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ARTICLE IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or other infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject, for the same offense, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

ARTICLE VI. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

ARTICLE VII. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved ; and no fact, tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

ARTICLE VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

ARTICLE IX. The enumeration in the constitution, of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

ARTICLE X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

ARTICLE XI. The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

ARTICLE XII. SECTION 1. The electors shall meet in their respective states and yote by ballot for president and vice-president, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as president, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as vice-president, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as president, and of all persons voted for as vice-president, and of the number of votes for each, which lists 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 for president, shall be the president, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as president, the house of representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the president. But in choosing 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. And if the house of representatives shall not choose a president, whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the vice-president shall act as president, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the president. The person having the greatest number of votes as vice-president, shall be the vice-president, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the senate shall choose the vice-president; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of president, shall be eligible to that of vice-president of the United States.

ARTICLE XIII. Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

ARTICLE XIV. SECTION 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Sec. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for president and vice-president of the United States, representatives in congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

Sec. 3. No person shall be a senator or representative in congress, or elector of president and vice-president, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who having previously taken an oath, as a member of congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove such disability.

Sec. 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations, and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Sec. 5. The congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

ARTICLE XV. SECTION 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Sec. 2. The congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

ARTICLE XVII. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary ap pointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Note.—The Constitution was ratified by the thirteen original States in the following order: Delaware, December 7, 1787, unanimously; Pennsylvania, December 12, 1787, vote 46 to 23; New Jersey, December 18, 1787, unanimously; Georgia, January 2, 1788, unanimously; Connecticut, January 9, 1788, vote 128 to 40; Massachusetts, February 6, 1788, vote 187 to 168; Maryland, April 28, 1788, vote 63 to 12; South Carolina, May 23, 1788, vote 149 to 73; New Hampshire, June 21, 1788, vote 57 to 46; Virginia, June 25, 1788, vote 89 to 79; New York, July 26, 1788, vote 30 to 28; North Carolina, November 21, 1789, vote 193 to 75; Rhode Island, May 29, 1790, vote 34 to 32.

Amendments I to X inclusive were declared in force December 15, 1791. XI was declared in force January 8, 1798. XII, regulating elections, was ratified by all the States except Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, which rejected it. It was declared in force September 28, 1804. XIII. The emancipation amendment was ratified by 31 of the 36 States; rejected by Delaware and Kentucky; not acted on by Texas; conditionally ratified by Alabama and Mississippi. Proclaimed December 18, 1865. XIV. Reconstruction amendment was ratified by 23 Northern States; rejected by Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and 10 Southern States, and not acted on by California. The 10 Southern States subsequently ratified under pressure. Proclaimed July 28, 1868. XV. Negro citizenship amendment was not acted on by Tennessee, rejected by California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon; ratified by the remaining 30 States. New York rescinded its ratification January 5, 1870. Proclaimed March 30, 1870. XVI was proclaimed in force February 25, 1913. XVII was proclaimed in force May 31, 1913.


The Executive Department

Section 1.



1 CRANCH, 137. 1803.

This was an original proceeding brought in the Supreme Court of the United States for a mandamus commanding James Madison, Secretary of State under President Jefferson, to deliver a commission to William Marbury, the plaintiff, as a justice of the peace for the District of Columbia. The plaintiff claimed to have been appointed by President Jefferson's predecessor, President John Adams. The particular act of Congress upon which the plaintiff relied in bringing this action was the Judiciary Act of 1789, which authorized the Supreme Court of the United States to issue writs of mandamus to persons holding office under the authority of the United States.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the court.

"In the order in which the court has viewed this subject, the following questions have been considered and decided. 1st. Has the applicant a right to the commission he demands ? 2nd. If he has a right, and that right has been violated, do the laws of his country afford him a remedy? 3rd. If they do afford him a remedy, is it a mandamus issuing from this court?"

The first object of inquiry is, 1st, Has the applicant a right to the commission he demands?

His right originates in an Act of Congress passed in February, 1801, concerning the District of Columbia.

After dividing the district into two counties, the 11th section of this law, enacts, "that there shall be appointed in and for each of the said counties, such number of discreet persons to be justices of the peace as the President of the United States shall, from time to time, think expedient, to continue in office for five years."

It appears from the affidavits, that in compliance with this law, a commission for William Marbury, as a justice of the peace for the county of Washington, was signed by John Adams, then President of the United States; after which the seal of the United States was affixed to it; but the commission has never reached the person for whom it was made out.

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