United States Constitution
PREAMBLE : We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure
domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of
Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution
Article 1, Section 1
The text of the U.S. Constitution begins with a description of the legislative branch of the government, or the “Congress.” In fact, the first three articles of the Constitution deal in turn with the three branches of the federal government: legislative (Congress), executive (President), and judicial (Supreme Court). These branches were designed to compete with each other – to have overlapping and competing interests, so no single branch or person could possess complete authority. In the wake of the American Revolution, the founders were left with a distaste for monarchy, and they created a system whose very structure lends toward a separation of powers.
Article I is made up of ten sections, which can be thought generally of as answering three separate questions: What is the Congress (Sections 1-3)? How does the Congress work (Sections 4-7)? What can the Congress do or not do (Sections 8-10)?
Below, is section one, which is uniquely short and straightforward.
Text of Article 1, 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.
The 'Travis Translation' of Article 1, Section 1:
Laws are made by Congress. Congress is made up of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
The very first section of Article I is simply written. It is more of an introduction than anything else. Congress makes laws. Congress is made up of the Senate and House of Representatives.