THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

Note 1 :  This is a Modern English version of the U.S. Constitution intended to make reading it less tedious for Modern English speakers. There is no intent to change or “interpret” what the Founders said, and no intent to say more or less.
 
Where particular passages in the Constitution seem particularly obscure due to archaic language or cultural references that are no longer in use I have added brief notes for clarification. These notes are shown in ( parentheses )  and are not part of the text of the Constitution itself
 
 In those sections of the Constitution that have been modified by Amendments I have merged the amended version in the body of the Constitution rather than to simply refer to the amendment. Passages that are modified in this manner are indicated by  [ squared brackets ]  followed by a reference to the applicable amendment number and section in italics. The full text of all Amendments is included following the Constitution and are also written in more modern English. 
 
Note 2 :  The Preamble to the Constitution describes the general purpose of the Constitution, but does not, in any way, confer any powers to the government. It is purely a description of the nature of the Constitution, and nothing in the Preamble can be used to define or expand governmental powers.
 

THE PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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 THE CONSTITUTION

OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

ARTICLE I

          Section 1.   Only the Congress of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives is allowed to make laws.

          Section 2.   Members of the House of Representatives are to be elected every 2 years by the people of their respective States. The electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of that state’s legislature.

U.S. Representatives must be 25 years or older, have been a citizen of the United States for the previous 7 years and must reside in the state represented when elected.

Each state is allotted one representative for every 30,000 people based on the latest census which is to be taken at intervals no greater than every ten years [Neither Indians, (Native Americans), not taxed, nor any male citizens, 21 years of age or older whose federal or state voting rights have been denied or restricted for any reason, other than participation in rebellion or other crime, may be included in the basis population for the purpose of determining the allotted representatives to the state.] Modified by Amendment XIV, Section 2.

If a Representative cannot complete his term the executive authority of his state shall order special elections to fill the vacancy.

The House of Representatives shall choose a Speaker and other Officers

The House of Representatives has the sole Power of Impeachment.

          Section 3.   The Senate of the United States shall be composed of 2 Senators from each State elected by the people of the State. Each Senator is to have one vote. Senators are elected to terms of 6 years, and elections are to be staggered such that one third of the Senate stands for election every two years. Voters in election of U.S. Senators must meet the same qualifications required for voting in elections of members of the most numerous branch of their state legislature.

[ If an elected Senator from any State is unable to complete his term the State shall hold elections to fill the vacancy. However, the State Legislature may empower the Executive of the state to make temporary appointments until the seat is filled by election as directed by the Legislature. ] As modified by Amendment XVII.

Anyone serving as Senator must be 30 years or older, have been a citizen of the United States for a minimum of 9 years and must reside in the State represented when elected.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate but may vote only when the Senate vote is equally divided (to break tie-votes). The Senate shall choose other Officers of the Senate and shall choose a President pro tempore to preside in the absence of the Vice President.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments and shall be under oath or affirmation in that purpose. If the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside. Conviction requires a two thirds majority vote of the members present.

Judgments in cases of impeachment are limited to removal from office and disqualification from holding any other office of honor, trust or profit in the United States. The convicted party may be subject to prosecution in State and/or Federal courts according to law.

          Section 4.   Each State’s Legislatures chooses the time, place and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives. Congress may, by law, change these regulations, but cannot change the location of the polls.

[Congress shall meet at least once per year starting at noon on the third of January. Congress may choose a different day, by law.] As modified by Amendment XX, Section 1.

          Section 5.   Each House shall be the judge of Elections, returns and of the qualifications of its own Members. A quorum to do business requires a majority of each house, but a smaller number may adjourn and compel attendance according to their own established procedures in each house.

Each house is to determine the rules of its proceedings and may discipline members for disorderly behavior. Each house may remove a member from office with a two thirds vote of its members.

Each house is required to keep and publish records of its proceedings. Proceedings that in the judgment of the house require secrecy may be excepted. At the request of one fifth of members present the votes of the members, yeas and nays, shall be entered into the record.

