BECK index

Constitution of the United States

(first draft by Sanderson Beck)

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, assure domestic tranquility, provide for the common security, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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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 435 members apportioned by population and elected to terms of two years in even-numbered years by the people of the several states and the District of Columbia.

Each Representative shall have one vote and must be at least twenty-five years of age, must have been a citizen of the United States for at least ten years, and when elected, must be an inhabitant of that state represented.

When vacancies happen in the representation from any state, elections shall be held to fill such vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers, and the House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Section 3

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of one hundred Senators.

Each Senator shall have one vote and must be at least thirty years of age, must have been a citizen of the United States for at least fifteen years, and when elected, must be an inhabitant of one of those states (or the District of Columbia) in the region in which one is elected.

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 choose their other officers and also a President pro tempore in the absence of the Vice President or when he or she 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; 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 person convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.

Section 4

General elections for all Representatives shall be held on the first Wednesday of November in even-numbered years and for all Senators in even-numbered years that are not divisible by four.

Twenty-five Senators shall be elected to terms of four years from each of the following four regions: the East shall include the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia, and the District of Columbia; the South shall include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia; the Central shall include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin; and the West shall include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Primary elections shall be held regionally in even-numbered years on the first Wednesday of March, April, May, and June. In the first election after the ratification of this Constitution the order shall be East, South, Central, and West. Every four years the region that went first shall become last as the other regions move forward one month.

The Senators shall be elected proportionally. The primary election shall determine the list of candidates with the most votes within each party. In the general election citizens shall vote for the party of their choice, and twenty-five seats in each region shall be apportioned with each party getting one seat for each four percent of the vote. An official census of the population of each state shall be taken in years ending in zero. The United States Supreme Court shall determine if any states need to be moved from one region to another because of changes in population. Any change shall take effect at the next primary election for Senators.

Representatives shall be elected by district with instant runoff voting using first, second, and third choices in both the primary and general elections. As candidates with the least number of votes are eliminated, the second (and if necessary the third) choices of those voters shall take effect until one candidate has more votes than all the remaining candidates.

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, discipline its members for disorderly behavior and with the concurrence of two thirds expel a member for a felony conviction or a serious ethical violation.

Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and from time to time publish the same; 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 in 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 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.

No Senator or Representative shall during the time for which he or she 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 increased during such time; no person holding any office under the United States shall be a member of either house during his or her 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 becomes a law, be presented to the President of the United States. If he or she approves, he or she shall sign it; but if not, he or she shall return it with his or her objections to that House in which it shall have originated and which shall enter the objections at large in 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 it is 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 in 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 or her, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he or she 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 her, or being disapproved by him or her, 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 the following powers:

to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the security 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, among the several states, and with the Indian nations;

to establish a 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 provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

to provide for organizing, equipping, 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 the District of Columbia 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 needed 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 immigration of persons any of the states shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the Congress.

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.

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; 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 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 actually invaded or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

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Article II

Section 1

The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He or she shall hold this office during the term of four years and together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected in years divisible by four by a majority of all the citizens in the United States using instant runoff voting in both the primary and general elections as described in Article I Section 4.

All persons who are at least thirty-five years of age and have been citizens for at least twenty years shall be eligible for the office of President.

The Administrators of the fifteen executive departments of the United States of America shall be elected by a majority of all the citizens in the United States using instant runoff voting in both the primary and general elections as described in Article I Section 4. In the first election after the ratification of this Constitution the Administrators of all fifteen departments shall be elected. The first Administrators of the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Communication, Education, and Energy shall serve for two years; the first Administrators of the departments of Environment, Health, Housing & Welfare, Justice, and Labor shall serve for four years; and the first Administrators of the departments of Science & Technology, Security, State, Transportation, and Treasury shall serve for six years. In each succeeding election one third of the Administrators shall be elected to terms of six years. Administrators must be at least thirty years of age and must have been citizens for at least ten years.

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his or her death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of Congress.

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his or her written declaration that he or she is unable to discharge the powers and duties of this office, and until he or she transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of the Administrators of the executive departments transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of this office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, the Congress shall determine by two-thirds vote of both houses if and when the President shall resume the powers and duties of this office.

The President, Vice President, and Administrators shall receive compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected, and they shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States or any of the states.

Before entering on the execution of their offices, the President, Vice President, and Administrators shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office to which I have been elected and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The terms of the elected President, Vice President, Administrators, Senators, and Representatives shall begin at noon on January 3 following their election.

Section 2

The President shall be the chief executive officer of the United States and of the militia of the several states when called into the actual service of the United States.

The President may require the opinion in writing of the Administrator in each of the executive departments upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

The President shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, 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.

The President shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of at least three-fifths 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 Administrators 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 one month after the end of their recess.

Section 3

The President shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union and recommend for their consideration such measures as he or she shall judge necessary and expedient; he or she 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 or she may adjourn them to such time as he or she shall think proper.

The President shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers.

The President 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, Administrators, 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.

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Article III

Section 1

The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, three appellate courts in each of the five regions and in at least one district court in each state as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges of the Supreme Court, the fifteen appellate courts, and the district courts shall hold their offices during good behavior for ten years, after which time they may be appointed again, and they shall receive for their services 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; and to controversies between two or more states, 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 or in adhering to the enemies of the United States. 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.

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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 and the District of Columbia 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 or she fled be delivered up to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.

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 shall 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; nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States or of any particular state.

The United States shall not possess nor occupy any territory that is not a part of one of the United States or the District of Columbia.

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.

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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 a majority vote of the citizens in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.

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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 previous Constitution.

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.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, 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.

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Article VII

Section 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.

No soldier shall be quartered in any house without consent of the owner.

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.

No person shall be held to answer for a felony unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any person be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against oneself, 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 one; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in one's favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for one's defense.

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed one thousand 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 capital, 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.

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.

Section 2

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, sex, religion, political association, sexual orientation, or previous condition.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes from whatever source derived without apportionment among the several States and without regard to any census or enumeration.

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President and Vice President or Administrators or for Senator or Representative in Congress shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age.

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.

Section 3

The right of citizens of the United States to attend free public schools and use free public libraries shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state.

The right of citizens of the United States to receive free health care shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state, and Congress shall make no law interfering with a patient's right to be treated by a physician.

Those serving in the offices of President, Administrator, Senator, Representative, and Judge shall not receive any other income during their term of public service.

The election campaigns of candidates for the offices of President, Administrator, Senator, and Representative shall be publicly financed. Citizens may also contribute up to one hundred dollars to one candidate in each office for which they are qualified to vote during each primary and general election. No other person, group, organization, or business may contribute to any election campaign for any of these offices. The contributions from citizens not spent by the campaign by the primary or general election day shall go into the Treasury of the United States, which shall finance the debates broadcast for each office and for the sample ballots mailed to the voters that shall give equal time and space to all candidates on the ballots. Whenever and wherever primary or general elections for officers of the United States are held, that day shall be a federal holiday.

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Article VIII

The ratification by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states or by a majority vote of the citizens in three fourths of the several states shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same.


Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

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Global Emergency
Alleviating Poverty
Disarming Weapons of War
Creating Global Democracy
Reforming the US Constitution
Restoring Justice
Sustainable Economics
Freeing Communication
Spiritual Awakening
Nonviolent Strategies
Appendix:
Global Disarmament Treaty (first draft by Beck)
Constitution of the Federal Earth Democracy (first draft by Beck)
Constitution of the United States Revised (first draft by Beck)

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