« PreviousContinue »
Article VII. Pardoning Power. (Page 364.)
405.) Article XVIII. Amending and Revising the Constitution.
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA 1
PREAMBLE AND DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
Purpose of the constitution.
We, the people of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
Inalienable rights of men.
SECTION 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness. Government for and by the people. SEC. 2.
All political power is inherent ? in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people, and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it. California a part of the Union.
SEC. 3. The State of California is an inseparable part of the American Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. Freedom of religion.
SEC. 4. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be guaranteed in
1 The text of the Constitution here given is taken from the edition compiled by F. C. Jordan, Secretary of State, and published by F. W. Richardson, Superintendent of State Printing, 1912.
2 Inherent power is power that exists by natural right. Such power is possessed by the people of a state. The powers possessed by any public corporation in a state are granted powers, and may legally be taken away.
this State; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness or juror on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State. Habeas corpus.
SEC. 5. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require its suspension. ($ 205.) Bail — Witnesses.
Sec. 6. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed; nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted. Witnesses shall not be unreasonably detained, nor confined in any room where criminals are actually imprisoned. ($ 201, 2 a.) Jury trial.
Sec. 7. The right of trial by jury shall be secured to all, and remain inviolate; but in civil actions three fourths of the jury may render a verdict. A trial by jury may be waived in all criminal cases, not amounting to felony, by the consent of both parties, expressed in open court, and in civil actions by the consent of the parties, signified in such manner as may be prescribed by law. In civil actions, and cases of misdemeanor, the jury may consist of twelve, or of any number less than twelve upon which the parties may agree in open court. (8 198, 3; $ 201, 4.) Indictments — Information — Grand jury.
Sec. 8. Offenses heretofore required to be prosecuted by indictment shall be prosecuted by information, after examination and commitment by a magistrate, or by indictment, with or without such examination and commitment, as may be prescribed by law. A grand jury shall be drawn and summoned at least once a year in each county. ($ 201, 2 b.) Freedom of speech Libel suits.
SEC. 9. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact. Indictments found, or information laid, for
publications in newspapers shall be tried in the county where such newspapers have their publication office, or in the county where the party alleged to be libeled resided at the time of the alleged publication, unless the place of trial shall be changed for good cause. Freedom of assembling and petitioning.
The people shall have the right to freely assemble together to consult for the common good, to instruct their representatives and to petition the Legislature for redress of grievances.1 Laws to be uniform. SEC. II.
All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation.
Military subordinate to civil power.
The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. No standing army shall be kept up by this State in time of peace, and no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, except in the manner prescribed by law. Criminal trials Rights of the accused.
SEC. 13. In criminal prosecutions, in any court whatever, the party accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial; to have the process of the court to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf, and to appear and defend, in person and with counsel. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense; : nor be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. The Legislature shall have power to provide for the taking, in the presence of the party accused and his counsel, of depositions of witnesses in criminal cases, other than cases of homicide, when there is reason to believe that the witness, from inability or other cause, will not attend at the trial.
Rights of private property.
SEC. 14. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation having first been made to, or paid into court for, the owner, and no right of way shall be appropriated to the use of any corporation other than municipal until full compensation therefor be first made in money or ascertained and paid into court for the owner, irrespective of
1 In some countries — Russia, for example — the people do not have the right of free assemblage.
2 The national guard is not a standing army, as its members are not professional soldiers, and do not give their entire time to military service.
3 If a verdict of acquittal is rendered at the end of a trial the defendant may not be tried again on the same charge, unless the court should set the verdict aside for
There may be a new trial if the jury fails to agree.
any benefits from any improvement proposed by such corporation, which compensation shall be ascertained by a jury, unless a jury be waived, as in other civil cases in a court of record, as shall be prescribed by law. The taking of private property for a railroad run by steam or electric power for logging or lumbering purposes shall be deemed a taking for a public use, and any person, firm, company or corporation taking private property under the law of eminent domain for such purposes shall thereupon and thereby become a common carrier. (As amended October 10, 1911.) Imprisonment for debt and for militia fines forbidden.
SEC. 15. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action, on mesne or final process, unless in cases of fraud, nor in civil actions for torts, except in cases of willful injury to person or property, and no person shall be imprisoned for a militia fine in time of peace. Bills of attainder Ex post facto laws Obligation of contracts.
Sec. 16. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contracts shall ever be passed. 3 Rights of foreigners.
SEC. 17. Foreigners of the white race, or of African descent, eligible to become citizens of the United States under the naturalization laws thereof,
1 A railroad company, like a public corporation, has the right of eminent domain. If a lumber company builds a railroad for logging purposes over land belonging to other persons, the road is a common carrier; that is, it must transport freight offered to it for the purpose by other persons along the route; and is subject to the control of the state railroad commission.
2 “Mesne" process refers to orders issued by the Court during the progress of a trial (198, 2); “final” process refers to those issued at the end (f 198, 4); a “tort is an injury to person or property not amounting to a crime, but which constitutes cause for a civil action ($ 200).
3 During and preceding the seventeenth century the British parliament occasionally passed bills declaring persons to be guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Such bills were called bills of attainder. The person against whom any such bill was passed had no trial and was given no hearing. The punishment was death and the confiscation of his property; also the blood of his descendants was declared to be “attainted,” that is, they were reduced to the lowest rank of society. No such bills have ever been passed in this country, as no person can be legally convicted except by a court of competent jurisdiction. Lynching, as compared with the old English bills of attainder, is a degraded method of taking life without “due process of law."
A law making a past act punishable which was not punishable when committed, or a law increasing the punishment of a past act, would be an ex post facto law. A contract is made according to the law then in force. If the law relating to contracts is amended, the amendment cannot affect contracts already entered into; it must apply only to future contracts.