Neither house may adjourn during a session of Congress without the consent of the other, nor adjourn for more than 3 days. Neither house may meet in anyplace other than where the two houses shall be sitting (the Capitol) without the consent of the other house.

          Section 6.   Senators and Representatives shall be paid for their services as provided by law out of the U.S. Treasury.

They cannot be arrested except for treason, felony or disturbing the peace while their respective house of congress is in session, or while coming from or going to the congressional session. They cannot be arrested for any speech or debate in either house, and cannot be questioned in any other place.

No Senator or Representative can be appointed during his term to any federal office created during his term. No Senator or Representative can be appointed to a federal office in which salary or other compensation has been increased during his term in office.

No Senator or Representative may be appointed to any United States civil office or authority which was created during or for which the compensation was increased during his elected term.

No person holding any office under the United States can at the same time be a member of either house.

          Section 7.   All revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. The Senate may propose or concur on amendments as on other bills.

All bills which have passed the house and senate must be presented to and signed by the President of the United States before it can become law. If the President receives a bill but has not signed it within 10 days (not counting Sundays) after it is presented to him the bill will become law without his signature. However, if the Congress adjourns during the 10 day period and thereby prevents the return of the bill it shall not become law.

Every order, resolution or vote requiring the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be presented to the President of the United States and must be approved or disapproved by him. If the President disapproves (vetoes) a bill it is returned with objections for reconsideration by the house of congress that originated it.

If the bill is then passed by a 2/3 majority of that house it is sent to the other house for similar reconsideration and vote. If both houses reconsider and pass the bill by a 2/3 majority it becomes law regardless of the President’s veto.

In all cases, the President’s objections and the names of persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. The votes are to be determined by yeas and nays.

Every order, resolution or vote requiring concurrence of the senate and house of representatives shall be considered and processed as described in this Section except on a question of adjournment.

          Section 8.   The Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and welfare of the united states. All taxes, duties and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

Congress has power to:

  • Borrow money on the credit of the United States.
  • Regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the states ( and with Indian tribes).
  • Establish uniform rules of naturalization throughout the US.
  • Establish uniform laws of bankruptcy throughout the US.
  • Coin money and regulate its value and that of foreign coin.
  • Determine standards of weights and measures.
  • Provide punishment of counterfeiting.
  • Establish post offices and post roads (roads for transportation of postal mail).promote Science and the arts by establishing exclusive rights to their works (Copyrights and Patents).
  • establish a court system inferior to the Supreme Court (lower Federal Courts)
  • define and punish piracies and felonies on the high seas and offenses against the Law of nations (Public International laws).
  • Declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, impose reprisals and make rules concerning captures on land and water.
  • Raise and support armies, but no appropriations for that shall be for a longer term than two years.
  • Provide and maintain a navy
  • Make rules for the government and regulation of the military
  • provide for calling forth the militia to execute laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.
  • organize, arm and discipline militia (National Guard) when employed in the service of the united states, but allowing the states respectively to appoint officers and train the militia according to discipline prescribed by congress.
  • To control a district not exceeding 10 sq. mi. to become the seat of the government of the united States (District of Columbia) also purchases for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards and other necessary facilities.
  • To make all laws necessary for executing the foregoing powers and other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the united states or any department or officer thereof.

          Section 9.   The right of the States to import persons (slaves) cannot be prohibited prior to the year 1808 but a tax or duty not exceeding $10.00 per person may be imposed.

The privilege of Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of rebellion or invasion when the public safety may require it. (The Writ of Habeas Corpus defines the right of anyone to seek relief from unlawful detention. It requires the custodian, such as a prison official, to bring the prisoner to court, and prove to the court that the prisoner is being held lawfully. If this is not proven, the prisoner must be released.)

 No Bill of Attainder or ex-post-facto law shall be passed. (A bill of attainder singles out an individual or group for punishment without trial.) (An ex-post-facto law applies to crimes or events that took place before the law is passed.)

Any Capitation (such as, head tax or poll tax) or other direct tax must be in proportion to the Census.

[Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes from any source without regard for apportionment among the several states or any census enumeration.]  Amendment XVI

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

No preference shall be shown in any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over another. Vessels traveling from one state to another cannot be charged to enter or clear either state’s ports or pay duties on cargo imported or exported.

