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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 [Mod­i­fied by Amend­ment XIV]. 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 [Mod­i­fied by Amend­ment XVII], 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 [Mod­i­fied by Amend­ment XVII].

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 [Mod­i­fied by Amend­ment XX], 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;[2] 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.

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