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United States Constitution

The Bill of Rights

We are pleased to list the rights of all citizens of the United States of America as stated in our constitution.  Specific rights that we bring to attention are sub lined in yellow.  On the following page is the entire US Constitution.

AMENDMENTS

The Ten Original Amendments: The Bill of Rights. Passed by Congress September 25, 1789.  Ratified December 15, 1791.

 

AMENDMENT I

Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, 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.

 

AMENDMENT II

Right to 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.

 

AMENDMENT III

Quartering 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.

 

AMENDMENT IV

Searches and Seizures

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,

and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be

violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by

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

and the persons or things to be seized.

 

AMENDMENT V

Rights

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous

crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in

cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual

service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for

the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be

compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be

deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor

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

 

AMENDMENT VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a

speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district

wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been

previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of

the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have

compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the

assistance of counsel for his defense.

 

AMENDMENT VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed

twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact

tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United

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

 

AMENDMENT VIII

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

cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

 

AMENDMENT IX

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

strued to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

 

AMENDMENT X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor

prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or

to the people.

AMENDMENT XI

(Proposed 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.

AMENDMENT XII

(Proposed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified July 27, 1804.)

The Electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by ballot for President
and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same
State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as
President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and 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,]
Altered by 20th Amendment then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in
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 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.

AMENDMENT XIII

Abolition of Slavery

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

Section 1.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for

crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within

the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.

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

 

AMENDMENT XIV

Rights of Citizens

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

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the

jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State

wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall

abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor

shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without

due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the

equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according

to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each

State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any elec-

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

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

icers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to

any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,

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

cipation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein

shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens

shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in

such State.

Section 3.

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or Elector of

President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under

the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath,

as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a

member of any State Legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of

any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have

engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or com-

fort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of

each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,

including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services

in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But nei-

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

tion incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States,

or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts,

obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation,

the provisions of this article.

 

AMENDMENT XV

Black Voting Rights

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

Section 1.

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

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

previous condition of servitude.

Section 2.

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

legislation.


AMENDMENT XVI

(Proposed 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.

AMENDMENT XVII

(Proposed by Congress May 13, 1912. Ratified April 8, 1913.)

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each
State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have
one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for
electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the
executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such
vacancies: Provided, That the Legislature of any State may empower the
Executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the
vacancies by election as the Legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any
Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

AMENDMENT XVIII

(Proposed by Congress December 18, 1917. Ratified January 16, 1919. Altered by
Amendment 21)

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.

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

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an
amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of the several States, as
provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission
hereof to the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XIX

Woman Suffrage

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

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

the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power

to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

AMENDMENT XX

Section 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.

Section 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.

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the
President elect shall have died, the Vice-President elect shall become President.
If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning
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.

Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of
the persons from whom the House of representatives may choose a President
whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of
the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a
Vice-President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

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

Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an
amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several
States within seven years from the date of its submission.

AMENDMENT XXI

(Proposed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.)

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

Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or
Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors,
in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an
amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided
in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to
the States by the Congress.

AMENDMENT XXII

(Proposed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.)

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.

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.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an
amendment to the Constitution by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several
States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the
Congress.

AMENDMENT XXIII

(Proposed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961.)

Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States
shall appoint in such manner as 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 preform
such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

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

AMENDMENT XXIV

(Proposed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.)

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or
other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice
President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or
abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or
any other tax.

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

AMENDMENT XXV

(Proposed by Congress July 6, 1965. Ratified February 10, 1967.)

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

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

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President Pro tempore of
the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written
declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and
until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and
duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal
officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by
law provide, 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.

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.

AMENDMENT XXVI

(Proposed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified June 30, 1971.)

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or
older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state
on account of age.

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

AMENDMENT XXVII

(Proposed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified May 8, 1992)

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

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