We, the People of an Integral Federation of States, to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.1Note that these articles include suggestions by the author to address problems discussed in his book Integral Society. They are intended for discussion in the evolution of constitutional thought as other factors not discussed or known or better solutions could lead to changes. The author believes approval of a constitution by more than three-fourths of the population represents the consent of the governed. The Federalist Papers contributed to such debate at the U.S. Founding.
Article. I. Legislative Branch
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the Federation, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen through election by the people of the several States, as determined by their State Legislature. The term shall be four years.
No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty years and been seven years a citizen of the Federation, and when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the states that may be included within this Federation, according to their respective numbers. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress within every subsequent term of ten years. No enumeration will include religion, race, party, or other group affiliation. There shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided into two classes as equally as may be possible. The representative seats’ of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, and of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year so that one-half may be chosen every second year.
If vacancies happen by resignation or otherwise, the executive authority shall issue a special election to fill such vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall choose its Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
The Senate of the Federation 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 into three classes as equally as possible. 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 the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third may be chosen every second year. 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-five years and been nine years a citizen of the Federation, and shall be an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The Federation’s Vice President shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they are equally divided.
The Senate shall choose 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.
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 Federation 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 Federation: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.
The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each state by the Legislature thereof.
The Congress shall assemble at least once every year.
Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business. 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 shall pass no bill with more than one subject and no less than a two-thirds majority of votes.
Each House may determine the other rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and expel a member with the concurrence of two-thirds.
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. 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 which the two Houses are sitting.
The Federation will provide offices for Senators and Representatives but shall not provide compensation for their services from the Treasury of the Federation. Congress shall pass no bill regarding the salaries of the members or their staff or appropriate money, therefore. All such expenses must be borne by the states they represent.
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. For any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
Members of Congress may not accept any money or payment from any lobbying organization or institution while in office. They must recuse themselves from voting on any item that engenders a personal conflict of financial interest under penalty of a fine as determined by law. Nor shall Members or their immediate family purchase stock in any corporation while Congress is in session.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the Federation, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time. No person holding any office under the Federation shall be a Member of either House during Continuance in Office.
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 becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the Federation. If the President approves shall sign it, but if not shall return it, with written 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, three-fourths 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 three-fourths 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 is not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it has been presented, it shall be a law as if the President 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 Federation. Before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by three-fourths of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a Bill.
The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and, excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the Federation; but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Federation;
To borrow money on the credit of the Federation; except from a Central Bank that controls the creation of new money.
To regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states;
To promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive copyrights and patents to their respective writings and discoveries. Such rights shall only be held by individual citizens not corporations or other social institutions. Their duration shall not last beyond seventeen years;
To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court;
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and offenses 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, except for standing armies or arming domestic agencies, 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 federation. The appointment of the officers and the authority of training shall be reserved to the states respectively 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 the cession of particular states and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the Government of the Federation, 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 federation, or in any department or officer thereof, except laws that violate other sections of this Constitution.
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. However, a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding one hundred dollars for each person.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, when in cases of rebellion or invasion, public safety may require it.
No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.
No arms shall be issued to federal employees for domestic use. Local or state police or militias shall provide protection if they deem it necessary. The Federation shall only issue arms to the military, including protection for the President, who is its Commander in Chief.
To establish a uniform rule of naturalization,
The Federation shall grant no title of nobility. 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.
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 Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws. 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 Federation, and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control 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 invaded, or in imminent danger as will not admit of delay.
Article. II. Executive Branch
The executive power shall be vested in a President of the Federation. The President’s term of office shall be 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 federation, 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 Federation, 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 choose 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 choose 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. 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 choose from them by ballot the Vice President.
The Congress may determine the time of choosing the electors and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the Federation.
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the Federation, 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 Federation.
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 receive for services, compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the term of office. No other emolument from the Federation or the States shall be given during the term of office.
Before entering on the Execution of his Office, the President shall take the following oath or affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the Federation, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federation.”
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the Federation and of the militia of the several states when called into the actual service of the Federation. The President 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 shall have Power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the Federation, except in cases of Impeachment.
