Consolidated Constitution, As Amended, of the United States of America (Includes Articles of Amendment I to XXVII)
The Constitution of the United States was written for the “People,” by the “People,” and was intended to be straightforward and understandable. Justice Owen Josephus Roberts, in delivering the Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Sprague, observed, “The Constitution was written to be understood by the voters; its words and phrases used were in the normal and ordinary [sense,] as distinguished from technical.” However, readability and understandability has been complicated by the addition of the twenty-seven Articles of Amendment, some being incremental and others modifying or replacing previous Constitutional language and provisions.
Heretofore, presentations of the Constitution and Articles of Amendment in books and publications have used a chronological approach where the Constitution is presented first, followed by each of the ratified Articles of Amendment, I to XXVII, in numerical and chronological order. This presentation approach is certainly reasonable and rational, but only from an historic perspective.
From the standpoint of understandability, chronological presentations are inadequate. Related subject matters are unconnected. For example, Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution is about the US Senate, which is also the subject matter in Article of Amendment XVII. In chronological presentations, these related subjects may be separated by a number of pages, e.g., Article I, Section 3 may be on page two while Article of Amendment XVII is on page eighteen. Such separation of related subject matters is a hindrance to the overall understanding of the Constitution, as Amended.
A different approach is used for the “Consolidated Constitution, As Amended, of the United States of America.” Instead of a chronological approach, the Articles of Amendment are integrated with, and inserted into, the original framework or body of the Constitution based upon subject matter. Like-subjects in the Articles of Amendment are included with like-subjects in the Constitution, thus enhancing understandability. As such, using the example above, the provisions in Article of Amendment XVII, about the Senate, are included in Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution.
The “Consolidated Constitution, as Amended, of the United States of America” is also fully annotated with the specific identification of those provisions in the Constitution and Articles of Amendment that have expired and that have been repealed, superseded or otherwise impacted by a subsequent Article of Amendment. This annotation methodology is also unique in that those constitutional provisions, which are no longer in effect, have been removed from the main constitutional framework and, instead, placed in the footnotes with specific details. In eliminating such provisions from the main framework, the assigned Clause numbers have been retained, in italics, to facilitate referencing.
The basic framework and style of the original Constitution has been maintained including the placement of “Article” and “Section” headers and numbers. The header “Preamble,” in italics, has been added for reference purposes. Original spelling, capitalization and punctuation has been retained.
Clauses (paragraphs) are presented using a block style versus an indentation style that was used in the original, Engrossed Constitution. Clause numbers, in italics, which were not in the original Constitution, have been added to aid in referencing.
In integrating the Articles of Amendment into the text of the Constitution, there are several considerations in the proper placement and numbering of the integrated Clauses. First, the specific placement of Article of Amendment Clauses, within the text of the Constitution, was based upon related subject matters in order to keep like subject matters together. Clause numbers for those Article of Amendment provisions inserted within the Constitution document have been assigned so as not to disrupt the Clause numbering methodology used in the Constitution before the insertion of such Article of Amendment Clauses. Specifically, Article of Amendment Clauses are integrated into the numbering sequence by using an alpha character with the number. For example, Article of Amendment XIV, Section 3 (a sole Clause) has been inserted as Clause (1B) under Article I, Section 6, in the Consolidated Constitution, as Amended.
An Article of Amendment Clause that specifically modifies another Clause (in the same Article of Amendment) is placed into the Constitution immediately after the Clause it modified, using the same Clause number designation and adding a lower case “ i ,” e.g., Article I, Section 6, Clause “(1B.i.).” Further, a single modifying Clause in an Article of Amendment may be a modifier to more than one of the other Clauses in the same Article of Amendment. As such, the modifier Clause is repeated and included in the Constitution below each Clause being modified.
For example, Section 5 (a sole Clause) in Article of Amendment XIV modified each of Sections 1 through 4. Such modifying Clause has therefore been inserted in four locations to appropriately reflect the modifying nature for each of the Clauses so modified: Article I, Section 2, Clause (3A.i.), Article I, Section 6, Clause (1B.i.), Article IV, Section 2, Clause (1A.i.) and Article VI, Clause (1A.i.). All modifying provisions or Clauses in the Articles of Amendment, when inserted into the Constitutional text, are also indented so as to appropriately reflect the modification to the preceding Clause.
The “Footnotes to Consolidated Constitution, as Amended, of the United States of America” have been included for explanatory purposes and are not part of the original Constitution.
Administering the Ratification of Constitutional Amendments,
Amendments to U.S. Constitution,
Article of Amendment XI,
Article of Amendment XII,
Article of Amendment XIII,
Article of Amendment XIV,
Article of Amendment XIX,
Article of Amendment XV,
Article of Amendment XVI,
Article of Amendment XVII,
Article of Amendment XVIII,
Article of Amendment XXI,
Articles of Amendment I to X,
Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union,
Bill of Rights,
Citizen of the United States,
Constitutional Amendment Ratification Time Limits,
Constitutional Amendment Rejection,
Constitution of the United States of America,
David R. Wood,
David Robert Wood,
Distributing Proposed Constitutional Amendments to States,
Drop-dead Provisions in Amendments to U.S. Constitution,
Election of U.S. President,
Expired Provisions in U.S. Constitution and Amendments,
Final Ratification of Constitutional Amendments,
Forgotten Constitutional Amendments,
Proclamation of Final Ratification of Proposed Constitutional Amendments,
Proposal of Constitutional Amendments,
Ratification of Amendments to U.S. Constitution,
Recissions of Ratifications of Constitutional Amendments,
Seceded Southern States,
Transmittal of Proposed Constitutional Amendments to the States,
U.S. Constitution Amendment Process,
U.S. District Court Case Idaho v. Freeman,
U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward,
U.S. Supreme Court case Dillon v. Gloss,
Un-ratified Amendments to Constitution,