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Preamble

We Ihe People of Ihe United Slales, in Order lo form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide tor I Ho common defence, promote Ihe general Welfare, and secure Ihe Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain aiid establish Ihis Constitution for Ihe United Slales oi America,

Article I

section 1

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2

II.] The House ot Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several Stales, and Ihe Eleclors in each Slate shall have Ihe Qualiticatioiis requisite for Electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.

J2.[ No person shall be a Represenlalive who shall no I have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Yea is a Citi7cn of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabilonl of lhal Slale in whidi he shall be chosen, {3.1 Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to the!i'respective Numbers, >

determined by adding to the whole \lumber of free Persons, including Ihose bound lo Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not faxed, three fifths of all other Peisons. I he actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after Ihe first Meeting of the Congress of Ihe United Slales, and within everv subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by I .aw direct. The Number of ^preventatives shall no I exceed one for every Ihirty Thousand, but each Slale shall have at Least one Representative; and until «uoh n " : " i shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be en i tit led to chuse three; \lassachusetls eight, Rhode-Island arid lJi\>videuce Plantations one, Connecticut five, Kew-York six. New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia thim

14,1 When vacancies happen in Ihe Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Klection to fill such Vacancies.

J 5,1 The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

The Preamble introduces the Constitution and sets forth the general purposes for which the government was established. The Preamble also declares that the power of the government comes from the people.

The printed text of the document shows the spelling and punctuation of the parchment original.

What It Means Article I. The Legislative Branch Hie Constitution contains seven divisions called articles. Each article covers a general topic. For example, Articles I, II, and III create the three branches of the national government-the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Most of the articles are divided Into sections.

WViat It Means Representation The number of representatives from each state is based on the size of the state's population. Each state is entitled to at least one representative. What are the Qualifications for members of the House of Representatives?

Vocabulary preamble: tornjtfuction constitution: principles and laws of a nation enumeration: census or population count impeachment bringing charges against an official

What It Means Electing Senators Originally, senators were chosen by the state legislators of their own states. The Seventeenth Amendment changed this, so that senators arc now elected by the people. There are 100 senators, 2 from each state. The vice president serves as president of the Senate.

What H Means Impeachment One of Congress's powers is the power to impeach-to accuse government officials of wrongdoing, put them on trial, and if necessary remove them from officc. Which body has tie power to decide the official's guilt or innocence?

Vocabulary president pro tempore: presiding officer of Senate who serves when the vice president /$ absent indictment: charging a person with an offense quorum: minimum number of members that must be present to conduct sessions adjourn: to suspend a session immunity privilege: members cannot be sued or prosecuted for anything they say In Congress emoluments: salaries bill: draft of a proposed law revenue: Income raised by government

Section 3

[1.1 Thy Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Sena lors irom each Sla I e, chosen he ; \ s a I : ?

for six Yea is; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

12.1 immediately after Ihey shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. 'I lie Seats of the Senators of Ihe firs I Class shall be vacated a I Ihe Expiration of the .second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of Ihe foilrlli Year, and of the third Class at the Kxpiration of Ihe sixth Year, so thai one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the I egislature of any State, tine Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

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

|4.| The Vice President of Ihe United Slales shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

15.1 The Sena I e shall chuse Iheir olher 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.

[6.1 The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments, When silling for lhal Purpose, Ihey 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 Ihe Concurrence oi two thirds of the Members present.

[7.1 Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than lo removal irom Office, and disqualification to hold and enjov any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject lo Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, accoixJing to I .aw.

Section 4

[1.1 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 I aw make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators,

[2.1 The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the fiist Monday in I >ecember, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Dav.

Section 5

IIJ Kach House shall be the Judgeof the H lections, Ketums aiid Qualifications of lis own Members, and a Majority of each shi'll constitute Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day lo day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide. 12» J Each House may determine Ihe Rules of lis Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the ConcuiTcnce of two thirds, expel a Member. ]3.[ Each House shall keep a Joiunal oi lis Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment inquire Secrecy; and the Yeas and \ays of the Members of either House 011 any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal, 14»J Neither House, diuing the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than Senate gavel three di'ys, nor to any other Place th;?n that in which the two Houses shall be silling.