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury except appropriations made by law. A regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money must be published from time to time.

No titles of nobility will be granted by the United States, and no person holding office under the States shall accept any present, payment, office or title of any kind from any King Prince or foreign State without the consent of the Congress of the United States.

Section 10.     

No State shall:

  • Enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation.
  • Grant letters of marque and reprisal. (i.e., authorize to commit acts of piracy).
  • Coin money.
  • Issue bills of credit (treasury notes).
  • Make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.
  • Pass any bill of attainder (assigns criminal guilt and punishment to a party without benefit of a trial), ex post-facto law (Law applied to crimes or events that took place before its passage) or law impairing the obligation of contracts.
  • Grant any title of nobility.

No State shall without the consent of Congress:

  • Lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports except necessary fees for executing its inspection laws, and net proceeds from such  imposts shall be for the use of the U.S. Treasury. Congress has the right to revise and control all such laws.
  • Lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace
  • Enter into any treaties with other states or foreign powers, engage in war unless actually invaded or in imminent danger demanding immediate action.

 

ARTICLE  II

Section 1. The President of the United States of America shall have executive power. The President and Vice-President are elected for simultaneous terms of 4 years.

The President and Vice-President are to be elected as follows:

Each state appoints electors according to procedures established by the state legislature. the number of electors for each state is to be equal to the total number of senators and representatives for the state. No U.S. Senators or Representatives nor anyone holding an office of trust or profit under the United states may be an elector.

[The electors for each state are to meet in their respective states and cast one vote for a candidate for President and one vote for a candidate for Vice President. An elector may vote for one or the other, but not both, of two candidates that reside in the same state as the electors.

The electors shall make a list of all persons voted for as President and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each. They shall sign and certify and seal the records and transmit them to the President of the Senate at the seat of the U.S. Government (Washington, DC). The President of the Senate is to open all the certificates and the votes are to be counted in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President but that number of votes must be a majority of all the electors. If no person has a majority, the house of Representatives is to choose the President immediately, by ballot, from among the three candidates having the highest numbers of votes.

The vote of the house of representatives is to be taken by states with each state having one vote. Representation for two-thirds of the states shall be considered a quorum and a majority of all the states is required for a decision.

{ If a President-elect dies or is found to be constitutionally unsuitable before assuming office the Vice-President-elect shall become President.

If a President is not chosen before the intended beginning day of his term, or if the President-elect fails to qualify for the office, the Vice-President-elect shall act as President until a President has qualified.

In the event neither the President elect nor the Vice-President elect qualifies for office the Congress may, by law, declare who shall act as President or prescribe the manner in which a President is selected. The person so appointed shall preside as President until a qualified President or Vice-President is determined. } Amendment XX, Section 3. (This is actually an amendment to an amendment. It supersedes a portion of Amendment XII.)

The person having the greatest number of votes for Vice-President shall be the Vice-President if the number of votes is a majority of all the electors. If no person has a majority the Senate is to choose the Vice-President from among the two candidates having the highest numbers of votes. A quorum consisting of two-thirds of the total number of Senators and a majority vote of the whole number is required for a decision, but no person Constitutionally ineligible for the office of President shall be Vice-President.] Amendment XII

The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors and the day on which they will vote. This day shall be the same throughout the United States.

To be eligible for the Office of President a candidate must be a natural born citizen or a citizen of the United States at the time this constitution is adopted. The candidate must also be at least 35 years old and must have been a resident in the United States for a minimum of fourteen years.

[ If the President is removed from office, resigns or is deceased, the vice-president shall become president.

If 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.

Whenever the President informs the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in a written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, Presidential powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

When the President subsequently informs the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in a written declaration that such inability no longer exists he shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

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, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

When the President subsequently declares, in writing, to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that the  inabilities no longer exist, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

However, if 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, within four days declare, in writing, to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, Congress shall decide the issue.

