Saturday, May 29, 2010

Actual Text of United States Constitution

Find out what it says for yourself instead of listening to a bunch of pundits twist it for their own ends.

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 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.

Clause 1: 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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding 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. (See Note 2) 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.

Clause 4: When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

Clause 5: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.

Clause 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, (See Note 3) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Clause 2: Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies. (See Note 4)

Clause 3: No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

Clause 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

Clause 5: The Senate shall chuse 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.

Clause 6: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Clause 7: 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.

Clause 1: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

Clause 2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, (See Note 5) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.

Clause 1: Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Clause 2: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Clause 3: Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their 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.

Clause 4: Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.

Clause 1: The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. (See Note 6) They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, beprivileged 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.

Clause 2: No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased 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.

Clause 1: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Clause 2: Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Clause 3: Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be 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.

Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Clause 2: To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

Clause 5: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

Clause 6: To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

Clause 7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

Clause 8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Clause 9: To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

Clause 10: To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;

Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Clause 17: To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, byCession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

Clause 18: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.

Clause 1: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

Clause 2: The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Clause 3: No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Clause 4: No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken. (See Note 7)

Clause 5: No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

Clause 6: No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

Clause 7: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

Clause 8: 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.

Clause 1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

Clause 2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing 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 Controul of the Congress.

Clause 3: No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.

Clause 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

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, 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 chuse 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 chuse the President. But in chusing 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 chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President. (See Note 8)

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

Clause 5: 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.

Clause 6: 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, (See Note 9) the Same shall devolve on the VicePresident, 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.

Clause 7: The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased 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.

Clause 8: 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."

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Clause 2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Clause 3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he 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.

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 Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article. III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State; (See Note 10)--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.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.

Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Clause 2: The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 3: No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due. (See Note 11)

Section. 3.

Clause 1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

Clause 2: The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year 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.

Article. VI.

Clause 1: All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

Clause 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

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,

GO WASHINGTON--Presidt. and deputy from Virginia

[Signed also by the deputies of twelve States.]


Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom


James MCHenry
Dan of ST ThoS. Jenifer
DanL Carroll.


John Blair--
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina

WM Blount
RichD. Dobbs Spaight.
Hu Williamson

South Carolina

J. Rutledge
Charles 1ACotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler.


William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire

John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman


Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

WM. SamL. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York

Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey

Wil: Livingston
David Brearley.
WM. Paterson.
Jona: Dayton


B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
RobT Morris
Geo. Clymer
ThoS. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson.
Gouv Morris

Attest William Jackson Secretary


Note 1: This text of the Constitution follows the engrossed copy signed by Gen. Washington and the deputies from 12 States. The small superior figures preceding the paragraphs designate Clauses, and were not in the original and have no reference to footnotes.

The Constitution was adopted by a convention of the States on September 17, 1787, and was subsequently ratified by the several States, on the following dates: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788.

Ratification was completed on June 21, 1788.

The Constitution was subsequently ratified by Virginia, June 25, 1788; New York, July 26, 1788; North Carolina, November 21, 1789; Rhode Island, May 29, 1790; and Vermont, January 10, 1791.

In May 1785, a committee of Congress made a report recommending an alteration in the Articles of Confederation, but no action was taken on it, and it was left to the State Legislatures to proceed in the matter. In January 1786, the Legislature of Virginia passed a resolution providing for the appointment of five commissioners, who, or any three of them, should meet such commissioners as might be appointed in the other States of the Union, at a time and place to be agreed upon, to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations may be necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony; and to report to the several States such an act, relative to this great object, as, when ratified by them, will enable the United States in Congress effectually to provide for the same. The Virginia commissioners, after some correspondence, fixed the first Monday in September as the time, and the city of Annapolis as the place for the meeting, but only four other States were represented, viz: Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; the commissioners appointed by Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Rhode Island failed to attend. Under the circumstances of so partial a representation, the commissioners present agreed upon a report, (drawn by Mr. Hamilton, of New York,) expressing their unanimous conviction that it might essentially tend to advance the interests of the Union if the States by which they were respectively delegated would concur, and use their endeavors to procure the concurrence of the other States, in the appointment of commissioners to meet at Philadelphia on the Second Monday of May following, to take into consideration the situation of the United States; to devise such further provisions as should appear to them necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and to report such an act for that purpose to the United States in Congress assembled as, when agreed to by them and afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State, would effectually provide for the same.

