凤凰山麓:美国宪法和宪法修正案全文(中英文) 历史、概要、政府运作基本原则、宪法序言
2016-05-04 16:43:18
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西克朗诵,凤凰山麓,中英文全文,宪法修正案,美国宪法

凤凰山麓:人生的七张底牌

美国联邦宪法及其修正案全文

美国联邦宪法全文             

    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。 

  第 一 条   

    第一款本宪法授予的全部立法权,属于由参议院和众议院组成的合众国国会。 

    第二款众议院由各州人民每两年选举产生的众议员组成。每个州的选举人须具备该州州议会人数最多一院选举人所必需的资格。 

  凡年龄不满二十五岁,成为合众国公民不满七年,在一州当选时不是该州居民者,不得担任众议员。 

  [众议员名额和直接税税额,在本联邦可包括的各州中,按照各自人口比例进行分配。各州人口数,按自由人总数加上所有其他人口的五分之三予以确定。自由人总数包括必须服一定年限劳役的人,但不包括未被征税的印第安人。]①人口的实际统计在合众国国会第一次会议后三年内和此后每十年内,依法律规定的方式进行。每三万人选出的众议员人数不得超过一名,但每州至少须有一名众议员;在进行上述人口统计以前,新罕布什尔州有权选出三名,马萨诸塞州八名,罗得岛州和普罗维登斯种植地一名,康涅狄格州五名,纽约州六名,新泽西州四名,宾夕法尼亚州八名,特拉华州一名,马里兰州六名,弗吉尼亚州十名,北卡罗来纳州五名,南卡罗来纳州五名,佐治亚州三名。 

  任何一州代表出现缺额时,该州行政当局应发布选举令,以填补此项缺额。 

  众议院选举本院议长和其他官员,并独自拥有弹劾权。 

  第三款合众国参议院由[每州州议会选举的]②两名参议员组成,任期六年;每名参议员有一票表决权。 

  参议员在第一次选举后集会时,立即分为人数尽可能相等的三个组。第一组参议员席位在第二年年终空出,第二组参议员席位在第四年年终空出,第三组参议员席位在第六年年终空出,以便三分之一的参议员得每二年改选一次。[在任何一州州议会休会期间,如因辞职或其他原因而出现缺额时,该州行政长官在州议会下次集会填补此项缺额前,得任命临时参议员。]⑧ 

  凡年龄不满三十岁,成为合众国公民不满九年,在一州当选时不是该州居民者,不得担任参议员。 

  合众国副总统任参议院议长,但除非参议员投票时赞成票和反对票相等,无表决权。 

  参议院选举本院其他官员,并在副总统缺席或行使合众国总统职权时,选举一名临时议长。 

  参议院独自拥有审判一切弹劾案的权力。为此目的而开庭时,全体参议员须宣誓或作代誓宣言。合众国总统受审时,最高法院首席大法官主持审判。无论何人,非经出席参议员三分之二的同意,不得被定罪。 

  弹劾案的判决,不得超出免职和剥夺担任和享有合众国属下有荣誉、有责任或有薪金的任何职务的资格。但被定罪的人,仍可依法起诉、审判、判决和惩罚。 

  第四款举行参议员和众议员选举的时间、地点和方式,在每个州由该州议会规定。但除选举参议员的地点外,国会得随时以法律制定或改变这类规定。 

  国会每年至少开会一次,除非国会以法律另订日期外,此会议在(十二月第一个星期一]④举行。 

  第五款每院是本院议员的选举、选举结果报告和资格的裁判者。每院议员过半数,即构成议事的法定人数;但不足法定人数时,得逐日休会,并有权按每院规定的方式和罚则,强迫缺席议员出席会议。 

  每院得规定本院议事规则,惩罚本院议员扰乱秩序的行为,并经三之二议员的同意开除议员。 

  每院应有本院会议记录,并不时予以公布,但它认为需要保密的部分除外。每院议员对于任何问题的赞成票和反对票,在出席议员五分之一的请求下,应载入会议记录。 

  在国会开会期间,任何一院,未经另一院同意,不得休会三日以上,也不得到非两院开会的任何地方休会。 

  第六款参议员和众议员应得到服务的报酬,此项报酬由法律确定并由合众国国库支付。他们除犯叛国罪、重罪和妨害治安罪外,在一切情况下都享有在出席各自议院会议期间和往返于各自议院途中不受逮捕的特权。他们不得因在各自议院发表的演说或辩论而在任何其他地方受到质问。 

  参议员或众议员在当选任期内,不得被任命担任在此期间设置或增薪的合众国管辖下的任何文官职务。凡在合众国属下任职者,在继续任职期间不得担任任何一院议员。 

  第七款所有征税议案应首先在众议院提出,但参议院得像对其他议案一样,提出或同意修正案。 

  众议院和参议院通过的每一议案,在成为法律前须送交合众国总统。总统如批准该议案,即应签署;如不批准,则应将该议案同其反对意见退回最初提出该议案的议院。该院应特此项反对见详细载入本院会议记录并进行复议。如经复议后,该院三分之二议员同意通过该议案,该议案连同反对意见应一起送交另一议院,并同样由该院进行复议,如经该院三分之二议员赞同,该议案即成为法律。但在所有这类情况下,两院表决都由赞成票和反对票决定;对该议案投赞成票和反对票的议员姓名应分别载入每一议院会议记录。如任何议案在送交总统后十天内(星期日除外)未经总统退回,该议案如同总统已签署一样,即成为法律,除非因国会休会而使该议案不能退回,在此种情况下,该议案不能成为法律。 

  凡须由参议院和众议院一致同意的每项命令、决议或表决(关于休会问题除外),须送交合众国总统,该项命令、决议或表决在生效前,须由总统批准,如总统不批准,则按照关于议案所规定的规则和限制,由参议院和众议院三分之二议员重新通过。 

  第八款 国会有权: 

  规定和征收直接税、进口税、捐税和其他税,以偿付国债、提供合众国共同防务和公共福利,但一切进口税、捐税和其他税应全国统一; 

  以合众国的信用借款; 

  管制同外国的、各州之间的和同印第安部落的商业; 

  制定合众国全国统一的归化条例和破产法; 

  铸造货币,厘定本国货币和外国货币的价值,并确定度量衡的标准; 

