The Constitution of The United States of America

A copper engraving by Matthaeus Merian, found on
Assassination of Caligula. A copper engraving by Matthaeus Merian, found on

“These taxes being imposed, but the act by which they were levied never submitted to public inspection, great grievances were experienced from the want of sufficient knowledge of the law. At length, on the urgent demands of the Roman people, he [Caligula] published the law, but it was written in a very small hand, and posted up in a corner, so that no one could make a copy of it.”

Chapter XLI, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars

Right now, legislators being asked to vote on the TPP aren’t even allowed to read it without great secrecy, and if some do read it, you are not allowed to know who did.


“You probably know by now that no normal Americans are allowed to see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. It’s classified. Even members of Congress can only read it by going to secure reading rooms in the basement of the Capitol. But here’s what you might not know: you’re not even allowed to know who in Congress has bothered to do this.”


We the people of the United States, in order to form a more
perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States
of America.

Article I

Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be
vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist
of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of
members chosen every second year by the people of the several
states, and the electors in each state shall have the
qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous
branch of the state legislature.

No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained
to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen
of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an
inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among
the several states which may be included within this union,
according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined
by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those
bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not
taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration
shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the
Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term
of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The
number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty
thousand, but each state shall have at least one Representative;
and until such enumeration shall be made, the state of New
Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight,
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five,
New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one,
Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina
five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any state,
the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election
to fill such vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and
other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed
of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature
thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of
the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be
into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class
shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the
second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and the third
class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may
be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation,
or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state,
the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the
next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the
age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United
States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that
state for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the
Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a
President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President,
or when he shall exercise the office of President of the
United States.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.
When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or
affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried,
the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted
without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than
to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy
any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but
the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to
indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

Section 4. The times, places and manner of holding elections
for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each
state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any
time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the
places of choosing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and
such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless
they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 5. Each House shall be the judge of the elections,
returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority
of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller
number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to
compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and
under such penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish
its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence
of two thirds, expel a member.

Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from
time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in
their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the
members of either House on any question shall, at the desire
of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without
the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor
to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a
compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and
paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all
cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be
privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session
of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from
the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they
shall not be questioned in any other place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which
he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the
authority of the United States, which shall have been created,
or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such
time: and no person holding any office under the United States,
shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.

Section 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the
House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur
with amendments as on other Bills.

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives
and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to
the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign
it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that
House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the
objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider
it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall
agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the
objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be
reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it
shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses
shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the
persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the
journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be
returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted)
after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a
law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress
by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it
shall not be a law.

Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of
the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary
(except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to
the President of the United States; and before the same shall
take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by
him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of
Representatives, according to the rules and limitations
prescribed in the case of a bill.

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect
taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and
provide for the common defense and general welfare of the
United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall
be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the
several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform
laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin,
and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities
and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing
for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right
to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the
high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and
make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to
that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land
and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws
of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia,
and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the
service of the United States, reserving to the states
respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the
authority of training the militia according to the discipline
prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over
such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by
cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress,
become the seat of the government of the United States, and to
exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent
of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for
the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and
other needful buildings;–And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for
carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other
powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the
United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Section 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any
of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall
not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand
eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such
importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be
suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the
public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in
proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed
to be taken.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or
revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor
shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter,
clear or pay duties in another.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence
of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and
account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall
be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States:
and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them,
shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any
present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever,
from any king, prince, or foreign state.

Section 10. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or
confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money;
emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a
tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post
facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or
grant any title of nobility.

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any
imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be
absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection laws: and
the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state
on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of
the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the
revision and control of the Congress.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty
of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter
into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a
foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in
such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

Article II

Section 1. The executive power shall be vested in a
President of the United States of America. He shall hold his
office during the term of four years, and, together with the
Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected, as follows:

Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature
thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole
number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may
be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative,
or person holding an office of trust or profit under the
United States, shall be appointed an elector.

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