Congress, on the 21st of February, 1787, adopted a resolution in favor of a convention, and the Legislatures of those States which had not already done so (with the exception of Rhode Island) promptly appointed delegates. On the 25th of May, seven States having convened, George Washington, of Virginia, was unanimously elected President, and the consideration of the proposed constitution was commenced. On the 17th of September, 1787, the Constitution as engrossed and agreed upon was signed by all the members present, except Mr. Gerry of Massachusetts, and Messrs. Mason and Randolph, of Virginia. The president of the convention transmitted it to Congress, with a resolution stating how the proposed Federal Government should be put in operation, and an explanatory letter. Congress, on the 28th of September, 1787, directed the Constitution so framed, with the resolutions and letter concerning the same, to "be transmitted to the several Legislatures in order to be submitted to a convention of delegates chosen in each State by the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the convention."

On the 4th of March, 1789, the day which had been fixed for commencing the operations of Government under the new Constitution, it had been ratified by the conventions chosen in each State to consider it, as follows: Delaware, December 7, 1787; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787; New Jersey, December 18, 1787; Georgia, January 2, 1788; Connecticut, January 9, 1788; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788; Maryland, April 28, 1788; South Carolina, May 23, 1788; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788; Virginia, June 25, 1788; and New York, July 26, 1788.

The President informed Congress, on the 28th of January, 1790, that North Carolina had ratified the Constitution November 21, 1789; and he informed Congress on the 1st of June, 1790, that Rhode Island had ratified the Constitution May 29, 1790. Vermont, in convention, ratified the Constitution January 10, 1791, and was, by an act of Congress approved February 18, 1791, "received and admitted into this Union as a new and entire member of the United States."

Note 2: The part of this Clause relating to the mode of apportionment of representatives among the several States has been affected by Section 2 of amendment XIV, and as to taxes on incomes without apportionment by amendment XVI.

Note 3: This Clause has been affected by Clause 1 of amendment XVII.

Note 4: This Clause has been affected by Clause 2 of amendment XVIII.

Note 5: This Clause has been affected by amendment XX.

Note 6: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXVII.

Note 7: This Clause has been affected by amendment XVI.

Note 8: This Clause has been superseded by amendment XII.

Note 9: This Clause has been affected by amendment XXV.

Note 10: This Clause has been affected by amendment XI.

Note 11: This Clause has been affected by amendment XIII.

This information has been compiled from the U.S. Code. The U.S. Code is published by the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Updated September 20, 2004

Friday, May 28, 2010

One of my dumbest moments

I had been out and just as I walked in the door there was a newscast on tv. The 2 newscasters were saying that the police were dealing with a suspected atomic bomb on a ship in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina. It caught my attention because first of all it was a nuclear bomb (this was 1983) and second I had a friend at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina.

I was calculating how far Columbia was from Charleston and wondering if a nuclear blast would affect her. All of a sudden there was a blinding flash of light with an explosion and my televison screen went black.

I panicked!

I jumped on the phone to Sami even though I knew in my heart that more than likely there was nothing I could do to help her but I had to try. Much to my relief she answered on the second ring. I was so grateful that the phone lines weren't blown out and I started telling her to jump in her car and drive west. I told her there was a concussion from a nuclear blast heading her way from Charleston and she needed to get out of town.

Of course she was quite distressed and she was trying to comprehend what I was telling her. I hurriedly described what I had seen on tv and then I started to tell her about the ambulances and police responding that I could see on the tv.

Then it dawned on me. If that was a real explosion then I wouldn't be able to see the emergency responders. In my hurry to call her I had not even noticed that the tv was back on. When I dialed her number it was still blacked out.

I was so embarrassed. At least she understand that I loved her and I had tried to save her even though there was no actual damage.

good deed alerts

I let two little girls have the last pack of silly bands even though they were more than a dollar short. I made them think I wouldn't do it though because these 2 girls are holy terrors and have been known to tear our store apart. They never have quite enough money to get what they want because there parents make sure they have their smokes and beer first. When you see desperation like that in a child's eyes, how can you turn them down?

I put a nickel in a parking meter that was out of time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Keep Away

We used to love to play "keep away". "Keep away" was our version of touch football except for the fact that we didn't have any rules. It was "every man for himself". If you had the ball then everybody else had to try to get it away from you. It was a massive pile of kids (both boys and girls) kicking, hitting, screaming, punching - you name it we did it! Basically the goal was to inflict as much pain as possible - actually the goal was to KILL each other - it had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the ball. The ball was just a formality.

I became so immmune to the pain that there was only one way to get the ball away from me - tickle me. This worked so well that we used it on everybody. The only one that it didn't work on was Rusty. So we all had to pulverize him which wasn't easy considering the fact that he weighed 300 lbs. by the time he was 12 years old!

