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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, secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.
OF THE LEGISLATIVE POWER.
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.
OF THE 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 in 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 entiled to choose 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 Carolină 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.
OF THE SENATE.
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 yote.
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.
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 was 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 have 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 is 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.
MANNER OF ELECTING MEMBERS.
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 places of choosing senators.
CONGRESS TO ASSEMBLE ANNUALLY.
year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, u nless 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 secresy; 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.
COMPENSATION, &C., OF MEMBERS.
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 sessions 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 that 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 re-consider it. If, after such re-consideration, two