Article VI

Article VI contains three provisions. The first provision states that debts contracted under the Articles of Confederation before the adoption of the present Constitution were still valid. While important at the time, it is no longer of importance today.

The second provision in Article VI, Paragraph 2 is one of the most important principles of the entire Constitution. It is called “the supremacy clause” or “the supreme law of the land clause.” The three things which constitute the supreme law of the land are: (1) the U. S. Constitution itself; (2) laws of the U. S. made in pursuance of the Constitution; (laws of Congress so long as those laws are not in conflict with the Constitution); and (3) treaties. Furthermore, Paragraph 2 states that “judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

The third provision of Article VI states that U. S. Senators, U. S. Representatives, members of state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers of the U. S. and the states are bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution.

In the only mention of religion in the original Constitution as written at Philadelphia, Article VI finally states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for holding any office or public trust under the United States.”