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Article VI

Clause 1: 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 Confederation.

The clause states that all debts and contracts incurred under the Articles of Confederation would be still be honored after ratification of the Constutution.

Clause 2: 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.

Clause 2 states that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land for all law and treaties. If any disputes between state law and federal law, the federal law will prevail. This law sometimes is in dispute with the 10th amendment which provides powers to the state and to the people that has not been provided to the federal government in the Constitution.

Read together, Clauses 1 and 2 might be considered to serve to meld together the old Articles of Confederation and the new Constitution. The Constitution could have, but did not, relieve citizens or states from the obligations that they made prior to the adoption of the Constitution; instead, it provided for their continuity and enforceability. That said, the clauses make clear that each State shall theretofore be bound by the Constitution and by the laws of the United States (federal law) when in conflict with the law of the individual States. Think of this in terms of State law having to give way to Federal law in the event of conflict.

Clause 3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and 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.

There are 2 elements to this. First, all elected representatives and senators must pledge allegiance to the United States and take an oath to protect the Constitution prior to being seated. The second part refers to separation of church and state. When the colonies first existed, each state had it's own Church. The established states had to dismiss their affiliation with the Churches and not thereater readopt any such connection.

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Q: What does article six of the constitution state?
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