  规定有关伪造合众国证券和通用货币的罚则; 

  设立邮政局和修建邮政道路; 

  保障著作家和发明家对各自著作和发明在限定期限内的专有权利,以促进科学和工艺的进步; 

  设立低于最高法院的法院; 

  界定和惩罚在公海上所犯的海盗罪和重罪以及违反国际法的犯罪行为; 

  宣战,颁发掳获敌船许可状,制定关于陆上和水上捕获的条例; 

  招募陆军和供给军需,但此项用途的拨款期限不得超过两年; 

  建立和维持一支海军; 

  制定治理和管理陆海军的条例; 

  规定征召民兵,以执行联邦法律、镇压叛乱和击退入侵; 

  规定民兵的组织、装备和训练,规定用来为合众国服役的那些民兵的管理,但民兵军官的任命和按国会规定的条例训练民兵的权力,由各州保留; 

  对于由某些州让与合众国、经国会接受而成为合众国政府所在地的地区(不得超过十平方英里),在任何情况下都行使独有的立法权;对于经州议会同意、由合众国在该州购买的用于建造要塞、弹药库、兵工厂、船坞和其他必要建筑物的一切地方,行使同样的权力;以及制定为行使上述各项权力和由本宪法授予合众国政府或其任何部门或官员的一切其他权力所必要和适当的所有法律。 

  第九款现有任何一州认为得准予入境之人的迁移或入境,在一千八百零八年以前,国会不得加以禁止,但对此种人的入境,每人可征不超过十美元的税。不得中止人身保护状的特权,除非发生叛乱或入侵时公共安全要求中止这项特权。 

  不得通过公民权利剥夺法案或追溯既往的法律。 

  [除依本宪法上文规定的人口普查或统计的比例,不得征收人头税或其他直接税。]⑤ 

  对于从任何一州输出的货物,不得征税。 

  任何商业或税收条例,都不得给予一州港口以优惠于他州港口的待遇;开往或开出一州的船舶,不得被强迫在他州入港、出港或纳税。 

  除根据法律规定的拨款外,不得从国库提取款项。一切公款收支的定期报告书和账目,应不时予以公布。 

  合众国不得授予贵族爵位。凡在合众国属下担任任何有薪金或有责任的职务的人,未经国会同意,不得从任何国王、君主或外国接受任何礼物、俸禄、官职或任何一种爵位。 

  第十款任何一州都不得:缔结任何条约,参加任何同盟或邦联;颁发捕获敌船许可状;铸造货币;发行纸币;使用金银币以外的任何物品作为偿还债务的货币;通过任何公民权利剥夺法案、追溯既往的法律或损害契约义务的法律;或授予任何贵族爵位。 

  任何一州,未经国会同意,不得对进口货或出口货征收任何税款,但为执行本州检查法所绝对必需者除外。任何一州对进口货或出口货所征全部税款的纯收益供合众国国库使用;所有这类法律得由国会加以修正和控制。 

  任何一州,未经国会同意,不得征收任何船舶吨位税,不得在和平时期保持军队或战舰,不得与他州或外国缔结协定或盟约,除非实际遭到入侵或遇刻不容缓的紧迫危险时不得进行战争。 

  第 二 条 

  第一款行政权属于美利坚合众国总统。总统任期四年,副总统的任期相同。总统和副总统按以下方法选举;每个州依照该州议会所定方式选派选举人若干人,其数目同该州在国会应有的参议员和众议员总人数相等。但参议员或众议员,或在合众国属下担任有责任或有薪金职务的人,不得被选派为选举人。 

  [选举人在各自州内集会,投票选举两人,其中至少有一人不是选举人本州的居民。选举人须开列名单,写明所有被选人和每人所得票数;在该名单上签名作证,将封印后的名单送合众国政府所在地,交参议院议长收。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。得票最多的人,如所得票数超过所选派选举人总数的半数,即为总统。如获得此种过半数票的人不止一人,且得票相等,众议院应立即投票选举其中一人为总统。如无人获得过半数票;该院应以同样方式从名单上得票最多的五人中选举一人为总统。但选举总统时,以州为单位计票,每州代表有一票表决权;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,选出总统需要所有州的过半数票。在每种情况下,总统选出后,得选举人票最多的人,即为副总统。但如果有两人或两人以上得票相等,参议院应投票选举其中一人为副总统。] 

  国会得确定选出选举人的时间和选举人投票日期,该日期在全合众国应为同一天。 

  无论何人,除生为合众国公民或在本宪法采用时已是合众国公民者外,不得当选为总统;凡年龄不满三十五岁、在合众国境内居住不满十四年者,也不得当选为总统。 

  [如遇总统被免职、死亡、辞职或丧失履行总统权力和责任的能力时,总统职务应移交副总统。国会得以法律规定在总统和副总统两人被免职、死亡、辞职或丧失任职能力时,宣布应代理总统的官员。该官员应代理总统直到总统恢复任职能力或新总统选出为止。]⑦ 

  总统在规定的时间,应得到服务报酬,此项报酬在其当选担任总统任期内不得增加或减少。总统在任期内不得接受合众国或任何一州的任何其他俸禄。 

  总统在开始执行职务前,应作如下宣誓或代誓宣言:“我庄严宣誓(或宣言)我一定忠实执行合众国总统职务,竭尽全力维护、保护和捍卫合众国宪法”。 

  策二款总统是合众国陆军、海军和征调为合众国服役的各州民兵的总司令。他得要求每个行政部门长官就他们各自职责有关的任何事项提出书面意见。他有权对危害合众国的犯罪行为发布缓刑令和赦免令,但弹劾案除外。 

  总统经咨询参议院和取得其同意有权缔结条约,但须经出席参议员三分之二的批准。他提名,并经咨询参议院和取得其同意,任命大使、公使和领事、最高法院法官和任命手续未由本宪法另行规定而应由法律规定的合众国所有其他官员。但国会认为适当时,得以法律将这类低级官员的任命权授予总统一人、法院或各部部长。 

  总统有权委任人员填补在参议院休会期间可能出现的官员缺额,此项委任在参议院下期会议结束时满期。 

  第三款总统应不时向国会报告联邦情况,并向国会提出他认为必要和妥善的措施供国会审议。在非常情况下,他得召集两院或任何一院开会。如遇两院对休会时间有意见分歧时,他可使两院休会到他认为适当的时间。他应接见大使和公使。他应负责使法律切实执行,并委任合众国的所有官员。 

