THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

(See Note 1)

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 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[BU1] .

Article. I.

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. [BU2] 

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year [BU3] 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.

Clause 2: 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. [BU4] 

Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers,[BU5]  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. (See Note 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[PW6] [AU7] . 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.

Clause 4: When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

Clause 5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers[BU8] ; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. [BU9] 

Section. 3.

Clause 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, (See Note 3) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. [BU10] 

Clause 2: 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;[BU11]  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. (See Note 4)

Clause 3: 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. [MSOffice12] 

Clause 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Clause 5: 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 United States.

Clause 6: 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.

Clause 7: 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.

[BU13] Section. 4.

Clause 1: 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 Places of chusing Senators.

Clause 2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year[MSOffice14] [AU15] , and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, (See Note 5) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Clause 1: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, [MSOffice16] 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.

Clause 2: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Clause 3: 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.

Clause 4: 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.

Clause 1: 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. (See Note 6) 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[BU17] [AU18] .

Clause 2: 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 encreased 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.

Clause 1: 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. [MSOffice19] 

Clause 2: 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; [BU20] 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. [BU21] 

Clause 3: 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[BU22] ; 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. [BU23] 

Clause 1: 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; [PW24] but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Clause 2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;[AU25]  [BU26] 

Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Clause 5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Clause 6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

Clause 7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

Clause 8: 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;

Clause 9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

Clause 10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

[PW27] Clause 16: 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;

Clause 17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, byCession 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

Clause 18: 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. [BU28] 

Section. 9.

Clause 1: 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,[AU29]  but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Clause 2: 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. [BU30] [AU31] 

Clause 3: No Bill of Attainder [BU32] [AU33] or ex post facto Law [BU34] shall be passed.

Clause 4: No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken. (See Note 7)

Clause 5: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

Clause 6: 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.

Clause 7: 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.

Clause 8: 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[BU35] .

Section. 10.[BU36] 

Clause 1: 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, [BU37] or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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.

Section. 1.

Clause 1: 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[PW38] , and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

Clause 2: 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 Elector.

Clause 3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be 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. (See Note 8)

Clause 4: 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.

Clause 5: 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. [PW39] 

Clause 6: 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, (See Note 9) the Same shall devolve on the VicePresident, 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.

Clause 7: The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased 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.

Clause 8: Before he enter on the Execution of his 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.

Clause 1: 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;[PW40]  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 Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment[PW41] .

Clause 2: 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[PW42] , in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Clause 3: 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 next Session.  

Section. 3.

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.

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.

Section. 1.

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 Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office. [AU43] 

[BU44] Section. 2.

Clause 1: 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; (See Note 10)--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.

Clause 2: 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 shall make. [PW45] 

Clause 3: 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[PW46] ; 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.

Clause 1: 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. [PW47] [AU48] 

Clause 2: 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 Person attainted[PW49] . [AU50] 

Article. IV.

Section. 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 general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: 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. (See Note 11)

Section. 3.

Clause 1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State 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.

Clause 2: 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.

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 domestic Violence.

Article. V. [PW51] 

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.

Clause 1: 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 the Confederation.

Clause 2: 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 notwithstanding[PW52] .

Clause 3: 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. [AU53] 

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.

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--Presidt. and deputy from Virginia

[Signed also by the deputies of twelve States.]

Delaware

Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom

Maryland

James MCHenry
Dan of ST ThoS. Jenifer
DanL Carroll.

Virginia

John Blair--
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina

WM Blount
RichD. Dobbs Spaight.
Hu Williamson

South Carolina

J. Rutledge
Charles 1ACotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler.

Georgia

William Few
Abr Baldwin

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

Pennsylvania

B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
RobT Morris
Geo. Clymer
ThoS. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson.
Gouv Morris

Attest William Jackson Secretary

NOTES

Note 1: This text of the Constitution follows the engrossed copy signed by Gen. Washington and the deputies from 12 States. The small superior figures preceding the paragraphs designate Clauses, and were not in the original and have no reference to footnotes.

The Constitution was adopted by a convention of the States on September 17, 1787, and was subsequently ratified by the several States, on the following dates: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788.

Ratification was completed on June 21, 1788.

The Constitution was subsequently ratified by Virginia, June 25, 1788; New York, July 26, 1788; North Carolina, November 21, 1789; Rhode Island, May 29, 1790; and Vermont, January 10, 1791.

In May 1785, a committee of Congress made a report recommending an alteration in the Articles of Confederation, but no action was taken on it, and it was left to the State Legislatures to proceed in the matter. In January 1786, the Legislature of Virginia passed a resolution providing for the appointment of five commissioners, who, or any three of them, should meet such commissioners as might be appointed in the other States of the Union, at a time and place to be agreed upon, to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations may be necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony; and to report to the several States such an act, relative to this great object, as, when ratified by them, will enable the United States in Congress effectually to provide for the same. The Virginia commissioners, after some correspondence, fixed the first Monday in September as the time, and the city of Annapolis as the place for the meeting, but only four other States were represented, viz: Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; the commissioners appointed by Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Rhode Island failed to attend. Under the circumstances of so partial a representation, the commissioners present agreed upon a report, (drawn by Mr. Hamilton, of New York,) expressing their unanimous conviction that it might essentially tend to advance the interests of the Union if the States by which they were respectively delegated would concur, and use their endeavors to procure the concurrence of the other States, in the appointment of commissioners to meet at Philadelphia on the Second Monday of May following, to take into consideration the situation of the United States; to devise such further provisions as should appear to them necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and to report such an act for that purpose to the United States in Congress assembled as, when agreed to by them and afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State, would effectually provide for the same.

Congress, on the 21st of February, 1787, adopted a resolution in favor of a convention, and the Legislatures of those States which had not already done so (with the exception of Rhode Island) promptly appointed delegates. On the 25th of May, seven States having convened, George Washington, of Virginia, was unanimously elected President, and the consideration of the proposed constitution was commenced. On the 17th of September, 1787, the Constitution as engrossed and agreed upon was signed by all the members present, except Mr. Gerry of Massachusetts, and Messrs. Mason and Randolph, of Virginia. The president of the convention transmitted it to Congress, with a resolution stating how the proposed Federal Government should be put in operation, and an explanatory letter. Congress, on the 28th of September, 1787, directed the Constitution so framed, with the resolutions and letter concerning the same, to "be transmitted to the several Legislatures in order to be submitted to a convention of delegates chosen in each State by the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the convention."

On the 4th of March, 1789, the day which had been fixed for commencing the operations of Government under the new Constitution, it had been ratified by the conventions chosen in each State to consider it, as follows: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788; Virginia, June 25, 1788; and New York, July 26, 1788.

The President informed Congress, on the 28th of January, 1790, that North Carolina had ratified the Constitution November 21, 1789; and he informed Congress on the 1st of June, 1790, that Rhode Island had ratified the Constitution May 29, 1790. Vermont, in convention, ratified the Constitution January 10, 1791, and was, by an act of Congress approved February 18, 1791, "received and admitted into this Union as a new and entire member of the United States."

Note 2: The part of this Clause relating to the mode of apportionment of representatives among the several States has been affected by Section 2 of amendment XIV, and as to taxes on incomes without apportionment by amendment XVI.

Note 3: This Clause has been affected by Clause 1 of amendment XVII.

Note 4: This Clause has been affected by Clause 2 of amendment XVIII.

Note 5: This Clause has been affected by amendment XX.

Note 6: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXVII.

Note 7: This Clause has been affected by amendment XVI.

Note 8: This Clause has been superseded by amendment XII.

Note 9: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXV.

Note 10: This Clause has been affected by amendment XI.

Note 11: This Clause has been affected by amendment XIII.

Note 12: The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States (and two others, one of which failed of ratification and the other which later became the 27th amendment) were proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the First Congress on September 25, 1789. The first ten amendments were ratified by the following States, and the notifications of ratification by the Governors thereof were successively communicated by the President to Congress: New Jersey, November 20, 1789; Maryland, December 19, 1789; North Carolina, December 22, 1789; South Carolina, January 19, 1790; New Hampshire, January 25, 1790; Delaware, January 28, 1790; New York, February 24, 1790; Pennsylvania, March 10, 1790; Rhode Island, June 7, 1790; Vermont, November 3, 1791; and Virginia, December 15, 1791.

