Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

ARTICLE 1.

Rights and Privileges. 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

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, at all times to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.

3. No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, nor under any pretence, whatever, be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his faith and judgment; nor shall any person be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of Worship, or for the maintainance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or has deliberately and voluntarily engaged to perform.

4. There shall be no establishment of one religious sect in preference to another. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust; and no person shall be denied the enjoyment of any

civil right merely on account of his religious principles.

5. Every person may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.

In all prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libellous is true, and was published with good motives, and for jus

tifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted ; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.

6. The right of the people to be secure in their per. sons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated ; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the papers and things to be seized.

7. The right of trial by jury, shall remain inviolate ; but the Legislature may authorize the trial of civil suits, when the matter in dispute does not exceed fifty dollars, by a jury of six men.

8. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury; to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel in his defence.

9. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offence, unless on the presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or in cases cognizable by justices of the peace, or arising in the army or navy, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger.

10. No person shall, after acquittal, be tried for the same offence. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offences, when the proof is evident or presumption great.

11. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

12. The military shall be in strict subordination to the

13. 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 a manner prescribed by law.

14. Treason against the State, shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be con

civil power.

victed of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesse es to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

15. Excessive bail shall not be required, excessive fines shall not be imposed, and cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted.

16. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation ; but land may be taken for public highways as heretofore, until the Legislature shall direct compensation to be made.

17. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any action, or on any judgment founded upon contract, unless in cases of fraud; nor shall any person be imprisoned for a militia fine, in time of peace.

18. The people have the right freely to assemble together, to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their representatives, and to petition for redress of grievances.

19. This enumeration of rights and privileges shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.

ARTICLE 2.

Right of Suffrage. 1. Every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of this State one year, and of the county in which he claims his vote five months next before the election, shall be entitled to vote for all officers that now are, or hereafter may be elective by the people ; provided, that no person in the military, naval, or marine service of the United States shall be considered a resident in this State, by being stationed in any garrison, barrack, or military or naval place or station within this State ; and no pauper, idiot, insane person, or person convicted of a crime which now excludes him from being a witness, unless pardoned or restored by law to the right of suffrage, shall enjoy the right of an elector.

2. The Legislature may pass laws to deprive persons of the right of suffrage, who shall be convicted of bribery at elections.

ARTICLE 3. Distribution of the Powers of Government. 1. The powers of the government shall be divided into three distinct departments,-the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial; and no person or persons belonging to, or constituting one of these departments, shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except as herein expressly provided.

ARTICLE 4.

Legislative. Sec. I.-1. The legislative power shall be vested in a Senate and General Assembly.

2. No person shall be a member of the Senate, who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the State for four years, and of the county for which he shall be chosen one year, next before his election ; and no person shall be a member of the General Assembly, who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the State for two years, and of the county for which he shall be chosen one year, next before his election; provided, that no person shall be eligible as a member of either house of the Legislature, who shall not be entitled to the right of suffrage.

3. Members of the Senate and General Assembly shall be elected yearly, and every year, on the second Tuesday of October; and the two houses shall meet seperately on the second Tuesday in January next, after the said day of election, at which time of meeting, the legislative year shall commence; but the time of holding such election may be altered by the Legislature.

Sec. II.-1. The Senate shall be composed of one senator from each county in the state, elected by the legal voters of the counties, respectively, for three years.

2. As soon as the Senate shall meet, after the first election to be held in pursuance of this Constitution, they shall be divided, as equally as may be, into three classes. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vaca ted at the expiration of the first year; of the second

class, at the expiration of the second year; and of the third class, at the expiration of the third year; so that one class may be elected every year; and if vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, the persons elected to supply such vacancies, shall be elected for the unexpired terms only.

SEC. III-). The General Assembly shall be composed of members annually elected by the legal voters of the counties, respectively, who shall be apportioned among the said counties, as nearly as may be, according to the number of their inhabitants. The present apportionment shall continue until the next census of the United States shall have been taken, and an apportionment of menibers of the General Assembly shall be made by the Legislature, at its first session after the next and every subse quent enumeration or census, and when made, shalı remain unaltered until another enumeration shall have been taken ; provided, that each county shall at all times be entitled to one member; and the whole number of members shall never exceed sixty.

Sec. IV.-1. Each house shall direct writs of election for supplying vacancies, occasioned by death, resignation, or otherwise ; but if vacancies occur during the recess of the Legislature, the writs may be issued by the Governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.

2. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each suall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each house may provide.

3. Each house shall choose its own officers, determine the rules of its proceeding, punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of twothirds, may expel a member.

4. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

« ZurückWeiter »