Alcona County Republicans
This is the Preamble to the Constitution. The simple and elegant words convey the true meaning of the document.
There are seven Articles included in the main body of the Constitution.
I. Legislative Powers
II. Executive Powers
III. Judicial Powers
IV. Message to the States
V. Amending the Constitution
VI. National Obligations
VII. Ratification of the Constitution
The Constitution was Adopted and Ratified on September 17th, 1787.
There are a further 17 Amendments to the Constitution making a total of 27 Amendments. These are true Amendments and often referred to as Equity Law. These Amendments were proposed and ratified between February 7, 1795 and May 7, 1992. For the purpose of this list, the year the amendment was adopted is indicated in parenthesis.
XI. Restriction of Judicial Powers (1798)
XII. Manner of Electing the President and Vice President; The Electorate (1804)
XIII. Slavery Abolished (1865)
XIV. Citizenship and Status Defined (1868)
XV. Voting Rights Shall Not be Denied based on Race, Color, or Previous Condition of Servitude (1870)
XVI. Congress shall have the Power to Lay and Collect Taxes (1913)
XVII. Direct Elections for Senators, Electors, and Vacancies in the Senate (1913)
XVIII. Prohibition of Liquor (1920)
XIX. Voting Rights Shall Not be Denied based on Gender (1920)
XX. Terms of the President, Vice President, Senators and Representatives, Vacancies of the President, Power of Congress in Presidential Succession (1933)
XXI. 18th Amendment (Prohibition) Repealed (1933)
XXII. Limits of the Presidential Term (1951)
XXIII. Electors for the District of Columbia Established (1961)
XXIV. Failure to Pay Tax does Not Deny one the Right to Vote (1964)
XXV. Filling the Office of President or Vice President During a Vacancy (1967)
XXVI. Right to Vote at 18 years of age (1971)
XVII. No Law varying the Compensation for the Services of the Senators and Representatives shall take Effect until an Election of Representatives shall have Intervened (1992)
The Constitution of the United States
We the People of the United States, in Order to Form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote 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 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 previous sentence in parentheses was modified by the 14th Amendment, section 2.) 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 chuse 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,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded
by 17th Amendment, section 1.) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall
be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first
Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the
Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so
that one third may be chosen every second Year; (and if Vacancies happen by
Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the
Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the
Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.) (The preceding words in parentheses
were superseded by the 17th Amendment, section 2.)
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 chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the
absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the
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 Place of Chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall (be on
the first Monday in December,) (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded
by the 20th Amendment, section 2.) 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
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.) (The preceding words in parentheses were modified by the 27th Amendment.) 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 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto
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 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 of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations
prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Section 8 - Powers of Congress
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
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of
Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of
Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the
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 Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning
Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a
longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress
Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such
Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the
States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the
Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not
exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance
of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise
like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in
which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and
other needful Buildings; 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 - Limits on Congress
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.) (Section in parentheses clarified by
the 16th Amendment.)
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of
one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged
to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations
made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of
all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any
Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of
any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or
Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque
and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin
a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law
impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on
Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing 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 Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops,
or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another
State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such
imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Article. II. - The Executive Branch
Section 1 - The President
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
(The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two persons, of
whom one at least shall not lie an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they
shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which
List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the
United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall,
in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and
the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be
the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed;
and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of
Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them
for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the
said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the
Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; a
quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two-thirds of the
States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case,
after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the
Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have
equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice-President.) (This clause
in parentheses was superseded by the 12th Amendment.)
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
the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall
any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five
Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
(In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or
Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on
the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal,
Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what
Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the
Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.) (This clause in parentheses has
been modified by the 20th and 25th Amendments.)
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
"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 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments
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 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
Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress
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 - Disqualification
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. - The Judicial Branch
Section 1 - Judicial powers
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 - Trial by Jury, Original Jurisdiction, Jury Trials
(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.) (This section in
parentheses is modified by the 11th Amendment.)
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
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
Article. IV. - The States
Section 1 - Each State to Honor all others
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 - State citizens, Extradition
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in
the several States.
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from
Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the
State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction
of the Crime.
(No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into
another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from
such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such
Service or Labour may be due.) (This clause in parentheses is superseded by the 13th
Section 3 - New States
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 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 - Republican government
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
Article. V. - Amendment
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. - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths
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
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance
thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United
States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be
bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary
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 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.
Go Washington - President 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 Brearley, Wm Paterson, Jona. Dayton
Pensylvania - 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.
Maryland - James McHenry, Dan of St Tho 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
Georgia - William Few, Abr Baldwin
Attest: William Jackson, Secretary
The following are the Amendments to the Constitution. The first ten Amendments
collectively are commonly known as the Bill of Rights.
Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
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 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.
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 3 - Quartering of Soldiers. Ratified 12/15/1791.
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 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.
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 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified
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 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified
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 defence.
Amendment 7 - Trial by Jury in Civil Cases. Ratified 12/15/1791.
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 8 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Ratified 12/15/1791.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual
Amendment 9 - Construction of Constitution. Ratified 12/15/1791.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or
disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People. Ratified 12/15/1791.
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 11 - Judicial Limits. Ratified 2/7/1795.
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 12 - Choosing the President, Vice-President. Ratified 6/15/1804.
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 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 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 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 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 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. 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
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 States.
Amendment 13 - Slavery Abolished. Ratified 12/6/1865.
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 States, or any place
subject to their jurisdiction.
2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868.
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.
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 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.
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.
4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, 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.
5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of
Amendment 15 - Race No Bar to Vote. Ratified 2/3/1870.
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
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment 16 - Status of Income Tax Clarified. Ratified 2/3/1913.
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 or enumeration.
Amendment 17 - Senators Elected by Popular Vote. Ratified 4/8/1913.
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 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 direct.
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 18 - Liquor Abolished. Ratified 1/16/1919. Repealed by Amendment 21,
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.
2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article
by appropriate legislation.
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 States by the Congress.
Amendment 19 - Women's Suffrage. Ratified 8/18/1920.
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 20 - Presidential, Congressional Terms. Ratified 1/23/1933.
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 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.
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 day.
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
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.
5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification
of this article.
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.
Amendment 21 - Amendment 18 Repealed. Ratified 12/5/1933.
1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby
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.
3. The 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 22 - Presidential Term Limits. Ratified 2/27/1951.
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.
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.
Amendment 23 - Presidential Vote for District of Columbia. Ratified 3/29/1961.
1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall 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.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment 24 - Poll Tax Barred. Ratified 1/23/1964.
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.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment 25 - Presidential Disability and Succession. Ratified 2/10/1967.
1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the
Vice President shall become President.
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.
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.
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 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.
Amendment 26 - Voting Age Set to 18 Years. Ratified 7/1/1971.
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
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Amendment 27 - Limiting Congressional Pay Increases. Ratified 5/7/1992.
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives,
shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
This file was prepared by USConstitution.net. Find us on the web at
These are all abbreviated notations as to the content of the Constitution and its Amendments.
The first ten Amendments to the Constitution are the Bill of Rights. These are also referred to as Common Law as they are based on the 10 Commandments. All ten amendments were Ratified on December 15th, 1791.
I. Religious Freedom, Freedom of Speech
II. The Right to Bear Arms
III. Quartering of Soldiers (in regards to the Revolutionary War)
IV. The Right to Privacy and Security Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures; search warrants
V. Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, No One must Witness Against Themselves (i.e. "pleading the fifth"), No Loss of Life, Liberty or Private Property without Due Process
VI. Right to a Speedy Trial, Impartial Jury, Nature and Cause, Right to Confront ones Accuser, Compulsory Witnesses, Assistance of Counsel.
VII. Right to Trial by Jury
VIII. Excessive Bail, Fees, Punishment, etc. are Prohibited
IX. Rights Beyond the Bill of Rights Belong to the People.
X. Undelegated Powers Belong to the People unless given by the People to the States
The Declaration of Independence is where we get the date of the 4th of July. In 1776 this document was signed. The Revolutionary War then began in earnest.