Congress is required to act within twenty one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, and if not in session shall assemble within forty-eight hours. The Congress is to determine the issue by two-thirds vote of both houses. If the decision is 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 XXV  

The President shall, at stated times, receive compensation for his services. Such compensation shall neither be increased nor decreased during during his elected term. The President shall receive no other emolument (payment for his services) from the United States nor any State.    

Before assuming office he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:  “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

 Section 2. The President shall be commander and chief of U.S. Army and Navy and of the States Militia when called up to serve the U.S.

The President may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer of each executive department upon any subject relating to their duties, and shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the U.S. except in cases of impeachment.

The President shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties if two thirds of the senators present concur.

The President shall, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint ambassadors, public ministers, consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the U.S. whose appointments are established by law and not otherwise provided for.

Congress may, by legislation, give power to the President alone to appoint other such inferior officers as they think proper in the courts of law or various department heads.

The President shall have power to fill vacancies in these offices that may happen during the Senate recess, but such appointments will expire at the end of the next session of the senate.  

          Section 3.   The president shall from time to time present information on the state of the union to congress and recommend their consideration of matters he deems important. He may convene both houses or either of them to consider extraordinary events or circumstances and keep them in session for as long as he deems necessary.

The president shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers, see that the laws are properly executed and commission all officers of the United States.

          Section 4.   The president, vice president and all civil officers of the U.S. may be impeached and removed from office upon conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors

 

ARTICLE III

          Section 1.   Judicial power of the United States is vested in one Supreme Court. Congress may ordain and establish inferior (lower) courts as they see fit.

Federal judges shall hold their offices and be paid for their services so long as they maintain good behavior. Their compensation cannot be reduced during their continuance in office.

Section 2.   The judicial power (of the Supreme Court) shall extend to:

  • All cases in law and equity arising under the Constitution, laws of the U.S. and treaties made under U.S. authority.
  • All cases affecting ambassadors or other public ministers and consuls.
  • All cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.
  • Controversies to which the United States shall be a party.
  • Controversies between two or more States,
  • Controversies between citizens of different states.
  • Controversies between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states,

[The Judicial power of the United States shall not extend to any suit in law or equity against a State by citizens of another State or by any foreign state.] Amendment  XI

In all cases involving ambassadors or other public ministers or consuls and any involving a U.S. State the supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all other cases, noted above, the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction regarding law and fact.

The congress may make exceptions and regulations regarding the court’s appellate jurisdiction.

All trials shall be by jury in the state where the crime was committed, except in the case of impeachment.

Trials for crimes not committed within any state will be held in a location established by law by congress.

          Section 3.   Treason against the United States consists only of waging war against the United States, siding with their enemies or giving aid and comfort to their enemies. Conviction of treason requires testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or confession in open court.

Congress has the power to determine the punishment for treason, but no attainder of treason shall require corruption of blood (loss of property or hereditary rights) except during the life of the person attainted (the person convicted of treason). (Basically, this means that congress may confiscate the property of someone convicted of treason, but the convicted’s heirs shall inherit the property after his death.)

 

ARTICLE IV

          Section 1.   Each state is required to fully respect the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. Congress, by general laws, shall prescribe the manner in which these acts, records and proceedings are proven and the effects thereof.

          Section 2.   The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities afforded the citizens of any of the states.

Any person charged with treason, felony or other crime found in another state must, be extradited to the state having jurisdiction of the crime upon demand of the executive Authority of that state.

[Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime shall exist in the United States or any territory subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.]Amendment XIII

          Section 3.   New States may be admitted into the United States, but no new state shall be admitted or created within the jurisdiction of any other state. No state may be formed by the joining of two or more states or parts of states without consent of the State’s legislatures and the U.S. Congress.

The congress shall have power to make all rules and regulations regarding the Territories or other property belonging to the united states, and such rules and regulations are not restricted by this Constitution.

          Section 4.  

The United States shall guarantee every state in this union a republican form of government, shall protect them from invasion and at the request the state legislature or governor shall protect them from domestic violence.

 

ARTICLE V

Congress shall call a constitutional convention whenever 2/3 of both houses concur, or upon application from the legislatures of 2/3 of the several states. Amendments produced by such convention shall become valid parts of this Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of ¾ of the several states, or by conventions in ¾ of the states as proposed by congress.

