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CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE,
Section 2. Representatives. Qualifications.
Number. 3. Senators. Qualifications. Num
bers. Vacancies. 4. General Assembly shall meet bi
ennially. Time of first meet
ing. 5. Each house, officers of. 6. Each house shall judge of the
elction and qualifications of
its own members. Quorum. 7. Punishment of members. 8. Each house to keep a journal. 9. The doors of each house to be
kept open, except. 10. Neither house shall adjourn for
more than three days. 11. Compensation and privileges. 12. No representative senator
equal. 4. Trial by jury. 5. The press. 6. The people to be secure from
unreasonable searches and
seizures. 7. In criminal prosecutions the ac
cused has a right to be heard
by himself and his counsel. 8. No person shall for any indict
able offense be proceeded
against criminally except. 9. All courts shall be open. Jus
tice administered without sale
or denial. 10. Suspending laws. 11. Excessive bail or fines shall not
be imposed. 12. Privileges of prisoners. 13. Habeas corpus. 14. Oyer and Terminer. 15. Attainder, suicide, deodand. 16. The citizens have a right to
meet together peaceably to
consult for the common good. 17. No standing army; the military
subordinate to the civil power. 18. Quartering soldiers. 19. No hereditary distinction shall
shall be elected or appointed to any office created during
his term. 13. Vacancies, how filled. 14. Revenue bills. 15. No money shall be drawn from
the public treasury but by ap
are vested in the Governor. 2. The Governor, his election. In
case of tie. Contested
tions. 3. Tenure of office. 4. Qualifications, 5. Disqualification. 6. Compensation. 7. The Governor to be Commander
ARTICLE II. 1. Legislative power of the State
vested in General Assembly.
in-Chief of the army and navy
of the State. 8. Appointments to offices. Incom
patible offices. Co missioners. 9. The Governor may grant re
prieves and pardons. 10. He may require information in
writing from the officers of
the executive department. 11. Governor's message. 12. He may convene the General As
sembly. 13. He should take care that the
laws are faithfully executed. 14. Vacancy, how filled. 15. Secretary of State. His duties
ARTICLE IV.' 1. The time for holding elections
for State officers, etc. 2. Shall be privileged from arrest
during attendance at elections.
Section 4. Court of General Sessions of
the peace. 5. Court of Chancery. 6. Court of Oyer and Terminer. 7. Court of Error and Appeals.
Questions of law. 8. In matters of chancery jurisdic
tion in which the chancellor is interested, the Chief Justice sitting in the Superior Court
shall have jurisdiction. 9. The Governor shall have the
power to commission a judge
ad litem. 10. Orphans' Court. 11. The jurisdiction of each of the
aforesaid courts shall be co
extensive with the State. 12. General Assembly may alter. 13. Until the General Assembly
shall otherwise provide, the Chancellor shall exercise all
powers, etc. 14. Tenure of office, salaries. 15. Inferior courts. 16. Amending pleadings.- Dispost
tion. 17. At any time pending an action
for debt or damages, the defendant may bring into court the sum of money for dis
charging the same. 18. Suits may survive. 19. Security on appeal and error. 20. Limitation of writs of error. 21. Executors, administrators and
guardians' accounts. - Excep
tions. 22. Registers Court to be held in
each county. 23. Prothonotaries.- Lien of judg
ments. 24. The Governor shall appoint a
competent number of justices
of the peace. 25. The style of process.
1. The House of Representatives
has the sole power of impeach
ing. 2. The Governor and all other civil
officers under this State shall
be liable to impeachment. 3. Treason against the State. De
ARTICLE VI. 1. The judicial power of the State
shall be vested in the Court of Errors and Appeals. The Superior Court, Court of Chancery and Orphans' Court, a Court of Oyer and Terminer, a Court of General Sessions of the peace and jail delivery, a Registers' Court. Justices of
the peace, etc. 2. To compose the said courts
there shall be five judges in
the State. 3. Superior Court to consist of
Chief Justice and two
1. Conservators of the peace. 2. Representatives in Congress. 3. Sheriff and coroner.-Term of
office. 4. Tenure of certain officials.
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.