The Constitution of the United States

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 he
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,
RhodeIsland 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 he composed of two Senators from each
, 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 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 .

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 he 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 he on the
first Monday in December, 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 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. 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; 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 (Sunday
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 he
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

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;


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,

*No Capitation...taken." Changed by the 16th Amendment

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 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 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.

Article II.

Section 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:

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.

The 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 the 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 chuse 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
chuse the President. But in chusing 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 chuse from them by Ballot the Vice

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall
give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Persons 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 States.

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.**

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.

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

* "The Electors . . . Vice President." Changed by the 12th Amendment
** "In Case . . . elected." Changed by the 25th Amendment

Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Section 2. 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.

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 .

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 next Session.

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.

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 III.

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.

Section 2. The 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 of foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.*

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.

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.

Section 3. 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.

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

Article IV.

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

* "between a State . . . Subjects." Addressed by the 11th Amendment

and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and Immunities of
Citizens in the several States.

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.

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.

Section 3. 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.

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.

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

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

* "No Person ... due." Changed by the 13th Amendment

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.

Article VI.

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.

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.

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 he required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under
the United States.

Article VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall he 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.