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WE, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Preamble. 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.


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



SEC. 2. The house of representatives shall be composed of members House of rechosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the presenta electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors chosen. of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

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No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to Their qualithe age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the fications. United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.


rect taxes.

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the seve- Rule of apral states which may be included within this union, according to their portioning respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole tives and dinumber 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 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.

When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the Vacancies, executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such how filled vacancies.

The house of representatives shall choose their speaker and other Impeachofficers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.


Senate, how composed

and chosen.

Rotation of senators.

Their qualifications.

President of the senate.

Elections of senators and representatives.

Congress to assemble annually.

Senate to

choose their tempore, in the absence of the vice president, or when he shall exercise

own officers.

the office of president of the United States.

Powers of

The senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments; when the senate. 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 twothirds of the members present.


Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to ou impeach removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of

ment, how
far to ex-

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.

Powers and duties of each house. Quorum.

Rules, etc.


SEC. 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 the sixth year, so that one-third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.


The vice president of the United States shall be president of the

senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

The senate shall choose their other officers, and also a president pro

SEC. 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 choosing 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.

SEC. 5. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of twothirds, 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.


SEC. 6. The senators and representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury incapacities of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony

tion, privileges, and

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and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attend- of the senaance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and re- presentaturning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, tives. they shall not be questioned in any other place.

ment to

No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he Appoint was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the office. 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.


SEC. 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of Revenue 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 Bills to be the senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the president P presented of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not, he shall approval. 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 Proceedof that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together ings, if not 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 orders and 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.

SEC. 8. The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, Powers of imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common de- congress. fence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts Taxes. 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 Commerce. states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on Naturalizathe subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

tion, etc.

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and Money. fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and Counterfeitcurrent coin of the United States;


To establish post offices and post roads;

Post office.

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for Science. 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 Piracies, seas, and offences against the law of nations;


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





Their dis-, cipline.

Necessary laws.

Habeas corpus.


To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such legislation. 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.

Ex post facto laws, etc. Direct tax.

Home trade. No preference allowed.


SEC. 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the of the pow states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited

ers of con





Titles and presents.

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

Limitations of the powers of the individual states.

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

Powers subject to consent of congress.

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.

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 hereinbefore 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 oue 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.

SEC. 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 its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the congress.

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