of the United States of America
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish
justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, 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 1.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.
Article 1.Section 2.
1 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
2 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.
3 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 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.
4 When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the executive
authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
5 The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers;
and shall have the sole power of impeachment
Article 1.Section 3.
1 The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each
State, chosen by the
Legislature thereof, [changed 1912] for six years; and each Senator shall have one
2 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.
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.
4 The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but
shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.
5 The Senate shall choose 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.
6 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.
7 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.
Article 1.Section 4.
1 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
2 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.
Article 1.Section 5.
1 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.
2 Each House may determine the rules of its Proceedings, punish its members for
disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
3 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.
4 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.
Article 1.Section 6.
1 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.
2 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 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.
Artical 1.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 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.
3 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.
Article 1.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
- 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
- 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.
Article 1.Section 9.
1 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.
2 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.
3 No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.
capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or
enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
5 No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported
from any State.
6 No reference 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.
7 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.
8 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.
Article 1.Section 10.
1 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.
2 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.
3 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 2.Section 1.
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:
2 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.
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 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 choose 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 choose 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. 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 choose from them by ballot the Vice President.
4 The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors, and the day on
which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United
5 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
qualification of the Vice President Amendment 12)
6 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. (Modified
by: Amendment 20
7 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.
8 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.
Article 2.Section 2.
1 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.
2 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.
3 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
Artical 2.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.
Article 2.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 3.Section 1.
The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in
such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The
Judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times,
receive for their services, a compensation which shall not be diminished during their
continuance in office.
Article 3.Section 2.
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.
2 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.
3 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.
Article 3.Section 3.
1 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.
2 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 4.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.
Article 4.Section 2.
1 The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities
of citizens in the several States.
2 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.
3 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.
Article 4.Section 3.
1 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.
2 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.
Article 4.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.
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.
1 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.
2 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.
3 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.
The ratification of the conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the
establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same.
Done in Convention by the unanimous consent of the States present the Seventeenth
day of September in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and
of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth IN WITNESS whereof We have
hereunto subscribed our names,
George Washington, President and Deputy from Virginia
New Hampshire John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman.
Massachusetts Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King.
Connecticut William Samual Johnson, Rodger Sherman.
New York Alexander Hamilton.
New Jersey William Livingston, David Brearley, William Paterson, Jonathan
Pennsylvania Benjemin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, Geofrey Clymer,
Thomas FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouv. Morris.
Delaware Geofrey Read, Gunning Bedford Jr., John Dickinson, Richard Bassett,
Maryland James McHenry, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Daniel, Carroll.
Virginia John Blair, James Madison Jr.
North Carolina William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson.
South Carolina J. Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce
Georgia William Few, Abraham Baldwin.
Attest: William Jackson, Secretary.
§ to the Bill
of Rights §