  第四款总统、副总统和合众国的所有文职官员,因叛国、贿赂或其他重罪和轻罪而受弹劾并被定罪时,应予免职。 

  第 三 条 

  第一款合众国的司法权,属于最高法院和国会不时规定和设立的下级法院。最高法院和下级法院的法官如行为端正,得继续任职,并应在规定的时间得到服务报酬,此项报酬在他们继续任职期间不得减少。 

  第二款司法权的适用范围包括:由于本宪法、合众国法律和根据合众国权力已缔结或将缔结的条约而产生的一切普通法的和衡平法的案件;涉及大使、公使和领事的一切案件;关于海事法和海事管辖权的一切案件;合众国为一方当事人的诉讼;两个或两个以上州之间的诉讼;[一州和他州公民之间的诉讼;]⑧不同州公民之间的诉讼;同州公民之间对不同州让与土地的所有权的诉讼;一州或其公民同外国或外国公民或国民之间的诉讼。 

  涉及大使、公使和领事以及一州为一方当事人的一切案件,最高法院具有第一审管辖权。对上述所有其他案件,不论法律方面还是事实方面,最高法院具有上诉审管辖权,但须依照国会所规定的例外和规章。 

  除弹劾案外,一切犯罪由陪审团审判;此种审判应在犯罪发生的州内举行;但如犯罪不发生在任何一州之内,审判应在国会以法律规定的一个或几个地点举行。 

  第三款对合众国的叛国罪只限于同合众国作战,或依附其敌人,给予其敌人以帮助和鼓励。无论何人,除根据两个证人对同一明显行为的作证或本人在公开法庭上的供认,不得被定为叛国罪。 

  国会有权宣告对叛国罪的惩罚,但因叛国罪而剥夺公民权,不得造成血统玷污,除非在被剥夺者在世期间,也不得没收其财产。 

  第 四 条 

  第一款每个州对于他州的公共法律、案卷和司法程序,应给予充分信任和尊重。国会得以一般法律规定这类法律、案卷和司法程序如何证明和具有的效力。 

  第二款 每个州的公民享有各州公民的一切特权和豁免权。 

  在任何一州被控告犯有叛国罪、重罪或其他罪行的人,逃脱法网而在他州被寻获时,应根据他所逃出之州行政当局的要求将他交出,以便解送到对犯罪行为有管辖权的州。 

  [根据一州法律须在该州服劳役或劳动的人,如逃往他州,不得因他州的法律或规章而免除此种劳役或劳动,而应根据有权得到此劳役或劳动之当事人的要求将他交出。]⑨ 

  第三款新州得由国会接纳加入本联邦;但不得在任何其他州的管辖范围内组成或建立新州;未经有关州议会和国会的同意,也不得合并两个或两个以上的州或几个州的一部分组成新州。 

  国会对于属于合众国的领土或其他财产,有权处置和制定一切必要的条例和规章。对本宪法条文不得作有损于合众国或任何一州的任何权利的解释。 

  第四款合众国保证本联邦各州实行共和政体,保护每州免遭入侵,并应州议会或州行政长官(在州议会不能召开时)的请求平定内乱。 

  第 五 条 

  国会在两院三分之二议员认为必要时,应提出本宪法的修正案,或根据各州三分之二州议会的请求,召开制宪会议提出修正案。不论哪种方式提出的修正案,经各州四分之三州议会或四分之三州制宪会议的批准,即实际成为本宪法的一部分而发生效力;采用哪种批准方式,得由国会提出建议。但[在一千八百零八年以前制定的修正案,不得以任何形式影响本宪法第一条第九款第一项和第四项];⑩任何一州,不经其同意,不得被剥夺它在参议院的平等投票权。 

  第 六 条 

  本宪法采用前订立的一切债务和承担的一切义务,对于实行本宪法的合众国同邦联时期一样有效。 

  本宪法和依本宪法所制定的合众国法律,以及根据合众国的权力已缔结或将缔结的一切条约,都是全国的最高法律;每个州的法官都应受其约束,即使州的宪法和法律中有与之相抵触的内容。 

  上述参议员和众议员,各州州议会议员,以及合众国和各州所有行政和司法官员,应宣誓或作代誓宣言拥护本宪法;但决不得以宗教信仰作为担任合众国属下任何官职或公职的必要资格。 

  第 七 条 

  经九个州制宪会议的批准,即足以使本宪法在各批准州成立。本宪法于耶酥纪元一千七百八十七年,即美利坚合众国独立后第十二年的九月十七日,经出席各州在制宪会议上一致同意后制定。我们谨在此签名作证。 

  主席、弗吉尼亚州代表乔治。华盛顿 

  新罕布什尔州 

  约翰。兰登                             尼古拉斯。吉尔曼 

  马萨诸塞州 

  纳撒尼尔。戈勒姆                       鲁弗斯。金 

  康涅狄格州 

  威廉。塞缪尔。约翰逊                   罗杰。谢尔曼 

  纽约州 

  亚历山大。汉密尔顿 

  新泽西州 

  威廉。利文斯顿                         威廉。帕特森 

  戴维。布里尔利                         乔纳森。戴顿 

  宾夕法尼亚州 

  本杰明。富兰克林                       托马斯。菲茨西蒙斯 

  托马斯。米夫林                         贾雷德。英格索尔 

  罗伯特。莫里斯                         詹姆斯。威尔逊 

  乔治。克莱默                           古。莫里斯 

  特拉华州 

  乔治。里德                             理查德。巴西特 

  小冈宁。贝德福德 

  雅各布。布鲁姆                         约翰。迪金森 

  马里兰州 

  詹姆斯。麦克亨利                       丹尼尔。卡罗尔 

  圣托马斯。詹尼弗的丹尼尔 

  弗吉尼亚州 

  约翰。布莱尔                           小詹姆斯。麦迪逊 

  北卡罗来纳州 

  威廉。布朗特                           休。威廉森 

  理查德。多布斯。斯佩特 

  南卡罗来纳州 

  约翰。拉特利奇                         查尔斯。平克尼 

  查尔斯。科茨沃斯。平克尼               皮尔斯。巴特勒 

  佐治亚州 

  威廉。费尤                             亚伯拉罕。鲍德温 

  证人:威廉。杰克逊,秘书 


美国联邦宪法修正案全文

  按照原宪法第五条、由国会提出并经各州批准、增添和修改美利坚合众国宪法的条款 

  第一条修正案 

  [前十条修正案于1789年9月25日提出,1791年12月15日批准,被称为“权利法案”。] 

  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;或剥夺人民和平集会和向政府请愿伸冤的权利。 

  第二条修正案 

  管理良好的民兵是保障自由州的安全所必需的,因此人民持有和携带武器的权利不得侵犯。 

  第三条修正案 

  未经房主同意,士兵平时不得驻扎在任何住宅;除依法律规定的方式,战时也不得驻扎。 

  第四条修正案 

  人民的人身、住宅、文件和财产不受无理搜查和扣押的权利,不得侵犯。除依据可能成立的理由,以宣誓或代誓宣言保证,并详细说明搜查地点和扣押的人或物,不得发出搜查和扣押状。 

  第五条修正案 

  无论何人,除非根据大陪审团的报告或起诉书,不受死罪或其他重罪的审判,但发生在陆、海军中或发生在战时或出现公共危险时服役的民兵中的案件除外。任何人不得因同一犯罪行为而两次遭受生命或身体的危害;不得在任何刑事案件中被迫自证其罪;不经正当法律程序,不得被剥夺生命、自由或财产。不给予公平赔偿,私有财产不得充作公用。 

  第六条修正案 

  在一切刑事诉讼中,被告有权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;得知控告的性质和理由;同原告证人对质;以强制程序取得对其有利的证人;并取得律师帮助为其辩护。 

  第七条修正案 

  在习惯法的诉讼中,其争执价额超过二十美元,由陪审团审判的权利应受到保护。由陪审团裁决的事实,合众国的任何法院除非按照习惯法规则,不得重新审查。 

  第八条修正案 

  不得要求过多的保释金,不得处以过重的罚金,不得施加残酷和非常的惩罚。 

  第九条修正案 

  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留的其他权利。 

  第十条修正案 

  宪法未授予合众国、也未禁止各州行使的权力,由各州各自保留,或由人民保留。 

  第十一条修正案 

  [1794年3月4日提出,1795年2月7日批准] 

  合众国的司法权,不得被解释为适用于由他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普通法或衡平法的诉讼。 

  第十二条修正案 

  [1803年12月9日提出,1804年7月27日批准] 

  选举人在各自州内集会,投票选举总统和副总统,其中至少有一人不是选举人本州的居民。选举人须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校选为副总统之人的姓名。选举人须将所有被选为总统之人和所有被选为副总统之人分别开列名单,写明每人所得票数;在该名单上签名作证,将封印后的名单送合众国政府所在地,交参议院议长收。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,如所得票数超过所选派选举人总数的半数,即为总统。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名单中得票最多的但不超过三人中间,投票选举总统。但选举总统时,以州为单位计票,每州代表有一票表决权。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,选出总统需要所有州的过半数票。[当选举总统的权力转移到众议院时,如该院在次年三月四日前尚未选出总统,则由副总统代理总统,如同总统死亡或宪法规定的其他丧失任职能力的情况一样。]⑩得副总统选票最多的人,如所得票数超过所选派选举人总数的半数,即为副总统。如无人得过半数票,参议院应从名单上得票最多的两人中选举副总统。选举副总统的法定人数由参议员总数的三分之二构成,选出副总统需要参议员总数的过半数票。但依宪法无资格担任总统的人,也无资格担任合众国副总统。 

  第十三条修正案 

  [1865年1月31日提出,1865年12月6日批准] 

  第一款在合众国境内受合众国管辖的任何地方,奴隶制和强制劳役都不得存在,但作为对于依法判罪的人的犯罪的惩罚除 

  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。 

  第十四条修正案 

  [1866年6月13日提出,1868年7月9日批准] 

  第一款所有在合众国出生或归化合众国并受其管辖的人,都是合众国的和他们居住州的公民。任何一州,都不得制定或实施限制合众国公民的特权或豁免权的任何法律;不经正当法律程序,不得剥夺任何人的生命、自由或财产;在州管辖范围内,也不得拒绝给予任何人以平等法律保护。 

  第二款众议员名额,应按各州人口比例进行分配,此人口数包括一州的全部人口数,但不包括未被征税的印第安人。但在选举合众国总统和副总统选举人、国会众议员、州行政和司法官员或州议会议员的任何选举中,一州的[年满二十一岁]⑩并且是合众国公民的任何男性居民,除因参加叛乱或其他犯罪外,如其选举权道到拒绝或受到任何方式的限制,则该州代表权的基础,应按以上男性公民的人数同该州年满二十一岁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、或合众国官员、或任何州议会议员、或任何州行政或司法官员的身份宣誓维护合众国宪法,以后又对合众国作乱或反叛,或给予合众国敌人帮助或鼓励,都不得担任国会参议员或众议员、或总统和副总统选举人,或担任合众国或任何州属下的任何文职或军职官员。但国会得以两院各三分之二的票数取消此种限制。 

  第四款对于法律批准的合众国公共债务,包括因支付平定作乱或反叛有功人员的年金和奖金而产生的债务,其效力不得有所怀疑。但无论合众国或任何一州,都不得承担或偿付因援助对合众国的作乱或反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;所有这类债务、义务和要求,都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规定。 

  第十五条修正案 

  [1869年2月26日提出,1870年2月3日批准] 

  第一款合众国公民的选举权,不得因种族、肤色或以前是奴隶而被合众国或任何一州加以拒绝或限制。 

  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。 

  第十六条修正案 

  [1909年7月12日提出,1913年2月3日批准] 

  国会有权对任何来源的收入规定和征收所得税,无须在各州按比例进行分配,也无须考虑任何人口普查或人口统计。 

  第十七条修正案 

  [1912年5月13日提出,1913年4月8日批准] 

  合众国参议院由每州人民选举的两名参议员组成,任期六年;每名参议员有一票表决权。每个州的选举人应具备该州州议会人数最多一院选举人所必需的资格。 

  任何一州在参议院的代表出现缺额时,该州行政当局应发布选举令,以填补此项缺额。但任何一州的议会,在人民依该议会指示举行选举填补缺额以前,得授权本州行政长官任命临时参议员。 

  本条修正案不得作如此解释,以致影响在本条修正案作为宪法的一部分生效以前当选的任何参议员的选举或任期。 

  第十八条修正案 

  [1917年12月18日提出,1919年1月16日批准] 

  [第一款本条批准一年后,禁止在合众国及其管辖下的一切领土内酿造、出售和运送作为饮料的致醉酒类;禁止此类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。 

  本条除非在国会将其提交各州之日起七年以内,由各州议会按本宪法规定批准为宪法修正案,不得发生效力。] 

  第十九条修正案 

  [1919年6月4日提出,1920年8月18日批准] 

  合众国公民的选举权,不得因性别而校合众国或任何一州加以拒绝或限制。 

  国会有权以适当立法实施本条。 

  第二十条修正案 

  [1933年3月2日提出,1933年1月23日批准] 

  第一款总统和副总统的任期应在本条未获批准前原定任期届满之年的一月二十日正午结束,参议员和众议员的任期在本条未获批准前原定任期届满之年的一月三日正午结束,他们继任人的任期在同时开始。 

  国会每年至少应开会一次,除国会以法律另订日期外,此会议在一月三日正午开始。 

  如当选总统在规定总统任期开始的时间已经死亡,当选副总统应成为 

  总统。如在规定总统任期开始的时间以前,总统尚未选出,或当选总统不合乎资格,则当选副总统应代理总统直到一名总统已合乎资格时为止。在当选总统和当选副总统都不合乎资格时,国会得以法律规定代理总统之人,或宣布选出代理总统的办法。此人应代理总统直到一名总统或副总统合乎资格时为止。 

  国会得以法律对以下情况作出规定:在选举总统的权利转移到众议院时,而可被该院选为总统的人中有人死亡;在选举副总统的权利转移到参议院时,而可被该院选为副总统的人中有人死亡。 

  第五款 第一款和第二款应在本条批准以后的十月十五日生效。 

  第六款本条除非在其提交各州之日起七年以内,自四分之三州议会批准为宪法修正案,不得发生效力。 

  第二十一条修正案 

  [1933年2月20日提出,1933年12月5日批准] 

  第一款 美利坚合众国宪法修正案第十八条现予废除。 

  在合众国任何州、领地或属地内,凡违反当地法律为在当地发货或使用而运送或输入致醉酒类,均予以禁止。 

  本条除非在国会将其提交各州之日起七年以内,由各州制宪会议依本宪法规定批准为宪法修正案,不得发生效力。 

    第二十二条修正案 

  [1947年3月24日提出,1951年2月27日批准] 

  无论何人,当选担任总统职务不得超过两次;无论何人,在他人当选总统任期内担任总统职务或代理总统两年以上,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;也不妨碍本条在一届总统任期内生效时正在担任总统职务或代理总统的任何人,在此届任期结束前继续担任总统职务或代理总统。 

  本条除非在国会将其提交各州之日起七年以内,由四分之三州议会批准为宪法修正案,不得发生效力。 

  第二十三条修正案 

  [1960年6月16日提出,1961年3月29日批准] 

  第一款合众国政府所在的特区,应依国会规定方式选派:一定数目的总统和副总统选举人,其人数如同特区是一个州一样,等于它在国会有权拥有的参议员和众议员人数的总和,但不得超过人口最少之州的选举人人数。他们是在各州所选派的举人以外增添的人,但为了选举总统和副总统的目的,应被视为一个州选派的选举人;他们在特区集会,履行第十二条修正案所规定的职责。 

  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。 

  第二十四条修正案 

  [1962年8月27日提出,1964年1月23日批准] 

  第一款合众国公民在总统或副总统、总统或副总统选举人、或国会参议员或众议员的任何预选或其他选举中的选举权,不得因未交纳任何人头税或其他税而被合众国或任何一州加以拒绝或限制。 

  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。 

  第二十五条修正案 

  [1965年7月6日提出,1967年2月10日批准] 

  第一款 如遇总统被免职、死亡或辞职,副总统应成为总统。 

  第二款凡当副总统职位出缺时,总统应提名一名副总统,经国会两院都以过半数票批准后就职。 

  第三款凡当总统向参议院临时议长和众议院议长提交书面声明,声称他不能够履行其职务的权力和责任,直至他向他们提交一份相反的声明为止,其权力和责任应由副总统作为代理总统履行。 

  第四款凡当副总统和行政各部长官的多数或国会以法律设立的其他机构成员的多数,向参议院临时议长和众议院议长提交书面声明,声称总统不能够履行总统职务的权力和责任时,副总统应立即作为代理总统承担总统职务的权力和责任。 

  此后,当总统向参议院临时议长和众议院议长提交书面声明,声称丧失能力的情况不存在时,他应恢复总统职务的权力和责任,除非副总统和行政各部长官的多数或国会以法律设立的其它机构成员的多数在四天之内向参议院临时议长和众议院议长提交书面声明,声称总统不能够履行总统职务的权力和责任。在此种情况下,国会应决定这一问题,如在休会期间,应为此目的在四十八小时以内集会。如国会在收到后一书面声明后的二十一天以内,或如适逢休会期间,则在国会按照要求集会以后的二十一天以内,以两院的三分之二的票数决定总统不能够履行总统职务的权力和责任,副总统应继续作为代理总统履行总统职务的权力和责任;否则总统应恢复总统职务的权力和责任。 

  第二十六条修正案 

  [1971年3月23日提出,1971年7月1日批准] 

  第一款年满十八岁和十八岁以上的合众国公民的选举权,不得因为年龄而被合众国或任何一州加以拒绝或限制。 

  第二款 国会有权以适当立法实施本条。 

  第二十七条修正案 

  [1989年9月25日提出,1992年5月7日批准] 

  改变参议员和众议员服务报酬的法律,在众议员选举举行之前不得生效。   


美国宪法(说明·诠释)

美利坚合众国宪法(英文:Constitution of the United States)简称美国宪法,是美国的根本大法,奠定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成文宪法的制定提供了成功的典范。


