Constitution of United States

Constitución de los Estados Unidos de 1787. Articulado y Enmiendas # Conventions ratifications. Amendments

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CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

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.

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 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

*Changed by section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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

*Changed by the Seventeenth Amendment.

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 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.

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

*Changed by the Seventeenth Amendment.

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 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 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

*Changed by section 2 of the Twentieth Amendment.

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

becomes 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, 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 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

*See Sixteenth Amendment.

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.

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, 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 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; Aquorum 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

*Changed by the Twelfth Amendment.

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 increased 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

*Changed by the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.

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 Behaviour, 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.

*Changed by the Eleventh Amendment.

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.]*

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 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

*Changed by the Thirteenth Amendment.

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

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.

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,

G. Washington-Presid.

and deputy from Virginia

New Hampshire John Langdon

Nicholas Gilman

Massachusett s Nathaniel Gorham

Rufus King

Connecticut Wm. Saml. Johnson

Roger Sherman

New York Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey Wil: Livingston

David Brearley

Wm. Paterson

Jona: Dayton

Pennsylvania B Franklin

Thomas Mifflin

Robt Morris

Geo. Clymer

Thos. FitzSimons

Jared Ingersoll

James Wilson

Gouv Morris

Delaware Geo: Read

Gunning Bedford jun

John Dickinson

Richard Bassett

Jaco: Broom

Maryland James McHenry

Dan of St Thos. Jenifer

Danl Carroll

Virginia John Blair-

James Madison Jr.

North Carolina Wm. Blount

Richd. Dobbs Spaight

Hu Williamson

South Carolina J. Rutledge

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

Charles Pinckney

Pierce Butler

Georgia William Few

Abr Baldwin

Attest William Jackson Secretary

In Convention Monday

September 17th 1787.

Present

The States of

New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Mr.

Hamilton from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,

Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina,

South Carolina and Georgia.

Resolved,

That the preceeding Constitution be laid before

the United States in Congress assembled, and

that it is the Opinion of this Convention, that it

should afterwards be submitted to a Convention

of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People

thereof, under the Recommendation of its Legislature,

for their Assent and Ratification; and that

each Convention assenting to, and ratifying the

Same, should give Notice thereof to the United

States in Congress assembled. Resolved, That it

is the Opinion of this Convention, that as soon as

the Conventions of nine States shall have ratified

this Constitution, the United States in Congress

assembled should fix a Day on which Electors

should be appointed by the States which shall have

ratified the same, and a Day on which the Electors

should assemble to vote for the President, and

the Time and Place for commencing Proceedings

under this Constitution.

That after such Publication the Electors should

be appointed, and the Senators and Representatives

elected: That the Electors should meet on the

Day fixed for the Election of the President, and

should transmit their Votes certified, signed, sealed

and directed, as the Constitution requires, to the

Secretary of the United States in Congress assembled,

that the Senators and Representatives should

convene at the Time and Place assigned; that the

Senators should appoint a President of the Senate,

for the sole Purpose of receiving, opening and

counting the Votes for President; and, that after

he shall be chosen, the Congress, together with

the President, should, without Delay, proceed to

execute this Constitution.

By the unanimous Order of the Convention

G. WASHINGTON-Presid.

W. JACKSON Secretary.

*Congress OF THE United States

begun and held at the City of New-York,

on Wednesday the fourth of March,

one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine

THE Conventions of a number of the States,

having at the time of their adopting the

Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to

prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers,

that further declaratory and restrictive clauses

should be added: And as extending the ground

of public confidence in the Government, will best

ensure the beneficent ends of its institution:

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of

Representatives of the United States of America,

in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses

concurring, that the following Articles be proposed

to the Legislatures of the several States, as

Amendments to the Constitution of the United

States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified

by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid

to all intents and purposes, as part of the said

Constitution; viz.t.

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

fifth Article of the original Constitution. . . .

FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

JOHN ADAMS, Vice-President of the United States,

and President of the Senate.

ATTEST,

JOHN BECKLEY, Clerk of the House of Representatives.

SAM. A. OTIS, Secretary of the Senate.

* On September 25, 1789, Congress transmitted to the

state legislatures twelve proposed amendments, two of

which, having to do with Congressional representation

and Congressional pay, were not adopted. The

remaining ten amendments became the Bill of Rights.

AMENDMENTS

TO THE CONSTITUTION

OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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 of the press, or the right of the people

peaceably to assemble, and to petition the

Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II.

Awell 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.

*The first ten Amendments (Bill of Rights) were ratified

effective December 15, 1791.

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 re-examined 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 punishments

inflicted.

Amendment IX.

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 by it to the

States, are reserved to the States respectively, or

to the people.

Amendment XI.*

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 Eleventh Amendment was ratified February 7, 1795.

the United States by Citizens of another State, or

by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Amendment XII.*

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

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 majority, then from the persons

having the highest numbers not exceeding

three on the list of those voted for as President,

the House of Representatives shall choose immediately,

by ballot, the President. But in choosing 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. [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 the case of

the death or other constitutional disability of the

President--]* 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,

and 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.

Amendment XIII.**

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.***

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

* Superseded by section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment.

** The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified December 6,

1865.

*** The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified July 9, 1868.

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

to 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, 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.*

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.**

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.***

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

* The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified February 3, 1870.

** The Sixteenth Amendment was ratified February 3, 1913.

*** The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified April 8, 1913.

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.*

[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 from the date of the submission hereof

to the States by the Congress.]

*The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified January 16,

1919. It was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment,

December 5, 1933.

Amendment XIX.*

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.

Congress shall have power to enforce this

article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XX.**

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 per-

*The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified August 18,

1920.

**The Twentieth Amendment was ratified January 23,

1933.

son 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 the legislatures of threefourths

of the several States within seven years

from the date of its submission.

Amendment XXI.*

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 the date of the submission hereof

to the States by the Congress.

*The Twenty-First Amendment was ratified December

5, 1933.

Amendment XXII.*

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 apply to any

person holding the office of President when this

Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall

not prevent 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 threefourths

of the several States within seven years

from the date of its submission to the States by the

Congress.

Amendment XXIII.**

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 Representatives 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

*The Twenty-Second Amendment was ratified February

27, 1951.

** The Twenty-Third Amendment was ratified March 29,

1961.

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.*

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.**

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 writ-

*The Twenty-Fourth Amendment was ratified January

23, 1964.

**The Twenty-Fifth Amendment was ratified February

10, 1967.

ten 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.*

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 power to

enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Amendment XXVII.**

No law, varying the compensation for the services

of the Senators and Representatives, shall

take effect, until an election of Representatives

shall have intervened.

*The Twenty-Sixth Amendment was ratified July 1, 1971.

**Congress submitted the text of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment

to the States as part of the proposed Bill of Rights on

September 25, 1789. The Amendment was not ratified

together with the first ten Amendments, which became

effective on December 15, 1791. The Twenty-Seventh

Amendment was ratified on May 7, 1992, by the vote of

Michigan. .