Ratification was completed on December 15, 1791.

The amendments were subsequently ratified by the legislatures of Massachusetts, March 2, 1939; Georgia, March 18, 1939; and Connecticut, April 19, 1939.

Note 13: Only the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th articles of amendment had numbers assigned to them at the time of ratification.

Note 14: This sentence has been superseded by section 3 of amendment XX.

Note 15: See amendment XIX and section 1 of amendment XXVI.

Note 16: Repealed by section 1 of amendment XXI.

 

Amendments to the Constitution

ARTICLES IN ADDITION TO, AND AMENDMENTS OF, THE

Amendments to the Constitution[PW54] 

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PROPOSED BY CONGRESS, AND RATIFIED BY THE LEGISLATURES OF THE SEVERAL STATES, PURSUANT TO THE FIFTH ARTICLE OF THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION (See Note 12)

Article [I.] [PW55] (See Note 13)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;[PW56]  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 grievances. [PW57] 

Article [II.]

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[PW58] .

Article [III.]

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.

Article [IV.]

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, [PW59] [AU60] supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article [V.]

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 offence 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[PW61] ; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. [PW62] 

Article [VI.]

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.

Article [VII.]

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 re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Article [VIII.]

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. [PW63] [AU64] [AU65] 

Article [IX.]

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article [X.]

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[PW66] .

[Article XI.]

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[PW67] .

Proposal and Ratification

The eleventh amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Third Congress, on the 4th of March 1794; and was declared in a message from the President to Congress, dated the 8th of January, 1798, to have been ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States. The dates of ratification were: New York, March 27, 1794; Rhode Island, March 31, 1794; Connecticut, May 8, 1794; New Hampshire, June 16, 1794; Massachusetts, June 26, 1794; Vermont, between October 9, 1794 and November 9, 1794; Virginia, November 18, 1794; Georgia, November 29, 1794; Kentucky, December 7, 1794; Maryland, December 26, 1794; Delaware, January 23, 1795; North Carolina, February 7, 1795.

Ratification was completed on February 7, 1795.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by South Carolina on December 4, 1797. New Jersey and Pennsylvania did not take action on the amendment.

[Article XII.]

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 President. (See Note 14)--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.

Proposal and Ratification The twelfth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Eighth Congress, on the 9th of December, 1803, in lieu of the original third paragraph of the first section of the second article; and was declared in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 25th of September, 1804, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 13 of the 17 States. The dates of ratification were: North Carolina, December 21, 1803; Maryland, December 24, 1803; Kentucky, December 27, 1803; Ohio, December 30, 1803; Pennsylvania, January 5, 1804; Vermont, January 30, 1804; Virginia, February 3, 1804; New York, February 10, 1804; New Jersey, February 22, 1804; Rhode Island, March 12, 1804; South Carolina, May 15, 1804; Georgia, May 19, 1804; New Hampshire, June 15, 1804.

Ratification was completed on June 15, 1804.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Tennessee, July 27, 1804.

The amendment was rejected by Delaware, January 18, 1804; Massachusetts, February 3, 1804; Connecticut, at its session begun May 10, 1804.

Article XIII.

Section 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[BU68] .

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

Proposal and Ratification

The thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Thirty-eighth Congress, on the 31st day of January, 1865, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 18th of December, 1865, to have been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-seven of the thirty-six States. The dates of ratification were: Illinois, February 1, 1865; Rhode Island, February 2, 1865; Michigan, February 2, 1865; Maryland, February 3, 1865; New York, February 3, 1865; Pennsylvania, February 3, 1865; West Virginia, February 3, 1865; Missouri, February 6, 1865; Maine, February 7, 1865; Kansas, February 7, 1865; Massachusetts, February 7, 1865; Virginia, February 9, 1865; Ohio, February 10, 1865; Indiana, February 13, 1865; Nevada, February 16, 1865; Louisiana, February 17, 1865; Minnesota, February 23, 1865; Wisconsin, February 24, 1865; Vermont, March 9, 1865; Tennessee, April 7, 1865; Arkansas, April 14, 1865; Connecticut, May 4, 1865; New Hampshire, July 1, 1865; South Carolina, November 13, 1865; Alabama, December 2, 1865; North Carolina, December 4, 1865; Georgia, December 6, 1865.

Ratification was completed on December 6, 1865.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Oregon, December 8, 1865; California, December 19, 1865; Florida, December 28, 1865 (Florida again ratified on June 9, 1868, upon its adoption of a new constitution); Iowa, January 15, 1866; New Jersey, January 23, 1866 (after having rejected the amendment on March 16, 1865); Texas, February 18, 1870; Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected the amendment on February 8, 1865); Kentucky, March 18, 1976 (after having rejected it on February 24, 1865).

The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Mississippi, December 4, 1865.

Article XIV.

Section 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. [PW69] 

Section 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,(See Note 15) 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.

Section 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.

Section 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.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Proposal and Ratification

The fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Thirty-ninth Congress, on the 13th of June, 1866. It was declared, in a certificate of the Secretary of State dated July 28, 1868 to have been ratified by the legislatures of 28 of the 37 States. The dates of ratification were: Connecticut, June 25, 1866; New Hampshire, July 6, 1866; Tennessee, July 19, 1866; New Jersey, September 11, 1866 (subsequently the legislature rescinded its ratification, and on March 24, 1868, readopted its resolution of rescission over the Governor's veto, and on Nov. 12, 1980, expressed support for the amendment); Oregon, September 19, 1866 (and rescinded its ratification on October 15, 1868); Vermont, October 30, 1866; Ohio, January 4, 1867 (and rescinded its ratification on January 15, 1868); New York, January 10, 1867; Kansas, January 11, 1867; Illinois, January 15, 1867; West Virginia, January 16, 1867; Michigan, January 16, 1867; Minnesota, January 16, 1867; Maine, January 19, 1867; Nevada, January 22, 1867; Indiana, January 23, 1867; Missouri, January 25, 1867; Rhode Island, February 7, 1867; Wisconsin, February 7, 1867; Pennsylvania, February 12, 1867; Massachusetts, March 20, 1867; Nebraska, June 15, 1867; Iowa, March 16, 1868; Arkansas, April 6, 1868; Florida, June 9, 1868; North Carolina, July 4, 1868 (after having rejected it on December 14, 1866); Louisiana, July 9, 1868 (after having rejected it on February 6, 1867); South Carolina, July 9, 1868 (after having rejected it on December 20, 1866).

Ratification was completed on July 9, 1868.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Alabama, July 13, 1868; Georgia, July 21, 1868 (after having rejected it on November 9, 1866); Virginia, October 8, 1869 (after having rejected it on January 9, 1867); Mississippi, January 17, 1870; Texas, February 18, 1870 (after having rejected it on October 27, 1866); Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected it on February 8, 1867); Maryland, April 4, 1959 (after having rejected it on March 23, 1867); California, May 6, 1959; Kentucky, March 18, 1976 (after having rejected it on January 8, 1867).

Article 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[PW70] .

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

Proposal and Ratification

The fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Fortieth Congress, on the 26th of February, 1869, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated March 30, 1870, to have been ratified by the legislatures of twenty-nine of the thirty-seven States. The dates of ratification were: Nevada, March 1, 1869; West Virginia, March 3, 1869; Illinois, March 5, 1869; Louisiana, March 5, 1869; North Carolina, March 5, 1869; Michigan, March 8, 1869; Wisconsin, March 9, 1869; Maine, March 11, 1869; Massachusetts, March 12, 1869; Arkansas, March 15, 1869; South Carolina, March 15, 1869; Pennsylvania, March 25, 1869; New York, April 14, 1869 (and the legislature of the same State passed a resolution January 5, 1870, to withdraw its consent to it, which action it rescinded on March 30, 1970); Indiana, May 14, 1869; Connecticut, May 19, 1869; Florida, June 14, 1869; New Hampshire, July 1, 1869; Virginia, October 8, 1869; Vermont, October 20, 1869; Missouri, January 7, 1870; Minnesota, January 13, 1870; Mississippi, January 17, 1870; Rhode Island, January 18, 1870; Kansas, January 19, 1870; Ohio, January 27, 1870 (after having rejected it on April 30, 1869); Georgia, February 2, 1870; Iowa, February 3, 1870.

