U.S. Constitutional Convention 1787 (2021 Edition)

Grand Convention at Philadelphia, May to September, 1787, Quill Project 2021 Edition.

Committee of Detail

Committee charged with creating a Constitution based on the resolutions agreed by the Convention.

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Document introduced in:

Session 6310: 1787-07-30 11:00:00

A rough draft of the Constitution drawn up. The New Jersey and Pinckney Plans considered.

Document View:

Document VI: Committee of Detail's Rough Draft

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We the People of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New. York, New. Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North. Carolina, South. Carolina and Georgia do ordain declare and establish the following Constitution for the Government of ourselves and of our Posterity.

1.

The Stile of this Government shall be the “United People and States of America.”

2.

The Government shall consist of supreme legislative, executive and judicial Powers.

3.

The legislative Power shall be vested in a Congress to consist of two separate and distinct Bodies of Men, a House of Representatives, and a Senate each of which shall in all Cases have a Negative on the other

4.

The Members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen every second Year by the People of the several States comprehended within this Union. The Qualifications of the Electors shall be prescribed by the Legislatures of the several States; but these provisions concerning them may at any Time be altered and superseded by the Legislature of the United States.

Every Member of the House of Representatives shall be of the Age of twenty five Years at least; shall have been a Citizen in the United States for at least three Years before his Election, and shall be, at the Time of his Election, a Resident of the State, in which he shall be chosen.

The House of Representatives shall, at its first Formation and until the Number of Citizens and Inhabitants shall be taken in the Manner hereinafter described consist of 65 Members, of whom three shall be chosen in New-Hampshire, eight in Massachusetts, &c.

As the Proportions of Numbers in the different States will alter from Time to Time; as some of the States may be hereafter divided; as others may be enlarged by Addition of Territory, or two or more States may be united; and as new States will be erected within the Limits of the United States; the Legislature shall, in each of these cases, possess Authority to regulate the Number of Representatives by the Number of Inhabitants according to the provisions herein after made.

Direct Taxation shall always be in Proportion to Representation in the House of Representatives.

The Proportions of direct Taxation shall be regulated by the whole Number of white and other Free Citizens and Inhabitants of every &c. ____ which Number shall, within six Years after the first Meeting of the Legislature, and within the Term of every ten Years afterwards, be taken in such Manner as the said Legislature shall direct.

From the first Meeting of the Legislature until the Number of Citizens and Inhabitants shall be taken, direct Taxation shall be in Proportion to the Number of Representatives chosen in each State.

All Bills for raising or appropriating Money and for fixing the Salaries of the Officers of Government shall originate in the House of Representatives, and shall not be altered or amended by the Senate. No money shall be drawn from the public Treasury, but in Pursuance of Appropriations that shall originate in the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives shall be the grand Inquest of this Nation; and all Impeachments shall be made by them.

Vacancies in the House of Representatives shall be supplied by Writs of Election from the Executive Authority of the State in the Representation from which they shall happen.

The Senate of the United States shall be chosen by the Legislatures of the several States; Each Legislature shall chuse two Members. Each Member shall have one Vote.

The Members of the Senate shall be chosen for six Years; provided that immediately after the first Election they shall be divided by Lot into three Classes as nearly as may be, and numbered one, two and three. The Seats of the Members 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, of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, and so on continually, that a third Part of the Members of the Senate may be chosen every second Year.

Every Member of the Senate shall be of the Age of thirty Years at least, shall have been a citizen in the United States for at least four Years before his Election, and shall be, at the Time of his Election a Resident of the State for which he shall be chosen

The Senate of the United States shall have Power to make Treaties, to send Ambassadors, and to appoint the Judges of the Supreme, national Court

Each House of the Legislature shall possess the right of originating Bills, except in Cases beforementioned

The Senate shall chuse its own President and other Officers

In each House of the Legislature a Majority of the Members shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from Day to Day

Each House of the Legislature shall be the Judge of the Elections Returns, and Qualifications of its own Members

The Times and Places and the Manner of holding the Elections of the Members of each House shall be prescribed by the Legislatures of each State; but their Provisions concerning them may, at any Time, be altered and superseded by the Legislature of the United States.

The Legislature of the United States shall have Authority to establish such Qualifications of the Members of each House with Regard to Property as to the said Legislature shall seem proper and expedient.

The Members of each House shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained and paid by the State in which they shall be chosen

Each House shall have Authority to determine the Rules of its Proceedings, and to punish its own Members for disorderly Behaviour

Each House may expel a Member, but not a second Time for the same Offence.

Freedom of Speech

Neither House shall adjourn for more than three Days without the Consent of the other; nor with such Consent, to any other Place than that at which the two Houses are sitting. But this Regulation shall be applied to the Senate only in its Legislative Capacity

The Members of each House shall, in all cases, except Treason, Felony & Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at Congress, and in going to and returning from it.

The Members of each House shall be ineligible to and incapable of holding any Office under the Authority of the United States during the Time for which they shall be respectively elected: And the Members of the Senate shall be ineligible to and incapable of holding any such Office for one Year afterwards.

