美国宪法

 
美国宪法草案签署时的情景,由霍华德·钱德勒·克莉丝蒂所绘
美国宪法草案签署时的情景,由霍华德·钱德勒·克莉丝蒂所绘
 美利坚合众国宪法(Constitution of the United States),通称“美国联邦宪法”或“美国宪法”。它是美国的根本大法,奠定了美国政治制度的法律基础。该宪法于1787年9月17日在费城召开的美国制宪会议上获得代表的批准,并在此后不久为当时美国拥有的13个州的特别会议所批准。根据这部宪法,美国成为一个由各个拥有主权的州所组成的联邦国家,同时也有一个联邦政府来为联邦的运作而服务。从此联邦体制取代了基于邦联条例而存在的较为松散的邦联体制。1789年,美国宪法正式生效。美国宪法是世界上首部成文宪法,该宪法为日后许多国家的成文宪法的制定提供了成功的典范。
  在美国独立战争结束后,13个殖民地地区根据邦联条例,首次成立了以大陆会议为形式的松散的中央政府。在这种体制下,大陆会议没有征税权,同时由于缺乏全国性的行政和司法机构,国会只能依靠各个州的地方政府(各地政府之间往往缺乏协作)来实施其指定的法律。同时,国会对于各州之间的关税也无权介入。由于条例规定只有所有州的一致同意才能修改《邦联条例》,而且各州对于中央政府非常不重视,经常不派员参加中央会议,因此国会经常因为表决人数不足而被迫休会。
  1786年9月,5个州的行政长官在安那波利斯举行会议,讨论如何修改邦联条例以促进各州之间的通商往来。会后他们邀请各州的代表来到费城进一步讨论发展联邦政府的事宜。在激烈的辩论之后,邦联国会在1787年2月21日批准了修订邦联条约的方案。除罗德岛州之外的12个州都接受了邀请,并派代表参加1787年5月在费城举行的会议。最初的决议案写明了这次会议的目的是起草邦联条例的修正案,但是会议最终决定重新起草一部宪法。费城制宪会议代表投票同意采用秘密会议的方式,并且同意新的法案需要获得13个州中的9个州的批准才能生效。有人批评说这是对会议权限和现行法律的逾越。但是对于邦联体制下的政府极度不满的会议代表全体一致同意将宪法草案交付各州表决。1787年9月17日,宪法在费城正式完稿,此后经过数个州立法机构伴随激烈辩论的批准过程,1788年6月21日新罕布什尔州成为第九个接纳宪法州。邦联议会随即设置了宪法运作的时间表,在宪法框架内运作的联邦政府终于在1789年3月4日成立。
   当根据邦联条例组成的第一个国家政府证明不能将原来的十三州结合成一个统一的国家时,美国人民采用了现在的合众国宪法。合众国宪法是世界上最古老的国家宪法之一,一七八九年三月四日正式成为美国的基本大法。数年之后,增加了首十条宪法修正案,亦即所谓权利法案,在其后的一个半世纪中又增加了另外十多条修正案。
  目前宪法条文的原稿收藏于华盛顿哥伦比亚特区美国国家档案馆,向世人永久展出。
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宪法概要

  美国宪法第六条第二款将其本身的地位表述为“国家的最高法律”。法官们通常将之理解为:当国会或者州的立法机关制定的法律与美国宪法有所冲突的话,这些法律将被宣布无效。两个多世纪以来,美国联邦最高法院通过众多判例不断地强化美国宪法的权威性。  美国宪法明确了由选举产生的政府具有唯一的合法性。人民通过选举或者指定产生的政府官员和议员来行使权力。议员们也可以修改美国宪法和其他基本法律,甚至还可以重新起草新的宪法。  根据产生方式的不同,各种政府官员在权力上有着不同的限制。通过选举产生的官员只有通过选举才能继续留任其职位。而由政府首长或部门指派的其他官员则根据指派人的意愿决定去留,而且随时可以被罢免。这一规则也存在例外:美国联邦法院系统法官在接受美国总统的任命之后,该项任命将终身有效。创立这一例外的目的是为了保证法官在司法过程中不因为其职位的变动而受到行政权力的不当干涉和压力。
  截至目前为止,美国宪法共通过了27个有效的修正案。其中,最初的10个修正案是一次性被通过的,因为其主要规定了人民的权利和对政府的限制,因此被统称为权利法案。此后的17个修正案则是逐次获得通过的。

·宪法序言

  美国宪法的序言只有一句话,由52个单词构成。  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.   其中译文如下:  我们美利坚合众国的人民,为了组织一个更完善的联邦,树立正义,保障国内的安宁,建立共同的国防,增进全民福利和确保我们自己及我们后代能安享自由带来的幸福,乃为美利坚合众国制定和确立这一部宪法。  这篇序言并没有赋予或者限制任何主体的权力,仅仅阐明了制定美国宪法的理论基础和目的。尽管如此,这篇序言尤其是最开头的“我们合众国人民”(英文为“We the people”三个单词)却成为美国宪法中被引用频率最高的部分。

