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We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
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.
The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several Slales, 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 at. tained 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 laxes 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 India ans not laxed, three fifths of all other persons. The actual enu. meration 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 Vol. l.
one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsyl. vania eighi, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia ihree.
When vacancies happen in the representation from any Siate, i he Executive Authority thereof shall issue writs of eleclion to fill such vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and olher officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
The Senate of tbe 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 vole.
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 seals of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of ihe second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies bappen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, ihe Executive thereof may make temporary ap. poinımenis until the next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.
No person shall be a Senator who shall not bave 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 iphabitant 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 vole, unless they' be equally divided.
The Senate sball 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 impeachmenis. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oathi or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concorrence of two thirds of the members present.
Judginent in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust or profit under the United States; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictmeni, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.
The times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each Stale 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 meeling shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
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 altendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings : punish its members for disorderly behaviour; and, with the concurrence of iwo 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 ihe 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 iwo Houses shall be siling.
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 (reason, felony, and breach of the peace, be "privileged from arrest, during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to or returning from the saine ; 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.
All bills, for raising a revenue, shall originale 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 10 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 al large on their journal, and proceed to re-consider ii. If, after such re-consideration, 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 re-considered : and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But, in all such cases, the voles 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 relurned 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 wbich 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 himn ; or, being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by iwo ibirds of the Senaie and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.
The Congress shall have power
To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States : but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United 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 an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies, throughout the United Siates.
To coin money ; regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin; and fix the standard of weighis 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 tiseful arts, by securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
To constilute tribunals inferior to the supreme court.
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations.
To declare war; grant letters of marque and reprisal ; and make rules concerning captures on land and water.
To raise and support armies. But no appropriation of money 10 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 ihe 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 einployed 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 ibe discipline prescribed by Congress.
To exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the Government of the United States ; and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsena'ls, 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.
SECT. IX. The migration or importation of such persons, as any of the Stales now existing shall think proper io admis, shall not be prohibited by the Congress, prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight : but a lax 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 şuspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the pubjic safety may require il.
No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, shall be passed.
No capilation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No lax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any Stale. . No preference shall be given, by any regulation of comnjerce or revenue, to the ports of one State over those of another : nor shall vessels, bound to or from one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law : and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States. And no person, holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign Slate.
SECT. X. No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or con federa. tion; grant letters of marque and reprisal ; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a cender 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 mobility.