Section 6

11. J The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation fyr their Services, to be ¿'scertained by I aw, and paid out of the Treasury of Ihe United Stales, They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arixist during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going lo and retuniing from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

12»J No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encteased during such time; and no Person holding any Office imder the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section 7

Il.l All Bills for raising Revenue shi'll originate in the House oi Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

12.1 Kvery I Jill 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 Tetum 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 lo reconsider it. JJ 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

What It Means Congressional Salaries To strengthen the federal government, the Founders set congressional salaries to be paid by the United States Treasury rather than by members' respective states. Originally, members were paid $6 per day. In 2001, all members of Congress received a base salary of $145,100.

What ft Means Where Tax Laws Begin All tax laws must originate in the House of Representatives. This ensures that the branch of Congress that is elected by the people every two years has the major role In determining taxes.

What It Means How Bills Become Laws A bill may become a law only by passing both houses of Congress and by being signed by the president. The president can check Congress by rejecting-vetoing-its legislation. Mow can Congress override the president's veto?

What It Means Powers of Congress Expressed powers arc those powers directly stated in the Constitution. Most of the expressed powers of Congress are listed in Article I. Section 8. Hi esc powers arc also called enumerated powers because they are numbered 1-18. Which clause gives Congress the power to declare war?

Vocabulary resolution: legislature's formal expression ot opinion naturalization: procedure by which a citizen of a foreign nation becomes a citizen of rhe United States. tribunal: a court letter of marque: authority given to a citizen to outfit an armed ship and use it to attack enemy ships in time of war reprisal: taking by force property or territory belonging to another country or to its citizens insurrection: rebellion which il 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 Ihe Names of Ihe Persons voting Lor and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each Tlouse respectively. If any liill shall not be returned by the President wilhiii len Days (Sundays excepted) alter il shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he bad signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent ils Return, in which Case il shall nol be a Law.

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

Section 8

II.1 The Congress shall have the Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, imposts and Excises, to pa v the Debts and provide for the common I )e fence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

[2J 'lb 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 Iribes;

|4.| To establish an imiform Rule oi Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

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

[6J 'lb provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

17.1 To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

1&.1 'lb promote the Progix^ss of Science and useful Arts, by seeming for limited Times to Authors and Liven tors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

19.1 To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

[10.1 To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the J .aw of Nations;

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

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

[13.1 To provide and maintain a Navy;

[14.1 lb 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 ol the Union, suppress Lisuirec lions and repel Invasions;

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116,1 To provide Lor 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 Si ales respectively, ihe Appointment ol the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

117.1 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 Seal of Government of Ihe United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the I .egislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Ports, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needhjI liuildings,—And

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

Section 9

II J. 'I ho 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 ciuht, but a lax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

[2.] "I he Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Coipus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it. 13» J No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

14.] No Capitation, or other direct, 'lax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

15.] No'lax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported fi\>rn any State.

16.] Mo 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, dear, or pay Duties in another.

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

18.] Mo Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Irust 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.

What If Means Elastic Clause The final enumerated power is often called the "clastic clause." This clause gives Congress the right to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers expressed in the other clauses of Article I. It is called the elastic clause because it lets Congress "strctch" its powers to moot situations the Founders could never have anticipated.

What does the phrase "necessary and proper" in the clastic clausc moan? Almost from the beginning, this phrase was a subject of dispute. The issue was whether a strict or a broad interpretation of the Constitution should be applied. The dispute was first addressed in 1819, in the ease of McCulIocf) v. Maryland, when the Supreme Court ruled In favor of a broad interpretation.

What It Means Habeas Cotpus A writ of habeas corpus issued by a judge requires a law official to bring a prisoner to court and show cause for holding the prisoner. A bill of attainder is a bill that punished a person without a jury trial. An "ex post facto" lav/ Is one that makes an act a crime after the act has been committed. What does the Constitution say about bills of attainder?

WHat It Means Limitations on the Slates Section 10 lists limits on the states. Uicsc restrictions were designed. In part, to prevent an overlapping in functions and authority with the federal government

Section 10

[1.J No State shall enter into any "li\iaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Leiters oi Marque and Reprisal; coin Monov; emit Bills of Credit; make any '1 hing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Deb Is; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Lavs or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

12.1 No Si ale shall, without Ihe Consent of Ihe Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary tor executing it's inspection Laws: and Ihe nel Produce of nil Du lies and Imposts, laid by any State on imports and Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all ¿¡weh I aws shall bo subject lo Ihe Revision and Conlroul of ihe Congress.