·宪法正文

  在序言之后,美国宪法的正文由7个章节组成。主要规定了政府三大权力的组织和运作,各州与联邦政府的关系,宪法本身的修改和批准程序等。与现代世界各国宪法颇为不同的是,美国宪法正文中几乎没有提到人民享有的权利(即人权)。但在宪法生效后不久,美国国会一次性通过了10条修正案,主要规定了人民应享有的基本人权,其主要内容成为现代宪法中人权规定的主要渊源之一。
  

美国宪法序言

   美国宪法的序言只有一句话,由52个单词构成。其汉译如下:
   我们合众国人民,为建立更完善的联邦,树立正义,保障国内安宁,提供共同防务,促进公共福利,并使我们自己和后代得享自由的幸福,特为美利坚合众国制定本宪法。
     这篇序言并没有赋予或者限制任何主体的权力,仅仅阐明了制定美国宪法的理论基础和目的。尽管如此,这篇序言尤其是最开头的"We the people"(“我们合众国人民”)这三个英语单词却成为美国宪法中被引用频率最高的部分。

世界影响

  美国宪法是世界历史上最早的成文宪法之一。此后许多国家以美国宪法为模范而制定本国宪法,例如1791年制定的波兰五月宪法。此外法国大革命的思想也受到了美国宪法的极大影响。第二次世界大战后,美国通过对日本的占领和对制定宪法的指导,对《日本国宪法》也有非常明显的影响。
 

美国宪法修正案

 
  根据美国宪法第5章所规定的程序,美国国会可以通过宪法修正案。此外,美国2/3以上的州可以联合提出修改宪法的议案。一旦修正案获得通过,将被视为美国宪法的一部分,其效力等同于美国宪法主文。
  1787年制定的宪法没有把《独立宣言》和当时一些州宪法中所肯定的民主权利包括在内,遭到广大人民群众的强烈反对。后来在资产阶级民主派的压力下和1789年法国资产阶级革命的影响下,美国国会于1789年9月25日通过10条宪法修正案,作为美国宪法的补充条款,并于1791年12月15日得到当时9个州批准开始生效。这10条修正案通称“权利法案”。主要内容是:国会不得制定剥夺公民的言论、出版、和平集会和请愿等自由的法律;公民的人身、住宅、文件和财产不受非法的搜查或扣押;非依法律的正当程序,不得剥夺任何人的自由、生命或财产,以及司法程序上的一些民主权利等。以后又陆续补充了16条宪法修正案,其中主要的有:南北战争后生效的废除奴隶制,保障黑人权利的第13~15条修正案;1920年生效的美国妇女享有选举权的第19条修正案;1964年生效的关于选举时取消人头税限制的第24条修正案;1971年生效的关于降低公民选举年龄的第26条修正案等。这26条修正案成为美国宪法的一部分。200 多年来,美国宪法的内容除通过宪法修正案的方式加以改变外,更重要的是通过联邦最高法院行使司法审查权,对联邦宪法作出解释,以及通过政党、总统和国会的活动所形成的宪法惯例来改变宪法的内容,以适应社会不断变化的需要。
 

宪法解释与宪法救济

  除了直接对宪法条文进行的修正之外,美国司法机构也可以通过判例对宪法进行实质上的修正。美国在法律传统上属于普通法国家,因此法庭在判决案件时有义务遵循之前的判例。当最高法院在判断美国宪法的部分条文与现存法律的关系时,事实上就是对宪法行使了解释权。在美国宪法生效后不久的1803年,最高法院大法官马歇尔在马伯利诉麦迪逊案中,确立了美国联邦最高法院的违宪审查权,即法院有权判断国会的立法是否与宪法的精神相违背,从而可以宣布国会的立法合宪或者无效。这一判例也确立了法院在对具体案件进行审判时,可以对宪法进行解释并运用到实际判决中。这样的判例往往会反映不同时期政治、经济、社会文化的变化,因此这也使得美国宪法可以在不进行修改条文的情况下,具有适应历史发展的柔软性。多年以来,从政府对广播电视的管理政策到刑事案件中被告人的权利,一系列的著名案例对美国政治和社会带来了不可忽视的影响。

联邦宪法与州宪法

  部分学说认为,由于美国各州的人口差异很大,而各州在地位上保持平等,因此美国宪法规定的修正程序导致少数人可以否决大多数人的决定。在极端的情况下,拥有仅仅美国4%人口的州可以否决90%以上的美国人的议案。但反对派认为这种极端情况并不会出现。但是,根据宪法规定,任何对于宪法修正程序的修改都需要通过新的修正案,这将会导致出现与第二十二条军规一样的情况。

美国宪法(中文译文)

  当根据邦联条例组成的第一个国家政府证明不能将原来的十三州结合成一个统一的国家时,美国人民采用了现在的合众国宪法。合众国宪法是世界上最古老的国家宪法之一,一七八九年三月四日正式成为美国的基本大法。数年之後,增加了首十条宪法修正案,亦即所谓权利法案,在其後的一个半世纪中又增加了另外十多条修正案。

·序言

  我们美利坚合众国的人民,为了组织一个更完善的联邦,树立正义,保障国内的安宁,建立共同的国防,增进全民福利和确保我们自己及我们後代能安享自由带来的幸福,乃为美利坚合众国制定和确立这一部宪法。

