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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 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.
1. 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.
2. 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, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
3. 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.
Of the Ratification.
1. The ratification of the conventions of nine states shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same.
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.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, President, and Deputy from Virginia.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.
Art. 1. 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.
Art. 2. 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.
Art. 3. 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.
Art. 4. The right 01 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.
Art. 5. 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 put twice in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be 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.
Art. 6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Art. 7. 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.
Art. 8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Art. 9. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Art. 10. 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.
Art. 11. The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.
Art. 12. § 1. The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice President; and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice President, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate: the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted; the person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such a majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately by ballot the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.
2. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice President, shall be the Vice President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice President: a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.
3. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.
Note.—At the fourth presidential election, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr were the democratic candidates for President and Vice President. By the electoral returns they had an even number of votes. In the House of Representatives, Burr, by intrigue, got up a party to vote for him for President; and the House was so divided that there was a tie. A contest was carried on for several days, and so warmly, that even sick members were brought to the House on their beds. Finally one of Burr's adherents withdrew, and Jefferson was elected by one majority—which was the c ccasion of this twelfth article.
The first settlement in Maine was made in Bristol, on the east side of the Damariscotta River, at Pemaquid Point. This State was originally granted by James I. to the Plymouth Company, by whom it was transferred to Mason and Gorges, in 1624. The territory was afterwards purchased by Massachusetts for £1,250, who obtained a confirmation of the charter in 1691. This State, formerly the District of Maine, became independent of Massachusetts in 1820, and adopted its Constitution.
We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, ensure tranquillity, provide for our natural defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity so favorable to the design; and imploring his aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine, and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same: