US Constitution


 

Constitution for the United States of America.


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 shall be made within three Years after
the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within
every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law
direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every
thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;
and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire
shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and
Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey
four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten,
North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the
Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such
Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other
Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from
each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each
Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first
Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three
Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated
at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the
Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration
of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year;
and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess
of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make
temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which
shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of
thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and
who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which
he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the
Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall 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 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 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.

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 Offences 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 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; A quorum for this
purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the
States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a
Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person
having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice
President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes,
the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the
Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same
throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United
States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be
eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be
eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of
thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United
States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death,
Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the
said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the
Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation
or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what
Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act
accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be
elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a
Compensation, which shall neither be 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 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 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.

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 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 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.

The Word, “the,” being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines
of the first Page, the Word “Thirty” being partly written on an Erazure
in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words “is tried” being
interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the
first Page and the Word “the” being interlined between the forty third
and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

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 Independance of the United States
of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed
our Names,

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from Virginia

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

New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts
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


The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

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.

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.
   
       
Printer-Friendly Version

The Bill of Rights: A Transcription

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

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.

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.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments
to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were
ratified December 15, 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 of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to 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 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.

Amendments 11-27

AMENDMENT XI

Passed by Congress March 4, 1794. Ratified February 7, 1795.

Note: Article III, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by
amendment 11.

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

Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.

Note: A portion of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution was
superseded by the 12th amendment.

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 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.

*Superseded by section 3 of the 20th amendment.

AMENDMENT XIII

Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was
superseded by the 13th amendment.

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

Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Note: Article I, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section
2 of the 14th amendment.

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 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 the power to enforce, by appropriate
legislation, the provisions of this article.

*Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

AMENDMENT XV

Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. 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 the power to enforce this article by
appropriate legislation.

AMENDMENT XVI

Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 9, of the Constitution was modified by
amendment 16.

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

Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913.

Note: Article I, section 3, of the Constitution was modified by the
17th amendment.

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

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919.
Repealed by amendment 21.

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.

AMENDMENT XIX

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. 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.

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

AMENDMENT XX

Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933.

Note: Article I, section 4, of the Constitution was modified by section
2 of this amendment. In addition, a portion of the 12th amendment was
superseded by section 3.

Section 1.
The terms of the President and the 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 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 the legislatures of three-fourths
of the several States within seven years from the date of its
submission.

AMENDMENT XXI

Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. 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 the date of
the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXII

Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

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 President more
than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the
office of President when this Article was proposed by 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 three-fourths
of the several States within seven years from the date of its
submission to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXIII

Passed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961.

Section 1.
The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States
shall appoint in such manner as 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 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

Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 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 poll tax or other tax.

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

AMENDMENT XXV

Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967.

Note: Article II, section 1, of the Constitution was affected by the
25th amendment.

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

Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.

Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by
section 1 of the 26th amendment.

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

Originally proposed Sept. 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and
Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of
representatives shall have intervened.

 

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