·第一条

  第一款 本宪法所规定的立法权,全属合众国的国会,国会由一个参议院和一个众议院组成。  第二款 众议院应由各州人民每两年选举一次之议员组成,各州选举人应具有该州州议会中人数最多之一院的选举人所需之资格。凡年龄未满二十五岁,或取得合众国公民资格未满七年,或於某州当选而并非该州居民者,均不得任众议员。众议员人数及直接税税额,应按联邦所辖各州的人口数目比例分配,此项人口数目的计算法,应在全体自由人民--包括订有契约的短期仆役,但不包括末被课税的印第安人--数目之外,再加上所有其他人口之五分之三。实际人口调查,应於合众国国会第一次会议後三年内举行,并於其後每十年举行一次,其调查方法另以法律规定之。众议员的数目,不得超过每三万人口有众议员一人,但每州至少应有众议员一人 ; 在举行人囗调查以前,各州得按照下列数目选举众议员 : 新罕布什尔三人、麻萨诸塞八人、罗德岛及普罗维登斯垦殖区一人、康涅狄格五人、纽约州六人.新泽西四人、宾夕法尼亚八人、特拉华一人、马里兰六人、弗吉尼亚十人、北卡罗来纳五人、南卡罗来纳五人、乔治亚三人。任何一州的众议员有缺额时,该州的行政长官应颁选举令,选出众议员以补充缺额。众议院应选举该除议长及其他官员 ; 只有众议院具有提出弹劾案的权力。  第三款 合众国的参议院由每州的州议会选举两名参议员组成之,参议员的任期为六年,每名参议员有一票表决权。参议员於第一次选举後举行会议之时,应当立即尽量均等地分成三组。第一组参议员的任期,到第二年年终时届满,第二组到第四年年终时届满,第三组到第六年年终时届满,俾使每两年有三分之一的参议员改选 ; 如果在某州州议会休会期间,有参议员因辞职或其它原因出缺,该州的行政长官得任命临时参议员,等到州议会下次集会时,再予选举补缺。凡年龄未满三十岁,或取得合众国公民资格未满九年,或於某州当选而并非该州居民者,均不得任参议员。合众国副总统应为参议院议长,除非在投票票数相等时,议长无投票权。参议院应选举该院的其他官员,在副总统缺席或执行合众国总统职务时,还应选举临时议长。所有弹劾案,只有参议院有权审理。在开庭审理弹劾案时,参议员们均应宣誓或誓愿。如受审者为合众国总统,则应由最高法院首席大法官担任主席 ; 在末得出席的参议员的三分之二的同意时,任何人不得被判有罪。弹劾案的判决,不得超过免职及取消其担任合众国政府任何有荣誉、有责任或有俸给的职位之资格 ;但被判处者仍须服从另据法律所作之控诉、审讯、判决及惩罚。  第四款 各州州议会应规定本州参议员及众议员之选举时间、地点及程序 ; 但国会得随时以法律制定或变更此种规定,惟有选举议员的地点不在此例。国会应至少每年集会一次,开会日期应为十二月的第一个星期一,除非他们通过法律来指定另一个日期。  第五款 参众两院应各自审查本院的选举、选举结果报告和本院议员的资格,每院议员过半数即构成可以议事的法定人数 ;不足法定人数时,可以一天推一天地延期开会,并有权依照各该议院所规定的程序和罚则,强迫缺席的议员出席。参众两院得各自规定本院的议事规则,处罚本院扰乱秩序的议员,并且得以三分之二的同意,开除本院的议员。参众两院应各自保存一份议事记录,并经常公布,惟各该院认为应保守秘密之部分除外 ; 两院议员对於每一问题之赞成或反对,如有五分之一出席议员请求,则应记载於议事记录内。在国会开会期间,任一议院未得别院同意,不得休会三日以上,亦不得迁往非两院开会的其他地点。  第六款 参议员与众议员得因其服务而获报酬,报酬的多寡由法律定之,并由合众国国库支付。两院议员除犯叛国罪、重罪以及扰乱治安罪外,在出席各该院会议及往返各该院途中,有不受逮捕之特权 ; 两院议员在议院内所发表之演说及辩论,在其它场合不受质询。参议员或众议员不得在其当选任期内担任合众国政府任何新添设的职位,或在其任期内支取因新职位而增添的俸给 ; 在合众国政府供职的人,不得在其任职期间担任国会议员。  第七款 有关徵税的所有法案应在众议院中提出 ; 但参议院得以处理其它法案的方式,以修正案提出建议或表示同意。经众议院和参议院通过的法案,在正式成为法律之前,须呈送合众国总统 ; 总统如批准,便须签署,如不批准,即应连同他的异议把它退还给原来提出该案的议院,该议院应将异议详细记入议事记录,然後进行复议。倘若在复议之後,该议院议员的三分之二仍然同意通过该法案,该院即应将该法案连同异议书送交另一院,由其同样予以复议,若此另一院亦以三分之二的多数通过,该法案即成为法律。但遇有这样的情形时,两院的表决均应以赞同或反对来定,而赞同和反对该法案的议员的姓名,均应由两院分别记载於各该院的议事记录之内 。 如总统接到法案後十日之内 (星期日除外) ,不将之退还,该法案即等於曾由总统签署一样,成为法律¨准有当国会休会因而无法将该法案退还时,该法案才不得成为法律。任何命令、决议或表决 (有关休会问题者除外) ,凡须由参议院及众议院予以同意者,均应呈送合众国总统 ; 经其此准之後,方始生效,如总统不予批准,则参众两院可依照对於通过法案所规定的各种规则和限制,各以三分之二的多数,再行通过。  第八款 国会有权规定并徵收税金、捐税、关税和其它赋税,用以偿付国债并为合众国的共同防御和全民福利提供经费 ;但是各种捐税、关税和其它赋税,在合众国内应划一徵收 ;以合众国的信用举债 ;管理与外国的、州与州间的,以及对印第安部落的贸易 ;制定在合众国内一致适用的归化条例,和有关破产的一致适用的法律 ;铸造货币,调议其价值,并厘定外币价值,以及制定度量衡的标准 ;制定对伪造合众国证券和货币的惩罚条例 ;设立邮政局及延造驿路 ;为促进科学和实用技艺的进步,对作家和发明家的著作和发明,在一定期限内给予专利权的保障 ;设置最高法院以下的各级法院 ;界定并惩罚海盗罪、在公海所犯的重罪和违背国际公法的罪行;宣战,对民用船苹颁发捕押敌船及采取报复行动的特许证,制定在陆地和海面虏获战利晶的规则 ;募集和维持陆军,但每次拨充该项费用的款项,其有效期不得超过两年 ;配备和保持海军;制定有开管理和控制陆海军队的各种条例 ;制定召集民兵的条例,以便执行联邦法律,镇压叛乱和击退侵略 ;规定民兵的组织、装备和训练,以及民兵为合众国服务时的管理办法,但各州保留其军官任命权,和依照国会规定的条例训练其民团的权力 ;对於由某州让与而由国会承受,用以充当合众国政府所在地的地区 (不逾十哩见方) ,握有对其一切事务的全部立法权 ; 对於经州议会同意,向州政府购得,用以建筑要塞、弹药库、兵工厂、船坞和其它必要建筑物的地方,也握有同样的权力 ; --并且为了行使上述各项权力,以及行使本宪法赋予合众国政府或其各部门或其官员的种种权力,制定一切必要的和适当的法律。  第九款 对於现有任何一州所认为的应准其移民或入境的人,在一八O八年以前,国会不得加以禁止,但可以对入境者课税,惟以每人不超过十美元为限。不得中止人身保护令所保障的特权,惟在叛乱或受到侵犯的情况下,出於公共安全的必要时不在此限。不得通过任何褫夺公权的法案或者追溯既往的法律。除非按本宪法所规定的人口调查或统计之比例,不得徵收任何人口税或其它直接税。对各州输出之货物,不得课税。任何有关商务或纳税的条例,均不得赋予某一州的港口以优惠待遇 ; 亦不得强迫任何开往或来自某一州的船苹,驶入或驶出另一州,或向另一州纳税。除了依照法律的规定拨款之外,不得自国库中提出任何款项 ; 一切公款收支的报告和帐目,应经常公布。合众国不得颁发任何贵族爵位: 凡是在合众国政府担任有俸给或有责任之职务者,末经国会许可,不得接受任何国王、王子或外国的任何礼物、薪酬、职务或爵位。  第十款 各州不得缔结任何条约、结盟或组织邦联 ; 不得对民用船苹颁发捕押敌船及采取报复行动之特许证 ; 不得铸造货币 ; 不得发行纸币 ; 不得指定金银币以外的物品作为偿还债务的法定货币 ; 不得通过任何褫夺公权的法案、追溯既往的法律和损害契约义务的法律 ; 也不得颁发任何贵族爵位。未经国会同意,各州不得对进口货物或出口货物徵收任何税款,但为了执行该州的检查法律而有绝对的必要时,不在此限 ;任何州对於进出囗货物所徵的税,其净收益应归合众国国库使用 ; 所有这一类的检查法律,国会对之有修正和监督之权。未经国会同意,各州不得徵收船舶吨位税,不得在和平时期保持军队和军舰,不得和另外一州或国缔结任何协定或契约,除非实际遭受入侵,或者遇到刻不容缓的危急情形时,不得从事战争。

·第二条

  第一款 行政权力赋予美利坚合众国总统。总统任期四年,总统和具有同样任期的副总统,应照下列手续选举 :每州应依照该州州议会所规定之手续,指定选举人若干名,其人数应与该州在国会之参议员及众议员之总数相等 ; 但参讥员、众议员及任何在合众国政府担任有责任及有俸给之职务的人,均不得被指定为选举人。各选举人应於其本身所属的州内集会,每人投票选举二人,其中至少应有一人不属本州居民。选举人应开列全体被选人名单,注明每人所得票数 ; 他们还应签名作证明,并将封印後的名单送至合众国政府所在地交与参议院议长。参议院议长应於参众两院全体议员之前,开拆所有来件,然後计算票数。得票最多者,如其所得票数超过全体选举人的半数,即当选为总统 ; 如同时不止一人得票过半数,旦又得同等票数,则众议院应立即投票表决,选毕其中一人为总统 ; 如无人得票过半数,则众议院应自得票最多之前五名中用同样方法选举总统。但依此法选举总统时,应以州为单位,每州之代表共有一票; 如全国三分之二的州各有一名或多名众议员出席,即构成选举总统的法定人数 ; 当选总统者需获全部州的过半数票。在每次这样的选举中,於总统选出後,其获得选举人所投票数最多者,即为副总统。但如有二人或二人以上得票相等时,则应由参议院投票表决,选学其中一人为副总统。国会得决定各州选出选举人的时期以及他们投票的日子 ; 投票日期全国一律。只有出生时为合众国公民,或在本宪法实施时已为合众国公民者,可被选为总统 ; 凡年龄未满三十五岁,或居住合众国境内未满十四年者,不得被选为总统。如遇总统被免职,或因死亡、辞职或丧失能力而不能执行其权力及职务时,总统职权应由副总统执行之。国会得以法律规定,在总统及副总统均被免职,或死亡、辞职或丧失能力时,由何人代理总统职务,该人应即遵此视事,至总统能力恢复,或新总统被选出时为止。总统得因其服务而在规定的时间内接受俸给,在其任期之内,俸金数额不得增加或减低,他亦不得在此任期内,自合众国政府和任何州政府接爱其它报酬。在他就职之前,他应宣誓或誓愿如下: --「我郑重宣誓(或 矢言) 我必忠诚地执行合众国总统的职务,并尽我最大的能力,维持、保护和捍卫合众国宪法。  第二款 总统为合众国陆海军的总司令,并在各州民团奉召为合众国执行任务的担任统帅 ; 他可以要求每个行政部门的主管官员提出有关他们职务的任何事件的书面意见 ,除了弹劫案之外,他有权对於违犯合众国法律者颁赐缓刑和特赦。总统有权缔订条约,但须争取参议院的意见和同意,并须出席的参议员中三分之二的人赞成 ; 他有权提名,并於取得参议院的意见和同意後,任命大使、公使及领事、最高法院的法官,以及一切其他在本宪法中未经明定、但以後将依法律的规定而设置之合众国官员 ; 国会可以制定法律,酌情把这些较低级官员的任命权,授予总统本人,授予法院,或授予各行政部门的首长。在参议院休会期间,如遇有职位出缺,总统有权任命官员补充缺额,任期於参议院下届会议结束时终结。  第三款 总统应经常向国会报告联邦的情况,并向国会提出他认为必要和适当的措施,供其考虑 ; 在特殊情况下,他得召集两院或其中一院开会,并得於两院对於休会时间意见不一致时,命令两院休会到他认为适当的时期为止 ; 他应接见大使和公使 ;他应注意使法律切实执行,并任命所有合众国的军官。  第四款 合众国总统、副总统及其他所有文官,因叛国、贿赂或其它重罪和轻罪,被弹劾而判罪者,均应免职。

·第三条

  第一款 合众国的司法权属於一个最高法院以及由国会随时下令设立的低级法院。最高法院和低级法院的法官,如果尽忠职守,应继续任职,并按期接受俸给作为其服务之报酬,在其继续任职期间,该项俸给不得削减。  第二款 司法权适用的范围,应包括在本宪法、合众国法律、和合众国已订的及将订的条约之下发生的一切涉及普通法及衡平法的案件 ;一切有关大使、公使及领事的案件 ;一切有关海上裁判权及海事裁判权的案件 ; 合众国为当事一方的诉讼; 州与州之间的诉讼,州与另一州的公民之间的诉讼,一州公民与另一州公民之间的诉讼,同州公民之间为不同之州所让与之土地而争执的诉讼,以及一州或其公民与外国政府、公民或其属民之间的诉讼。在一切有关大使、公使、领事以及州为当事一方的案件中,最高法院有最初审理权。在上述所有其它案件中,最高法院有关於法律和事实的受理上诉权,但由国会规定为例外及另有处理条例者,不在此限。对一切罪行的审判,除了弹劫案以外,均应由陪审团裁定,并且该审判应在罪案发生的州内举行 ; 但如罪案发生地点并不在任何一州之内,该项审判应在国会按法律指定之地点或几个地点学行。  第三款 只有对合众国发动战争,或投向它的敌人,予敌人以协助及方便者,方构成叛国罪。无论何人,如非经由两个证人证明他的公然的叛国行为,或经由本人在公开法庭认罪者,均不得被判叛国罪。国会有权宣布对於叛国罪的惩处,但因叛国罪而被褫夺公权者,其後人之继承权不受影响,叛国者之财产亦只能在其本人生存期间被没收。

·第四条

  第一款 各州对其它各州的公共法案、记录、和司法程序,应给予完全的信赖和尊重。国会得制定一般法律,用以规定这种法案、记录、和司法程序如何证明以及具有何等效力。  第二款 每州公民应享受各州公民所有之一切特权及豁免。凡在任何一州被控犯有叛国罪、重罪或其它罪行者,逃出法外而在另一州被缉获时,该州应即依照该罪犯所逃出之州的行政当局之请求,将该罪犯交出,以便移交至该犯罪案件有管辖权之州。凡根据一州之法律应在该州服役或服劳役者,逃往另一州时,不得因另一州之任何法律或条例,解除其服役或劳役,而应依照有权要求该项服役或劳役之当事一方的要求,把人交出。  第三款 国会得准许新州加入联邦 ; 如无有关各州之州议会及国会之同意,不得於任何州之管辖区域内建立新州 ; 亦不得合并两州或数州、或数州之一部分而成立新州。国会有权处置合众国之属地及其它产业,并制定有关这些属地及产业的一切必要的法规和章则 ;本宪法中任何条文,不得作有损於合众国或任何一州之权利的解释。  第四款 合众国保证联邦中的每一州皆为共和政体,保障它们不受外来的侵略 ;并且根据各州州议会或行政部门 (当州议会不能召集时) 的请求,平定其内部的暴乱。

·第五条

  举凡两院议员各以三分之二的多数认为必要时,国会应提出对本宪法的修正案 ; 或者, 当现有诸州三分之二的州议会提出请求时,国会应召集修宪大会,以上两种修正案,如经诸州四分之三的州议会或四分之三的州修宪大会批准时,即成为本宪法之一部分而发生全部效力,至於采用那一种批准方式,则由国会议决 ; 但一八○八年以前可能制定之修正案,在任何情形下,不得影响本宪法第一条第九款之第一、第四两项 ;任何一州,没有它的同意,不得被剥夺它在参议院中的平等投票权。

·第六条

  合众国政府於本宪法被批准之前所积欠之债务及所签订之条约,於本宪法通过後,具有和在邦联政府时同等的效力。本宪法及依本宪法所制定之合众国法律; 以及合众国已经缔结及将要缔结的一切条约,皆为全国之最高法律 ; 每个州的法官都应受其约束,任何一州宪法或法律中的任何内容与之抵触时,均不得有违这一规定。前述之参议员及众议员,各州州议会议员,合众国政府及各州政府之一切行政及司法官员,均应宣誓或誓愿拥护本宪法 ;但合众国政府之任何职位或公职,皆不得以任何宗教标准作为任职的必要条件。

·第七条

  本宪法经过九个州的制宪大会批准後,即在批准本宪法的各州之间开始生效 。

美国宪法修正案

  修正案[一]  国会不得制定关于下列事项的法律:确立国教或禁止信教自由,剥夺言论自由或出版自由;剥夺人民和平集会和向政府诉冤请愿的权利。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[二]  管理良好的民兵是保障自由州的安全之所必需,此人民持有和携带武器的权利不得侵犯。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[三]  士兵在和平时期,未经房主许可不得驻扎于任何民房;在战争时期,除依法律规定的方式外亦不得进驻民房。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[四]  人民保护其人身、住房、文件和财物不受无理搜查扣押的权利不得侵犯;除非有合理的根据认为有罪,以宣誓或郑重声明保证,并详细开列应予搜查的地点、应予扣押的人或物,不得颁发搜查和扣押证。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[五]  非经大陪审团提出报告或起诉,任何人不受死罪或其它重罪的惩罚,惟在战时国家危急时期发生在陆、海军中或正在服役的民兵中的案件不在此限。任何人不得因同一犯罪行为而两次遭受生命或身体伤残的危害;不得在任何刑事案件中被迫自证其罪;未经正当法律程序,不得剥夺任何人的生命、自由或财产;非有恰当补偿,不得将私有财产充作公用。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[六]  在一切刑事诉讼中,被告应享受下列权利:由犯罪行为发生地的州和地区的公正陪审团予以迅速和公开的审判,该地区应事先已由法律确定;获知控告的性质和原因;同原告证人对质;以强制程序取得有利于自己的证据;并取得律师帮助为其辩护。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[七]  在习惯法诉讼中,争执价额超过20元,由陪审团审判的权利应予保护;案情事实经陪审团审定后,除非依照习惯法的规则,合众国的任何法院不得再行审理。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[八]  不得索取过多的保释金,不得处以过重的罚金,或施加残酷的、非常的刑罚。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[九]  本宪法对某些权利的列举不得被解释为否定或轻视由人民保有的其它权利。  [1791年12月15日]  修正案[十]  宪法未授予合众国,也未禁止各州行使的权力,分别由各州或由人民保留。  [1791年12月15日批准]  修正案[十一]  合众国司法权,不得被解释为可扩大适用受理另一州公民或任何外国公民或国民对合众国一州提出的或起诉的任何法律或衡平法的诉讼。  [1798年1月23日批准]  修正案[十二]  选举人应在本州岛岛集会,投票选举总统和副总统,所选的总统和副总统至少应有1人不是选举人本州岛岛的居民;选举人应在选票上写明被选为总统之人的姓名,并在另一选票上写明被选为副总统之人的姓名。选举人须将所有被选为总统及副总统的人分别开列名单,写明每人所得票数,在名单上签名作证,封印后送至合众国政府所在地,呈交参议院议长。参议院议长在参议院和众议院全体议员面前开拆所有证明书,然后计算票数。获得总统选票最多的人,如所得票数超过选举人总数之半,即当选为总统。如无人获得这种过半数票,众议院应立即从被选为总统之人的名单中得票最多者(不超过3人)中投票选举其中一人为总统。但选举总统时应以州为单位计票。每州代表有一票表决权。以此种方式选举总统的法定人数为全国2/3的州各有1名或数名众议员出席,选出总统需要所有州的过半数票。如选举总统的权力转移给众议院而该院在次年3月4日前尚未选出总统,则副总统应总统死亡或宪法规定的其它有关总统丧失任职能力的条款代行总统职务。获得副总统选票最多者,如所得票数超过选举人总数之半,即当选为副总统。如无人获得过半数票,则参议院应从名单上得票最多的2人中选举1人为副总统。以此种方式选举副总统的法定人数为参议员总数的2/3,选出副总统需要参议员总数的过半数票。但依宪法无资格当选为合众国总统的人不得当选为合众国副总统。  [1804年6月15日批准]  修正案[十三]  第一款 在合众国境内或属合众国管辖的任何地方,不准有奴隶制或强制劳役的存在,但惟用于业经定罪的罪犯作为惩罚者不在此限。  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条规定。  [1865年12月6日批准]  修正案[十四]  第一款 在合众国出生或归化合众国并受合众国管辖的人,均为合众国和他所居住的州的公民。无论何州均不得制定或实施任何剥夺合众国公民的特权或豁免权的法律;无论何州未经正当法律程序不得剥夺任何人的生命、自由或财产;亦不得拒绝给予在其管辖下的任何人以同等的法律保护。  第二款 众议员名额应按各州人口总数的比例分配,但不纳税的印第安人除外。各州年满21岁且为合众国公民的男性居民,除因参加叛乱或犯其它罪行者外,其选举合众国总统与副总统选举人、国会为议员、州行政和司法官员或州议会议员的权利被取消或剥夺时,该州众议员人数应按上述男性公民的人数同该州年满21岁的男性公民总人数的比例予以削减。  第三款 无论何人,凡先前曾以国会议员、合众国官员、州议会议员或州行政或司法官员,宣誓拥护合众国宪法,而又参与反对合众国的暴乱或谋叛,或给予合众国敌人以帮助或庇护者,不得为国会参议员或众议员、总统和副总统选举人,或在合众国或任何一州任文职、军职官员。