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AMENDMENT [I.] 2 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the 1 In Dillon v. Gloss, 256 U.S. 368 (1921), the Supreme Court stated that it would take judicial notice of the date on which a State ratified a proposed constitutional amendment. Accordingly the Court consulted the State journals to determine the dates on which each house of the legislature of certain States ratified the Eighteenth Amendment. It, therefore, follows that the date on which the governor approved the ratification, or the date on which the secretary of state of a given State certified the ratification, or the date on which the Secretary of State of the United States received a copy of said certificate, or the date on which he proclaimed that the amendment had been ratified are not controlling. Hence, the ratification date given in the following notes is the date on which the legislature of a given State approved the particular amendment (signature by the speaker or presiding officers of both houses being considered a part of the ratification of the “legislature”). When that date is not available, the date given is that on which it was approved by the governor or certified by the secretary of state of the particular State. In each case such fact has been noted. Except as otherwise indicated information as to ratification is based on data supplied by the Department of State.

2 Brackets enclosing an amendment number indicate that the number was not specifically assigned in the resolution proposing the amendment. It will be seen, accordingly, that only the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Amendments were thus technically ratified by number. The first ten amendments along with two others that were not ratified were proposed by Congress on September 25, 1789, when they passed the Senate, having previously passed the House on September 24 (1 ANNALS OF CONGRESS 88, 913). They appear officially in 1 Stat. 97.

Ratification was completed on December 15, 1791, when the eleventh State (Virginia) approved these amendments, there being then 14 States in the Union.

The several state legislatures ratified the first ten amendments to the Constitution on the following dates: New Jersey, November 20, 1789; Maryland, December 19, 1789; North Carolina, December 22, 1789; South Carolina, January 19, 1790; New Hampshire, January 25, 1790;

Delaware, January 28, 1790; New York, February 27, 1790; Pennsylvania, March 10, 1790; Rhode Island, June 7, 1790; Vermont, November 3, 1791; Virginia, December 15, 1791. The two amendments that then failed of ratification prescribed the ratio of representation to population in the House, and specified that no law varying the compensation of members of Congress should be effective until after an intervening election of Representatives. The first was ratified by ten States (one short of the requisite number) and the second, by six States; subsequently, this second proposal was taken up by the States in the period 1980–1992 and was proclaimed as ratified as of May 7, 1992. Connecticut, Georgia, and Massachusetts ratified the first ten amendments in 1939.


freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

AMENDMENT [II.] A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

AMENDMENT [III.] No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

AMENDMENT [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.

AMENDMENT [V.] No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise 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.


AMENDMENT [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 defense.

AMENDMENT [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 reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

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

AMENDMENT [IX.] The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

AMENDMENT [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.


AMENDMENT [XI.] 3 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 on the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

AMENDMENT [XII.] 4 The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote 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 PresiThe Eleventh Amendment was proposed by Congress on March 4, 1794, when it passed the House, 4 ANNALS OF CONGRESS 477, 478, having previously passed the Senate on January 14, Id., 30, 31. It appears officially in 1 Stat. 402. Ratification was completed on February 7, 1795, when the twelfth State (North Carolina) approved the amendment, there being then 15 States in the Union. Official announcement of ratification was not made until January 8, 1798, when President John Adams in a message to Congress stated that the Eleventh Amendment had been adopted by three-fourths of the States and that it “may now be deemed to be a part of the Constitution.” In the interim South Carolina had ratified, and Tennessee had been admitted into the Union as the sixteenth State.

The several state legislatures ratified the Eleventh Amendment on the following dates: New York, March 27, 1794; Rhode Island, March 31, 1794; Connecticut, May 8, 1794; New Hampshire, June 16, 1794; Massachusetts, June 26, 1794; Vermont, between October 9 and November 9, 1794; Virginia, November 18, 1794; Georgia, November 29, 1794; Kentucky, December 7, 1794; Maryland, December 26, 1794; Delaware, January 23, 1795; North Carolina, February 7, 1795; South Carolina, December 4, 1797.

4 The Twelfth Amendment was proposed by Congress on December 9, 1803, when it passed the House, 13 ANNALS OF CONGRESS 775, 776, having previously passed the Senate on December

2. Id., 209. It was not signed by the presiding officers of the House and Senate until December

12. It appears officially in 2 Stat. 306. Ratification was probably completed on June 15, 1804, when the legislature of the thirteenth State (New Hampshire) approved the amendment, there being then 17 States in the Union. The Governor of New Hampshire, however, vetoed this act of the legislature on June 20, and the act failed to pass again by two-thirds vote then required by the state constitution. Inasmuch as Article V of the Federal Constitution specifies that amendments shall become effective “when ratified by legislatures of three-fourths of the several States or by conventions in three-fourths thereof,” it has been generally believed that an approval or veto by a governor is without significance. If the ratification by New Hampshire be deemed ineffective, then the amendment became operative by Tennessee’s ratification on July 27, 1804.

On September 25, 1804, in a circular letter to the Governors of the several States, Secretary of State Madison declared the amendment ratified by three-fourths of the States.

The several state legislatures ratified the Twelfth Amendment on the following dates: North Carolina, December 22, 1803; Maryland, December 24, 1803; Kentucky, December 27, 1803; Ohio, between December 5 and December 30, 1803; Virginia, between December 20, 1803 and February 3, 1804; Pennsylvania, January 5, 1804; Vermont, January 30, 1804; New York, February 10, 1804; New Jersey, February 22, 1804; Rhode Island, between February 27 and March 12, 1804; South Carolina, May 15, 1804; Georgia, May 19, 1804; New Hampshire, June 15, 1804;

and Tennessee, July 27, 1804. The amendment was rejected by Delaware on January 18, 1804, and by Connecticut at its session begun May 10, 1804. Massachusetts ratified this amendment in 1961.


dent, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as VicePresident, 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 VicePresident 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 twoCONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES 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.

AMENDMENT XIII.5 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.

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

AMENDMENT XIV.6 SECTION 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United 5 The Thirteenth Amendment was proposed by Congress on January 31, 1865, when it passed the House, CONG. GLOBE (38th Cong., 2d Sess.) 531, having previously passed the Senate on April 8, 1864. Id., (38th cong., 1st Sess.), 1940. It appears officially in 13 Stat. 567 under the date of February 1, 1865. Ratification was completed on December 6, 1865, when the legislature of the twenty-seventh State (Georgia) approved the amendment, there being then 36 States in the Union.

On December 18, 1865, Secretary of State Seward certified that the Thirteenth Amendment had become a part of the Constitution, 13 Stat. 774.

The several state legislatures ratified the Thirteenth Amendment on the following dates:

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