Ratification was completed on February 3, 1870, unless the withdrawal of ratification by New York was effective; in which event ratification was completed on February 17, 1870, when Nebraska ratified.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Texas, February 18, 1870; New Jersey, February 15, 1871 (after having rejected it on February 7, 1870); Delaware, February 12, 1901 (after having rejected it on March 18, 1869); Oregon, February 24, 1959; California, April 3, 1962 (after having rejected it on January 28, 1870); Kentucky, March 18, 1976 (after having rejected it on March 12, 1869).

The amendment was approved by the Governor of Maryland, May 7, 1973; Maryland having previously rejected it on February 26, 1870.

The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Tennessee, November 16, 1869.

Article XVI.

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. [AU71] 

Proposal and Ratification

The sixteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-first Congress on the 12th of July, 1909, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 25th of February, 1913, to have been ratified by 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Alabama, August 10, 1909; Kentucky, February 8, 1910; South Carolina, February 19, 1910; Illinois, March 1, 1910; Mississippi, March 7, 1910; Oklahoma, March 10, 1910; Maryland, April 8, 1910; Georgia, August 3, 1910; Texas, August 16, 1910; Ohio, January 19, 1911; Idaho, January 20, 1911; Oregon, January 23, 1911; Washington, January 26, 1911; Montana, January 30, 1911; Indiana, January 30, 1911; California, January 31, 1911; Nevada, January 31, 1911; South Dakota, February 3, 1911; Nebraska, February 9, 1911; North Carolina, February 11, 1911; Colorado, February 15, 1911; North Dakota, February 17, 1911; Kansas, February 18, 1911; Michigan, February 23, 1911; Iowa, February 24, 1911; Missouri, March 16, 1911; Maine, March 31, 1911; Tennessee, April 7, 1911; Arkansas, April 22, 1911 (after having rejected it earlier); Wisconsin, May 26, 1911; New York, July 12, 1911; Arizona, April 6, 1912; Minnesota, June 11, 1912; Louisiana, June 28, 1912; West Virginia, January 31, 1913; New Mexico, February 3, 1913.

Ratification was completed on February 3, 1913.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Massachusetts, March 4, 1913; New Hampshire, March 7, 1913 (after having rejected it on March 2, 1911).

The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah.

[Article XVII.]

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. [PW72] 

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.

Proposal and Ratification

The seventeenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-second Congress on the 13th of May, 1912, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 31st of May, 1913, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Massachusetts, May 22, 1912; Arizona, June 3, 1912; Minnesota, June 10, 1912; New York, January 15, 1913; Kansas, January 17, 1913; Oregon, January 23, 1913; North Carolina, January 25, 1913; California, January 28, 1913; Michigan, January 28, 1913; Iowa, January 30, 1913; Montana, January 30, 1913; Idaho, January 31, 1913; West Virginia, February 4, 1913; Colorado, February 5, 1913; Nevada, February 6, 1913; Texas, February 7, 1913; Washington, February 7, 1913; Wyoming, February 8, 1913; Arkansas, February 11, 1913; Maine, February 11, 1913; Illinois, February 13, 1913; North Dakota, February 14, 1913; Wisconsin, February 18, 1913; Indiana, February 19, 1913; New Hampshire, February 19, 1913; Vermont, February 19, 1913; South Dakota, February 19, 1913; Oklahoma, February 24, 1913; Ohio, February 25, 1913; Missouri, March 7, 1913; New Mexico, March 13, 1913; Nebraska, March 14, 1913; New Jersey, March 17, 1913; Tennessee, April 1, 1913; Pennsylvania, April 2, 1913; Connecticut, April 8, 1913.

Ratification was completed on April 8, 1913.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Louisiana, June 11, 1914.

The amendment was rejected by Utah (and not subsequently ratified) on February 26, 1913.

Article [XVIII].(See Note 16)

Section 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.

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

Section. 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.

Proposal and Ratification

The eighteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-fifth Congress, on the 18th of December, 1917, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 29th of January, 1919, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Mississippi, January 8, 1918; Virginia, January 11, 1918; Kentucky, January 14, 1918; North Dakota, January 25, 1918; South Carolina, January 29, 1918; Maryland, February 13, 1918; Montana, February 19, 1918; Texas, March 4, 1918; Delaware, March 18, 1918; South Dakota, March 20, 1918; Massachusetts, April 2, 1918; Arizona, May 24, 1918; Georgia, June 26, 1918; Louisiana, August 3, 1918; Florida, December 3, 1918; Michigan, January 2, 1919; Ohio, January 7, 1919; Oklahoma, January 7, 1919; Idaho, January 8, 1919; Maine, January 8, 1919; West Virginia, January 9, 1919; California, January 13, 1919; Tennessee, January 13, 1919; Washington, January 13, 1919; Arkansas, January 14, 1919; Kansas, January 14, 1919; Alabama, January 15, 1919; Colorado, January 15, 1919; Iowa, January 15, 1919; New Hampshire, January 15, 1919; Oregon, January 15, 1919; Nebraska, January 16, 1919; North Carolina, January 16, 1919; Utah, January 16, 1919; Missouri, January 16, 1919; Wyoming, January 16, 1919.

Ratification was completed on January 16, 1919. See Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368, 376 (1921).

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Minnesota on January 17, 1919; Wisconsin, January 17, 1919; New Mexico, January 20, 1919; Nevada, January 21, 1919; New York, January 29, 1919; Vermont, January 29, 1919; Pennsylvania, February 25, 1919; Connecticut, May 6, 1919; and New Jersey, March 9, 1922.

The amendment was rejected (and not subsequently ratified) by Rhode Island.

Article [XIX].

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. [PW73] [AU74] 

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

Proposal and Ratification

The nineteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the Sixty-sixth Congress, on the 4th of June, 1919, and was declared, in a proclamation of the Secretary of State, dated the 26th of August, 1920, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Illinois, June 10, 1919 (and that State readopted its resolution of ratification June 17, 1919); Michigan, June 10, 1919; Wisconsin, June 10, 1919; Kansas, June 16, 1919; New York, June 16, 1919; Ohio, June 16, 1919; Pennsylvania, June 24, 1919; Massachusetts, June 25, 1919; Texas, June 28, 1919; Iowa, July 2, 1919; Missouri, July 3, 1919; Arkansas, July 28, 1919; Montana, August 2, 1919; Nebraska, August 2, 1919; Minnesota, September 8, 1919; New Hampshire, September 10, 1919; Utah, October 2, 1919; California, November 1, 1919; Maine, November 5, 1919; North Dakota, December 1, 1919; South Dakota, December 4, 1919; Colorado, December 15, 1919; Kentucky, January 6, 1920; Rhode Island, January 6, 1920; Oregon, January 13, 1920; Indiana, January 16, 1920; Wyoming, January 27, 1920; Nevada, February 7, 1920; New Jersey, February 9, 1920; Idaho, February 11, 1920; Arizona, February 12, 1920; New Mexico, February 21, 1920; Oklahoma, February 28, 1920; West Virginia, March 10, 1920; Washington, March 22, 1920; Tennessee, August 18, 1920.

