Who We Are

Welcome to the Constitution Party of Iowa!

 

We are working to raise our fellow Iowan's awareness that there is a choice to Republicans and Democrats to fill our elected representative positions. In stark contrast to the RNC and DNC, we are the only party which is completely Pro-Life, Pro-States’ Rights, Pro-Second Amendment, Pro-Constitutional, and Pro-Limited Government. We are against- illegal immigration and open borders, against- U.S. policy being dictated by the United Nations, against- undeclared unconstitutional wars (such as Iraq and Afghanistan), and against- free trade and all international trade agreements such as NAFTA & GATT.

Our Founding Fathers created a Republic as our form of government and were specific about its authority and limitations. The Democrats and the Republicans have over-stepped those boundaries creating today's conditions of out-of-control debt, Presidents using executive orders to legislate, judges crafting laws from the bench instead of interpreting the laws made by the legislature. and the legislature unconstitutionally spending our money faster then we can earn it.

Pray for God's guidance as we aspire to do our best in keeping this country Free.

 

History of the Constitution Party:

1992 A coalition of independent state parties united to form the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The party’s founder, Howard Phillips, was on the ballot in 21 states as its first presidential candidate.

1995-99 Party recognized by Federal Election Commission as a national party bringing the number of recognized parties to 5. Ballot access achieved in 39 states for the 1996 elections, representing over 80% of the electoral college votes available.

1999 Name changed to “Constitution Party” by delegates at the National Convention to better reflect the party’s primary focus of returning government to the U.S. Constitution’s provisions and limitations.

2000 & 2004 The party achieved ballot access in 41 and 36 states respectively. Though the party was on fewer state ballots in 2004, the vote tally increased by 40% compared to the 2000 elections while other ‘alternative’ parties lost ground or barely matched their 2000 vote totals.

2008 The Constitution Party was on the ballot in 37 states. Presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin and vice-presidential candidate Darrell Castle, endorsed by former GOP presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, polled a higher percentage of the vote than any other Constitution Party presidential ticket in 27 states for a total of 384,722 votes.

2010 The Constitution Party of Iowa's own Jon Tack proudly stood for our seven principles in Iowa's second district during his campaign for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, once again providing a solid choice on the ballot for Iowa constitutionalists.

NUMBERS
The CP is the third largest political party in terms of voter registration. There are 367,000 registered Constitution Party voters. (This number does not take into account the many states which do not tally voter registrations by party. In addition, thousands of voters registered with other parties have chosen to vote for Constitution Party candidates at the national, state and local levels.)

One quarter of all voters nation-wide are registered as independent or as members of a ‘third party’. Over the last 10 years this has been the largest growing segment of voter registrations. Some states’ third party or independent registrations approach 1/3 of all registered voters.

Independent voters are playing a bigger role in national and local politics as disappointment with both the Republican and Democratic parties increases.

A Fox News poll (www.foxnews.com) showed 67% of Americans said they'd consider voting for an independent candidate. An earlier Rasmussen survey showed 58% said it would be good for the United States to have a "truly competitive" third party. Voters are now weighing their options, especially on the issue of immigration. According to Rasmussen, 35% of conservatives said they'd pick a third party candidate over a Republican.

In 2012, the Constitution Party expects to have ballot access in all 50 states.

CANDIDATES
CP candidates were elected to partisan offices for the first time in 2006, including Montana State Representative Rick Jore.

PLATFORM
The Constitution Party is the only party which is completely:
Pro-Life
Pro-States’ Rights
Pro-Second Amendment
Pro-Constitutional, Limited Government
Against- illegal immigration and open borders
Against- U.S. policy being dictated by the United Nations
Against- undeclared unconstitutional wars (such as Iraq and Afghanistan)
Against- free trade and all international trade agreements such as NAFTA & GATT

WHY A THIRD PARTY?

1. To encourage voter participation and citizen involvement in the governing process.

2. Competition yields a Superior Product; i.e. better elected officials and better government.

· 95% of all incumbent candidates win re-election. In recent years, between 50 and 75 of incumbent Congressmen in the U.S. did not face an opponent on the November ballot, allowing them to be reelected without even campaigning.

· Voter choice is even more limited in state legislative races. 35 to 40% of the 6900 seats in state houses across the US (over 2500 seats) typically have no competition.

3. To address issues ignored by the two parties in power.

Past third parties championed…

· A Woman’s Right to Vote -introduced in 1872 by the Prohibition Party. It wasn’t until 1916 that the two political parties in power began to consider the issue.

· Abolition of Slavery-introduced by the Liberty Party (1840/1844) The issue was not fully accepted by the Republican Party even as late as 1860. The Republican Party was itself a third party in 1854 when it was founded. Just a few years later, the Republicans defeated the incumbent conservative party, the Whigs, by running a man named Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, running in a four-way race, won the electoral college and the presidency even though he wasn't on the ballot in nine states and received less that 40% of the popular vote.

· A Balanced Budget- focus of Independent/Reform Party (1992/1996) candidate Ross Perot who campaigned for fiscal restraint. By the time George W. Bush became president the budget was balanced. Today both parties give strong lip service to ending deficit spending though neither party is willing to make the tough political choices needed to balance the budget.

 

The "History of the Constitution Party" was written by our National Party Communications Director

Mary Starrett 602.315.6193
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Say No to the Two Party System

670,000 Iowans are independent voters. They are choosing to decide for themselves who are the best candidates. No longer are they "just accepting" what the establishment parties say are "viable" candidates.

You can send a message to the Republicans and to the Democrats that you will no longer accept their failed policies of spending, taxing and regulating. Change your voter registration party affiliation today. Click here, fill out the form and be sure to select "No Party" in Section 4 Political Affiliation. Mail in the completed form or visit your local county auditor's office.

It's quick, it's easy, it's non-binding and will send a message that politics as usual is on the endangered species list and soon will be approaching extinction. It's OUR Country. It's OUR Government. As Iowans "Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain".

 

Register to Vote

The first step to supporting your Constitution Party candidate at the ballot box is to make sure you're registered to vote in Iowa!  It's an easy two step process:

  1. Fill out, print and sign the voter registration form.
  2. Look up your county auditor's office and return the completed, signed form to them.

If you find yourself with too little time to register to vote in advance, never fear, you can register to vote on election day at your polling place.  There are some additional requirements to fulfill, which you should check out on the Secretary of State's web site, so avoid the extra work and get registered to vote today!

When election day arrives, head to your polling place to support your Constitution Party!

 

Membership2

The United States Constitution is the framework by which to preserve each individuals' right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The government has turned away from securing and maintaining the Freedoms for individuals to being an intrusive nanny state with a hands-on approach to all aspects of our livelihoods.

 

We seek to share our values and ideas to promote The Constitution Party of Iowa. Our values come from the Founding Fathers' documents that are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights, but the cornerstone to the Constitution Party is the Bible.
 
 
The Declaration of Independence was created out of necessity to facilitate the release of the colonies from the grips of a tyrant. And after winning our Freedom, the Founding Fathers gathered to create a set of rules and laws for what authority and limitations the government shall be bound to. A standard was used to create the Constitution. They used the most perfect standard known to man - God's Word.
 
 
In recent years God's standard has been substituted with relative truth, that truth is only what they believe it to be. We firmly believe in the First Amendment in which all people have the right to Freedom of Religion. It is not our purpose to evangelize people to Christianity. It is our goal to return the operation of the government to the original intent devised by our Founding Fathers who used God's Word "in order to form a more perfect union".
 
