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 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
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 choose three,
Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut
five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland
six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive
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.
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 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.
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
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 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
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.
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
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 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.
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 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
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
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 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 foreign State.
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
its 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.
Bill of Rights