The U.S. Constitution is the founding document that established the form and function of the government of the United States of America. It was drafted in 1787 and sent to the 13 states for ratification. Many delegations demanded an enumeration of guaranteed rights, so the first ten amendments, known as the "Bill of Rights" were published separately and sent as well. Though the government began operation on March 4, 1789 under the ratified unamended document, North Carolina and Rhode Island held out until the Bill of Rights were added.
It would receive 17 more amendments, most of which just clarified statements of the 1791 document. One amendment would nullify an earlier one and one would finally become law nearly two centuries after it was introduced! After Doomsday, the majority of the survivor states would use this document still, some with no thought of revision. In 1991, a group of citizens wishing to continue the legend that had become the United States of America, met in Torrington, Wyoming, to draft a revision.
The Revision of 1991 (PUSA)
The Revision of the US Constitution sought to merge the Amendments up to 1983 into the body of the original, and changed only Article 2 (Electoral College) and the "Second" Amendment (Right to bear arms) in any significant way. Some amendments were obsolete and thus were removed from the document altogether. What follows is only the parts of the document that have been altered.
Strike throughs show deletions and bold italics show changes. Parts that have been moved are labeled according to where they were originally and (notes in parentheses) explain where the changes came from.
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 hereby confirm this Constitution for the United States of America.
- Article 1, 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.
- Article 1, 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.
- 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 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 threeWyoming shall be entitled to choose five; Montana four; Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas, three each.
- 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.
- No state may restrict the right of Electors to vote based on race, sex or station in life. All citizens of the states having reached an age of eighteen may vote in all federal elections. (This amendment replaces the 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th Amendments of the original document.)
- Article 1, Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the
Legislatureelectors 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, at the pleasure of the Legislature of the State, make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislaturea special election called by the Executive be held, at which shall then fillsuch Vacancies shall be filled. (Amended to reflect the 17th Amendment).
- Article 1, 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 choosing Senators. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the
first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day3rd day of January. (changed by the 20th Amendment, which follows as additional Sections of this Article)
- Article 1, Section 5. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
- Article 1, Section 6. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
- Article 1, Section 7. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
- Article 1, Section 8. 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. (27th Amendment): No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
- Original Sections 5 through 10 renumbered Section 9 to Section 14.
- Article 1, Section 13.
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.
- 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.
- No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
- No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
- No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Article 2, Section 1. The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his term during the next four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected as follows:
- Each State shall
appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors,by popular vote in the congressional districts on secret ballots 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 Electordetermine by majority vote the appointment of each district's choice for both offices. The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not lie an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shallAn independent accounting firm, from another state, shall count the votes of each district to determine a winner and shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes fordistricts won by 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 choose 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 choose 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. 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 choose from them by Ballot the Vice-President.(The electoral college is replaced by officially contracted counters, and the vice president is a separate office on the same ballot with the president as provided by the 12th Amendment).
- The Congress may determine the Time of
choosing the Electorsof the elections, and the Day on which they shall give their Votesbe conducted; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
- 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.
- Each State shall
- Article 2, Section 2 (22nd Amendment). No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
- Article 2, Section 3 (25th Amendment). In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
- Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
- Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
- Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
- Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
- Sections 2 through 4 are renumbered as Sections 4 through 6.
- Article 4, Section 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. 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.
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
- (Negated by the 14th Amendment).
- Article 5. 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 thatno State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
- Article 6. All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into by the State of Wyoming, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution
, as under the Confederation.
- 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.
- 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 7, renumbered as Article 21. The Ratification of the Conventions of
ninefour States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same. (moved to end)
- The Original Bill of Rights, presented as Amendments 1 through 10, are included as Articles 7 though 16.
- Article 8. (2nd Amendment)
A well regulated Militia, The defence of the populace against maleficence, both domestic and foreign, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
- Article 17 = 11th Amendment
- 12th Amendment - see Article 2, Section 1
- Article 18 = 14th Amendment
- 15th Amendment - see Article 1, Section 2
- Article 19 = 16th Amendment
- 17th Amendment - see Article 1, Secton 3
- 19th Amendment - see Article 1, Section 2
- 20th Amendment. See Article 1, Sections 4 through 8
- 22nd Amendment - Article 2, Section 1
- Article 20 (23rd Amendment), Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendmentFor purposes of governance, the district shall be considered a city within the boundaries of its surrounding states were it not the district. If the district is within the boundaries of more than one state, then the city is to be so partitioned. The popular vote of the district shall be apportioned according to its partitions, if so divided.
- 24th Amendment - see Article 1, Section 2
- 25th Amendment - see Article 2, Section 1
- 26th Amendment - see Article 1, Section 2
- 27th Amendment - see Article 1, Section 8
Raymond Hunkins, Wyoming
Mike Sullivan, Wyoming
Stan Stephens, Montana
Sam Brownback, Kansas
Adrian Smith, Nebraska