No amendment made before 1808 shall in any measure affect the first or fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article, and no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage (right to vote) in the Senate.

 

ARTICLE VI

All debts or engagements entered into by the Confederation are valid against the United States under this Constitution.

This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land. All laws or treaties made under the authority of the United States made under the provisions of this Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land. The judges in every state are bound thereby regardless of state constitutions or laws.

The U.S. Senators and Representatives and members of the several state legislatures and all executive and judicial officers, both of the U.S. and of the several states shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution. But, no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

 

ARTICLE VII

The ratification of the Conventions of nine states shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same.

 

 

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

 

AMENDMENT  I

Congress shall make no law:

  • Regarding establishment of or prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
  • Restricting the freedom of speech.
  • Restricting the freedom of the press.
  • Restricting the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for consideration of grievances.

AMENDMENT II

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or restricted. 

AMENDMENT III

No owner of any house shall be forced to provide room and/or board for
any soldier in time of peace, nor in time of war unless prescribed by law.

AMENDMENT  IV

No one’s person, house, papers, or effects may be searched or seized except when presented with a legally issued warrant of probable cause supported by oath or affirmation and providing a description of the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

AMENDMENT V

No Person(s):

  • May be charged with a capital, or other, crime without indictment by a Grand Jury except in cases arising in the military forces or the militia when in service in a time or war or public danger.
  • May be subject to the same charge twice (double jeopardy).
  • Shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
  • Shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
  • Private property shall be taken for public use without just compensation.

AMENDMENT VI

In all criminal prosecutions the accused has the right:

  • To a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district in which the crime was committed as previously determined by law.
  • To be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.
  • To confront the witnesses against him.
  • To compel the testimony of witnesses in his favor.
  • To have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

AMENDMENT VII

In all Common Law suits (law defined by prior court ruling, also known
as Case Law), concerning $20.00 or more, the accused has the right to a trial
by jury. No case tried by jury  shall
be re-considered in any court of the United States other than by the rules of
common law.

AMENDMENT VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. 

AMENDMENT IX

The certain rights enumerated in the Constitution shall not be construed
or interpreted in any way that would deny or disparage any other rights
retained by the people.

AMENDMENT  X

All powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor
specifically prohibited to the States by the Constitution are reserved for the
States, or for the people.

AMENDMENT  XI 

Each State has sovereign immunity from being sued in federal court by citizens of another state or by citizens or subjects for any foreign state. 

AMENDMENT  XII

The electors for each state are to meet in their respective states and cast one vote for a candidate for President and one vote for a candidate for Vice President. An elector may vote for one or the other, but not both, of two candidates that reside in the same state as the electors.

The electors shall make a record of all persons voted for as president and all persons voted for as vice-president and of the number of votes for each. They shall sign and certify and seal the records and transmit them to the President of the Senate at the seat of the U.S. Government (Washington, DC). The President of the Senate is to open all the certificates and the votes are to be counted in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President but that number of votes must be a majority of all the electors. If no person has a majority, the house of Representatives is to choose the president immediately, by ballot, from among the three candidates having the highest numbers of votes.

The vote of the house of representatives is to be taken by states with each state having one vote. Representation for two-thirds of the states shall be considered a quorum and a majority of all states is required for a decision.

If these conditions are not met and no president is chosen before March 4th following, then the vice president shall  act as president is in a constitutional disability of the President.

The person having the greatest number of votes for Vice-President shall be the Vice-President if the number of votes is a majority of all the . If no person has a majority Senate is to choose the Vice-president from among the two candidates having the highest numbers of votes. A quorum consisting of two-thirds of the total number of Senators and a majority vote is required for a decision.

No person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be Vice-President.  

AMENDMENT XIII

          Section 1.    There shall be no slavery or involuntary servitude (except  imprisonment for criminal conviction) in the United States or anyplace subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

          Section 2.    Congress has the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

AMENDMENT  XIV

          Section 1.   Everyone born or naturalized in the United States or in any place subject to U.S. jurisdiction are citizens of the United States and of the State in which they reside. No State may make any law to alter the privileges or immunities of any citizen of the United States.