但国会可以每院三分之二的票数取消此项限制。  第四款 经法律认可的合众国公债,包括因支付平定暴乱或叛乱有功人员的养老金和奖金而产生的债务,其效力不得怀疑。但合众国或任何一州都不得承担或偿付因资助对合众国作乱或谋叛而产生的任何债务或义务,或因丧失或解放任何奴隶而提出的任何赔偿要求;所有此类债务、义务和要求均应被认为是非法和无效的。  第五款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条各项规定。  [1868年7月9日批准]  修正案[十五]  第一款 合众国或任何一州不得因种族、肤色或以前的奴隶身份而否认或剥夺合众国公民的选举权。  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条规定。  [1870年2月2日批准]  修正案[十六]  国会有权对任何来源的收入规定并征收所得税,所得税收入不按比例分配于各州,也不必考虑任何人口普查或统计。  [1913年2月3日批准]  修正案[十七]  合众国参议院由每州人民选出2名参议员组成,参议员任期6年,各有一票表决权。各州选举人应具备州议会中人数最多一院的选举人所必需的资格。  任何一州在参议院的议席出现缺额时,该州行政当局应发布选举令以填补此项缺额;但任何一州州议会在人民按照州议会指示进行选举补足缺额以前,可授权行政长官做出临时任命。  本修正案对于本条作为合众国宪法一部分被批准生效前当选的任何参议员的选举或任期不发生影响。  [1913年4月8日批准]  修正案[十八]  第一款 从本条批准起一年以后,禁止在合众国及其管辖下的一切领土内酿造、出售和运送致醉酒类,并且不准此种酒类输入或输出合众国及其管辖下的一切领土。  第二款 国会和各州都有权以适当立法实施本条规定。  第三款 本条除非在国会送达各州之日起7年内经各州州议会按照宪法规定批准为宪法修正案,不得发生效力。  [1919年1月16日批准]  修正案[十九]  合众国或任何一州不得因性别而否认或剥夺合众国公民的选举权。  国会有权以适当立法实施本条规定。  [1920年8月18日批准]  修正案[二十]  第一款 如果本条尚未获批准,总统和副总统的任期应于原定任期届满之年1月20日正午终止,参议员和众议员的任期应于原定任期届满之年1月3日正午终止;其继任人的任期即在此时开始。  第二款 国会每年至少开会一次,开会日期除以法律另行规定外,应于1月3日正午开始。  第三款 如当选总统在规定的任期开始之前已死亡,当选副总统应成为总统。如在规定的总统任期开始以前总统尚未选出,或当选总统不符合资格,则当选副总统应代行总统职权直到有一名总统符合资格为止;如遇当选总统和当选副总统均不符合资格的情况,国会可以法律规定代理总统人选或选择代理总统的方式,此人即可依法代行总统职务,直至有一名总统或副总统符合资格为止。  第四款 当选总统的权利转移到众议院,而可被该院选为总统的人中有人死亡;或选举副总统的权利转移到参议院,而可被该院选为副总统的人中有人死亡时,国会得以法律对此种情况做出规定。  第五款 第一款与第二款应在本条批准后之10月15日起生效。  第六款 本条如在国会送达各州之日起7年内,未经3/4之州议会批准为宪法修正案,将不发生效力。  [1933年1月23日批准]  修正案[二十一]  第一款 美利坚合众国宪法修正案第18条现予废除。  第二款 在合众国各州、各领地或属地内为交付或使用致醉酒类而进行的运送或输入,如违反有关法律,应予禁止。  第三款 本条除非在国会送达各州之日起7年内经各州制宪会议按照宪法规定批准为宪法修正案,不发生效力。  [1933年12月5日批准]  修正案[二十二]  第一款 无论何人不得当选总统职务两次以上;无论何人在他人任期内担任总统职务或代理总统超过两年者,不得当选担任总统职务一次以上。但本条不适用于在国会提出本条时正在担任总统职务的任何人;也不妨碍在本条开始生效的总统任期内可能担任总统职务或代理总统的任何人在此任期结束以前担任总统职务或代理总统。  第二款 本条除非在国会将其提交各州之日起7年内由3/4州议会批准为宪法修正案,不发生效力。  [1951年3月1日批准]  修正案[二十三]  第一款 合众国政府所在的特区,应按国会所指定的方式选派若干名总统和副总统的选举人,为此目的,该特区应被视为一个州,选举人数量应相当于它有权选举的参议员和众议员人数的总和,但不得超过人数最少的州的选举人人数;以上选举人是在各州所选派的选举人之外所增添的,但.为了选举总统和副总统,应被视为由一个州所选派的选举人。他们应在特区集会,并依照宪法修正案第12条的规定履行其职责。  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条规定。  [1961年4月3日]  修正案[二十四]  第一款 合众国或任何一州不得以未交人头税或其它税款为理由,否认或剥夺合众国公民在总统或副总统、总统或副总统选举人或参议员、众议员的任何初选或其它选举中的选举权。  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条规定。  [1964年1月23日批准]  修正案[二十五]  第一款 如果总统免职、死亡或辞职,副总统应成为总统。  第二款 副总统职位出现空缺时,总统应提名一位副总统,经由国会两院都以过半数票批准后就职。  第三款 如总统向参议院临时议长及众议院议长递交书面声明,宣称他无能力履行其权力与职责,则其权力与职责应由副总统作为代理总统来履行,直至他提出相反的书面声明为止。  第四款 如副总统以及各行政部门或国会依法设立的此种其它机构的多数主要官员,向参议院临时议长和众议院议长递交关于总统无能力履行其权力与职责的书面声明,则副总统应作为代理总统立即承担以上权力与职责。  此后,当总统向参议院临时议长和众议院议长递交他丧失能力情况并不存在的书面声明时,除非副总统以及各行政部门或国会依法设立的此种其它机构的多数主要官员在4日内向参议院临时议长和众议院议长递交总统无能力履行其权力与职责的书面声明,总统应恢复其权力与职责。国会应对此做出裁决。如在休会期间,应在48小时内为此目的召集会议。如果国会收到后一书面声明2l天之内,或处在休会期间被要求召集会议以后的21天之内,以两院的2/3票数决定总统不能履行其权力与职责,副总统应继续作为代理总统履行上述权力与职责;否则,总统应恢复其权力与职责。  [1967年2月11日批准]  修正案[二十六]  第一款 合众国或任何一州不得因年龄而否认或剥夺已满18岁或18岁以上的合众国公民的选举权。  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条规定。  [1971年7月5日批准]  修正案[二十七]  新一届众议员选出之前,任何有关改变参议员和众议员的任职报酬的法律,均不得生效。  [1992年5月7日批准]

