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sion of the clergy from hold
ing civil office in this State.
fixed to every edition of laws
and coroners shall not be va
cated by amendment. 3. Time of first election of Repre
sentatives under this amended
Constitution. 4. Term of office of the present
Governor shall not be vacated
or extended by amendment. 5. The time the amended Consti
tution shall commence, etc. 6. Registers Courts, etc., not af,
fected by amendments. 7. The General Assembly shall
have power to make Jaw necessary to carry into effect
this amended Constitution, 8. In regard to the provision in
the twentieth section of the sixth article of this amended
Constitution. 9. The Governor shall have power
to issue writs of election, to supply vacancies in either house of the General Assem
bly. 10. It is declared that nothing in
this amended Constituton gives a writ of error from the · Court of Errors and Appeals, etc.
We, the people, hereby ordain and establish this Constitution of Government for the State of Delaware.
Through divine goodness, all men have by nature, the rights of worshiping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences, of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting reputation and property, and in general of attaining objects suitable to their condition, without injury by one to another; and as these rights are essential to their welfare, for the due exercise thereof, power is inherent in them; and therefore all just authority in the institutions of political society is derived from the people, and established with their consent, to advance their happiness; and they may for this end, as circumstances require, from time to time alter their Constitution of government.
Section 1. Although it is the duty of all men frequently to assemble together for the public worship of the author of the universe; and piety and morality, on which the prosperity of communities depends, are thereby promoted, yet no man shall or ought to be compelled to attend any religious worship, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of worship, or to the maintenance of any ministry, against his own free will and consent; and no power shall or ought to be vested in or assumed by.any magistrate, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship, nor a preference given by law to any religious societies, denominations, or modes of worship.
Sec. 2. No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, under this State.
Sec. 3. All elections shall be free and equal.
Sec. 5. The press shall be free to every citizen, who undertakes to examine the official conduct of men acting in a public capacity; and any citizen may print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty. In prosecutions for publications, investigating the proceedings of officers, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libels the jury may determine the facts and the law, as in other cases.
I Sec. 6. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures, and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing them as particularly as may be; nor then, unless there be probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.
Sec. 7. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel, to be plainly and fully informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to meet the witnesses in their examination face to face, to have compulsory process in due time, on application by himself, his friends or counsel, for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury; he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself nor shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.
Sec. 8. No person shall for any indictable offense be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger; and no person shall be for the same offense twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall any man's property be taken or applied to public use without the consent of his representatives, and without compensation being made.
Sec. 9. All courts shall be open; and every man for an injury done him in his reputation, person, moveable or immoveable possession, shall have remedy by the due course of law, and justice administered according to the very right of the cause and the law of the land, without sale, denial, or unreasonable delay or expense; and every action shall be tried in the county in which it shall be commenced, unless when the judges of the court in which the cause is to be tried, shall determine that an impartial trial therefor cannot be had in that county. Suits may be brought against the State, according to such regulations as shall be made by law.
Sec. 10. No power of suspending laws shall be exercised; but by authority of the Legislature.
Sec. 11. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishment inflicted; and in the construction of jails, a proper regard shall be had to the health of prisoners.
Sec. 12. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses when the proof is positive or the presumption great; and when persons are confined on accusation for such offenses, their friends or counsel may at proper seasons have access to them.
Sec. 13. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
Sec. 14. No commission of over and terminer, or jail delivery, shall be issued.
Sec. 15. No attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate.
tates of those who destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death, and if any person be killed by accident, no forfeiture shall be thereby incurred.
Sec. 16. Although disobedience to laws by a part of the people upon suggestions of impolicy or injustice in them, tends by immediate effect and the influence of example, not only to endanger the public welfare and safety, but also in governments of a republican form, contravenes the social principles of such gov. ernments founded on common consent for common good; yet the citizens have a right in an orderly manner to meet together, and to apply to persons instrusted with the powers of government, for redress of grievances or other proper purposes, by petition, remonstrance or address.
Sec. 17. No standing army shall be kept up without the consent of the Legislature; and the military shall, in all cases and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.
Sec. 18. No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but by a civil magistrate, in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Sec. 19. No hereditary distinction shall be granted, nor any office created or exercised, the appointment to which shall be for a longer term than during good behavior; and no person holding any office under this State, shall accept of any office or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
WE DECLARE THAT EVERYTHING IN THIS ARTICLE IS RESERVED OUT OF THE GENERAL POWERS OF GOVERNMENT HEREINAFTER MENTIONED.
Section 1. The legislative power of this State shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Sec. 2. The Representatives shall be chosen for two years, by the citizens residing in the several counties.
No person shall be a Representative who shall not have at. tained the age of twenty-four years, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the State three years next preceding the first meeting of the Legislature after his election, and the last year of that term an inhabitant of the county in which he shall be chosen, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or this State.
There shall be seven Representatives chosen in each county, until a greater number of Representatives shall by the General Assembly be judged necessary; and then, two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature concurring, they may by law make provision for increasing their number.
Sec. 3. The Senators shall be chosen for four years by the citizens residing in the several counties.
No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-seven years, and have in the county in which he shall be chosen, a freehold estate in two hundred acres of land, or an estate in real and personal property, or in either, of the value of one thousand pounds at least, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the State three years next preceding the first meeting of the Legislature after his election, and the last year of that term an inhabitant of the county in which he shall be chosen, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States or of this State.
There shall be three Senators chosen in each county. When a greater number of Senators shall by the General Assembly be judged necessary, two-thirds of each branch concurring, they may by law make provision for increasing their number; but the number of Senators shall never be greater than one-half, nor less than one-third of the number of Representatives.
If the office of Representative, or the office of Senator, be come vacant before the regular expiration of the term thereof, a Representative or a Senator shall be elected to fill such vacanoy, and shall hold the office for the residue of said term.
When there is a vacancy in either house of the General Assem. bly, and the General Assembly is not in session, the Governor shall have power to issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy; which writ shall be executed as a writ issued by the speaker of either house in case of vacancy. Sec. 4. The General Assembly shall meet on the first Tuesday
. of January, biennially, unless sooner convened by the Governor.
The first meeting of the General Assembly under this amended Constitution, shall be on the first Tuesday of January, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three, which shall be the commencement of biennial sessions.