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US Constitution

Article I. Legislative Branch

1. 2. Congress bicameral legislative body (Senate + House of Representatives) Representatives: qualifications for office (25 years, 7 years of citizenship) terms of office (2 years) number of representatives (1 per 30,000 ppl; 435 MPs since 1929) sole power of Impeachment Senators: qualifications for office (30 years, 9 years of citizenship) terms of office (6 years) number of senators (2) sole power to try all Impeachments US Vice President President of the Senate, but has no vote, unless they are equally divided. Rules of congressional elections are determined by the states. Congress sessions (once a year, start on 3 January (20th amdt)) Legitimacy & regulations of Members behavior are determined by each House. Quorum rule H.R. (218 members), Senate (51 members). Each House may expel a Member by two-thirds vote. Each House keeps a Journal of its Proceedings and publishes it periodically. Congressmen receive a Compensation out of the US Treasury. They are privileged from Arrest (except Treason). They can have no other job while in office. HR has sole power to originate revenue bills. Presidential veto (+ pocket veto). Enumerated powers of Congress: 17 powers + necessary and proper clause (elastic clause). Limits on Federal government: Writ of Habeas Corpus cant be suspended. Ex post facto laws cant be passed. Expenditures of all public money shall be published. No Titles of Nobility can be granted. No tax on slavery. No export taxes. Limits on States: No treaties with other states or foreign powers. No duties on Imports or Exports. No troops and war ships in peacetime. President: qualifications (35 years, natural born citizen, a US resident for 14 years) term of office (4 years) replacement (by Vice President) compensation (not changed while in office) Electoral College Oath of Affirmation Presidential Powers: Commander-in-Chief requires written Opinion from principal Officer of any executive Department grants Reprieves and Pardons for offences (except Impeachment cases) makes Treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate appoints with the consent of the Senate: Ambassadors public Ministers and Consuls Justices of the Supreme Court all other Officers of the US fills all Vacancies along (till the next session of the Senate) Powers: presents in Congress the State of the Union Address receives ambassadors & other public ministers appoints all the Officers of US ensures proper execution of federal laws


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Article II. Executive Branch





may convene Congress on extraordinary occasions can recommend legislative measures can recommend time of Congresss Adjournment Impeachment: President Vice President impeached for: all civil Officers of the US

may be Treason Bribery other high Crimes & Misdemeanors

Article III. Judicial Branch

1. Structure: Judicial power is vested in one Supreme Court and inferior courts. Inferior courts are established by Congress. All Judges hold their offices during Good Behavior (life term). Their Compensation doesnt change while in office. Powers: decides cases under federal law affecting Ambassadors and other public Ministers and Consuls settles disputes b/w states & a state and US government has original and appellate jurisdiction Trial by jury in the state where a crime was. Treason: levying (starting) war against US adhering to enemies, giving them aid and comfort Conviction: 2 witnesses of the same overt (obvious) Act or confession in open court Family of a traitor cant be punished. Full Faith and Credit: official acts of all other states should be respected. Privileges and Immunities clause: residents of other states have the same rights as its citizens people convicted of a crime and fled from the state shall be returned on the demand Admission of new states: not from the existing (only with their consent) Congress regulates territory and other property of the US. US guarantees a Republican Form of Government to every state. US protects states against Invasion and domestic Violence. Two-staged process. There are 2 ways to fulfill each stage: Amending by 2/3 of both houses of Congress by Convention called by 2/3 of state legislatures



Article IV. National Unity

1. 2. 3. 4.

Article V. Amending the Constitution

Ratification by legislatures of 3/4 of the states by conventions of 3/4 of the states

Article VI. Supremacy Clause

National debts of Confederation will be accepted by the new Federal gov-nt. US Constitution and all US laws are supreme for all states. Oath of Affirmation of all officials. Secularism: no religious test as a qualification to any public office.

Article VII. Ratification of Constitution

9 states are sufficient for ratification.
Signed: Sep.17, 1787 Ratified: DW Dec.7, 1787; NH June 21, 1788

President G.W.: Feb.4, 1789