The Constitution of the United States


We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect

Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the com-

mon defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of

liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Consti-

tution for the United States of America.


Section 1. Legislative powers; in whom vested

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of

the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representa-



Section 2. House of Representatives, how and by whom chosen Qual-

ifications of a Representative. Representatives and direct taxes,

how apportioned. Enumeration. Vacancies to be filled. Power of

choosing officers, and of impeachment.

1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every

second year by the people of the several States, and the elector in each

State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most

numerous branch of the State Legislature. 2. No person shall be a

Representative who shall not have attained 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.

3. Representatives [and direct taxes] <<Altered by 16th Amendment>> 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 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.] <<Altered by 14th Amendment>> The actual enumeration shall

be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the

United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner

as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed

one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one

Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New

Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode

Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New

Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten,

North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three. 4. When

vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the Executive Author-

ity thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies. 5. The

House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers; and

shall have the sole power of impeachment.


Section 3. Senators, how and by whom chosen. How classified.

State Executive, when to make temporary appointments, in case,

etc. Qualifications of a Senator. President of the Senate, his

right to vote. President pro tem., and other officers of the Sen-

ate, how chosen. Power to try impeachments. When President is

tried, Chief Justice to preside. Sentence.

1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from

each State, [chosen by the Legislature thereof,] <<Altered by 17th Amend-

ment>> for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. 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; [and if vacancies happen by resignation, or other-

wise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive

thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Leg-

islature, which shall then fill such vacancies.] <<Altered by 17th Amend-

ment>> 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. 4. The Vice-President of the United States shall be

President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally

divided. 5. The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a

President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he

shall exercise the office of the President of the United States. 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. 7. Judgement 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,

judgement and punishment, according to law.


Section 4. Times, etc., of holding elections, how prescribed.

One session in each year.

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 regula-

tions, except as to the places of choosing Senators. 2. The Congress shall

assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be [on the

first Monday in December,] <<Altered by 20th Amendment>> unless they by law

appoint a different day.


Section 5. Membership, Quorum, Adjournments, Rules, Power to pun-

ish or expel. Journal. Time of adjournments, how limited, etc.

1. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifica-

tions 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. 2. Each House may deter-

mine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly

behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member. 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 judgement 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.

4. Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the con-

sent 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. Compensation, Privileges, Disqualification in certain


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. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach

of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the ses-

sion 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 ques-

tioned in any other place. 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 increased during such

time; and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a

member of either House during his continuance in office.


Section 7. House to originate all revenue bills. Veto. Bill may

be passed by two-thirds of each House, notwithstanding, etc.

Bill, not returned in ten days to become a law. Provisions as to

orders, concurrent resolutions, etc.

1. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Represen-

tatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other

bills. 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; 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 ori-

ginated, 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. 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; and before the same shall take effect, shall

be approved by him, or, being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed 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. Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have the power 1. 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: 2. To borrow money

on the credit of the United States: 3. To regulate commerce with foreign

nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes: 4. To

establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject

of bankruptcies throughout the United States: 5. To coin money, regulate

the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and

measures: 6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities

and current coin of the United States: 7. To establish post-offices and

post-roads: 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: 9. To constitute tribunals infe-

rior to the supreme court: 10. To define and punish piracies and felonies

committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations: 11. To

declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning

captures on land and water: 12. To raise and support armies, but no

appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two

years: 13. To provide and maintain a navy: 14. To make rules for the

government and regulation of the land and naval forces: 15. To provide for

calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress

insurrections and repel invasions: 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: 17. 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, 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.


Section 9. Provision as to migration or importation of certain

persons. Habeas Corpus, Bills of attainder, etc. Taxes, how

apportioned. No export duty. No commercial preference. Money,

how drawn from Treasury, etc. No titular nobility. Officers not

top receive presents, etc.

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 1808, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such

importations, not exceeding 10 dollars for each person. 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. 3. No bill of

attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed. 4. [No capitation, or

other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census or

enumeration herein before directed to be taken.] <<Altered by 16th Amend-

ment>> 5. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

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.