美国宪法(英文原文)

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
March 4, 1789

·Preamble

  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.

·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 choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.  When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.  The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.  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 the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.  No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.  The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.  The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.  The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.  Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to 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 choosing Senators.  The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a 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 behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.  Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.  Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.  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 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. 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 defense 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 a 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 offenses against the law of nations;  To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;  To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;  To provide and maintain a navy;  To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;  To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;  To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;  To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;  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 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 anything 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 control of the Congress.  No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

·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 choose 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 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.  The Congress may determine the time of choosing 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 offenses 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 labor 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 labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.  Section 3. New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states 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, anything 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.  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  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 Brearly, Wm. Paterson, Jona: Dayton  Pennsylvania: B. Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robt. Morris, Geo. Clymer, Thos. FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouv Morris  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 Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler  Georgia: William Few, Abr Baldwin

·AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

  Amendment I (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.  Amendment II (1791)  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.  Amendment III (1791)  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.  Amendment IV (1791)  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.  Amendment V (1791)  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.  Amendment VI (1791)  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.  Amendment VII (1791)  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.  Amendment VIII (1791)  Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.  Amendment IX (1791)  The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.  Amendment X (1791)  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.  Amendment XI (1795)  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.  Amendment XII (1804)  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. 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.  Amendment XIII (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 legislation.  Amendment XIV (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 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 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, 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.  Amendment XV (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 power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.  Amendment XVI (1913)  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 of enumeration.  Amendment XVII (1913)  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.  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.  Amendment XVIII (1919)  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.  Amendment XIX (1920)  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.  Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.  Amendment XX (1933)  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 ofhis 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.  Amendment XXI (1933)  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.  Amendment XXII (1951)  Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, 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 (1961)  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 (1964)  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 (1967)  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.  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 (1971)  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.  Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.  Amendment XXVII (1992)  No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.