Ratification was completed on August 18, 1920.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Connecticut on September 14, 1920 (and that State reaffirmed on September 21, 1920); Vermont, February 8, 1921; Delaware, March 6, 1923 (after having rejected it on June 2, 1920); Maryland, March 29, 1941 (after having rejected it on February 24, 1920, ratification certified on February 25, 1958); Virginia, February 21, 1952 (after having rejected it on February 12, 1920); Alabama, September 8, 1953 (after having rejected it on September 22, 1919); Florida, May 13, 1969; South Carolina, July 1, 1969 (after having rejected it on January 28, 1920, ratification certified on August 22, 1973); Georgia, February 20, 1970 (after having rejected it on July 24, 1919); Louisiana, June 11, 1970 (after having rejected it on July 1, 1920); North Carolina, May 6, 1971; Mississippi, March 22, 1984 (after having rejected it on March 29, 1920).

Article [XX.]

Section 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.

Section. 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.

Section. 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 have qualified.

Section. 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.

Section. 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section. 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.

Proposal and Ratification

The twentieth amendment to the Constitution was proposed to the legislatures of the several states by the Seventy-Second Congress, on the 2d day of March, 1932, and was declared, in a proclamation by the Secretary of State, dated on the 6th day of February, 1933, to have been ratified by the legislatures of 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Virginia, March 4, 1932; New York, March 11, 1932; Mississippi, March 16, 1932; Arkansas, March 17, 1932; Kentucky, March 17, 1932; New Jersey, March 21, 1932; South Carolina, March 25, 1932; Michigan, March 31, 1932; Maine, April 1, 1932; Rhode Island, April 14, 1932; Illinois, April 21, 1932; Louisiana, June 22, 1932; West Virginia, July 30, 1932; Pennsylvania, August 11, 1932; Indiana, August 15, 1932; Texas, September 7, 1932; Alabama, September 13, 1932; California, January 4, 1933; North Carolina, January 5, 1933; North Dakota, January 9, 1933; Minnesota, January 12, 1933; Arizona, January 13, 1933; Montana, January 13, 1933; Nebraska, January 13, 1933; Oklahoma, January 13, 1933; Kansas, January 16, 1933; Oregon, January 16, 1933; Delaware, January 19, 1933; Washington, January 19, 1933; Wyoming, January 19, 1933; Iowa, January 20, 1933; South Dakota, January 20, 1933; Tennessee, January 20, 1933; Idaho, January 21, 1933; New Mexico, January 21, 1933; Georgia, January 23, 1933; Missouri, January 23, 1933; Ohio, January 23, 1933; Utah, January 23, 1933.

Ratification was completed on January 23, 1933.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by Massachusetts on January 24, 1933; Wisconsin, January 24, 1933; Colorado, January 24, 1933; Nevada, January 26, 1933; Connecticut, January 27, 1933; New Hampshire, January 31, 1933; Vermont, February 2, 1933; Maryland, March 24, 1933; Florida, April 26, 1933.

Article [XXI.]

Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 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.

Section 3. This 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.

Proposal and Ratification

The twenty-first amendment to the Constitution was proposed to the several states by the Seventy-Second Congress, on the 20th day of February, 1933, and was declared, in a proclamation by the Secretary of State, dated on the 5th day of December, 1933, to have been ratified by 36 of the 48 States. The dates of ratification were: Michigan, April 10, 1933; Wisconsin, April 25, 1933; Rhode Island, May 8, 1933; Wyoming, May 25, 1933; New Jersey, June 1, 1933; Delaware, June 24, 1933; Indiana, June 26, 1933; Massachusetts, June 26, 1933; New York, June 27, 1933; Illinois, July 10, 1933; Iowa, July

Amendment XXII

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, [PW75] 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.

Section 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 XXIII

Section 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.

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

Amendment XXIV

Section 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.

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 or of 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 who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 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.

Section 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.

[PW76] 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 XXVI

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age[PW77] .

Section 2. The Congress shall have the 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.

NOTES

Note 1: This text of the Constitution follows the engrossed copy signed by Gen. Washington and the deputies from 12 States. The small superior figures preceding the paragraphs designate Clauses, and were not in the original and have no reference to footnotes.

The Constitution was adopted by a convention of the States on September 17, 1787, and was subsequently ratified by the several States, on the following dates: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788.

Ratification was completed on June 21, 1788.

The Constitution was subsequently ratified by Virginia, June 25, 1788; New York, July 26, 1788; North Carolina, November 21, 1789; Rhode Island, May 29, 1790; and Vermont, January 10, 1791.

In May 1785, a committee of Congress made a report recommending an alteration in the Articles of Confederation, but no action was taken on it, and it was left to the State Legislatures to proceed in the matter. In January 1786, the Legislature of Virginia passed a resolution providing for the appointment of five commissioners, who, or any three of them, should meet such commissioners as might be appointed in the other States of the Union, at a time and place to be agreed upon, to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations may be necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony; and to report to the several States such an act, relative to this great object, as, when ratified by them, will enable the United States in Congress effectually to provide for the same. The Virginia commissioners, after some correspondence, fixed the first Monday in September as the time, and the city of Annapolis as the place for the meeting, but only four other States were represented, viz: Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; the commissioners appointed by Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Rhode Island failed to attend. Under the circumstances of so partial a representation, the commissioners present agreed upon a report, (drawn by Mr. Hamilton, of New York,) expressing their unanimous conviction that it might essentially tend to advance the interests of the Union if the States by which they were respectively delegated would concur, and use their endeavors to procure the concurrence of the other States, in the appointment of commissioners to meet at Philadelphia on the Second Monday of May following, to take into consideration the situation of the United States; to devise such further provisions as should appear to them necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and to report such an act for that purpose to the United States in Congress assembled as, when agreed to by them and afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State, would effectually provide for the same.

Congress, on the 21st of February, 1787, adopted a resolution in favor of a convention, and the Legislatures of those States which had not already done so (with the exception of Rhode Island) promptly appointed delegates. On the 25th of May, seven States having convened, George Washington, of Virginia, was unanimously elected President, and the consideration of the proposed constitution was commenced. On the 17th of September, 1787, the Constitution as engrossed and agreed upon was signed by all the members present, except Mr. Gerry of Massachusetts, and Messrs. Mason and Randolph, of Virginia. The president of the convention transmitted it to Congress, with a resolution stating how the proposed Federal Government should be put in operation, and an explanatory letter. Congress, on the 28th of September, 1787, directed the Constitution so framed, with the resolutions and letter concerning the same, to "be transmitted to the several Legislatures in order to be submitted to a convention of delegates chosen in each State by the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the convention."

On the 4th of March, 1789, the day which had been fixed for commencing the operations of Government under the new Constitution, it had been ratified by the conventions chosen in each State to consider it, as follows: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788; Virginia, June 25, 1788; and New York, July 26, 1788.

The President informed Congress, on the 28th of January, 1790, that North Carolina had ratified the Constitution November 21, 1789; and he informed Congress on the 1st of June, 1790, that Rhode Island had ratified the Constitution May 29, 1790. Vermont, in convention, ratified the Constitution January 10, 1791, and was, by an act of Congress approved February 18, 1791, "received and admitted into this Union as a new and entire member of the United States."

Note 2: The part of this Clause relating to the mode of apportionment of representatives among the several States has been affected by Section 2 of amendment XIV, and as to taxes on incomes without apportionment by amendment XVI.

Note 3: This Clause has been affected by Clause 1 of amendment XVII.

Note 4: This Clause has been affected by Clause 2 of amendment XVIII.

Note 5: This Clause has been affected by amendment XX.

Note 6: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXVII.

Note 7: This Clause has been affected by amendment XVI.

Note 8: This Clause has been superseded by amendment XII.

Note 9: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXV.

Note 10: This Clause has been affected by amendment XI.

Note 11: This Clause has been affected by amendment XIII.

Note 12: The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States (and two others, one of which failed of ratification and the other which later became the 27th amendment) were proposed to the legislatures of the several States by the First Congress on September 25, 1789. The first ten amendments were ratified by the following States, and the notifications of ratification by the Governors thereof were successively communicated by the President to Congress: New Jersey, November 20, 1789; Maryland, December 19, 1789; North Carolina, December 22, 1789; South Carolina, January 19, 1790; New Hampshire, January 25, 1790; Delaware, January 28, 1790; New York, February 24, 1790; Pennsylvania, March 10, 1790; Rhode Island, June 7, 1790; Vermont, November 3, 1791; and Virginia, December 15, 1791.