No state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

No state shall deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

          Section 2.   Neither Indians, (Native Americans), not taxed, nor any male citizens, 21 years of age or older whose federal or state voting rights have been denied or restricted for any reason, other than participation in rebellion or other crime, may be included in the basis population for the purpose of determining the number of representatives allotted to the state.

          Section 3.   Any person who has taken an oath of office to support the Constitution of the United States and has violated that oath through insurrection or rebellion against the United States or given aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States, may not become a Senator or Representative in Congress, elector of President or vice President or hold any office, civil or military, under the united states or under any state.

The Congress may remove such disability only by a 2/3 vote in each house.

          Section 4.   The validity of public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts for payment of pensions, bounties and services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion shall not be questioned.

But, claims against the United States or any State for debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or for the loss or emancipation of any slave shall be held illegal and void. 

AMENDMENT XV

          Section 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 servitude.

          Section 2.   The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

AMENDMENT XVI

Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes from any source without regard for apportionment among the several states or any census enumeration. 

AMENDMENT XVII

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of 2 senators from each state and shall be elected by the people of their respective state. Each Senator shall have one vote.

Electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

If an elected Senator from any State is unable to complete his term the State shall hold elections to fill the vacancy. However, the State Legislature may empower the Executive of the state to make temporary appointments until the seat is filled by election as directed by the Legislature.

AMENDMENT XVIII

(The 18th amendment is the prohibition amendment and was repealed Dec. 5, 1933) 

AMENDMENT XIX

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the united States or any state on account of sex. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

AMENDMENT XX

          Section 1.   The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th of January. The terms of Senators and Representatives shall end at noon on the 3rd of January. The terms of their successors shall then begin.

          Section 2.   The congress shall assemble at least once every year at noon on the 3rd day of January unless they by law appoint a different day.

          Section 3.   If a President-elect dies before assuming office the Vice-President-elect shall become President.

If a President is not chosen before the intended beginning day of his term, or if the President-elect fails to qualify for the office, the Vice-President-elect shall act as president until a President has qualified.

In the event neither the President elect nor the Vice-President elect qualifies for office the Congress may, by law, declare who shall act as president or prescribe the manner in which a president is selected. The person so appointed shall preside as president until a qualified President of Vice-President is determined. 

AMENDMENT XXI

          Section 1.   The 18th Amendment (prohibition) is repealed

          Section 2.   Transportation of intoxicating liquors into any state, territory or possession of the United States in violation of the laws thereof is prohibited.

          Section 3.   This article will become effective only after ratification by conventions in the several states as provided in the Constitution within 7 years its submission to the States by the Congress. 

AMENDMENT XXII

          Section 1.   No person shall be elected to the office of president more than twice. No person who has held the office of president or acted as president for more than two years of the term of an elected President shall be elected to the presidency more than once.

This article does not prevent anyone serving as president or acting president at the time this article becomes operative from completing his term of office.

          Section 2.   This article shall be inoperative unless ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states within seven years of its submission to Congress. 

AMENDMENT XXIII

          Section 1.   The District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall appoint, as Congress may direct, a number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the number of senators and representatives it would have if it were a State, but no more than that of the least populous state. They shall be considered for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President to be electors appointed by a State. They shall meet in the District according to the provisions of the 12th amendment.

AMENDMENT XXIV

          Section 1.   The right of citizens to vote in primary or other elections for President, Vice-President, Senator or Representative in Congress shall not be denied or abridged by the U.S. or any State for failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

          Section 2.   The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

AMENDMENT XXV

          Section 1.   In case of the removal of the President from office by his death or resignation the Vice President shall become President.

          Section 2.   Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President to be confirmed by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

          Section 3. Whenever the Presidents notifies 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 notifies them in writing to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be performed by the Vice President as Acting President.