历史

美国宪法历史和美利坚合众国制宪会议

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。

西克朗诵,凤凰山麓,中英文全文,宪法修正案,美国宪法

上图 13个州投票时间和结果

目前宪法条文的原稿收藏于华盛顿哥伦比亚特区的美国国家档案馆,向世人永久展出。

关于在宪法草案上签名的会议代表名单,请参看美利坚合众国宪法签署人列表。

美国宪法如同独立宣言一般深受荷兰的独立宣言以及荷兰共和国宪法的影响,然而这项观点却不受主流意见所认同。

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。


政府运作的基本原则

尽管美国宪法历经多次修改,但是1789年宪法的基本原则至今依然发挥着重要的作用。

三权分立——美国国家权力分为三部分:立法权、行政权和司法权。这三部分权力相互之间保持独立。在理论上,三权是完全平等,并且互相制衡。每种权力都有限制另外两种权力滥用的职能。这就是现代民主社会著名的三权分立原则。一般认为其思想根源来自法国著名思想家孟德斯鸠的著作《论法的精神》。

联邦体制——美国宪法规定美国采用联邦制的国体。联邦政府只拥有在宪法中列举的有限权力,而其余未列明的权利都属于各州或者人民。(参看美国宪法第十修正案)

宪法至上——美国宪法以及国会通过的法律的效力高于其他一切法律、行政法规和规定。自从1803年著名的马伯里诉麦迪逊案之后,美国联邦法院系统拥有了违宪审查权。这意味着联邦各级法院可以审查立法机关通过的法律是否与宪法相抵触,并且可以宣布违反宪法的法律无效。同时,法院还可以审查包括美国总统在内的各级政府颁布的法令的合宪性。但是,法院的这种审查权不能主动行使,只能在某一具体诉讼中被运用。因此,这也被称作“被动的审查权”。(参看美国诉尼克松案)

人人平等——根据美国宪法第十四修正案,人人都有平等地获得法律保护的权利。各州之间也保持平等地位,原则上任何州都不能获得联邦政府的特殊对待。根据宪法的规定,各州要互相尊重和承认彼此的法律。州政府和联邦政府要在形式上保持共和体制。

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,美国三分之二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。



宪法序言

美利坚合众国宪法序言

美国宪法的序言只有一句话,由52个字构成。

Cquote1.svg 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. Cquote2.svg

译文如下:


“ 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“我们合众国人民”("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,美国宪法的正文由七条组成。其中前三条主要规定了联邦政府立法、行政和司法三大分支的权限范围和组织运作;第四条说明了各州和联邦相应的义务、责任以及将来新州加入联邦的程序;第五条规定了将来需要对宪法进行修改时所需通过宪法修正案的具体程序;第六条则说明了宪法的法律地位;第七条规定了宪法生效所需要经过的程序。与之后世界多个国家的宪法颇为不同的是,美国宪法正文中不但没有任何庄严的承诺,伟大的构想,光辉的远景或是领袖的思想,也几乎没有提到人民享有的权利(即人权),而这后一点也成为当年宪法批准过程中最大的障碍。而最终为了宪法得以通过,支持宪法的联邦党人不得不保证会在下一次国会开会时立即对之进行修订,这就是之后联邦国会于1789年9月25日提出,最终于1791年12月15日得到足够数量的州批准的前十条修正案,史称权利法案,其中不但列举了人民生来就拥有而不是任何政府赋予的多项基本权利,还规定了许多涉及实际法庭审判过程中的标准程序,并且补充说明列举这些权利并不意味着人民只有这些权利而没有其它的权利等。权利法案中的大部分内容都已经成为包括《世界人权宣言》和许多之后诞生的国家宪法中对人权规定的主要渊源。


宪法正文 

西克朗诵,凤凰山麓,中英文全文,宪法修正案,美国宪法

西克朗诵,凤凰山麓,中英文全文,宪法修正案,美国宪法

西克朗诵,凤凰山麓,中英文全文,宪法修正案,美国宪法

西克朗诵,凤凰山麓,中英文全文,宪法修正案,美国宪法


在序言之后,美国宪法的正文由七条组成。其中前三条主要规定了联邦政府立法、行政和司法三大分支的权限范围和组织运作;第四条说明了各州和联邦相应的义务、责任以及将来新州加入联邦的程序;第五条规定了将来需要对宪法进行修改时所需通过宪法修正案的具体程序;第六条则说明了宪法的法律地位;第七条规定了宪法生效所需要经过的程序。与之后世界多个国家的宪法颇为不同的是,美国宪法正文中不但没有任何庄严的承诺,伟大的构想,光辉的远景或是领袖的思想,也几乎没有提到人民享有的权利(即人权),而这后一点也成为当年宪法批准过程中最大的障碍。而最终为了宪法得以通过,支持宪法的联邦党人不得不保证会在下一次国会开会时立即对之进行修订,这就是之后联邦国会于1789年9月25日提出,最终于1791年12月15日得到足够数量的州批准的前十条修正案,史称权利法案,其中不但列举了人民生来就拥有而不是任何政府赋予的多项基本权利,还规定了许多涉及实际法庭审判过程中的标准程序,并且补充说明列举这些权利并不意味着人民只有这些权利而没有其它的权利等。权利法案中的大部分内容都已经成为包括《世界人权宣言》和许多之后诞生的国家宪法中对人权规定的主要渊源。


立法权

美利坚合众国宪法第一条

Seal of the United States Congress.svg

宪法第一条规定了立法机构即美国国会的权力和组织。美国国会包括众议院和参议院两部分。宪法规定了国会议员的选举办法以及任职资格条件。宪法规定,美国副总统兼任美国参议院议长一职,只有在赞成票和反对票相等的时候有权投决定一票,但是在近些年来的实践中,副总统投票的情况已非常少见。[2]此外,条文还简要规定了立法程序以及国会的职权范围。第一章的末尾规定了对联邦和各州立法机关的限制。


行政权

美利坚合众国宪法第二条

Seal of the President of the United States.svg

宪法第二条规定了行政机构即美国总统的相关事项:美国总统选举的程序、政府官员任职资格、就任仪式的宣誓、政府官员的权力和职责、指派官员的程序。同时,这一章还特别规定了美国副总统的职位,并规定在美国总统失去行为能力或者辞职之后由副总统继任其职位。第二章最后还规定了对政府官员(包括总统、副总统、法官和其他官员)的弹劾以及免职程序。 (参看美国行政系统)


