the United States Constitution

Library of Congress We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801presence 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 a 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-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 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 beremoved, or a President shall be elected.Library of Congress We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801The 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 oraffirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office ofPresident of the United States; and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect anddefend, the Constitution of the United States.”Sect. 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the army and navy of the UnitedStates, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of theUnited States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of theexecutive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices,and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the UnitedStates, 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 andwith the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint Ambassadors, other publicMinisters, and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other offices of the UnitedStates, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall beestablished by law. But the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferiorofficers as they think proper in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads ofdepartments.The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recessof the Senate, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of their next session.Library of CongressWe, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801Sect. 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of theUnion, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessaryand expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either ofthem, 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 Ambassadorsand other public Ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shallcommission all the officers of the United States.Sect. 4. The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall beremoved from office, on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other highcrimes and misdemeanors.ARTICLE III.Sect. 1. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in oneSupreme Court, and in such Inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to timeordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and Inferior Courts, shall holdtheir offices during good behaviour; and shall, at stated times, receive for their services acompensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.Sect. 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity, arising under thisConstitution, 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, andConsuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which theUnited States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more States, between aState and citizen of another State, between citizens of different States, between citizensof the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a State, orthe citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens or subjects.In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and consuls, and those in whicha State shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the othercases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both asLibrary of CongressWe, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shallmake.The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trialshall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when notcommitted within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress mayby law have directed.Sect. 3. Treason, against the United States, shall consist only in levying war againstthem, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall beconvicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or onconsession in open court.The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder oftreason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the personattainted.ARTICLE IV.Sect. 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 generallaws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings, shall be proved,and the effect thereof.Sect. 2. The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities ofcitizens in the several states.A person, charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee fromjustice, and be found in another State, shall, on demand of the executive authority of theState from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction ofthe crime.Library of CongressWe, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801No person, held to service or labour in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping intoanother, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from suchservice or labour; but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service orlabour may be due.Sect. 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new Stateshall be formed to erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State beformed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of theLegislatures 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 thisConstitution shall be so construed, as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or ofany particular State.Sect. 4. The United States shall guarantee, to every State in this Union, a republican formof government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application ofthe Legislature, or of the Executive, (when the Legislature cannot be convened) againstdomestic 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 Legislaturesof 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 Legislature of three fourths of the several States, or by conventionsin three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed bythe Congress: Provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year onethousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses, inthe ninth section of the first article; and that no State, without its consent, shall be deprivedof its equal suffrage in the Senate.Library of CongressWe, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801ARTICLE VI. All debts contracted, and engagements entered into, before the adoptionof this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, asunder the Confederation.This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuancethereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the UnitedStates, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the Judges in every State, shallbe bound thereby; any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrarynotwithstanding.The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the severalState Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and ofthe several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution; butno religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, underthe United States.ARTICLE VII. The ratification of the Conventions of Nine States shall be sufficient for theestablishment of this constitution, between the States so ratifying the same.Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent of the States present, the seventeenth dayof September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, andof the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof, wehave hereunto subscribed our names.GEORGE WASHINGTON, President, (and Deputy from Virginia. New-Hampshire. JohnLangdon, Nicholas Gilman. Massachusetts. Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King. Connecticut.William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman. New-York. Alexander Hamilton. New-Jersey.William Livingston, David Brearley, William Paterson, Jonathan Dayton. Pennsylvania.Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons,Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris. Delaware. George Read, GunningLibrary of CongressWe, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801Bedford, jun. John Dickenson, Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom. Maryland. James McHenry,Daniel of St. Tho. Jenifer, Daniel Carrol. Virginia. John Blair, James Madison, jun. North-Carolina. William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson. South-Carolina.John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler. Georgia.William Few, Abraham Baldwin.Attest, WILLIAM JACKSON, Secretary.IN CONVENTION, Monday, September 17th, 1787.PRESENT,The States of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Mr. Hamilton from New-York,New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina,and Georgia.Resolved,THAT the preceding Constitution be laid before the United States in Congressassembled, and that it is the opinion of this Convention, that it should afterwards besubmitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People thereof,under the recommendation of its Legislature, for their assent and ratification; and that eachConvention assenting to and ratifying the same, should give notice thereof to the UnitedStates in Congress assembled.Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Convention, That as soon as the Conventions ofNine States shall have ratified this Constitution, the United States in Congress assembledshould fix a day on which Electors should be appointed by the States which shall haveratified the same, and a day on which the Electors should assemble to vote for thePresident, and the time and place for commencing proceedings under this Constitution:That after such publication the Electors should be appointed, and the Senators andRepresentatives elected: That the Electors should meet on the day fixed for the electionof the President, and should transmit their votes, certified, signed, sealed and directed,Library of CongressWe, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801as the Constitution requires, to the Secretary of the United States in congress assembled:That the Senators and Representatives should convene at the time and place assigned:That the Senators should appoint a President of the Senate, for the sole purpose ofreceiving, opening and counting the votes for President; and that, after he shall be chose,the Congress, together with the President, should without delay proceed to execute thisConstitution.By the unanimous order of the Convention, GEORGE WASHINGTON, President.WILLIAM JACKSON, Sec’ry.In Convention, Sept 17, 1787.SIR,WEhave now the honour to submit to the consideration of the United States in Congressin Congress assembled, that Constitution which has appeared to us the most adviseable.The friends of our country have long seen and desired, that the power of makingwar, peace and treaties, that of levying money and regulating commerce, and thecorrespondent executive and judicial authorities, should be fully and effectuallyvested in the general government of the Union; but the impropriety of delegating suchextensive trust to one body of men is evident.—Hence results the necessity of a differentorganization.It is obviously impracticable, in the federal government of these States, to secure all rightsof independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all.Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. Themagnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on theobject to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between thoserights which must be surrendered, and those which may be reserved, and on the presentLibrary of CongressWe, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801occasion this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several states as to theirsituation, extent, habits and particular interests.In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our view that which appearsto us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, inwhich are involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence. Thisimportant consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each Statein the Convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude, than might have beenotherwise expected; and thus the constitution, which we now present, is the result of aspirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of ourpolitical situation rendered indispensible.That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every State is not perhaps to beexpected, but each will doubtless consider, that had her interests been alone consulted,the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or injurious to others; thatit is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably have been expected, we hope andbelieve; that it may promote the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all, and secureher freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish.With great respect, we have the honour to be, Sir, your Excellency’s most obedient andhumble Servants,GEORGE WASHINGTON,President.By unanimous Order of the Convention.His Excellency the President of Congress.UNITED STATES in Congress Assembled.Friday, September 28, 1787.Present, New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey,Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia, andLibrary of CongressWe, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … http://www.loc.gov/resource/bdsdcc.c0801from Maryland Mr. Ross. Congress having received the report of the Convention latelyassembled in Philadelphia,Resolved, unanimously, That the said report, with the resolutions and letter accompanyingthe same, be transmitted to the several Legislatures, in order to be submitted to aConvention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People thereof, in conformity tothe resolves of the Convention made and provided in that case. CHARLES THOMSON,Sec’ry.State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations.InGENERAL ASSEMBLY,October Session, 1787.IT is Voted and Resolved, That the Report of the Convention, lately held at Philadelphia,proposing a new Constitution for the United States of America, be printed as soonas may be: That the following Number of Copies be sent to the several Town-Clerksin the State, to be distributed among the Inhabitants, that the Freemen may have anOpportunity of forming their Sentiments of the said proposed Constitution, to wit: ForNewport 10, Portsmouth 25, Middletown 15, New-Shoreham 15, Jamestown 16, Tiverton40, Little-Compton 36, Providence 10, Smithfield 75, Scituate 55, Foster 55, Glocester60, Cumberland 40, Cranston 50, Johnston 30, North-Providence 20, Westerly 31,North-Kingstown 50, South-Kingstown 100, Charlestown 25, Richmond 25, Exeter 31,Hopkinton 30, Bristol 20, Warren 10, Barrington 10, Warwick 56, East-Greenwich 25,West-Greenwich 22, and Coventry 30.A true Copy:Witness,HENRY WARD,Sec’ry.PROVIDENCE: Printed by JOHN CARTER.