          Section 4. If the Vice President and a majority of Presidential Cabinet officers, or other such body as congress may designate by law, find the President unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office and transmit that finding in writing to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

When, thereafter, the President submits, in writing, to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

If the Vice President and a majority of Presidential Cabinet officers, or other such body as congress may designate by law re-submit to congress, within four days, their finding of inability of the President then Congress shall decide the issue, and Congress shall assemble within forty-eight hours for that purpose, if not in session.

If, within 21 days of receiving the written declaration or within 21 days after receiving the declaration the Congress determines by two-thirds vote of both houses that the President is unable to discharge his duties, the Vice-President shall continue as Acting President. If Congress does not so find, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office. 

AMENDMENT XXVI

          Section 1.   The right of citizens of the U.S. who are 18 years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the U.S. or any state on account of age.

          Section 2.   The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. 

AMENDMENT XXVII

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

 

25 Responses to THE U.S. CONSTITUTION

  1. Martin Cleveland says:

    I GOT IT, THANKS

  2. Martin Cleveland says:

    I, NOW, SEE WHY THE CONGRESS ACTS SO STUPID. THEY ARE GUARENTEED A PAYCHECK. ACCORDING TO AMMENDMENT 27.

    • Grandpa says:

      Thanks for the comments, and apologies for the long delayed response. I’ve had some medical problems since last Sept. and still have some lingering side-effects. I’ll be trying to get back into the blog soon.

      I hope you will spread the word on who are the true “bad guys” in D.C. It’s the Congress. “Obamacare” was created, written and passed by the U.S. Congress. Obama’s only official involvement was to sign the bill.

      Thanks again,
      grandpa

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  4. Mackensie Young says:

    This helped me get a A+ on my paper for Government iv never really got a A+ on anything and this site really helped me!!!!

    • Terry W says:

      Hey, Congratulations on the A+, and thanks for the comment.
      Did you find the web-site, heyitsyourgovernment.com on Google? or a different search engine?

  5. Joseph says:

    This site gave me every thing that i needed and more for my goverment report i would like to what else this site has

  6. talia says:

    I love how they made it so easy to read!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    thank you!

    • Terry W says:

      Thanks for the comment Talia. I spent a lot of time reading the Constitution, looking up definitions of ancient English words and writing and rewriting the Plain English Version. Comments like yours make it all worthwhile.

  7. Evelyn says:

    Thank you so much for this site! This has helped me with my Constitution Outline! I will recommend to others!

  8. Evelyn says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! This has helped me with my Outline for the Constitution. I will definitely recommend!

  9. Pingback: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 – Convention Speeches | Jennifer Roberts' U.S. History Blog

  10. Jon says:

    Great Site!!

    In the 2nd Amendment, you forgot the first part regarding State Militias…”A Well Regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,”

    Jon

    • Terry W says:

      Thanks for the comment, Jon.
      I left the . . . regulated militia . . . stuff out because it seems to be mostly “justification” for the amendment and doesn’t add to or detract from the actual “right”. I figure the not to be “denied or restricted “ verbiage covers militias and every other good reason to bear arms. Thanks again for the comment and apologies for the looooong delay. Medical problems are having their way with me for a while. Terry

  11. Penny says:

    Great. Thanks for this.

    As much as I’ve understood this before (imho) it’s good to read it “simplified”.

    Even though congress pulls the “strings” influence and favors in all forms abound in these human beings in DC.

    • Terry W says:

      Thanks for the comment, Penny. Apologies for delayed reply. Medical problems have been absorbing my attention and energy these past months. You’re right about the “human beings” in Congress. It emphasizes how important we-the-voters are to the success/failure of our nation. Thanks, again.
      Terry

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  14. PERRY JURGENS says:

    I copied your texted in MS Word and I found a lot of common errors – for example the use of “chose” vs “choose” and in places where words are missing, for example Amendment VII “The person having the greatest number of votes for Vice-President shall be the Vice-President if the number of votes is a majority of all the.” Other stuff like capitalization, extra spaces, missing spaces, etc. The work should be corrected and updated – it would make it readable and credible. I hope this is helpful.

    • Terry W says:

      Perry, Thanks so much for the heads up. I knew there were some glitches, but it’s much worse than I thought. I’ll be working on getting all the errors out. Thanks again.

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