We did develop one rule though. "NO PULLING HAIR!" My sister Rhonda and I had waist length hair from the time we were little. We would be running with the ball at full speed, our hair streaming behind us, when all of a sudden somebody would grab our hair and then our feet would fly up and our heads would be ripped back - effectively clothes lining our asses! There was no defense from this manuver.

At first the other kids cried foul (because we didn't have not one other rule in effect) but they quickly learned that if they wanted us to play (and we were extremely vicious and competitive players) then they had to comply. It was one of the few times that my sister and I stood together on something. It worked.


Spotlight was another favored game that we used to play. Basically it is hide and go seek in the dark - with flashlights. The flashlights give it that "running for your life" quality. We felt like criminals running from the police after a prison break.

Spotlight starts off with one person being "it". Whomever they find joins in the hunt until everybody is looking for the last person. There is a "base" just like in hide and go seek. If you can make it there before the people hunting for you do then you are safe and you don't have to be "it" in the next game.

I learned early how NOT to be found. First of all I would pull my shirt up over my hair. My blonde hair stuck out like a sore thumb and I had no chance of staying hidden until I thought up that little trick. Once a flashlight hits blonde hair, it's all over with.

I also learned that people NEVER look up when they are hunting for you. I would climb a tree and watch people walk underneath me all night long. I could even listen while they discussed where they were going to look for me. All they had to do was "look up", they never did.

My niece and nephew grew up playing the same game and they enjoyed it as much as we did. It was one of the few games we showed them that we used to play that they didn't find BORING!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Words of Wisdom from my Ex

What can't get up, can't get out.

(his favorite saying if his fly happened to be open and it was pointed out to him.)

Damn! I cheated my ass out of a good fart! (for those occasions when a belch or burp would pass his lips)

I tried on a swimsuit today....

I thought to myself, "Why in the world would I put out good money to look this bad!"

So I didn't buy a swimsuit.

I will be spending the summenr looking "this bad" for free in last year's swimsuit.

I thought to myself, "Why in the world would I put out good money to look this bad!"

I didn't buy a swimsuit.

I will be spending the summer looking "this bad" for free in last year's swimsuit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"miscarriage" of justice

I was working in Miami, Florida. We had just moved there and had actually been there less than 2 weeks, so I didn't know where anything was. I was completely overwhelmed by the size of the city compared to my hometown of Logan, WV. What was worse than the size of the town was the awful atmosphere of crime which hung over the area where I lived even though I was in a supposedly nice area. At the local Winn Dixie supermarket there was an armed guard at every cash register. Once I went to KFC and the girl was so mean I was happy to get out of there with my life...much less a bucket of chicken.

We moved into a studio apartment (complete with murphy bed which I kind of thought was cool since I had never seen one). It was $750 a month and after the deposits I had forked out $1500 which was a phenomenal amount of money back in 1990. I had never rented a place over $300 a month in my life before then. We had been there for two weeks.

I woke up one morning bleeding. I was one day short of being 10 weeks pregnant. I didn't know where any doctors were yet. I didn't know where any hospitals were either. I asked a couple of aquaintances and they tried to tell me where the hospitals were and Bobby and I set out for one of them.

I found one hospital in the middle of intersecting sections of interstate. I went in and told them I was 10 weeks pregnant and bleeding. Once they found out I didn't have insurance they didn't want to see me. I told them I would pay cash. I had always paid cash and I had excellent credit. They took my blood pressure, told me I was fine and I could go home. The nurse also told me if I had any problems to go to another hospital. They would not see me because I wasn't an emergency case. As I walked away I turned to see the nurse pitching my file into the trash. Therefore there was no record of my being at their hospital.

By this time I was cramping with the bleeding. I found an obstetricians office. They refused to see me even though I offered to pay them $100 on the spot and I could cover the rest. I begged the nurse to let me see the doctor and she still refused. A woman in the waiting room followed me into the hallway and told me about a maternity hospital that would see me. I was grateful for her help.

I went to the maternity hospital. They refused to see me as well. They did offer to call me an ambulance and transport me to another hospital. I refused the ambulance and Bobby drove me to that hospital. It was Jackson Memorial Hospital. They told me it would be a 10 to 12 hour wait. The waiting room was packed. I left.

In the elevator on the way back to the parking lot was a very pregnant lady. As I stood there waiting to get to my floor I could see her baby moving in her belly. I had never witnessed such a thing before and all I could think of was "my baby's dying and her's is living." It was very upsetting but of course I didn't let her know that.