The President 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, consuls, and all other officers of the Federation, 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 the power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate by granting commissions that shall expire at the end of their next session.
The President 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, concerning 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 Federation. The President may issue executive orders to departments in his role of executing the laws, but they do not have the force of law. Congress may overturn any executive order.
The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the Federation, shall be removed from office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Public Ministers who are heads of Federation Departments and agencies must be qualified for their position as determined by law. They are accountable to the President, who is the chief administrator, but have a primary duty to administer the department as directed by laws established by Congress.
Public Ministers shall be chosen by lottery from among candidates submitted by the States. Each state may submit one candidate.
The transparency of all government institutions is necessary for citizen oversight. No government department may classify information to hide spending or other activities except for military security. Classified documents will be declassified after a time of seven years. The punishment for false classification of documents shall be removed from office.
Article III. The Judiciary
The judicial power of the Federation shall be vested in one Supreme Court consisting of nine justices 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 behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive compensation for their services, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
Supreme Court justices shall be chosen by lottery from candidates submitted by the states, with only one submission per state. Candidates should be qualified in constitutional law and be a minimum of thirty-five years of age. The Vice President will conduct the lottery within ninety days of a vacancy. The term of a Supreme Court justice shall expire when the justice reaches an age of eighty years or upon resignation or removal by impeachment.
The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the Federation, 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 Federation 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 mentioned before, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as 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.
Treason against the Federation 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 the 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. The States
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 how such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
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 labor 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 labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.
Congress may admit new States into this Federation; 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.
The Congress shall have the power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the Federation; nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the Federation, or of any particular state.
The Federation shall guarantee to every State in this union a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on the application of the Legislature or of the executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.
States are guaranteed a right to secede with the consent of three-fourths of their citizens and with no less than ninety days notice to the Federation. If requested, Federal property in a departing State must be returned or paid for by a duly assessed fair market value.
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.
Article V. The Citizens
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.
No Soldier or federal agent 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.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, Houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. 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.
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. No person subject for the same offence shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb. No person 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.
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.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Article VI. Money, Taxes, and Banking
A central bank shall have the power 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 federation;
The central bank may act as an exchange bank or clearing house but may not issue loans.
Congress shall not borrow money from the central bank;
Congress may authorize the Treasury to issue bonds for sale to individual citizens, but no government bonds shall be owned by banks, corporations, or other social institutions.
No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken. Such taxes will be paid by the States, not directly by the Citizens. All direct taxes and income taxes on Citizens will be collected and managed by the States.
No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state to another in the Federation.
Any regulation of commerce or revenue shall give no preference 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.
Neither Congress nor the States shall tax the profits of any corporation, religion, or other social institution. Such profits must be paid to the owners and shareholders or reinvested in production. All taxes shall be levied on the individual income derived from profits or through payments of wages or dividends. Congress or the States may mandate a minimum distribution of profit of up to 50 percent to owners and shareholders. Social institutions shall be incorporated in the states and not under the jurisdiction of the Federation, except for the regulation of interstate commerce. Social institutions may be limited in scope and purpose by the State charter.
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law. A regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published annually.
There shall be uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the Federation.
Article. VII. Social Institutions
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, political party, cultural association, or other organization or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Congress shall not abridge the freedom of assembly. No census shall be allowed to question or categorize people by s cultural, racial, or political identity, nor shall public databases classify individuals by any group affiliation. No ballot shall list the religion, political party, or another cultural identity group next to the names of candidates. The government will not appropriate any funds for political party primaries, or other political activities of private organizations or candidates.
Congress shall not abridge the freedom of speech, or of the press; and to petition the Federation for a redress of grievances. The Federation shall issue official reports as established by law, but shall not establish or support any news media, entertainment programming, or other social media. Nor shall any government department dictate the censorship of any topic in the press.
Article. VIII. Amendments
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; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
Article. IX. Continuance of Obligations
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution shall be as valid against the Federation under this Constitution as under the previous Constitution.
This Constitution, and the laws of the Federation which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the Federation, 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.
The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the Federation and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution. No religious, racial, sexual, or other identity group test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the Federation.
Article. X. Ratification
The Ratification of the Conventions of three-fourths of the States shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.