The enacting Stile of the Laws of the United States shall be “be it enacted and it is hereby enacted by the House of Representatives, and by the Senate of the United States in Congress assembled”

The House of Representatives and the Senate when it shall be acting in a legislative Capacity shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and shall from Time to Time publish them, and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of each House on any Question shall at the Desire of any Member be entered on the Journal

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[per]mitted on the same Terms with the original States: But the Legislature may make Conditions with the new States concerning the public Debt which shall be then subsisting

The United States shall guaranty to each State a Republican Form of Government shall; and shall protect each State against foreign Invasion and, on the Application of its Legislature against domestic Violence.

This Constitution ought to be amended whenever such Amendment shall become necessary; and on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the States in the Union, the Legislature of the United States shall call a Convention for that Purpose.

The Members of the Legislature, and the executive and judicial Officers of the United States and of the several States shall be bound by Oath to support this Constitution.

Resolved, That the Constitution proposed by this Convention, to the People of the United States for their approbation be laid before the United States in Congress assembled for their Agreement and Recommendation and be afterwards submitted to a Convention chosen in each State under the Recommendation of its Legislature, in order to receive the Ratification of such Convention.

Resolved, That the Ratification of the Conventions of States shall be sufficient for organizing this Constitution: That each assenting Convention shall notify its Assent and Ratification to the United States in Congress assembled: That the United States in Congress assembled, after receiving the Assent and Ratification of the Conventions of States shall appoint and publish a Day, as early as may be, and appoint a Place for commencing Proceedings under this Constitution: That after such Publication or, — in case it shall not be made, — after the Expiration of ____ Days from the Time when the Ratification of the Convention of the State shall have been notified to Congress the Legislatures of the several States shall elect Members of the Senate, and direct the Election of Members of the House of Representatives, and shall provide for their support: That the Members of the Legislature shall meet at the Time and Place assigned by Congress or, — if Congress shall have assigned not Time and Place, — at such Time and Place as shall have been agreed on by the Majority of the Members elected for each House, and shall as soon as may be after their Meeting chuse the President of the United States and proceed to execute this Constitution.

Every Bill, which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law be presented to the Governour of the United States for his Revision; If, upon such Revision, he approve of it, he shall signify his Approbation by signing it. But, if, upon such Revision, it shall appear to him improper for being passed into a Law, he shall return it, together with his Objection against it in Writing, to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objection at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider the Bill. But if after such Reconsideration, two thirds of that House shall, notwithstanding the Objections of the Governour, agree to pass it; it shall, together with his objections, be sent to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; and, if approved by two thirds of the other House also, it shall be 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 or against the Bill shall be entered in the Journal(s) of each House respectively — If any Bill shall not be returned by the Governour within ____ Days after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a Law, unless the Legislature, by their Adjournment, prevent its Return; in which Case it shall be returned on the first Day of the next Meeting of the Legislature.

In all Disputes and Controversies now subsisting, or that may hereafter subsist between two or more States, the Senate shall possess the following Powers. Whenever the Legislature, or the Executive Authority, or the lawful Agent of any State in Controversy with another shall by Memorial to the Senate, state the Matter in Question, and apply for a Hearing, Notice of such Memorial and application shall be given by Order of the Senate to the Legislature or the Executive Authority of the other State in Controversy. The Senate shall also assign a Day for the Appearance of the Parties by their Agents before. The Agents shall be directed to appoint by joint Consent Commissioners or Judges to constitute a Court for hearing and determining the Matter in Question. But if the Agents cannot agree, the Senate shall name three Persons out of each of the several States, and from the List of such Persons each Party shall alternately strike out one until the Number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that Number not less than seven, nor more than nine Names, as the Senate shall direct, shall, in their Presence, be drawn out by Lot; and the Persons, whose names shall be so drawn, or any five of them, shall be Commissioners or Judges to hear and finally determine the Controversy; provided a major Part of the Judges, who shall hear the cause agree in the Determination. If either Party shall neglect to attend at the Day assigned, without showing sufficient Reasons for not attending, or, being present, shall refuse to strike, the Senate shall proceed to nominate three Persons out of each State, and the Secretary or Clerk of the Senate shall strike in Behalf of the Party absent or refusing. If any of the Parties shall refuse to submit to the Authority of such Court, or shall not appear to prosecute or defend their Claim or Cause; the Court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce Judgment. The Judgment shall be final and conclusive. The Proceedings shall be transmitted to the President of the Senate and shall be lodged among the public Records for the security of the Parties concerned. Every Commissioner shall before he sit in Judgment, take an Oath, to be administered by one of the Judges of the Supreme or Superior Court of the State, where the Cause shall be tried, “well and truly to hear and determine the Matter in Question, according to the best of his Judgment, without Favour, Affection or Hope of Reward.”

All Controversies concerning Lands claimed under different Grants of two or more States, whose Jurisdictions, as they respect such Lands, shall have been decided or adjusted subsequent to such Grants, shall, on Application to the Senate, be finally determined, as near as may be in the same Manner as is before prescribed for deciding Controversies between different States.

Decisions yet to be taken