Ratification was completed on December 15, 1791.

The amendments were subsequently ratified by the legislatures of Massachusetts, March 2, 1939; Georgia, March 18, 1939; and Connecticut, April 19, 1939.

Note 13: Only the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th articles of amendment had numbers assigned to them at the time of ratification.

Note 14: This sentence has been superseded by section 3 of amendment XX.

Note 15: See amendment XIX and section 1 of amendment XXVI.

Note 16: Repealed by section 1 of amendment XXI.

This information has been compiled from the U.S. Code. The U.S. Code is published by the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Updated September 20, 2004

 

 

 


 [BU1]The Constitutions of all democratic and free nations copy this preamble in spirit and often in similar language.

 

The French Constitution of 1958: Preamble

The French people solemnly proclaim their attachment to the Rights of Man and   the…common ideal of liberty, equality and fraternity….

 

 

 

 [BU2]Echo: The Act of Settlement of 1701 created parliamentary supremacy in England after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 reduced the Monarchy’s powers. The House of Commons and the House of Lords reflected the principle of Bicameralism which the House of Representatives and the Senate established in the United States Constitution.

Influence:  Constitutions around the world delegate legislative power to parliaments or general assemblies. While democratic reformers often have viewed bicameralism suspiciously because or the  aristocratic roots of second chambers, bicameralism characterizes legislatures throughout the world from Europe to Asia (Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Thiland) ,Africa, the subcontinent, and Australia.  Sweden, Denmark, France, and Germany and Italy are among European countries with bicameral legislatures. In Africa and the Arab world sixteen countries have bicameral legislatures: South Africa, Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Jordan, Lesotho, Liberia, Morocco, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland and Yemen. As in the United States Constitution constitutionalists abroad view second chambers as a stabilizing force. As in the United States Constitution second chambers in other countries have different but overlapping electorates and terms of office

 

 [BU3] Generally in parliamentary governments the national parliament or legislature by law establishes its term. The executive or Prime Minister can dissolve the legislature in parliamentary systems when the majority party or parties fail a vote of confidence.

Examples of constitutionally fixed legislative terms, qualified by provisions for the dissolution of the legislature, include:

The Constitution of Japan:

Article 45:

The term of office of members of the House of Representatives shall be four years. However, the term shall be terminated before the full term is up in case the House of Representatives is dissolved.

The Constitution of South Africa:

Duration of National Assembly ....

49. (1) The National Assembly is elected for a term of five years.

The Constitution of Brazil

Article 44 [Federal Legislative Branch]

(0) The Legislative Authority of the Republic is exercised by the National Congress, which is composed of the House of Representatives and of the Federal Federal Senate.
(1) Each legislature has a duration of four years
.

Note: Articles I-III are the "distributing clauses" of the Constitution, delegating legislative, executive, and judicial powers to Congress, the President, and the Judicial branch respectively. The Constitution buttresses this separation of powers system with checks and balances. World Constitutions, including those such as India, that mix presidential and parliamentary systems often explicitly provide for a separation of powers.

The Constitution of Mexico:

Article 49 - For purposes of its exercise, the Supreme Power of the Federation is divided into Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.

 

 

 

 [BU4]Citizenship and residency requirements are common in constitutions for both the popular branch and the Senate or upper chamber of national legislatures. Far more Constitutions establish an age requirement for their Senators or upper bodies than for their popular representatives chambers.

Yet this is not universally true, as for example in the Australian Constitution, which requires national representatives to be 21 years of age; the Italian Constitution requires representatives to be 25 years of age, a direct copy of the United States Constutiton. The Mexican Constitution requires representatives (Deputies) to be 21 years old.

    

 

 

 [BU5]All federal constitutions copy a variant of proportionality in allocating representatives.

For example:

The Constitution of Australia:

The number of members [of the House of Representatives] chosen in the several States shall be in proportion to the respective numbers of their people,

The Constitution of Poland:

Article 96:

Elections to the [Chamber of Deputies] shall be universal, equal, direct and proportional and shall be conducted by secret ballot.

The Constitution of India:

[T]here shall be allotted to each State a number of seats in the House of the People in such manner that the ratio between that number and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for all States.

The Constitution of Brazil

Article 45 [House Composition]

(0) The House of Representatives is formed by representatives of the people, elected by the proportional system in each State, in each Territory and in the Federal District.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 [PW6]The Indian Constitution requires a reapportionment of the House of the People after each census.

 The Mexican Constitution establishes the requirement of proportionality in its Chamber of Deputies based on the last census:

Article 53 - The territorial demarcation of the three hundred individual electoral districts will be the result of dividing the total population of the country. The distribution of the individual electoral districts among the federated entities will be determined from the count of the last general census of population, except that in no case may a State have less than two deputies by plurality vote.

 

 [AU7]Regular enumerations for fiscal purposes date from the 13th century in Italy, the 15th century in the Ottoman Empire and the 16th century in Spain, but only became common in most of Europe after the mid-18th century, including Norway (1769), France (1774, 1790), England (1801) and Austria (1850).

 [BU8]All Constitutions provide that legislatures elect their Speakers and other officers, and establish their parliamentary procedures. The Speakers of Parliaments are always powerful and in some cases, as in the Tonga, succeed to the presidency upon the death or removal of the President.

 [BU9] Impeachment is a legislative process for the removal of government officials who cannot be removed in any other way at a particular point in time.

Echo: Impeachment is as old as the Greek city states. Impeachment in England dates to the 1376 trial of the London merchant Richard Lyons for fraudulent transactions with royal monies.

 

 [BU10]Separate electoral constituencies characterize bicameral legislatures throughout the world. The 17th amendment, ratified in 1913, provides that the people of each state will choose their Senators, a democratic practice other nations copied.

A common characteristic of bicameral legislatures is to establish longer terms of office for the second chamber analogous to the Senate.

The Mexican Constitution establishes 6-year terms for the Senate and 3-year terms for the Chamber of Deputies.

The Constitution of Japan, closely modeled on the United States, provides :

Article 45:

The term of office of members of the House of Representatives shall be four years. However, the term shall be terminated before the full term is up in case the House of Representatives is dissolved.

Article 46:

The term of office of members of the House of Councillors shall be six years, and election for half the members shall take place every three years 

 [BU11]  Some countries with bicameral legislatures have copied this provision for staggered elections in second chambers. For example, the Constitution of India, adopted in 1949, has a bicameral legislature with a House of the People and a Council of States. The President of India nominates 12 persons to the Council of States after which the state legislative assemblies choose the remaining 238 persons in staggered elections for one-third of the seats every two years.

 [MSOffice12]Age and residency requirements for legislators are common in most Constitutions. Some seem to have directly copied the text of the United States Constitution especially with regard to age.

Canadian Constitution Act (1867) establishes a Senate and a House of Commons. A Senator must be at least 30 years of age and a natural born subject of the Queen of England or of a Canadian Province, and must reside in the Province or electoral district from which he is elected. Senators must also meet property and financial requirement set for explicitly in the Constitution. Other examples of age requirements for senators are in the constitutions of:

Italy (45 years); 

 [BU13]

Echo: Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper 65: “In Great Britain it is the province of the House of Commons to prefer the impeachment, and of the House of Lords to decide upon it. Several of the State constitutions have followed the example. As well the latter, as the former, seem to have regarded the practice of impeachments as a bridle in the hands of the legislative body upon the executive servants of the government.” 

Influence : Under the German Constitution  the Bundestag  can impeach the President for willfully violating German law. Once impeached,  the Federal Constitutional Court decides whether to remove him from office.

 

Influence: World Constitutions also have varied provisions for the impeachment of elected and appointive offices. Examples are:

Japan:

Article 64:

The Diet shall set up an impeachment court from among the members of both Houses for the purposes of trying those judges against whom removal proceedings have been instituted. 2) Matters relating to impeachment shall be provided for by law.

Article 78:

Judges shall not be removed except by public impeachment unless judicially declared mentally or physically incompetent to perform official duties. No disciplinary action against judges shall be administered by any executive organ or agency.