司法权

美利坚合众国宪法第三条

Seal of the United States Supreme Court.png

宪法第三条 是对司法机关即美国联邦法院系统(包括美国联邦最高法院)的有关规定。宪法规定要建立一个最高法院,原则上美国国会可以设立低级别的法院,而所有低级法院的判决和命令都可由最高法院进行再审。这一章还规定了所有刑事诉讼的被告有权要求实行陪审团制度、叛国罪的定义、国会对于叛国罪的处罚以及限制。


各州和联邦相应的义务、责任以及将来新州加入联邦的程序

美利坚合众国宪法第四条

宪法第四条规定了各州与联邦政府之间相应的义务、责任以及将来新的州申请加入联邦时的批准程序。例如,宪法规定,各州政府要完全尊重和充分信赖其他州的法令、记录和司法程序。国会有权调整各州承认上述文件效力的程序。“特权和免责条款”禁止各州政府为了本地居民利益而差别性地对待其他州的居民。(例如,禁止规定“在亚利桑那州犯罪的俄亥俄州居民将得到比本地居民更严厉的处罚”)第四章还规定了各州之间的罪犯引渡程序,各州之间迁徙和旅游的自由等。现在居住在各州边境地区的居民对于跨州的移动早已习以为常,但是如果根据曾经生效的邦联条例,跨越各州边境通常是非常困难和花费成本的事情。


宪法修正案

美利坚合众国宪法第五条

宪法第五章规定修正美国宪法的程序。早在宪法制定之初,宪法的起草者们就已经清楚地意识到随着国家的发展和时代的变迁,宪法需要不断被修改。同时,他们也认为宪法的修改不宜过于频繁。为了做到两者的平衡,起草者们设计了一套启动修宪的双重程序。

修正程序可以通过两种方式被启动:国会发起或者各州发起。首先,国会两院必要人数(而非全体议员)的三分之二以上多数可以提出宪法修正的议案。其次,美国三分之二以上的州要求国会召开修宪会议时,国会必须召集全国性修宪会议。至今为止,美国宪法的历次修正都是通过以上方法启动的。


宪法修正案在获得国会或者全国性修宪会议的通过后,还需要获得四分之三以上的州的批准方能生效。宪法第五章规定了国会有权选择各州立法机关或者各州特别修宪会议来执行上述批准程序。历史上,只有宪法第二十一修正案是由各州的特别修宪会议批准的。宪法第五章还规定了对于修正案的唯一限制:在未经各州同意之前,任何修正案都不能剥夺各州在参议院的平等代表席位。

与许多国家的宪法不同,美国宪法的修正案并不对宪法本文进行修改,而是在宪法后进行附加。即使宪法的原文显得过时或者应该被废止,但仍然不能被直接删除或者修改。


宪法的法律地位

美利坚合众国宪法第六条

宪法第六条规定宪法本身和根据宪法所制订的相关法律和签订的条约在全国范围内具有最高权威。同时,宪法也确认了根据邦联条例而发行的国债,还要求所有立法、行政、司法机关要宣誓维护宪法的地位。


宪法批准程序

美利坚合众国宪法第七条

美利坚合众国宪法第七条规定了这部宪法本身得以生效的表决程序。起初美国宪法作为邦联条例的修正形式,需要获得全部13个州的批准方能成立。然而宪法第七章只要求获得9个州以上的批准就可以使宪法生效。为此,许多学者认为一旦只有9个州批准了这部宪法草案,那么将从原有的邦联中脱离出来,成立一个新的联邦体国家。而不批准的其余州将留在旧邦联体制内。事实上,这种理论并没有得到实践的印证,因为13个州最终全部批准了这部宪法。


宪法修正案

美国宪法修正案和美国权利法案

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。修正案使在日后联邦政府最高法院面对涉及争议性法律诉讼的裁决,在法律依据中有一定的作用。

西克朗诵,凤凰山麓,中英文全文,宪法修正案,美国宪法

上图:宪法修正案

宪法的修改和适用

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。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。

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弹性。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。

未来关注焦点 

在1791年12月15日批准生效的的美国联邦宪法修正案第二条表示,美国政府允许其公民可以拥有和携带武器的自由。

但2016年1月4日,现任美国总统奥巴马表示,他和他的行政团队将宣布有关防范枪支暴力的行政举措,避免枪械落入错误的人手上,以防止悲剧发生,他声称完全符合美国联邦宪法赋予人民的持枪权。

国际影响 

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,对日本宪法也有非常明显的影响。

合法性论争 

从美国宪法制定以来,部分学者就开始对其合法性表示怀疑。例如历史学家约瑟夫·埃里斯就指出:

美国制宪会议的成员们只拥有修改邦联条例的权限,而不能制定一部取代它的新法律,因此代表们的行为是超越权限的。

在宪法表决过程中,制宪会议并没有执行邦联条例所规定的“全体一致通过”原则来通过宪法。

然而也有学者反对这种疑问。例如宪法律师迈克尔·法里斯指出:

制宪会议代表在制订修正案时并没有任何权限上的限制。而且,美国宪法在实质上就是邦联条例的一个修正案。

国会和全部十三个州都按照条例的要求举行了表决程序。首先,十一个州在1788年7月26日之前通过议会举行的表决会议批准了宪法草案。其次,另外两个州(北卡罗来那州和罗德岛州)尽管在起初反对宪法草案,但是最终也都举行了特别会议表决批准了宪法。因此,在表决程序上的修改已经得到了全体州的同意。


美国宪法与宪法修正案全文(英文版)  

【仅供参考】

Constitution of the United States - Preamble 

Constitution of the United States - Article 1 

Constitution of the United States - Article 2 

Constitution of the United States - Article 3 

Constitution of the United States - Article 4 

Constitution of the United States - Article 5 

Constitution of the United States - Article 6 

Constitution of the United States - Article 7 

Constitution of the United States - Bill of Rights - The First Ten Amendments 

Constitution of the United States - Amendments 11 - 27

Preamble

    Constitution of the United States : 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

    Constitution of the United States : Article I 

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5

Section 6 Section 7 Section 8 Section 9 Section 10

    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 Representatives. 

