The Constitution of the United States was written over 200 years ago and has had 27 amendments added since that time, including the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments) that was added as a requirement before some states would ratify the Constitution; so there have really been only 17 amendments that have been added to the Constitution since its adoption. The world today is very different from the world of 1787 (when the Constitution was adopted), and our society has evolved. In 1787 nobody had ever heard of an electric light bulb or an automobile, never mind space travel, atomic weapons and world-wide instantaneous communications, black people were held in slavery, and the only example of democracy that people would have to go by would have been the very limited example provided many centuries previously by the Greeks. The republic was freshly born out from under the dominance of a monarchical ruler, but at the same time, the "founding fathers" did not fully trust the concept of democracy.
That Constitution has served us well, but after two centuries of growth and development, our society needs a constitution that reflects how things work in a modern age. There are two ways to approach a new constitution: we can modify the old one until it suits our needs, or we can simply start from scratch and write a new one. Many will say that the latter approach is the better one, and I suspect that they are right. However, I am taking the former approach here on this page, partly out of respect for the document that has proved so valuable in bringing us as far as we have come, but also so that the reader can easily see the differences between what I am proposing and what the original Constitution says. Hence, the following document is not organized as neatly and clearly as it would be if it were created completely "from scratch", but I thought it more important for the reader to be able to clearly see my differences from the current Constitution.
Red text is text that has been added.
Text that has been
struck through is text that is being deleted.
Green text is not part of the proposed constitution, but is being provided for clarification.
It is the role of government to serve the people. This role includes, at a minimum, defending the people of our society against threats from within or from without, protecting the freedoms and the human and civil rights to which we believe all human beings are entitled, and providing, to the extent possible, for the opportunity for all people to thrive and prosper. We believe that democracy, the absolute power of our society being vested in the people themselves, is the best guarantee of this role. Therefore,
we the people of the United States
, in order to form a more perfect union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common
defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to
ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this new Constitution for the
United States of America in order to firmly establish the democratic process in our society and promote the afore-mentioned benefits.
The government of the United States of America shall be vested in three branches: the Legislative Branch, to pass laws and decide on policy and spending measures for the country, the Administrative Branch to carry out those policies, and a Judicial Branch to decide whether those laws have been followed and polices have been carried out. In addition each branch shall have such powers as are described in this Constitution.
All The legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the
United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
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. by universal popular vote, as described herein.
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 have been an Inhabitant of that State in which he or she shall be
chosen for at least two years.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States
which may be included within this Union, according to the population of each state
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 of the population of the states of the United States 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 the Congress shall by Law direct. The Number of
Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty six hundred 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.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.
No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall 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.
Senate House of Representatives 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.
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for
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 Place of Choosing Senators. Representatives will be elected by popular vote, and all elections will be conducted in a manner so as to assure that each person of voting age in that state has the opportunity to vote and each vote is counted equally. 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. Note: This is covered by the 20th Amendment. Each House The House of Representatives 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 the House may provide. Each The 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 The 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
Secrecybe legally classified as secret by the process described herein;
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. 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
Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he or she 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 the House of Representatives during his or her continuance in Office.
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 the Representatives 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 the 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.
The Congress shall have Power
may, by Cession of particular States, and
the acceptance of Congress, become serves as 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 The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing
shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to
the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed
on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.
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 U.S. currency 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 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.
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.
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 lie 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."
The primary job of the President, along with those appointed to serve in his administration, is to carry out the laws and policies established by Congress.
In addition, 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
; and 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 House of Representatives, to make
Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators Representatives present concur; and he shall
nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate House of Representatives, 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
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during
the Recess of the
Senate Congress, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End
of their next Session. HeThe President shall from time to time, and not less often than every three months, give to the Congress Information of the State of the
Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he or she shall judge
necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene Congress 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.
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.
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 Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
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.
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.
The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of nine judges, elected by popular vote according to the process described herein. A judge will serve for a period of ten years, whereupon he or she may be granted five-year extensions by vote of Congress. If such extension has not been granted one year before the judge's term is to expire, an election will be held for a new judge. The currently-sitting judge may be reelected in the election. If a judge dies, vacates his or her position or is removed from office, the President may appoint a replacement, to be confirmed by vote of the Congress, who will serve the remainder of that year of the previous judge's term. If that same judge is subsequently elected to serve on the Court, the partial year served by appointment will not count toward the initial ten year period of service.
The authority of the Supreme Court or any court shall extend only to addressing the cases brought before it, which decisions shall stand as precedent. The Court will not propose to extend its scope to any case or situation not brought before it. Any cases or situations different from those that have been tried by the court will be considered separately and a decision made as to whether the precedent applies in those cases. Any attempt by the Court to define the law beyond the extent of the case involved will not be valid.