 
Like many organizations, we need members and funds to get our message to the people. Your financial donation will help us purchase necessary materials and your membership with The Constitution Party of Iowa will help to secure a better future for our children and grand children. Get started today by getting your membership or making a contribution.
 
 
Thank you.
 
Please note: contributions to political parties, such as the Constitution Party of Iowa, are not tax deductible.
 
CLICK HERE TO DONATE OR BECOME A MEMBER ONLINE... or fill out the PDF attached below and mail your contribution to the address indicated on the form.
Attachments:
Download this file (Membership and Contribtions Form 2012.pdf)Membership and Contribtions Form 2012.pdf[Please complete this form for any membership or other contribution, and return to the address shown so that we may properly record your contribution!]293 kB
 
 

Campaigns

Thank you for visiting the Constitution Party of Iowa's Campaigns area.


Thank you for visiting our campaigns page. As campaigns are launched, you will be able to view additional information about them and how to support these campaigns here. Please check back for updates!
 

Candidates

Thank you for visiting the Constitution Party of Iowa's Candidates area.

 

The Constitution Party of Iowa is working to raise our fellow Americans’ awareness that there is a choice other than Republicans and Democrats to fill our elected representative positions. In stark contrast to the RNC and DNC, we are the only party which is completely Pro-Life, Pro-States’ Rights, Pro-Second Amendment, Pro-Constitutional, and Pro-Limited Government. We are against- illegal immigration and open borders, against- U.S. policy being dictated by the United Nations, against- undeclared unconstitutional wars (such as Iraq and Afghanistan), and against- free trade and all international trade agreements such as NAFTA & GATT.

Our Founding Fathers created a Republic as our form of government and were specific about its authority and limitations. The Democrats and the Republicans have over-stepped those boundaries creating today's conditions of out-of-control debt, Presidents using executive orders to legislate, judges crafting laws from the bench instead of interpreting the laws made by the legislature, and the legislature unconstitutionally spending our money faster than we can earn it.

So we'd like to introduce you to our presidential candidate, Virgil Goode. He is a former Virginia State Senator and has served in the US House of Representatives. (Virgil's bio can be found here). Unlike Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, Virgil believes that the Constitution is our governing document for a proper and responsible government. Let's take a quick comparative look at the three candidates.

VG Comparison

 There are many, many issues that concern us all and only a few of those have been discussed during the debates between Romney and Obama. Virgil has taken a stance over the years on those issues and backed up his ideals with his votes. Here is a list of just some of those issues and why he takes the position that he does.

If you've turned on the television at some point and time in the last 6 months odds are that you have been bombarded with at least one Romney and one Obama ad. One is played and then the next ad is for the other guy and they usually include some video footage of the other candidate speaking. Why is that? Because seeing is believing and when you actually see and hear someone speaking, it carries a tremendous amount of weight in the arena of public opinion. So I present to you two links, the first is to Virgil's website with some of his most recent videos and the second to Youtube.  

We believe that Virgil is the best person to be President in these troubled times to get the government back on track and to protect our Rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. One of those Rights is that "We the People" decide how and who will represent us.

One of our most powerful Rights is the Right to vote. It's important that we are informed voters when we go into the booth on November 6th. Virgil Goode is on the ballot in 26 states, a write-in candidate in 13 states and working to be a write-in candidate in 5 more states. That's enough to win the electoral college. (Map)

A third party can't win the election you say? Ronald Reagan once said "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem". So who is the government? For the last 160 years the government has been Republicans and Democrats. When one party gets out of line the other gets voted in during the next election. Back and forth, back and forth. Yet the laws become more restrictive, the taxes continue to increase, inflation continues while the value of the dollar decreases. The party in control determines who runs the various departments and who gets nominated for Judicial positions. Are you happy with the government?

Neither of these two party's have addressed the problems we now face. In fact the politicians are so on top of things that they need to "pass the bill to find out what's in it". And so long as we continue to put these two party's back into the government our problems will continue. Their goal is not to serve the People according to the Constitution but to be in power. It's as simple as that.

"I don't want to waste my vote on a third party." Mitt Romney has said that he wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it. Where in the Constitution does it say that government is supposed to provide medical care to its Citizens? Mitt Romney also said during the first debate that he would look at defunding programs if they weren't important enough for us to borrow money from China to pay for it. The Constitution is specific and clear about what the government is allowed to spend money for.

By voting for either Romney or Obama I'm throwing away my vote because it will simply keep the status quo. While there are good people in both party's, both party's have failed you and me by not protecting our Constitutional Republic. Politics first, People last.

Whatever the outcome on November 7th, I will have no regrets by voting for the right person, Virgil Goode. I choose to end the cycle of back and forth or choosing the lesser of two evils. We deserve better. Our Constitution says so.

 

Constitution of the State of Iowa

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF IOWA


[This version of the Constitution incorporates into the original document all amendments adopted through the 1998 general election and omits certain provisions apparently superseded or obsolete. The footnote following an amended section is the latest action only. The original Constitution and amendments in chronological order, referenced in footnotes following some sections, may be found in the official printed Code of Iowa. References in footnotes to the Code refer to the Iowa Code. This codified version generally adopts the rules for capitalization and punctuation used in drafting legislation.]

Preamble. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the State of Iowa, the boundaries whereof shall be as follows:

Boundaries. Beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River, at a point due East of the middle of the mouth of the main channel of the Des Moines River, thence up the middle of the main channel of the said Des Moines River, to a point on said river where the Northern boundary line of the State of Missouri--as established by the constitution of that State--adopted June 12th, 1820--crosses the said middle of the main channel of the said Des Moines River; thence Westwardly along the said Northern boundary line of the State of Missouri, as established at the time aforesaid, until an extension of said line intersects the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River; thence up the middle of the main channel of the said Missouri River to a point opposite the middle of the main channel of the Big Sioux River, according to Nicollett's Map; thence up the main channel of the said Big Sioux River, according to the said map, until it is intersected by the parallel of forty three degrees and thirty minutes North latitude; thence East along said parallel of forty three degrees and thirty minutes until said parallel intersects the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence down the middle of the main channel of said Mississippi River to the place of beginning.
See boundary compromise agreements at the end of Volume IV of the Code

ARTICLE I.
BILL OF RIGHTS.

Rights of persons. SECTION 1. All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights--among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
Amended 1998, Amendment [45]

Political power. SEC. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.

Religion. SEC. 3. The general assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing places of worship, or the maintenance of any minister, or ministry.

Religious test--witnesses. SEC. 4. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office, or public trust, and no person shall be deprived of any of his rights, privileges, or capacities, or disqualified from the performance of any of his public or private duties, or rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity, in consequence of his opinions on the subject of religion; and any party to any judicial proceeding shall have the right to use as a witness, or take the testimony of, any other person not disqualified on account of interest, who may be cognizant of any fact material to the case; and parties to suits may be witnesses, as provided by law.
Referred to in §729.1 of the Code

Dueling. SEC. 5.
Repealed 1992, Amendment [43]

Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.

Liberty of speech and press. SEC. 7. Every person may speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech, or of the press. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury, and if it appears to the jury that the matter charged as libellous was true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted.

Personal security--searches and seizures. SEC. 8. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.

Right of trial by jury--due process of law. SEC. 9. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate; but the general assembly may authorize trial by a jury of a less number than twelve men in inferior courts; but no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
See also R.Cr.P. 2.17, 2.21(2), 2.67; R.C.P. 1.902, 1.903, 1.1108

Rights of persons accused. SEC. 10. In all criminal prosecutions, and in cases involving the life, or liberty of an individual the accused shall have a right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury; to be informed of the accusation against him, to have a copy of the same when demanded; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for his witnesses; and, to have the assistance of counsel.
See §602.1601 of the Code

When indictment necessary--grand jury. SEC. 11. All offenses less than felony and in which the maximum permissible imprisonment does not exceed thirty days shall be tried summarily before an officer authorized by law, on information under oath, without indictment, or the intervention of a grand jury, saving to the defendant the right of appeal; and no person shall be held to answer for any higher criminal offense, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in cases arising in the army, or navy, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger.

