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We the people of the 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 establish this constitution for the USA.
- - To be elected to the house of representatives must be at least 25 years old and be a citizen for at least 7 years
- - Number of representatives was determined by the population of each state including indentured servants, excluding Indians, and counting 3/5 of the slave population
- - House of Reps. has right to impeach president
- - Congress can make all laws necessary and proper for enumerated powers.
- - Congress cannot pass bills of attainder, law that declares people guilty without a trial
- - Congress cannot pass expost facto laws, which attempt to convict a person for an act committed before the act was illegal
- - Executive branch
- - To be president, must be natural born citizen, 35 years old, resident of US for at least 14 years
- - Term of president is 4 years with no limit to the amount of reelection times
- - The president and vice-president are elected by electors after popular election has taken place
- - President has the power to make treaties
- - Judicial Branch
- - Supreme court and other federal justices are appointed for life and can only be removed if they fail to maintain good behavior.
- Full faith and credit clause means that legal documents valid in one state must be valid in other states
- - When 2/3 of both houses think it is necessary, amendments can be attached to the constitution
- - 2/3 of the thirteen states need to ratify and amendment in order for it to be part of the constitution
- - Prohibits any state from being denied equal representation in the senate without its consent
- Insures that when a state law and a federal law come into conflict with one another the state law must yield
- - Nine of the 13 states must ratify the constitution in order for it to be approved
- - Contains signatures of all delegates to the convention
- Congress is forbidden to make any law that restricts freedom of religion, free speech, freedom of the press, or the right of individuals to assemble peaceably, or petition the govt. to respond to grievances.
The right of people to keep and bear arms
The govt. is forbidden from housing or quartering soldiers in the house of a private citizen in peace or war without the consent of the owner.
Protects the rights of individuals by forbidding their property or house to be searched except where there is probable cause and a search warrant has been issued.
No person shall be deprived of life, limb, or property without due process of law. Nor can anyone be forced to testify or otherwise incriminate themselves. A person may only be held or punished if they have been tried, and indicted, except for cases of military personnel during a time of war. It also states that no person can be tried twice for the same crime. A provision known as Double Jeopardy. A person may however, be tried separately on criminal and on civil charges.
- Guarantees the right in criminal cases to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.
- - requires that persons be informed of the charges against them, be able to confront the witnesses against them, and be provided with counsel and be able to call witnesses on their behalf.
- Guarantees the right to a jury trial
- - states that in civil suits where the amount is in excess of $20 the right to trial by jury will apply and no decision by a jury shall be overturned by any court of the US except according to the rules of common law.
Excessive bails or fines cannot be imposed upon individuals and cruel and unusual punishments cannot be imposed
Citizens have rights beyond those stated in the constitution and that the specific listing of the certain rights in the constitution cannot be used to deny or abridge other rights retained by the people.
Any powers not directly delegated to the Federal Govt. or prohibited by it are reserved for the states or for the people. This is the source of reserved powers, the bulk of powers granted to the states.
Prohibits individuals from suing states.
- States that distinct ballots will be cast for president and vice president by the electors following the popular vote in the presidential election.
- - Proscribed the matter, time, and place the electors shall meet and vote and win that vote shall be counted.
- - If the electors fail to elect a president by a majority of the vote, the election goes to the house of reps.
- - The house may choose from the top 3 candidates from the electoral college.
Bans slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime.
- The first time the constitution addresses citizenship.
- - Clearly defined citizenship and stated that:
- -All persons born or naturalized in the US, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the US and of the state in which they reside.
- - It is significant that this amendment confers state citizenship as well as national citizenship, as some southern states were reluctant to confer all rights and privileges to recently freed slaves.
- - allows for reapportionment of the seats in the house of reps following a census, counting all persons, expect for untaxed native americans. It voids the 3/5 clause in article one regarding population counts
Stated that the right of US citizens to vote cannot be denied on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, clearing the way for African American men, 21 years and older to vote. Many Southern states searched for ways to get around this amendment breaking the spirit of the law, with literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses.
Permits congress to pass legislation allowing for the collection of an income tax, which was up until this point, unconstitutional.
Came about as part of the progressive movement in America and provides for the direct popular election of senators.
- Bans the production, sale, and transport of alcohol.
- This amendment was repealed by the XXI amendment in 1933.
States that a citizen cannot be denied the right to vote based on sex, and thus grants women the right to vote.
Changes the inauguration date from March 4 to Jan 20 in order to eliminate the "lame duck" session of congress, which was the session just after the Nov election and before the new president assumed office.
- Repeals the 18th amendment
- - This is the only article that repeals a previous amendment
- Individuals elected to the presidency are limited to serving 2 terms or 10 years.
- - Individuals who became president while serving as vice pres due to the death or removal of the pres, and served more than 2 years of a predecessors term can only be elected for 1 additional term
The district of Colombia shall have electoral votes
Indicates that poll taxes cannot be used to deny the right to vote by any citizen effectively making poll taxes illegal.
Outlines the order of succession to the presidency, and provides guidelines for presidential disability.
Extends the vote to individuals who are 18 years of age, which was previously 21.
Establishes procedures for congressional pay increases
Powers reserved for the federal Govt.
- - regulate foreign commerce
- - regulate interstate commerce
- - mint money
- - regulate naturalization and immigration
- - grant copyrights and patents
- - declare and wage war and declare peace
- - admit new states
- - fix standards for weights and measures
- - raise and maintain an army and navy
- - govt. Washington DC
- - conduct relations with foreign powers
- - universalize bankruptcy laws
Powers reserved for state govt.
- - conduct and monitor elections
- - establish voter qualifications within the guidelines, established by the constitution
- - provide for local govt.
- - ratify proposed amendments to constitution
- - regulate contracts and wills
- - regulate intrastate commerce
- - provide for education for its citizens
- - levy direct taxes
- - maintain police power over public health and safety
- - maintain integrity of state borders
Powers shared by state and fed govt. (Concurrent powers)
- - taxing, borrowing, and spending money
- - controlling the militia
- - acting directly on individuals