13.1 No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lav any Duly of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in lime 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 no I admit of delay;

What It Means Article II. Tlie Executive Branch Article II creates an executive branch to cany out laws passed by Congress. Article II lists the powers and duties of the presidency, describes qualifications for office and procedures for electing the president, and provides for a vicc president.

United States coins

Vocabulary appropriations: funds set aside for a specific use emolument payment impost: tax duty; fax

Article II

Section 1

I"Ll The executive Power shall be vested in a President of ihe United Slates of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen tor the same Ibrm, be elected, as Follows 12.1 Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as Ihe Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the Slale may be entitled in Ihe Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United Stales, shall be appointed an Eleclor. [3.J The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Fallot for two 1-Vrsonis, of whom one at least shaII no I be on Inhabitant oí Ihe same Slale 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 lo Ihe Seal oí Ihe Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The hxisidtnit of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all (he Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. Tlie Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall ho the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Klectors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Voles, i hen Ihe House of Representatives shall immediately clause by Ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a Majority,

iheii from the live liighesl on Ihe Lisl Ihe said House shall in like Maimer chtise the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Represents -lion fiom each Stale having one Vole; 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 lo a Choice. In every Case, after Ihe Choice of Ihe President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the K fee tors shall be the Vice President. I Jul if there should remain Uvo or more who have equal Voles, ihe Sena Ie shall chuse from them bv Ballot the Vice President.

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

15»J No Person except a natural bom 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 lo lhal Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

16»J In Case of Ihe Removal of Ihe President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and IX]lies of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on Ihe Vice President, and Ihe Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, bolh of Ihe President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the I Usability be Tcmoved, or a President shall be elected,

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

18» J Before he enler on Ihe Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) lhal I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, aiid will to the best of mv Ability, preserve, protect and defend Ihe Constitution of the Uniled Stales,"

Section 2

11.] The President shall he Commander in Chief of the .Army and Navy of the United Stales, and of the Militia of Ihe several Stales, when called Into Ihe aclual Service ol the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive I )epartmcnts, upon any Subject relating lo Ihe Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeach men I,

What It Means Previous Elections The Twelfth Amendment, added in 1804, changed the method of electing the president stated in Article II, Section 3. The Twelfth Amendment requires that the electors cast separate ballots for president and vice president

What It Means Qualifications The president must be a citizen of the United States by birth, at least 35 years of age. and a resident of the United States for 14 years.

What It Means Vacancies If the president dies, resigns, is removed from office by impeachment, or is unable to carry out the duties of the office, the vice president becomes president. The Twenty-fifth Amendment sets procedures for presidential succession.

What It Means Salary Originally, the president's salary was $25,000 per year. The president's current salary is $400,000 plus a $50,000 nontaxable expense account per year. The president also receives living accommodations In two resldences-the White House and Camp David.

What It Means The Cabinet Mention of "the principal officer in each of the executive departments'' Is the only suggestion of the president's cabinet to be found in the Constitution. Hie cabinet is an advisory body, and its power depends on the president. Section 2, Clause 1 also makes the president-a civilian—the head of the armed services. This established the principle of Chilian control of the military.

What It Means Presidential Powers An executive order is a command issued by a Präsident to exercise a power which he has been given by the U.S. Constitution or by a federal statute. In times of emergency, presidents sometimes have used the executive order to override the Constitution of the United States and the Congress. During the Civil War. President Lincoln suspended many fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He closed down newspapers that opposed his policies and imprisoned some who disagreed with him. Lincoln said that these actions were justified to preserve the Union.

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Impeachment ticket

WHat It Means Article III. The Judicial Branch The term judicial refers to courts. The Constitution set up only the Supreme Court, but provided for the establishment of other federal courts. The judiciary of the United States has two different systems of courts. One system consists of the federal courts, whose powers derive from the Constitution and federal laws. The other includes the courts of each of the 50 states, whose powers derive from state constitutions and laws.

WHat It Means Statute Law Federal courts deal mostly with "statute law," or laws passed by Congress, treaties, and cases involving the Constitution itself.

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

[3.1 The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall exphx^ at the Knd of their next Session,

Section 3

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between theni, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive x^mbassadors and other public Ministers; he shall lake Cai\^ that ihe I aws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Cri m es a nd VI i sd em ean ors.

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