The grand jury may consist of any number of members not less than five, nor more than fifteen, as the general assembly may by law provide, or the general assembly may provide for holding persons to answer for any criminal offense without the intervention of a grand jury.
Paragraph 2 added 1884, Amendment [9]
Paragraph 1 amended 1998, Amendment [46]
As to indictment and the number of grand jurors, see R.Cr.P. 2.3, 2.4
Magistrate jurisdiction, see §602.6405 of the Code

Twice tried--bail. SEC. 12. No person shall after acquittal, be tried for the same offence. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable, by sufficient sureties, except for capital offences where the proof is evident, or the presumption great.

Habeas corpus. SEC. 13. The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, or refused when application is made as required by law, unless in case of rebellion, or invasion the public safety may require it.

Military. SEC. 14. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. No standing army shall be kept up by the state in time of peace; and in time of war, no appropriation for a standing army shall be for a longer time than two years.

Quartering soldiers. SEC. 15. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.

Treason. SEC. 16. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the evidence of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.

Bail--punishments. SEC. 17. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed,

and cruel and unusual punishment shall not be inflicted.

Eminent domain--drainage ditches and levees. SEC. 18. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation first being made, or secured to be made to the owner thereof, as soon as the damages shall be assessed by a jury, who shall not take into consideration any advantages that may result to said owner on account of the improvement for which it is taken.

The general assembly, however, may pass laws permitting the owners of lands to construct drains, ditches, and levees for agricultural, sanitary or mining purposes across the lands of others, and provide for the organization of drainage districts, vest the proper authorities with power to construct and maintain levees, drains and ditches and to keep in repair all drains, ditches, and levees heretofore constructed under the laws of the state, by special assessments upon the property benefited thereby. The general assembly may provide by law for the condemnation of such real estate as shall be necessary for the construction and maintenance of such drains, ditches and levees, and prescribe the method of making such condemnation.
Paragraph 2 added 1908, Amendment [13]

Imprisonment for debt. SEC. 19. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action, on mesne or final process, unless in case of fraud; and no person shall be imprisoned for a militia fine in time of peace.

Right of assemblage--petition. SEC. 20. The people have the right freely to assemble together to counsel for the common good; to make known their opinions to their representatives and to petition for a redress of grievances.

Attainder--ex post facto law--obligation of contract. SEC. 21. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed.
Referred to in §12E.11, 16.2 of the Code

Resident aliens. SEC. 22. Foreigners who are, or may hereafter become residents of this state, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment and descent of property, as native born citizens.

Slavery--penal servitude. SEC. 23. There shall be no slavery in this state; nor shall there be involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime.

Agricultural leases. SEC. 24. No lease or grant of agricultural lands, reserving any rent, or service of any kind, shall be valid for a longer period than twenty years.
Referred to in §461A.25 of the Code

Rights reserved. SEC. 25. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others, retained by the people.

ARTICLE II.
RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE.

Electors. SEC. 1. Every citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of this state for such period of time as shall be provided by law and of the county in which he claims his vote for such period of time as shall be provided by law, shall be entitled to vote at all elections which are now or hereafter may be authorized by law. The general assembly may provide by law for different periods of residence in order to vote for various officers or in order to vote in various elections. The required periods of residence shall not exceed six months in this state and sixty days in the county.
Repealed and rewritten 1970, Amendment [30]
See Amendments 19 and 26 to U. S. Constitution

Privileged from arrest. SEC. 2. Electors shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest on the days of election, during their attendance at such election, going to and returning therefrom.

From military duty. SEC. 3. No elector shall be obliged to perform military duty on the day of election, except in time of war, or public danger.

Persons in military service. SEC. 4. No person in the military, naval, or marine service of the United States shall be considered a resident of this state by being stationed in any garrison, barrack, or military or naval place, or station within this state.

Disqualified persons. SEC. 5. No idiot, or insane person, or person convicted of any infamous crime, shall be entitled to the privilege of an elector.

Ballot. SEC. 6. All elections by the people shall be by ballot.

General election. SEC. 7. The general election for state, district, county and township officers in the year 1916 shall be held in the same month and on the same day as that fixed by the laws of the United States for the election of presidential electors, or of president and vice-president of the United States; and thereafter such election shall be held at such time as the general assembly may by law provide.
Repealed and rewritten 1916, Amendment [14]
For statutory provisions, see §39.1 of the Code

ARTICLE III.
OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.

Departments of government. SECTION 1. The powers of the government of Iowa shall be divided into three separate departments--the legislative, the executive, and the judicial: and no person charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any function appertaining to either of the others, except in cases hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.

General assembly. SECTION 1. The legislative authority of this state shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives: and the style of every law shall be. "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa."

Annual sessions of general assembly--special sessions. SEC. 2. The general assembly shall meet in session on the second Monday of January of each year. Upon written request to the presiding officer of each house of the general assembly by two-thirds of the members of each house, the general assembly shall convene in special session. The governor of the state may convene the general assembly by proclamation in the interim.
Repealed and rewritten 1974, Amendment [36]
Special sessions, see also Art. IV, §11

Representatives. SEC. 3. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen every second year, by the qualified electors of their respective districts, [* * *]* and their term of office shall commence on the first day of January next after their election, and continue two years, and until their successors are elected and qualified.
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.
For provisions relative to the time of holding the general election, see Art. II, §7; see also §39.1 of the Code

Qualifications. SEC. 4. No person shall be a member of the house of representatives who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years, be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state one year next preceding his election, and at the time of his election shall have had an actual residence of sixty days in the county, or district he may have been chosen to represent.
Amended 1880, Amendment [6] and 1926, Amendment [15]

Senators--qualifications. SEC. 5. Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, at the same time and place as representatives; they shall be twenty-five years of age, and possess the qualifications of representatives as to residence and citizenship.

Senators--number and classification. SEC. 6. The number of senators shall total not more than one-half the membership of the house of representatives. Senators shall be classified so that as nearly as possible one-half of the members of the senate shall be elected every two years.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]
See also Art. III, §34
Referred to in §42.4 of the Code

Officers--elections determined. SEC. 7. Each house shall choose its own officers, and judge of the qualification, election, and return of its own members. A contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Quorum. SEC. 8. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to transact business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Authority of the houses. SEC. 9. Each house shall sit upon its own adjournments, keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same; determine its rules of proceedings, punish members for disorderly behavior, and, with the consent of two thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the general assembly of a free and independent state.

Protest--record of vote. SEC. 10. Every member of the general assembly shall have the liberty to dissent from, or protest against any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public, or an individual, and have the reasons for his dissent entered on the journals; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of any two members present, be entered on the journals.

Privileged from arrest. SEC. 11. Senators and representatives, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to and returning from the same.

Vacancies. SEC. 12. When vacancies occur in either house, the governor or the person exercising the functions of governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

Doors open. SEC. 13. The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasions, as, in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.

Adjournments. SEC. 14. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.
Referred to in §2.1 of the Code

Bills. SEC. 15. Bills may originate in either house, and may be amended, altered, or rejected by the other; and every bill having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.

Executive approval--veto--item veto by governor. SEC. 16. Every bill which shall have passed the general assembly, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the same upon their journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, it again pass both houses, by yeas and nays, by a majority of two thirds of the members of each house, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the governor's objections. If any bill shall not be returned within three days after it shall have been presented to him, Sunday excepted, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly, by adjournment, prevent such return. Any bill submitted to the governor for his approval during the last three days of a session of the general assembly, shall be deposited by him in the office of the secretary of state, within thirty days after the adjournment, with his approval, if approved by him, and with his objections, if he disapproves thereof.

The governor may approve appropriation bills in whole or in part, and may disapprove any item of an appropriation bill; and the part approved shall become a law. Any item of an appropriation bill disapproved by the governor shall be returned, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, or shall be deposited by him in the office of the secretary of state in the case of an appropriation bill submitted to the governor for his approval during the last three days of a session of the general assembly, and the procedure in each case shall be the same as provided for other bills. Any such item of an appropriation bill may be enacted into law notwithstanding the governor's objections, in the same manner as provided for other bills.
Paragraph 2 added 1968, Amendment [27]
Statutory provisions, §3.4, 3.5 of the Code
Referred to in §3.7 of the Code

Passage of bills. SEC. 17. No bill shall be passed unless by the assent of a majority of all the members elected to each branch of the general assembly, and the question upon the final passage shall be taken immediately upon its last reading, and the yeas and nays entered on the journal.
Referred to in §3.7 of the Code

Receipts and expenditures. SEC. 18. An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be attached to and published with the laws, at every regular session of the general assembly.
Statutory provisions, §2B.10(5) of the Code

Impeachment. SEC. 19. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, and all impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.
Referred to in Art. V, §19

Officers subject to impeachment--judgment. SEC. 20. The governor, judges of the supreme and district courts, and other state officers, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor or malfeasance in office; but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit, under this state; but the party convicted or acquitted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law. All other civil officers shall be tried for misdemeanors and malfeasance in office, in such manner as the general assembly may provide.
Referred to in Art. V, §19

Members not appointed to office. SEC. 21. No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

Disqualification. SEC. 22. No person holding any lucrative office under the United States, or this state, or any other power, shall be eligible to hold a seat in the general assembly; but offices in the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, or the office of justice of the peace, or postmaster whose compensation does not exceed one hundred dollars per annum, or notary public, shall not be deemed lucrative.

Failure to account. SEC. 23. No person who may hereafter be a collector or holder of public monies, shall have a seat in either house of the general assembly, or be eligible to hold any office of trust or profit in this state, until he shall have accounted for and paid into the treasury all sums for which he may be liable.

Appropriations. SEC. 24. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.

Compensation and expenses of general assembly. SEC. 25. Each member of the general assembly shall receive such compensation and allowances for expenses as shall be fixed by law but no general assembly shall have the power to increase compensation and allowances effective prior to the convening of the next general assembly following the session in which any increase is adopted.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [28]
Statutory provisions, §2.10 through 2.14 of the Code

Time laws to take effect. SEC. 26. An act of the general assembly passed at a regular session of a general assembly shall take effect on July 1 following its passage unless a different effective date is stated in an act of the general assembly. An act passed at a special session of a general assembly shall take effect ninety days after adjournment of the special session unless a different effective date is stated in an act of the general assembly. The general assembly may establish by law a procedure for giving notice of the contents of acts of immediate importance which become law.
Amended 1966, Amendment [23], and repealed and rewritten 1986, Amendment [40]
Supplementary provisions, §3.7 et seq. of the Code

Divorce. SEC. 27. No divorce shall be granted by the general assembly.

Lotteries. SEC. 28.
Repealed 1972, Amendment [34]

Acts--one subject--expressed in title. SEC. 29. Every act shall embrace but one subject, and matters properly connected therewith; which subject shall be expressed in the title. But if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be expressed in the title.

Local or special laws--general and uniform--boundaries of counties. SEC. 30. The general assembly shall not pass local or special laws in the following cases:
For the assessment and collection of taxes for state, county, or road purposes;
For laying out, opening, and working roads or highways;
For changing the names of persons;
For the incorporation of cities and towns;
For vacating roads, town plats, streets, alleys, or public squares;
For locating or changing county seats.

In all the cases above enumerated, and in all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, all laws shall be general, and of uniform operation throughout the state; and no law changing the boundary lines of any county shall have effect until upon being submitted to the people of the counties affected by the change, at a general election, it shall be approved by a majority of the votes in each county, cast for and against it.
Laws uniform, see Art. I, §6

Extra compensation--payment of claims--appropriations for local or private purposes. SEC. 31. No extra compensation shall be made to any officer, public agent, or contractor, after the service shall have been rendered, or the contract entered into; nor, shall any money be paid on any claim, the subject matter of which shall not have been provided for by preexisting laws, and no public money or property shall be appropriated for local, or private purposes, unless such appropriation, compensation, or claim, be allowed by two thirds of the members elected to each branch of the general assembly.
See §3.14 of the Code

Oath of members. SEC. 32. Members of the general assembly shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear, or affirm, (as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Iowa, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of senator, (or representative, as the case may be,) according to the best of my ability." And members of the general assembly are hereby empowered to administer to each other the said oath or affirmation.

Census. SEC. 33.
Repealed 1936, Amendment [17]

Senate and house of representatives--limitation. SEC. 34. The senate shall be composed of not more than fifty and the house of representatives of not more than one hundred members. Senators and representatives shall be elected from districts established by law. Each district so established shall be of compact and contiguous territory. The state shall be apportioned into senatorial and representative districts on the basis of population. The general assembly may provide by law for factors in addition to population, not in conflict with the Constitution of the United States, which may be considered in the apportioning of senatorial districts. No law so adopted shall permit the establishment of senatorial districts whereby a majority of the members of the senate shall represent less than forty percent of the population of the state as shown by the most recent United States decennial census.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]
See also Art. III, §6, 39

Senators and representatives--number and districts. SEC. 35. The general assembly shall in 1971 and in each year immediately following the United States decennial census determine the number of senators and representatives to be elected to the general assembly and establish senatorial and representative districts. The general assembly shall complete the apportionment prior to September 1 of the year so required. If the apportionment fails to become law prior to September 15 of such year, the supreme court shall cause the state to be apportioned into senatorial and representative districts to comply with the requirements of the constitution prior to December 31 of such year. The reapportioning authority shall, where necessary in establishing senatorial districts, shorten the term of any senator prior to completion of the term. Any senator whose term is so terminated shall not be compensated for the uncompleted part of the term.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]
Referred to in §49.3 of the Code

Review by supreme court. SEC. 36. Upon verified application by any qualified elector, the supreme court shall review an apportionment plan adopted by the general assembly which has been enacted into law. Should the supreme court determine such plan does not comply with the requirements of the constitution, the court shall within ninety days adopt or cause to be adopted an apportionment plan which shall so comply. The supreme court shall have original jurisdiction of all litigation questioning the apportionment of the general assembly or any apportionment plan adopted by the general assembly.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]

Congressional districts. SEC. 37. When a congressional district is composed of two or more counties it shall not be entirely separated by a county belonging to another district and no county shall be divided in forming a congressional district.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]
Referred to in §42.3, 42.4 of the Code

Elections by general assembly. SEC. 38. In all elections by the general assembly, the members thereof shall vote viva voce and the votes shall be entered on the journal.

Municipal home rule. SEC. 38A. Municipal corporations are granted home rule power and authority, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, to determine their local affairs and government, except that they shall not have power to levy any tax unless expressly authorized by the general assembly.

The rule or proposition of law that a municipal corporation possesses and can exercise only those powers granted in express words is not a part of the law of this state.
Added 1968, Amendment [25]

Legislative districts. SEC. 39. In establishing senatorial and representative districts, the state shall be divided into as many senatorial districts as there are members of the senate and into as many representative districts as there are members of the house of representatives. One senator shall be elected from each senatorial district and one representative shall be elected from each representative district.
Added 1970, Amendment [29]

Counties home rule. SEC. 39A. Counties or joint county-municipal corporation governments are granted home rule power and authority, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, to determine their local affairs and government, except that they shall not have power to levy any tax unless expressly authorized by the general assembly. The general assembly may provide for the creation and dissolution of joint county-municipal corporation governments. The general assembly may provide for the establishment of charters in county or joint-municipal corporation governments.

If the power or authority of a county conflicts with the power and authority of a municipal corporation, the power and authority exercised by a municipal corporation shall prevail within its jurisdiction.

The proposition or rule of law that a county or joint county-municipal corporation government possesses and can exercise only those powers granted in express words is not a part of the law of this state.
Added 1978, Amendment [37]

Nullification of administrative rules. SEC. 40. The general assembly may nullify an adopted administrative rule of a state agency by the passage of a resolution by a majority of all of the members of each house of the general assembly.
Added 1984, Amendment [38]
Referred to in §3.6, 17A.6 of the Code

ARTICLE IV.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.

Governor. SECTION 1. The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the state of Iowa.

Election and term. SEC. 2. The governor and the lieutenant governor shall be elected by the qualified electors at the time and place of voting for members of the general assembly. Each of them shall hold office for four years from the time of installation in office and until a successor is elected and qualifies.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [41]

Governor and lieutenant governor elected jointly--returns of elections. SEC. 3. The electors shall designate their selections for governor and lieutenant governor as if these two offices were one and the same. The names of nominees for the governor and the lieutenant governor shall be grouped together in a set on the ballot according to which nominee for governor is seeking office with which nominee for lieutenant governor, as prescribed by law. An elector shall cast only one vote for both a nominee for governor and a nominee for lieutenant governor. The returns of every election for governor and lieutenant governor shall be sealed and transmitted to the seat of government of the state, and directed to the speaker of the house of representatives who shall open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the general assembly.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [41]
For statutory provisions, see §50.35 of the Code

Election by general assembly in case of tie--succession by lieutenant governor. SEC. 4. The nominees for governor and lieutenant governor jointly having the highest number of votes cast for them shall be declared duly elected. If two or more sets of nominees for governor and lieutenant governor have an equal and the highest number of votes for the offices jointly, the general assembly shall by joint vote proceed, as soon as is possible, to elect one set of nominees for governor and lieutenant governor. If, upon the completion by the general assembly of the canvass of votes for governor and lieutenant governor, it appears that the nominee for governor in the set of nominees for governor and lieutenant governor receiving the highest number of votes has since died or resigned, is unable to qualify, fails to qualify, or is for any other reason unable to assume the duties of the office of governor for the ensuing term, the powers and duties shall devolve to the nominee for lieutenant governor of the same set of nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, who shall assume the powers and duties of governor upon inauguration and until the disability is removed. If both nominees for governor and lieutenant governor are unable to assume the duties of the office of governor, the person next in succession shall act as governor.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [41]

Contested elections. SEC. 5. Contested elections for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall be determined by the general assembly as prescribed by law.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [41]
For statutory provisions, see §58.1 through 58.7 of the Code

Eligibility. SEC. 6. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor, or lieutenant governor, who shall not have been a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the state, two years next preceding the election, and attained the age of thirty years at the time of said election.

Commander in chief. SEC. 7. The governor shall be commander in chief of the militia, the army, and navy of this state.

Duties of governor. SEC. 8. He shall transact all executive business with the officers of government, civil and military, and may require information in writing from the officers of the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
Duty as to state accounts, §70A.8 of the Code

Execution of laws. SEC. 9. He shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed.

Vacancies. SEC. 10. When any office shall, from any cause, become vacant, and no mode is provided by the constitution and laws for filling such vacancy, the governor shall have power to fill such vacancy, by granting a commission, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the general assembly, or at the next election by the people.

Convening general assembly. SEC. 11. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly by proclamation, and shall state to both houses, when assembled, the purpose for which they shall have been convened.
See also Art. III, §2

Message. SEC. 12. He shall communicate, by message, to the general assembly, at every regular session, the condition of the state, and recommend such matters as he shall deem expedient.

Adjournment. SEC. 13. In case of disagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of adjournment, the governor shall have power to adjourn the general assembly to such time as he may think proper; but no such adjournment shall be beyond the time fixed for the regular meeting of the next general assembly.

Disqualification. SEC. 14. No persons shall, while holding any office under the authority of the United States, or this state, execute the office of governor, or lieutenant governor, except as hereinafter expressly provided.

Terms--compensation. SEC. 15. The official terms of the governor and lieutenant governor shall commence on the Tuesday after the second Monday of January next after their election and shall continue until their successors are elected and qualify. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be paid compensation and expenses as provided by law. The lieutenant governor, while acting as governor, shall be paid the compensation and expenses prescribed for the governor.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [42]

Pardons--reprieves--commutations. SEC. 16. The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offences except treason and cases of impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. Upon conviction for treason, he shall have power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the general assembly at its next meeting, when the general assembly shall either grant a pardon, commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and shall report to the general assembly, at its next meeting, each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, and the reasons therefor; and also all persons in whose favor remission of fines and forfeitures shall have been made, and the several amounts remitted.

Lieutenant governor to act as governor. SEC. 17. In case of the death, impeachment, resignation, removal from office, or other disability of the governor, the powers and duties of the office for the residue of the term, or until he shall be acquitted, or the disability removed, shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor.
Referred to in §7.14 of the Code

Duties of lieutenant governor. SEC. 18. The lieutenant governor shall have the duties provided by law and those duties of the governor assigned to the lieutenant governor by the governor.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [42]

Succession to office of governor and lieutenant governor. SEC. 19. If there be a vacancy in the office of the governor and the lieutenant governor shall by reason of death, impeachment, resignation, removal from office, or other disability become incapable of performing the duties pertaining to the office of governor, the president of the senate shall act as governor until the vacancy is filled or the disability removed; and if the president of the senate, for any of the above causes, shall be incapable of performing the duties pertaining to the office of governor the same shall devolve upon the speaker of the house of representatives; and if the speaker of the house of representatives, for any of the above causes, shall be incapable of performing the duties of the office of governor, the justices of the supreme court shall convene the general assembly by proclamation and the general assembly shall organize by the election of a president by the senate and a speaker by the house of representatives. The general assembly shall thereupon immediately proceed to the election of a governor and lieutenant governor in joint convention.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [42]
Referred to in §7.14(2) of the Code

Seal of state. SEC. 20. There shall be a seal of this state, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him officially, and shall be called the Great Seal of the State of Iowa.
See chapter 1A of the Code for a description of the great seal of Iowa

Grants and commissions. SEC. 21. All grants and commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the people of the state of Iowa, sealed with the great seal of the state, signed by the governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state.

Secretary--auditor--treasurer. SEC. 22. A secretary of state, an auditor of state and a treasurer of state shall be elected by the qualified electors at the same time that the governor is elected and for a four-year term commencing on the first day of January next after their election, and they shall perform such duties as may be provided by law.
Repealed and rewritten 1972, Amendment [32]

ARTICLE V.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.

Courts. SECTION 1. The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court, district courts, and such other courts, inferior to the supreme court, as the general assembly may, from time to time, establish.
Court of appeals, §602.5101 of the Code

Supreme court. SEC. 2. The supreme court shall consist of three judges, two of whom shall constitute a quorum to hold court.
But see this Art sec. 10 following; see also §602.4101 of the Code

Election of judges--term. SEC. 3.
Repealed 1962, Amendment [21]

Jurisdiction of supreme court. SEC. 4. The supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction only in cases in chancery, and shall constitute a court for the correction of errors at law, under such restrictions as the general assembly may, by law, prescribe; and shall have power to issue all writs and process necessary to secure justice to parties, and shall exercise a supervisory and administrative control over all inferior judicial tribunals throughout the state.
Amended 1962, Amendment [21]
See §602.4102, 602.4201, 602.4202, 624.2 of the Code

District court and judge. SEC. 5.
Repealed 1962, Amendment [21]

Jurisdiction of district court. SEC. 6. The district court shall be a court of law and equity, which shall be distinct and separate jurisdictions, and have jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters arising in their respective districts, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
Statutory provision, §602.6101 of the Code

Conservators of the peace. SEC. 7. The judges of the supreme and district courts shall be conservators of the peace throughout the state.

Style of process. SEC. 8. The style of all process shall be, "The State of Iowa", and all prosecutions shall be conducted in the name and by the authority of the same.

Salaries. SEC. 9.
Repealed 1962, Amendment [21]

Judicial districts. SEC. 10. [* * *]* The general assembly may reorganize the judicial districts and increase or diminish the number of districts, or the number of judges of the said court, and may increase the number of judges of the supreme court; but such increase or diminution shall not be more than one district, or one judge of either court, at any one session; and no reorganization of the districts, or diminution of the number of judges, shall have the effect of removing a judge from office. Such reorganization of the districts, or any change in the boundaries thereof, or increase or diminution of the number of judges, shall take place every four years thereafter, if necessary, and at no other time.

At any regular session of the general assembly the state may be divided into the necessary judicial districts for district court purposes, or the said districts may be reorganized and the number of the districts and the judges of said courts increased or diminished; but no reorganization of the districts or diminution of the judges shall have the effect of removing a judge from office.
Paragraph 2 added 1884, Amendment [8]. Much of paragraph 1 apparently superseded by paragraph 2
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language

Judges--when chosen. SEC. 11.
Repealed 1962, Amendment [21]

Attorney general. SEC. 12. The general assembly shall provide, by law, for the election of an attorney general by the people, whose term of office shall be four years, and until his successor is elected and qualifies.
Repealed and rewritten 1972, Amendment [32]

District attorney. SEC. 13.
Repealed 1970, Amendment [31]

System of court practice. SEC. 14. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to provide for the carrying into effect of this article, and to provide for a general system of practice in all the courts of this state.
For provisions relative to the grand jury, see Art. I, §11

Vacancies in courts. SEC. 15. Vacancies in the supreme court and district court shall be filled by appointment by the governor from lists of nominees submitted by the appropriate judicial nominating commission. Three nominees shall be submitted for each supreme court vacancy, and two nominees shall be submitted for each district court vacancy. If the governor fails for thirty days to make the appointment, it shall be made from such nominees by the chief justice of the supreme court.
Added 1962, Amendment [21]

State and district nominating commissions. SEC. 16. There shall be a state judicial nominating commission. Such commission shall make nominations to fill vacancies in the supreme court. Until July 4, 1973, and thereafter unless otherwise provided by law, the state judicial nominating commission shall be composed and selected as follows: There shall be not less than three nor more than eight appointive members, as provided by law, and an equal number of elective members on such commission, all of whom shall be electors of the state. The appointive members shall be appointed by the governor subject to confirmation by the senate. The elective members shall be elected by the resident members of the bar of the state. The judge of the supreme court who is senior in length of service on said court, other than the chief justice, shall also be a member of such commission and shall be its chairman.

There shall be a district judicial nominating commission in each judicial district of the state. Such commissions shall make nominations to fill vacancies in the district court within their respective districts. Until July 4, 1973, and thereafter unless otherwise provided by law, district judicial nominating commissions shall be composed and selected as follows: There shall be not less than three nor more than six appointive members, as provided by law, and an equal number of elective members on each such commission, all of whom shall be electors of the district. The appointive members shall be appointed by the governor. The elective members shall be elected by the resident members of the bar of the district. The district judge of such district who is senior in length of service shall also be a member of such commission and shall be its chairman.

Due consideration shall be given to area representation in the appointment and election of judicial nominating commission members. Appointive and elective members of judicial nominating commissions shall serve for six-year terms, shall be ineligible for a second six-year term on the same commission, shall hold no office of profit of the United States or of the state during their terms, shall be chosen without reference to political affiliation, and shall have such other qualifications as may be prescribed by law. As near as may be, the terms of one-third of such members shall expire every two years.
Added 1962, Amendment [21]

Terms--judicial elections. SEC. 17. Members of all courts shall have such tenure in office as may be fixed by law, but terms of supreme court judges shall be not less than eight years and terms of district court judges shall be not less than six years. Judges shall serve for one year after appointment and until the first day of January following the next judicial election after the expiration of such year. They shall at such judicial election stand for retention in office on a separate ballot which shall submit the question of whether such judge shall be retained in office for the tenure prescribed for such office and when such tenure is a term of years, on their request, they shall, at the judicial election next before the end of each term, stand again for retention on such ballot. Present supreme court and district court judges, at the expiration of their respective terms, may be retained in office in like manner for the tenure prescribed for such office. The general assembly shall prescribe the time for holding judicial elections.
Added 1962, Amendment [21]

Salaries--qualifications--retirement. SEC. 18. Judges of the supreme court and district court shall receive salaries from the state, shall be members of the bar of the state and shall have such other qualifications as may be prescribed by law. Judges of the supreme court and district court shall be ineligible to any other office of the state while serving on said court and for two years thereafter, except that district judges shall be eligible to the office of supreme court judge. Other judicial officers shall be selected in such manner and shall have such tenure, compensation and other qualification as may be fixed by law. The general assembly shall prescribe mandatory retirement for judges of the supreme court and district court at a specified age and shall provide for adequate retirement compensation. Retired judges may be subject to special assignment to temporary judicial duties by the supreme court, as provided by law.
Added 1962, Amendment [21]

Retirement and discipline of judges. SEC. 19. In addition to the legislative power of impeachment of judges as set forth in article three (III), sections nineteen (19) and twenty (20) of the constitution, the supreme court shall have power to retire judges for disability and to discipline or remove them for good cause, upon application by a commission on judicial qualifications. The general assembly shall provide by law for the implementation of this section.
Added 1972, Amendment [33]

ARTICLE VI.
MILITIA.

Composition--training. SECTION 1. The militia of this state shall be composed of all able-bodied male citizens, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such as are or may hereafter be exempt by the laws of the United States, or of this state, and shall be armed, equipped, and trained, as the general assembly may provide by law.
Amended 1868, Amendment [5]

Exemption. SEC. 2. No person or persons conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to do military duty in time of peace: Provided, that such person or persons shall pay an equivalent for such exemption in the same manner as other citizens.

Officers. SEC. 3. All commissioned officers of the militia, (staff officers excepted,) shall be elected by the persons liable to perform military duty, and shall be commissioned by the governor.

ARTICLE VII.
STATE DEBTS.

Credit not to be loaned. SECTION 1. The credit of the state shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual, association, or corporation; and the state shall never assume, or become responsible for, the debts or liabilities of any individual, association, or corporation, unless incurred in time of war for the benefit of the state.

Limitation. SEC. 2. The state may contract debts to supply casual deficits or failures in revenues, or to meet expenses not otherwise provided for; but the aggregate amount of such debts, direct and contingent, whether contracted by virtue of one or more acts of the general assembly, or at different periods of time, shall never exceed the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and the money arising from the creation of such debts, shall be applied to the purpose for which it was obtained, or to repay the debts so contracted, and to no other purpose whatever.

Losses to school funds. SEC. 3. All losses to the permanent, school, or university fund of this state, which shall have been occasioned by the defalcation, mismanagement or fraud of the agents or officers controlling and managing the same, shall be audited by the proper authorities of the state. The amount so audited shall be a permanent funded debt against the state, in favor of the respective fund, sustaining the loss, upon which not less than six per cent. annual interest shall be paid. The amount of liability so created shall not be counted as a part of the indebtedness authorized by the second section of this article.

War debts. SEC. 4. In addition to the above limited power to contract debts, the state may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the state in war; but the money arising from the debts so contracted shall be applied to the purpose for which it was raised, or to repay such debts, and to no other purpose whatever.

Contracting debt--submission to the people. SEC. 5. Except the debts herein before specified in this article, no debt shall be hereafter contracted by, or on behalf of this state, unless such debt shall be authorized by some law for some single work or object, to be distinctly specified therein; and such law shall impose and provide for the collection of a direct annual tax, sufficient to pay the interest on such debt, as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal of such debt, within twenty years from the time of the contracting thereof; but no such law shall take effect until at a general election it shall have been submitted to the people, and have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at such election; and all money raised by authority of such law, shall be applied only to the specific object therein stated, or to the payment of the debt created thereby; and such law shall be published in at least one newspaper in each county, if one is published therein, throughout the state, for three months preceding the election at which it is submitted to the people.
For statutory provisions, see §49A.1 to 49A.9 of the Code

Legislature may repeal. SEC. 6. The legislature may, at any time, after the approval of such law by the people, if no debt shall have been contracted in pursuance thereof, repeal the same; and may, at any time, forbid the contracting of any further debt, or liability, under such law; but the tax imposed by such law, in proportion to the debt or liability, which may have been contracted in pursuance thereof, shall remain in force and be irrepealable, and be annually collected, until the principal and interest are fully paid.

Tax imposed distinctly stated. SEC. 7. Every law which imposes, continues, or revives a tax, shall distinctly state the tax, and the object to which it is to be applied; and it shall not be sufficient to refer to any other law to fix such tax or object.

Motor vehicle fees and fuel taxes. SEC. 8. All motor vehicle registration fees and all licenses and excise taxes on motor vehicle fuel, except cost of administration, shall be used exclusively for the construction, maintenance and supervision of the public highways exclusively within the state or for the payment of bonds issued or to be issued for the construction of such public highways and the payment of interest on such bonds.
Added 1942, Amendment [18]

Fish and wildlife protection funds. SEC.9. All revenue derived from state license fees for hunting, fishing, and trapping, and all state funds appropriated for, and federal or private funds received by the state for, the regulation or advancement of hunting , fishing, or trapping, or the protection, propagation, restoration, management, or harvest of fish or wildlife, shall be used exclusively for the performance and administration of activities related to those purposes.
Added 1996, Amendment [44]

ARTICLE VIII.
CORPORATIONS.
Referred to in §12C.13 of the Code

How created. SECTION 1. No corporation shall be created by special laws; but the general assembly shall provide, by general laws, for the organization of all corporations hereafter to be created, except as hereinafter provided.

Taxation of corporations. SEC. 2. The property of all corporations for pecuniary profit, shall be subject to taxation, the same as that of individuals.

State not to be a stockholder. SEC. 3. The state shall not become a stockholder in any corporation, nor shall it assume or pay the debt or liability of any corporation, unless incurred in time of war for the benefit of the state.

Municipal corporations. SEC. 4. No political or municipal corporation shall become a stockholder in any banking corporation, directly or indirectly.

Banking associations. SEC. 5. No act of the general assembly, authorizing or creating corporations or associations with banking powers, nor amendments thereto shall take effect, or in any manner be in force, until the same shall have been submitted, separately, to the people, at a general or special election, as provided by law, to be held not less than three months after the passage of the act, and shall have been approved by a majority of all the electors voting for and against it at such election.

State bank. SEC. 6. Subject to the provisions of the foregoing section, the general assembly may also provide for the establishment of a state bank with branches.*
*Sections 6 to 11, apply to banks of issue only. See 63 Iowa 11, also 220 Iowa 794 and 221 Iowa 102

Specie basis. SEC. 7. If a state bank be established, it shall be founded on an actual specie basis, and the branches shall be mutually responsible for each other's liabilities upon all notes, bills, and other issues intended for circulation as money.

General banking law. SEC. 8. If a general banking law shall be enacted, it shall provide for the registry and countersigning, by an officer of state, of all bills, or paper credit designed to circulate as money, and require security to the full amount thereof, to be deposited with the state treasurer, in United States stocks, or in interest paying stocks of states in good credit and standing, to be rated at ten per cent. below their average value in the city of New York, for the thirty days next preceding their deposit; and in case of a depreciation of any portion of said stocks, to the amount of ten per cent. on the dollar, the bank or banks owning such stock shall be required to make up said deficiency by depositing additional stocks: and said law shall also provide for the recording of the names of all stockholders in such corporations, the amount of stock held by each, the time of any transfer, and to whom.

Stockholders' responsibility. SEC. 9. Every stockholder in a banking corporation or institution shall be individually responsible and liable to its creditors, over and above the amount of stock by him or her held, to an amount equal to his or her respective shares so held for all of its liabilities, accruing while he or she remains such stockholder.

Billholders preferred. SEC. 10. In case of the insolvency of any banking institution, the billholders shall have a preference over its other creditors.

Specie payments--suspension. SEC. 11. The suspension of specie payments by banking institutions shall never be permitted or sanctioned.

Amendment or repeal of laws--exclusive privileges. SEC. 12. Subject to the provisions of this article, the general assembly shall have power to amend or repeal all laws for the organization or creation of corporations, or granting of special or exclusive privileges or immunities, by a vote of two thirds of each branch of the general assembly; and no exclusive privileges, except as in this article provided, shall ever be granted.
Analogous provision, §491.39 of the Code

ARTICLE IX.
EDUCATION AND SCHOOL LANDS.
1ST. EDUCATION.**
**See note at the end of this 1st division.

Board of education. SECTION 1. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language

Eligibility. SEC. 2. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Election of members. SEC. 3. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

First session. SEC. 4. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Limitation of sessions. SEC. 5. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Secretary. SEC. 6. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Rules and regulations. SEC. 7. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Power to legislate. SEC. 8. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Governor ex officio a member. SEC. 9. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Expenses. SEC. 10. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

State university. SEC. 11. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.
See Laws of the Board of Education, Act 10, December 25, 1858, which provides for the management of the state university by a board of trustees appointed by the board of education. See also sec. 2 of 2nd. division of this article.

Common schools. SEC. 12. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Compensation. SEC. 13. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Quorum--style of acts. SEC. 14. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Board may be abolished. SEC. 15. [* * *]* The general assembly shall have power to abolish or reorganize said board of education, and provide for the educational interest of the state in any other manner that to them shall seem best and proper.**
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.
**The board of education was abolished in 1864 by 1864 Acts, ch 52, §1. For statutory provisions, see chapters 256 and 262 of the Code.

2ND. SCHOOL FUNDS AND SCHOOL LANDS.

Control--management. SECTION 1. The educational and school funds and lands shall be under the control and management of the general assembly of this state.

Permanent fund. SEC. 2. The university lands, and the proceeds thereof, and all monies belonging to said fund shall be a permanent fund for the sole use of the state university. The interest arising from the same shall be annually appropriated for the support and benefit of said university.