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. 8. No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States:

And no person holding any office or 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



Section 10. States prohibited from the exercise of certain


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, or law impairing the obligation of con-

tracts, or grant any title of nobility. 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 its inspection laws;

and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports

or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and

all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

3. No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of ton-

nage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agree-

ment or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in a

war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit

of delay.



Section 1. President: his term of office. Electors of President;

number and how appointed. Electors to vote on same day. Qualifi-

cation of President. On whom his duties devolve in case of his

removal, death, etc. President's compensation. His oath of


1. The Executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States

of America. He shall hold office during the term of four years, and together

with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected as follows

2. [Each State] <<Altered by 23rd Amendment>> shall appoint, in such manner

as the Legislature 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 each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the

seat of 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

choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a major-

ity, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like

manner choose 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. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having

the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice President.

But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate

shall choose from them by ballot the Vice President.] <<Altered by 12th

Amendment>> 3. The Congress may determine the time of choosing the elec-

tors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be

the same throughout the United States. 4. 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. 5. [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.] <<Altered by

25th Amendment>> 6. 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. 7. 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 the 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. President to be Commander-in-Chief. He may require

opinions of cabinet officers, etc., may pardon. Treaty-making

power. Nomination of certain officers. When President may fill


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; 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 offenses against against the

United States, except in cases of impeachment. 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, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

3. The President shall have the power to fill up all vacancies that may may

happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions, which shall

expire at the end of their next session.


Section 3. President shall communicate to Congress. He may con-

vene and adjourn Congress, in case of disagreement, etc. Shall

receive ambassadors, execute laws, and commission officers.

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 may receive ambassadors, and other public minis-

ters; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall

commission all the officers of the United States.


Section 4. All civil offices forfeited for certain crimes.

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.



Section 1. Judicial powers. Tenure. Compensation.

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. Judicial power; to what cases it extends. Original

jurisdiction of Supreme Court Appellate. Trial by Jury, etc.

Trial, where

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 ambas-

sadors, 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.] <<Altered by 11th Amendment>> 2. In all cases affecting

ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state

shall be a 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. 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; but when not com-

mitted within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the

Congress may by law have directed.


Section 3. Treason defined. Proof of. Punishment

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. 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.



Section 1. Each State to give credit to the public acts, etc. of

every other State.

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. Privileges of citizens of each State. Fugitives from

Justice to be delivered up. Persons held to service having

escaped, to be delivered up.

1. The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and

immunities of citizens in the several states. <<See the 14th Amendment>>

2. A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who

shall flee 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. 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.] <<Altered by 13th



Section 3. Admission of new States. Power of Congress over ter-

ritory and other property.

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, without the

consent of the legislatures of the states concerned, as well as of the

Congress. 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 partic-

ular state.


Section 4. Republican form of government guaranteed. Each State

to be protected.

The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union, a repub-

lican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion;

and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the leg-

islature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.




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 1808, 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.



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. 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. 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 con-

stitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification

to any office or public trust under the United States.



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 Ten Original Amendments: The Bill of Rights. Passed by

Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791.




Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or

prohibiting the free exercise thereof; 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.



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




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.



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, supported by

oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched,

and the persons or things to be seized.



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 offense 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; nor

shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.



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 defense.



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 reexamined in any court of the United

States, than according to the rules of the common law.



Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor

cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.



The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be con-

strued to deny or disparage others retained by the people.



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.


Note: The first 10 amendments (above), often termed "articles," together with two others that failed of ratification, were proposed to the several states by resolution of Congress on September 25, 1789. They had achieved the necessary approval of 11 of 14 states (Massachusetts, Georgia, and Connecticut failed to ratify until the 20th century) by December of 1791 and became part of the United States Constitution.


The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were proposed and ratified following the Civil War. They are included below:


Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

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.

Section 2.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legisla-




Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868

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 to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the

equal protection of the laws.

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 elec-

tion for the choice of Electors for President and Vice-President of the

United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial off-

icers 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,

and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for parti-

cipation 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 com-

fort 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 nei-

ther the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obliga-

tion 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 the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation,

the provisions of this article.



Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or

abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or

previous condition of servitude.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate