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                        POCKET CONSTITUTION

                     108th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION / 
                   [Star Print]  HOUSE DOCUMENT 108-96 


                   The Declaration of Independence 
                   was the promise; the 
                   Constitution was the fulfillment. 





                   "The sacred rights of mankind 
                   are not to be rummaged for, 
                   among old parchments, or musty 
                   records. They are written, as 
                   with a sun beam in the whole 
                   volume of human nature, by the 
                   hand of the divinity itself; and 
                   can never be erased or obscured 
                   by mortal power.'' 

                               Alexander Hamilton, 1775 

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                             The CONSTITUTION 
                           of the United States 
                             with Index and 
                      The Declaration of Independence 


                           First Edition, 1986 
                          Second Edition, 1987 
                    Third Edition (with index), 1987 
                          Fourth Edition, 1988 
                          Fifth Edition, 1988 
                          Sixth Edition, 1988 
             Seventh (Special Limited Inaugural) Edition, 1989 
                  Eighth (Special Military) Edition, 1989 
               Ninth (Limited Eastern European) Edition, 1990 
                  Tenth (Special Boy Scout) Edition, 1990 
                Eleventh (Special Girl Scout) Edition, 1990 
         Twelfth Edition (with Declaration of Independence), 1990 
                         Thirteenth Edition, 1991 
         Fourteenth (HMS Rose/Bill of Rights Tour) Edition, 1991 
                          Fifteenth Edition, 1991 
                 Sixteenth (Seville Expo '92) Edition, 1992 
          Seventeenth (Seville Expo '92, Spanish) Edition, 1992 
                 Eighteenth (with Twenty-Seventh Amendment) 
                              Edition, 1992 
                         Nineteenth (Reprint) 1997 
                         Twentieth (Reprint) 2000 
                       Twenty-First (Reprint) 2003 



                        CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED 
                                   STATES 
               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. 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 

         *Changed by section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment. 

           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 chuse 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 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 


*Changed by the Seventeenth Amendment. 

           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 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. 
           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 chusing Senators. 
               The Congress shall assemble at least once in 
           every Year, and such Meeting shall be [on the first 


*Changed by the Seventeenth Amendment. 

           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 Behaviour, 
           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 

*Changed by section 2 of the Twentieth Amendment. 


           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. 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 
           becomes 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 
           Defence 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 an 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 

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