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[Went into operation on the first Wednesday of March, 1789. Owings o. Speed, 5 Wh., 420.]

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a Preamble more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, 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:

2 Dal., 471; 1 Wh., 324; 3 Wh., 181; 4 Wh., 404; 6 Wh., 414; 12

Wh., 455; 5 Pet., 128; 6 Pet., 569; 12 How., 107; 1 Brock., 177;
2 Brock., 109; 6 Call., 277; 7 J. Ch., 297; 16 J. R., 233; 17 J. R.,
195; 19 J. R., 153; 4 N. Y., 276; 20 W., 365; 3 Cow., 713.


SECTION 1. 1. All legislative powers, herein granted, shall be vested in Legislativo a congress of the United States, which shall consist of a senate power. and house of representatives.

SECTION 2. 1. The house of representatives shall be composed of House of inembers chosen every second year by the people of the faire en several states; and the electors in each state shall have the members; qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous chosen. branch of the state legislature.

2. No person shall be a representative who shall not have qualificaattained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven members. 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.

3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned apportionamong the several states which may be included within this representaUnion, according to their respective numbers; which shall be lives and determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, taxes.






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 manNumber of ner as they shall by law direct. The number of representa

tives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but

each state shall have at least one representative; and until First ap

such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampportion

shire shall be entitled to choose 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.

3 Dal., 171; 5 Wh., 317, Vacancies. 4. When vacancies happen in the representation from any

state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

10 Law R., 1. Officers. 5. The house of representatives shall choose their speaker Power of and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachimpeachment.

SECTION 3. 1. 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. Classifica- 2. Immediately after they shall be assembled, in conse

quence 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 Vacancies. 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 legis

lature, which shall then fill such vacancies. Qualifica- 3. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained

to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an

inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen. President 4. The vice-president of the United States shall be presiof the sen- dent of the senate, but shall have no vote unless they be

equally divided. Officers and 5. The senate shall choose their other officers, and also a president pro tem.

president pro tempore, in the absence of the vice-president, or when he shall exercise the office of president of the United

States. Trial of im- 6. The senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachpeachments

ments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath

tion of senators.



each house.

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 memhers present. 7. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend Judgment

on impeachfurther than to removal from office, and disqualification to ment. 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. 1. The times, places, and inanner of holding elections for Election of senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state and repreby the legislature thereof; but the congress may, at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators.

2. The congress shall assemble at least once in every year; Anonal and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, congress. unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day.

SECTION 5. 2. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, Powers of 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.

2. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, Power to punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the and expel concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.

1 Dal., 296; 6 Wh., 204; 1 Am. L. J., 139; 1 Am. L. J., 459. 3. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and, Journals. from time to time, publish the same, excepting such parts as may, in their judgment, require secrecy; and the yeas and nays Yens and of the members of either bouse, on any question, shall, at the naye. desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

4. Neither house, during the session of congress, shall, Adjonrnwithout the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three ments. days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.

SECTION 6. 1. The senators and representatives shall receive a com- Compensapensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and members of paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall, congress. in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the ses- Privileges. sion 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.

3 Dal., 478; 4 Dal., 107.


Exclusion from cer

R venne bills.

Manner of



2. No senator or representative shall, during the time for tain offices. which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under

the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding any office under the United States shall be a member of either house during his continuance in office.

SECTION 7. 1. 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.

2. Every bill, which shall have passed the house of reprepassing

sentatives and the senate, shall, before it become a law, be Approval presented to the president of the United States; if he approve, by presi. dent. he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it, with his ob

jections to that house in which it shall havę originated,

who shall enter the objections, at large, on their journal, and Reconsider 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 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. Mion on fee. 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. Concurrent

3. Every order, resolution or vote to which the concurrence resolutions, 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 limita-
tions prescribed in the case of a bill.
6 Op. 680.

General The congress shall have power :

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to Taxation.

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.

5 Wh., 317; 9 Wh., 199. Loans. 2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States.

2 Pet., 449. 3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.

turn it.



powers of congress.


9 Wh, 1; 12 Wh., 419; 2 Pet., 250; 11 Pet., 102; 12 Pet., 72; 5 How.,

504; 7 How., 288; 8 How., 73, 490; 12 How., 299; 14 How., 568;
18 How., 71, 421; 4 Wash., 378; 1 McL., 254; 5 McL., 426; 6 Mo-
L., 70, 209, 237, 518; 1 Op., 659; 2 Op., 426;. 9 J. R., 507; Hop.,
149; 3 Cow., 713; Cow., 169; 7 Cow., 349; H., 469; 4 D.,

469; 1 W., 493; 15 W., 113; 19 W., 547; 26 B., 270. 4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization; and uni- Naturalizaform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the

BankruptUnited States.

2 Dal., 372; 3 Wash., 314; 2 Wh., 259; 4 Wh., 122, 209; 6 Wh., 131;
12 Wh., 213, 370; 6 Pet., 348, 635; 9 Pet. 329; 14 Pet., 67;

How., 295, 585; 1 How., 556; 6 Cow., 497; 3 B., 429; 4 N. Y.,

282. 5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of for- Coln.

Weights eign coin; and fix the standard of weights and measures. and meas

6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the Countersecurities and current coin of the United States.

feiting. 2 Law R 90; 5 How., 410; 9 How., 560. 7. To establish post-offices and post-roads.


and roads. 18 How., 421; 3 McL., 393. 8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by Patent and securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the copy rights. exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

6 Pet., 218; 8 Pet., 591 ; 1 How., 202; 6 How., 486; 15 How., 212;

3 Sum., 535; i Blatch., 258; 5 McL., 158; 3 B. Ch., 320; 8 W.,

562; 3 N. Y., 9. 9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court. Courts.

1 Pet., 546. 10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed Piracies,

&c. on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations.

5 Wh., 153. •11. To declare war; grant letters of marque and reprisal, War. and make rules concerning captures on land and water.

8 Cr., 110. 12. To raise and support armies; but no appropriation of Army. money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years. 13. To provide and maintain a navy.

Navy. 14. To make rules for the government and regulation of Articles of the land and naval forces.

15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the militia. laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.

12 Wh., 19. 16. To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the Organizing 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.

5 Wh., 1; 19 J. R., 7. 17. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever Erclasive



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