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  

    Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of
    the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

    Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen
    every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each
    state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous
    branch of the state legislature.

         No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of
    twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who
    shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

         Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several
    states which may be included within this union, according to their respective
    numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free
    persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding
    Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall
    be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United
    States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they
    shall by law direct. The number of  Representatives shall not exceed one for
    every thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative; and
    until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire shall be
    entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence
    Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania
    eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South
    Carolina five, and Georgia three.

         When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive
    authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

         The House of Representatives shall 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 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 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 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 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 choosing Senators.

         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 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 (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 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 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 Indian tribes;

         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
    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

         To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

         To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and
    offenses 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

         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, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

         To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into
    execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution
    in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

    Section 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now
    existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior
    to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be
    imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

         The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless
    when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

         No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

         No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the
    census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

         No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

         No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the
    ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one
    state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

         No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of
    appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and
    expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

         No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person
    holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the
    Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever,
    from any king, prince, or foreign state.

    Section 10. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant
    letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make 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

         No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties
    on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's
    inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state
    on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States;
    and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control 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
    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
    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 choose from them by ballot the Vice

    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 States.

    No person 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

    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 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 offenses against the United States, except in cases of

    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 behaviour, 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 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 attainted.

    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, 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 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 service or 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

    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 violence.

    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 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, anything 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 be 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 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 of the independence of the United States of
    America the twelfth.

    In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

    G. Washington-Presidt. 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 Brearly, Wm. Paterson, Jona: Dayton

    Pennsylvania: B. Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robt. Morris, Geo. Clymer,
    Thos. FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouv Morris

    Delaware: Geo: Read, Gunning Bedford jun, John Dickinson, Richard
    Bassett, Jaco: Broom

    Maryland: James McHenry, Dan of St Thos. Jenifer, Danl Carroll

    Virginia: John Blair--, James Madison Jr.

    North Carolina: Wm. Blount, Richd. Dobbs Spaight, Hu Williamson

    South Carolina: J. Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles
    Pinckney, Pierce Butler

    Georgia: William Few, Abr Baldwin


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