Upon the vote of two thirds of Congress, the Supreme Court shall reconsider any decision made within the previous year, allowing testimony of such Representatives as shall desire to testify. The Court will give full faith and credit to such testimony and will render a verdict with each member of the Court individually writing his or her opinion, concurring or dissenting.
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.
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof,
escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein,
be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim
of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
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.
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.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of
both Houses the Representatives 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.
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 previous Constitution.
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.
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
Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of promoting or restricting any religion or religious principle or viewpoint, 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 or otherwise to peaceably express their views or make requests of the government. This section shall not be construed in such a way as to prevent the government from carrying out its responsibility of protecting its citizens when such speech or practices clearly or directly endanger the people, such as libel, inciting violence, and speech intended to defraud or endanger.
The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, in a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, shall not be infringed. The right of individuals to keep and bear arms not as part of a militia shall not be infringed, except to those duly convicted of violent offenses or otherwise as necessary to regulate and control the possession of such arms in order to protect the people from violence. Note: The pre-existing wording of this section/amendment has been rearranged
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, communications and
effects, against unreasonable searches,
and seizures and surveillance, shall not be violated, and
no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime,
unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising
in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time
of War or public danger; nor shall any person
be subject for the same offense
to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any
criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be
taken for public use, without just compensation.
"Person" is defined herein as any human being, that is, any member of the species homo sapiens.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments or methods of interrogation inflicted or used.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
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.
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.
All elections in the United States shall be conducted in such a manner as to allow all citizens of legal voting age to participate. Every person's vote will be counted equally; one vote per one person. All officials shall be elected by a majority of the popular vote, and no mechanism shall be used which would cause any person to be elected in any other manner or cause any person's vote to not count equally with every other person's vote. The Congress shall pass legislation which shall direct the manner in which elections should proceed, such as a process of run-off voting, in the event that an election does not produce a majority vote for one candidate.
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.
1. All persons legally 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.
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
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 power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
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 power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
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.
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.
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.
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 following the years that are a multiple of four; and the terms of their successors shall then
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.
3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
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.
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.
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. The 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.
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.
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.
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.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
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.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
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 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, 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
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.
1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
No law, varying the compensation for the services of
the Senators and
Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall
No person's right to vote, hold office, travel freely, work, own property, or his or her right to life and to be secure from threats or violence, or any other right contained in this Constitution or reserved to the people shall be denied or restricted due to race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious or other beliefs, age, stage of development or other personal characteristics. This shall not be construed to prevent parents or responsible adults from controlling the movement and actions of minors.
No citizen of the United States shall be deported or refused entry into the United States. No citizen shall be refused exit from the United States unless legally in custody or under court order not to depart. Any such court order shall be issued only upon probable cause of having been involved in criminal activity.
All activities and records of such activities by any department, agency, or entity of any branch of the United States government shall be open and available for review by the people, except in such cases as those records have been duly classified as secret by the legal process here defined. No documents or information shall be automatically classified as secret; any information to be so classified must go through the process herein described.
A Secrecy Classification Board will be established in each branch of the U.S. government, comprised of five people, two of whom shall be chosen from a branch of the government different than that to which the records or information pertain, and three who shall be chosen from the public who are not associated with any branch of the United States government nor with any government, business, or entity with which the United States government typically transacts business. All records and information which are to be classified shall be reviewed by this board, which will determine whether such classification shall be granted. The only criteria on which information on documents may be classified as secret are: 1) revealing the information would endanger the security of the United States and/or its citizens, or 2) releasing the information would disclose private information about individual citizens. In the event that information or documents contain information which needs to be classified, but also contain information which the Board determines should be released to the public, the Board will direct as to how that information shall be separated so as to meet both needs. It shall not be permitted for any government official to purposefully mix sensitive with non-sensitive information in an effort to classify information that does not need to be classified. Congress shall establish processes and penalties to deal with any such activity.
If one such board shall not be sufficient to handle the volume of materials for any given branch of the government, additional boards will be established as necessary to handle the required volume.
Congress shall establish the processes and criteria by which Secrecy Classification boards shall be chosen so as to ensure the guarding of sensitive government information and any information about private citizens that the government may possess, and it shall establish the processes to follow and the penalties to be assessed in the event that any member of a Secrecy Classification Board discloses classified information.
In addition, a Secrecy Classification Commission will be established, composed of three members elected by the public, who will oversee the selection of the three members of each Secrecy Classification Board who are chosen from the public, to ensure that they represent the interests of the public in maintaining open and accountable government.
It is recognized that one purpose of government is to manage resources for the common good of all of those in society. At the same time it is the policy of the United States to reward innovation and industriousness, because it is both fair and encourages such innovation and industriousness to the good of all. Hence, any economic policy of the United States will be a balance between rewarding personal success, often referred to as "capitalism", and sharing in such a way as to benefit all, often referred to as "socialism". Both of these principles are good, but either is inadequate or even damaging by itself. The goal of the United States government is to balance these two principles so as to maximize both goals of individual reward and common good.
