« PreviousContinue »
Section 1. Although it is the duty of all men frequently to assemble together for the public worship of the author of the uni. verse; 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
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 com
pelled 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 oyer 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. The es
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 governments 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 attained 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 vacancy, 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.
Sec. 5. Each house shall choose its speaker and other officers; and also each house, whose speaker shall exercise the office of Governor may choose a speaker pro tempore.
Sec. 6. Each house shall 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 shall be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as shall be deemed expedient.
Sec. 7. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish any of its members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the Legislature of a free and independent State.
Sec. 8. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish them immediately after every session, except such parts as may require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any member, be entered on the journal.
Sec. 9. The doors of each house, and of the committees of the whole, shall be open, unless when the business is such as ought to be kept secret.
Sec. 10. Neither house 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.
Sec. 11. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the State; but no law varying the compensation shall take effect, till an election of Representatives shall have intervened. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be priviledged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house they shall not be questioned in any other place.
Sec. 12. No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office under this State, which shall have been created, or the ememoluments of which shall have been increased during such time. No person concerned in any army or navy contract, no member