in excess of one hundred dollars if the
Congress has not set such a minimum wage.
Section 3. No candidate for an elected office of the United States
shall contribute funds to his or her own election campaign in
excess of what any other constituent of that office may
contribute.
Section 4. No candidate for an elected office of the United States
shall accept or solicit campaign funds except during the calendar
year of the contested election.
Section 5. Each candidate for elected office shall record the
date, time, amount and donor of each and every campaign
contribution received and the date, time, amount and recipient of
each and every disbursement of such funds and these records shall
be kept available to every citizen of the United States.
Section 6. Funds accepted, solicited, or disbursed for campaigns
in other, subsidiary elections, such as elections to determine a
political party's nominee for an elected office of the United
States, shall be treated as are funds in the general election and
each and every section of this article shall apply separately but
equally to them.
Section 7. No funds shall be accepted, solicited, or disbursed in
pursuit of an elected office of the United States except as
specified in this article, and any and all such funds left
undisbursed after the election is decided shall be added to the
general fund of United States Treasury.
Section 8. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article
by appropriate legislation but an individual found to be in
violation of any of the above sections shall be imprisoned for at
least a year and a day and for each contribution accepted or
solicited in violation of the above sections be fined at least
twice the amount of each such contribution.


NOTES

1. Changed by Section 2 of Amendment XIV (1868).
2. Changed by Section 1 of Amendment XVII (1913).
3. Changed by Clause 2 of Amendment XVII (1913).
4. Changed by Section 2 of Amendment XX (1933).
5. A presidential 'pocket veto' occurs when a bill is not returned before
6. But see Amendment XVI (1913).
7. The Constitution does not require direct popular election of presidential
electors, but all of the states mandated it by the mid-19th century.
8. Superseded by Amendment XII (1804).
9. This clause has been affected by Amendment XXV (1967).
10. To "work Corruption of Blood" means to make the family of the convicted
share his guilt.
11. Superseded by Amendment XIII (1865).
12. Amendment XXI was not ratified by state legislatures, but by state
conventions summoned by Congress.
This version of the Constitution lacks the so-called 'preamble' to the
Bill of Rights (essentially a letter of transmittal from Congress to the
states); most scholars believe it, and the letters of transmittal
prefacing the other 16 amendments, unnecessarily lengthens the text of the
Constitution.
13. Superseded by Section 3 of Amendment XX (1933).
14. Amendments XIII, XIV, and XV, known as the Reconstruction Amendments, were
intended to guarantee the rights of slaves emancipated during the Civil
War.
15. Changed by Section 1 of Amendment XXVI (1971).
16. Prohibition, ratified during wartime, was repealed by Section 1 of
Amendment XXI (1933).
17. This amendment was added after Franklin D. Roosevelt won four consecutive
presidential elections.

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