The Constitution of Brazil

 

Section III House of Representatives

Article 51 [Exclusive Autority]
It is exclusively incumbent upon the House of Representatives:
I. to authorize, by two thirds of its members, the institution of legal action against the President and Vice President of the Republic and the Ministers of State;

Section VI Federal Senate

Article 52 [Exclusive Powers]

(0) It is incumbent exclusively upon the Federal Senate:
I. to sue and try the President and Vice President of the Republic for criminal malversion and the Ministers of State for crimes of the same nature connected therewith;
II. to sue and try the Justices of the Federal Supreme Court, the Attorney General of the Republic and the Advocate General of the Republic for criminal malversion;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 [MSOffice14]Examples of Constitutions that require their legislatures to meet at least once a year are those of Australia, Canada, France, Mexico and South Africa This requirement with time variations is in all democratic Constitutions.

 [AU15]The English Parliament tried to oblige Charles I to call a Parliament at least every three years by the Triennial Act (1641), which was renewed in 1694 and modified to a meeting every seven years by the Septennial Act of 1716

 [MSOffice16]

Echo: A power of all democratically elected legislatures since the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in England established Parliamentary supremacy.

 [BU17]

 

Echo: The English Bill of Rights (1689) proclaimed: “That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;

In England and the United States a legislator is immune from civil liability for statements made during legislative debate. He is also immune from criminal arrest, although he is subject to legal action for crime. French law and practice prohibits the arrest of a member of the legislature during a session without authorization by his chamber. This practice prevails in many European and other nations including, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan and South Korea).

The South Korean Constitution:

Article 45 [Indemnity]
No member of the National Assembly can be held responsible outside the National Assembly for opinions officially expressed or votes cast in the Assembly.

 [AU18]Charles I’s attempt to arrest his critics in Parliament (January 1642) sparked the English Civil War of 1642-9

 [MSOffice19]Echo: The English Petition of Right (1628):

“The Petition exhibited to his Majesty by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, concerning divers Rights and Liberties of the Subjects,…

X. They do therefore humbly pray your most excellent Majesty, that no man hereafter be compelled to make or yield any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without common consent by act of parliament;”

 

The cry of the colonists against the English Parliament and King George III was “No taxation without representation.”

 

Influence: Most democratic constitutions copy this provision, giving the power to originate tax bills to the most directly representative body of the legislature.

The Canadian constitution provides for initial consideration of revenue bills by the House of Commons after the Governor General has submitted them. The constitutions of Brazil, Chile, and

France give their Chambers of Deputies the power to originate revenue bills. Australia forbids its Senate to originate or amend revenue legislation. The Constitution of India requires revenue legislation to originate in its lower or popular house, the Lok Sabha.

 

 [BU20] Variations of this “presentment clause” in combination with a presidential veto power characterize presidential and mixed presidential-parliamentary governments throughout the world, including: India, Nigeria (1999) Honduras I  (1982), El Salvador(1983), Liberia (1984), Mexico(1917), Guatemala (1985), Ireland, Turkey, the Philippines (1987), and Singapore. Many South American constitutions copy this clause.

The French Constitution gives the president the power to ask parliament to reconsider a bill.

 [BU21]The Mexican Constitution:

Article 71

b) All bills will be considered approved by the Executive Power if observations about them have not been returned to the Chamber of their origin, within ten working days; unless, its terms having expired, the Congress has adjourned or suspended its sessions, in which case the return will be made on the first working day in which the Congress has reassembled.

c) A bill of law or decree rejected in full or in part by the Executive will be returned with its observations to the Chamber of its origin. It will be discussed again, and if it is confirmed by two thirds of the total number of votes, it will pass to the other Chamber for its review. If it is approved there by the same vote of two thirds, the bill will become law or decree, and will return to the Executive for its promulgation.

 

 [BU22]See Comment BU 15

 [BU23]

Echo: The Constitution is our social contract, our Lockean contract in which the people consent to the form and powers of government. An important part of the contract is the enumeration of legislative powers which sets the scope and limits of government authority over the people.

Influence: Constitutions in presidential systems and federal systems especially, such as Mexico, use the United States Constitution as a model in enumerating the powers and limits of the central government.

 

 [PW24]Echo: The English Bill of Rights (1689) proclaimed

“That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal; ”

 [AU25]This clause is the basis for a strong congressional role in Indian Affairs, and was reinforced by the Indian Trade and Intercourse Acts of 1790-1834.  Similarly, section 91, class 24 of the Canadian Constitution Act (1867) provides that “the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters coming within the Classes of … Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians."

 

 [BU26]The Mexican Constitution:

Section III

Of the Powers of the Congress

Article 73 - The Congress has the power….

IX. To regulate interstate commerce by establishing restrictions on it….

 [PW27]All Constitutions grant similar powers to national governments, expressly as here or implied in parliamentary supremacy.

The Constitution of Brazil:

Article 49 [Exclusive Functions]
It is exclusively incumbent upon Congress:

II. to authorize the President of the Republic to declare war, to make peace….

 [BU28]The Mexican Constitution:

Section III

Of the Powers of the Congress

Article 73 - The Congress has the power….

XXX. To make all the laws necessary to put into effect the previous powers and all the others given by this Constitution to the powers of the Union.

 [AU29]By the time of the Constitutional Convention, slavery had been abolished in Vermont (1777), Pennsylvania and Massachusetts (1780), and Connecticut and Rhode Island (1784).  This clause was thus a compromise intended to protect the import of African slaves into the United States.  England committed itself to interdicting the international slave trade in 1807, and abolished slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833.

 [BU30]

Echo: The English common law writ of habeas corpus predates Magna Charta in 1215 which implicitly recognized the privilege in its statement that the King must adhere to the law of the land. It was a prerogative writ of the King and his courts to bring prisoners before the court to answer charges. The power to issue the writ is discretionary and it can be withheld if compelling circumstances, such as national security, require it.

Former British commonwealth countries in their constitutions and legal customs recognize the writ of habeas corpus as a fundamental right. For example, the Constitution of India in Article 22 provides:

Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be

produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty-four

hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from

the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such person

shall be detained in custody.

 

 [AU31]ADDITION:  The right of habeas corpus was formalized in England by the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).

In the United States the President and Congress have only rarely invoked the suspension clause of our Constitution to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. President Lincoln unilaterally ordered suspension of the writ during the Civil War, but the Supreme Court in Ex Parte Merryman (1861) and Ex Parte Milligan ( 1866) limited the conditions under which the President can suspend the writ. The Patriot Act of 2001, drawing upon the Ex Parte Quirin (1942) precedent, suspends the writ for persons designated as enemy combatants.

 [BU32]

Echo: First used in 1321 against the English Earl of Winchester and the Earl of Gloucester, the bill of attainder is a legislative act convicting persons or groups of a crime, treason or a felony, without a trial. Attainder led to imprisonment, executions, and seizure of the property of the convicted. In English and American colonial history colonial legislatures used attainder against colonists suspected of disloyalty to the Crown.

 [AU33]ADDITION:  The resort to bills of attainder virtually replaced impeachment in England between 1459 and 1621

 [BU34]

Echo: A legislative act that makes conduct criminal that was not criminal before the passage of the law. Both ex post facto laws and bills of attainder were used in English history and later in the American colonies to punish persons because of their political beliefs.

 [BU35]

Although titles of nobility are common in countries that were once monarchies, a few constitutions copy the United States Constitution’s prohibition of such titles:

The Indian Constitution:

18. Abolition of titles.- (1) No title, not being a military or

academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State.

(2) No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State.

The Mexican Constitution:

Article 12 - Titles of nobility, or prerogatives and hereditary honors shall not be conferred in the United Mexican States, nor will any of these granted by any other country be recognized.

The Constitution of Ireland:

Article 40.1

The state may not confer titles of nobility and no citizen may accept such a title without the permission of the government.