On the way home I saw another obstrician's office. We stopped there. It was the swankiest doctor's office I had ever been in. There was a fountain in the waiting room and the furnishings were obviously high end. When I explained my situation to the nurse she told me "of course the doctor will see you. He is in surgery right now, but I want you to go home, put your feet up and don't get out of bed. We will see you first thing in the morning."

So that's what I did.

In the middle of the night I woke up. I was dizzy and blood was gushing from me like a faucet. I was so weak that I was on the verge of passing out. Bobby kept me concious and wanted to take me to the hospital but I thought they would refuse to see me again. As I sat on the commode with the blood pouring from me I had a miscarriage. At one point I am sure that I saw a tiny, inch long umbilical cord in the commode.

By morning it was over. Miami was celebrating a visit from Nelson Mandela and my baby had died because I couldn't get medical help. I can't tell you the depth of the despair that I sank to. I made Bobby pack up and leave. We went and spent 2 very resful weeks on the beach in Melbourne, Florida. I tried to go back to work 2 weeks later. I couldn't. I tried to go back to work 6 weeks later - I still couldn't.

I tried to get into a doctor's office. Nobody would see me because I didn't have insurance. Finally I called a doctor's office and I lied and said I needed a routine pap smear. When he came into the office to check me out I poured my heart out to him. He was quite distressed because he could tell I had a miscarriage with no medical care and he was worried about complications.

There were complications. I had to have 2 operations and it took about 10 months for me to go back to work. I paid for both operations out of my pocket - just as I would have paid the first hospital if they would have seen me to begin with. Then I probably would have still lost the baby but I would have received the care I needed and I wouldn't have needed 2 operations and I wouldn't have lost 10 months of work.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Look, Bobby!"

When I was younger I didn't have any boobs. I really didn't need a bra and didn't wear one a lot of the time. Nobody noticed. When I did wear a bra it was one of those "nearly A" ones. I didn't fill it out.

When I was 9 weeks pregnant I woke up and looked down and there were (for me) two s staring me in the face. I hadn't even got out of bed when I noticed them. They were so big that I just laid there blinking at them for a minute or two. I was astounded by the sight.

Bobby walked out of the bathroom and I exclaimed, "Look, Bobby!"

He looked over at me and I didn't have to tell him what to look for. He said, "Where did those come from?" He had a huge smile on his face if I remember correctly. He promptly broke them in.

My Last Big Secret

Anybody who has been reading my blog for awhile knows that I have divulged pretty much everything about myself - both good and bad. When your at the end you realize that all those secrets that you kept for yourself and for others really don't matter. Here is my last big secret...unless I happen to think of another one anyway.

I was pregnant in 1990. It ended in a miscarriage. That is not the secret. The secret is that the baby was not my husband, Bobby's. It was his brother, Dexter's baby. I did not have an affair. The child was conceived through artificial insemination which was a fairly new procedure back then.

We did not use a clinic or a doctor. I went to the library and read up on everything I could find about it and we did it ourselves. Dexter would give us "a donation". Bobby would pick it up and inseminate me. We tried for 6 months before we were sucessful.

At the 10 week mark I had a miscarriage. I was devastated emotionally by it. I never tried again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Are there signs like this anywhere else in America?

This sign is beside of corridor G in Chapmanville, WV. It is the size of an average house trailer.

It tickles my funny bone.

Progress, Yah!

Today I went to Logan and spruced up my dad's grave a bit. I am really happy because I was able to do it and although I am worn out and sore, it is the kind of tired that a normal person gets when they have used muscles they haven't used in awhile. I am not upstairs, lying in misery, trying to suck down every drop of oxygen I can get my hands on, knowing that I am going to have to rebuild my body from scratch again. This is good.

I remember going to his grave with my Granny 4 years ago and I couldn't even walk up the hill to his grave - much less help an 80 year old woman get to it. It is like walking up a couple of flights of steep stairs to get to it. Nothing overwhelming for an average person but completely devastating for someone with a disability.

For the past 2 years I have gone to his grave and planted some flowers. (tulips and carpet flowers). I can tell they have bloomed but I haven't visited at the right time of year to see the actual flowers yet. This year I planted a miniature yellow rose bush. I also took an angel statue up there that my dad and I bought for my Granny. She is in a nursing home now and they are selling her house. I stopped by her house and when I saw the statue I decided to take it and put it beside Daddy's grave. I think both he and she will like that.

Beside of my dad's grave is an unmarked grave of an aunt. I placed the angel so she looks over both of them. It's been a good day.