The Constitution of the United States of America
We The People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish
Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general
Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and
establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Article I [The Legislative Branch]
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
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
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
for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the
Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such
Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every
thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;
and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to
choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one,
Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, DeLaware one,
Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive
thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall choose 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, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one
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
the Expiration of the fourth Year, and 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
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 choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the
Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the
The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachment's. When sitting for that
Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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.
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 States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the
To establish a 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
Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current
Coin of the
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited
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
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
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
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
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
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
one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one
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 Receipts and Expenditures of all public
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
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 anything 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
shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.
No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep
or Ships of War in time of peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another
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 [The Presidency]
Section 1. The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United
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
an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two
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
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
of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of
Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an
equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by
Ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a Majority, then from the five
highest on the List the said House shall in like manner choose the President. But in
choosing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each
State having one Vote;
A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the
States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. In every
after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of
Votes of the
Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have
equal Votes, the Senate shall choose from them by Ballot the Vice President.
The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they
shall give their votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United
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
of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United
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,
Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what
shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the
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
Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the
Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
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
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
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,
other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Article III [The Judiciary]
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
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
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
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
between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming
under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and
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
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
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
Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the
Article IV [The States]
Section 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each
State to the public Acts,
Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general
Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records, and Proceedings shall be proved,
and the Effect thereof.
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
of the Crime.
No person held to Service or Labor 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 Labor, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such
Labor may be due.
Section 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this
Union; but no new States 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
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
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
the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against
Article V [The Amendment Process]
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose
Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds
of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either
Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when
ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in
three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the
Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand
eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the
Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be
deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Article VI [Legal Status of the Constitution]
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
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
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several
State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United
States and of
the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution;
but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public
Trust under the United States.
Article VII [Ratification]
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 send
hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of
America the Twelfth In Witness whereof We have hereto subscribed our Names,
|Attest William Jackson
President and deputy from Virginia
The Bill of Rights
Effective December 15, 1791
Articles in addition to, and Amendment 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.
The conventions of a number of the States having at the time of
their adopting the Constitution of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to
prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive
clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the
government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.
Amendment I [Religion, Speech,
Press, Assembly, Petition (1791)]
Congress shall make no Law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging 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
Amendment II [Right to Bear Arms (1791)]
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 infringed.
Amendment III [Quartering of Troops (1791)]
No soldier shall, in time 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.
Amendment IV [Search and Seizure (1791)]
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
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 seized.
Amendment V [Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, Self-Incrimination, Due Process (1791)]
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 naval
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.
Amendment VI [Criminal Prosecutions - Jury Trial, Right to Confront and to Counsel
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
against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have
the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Amendment VII [Common Law Suits - Jury Trial (1791)]
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
reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common
Amendment VIII [Excess Bail or Fines, Cruel and Unusual
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and
unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment IX [Non-Enumerated Rights (1791)]
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny
or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X [Rights
Reserved to States (1791)]
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.
Amendment XI [Suits Against a State (1795)]
The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed 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.
Amendment XII [Election of President and Vice-President (1804)]
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
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 persons voted for as
Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and
certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United
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 be 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
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. And if the House of
Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice 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 the 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
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 States.
original 13th amendment that mysteriously disappeared
Amendment XIII [Abolition of Slavery (1865)]
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United
any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate
Amendment XIV [Privileges and Immunities, Due Process,
Equal Protection, Apportionment of Representatives, Civil War Disqualification and Debt
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 any 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
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 abridged, 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 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 the public debt of the United States, authorized by
including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for 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 such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the
provisions of this article.
Amendment XV [Rights Not to Be Denied on Account of Race (1870)]
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 power to enforce this article by appropriate
Amendment XVI [Income Tax (1913)]
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source
derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census
Amendment XVII [Election of Senators (1913)
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each
elected by the people thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The
Electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for Electors of the most
numerous branch of the State legislatures.
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
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any
Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
Amendment XVIII [Prohibition (1919)]
Section 1. 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.
Section 2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce
this article by appropriate legislation.
Section 3. 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 hereof to the
by the Congress.
Amendment XIX [Women's Right to Vote (1920)
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 sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment XX [Presidential Term and Succession (1933)]
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th
Day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d
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 3d Day of January, unless they shall by Law appoint a different
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
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
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 of the
persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right
of 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
within seven Years from the date of its submission.
Amendment XXI [Repeal of Prohibition (1933)]
Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United
is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The transportation 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 conventions in the several States, as
provided in the Constitution, within seven Years from the date of the submission hereof
to the States by the Congress.
Amendment XXII [Two Term Limit on President (1951)]
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
within seven Years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.
Amendment XXIII [Presidential Vote in D.C. (1961)]
Section 1. The District constituting the seat of government of the United
appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of Electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of
Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District
would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event 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 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 of amendment.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate
Amendment XXIV [Poll Tax (1964)]
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other
election for President or Vice President, for Electors 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 appropriate
Amendment XXV [Presidential Succession (1967)]
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or
resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the
President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a
majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
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 President.
Section 4. Whenever 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 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 President.
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 department 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 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
latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one
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.
Amendment XXVI [Right to Vote at Age 18 (1971)]
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 Years of age or
older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any
account of age.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate
Amendment XXVII [Compensation of Members of Congress (1992)]
No Law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives,
shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.