Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We the People ...

For those who have forgotten

what we truly stand for,

here is a reminder ...

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

The United States Constitution

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.

Section. 2.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of  Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,  and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite  for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not  have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a  Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an  Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives  and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which  may be included within this Union, according to their respective  Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free  Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and  excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The  actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first  Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every  subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law  direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every  thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;  and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire  shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and  Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey  four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten,  North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

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

The House of Representatives shall chuse their  Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of  Impeachment.

Section. 3.

The Senate of the United States shall be composed  of two Senators from each State, chosen  by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall  have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in  Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as  may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class  shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second  Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at  the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every  second Year; and  if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of  the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary  Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then  fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have  attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of  the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of  that State for which he shall be chosen.

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

The Senate shall 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.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all  Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or  Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief  Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the  Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend  further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and  enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but  the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to  Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections  for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by  the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or  alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in  every Year, and such Meeting shall be  on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a  different Day.

Section. 5.

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections,  Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each  shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may  adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance  of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each  House may provide.

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.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its  Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such  Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of  the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one  fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress,  shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three  days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be  sitting.

Section. 6.

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a  Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out  of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except  Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest  during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and  in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in  either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the  Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under  the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or  the Emoluments whereof shall have been 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.

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in  the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with  Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of  Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be  presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall  sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that  House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections  at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such  Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill,  it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by  which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds  of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of  both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the  Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal  of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the  President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been  presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had  signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return,  in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the  Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary  (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the  President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect,  shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed  by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to  the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect  Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the  common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all  Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United  States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United  States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and  among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

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

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

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

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful  Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the  exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme  Court;

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

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

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

To provide and maintain a Navy;

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

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

To provide for organizing, arming, and  disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be  employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States  respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of  training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases  whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may,  by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become  the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like  Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of  the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts,  Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and  proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other  Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United  States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as  any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be  prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred  and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not  exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall  not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the  public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall  be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be  laid, unless  in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be  taken.

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

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of  Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another;  nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter,  clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in  Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and  Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be  published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the  United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under  them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any  present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any  King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance,  or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit  Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in  Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law  impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the  Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what  may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the  net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or  Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and  all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the  Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress,  lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace,  enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a  foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such  imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 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, and, together with the Vice President,  chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the  Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole  Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be  entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person  holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be  appointed an Elector.

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.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing  the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which  Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a  Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this  Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither  shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained  to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident  within the United States.

In  Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death,  Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said  Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress  may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or  Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what  Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act  accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be  elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for  his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor  diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and  he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the  United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office,  he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear  (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of  the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect  and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the  Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several  States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may  require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of  the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of  their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and  Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of  Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and  Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the  Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the  Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other  public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other  Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein  otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the  Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as  they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in  the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all  Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting  Commissions which shall expire at the End of their 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.

Section. 2.

The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in  Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United  States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their  Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers  and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to  Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to  Controversies between two or more States;-- between  a State and Citizens of another State,--between Citizens of  different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands  under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens  thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

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.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of  Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State  where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed  within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the  Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist  only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies,  giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason  unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on  Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the  Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption  of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

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.

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

A Person charged in any State with Treason,  Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in  another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State  from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having  Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No  Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof,  escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation  therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be  delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be  due.

Section. 3.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Senators and Representatives before  mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all  executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the  several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this  Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a  Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine  States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution  between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth  Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an  Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried"  being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the  first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third  and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

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,

G°.  Washington
Presidt and deputy from Virginia

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

James  McHenry
Dan  of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl.  Carroll

John  Blair
James  Madison Jr.

North  Carolina
Wm.  Blount
Richd.  Dobbs Spaight
Hu  Williamson

South  Carolina
J.  Rutledge
Charles  Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles  Pinckney
Pierce  Butler

William  Few
Abr  Baldwin

New  Hampshire
John  Langdon
Nicholas  Gilman

Nathaniel  Gorham
Rufus  King

Wm.  Saml. Johnson
Roger  Sherman

New  York
Alexander  Hamilton

New  Jersey
Wil:  Livingston
David  Brearley
Wm.  Paterson
Jona:  Dayton

B  Franklin
Thomas  Mifflin
Robt.  Morris
Geo.  Clymer
Thos.  FitzSimons
Jared  Ingersoll
James  Wilson
Gouv  Morris

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