The United States of America will not run a deficit. The President shall offer a proposed budget by [__date__] of each year. The Congress shall make whatever adjustments it deems reasonable to the budget by [__date__] of the same year. If the Congress fails to pass an amended budget by that date, the original budget becomes law. A progressive tax system will be used to assess an income tax resulting in revenues sufficient to cover the budget or that part of the budget not paid for from other revenue sources. The Congress shall determine the annual earnings amount below which a person is presumed to live in poverty, not to be less than $10,000 at the time of the passage of this Constitution. The tax rate shall start at 0 percent for those making less than the minimum amount and shall rise to at least 50 percent for those making more than 100 times the average personal annual income. Each individual will pay the tax on the total amount of income he or she generates. There are no deductions other than the afore-mentioned minimum poverty level. The Congress will devise an emergency appeal process whereby a person who is subject to a dire emergency beyond his or her control, such as bills due to major sickness or injury, shall be able to apply to have part of all of his or her tax burden postponed or forgiven.
All states shall be required to provide free public education to all its citizens adequate to give them the basic skills necessary to earn a living, to contribute to the common good, and to participate in the democratic process. Such education shall be provided at least through grade twelve, or to a level that equates with the general current level of education at the time of passage of this Constitution at the end of grade twelve. Standards shall be established by Congress to assure that all students in all states are receiving an adequate education, including those whose development may be slower than normal. All children shall be required to attend school from the start of the school year in their sixth year of life until either reaching adulthood (defined as reaching their eighteenth birthdays unless otherwise defined by Congress) or successfully completing the education. This shall not be construed to prevent expulsion or other disciplinary action necessary to maintain an atmosphere of learning.
The United States will provide health care to all its citizens. The Congress will, however, establish standards that will encourage people to practice healthful living practices and avoid unhealthful ones, and minimize society's obligation to provide care for those who engage in self-destructive practices.
The United States has a responsibility provide future generations with the resources and ability to have a standard of living similar to that which we currently enjoy. Within two years of acceptance of this Constitution, the Congress of the United States will prepare and pass a comprehensive policy of resource and energy use that will be sustainable. Emphases will include encouraging and developing clean renewable energy, discouraging the use of fossil fuels, including levying additional taxes, and recycling and reuse of mineral or material resources. All states and communities in the United States will be required to have a comprehensive plan for recycling and reuse. All persons shall be required to participate. No items or materials will be buried, burned, landfilled or otherwise wasted that can be recycled or reused. The United States shall promote the development of more or better methods of reduction of resource use, recycling and reuse.
All government officials are subject to the laws of the United States, as are all other citizens. No government official, elected or appointed, may ignore, dismiss, abrogate or deny the law. Any official who breaks the law is subject to punishment as any other citizen. Congress shall establish the process to determine who shall act as successor to his or her term in the event that any official is imprisoned for a crime.
Any government official must appear before Congress and cooperate fully with any investigation of any matter when officially requested by Congress to do so. Congress shall not make such requests in a manner frequent enough to impair the official's ability to perform his or her duties.
A plebiscite will be held whenever a request, along with a number of signatures of registered voters equal to five percent of all registered voters, is presented to the Congress. A plebiscite may be for one of three purposes: introduction of legislation directly from the people, a call for the investigation of a situation or of an officials' actions, or removal of an official from office. In the case of legislation being introduced directly by the people, the legislation will be added to the ballot on the next normal annual voting day. In the case of investigation of a situation or an official's actions the Congress will either immediately begin said investigation or will schedule a popular vote within one month of receiving the request to determine whether such investigation shall be undertaken. In the case of removing an official from office, a special recall vote will be held within one month of the date of receipt of the request by the Congress. If the President or Vice-President, or any official in a position for which there is a succession stated in law to refill the position, is removed through the recall vote, the person designated by law governing succession to the position shall immediately take office. If an official is removed without any legal designation of successor, he or she will be replaced by the person to have taken second place in the previous election, providing that that person is available and willing to serve, otherwise he or she will be replaced by the person to have taken third place in the previous election, and continuing as necessary until a successor is found. The successor will fill out the remainder of the removed official's term, whereupon a normal vote will determine the next office holder.
The United States will not attack or invade any country or carry out any covert or overt actions against its leaders or citizens unless under direct attack from that country. The United States will, however, support all peacekeeping and police actions sanctioned by the United Nations or any international body that might supersede the United Nations.
The United States will not provide economic or other support for any country that engages in any of the following activities:
The United States will not support dictators or authoritarian, despotic or suppressive governments. The United States will support democracies and countries and states that are being democratized.
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.
(Signatures left out.)