Perpetual support fund. SEC. 3. The general assembly shall encourage, by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvement. The proceeds of all lands that have been, or hereafter may be, granted by the United States to this state, for the support of schools, which may have been or shall hereafter be sold, or disposed of, and the five hundred thousand acres of land granted to the new states, under an act of congress, distributing the proceeds of the public lands among the several states of the union, approved in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and all estates of deceased persons who may have died without leaving a will or heir, and also such percent as has been or may hereafter be granted by congress, on the sale of lands in this state, shall be, and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, together with all rents of the unsold lands, and such other means as the general assembly may provide, shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of common schools throughout the state.
Referred to in § 175.4 of the Code

Fines--how appropriated. SEC. 4.
Repealed 1974, Amendment [35]

Proceeds of lands. SEC. 5. The general assembly shall take measures for the protection, improvement, or other disposition of such lands as have been, or may hereafter be reserved, or granted by the United States, or any person or persons, to this state, for the use of the university, and the funds accruing from the rents or sale of such lands, or from any other source for the purpose aforesaid, shall be, and remain, a permanent fund, the interest of which shall be applied to the support of said university, for the promotion of literature, the arts and sciences, as may be authorized by the terms of such grant. And it shall be the duty of the general assembly as soon as may be, to provide effectual means for the improvement and permanent security of the funds of said university.

Agents of school funds. SEC. 6. The financial agents of the school funds shall be the same, that by law, receive and control the state and county revenue for other civil purposes, under such regulations as may be provided by law.

Distribution. SEC. 7
Repealed 1984, Amendment [39]

ARTICLE X.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.

How proposed--submission. SECTION 1. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in either house of the general assembly; and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the legislature to be chosen at the next general election, and shall be published, as provided by law, for three months previous to the time of making such choice; and if, in the general assembly so next chosen as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to, by a majority of all the members elected to each house, then it shall be the duty of the general assembly to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people, in such manner, and at such time as the general assembly shall provide; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of the constitution of this state.
For statutory provisions, see §49.43 to 49.50, and 49A.1 to 49A.11 of the Code

More than one amendment. SEC. 2. If two or more amendments shall be submitted at the same time, they shall be submitted in such manner that the electors shall vote for or against each of such amendments separately.

Constitutional convention. SEC. 3. At the general election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy, and in each tenth year thereafter, and also at such times as the general assembly may, by law, provide, the question, "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution, and propose amendment or amendments to same?" shall be decided by the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly; and in case a majority of the electors so qualified, voting at such election, for and against such proposition, shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the general assembly, at its next session, shall provide by law for the election of delegates to such convention, and for submitting the results of said convention to the people, in such manner and at such time as the general assembly shall provide; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of the constitution of this state. If two or more amendments shall be submitted at the same time, they shall be submitted in such a manner that electors may vote for or against each such amendment separately.
Repealed and rewritten 1964, Amendment [22]
Statutory provision, §39.4

ARTICLE XI.
MISCELLANEOUS.

Justice of peace--jurisdiction. SECTION 1. The jurisdiction of justices of the peace shall extend to all civil cases, (except cases in chancery, and cases where the question of title to real estate may arise,) where the amount in controversy does not exceed one hundred dollars, and by the consent of parties may be extended to any amount not exceeding three hundred dollars.
Nonindictable misdemeanors, jurisdiction, Art. I, §11
[The office of justice of peace has been abolished by 72 Acts, ch 1124.]

Counties. SEC. 2. No new county shall be hereafter created containing less than four hundred and thirty two square miles; nor shall the territory of any organized county be reduced below that area; except the county of Worth, and the counties west of it, along the northern boundary of this state, may be organized without additional territory.

Indebtedness of political or municipal corporations. SEC. 3. No county, or other political or municipal corporation shall be allowed to become indebted in any manner, or for any purpose, to an amount, in the aggregate, exceeding five per centum on the value of the taxable property within such county or corporation--to be ascertained by the last state and county tax lists, previous to the incurring of such indebtedness.
Statutory limitation, §346.24 of the Code
See 72 Acts, ch 1088

Boundaries of state. SEC. 4. The boundaries of the state may be enlarged, with the consent of congress and the general assembly.
See boundary compromise agreements at the end of Volume IV of the Code

Oath of office. SEC. 5. Every person elected or appointed to any office, shall, before entering upon the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States, and of this state, and also an oath of office.
See §63.10 of the Code

How vacancies filled. SEC. 6. In all cases of elections to fill vacancies in office occurring before the expiration of a full term, the person so elected shall hold for the residue of the unexpired term; and all persons appointed to fill vacancies in office, shall hold until the next general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Land grants located. SEC. 7. The general assembly shall not locate any of the public lands, which have been, or may be granted by congress to this state, and the location of which may be given to the general assembly, upon lands actually settled, without the consent of the occupant. The extent of the claim of such occupant, so exempted, shall not exceed three hundred and twenty acres.

Seat of government established--state university. SEC. 8. The seat of government is hereby permanently established, as now fixed by law, at the city of Des Moines, in the county of Polk; and the state university, at Iowa City, in the county of Johnson.
See 1855 Acts, ch 72

ARTICLE XII.
SCHEDULE.

Supreme law--constitutionality of acts. SECTION 1. This constitution shall be the supreme law of the state, and any law inconsistent therewith, shall be void. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry this constitution into effect.

Laws in force. SEC. 2. All laws now in force and not inconsistent with this constitution, shall remain in force until they shall expire or be repealed.

Proceedings not affected. SEC. 3. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Fines inure to the state. SEC. 4.
Repealed 1974, Amendment [35]

Bonds in force. SEC. 5. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

First election for governor and lieutenant governor. SEC. 6. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

First election of officers. SEC. 7. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

For judges of supreme court. SEC. 8. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

General assembly--first session. SEC. 9. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Senators. SEC. 10. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Offices not vacated. SEC. 11. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Judicial districts. SEC. 12. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Submission of constitution. SEC. 13. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Proposition to strike out the word "white". SEC. 14. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Mills county. SEC. 15. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

General election. SEC. 16. [* * *]*
Added 1904, Amendment [11]. Apparently superseded by Art. II, §7.
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

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Bill of Rights

The Bill Of Rights

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their ADOPTING the CONSTITUTION expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the SENATE and HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, That the following articles be proposed to the legislatures of the several states, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.


ARTICLE THE FIRST

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the 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.

ARTICLE THE SECOND

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.

ARTICLE THE THIRD

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.

ARTICLE THE FOURTH

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.

ARTICLE THE FIFTH

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 offence 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 THE SIXTH

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 THE SEVENTH

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 jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

ARTICLE THE EIGHTH

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

ARTICLE THE NINTH

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparge others retained by the people.

ARTICLE THE TENTH

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.


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Constitution of the United States

The Constitution of the United States

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 this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

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.

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.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

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 three.

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 chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature 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 make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

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 chusing 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 Day.

Section. 5.
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.
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.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.
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.

Section. 10.
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of 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, 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 Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for 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 chuse 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 chuse the President. But in chusing 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 chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; 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.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section. 2.
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section. 1.
The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

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.

Section. 3.
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

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 that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, 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. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from Virginia

Delaware
Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom

Maryland
James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl. Carroll

Virginia
John Blair--
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina
Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Hu Williamson

South Carolina
J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler

Georgia
William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts
Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

Connecticut
Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York
Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey
Wil: Livingston
David Brearley
Wm. Paterson
Jona: Dayton

Pennsylvania
B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt. Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris

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Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence:


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton


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