The French Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789 by proclaiming all citizens were equal before the law ended the legal status of nobility but did not prevent Napoleon from restoring titles of nobility in 1808. Successive French Monarchs in the 19th century retained titles of nobility which later republican regimes permitted by their silence on the subject.

European countries and Britain retain titles of nobility although not the traditional legal status of nobilitiy.

 

 [BU36] Federal Constitutions which delegate powers to a national government and reserve residual powers to states, always give the national government exclusive authority over foreign policy and commerce.

The Constitution of Brazil

Article 49 [Exclusive Functions]
It is exclusively incumbent upon [the national] Congress:
I. to resolve conclusively on international acts, agreements, or treaties which involve charges or commitments against the national patrimony;
II. to authorize the President of the Republic to declare war, to make peace

 [BU37]The Mexican Constitution

Article 14 - No law shall have retroactive effect to the detriment of anyone. Nobody may be deprived of life, liberty, or of his land, possessions or rights, except by means of judicial proceedings before previously established courts that comply with essential formalities of procedure, and conforming to laws made previously before the case.

The Brazil Constitution:

Article 5, sections 39-40:

[T]here is no crime without a previous law which defines it, nor is there any punishment with a previous legal imposition; the penal law shall not be retroactive, except to the benefit of the defendant.

The South African Constitution:

35.(3) Every accused person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right... not to be convicted for an act or omission that was not an offence under either national or international law at the time it was committed or omitted.

;

 

 

 [PW38]Every Constitution in the world sets a presidential term limit, usually from four to six years. Constitutions also limit the number of terms Presidents may serve.

See Amendment XXII below.

 [PW39]Constitutions throughout the world have citizenship,  residency, and age requirements for Presidents.

The Constitution of Mexico:

Article 82 - To be President requires:

I. To be a Mexican citizen by birth, in full exercise of his or her rights, and the son or daughter of Mexicans by birth;

II. To be 35 years of age as of the time of the election.

III. To have resided in the country during all the year before election day. Absence from the country for up to 30 days does not interrupt residency….

The Constitution of Brazil:

Article IV

VI. the minimum age of:
a) thirty five years for President and Vice President of the Republic

 

 [PW40]

The constitutions of all democratic presidential systems copy the Commander-in-Chief provision of Article II which established civilian control of the military. For example:

The Constitution of Brazil:

Chapter II Armed Forces

Article 142 [The Armed Forces, Defence]

(0) The Armed Forces, made up of the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force, are permanent and regular national institutions, organized on the basis of hierarchy and discipline, under the supreme authority of the President of the Republic
.

The Constitution of South Africa

Command of defence force

202. (1) The President as head of the national executive is Commander-in- Chief of the defence force

 

Other Constitutions that  make the President Command-in-Chief of the armed forces are Turkey, India, France, Italy, Mexico, which together represent the universality of this provision in world constitutions.

 

 

 [PW41]All democratic constitutions make the President the head of the executive branch of the government with the exception of parliamentary governments in which the Prime Minister has this power.

 [PW42]The Constitution of Brazil:

Section VI Federal Senate

Article 52 [Exclusive Powers]

It is incumbent exclusively upon the Federal Senate:

III. to give its prior approval, by secret ballot, after public hearing, on the selection of:
a) judges, in the cases established in this Constitution;
b) Justices of the Audit Tribunal of the Union appointed by the President of the Republic;
c) Governor of a Territory;
d) president and directors of the Central Bank;
e) Attorney General of the Republic;
f) holders of other offices as determined by the law;
IV. to give its prior approval, by secret ballot, after closed hearing, on the selection of the heads of permanent diplomatic missions;

 [AU43]ADDITIONS (i) Note that this article does not explicitly authorize judicial review, a power first claimed by the Supreme Court in 1803.  (ii) Although provision is made for judicial review in the Swedish and Japanese constitutions, this power has never been exercised in Sweden, and only rarely in Japan.  By contrast, although the Israeli constitution does not provide for judicial review, the Israeli Supreme Court has taken a very prominent role in government policy.

 [BU44]The Constitutions of Germany (1949) and Japan (1946), adopted after World War II, copied Article III and Chief Justice John Marshall’s interpretation of it in Marbury v. Madison (1803) by creating a Supreme Court with the power of judicial review.

Special high Courts with the exclusive power of judicial review exist in Austria (1920), France (1958), Italy (1948), Portugal, Spain, and Turkey. In these countries only the Supreme tribunal has the power to review the constitutionality of legislation. Countries that have copied the United States system in which all federal courts have the power of judicial review subject to appeal to the Supreme Court include:  Canada (1867), Australia (1900), Mexico (1917), Ireland (1937), Brazil (1946), Japan (1946), India (1950), Argentina (1949, Greece (1975).

The Indian Constitution copies the Article III power of Congress to create additional courts:

247. Power of Parliament to provide for the establishment of certain

additional courts.-Notwithstanding anything in this Chapter, Parliament may by law provide for the establishment of any additional courts for the better administration of laws made by Parliament or of any existing laws with respect to a matter enumerated in the UnionList.

 

 

 

 

 [PW45] Constitutions recognize and may define as here original and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Courts they create.

The Constitution of Brazil:

Article 102 [Functions, Constitutional Court]
(0) The Federal Supreme Court is responsible, mainly, for safeguarding the Constitution and it is incumbent upon it:
I. to process and adjudicate, originally:
a) direct actions of unconstitutionality of a federal or state law or normative act, and declaratory actions of constitutionality of a federal law or normative act;
b) in common criminal offenses, the President of the Republic, the Vice President, the members of Congress, its own Justices and the Attorney General of the Republic;
c) in common criminal offenses and criminal malversion, the Ministers of State,....

 [PW46]Echo: The right to jury trial in criminal cases dates to Magna Charta (1215):

39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

The English Bill of Rights (1689)

An Act of Parliament proclaimed:

That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders.

 

 [PW47]Echo:

English common law and the practice of the Crown allowed conviction for treason without trial and on the testimony of one witness to a treasonable conspiracy without an overt act.

 [AU48]The English common law allowed for conviction for treason on the basis of a single witness, and a 1352 statute of Edward III defined treason not merely as ‘adhering to the king’s enemies,’ but even as ‘compassing or imagining’ the king’s death.  A person could thus be convicted of a treasonable conspiracy or even a treasonable state of mind without any overt act, as in the 1603 trial of Sir Walter Raleigh.

 [PW49]Echo: A major complaint of the nobles against the  King of England was the use of Bills of Attainder to seize the property not only of the “attainted” person but of his heirs as well.

 [AU50]In English law, those guilty of felony or treason forfeited their property, while their spouses and heirs suffered ‘corruption of blood,’ i.e. they were debarring from all inheritance from any relative.  Corruption of blood for all felonies save murder was abolished in England only in 1814.  In the American colonies forfeiture for treason was the law, but was rarely applied.  Corruption of blood and most forfeitures had been abolished in Massachusetts and Connecticut by 1660, and in most of the remaining colonies by the mid-18th century.

 [PW51] As here “rigid” world constitutions require a special procedure for their amendment beyond a simple legislative act.

The Constitution of Mexico:

Of the Changes to the Constitution

Article 135 - The present Constitution may be added to, or changed. For the additions or changes to become part of it, it is required that the Congress of the Union, by vote of two thirds of the members present, agrees to the changes or additions, and these will be approved by the majority of the legislatures of the states.

 

Statutes can amend the constitutions of Brazil, India, Germany, France, and the “unwritten” British constitution and the constitutions of many other countries.

In Switzerland a national referendum is held to vote on constitutional amendments, proposed by the legislature or by a popular petition of 100,000 citizens. A simple majority vote then amends the constitution.

 

 [PW52]The Constitution of India:

251. Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament under articles 249 and 250 [granting Parliament extraordinary powers over the states under certain conditions] and laws made by the Legislatures of States.- Nothing in articles 249 and 250 shall restrict the power of the Legislature of a State to make any law which under this Constitution it has power to

make, but if any provision of a law made by the Legislature of a State

is repugnant to any provision of a law made by Parliament which

Parliament has under either of the said articles power to make, the

law made by Parliament, whether passed before or after the law made by the Legislature of the State, shall prevail, and the law made by the

Legislature of the State shall to the extent of the repugnancy, but so

long only as the law made by Parliament continues to have effect, be inoperative.