    Section 2 - House of Representatives, how and by whom chosen Qualifications 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 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.(The previous sentence was superceded by Amendment XIV). 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 Authority 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 Senate, 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,) (The preceding five words were superceded by Amendment XVII) 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 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. (The words in italics were superceded by Amendment XVII) 

    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 regulations, 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,(The words in italics were superceded by Amendment XX) unless they by law appoint a different day. 

    Section 5 - Membership, Quorum, Adjournments, Rules, Power to punish or expel. Journal. Time of adjournments, how limited, etc.


    1. 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. 

    2. 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. 

    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 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 - Compensation, Privileges, Disqualification in certain cases.

    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 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. 

    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 Representatives; 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 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. 

    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 inferior 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 to 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. (Modified by Amendement XVI) 

    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 state. 

    Section 10 - States prohibited from the exercise of certain powers.

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 contracts, 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 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 a war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

Article II

    Constitution of the United States : Article II 

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 

    Section 1- President: his term of office. Electors of President; number and how appointed. Electors to vote on same day. Qualification of President. On whom his duties devolve in case of his removal, death, etc. President's compensation. His oath of office.


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 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 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 clause in italics was superceded by Amendment XII) 

    3. 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. 

    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. (This clause has been modified by Amendment XX and Amendment XXV) 

    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 vacancies.

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 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 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 convene 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 ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States. 

    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.

Article III

    Constitution of the United States : Article III 


Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 

    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 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. (This section modified by Amendment XI) 

    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 committed 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 of.

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.


Article IV


    Constitution of the United States : Article IV 


Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 


    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. 

    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.(This clause superceded by Amendment XIII) 

    Section 3 - Admission of new States. Power of Congress over territory 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 particular 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 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

    Constitution of the United States : Article V 


Constitution: how amended; proviso.


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.


Article VI

    Constitution of the United States : Article VI 


Certain debts, ect. declared valid, Supremacy of Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States, Oath to support Constitution, by whom taken. No religious test.


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 constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.


Article VII


    Constitution of the United States : Article VII 


    What ratification shall establish constitution.


The ratification of the conventions of nine states, shall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitution between the states so ratifying the same.


Bill of Rights


    Constitution of the United States : Bill of Rights 


I - Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition


II - Right to keep and bear arms


III - Conditions for quarters of soldiers


IV - Right of search and seizure regulated


V - Provisons concerning prosecution


VI - Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.


VII - Right to a trial by jury


VIII - Excessive bail, cruel punishment


IX - Rule of construction of Constitution


X - Rights of the States under Constitution

    I - Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition

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. 

    II - Right to keep and bear arms

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. 

    III - Conditions for quarters of soldiers

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. 

    IV - Right of search and seizure regulated

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. 

    V - Provisons concerning prosecution

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. 

    VI - Right to a speedy trial, witnesses, etc.

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. 


    VII - Right to a trial by jury

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. 

    VIII - Excessive bail, cruel punishment

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

    IX - Rule of construction of Constitution

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

    X - Rights of the States under Constitution

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.

Amendments 11-27

    Constitution of the United States :

Amendments XI - XXVII 

    XI - Judicial Powers Construed


XII - Manner of Choosing a President and Vice-President


XIII - Slavery Abolished


XIV - Citizen rights not to be abridged


XV - Race no bar to voting rights


XVI - Income taxes authorized


XVII - U.S. Senators to be elected by direct popular vote


XVIII - Liquor Prohibition


XIX - Giving nationwide suffrage to women


XX - Terms of the President and Vice-President


XXI - Repeal of Amendment XVIII


XXII - Limiting presidential terms of office


XXIII - Presidential vote for the District of Columbia


XXIV - Barring poll tax in federal elections


XXV - Presidential disability and succession


XXVI - Lowering the voting age to 18 years

XXVII - Congressional Pay

    XI - Judicial Powers Construed

Passed by Congress March 4, 1794. Ratified February 7, 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. 

    XII - Manner of Choosing a President and Vice-President

This Amendment altered Article 2 Section 1 Part 2 

    Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified July 27, 1804. 

    1. 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 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 case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.(The words in italics were superceded by Amendment XX) 

    3. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such numbers 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. 

    XIII - Slavery Abolished

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

    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. 

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

    XIV - Citizen rights not to be abridged

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

    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. 

    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. 

    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. 

    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. 

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

    XV - Race no bar to voting rights

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

    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. 

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

XVI - Income taxes authorized

Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913. 

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. 

    XVII - U.S. Senators to be elected by direct popular vote

Passed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913. 

    1. 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. 

    2. 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. 

    3. 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. 

    XVIII - Liquor Prohibition

Passed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. 

    Altered by Amendment XXI 

    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. 

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

    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. 

    XIX - Giving nationwide suffrage to women

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920. 

    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 sex. 

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

    XX - Terms of the President and Vice-President


This Amendment altered Article 1 Section 4 Part 2 and Article 2 Section 1 Part5 

    Passed by Congress March 2, 1932. Ratified January 23, 1933

    1. The terms of the President and the Vice-President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3rd 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. 

    2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3rd day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

    3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice-President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice-President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice-President 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. 

    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. 

    5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article (October 1933). 

    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. 

    XXI - Repeal of Amendment XVIII

Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933. 

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




    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. 




    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. 




    XXII - Limiting presidential terms of office


Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951. 

    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 that two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more that once. 

    2. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term. 

    3. 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.




XXIII - Presidential vote for the District of Columbia

assed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961. 

    1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as Congress may direct: 

    2. 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. 

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

    XXIV - Barring poll tax in federal elections

This Amendment altered Article 1 Section 2 Part 3 

    Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23,1964. 

    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 poll tax or any other tax. 

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


    XXV - Presidential disability and succession

This Amendment altered Article 2 Section 1 Part 5 

    Passed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967. 




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




    2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take the office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of Congress 

    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. 




    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, transmits 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. 

    5. 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 departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmits 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. 


    XXVI - Lowering the voting age to 18 years

This Amendment altered Article 1 Section 9 Part 4 

    Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified June 30, 1971. 

    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. 

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

    XXVII - Congressional Pay

This Amendment altered Article 1 Section 3 Part 1 and Article 1 Section 3 Part 2 

    Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified May 7, 1992. 

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

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