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 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.
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 the Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State
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. 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 Plantation 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
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other
Officers; and shall have 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, 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 in 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 of 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 the Age of
thirty Years, and been Years a Citizen of the United States and who
shall not, when elected, Be an Inhabitant of that State for which he
shall be chose.
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 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
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.
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 Behavior, 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
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 respected
Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and from 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; if he approves 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 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 or 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 Defense 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 fox the Standards of Weights and Measured;
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 Offenses against the Laws 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 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 Offices, and the Authority of
training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by
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
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 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
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or
Revenue to the Ports of State over those of another: nor shall
Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or
pay Duties to 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, Alliances or
Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money;
emit Bills of Credit; make and Thing but gold or silver Coin a
Tender in Payment of Debts; pass an Bill of Attainer, 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 such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of
Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in the 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.
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 entitles
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 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 State, and a
Majority 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 Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United
States, at the time of 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 the Age of
thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the
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 encreased or 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 enters 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 the United States, and
will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States."
Section 2. The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army
and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several
States, when called into 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 Offenses 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 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 the 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.
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
Ministered 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 a Citizen 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.
In all cases affection Ambassadors, other public Ministers and
Consuls, and those in which a State may 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 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 attained
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
Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitles to all
Privileges and Immunities of the 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
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 constructed as to Prejudice and Claims of the United
State, or of any particular States.
Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in the
Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of
them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or the
Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it
necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, in the
Application of Legislation 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; Providing that no Amendment which may be made prior to the
first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article;
and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of it's
equal Suffrage in the Senate.
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, and Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned bad 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 the Independence of the
United States of America the Twelfth. In witness thereof We have
hereunto subscribed our Names,
and deputy from Virginia
New Hampshire (John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman)
Massachusetts (Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King)
Connecticut (Wm Saml Johnson, Roger Sherman)
New York (Alexander Hamilton)
New Jersey (Wil: Livingston, David A Brearley, Wm Paterson, Jona:
Pennsylvania (B. Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robt Morris, Geo. Clymer,
Thos. FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouv Morris)
Deleware (Geo: Read, Gunning Bedforn jun, John Dickinson, Richard
Bassett, Jaco: Broom)
Maryland (James McHenry, Dan of St. Thos Jenifer, Dan Carroll)
Virginia (John Blair, James Madison, Jr.)
North Carolina (Wm Blount, Richd Dobbs Spraight, Hu WIlliamson)
South Carolina (J. Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles
Pickney, Pierce Butler)
Georgia (Willian Few, Abr Baldwin)
Amendments to the Constitution
ARTICLES IN ADDITION TO, and Amendments of the Constitution of the
United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the
Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of
the original Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abriding the freedom of
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free
State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be
No Soldier shall, in times of peace be quartered in any house,
without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a
manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,
shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall be issue, but upon
probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be
No Person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise
infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand
Jury, except in cases arising in the land or navel forces, or in the
Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor
shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in
jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal
case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private
property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a
speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and
district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district
shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the
witnesses in against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining
witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed
twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and
no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court
of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.
(The first ten amendments went into effect December 15, 1791.)
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be constructed to
extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against
one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by
Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State. (January 8, 1798)
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by
ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least,
shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they
shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and
in distinct ballots the person voted for as vice president, and they
shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and
of all voted for as Vice-President, and the number of for each,
which lists 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 for President, shall be the President,
if such number a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed;
and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having
the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted
for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose
immediately, by ballot, 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 states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the
House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the
right of choose shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of
March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as
President, as in the case of death or other constitutional
disability of the president.- The person having the greatest number
of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such
number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and
if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on
the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice President; a quorum for
the purpose shall consist of two-thirds, of the whole number of
Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a
choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of
President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United
(September 25, 1804)
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a
punishment for a crime whereof he party have been duly convicted,
shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their
Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by
(December 18, 1865)
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United
States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or
enforce and law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of
citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any
person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection
of the laws.
Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several
States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole
number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But
when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors
for President and Vice President of the United States,
Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of
a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any
of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of
age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridge,
except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of
representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the
number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male
citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or a Representative in
Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any
office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any
State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of
Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of
any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any
State, to support the Constitution of the United States shall have
engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid
or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of
two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section 4. The validity of public debt of the United States,
authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions
and bounties for the services in suppressing insurrection or
rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States
nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in
aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States or any
claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all debts,
obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by
appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
(July 28, 1868)
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall
not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on
account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article
by appropriate legislation.
(March 30, 1870)
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes,
from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the
several States, and without regards to any census or enumeration.
(February 25, 1913)
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators
from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and
each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall
have qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous
branch of the State legislature.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the
Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of
election to fill such vacancies; Provided, That the legislature of
any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary
appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the
legislature may direct,
This amendment shall not be constructed as to affect the election or
term of any senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the
(may 31, 1913)
After one year from the ratification of this article, the
manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within,
the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the
United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof
for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to
enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified
as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the
several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years
from the date of the submission thereof to the States by Congress.
(January 29, 1919)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be
denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account
The Congress shall have power by appropriate legislation to enforce
the provisions of this article.
(August 26, 1920)
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice-President shall end
at noon on the twentieth day of January, and the terms of Senators
and Representatives at noon on the third day of January, of the
years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not
been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year,
and such meeting shall begin at noon on the third day of January,
unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of
the President, the President-elect shall have died, the Vice-
President-elect shall become President. If a President shall not
have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his
term, or if the President-elect shall have failed to qualify, then
the Vice-President-elect shall act as President until a President
shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the
case wherein neither a President-elect nor a Vice-President-elect
shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or
the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such
person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice-President
shall have qualified.
Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death
of any persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a
President whenever the right choice shall have devolved upon them,
and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the
Senate may choose a Vice-President whenever the right of choice
shall have devolved upon them.
Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of
October following the ratification of this article.
Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have
been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the
legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven
years from the date of its submission.
(February 6, 1933)
Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution
of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The transpiration or importation into any State,
Territory or possession of the United States for delivery or use
therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof,
is hereby prohibited.
Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have
been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by convention in
the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven
years from the date of the submission thereof to the States by the
(December 5, 1933)
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President
more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President,
or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which
some other person was elected President shall be elected to the
office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not
apply to any person holding the office of President when this
Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any
person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as
President, during the term within which this Article becomes
operative from holding the office of President or acting as
President during the remainder of such term.
Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have
been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the
legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven
years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.
(February 27, 1951)
Section 1. The District constituting the seat of the government of
the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may
A number of electors of President and Vice-President equal to
the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to
which the District could be entitled if it were a State, but in no
even more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition
to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for
the purposes of the election of the President and Vice-President, to
be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the
District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article
by appropriate legislation.
(March 29, 1961)
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any
primary or other election for President or Vice President, or for
Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or
abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to
pay any poll tax or other tax.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
(January 23, 1964)
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or
his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of Vice
President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall
take office upon confirmation by a majority of both Houses of
Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro
tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to
discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he
transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers
and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the
principle officers of the executive departments or of such body as
Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore
of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their
written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the
powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall
immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro
tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of
Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he
shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice
President and a majority of either the principal officers of the
executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law
provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their
written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the
powers and the duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall
decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that
purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days
after receipt of the written declaration, or, if Congress is not in
session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to
assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the
President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his
office, the Vice-President shall continue to discharge the same as
Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers
and duties of his office.
(February 10, 1967)
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are
eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or
abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article
by appropriate legislation.
(June 30, 1971)