 

 

 [AU53]The English Test Act (1673) barred all Catholics and non-Anglican Protestants from office.  It was not repealed until 1828.

 [PW54] The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, lists freedoms and rights that world constitutions have copied, usually with many additions. India and South Africa have particularly comprehensive Bills of Rights.

 [PW55]A major feature of most modern post-colonial constitutions if an extensive listing of the civil rights and liberties of citizens. This listing goes far beyond our Bill of Rights but the United States experience and constitutional law has shaped most foreign constitutional provisions in every case. For example:

The Constitution of India (1947) closely copied the letter and spirit of the United States Constitution.

Article 19 Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc.

(1) All citizens shall have the right -
(a) to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) to form associations or unions;

(See also Note 41 below.)

 [PW56]France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, India, South Africa, and South Korea represent an extensive list of constitutions that protect freedom of religion.

A typical example is the Constitution of Italy:

Article 19 [Freedom of Religion]
Everyone is entitled to freely profess religious beliefs in any form, individually or with others, to promote them, and to celebrate rites in public or in private, provided they are not offensive to public morality.

Article 20 [Religious Associations]
For associations or institutions, their religious character or religious or confessional aims do not justify special limitations or fiscal burdens regarding their establishment, legal capacity, or activities.

 

 [PW57]Echo: The English Bill of Rights (1689) proclaimed “That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;

Influence: Many world constitutions copy this provision for the right to petition.

The Constitution of Brazil:

XXXIV. all persons are ensured, without the payment of fees:
(a) the right the petition the public authorities in defending
rights or against illegal acts or abuse of power;

The Mexican Constitution states it is a duty of citizens: “To exercise the right of petition in all classes of affairs.”

The South African Constitution:

17. Assembly, demonstration, picket and petition

Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions

 

 [PW58]Echo: The English Bill of Rights (1689) proclaimed

That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;

 

 [PW59]An example of the many world Constitutions that copy this provision is The German Constitution:

Article 13 [Inviolability of the home]

(1) The home is inviolable.

(2) Searches may be ordered only by a judge or, in the event of danger resulting

from any delay, by other organs legally specified, and they may be carried out only in the form prescribed by law.

 

 [AU60]The Brazilian Constitution:

Title II, Chapter 1, Article 5 / xi:  “The home is the inviolable asylum of the individual and no one may enter it without the dweller’s consent, save in the case of ‘flagrante delicto’ or disaster, or to give help, or, during the day, by court order.”

 [PW61] Most world constitutions protect the rights of those accused of crime and require the law of the land or due process to be followed in cases affecting life, liberty, and sometimes property.

The Constitution of India:

21. Protection of life and personal liberty.- No person shall be

deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure

established by law.

The Constitution of Japan:

Article 31:

No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to procedure established by law.

 

 [PW62]The Constitution of Japan:

Article 29:

The right to own or to hold property is inviolable. 2) Property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public welfare. 3) Private property may be taken for public use upon just compensation therefor.

 [PW63]Echo: The English Bill of Rights (1689) proclaimed “That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;

 [AU64]CONT’D On the other hand, an accused who refused to enter a plea could still be subject to the potentially fatal peine forte et dure, i.e. being pressed with heavy weights, until this practice was abolished in 1772

 [AU65]Judicial torture was criticized by the Italian jurist Cesare Beccaria in his influential On Crimes and Punishment (1764).  Judicial torture was abolished in Prussia (1754), Sweden (1772), Austria (1781), Tuscany (1786), France (1788), Spain (1812) and Japan (1873).

 [PW66]In federal constitutions states and municipalities retain powers that the constitution does not delegate to a central government. In many countries, such as Germany and Japan, municipal governments rather than states are the units of local autonomy constitutions establish. In unitary systems constitutions delegate all formal powers to a central government which, in its discretion, defines the powers of local governments.

 [PW67]Echo: “Law” here refers to common law property, tort, and contract disputes in which remedies are the payment of monetary damages. “Equity” refers to equity courts or jurisdiction which takes cases seeking justice beyond simple monetary remedies. Equitable remedies include injunctions where courts issue orders enjoining parties from taking action, which a common law court cannot do.

 

Finally, the ancient common law doctrine of sovereign immunity prohibits suits against governments for monetary damages for torts, or for property. Even equitable suits against the government can arguably be challenged on sovereign immunity grounds.

 [BU68]

The Mexican Constitution

Chapter I

Of Individual Guarantees

Slavery is prohibited in the United Mexican States. Foreign slaves who enter national territory by any means will obtain their liberty and the protection of the laws.

The South African Constitution:

Bill of Rights

13. Slavery, servitude and forced labour

No one may be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour.

 

 [PW69]This was a unique constitutional provision in 1868, intended to ensure the political rights of the newly freed slaves. As they became free from colonial ties multi-racial and ethnic nations around the world not only copied this guarantee of equal protection but copied the Supreme Court’s explicit and implicit support for the expansion of the scope of its protections in the 1950s and beyond.

For example:

The Constitution of India:

Article 14 Equality before law
The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Article 15 Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth

(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
(2) No citizen shall, on ground only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to -
(a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or
(b) the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained whole or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of general public.
(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.
(4) Nothing in this article or in clause (2) or article 29 shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

The Constitution of South Africa:

9. Equality

1.       Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

2.       Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.

3.       The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

4.       *1 No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.

5.       

 [PW70]All democratic constitutions protect voting rights, including the right to vote in local elections. As in the 14th and 15th amendments of our Constitution, national constitutions around the world ensure voting rights for all of their citizens in states, local and municipal elections.

The Constitution of Japan is a typical example:

Article 93:

The local public entities shall establish assemblies as their deliberative organs, in accordance with law. 2) The chief executive officers of all local public entities, the members of their assemblies, and such other local officials as may be determined by law shall be elected by direct popular vote within their several communities

 

 [AU71]Income taxes were levied in Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars in 1799-1816, and were made permanent in 1874.  In the United States income taxes were authorized by Congress during Civil War in 1861 and retained until 1872.  The constitutionality of income taxes was initially upheld by the US Supreme Court in Springer v. US (1881), but then rejected in Pollock v. Farm Loan and Trust Co. (1895).

 [PW72]World constitutions copy this provision which both rejects inherited seats as in the British House of Lords, and the original United States constitutional provision for the election of Senators by state legislatures.

 [PW73]Democratic constitutions provide for universal suffrage for citizens regardless of gender and race. They expressly prohibit voting discrimination on the basis of gender.

 [AU74]Women were first granted suffrage in New Zealand (1893) and Australia (1902), and subsequently in other countries including Finland (1906), Norway (1913), Denmark (1915), Canada (1917), Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Great Britain (1918), Brazil and Cuba (1934), the Philippines (1937), France (1944), Mexico and Japan (1947), South Korea and Israel (1948), India (1950) and Switzerland (1971).

 [PW75]The Constitution of South Africa:

Term of office of President

88. No person may hold office as President for more than two terms, but when a person is elected to fill a vacancy in the office of President, the period between that election and the next election of a President is not regarded as a term.

The Constitution of Brazil:

Article 82 [Term]
The term of office of the President of the Republic is four years and he may not be re-elected for the subsequent term.

 

 

 [PW76]The South African Constitution:

Acting President

90. (1) When the President is absent from the Republic or otherwise unable to fulfil the duties of President, or during a vacancy in the office of President, an office-bearer in the order below acts as President:

  1. The Deputy President.
  2. A Minister designated by the President.
  3. A Minister designated by the other members of the Cabinet.
  4. The Speaker, until the National Assembly designates one of its other members.

 

 [PW77]All democratic Constitutions establish universal suffrage and grant the right to vote to persons 18 and less frequently 21 years of age or older.

The Constitution of Turkey:

All Turkish citizens over 18 years of age shall have the right to vote in elections and to take part in referenda