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Benjamin Harrison, George Taylor,
Thomas Nelson, jr. James Wilson,
Francis Lightfoot Lee,
William Hooper, George Read,
Edward Rutledge, William Paca,
Thomas Heyward, jr. 'Thomas Stone,
Thomas Lynch, jr. Charles Carroll, of Carrol. Arthur Middleton. VIRGINIA. [ton.
GEORGIA. George Wythe,
Button Gwinnett. Richard Henry Lee, Lyman Hall, Thomas Jefferson, George Walton
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.
We, the people of the United States, in order to form a 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.
1. All legislative powers herein granted, shall be vest- Legislative ed in a congress of the United States, which shall con- powers vestei sist of a senate and house of representatives.
House of rep
1. The house of representatives shall be composed of resentatives ; members chosen every second year, by the people of the its members ;
by whom cho several states; and the electors in each state shall have
sen ; qualificathe qualifications requisite for electors of the most nu- tions of elecmerous branch of the state legislature.
2. No person shall be a representative, who shall not Qualifications have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been of representa seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall tives. not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
es to be ap
3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportives and tax
tioned among the several states which may be included portioned ac- within this union, according to their respective numbers, cording to which shall be determined by adding to the whole numnumbers.
ber of free persons, including those bound to service for
a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three Actual enu fifths of all other persons.
The actual enumeration shall meration every ten years.
be made within three years after the first meeting of the congress of the United States, and within every subse
quent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by Limitation of law direct. The number of representatives shall not exthe ratio of representa
ceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state shall tion, &c. have at least one representative: and until such enumera
tion shall be made, the state of New-Hampshire shall be tionment of entitled to choose three; Massachusetts eight; Rhode-Islrepresenta and Providence Plantations one ; Connecticut five; Newtives.
York six ; New-Jersey four; Pennsylvania eight; Delaware one ; Maryland six; Virginia ten ; North-Caro
lína five; South-Carolina five ; and Georgia three. Writs of elec 4. When vacancies happen in the representation from tion for filling
any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue vacancies.
writs of election to fill such vacancies. The house of 5. The house of representatives shall choose their tives to choose speaker and other officers
, and shall have the sole powtheir speaker, er of impeachment. &c.
SECTION 3. Two senators chosen by the
1. The senate of the United States shall be composed of legislature of two senators from cach state, chosen by the legislature each state, for thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one 6 years ;
each a vote.
vote. The senate
2. Immediately after they shall be assembled in condivided into sequence of the first election, they shall be divided, as three classes. equally as may be, into three classes. The seats of the
senators of the first class, shall be vacated at the expiraOne third of the senatorial
tion of the second year, of the second class, at the expiseats vacated, ration of the fourth year, and of the third class, at the and filled, eve- expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may
be ry two years. chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by Excutives of resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the legislastates to fillva- ture of any state, the executive thereof may make temcancies in the
porary appointments until the next meeting of the legisgislatures, &c. lature, which shall then fill such vacancies.
3. No person shall be a senator, who shall not have atQualifications tained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a of senators.
citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall he chosen.
recess of le
4. The vice-president of the United States shall be Vice-presi. president of the senate, but shall bave no vote, unless dent to be prethey be equally divided.
5. The senate shall choose their other officers, and The senate to also a president pro tempore, in the absence of the vice. choose their
president propresident, or when he shall exercise the office of presi- tempore, &c. dent of the United States.
6. The senate shall have the sole power to try all im- The sole powa peachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall er to try im be on oath or affirmation. When the president of the in the senate, United States is tried, the chief justice shall preside ; &c. and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.
7. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not ex- Extent of tend further than to removal from office, and disqualifica- judgment in tion to hold and enjoy any oflice of honor, trust, or prof- peachment. it, under the United States; but the party convicted Party liable shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment,
also to judg
ment, &c. actrial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.
cordingto law. SECTION 4. 1. The times, places, and manner of holding elections Times, &c. of for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in holding eleceach state, by the legislature thereof; but the congress nators and remay, at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, presentatives, except as to the places of choosing senators.
regulated. 2. The congress shall assemble at least once in every Congress to year ; and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in assemble anDecember, unless they shall by law appoint a different nually on the day.
election of its own naem
1. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, re. Each house to turns, and qualifications, of its own members; and a ma- judge of the jority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business ; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and bers. may be authorised to compel the attendance of absent Quorum. members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as each house may provide.
2. Each house may determine the rules of its proceed. Each house to ings, punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and, determine its with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
own rules, &c. 3. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, Journals to be and from time to time publish the same, excepting such kept by each parts as may, in their judgment, require secrecy; and the house, and
published, &c. 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.
Adjournment 4. Neither house, during the session of congress, shall, of both houses. 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.
Senators and 1. The senators and representatives shall receive a representatives to be
compensation for their services, to be ascertained by paid, &c.
law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. Privileged They shall, in all cases, except treason, felony and from arrest,
breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest, during &c.
their attendence at the session of their respective houses, and in going to or returning from the same ; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be
questioned in any other place. Concerning 2. No senator or representative shall, during the time the holding of for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil of. offices by senators and re
fice under the authority of the United States, which shall presentatives. 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. Revenue bills
1. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the to originate in house of representatives; but the senate may propose or the representa
concur with amendments as on other bills. tives, &c.
2. Every bill, which shall have passed the house of
representatives and the senate, shall, before it become Powers of the president and
a law, be presented to the president of the United of congress in States ; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he the enacting shall return it, with his objections, to that house in which of laws, and
it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at the forms of proceeding on large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. bills in that after such reconsideration, two thirds of that house shall opspect.
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 con- Joint resolucurrence of the senate and house of representatives may for adjournbe necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall mens, to rebe presented to the president of the United States ; and ceive the same before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by sanction as him, or being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed by two thirds of the senate and house of representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.
The congress shall have power
1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and ex- Congress have cises ; to pay the debts, and provide for the common de- power to lay
&. fence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States :
2. To borrow money on the credit of the United To borrow States :
money. 3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and to regulate among the several states, and with the Indian tribes :
4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and to establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies, throughout the rule of na
turalization, the United States :
5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of To coin moforeign coin, and fix the standard of weights and meas- ney, &c. ures :
To provide for 6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting punishing the securities and current coin of the United States : counterfeiterg. 7. To establish post offices and post-roads :
To establish 8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, post-offices, by securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and dis- To promote
science, &c. coveries :
9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme To constitute court: To define and punish piracies and felonies com- inferior tribu mitted on the high seas, and offences against the law of nals, &c. nations :
10. To declare war, grant letters of marque and re- To declare prisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and war. water:
11. To raise and support armies ; but no oppropria- To raise artion of money to that use, shall be for a longer term than two years :
To provide a 12. To provide and maintain a navy:
13. To make rules for the government and regulation To make rules of the land and naval forces :
army and na14. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute vy.