Imágenes de páginas



[ocr errors]

$ 12. The duties and powers of the Secretary, Attorney-General, and General Treasurer, shall be the same under this constitution as are now established, or as from time to time may be prescribed by law.

ARTICLE 8. — OF ELECTIONS. 91. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Senators, Representatives, Secretary of State, Attorney-General, and General Treasurer, shall be elected at the town, city, or ward meetings, to be holden on the first Wednesday of April, annually, and shall severally hold their offices for one year, from the first Tuesday of May next, succeeding, and until others are legally chosen, and duly qualified to fill their places. If elected or qualified after the said first Tuesday of May, they shall hold their offices for the remainder of the political year, and until their suc. cessors are qualified to act.



$ 2. The voting for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney-General, General Treasurer, and Representatives to Con. gress, shall be by ballot; Senators and Representatives to the General Assembly, and town or city officers, shall be chosen by ballot, on demand of any seven persons entitled to vote for the same; and in all cases where an election is made by ballot or paper vote, the manner of balloting shall be the same as is now required in voting for general officers, until otherwise prescribed by law. 03. The names of the persons voted for as Governor, LieutenantGovernor, Secretary of State, Attorney-General, and General Treasurer, shall be placed upon one ticket, and all votes for these officers shall, in open town or ward meetings be sealed up by the moderators and town clerks and by the wardens and ward clerks, who shall certify the same and deliver or send them to the Secretary of State; whose duty it shall be securely to keep and deliver the same to the grand committee, after the organization of the two Houses at the annual May session; and it bhall be the duty of the two Houses at said session, after their organiza. hoa, upon the request of either House, to join in grand committee, for be purpose of counting and declaring said votes, and of electing other

14. The town and ward clerks shall also keep a correct list or regis. bet, of all persons voting for general officers, and shall transmit a copy bereof to the General Åssembly, on or before the first day of said May $5. The ballots for Senators and Representatives in the several towns, shell in each case after the polls are declared to be closed, be counted by be moderator, who shall announce the result, and the clerk shall give Certificates to the persons elected. If, in any case, there be no election, te polls may be re-opened, and the like proceedings shall be had until un election shall take place: Provided, however, that an adjournment or journments of the election may be made to a time not exceeding seven taps from the first meeting.

6. In the city of Providence, the polls for Senator and Representalites shall be kept open during the whole time of voting for the day, and the votes in the several wards shall be sealed up at the close of the Desting by the wardens and ward clerks in open ward meeting, and efterwards delivered to the city clerk. The Mayor and Aldermen shall proceed to count said votes within two days from the day of election ; and if no election of Senator and Representatives, or if an election of only a portion of the Representatives shall have taken place, the Mayor



and Aldermen shall order a new election, to be held not more than ten days from the day of the first election, and so on until the election shall be completed. Certificates of election shall be furnished by the city clerk to the persons chosen.

$ 7. If no person shall have a inajority of votes for Governor, it shall be the duty of the grand committee to elect one by ballot from the two persons having the highest number of viitis furthe etlice, except when such a result is produced hy rejecting the entire vote of any town, city, or ward, for informality or illegality, in which case a new election by the electors throughout the State shall be ordered; and in case no person shall wave a majority of votes for Lieutenant. Governor, it shall be the duty of the grand committee to elect one by ballot from the two persons baving the highest mimber of votes for the office.

$ 8. In case an election of the Secretary of State, Attorney-General, or General Treasurer, should fail to be made by the electors at the annual election, the vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the General Assembly in grand committee, from the two candidates for such office having the greatest number or the votes of the electors. Or, in case of a vacancy in either of said otfices from other causes, between the sessions of the General Assembly, the Governor shall appoint some person to fill the same until a successor elected by the General Assembly is qualified to act; and in such case, and also in all other cases of vacancies, not otherwise provided for, the General Assembly may fill the same in any manner they may deem proper.

$ 9. Vacancies from any cause in the Senate or House of Representatives may be filled by a new election.

$ 10. In all elections held by the people, under this constitution, a majority of all the electors voting shall be necessary to the election of the persons voted for.

alsy, in all othy the Genera shall appoint

ARTICLE 9. — OF QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE. § 1. No person shall be eligible to any civil office, (except the office of school committee,) unless he be a qualified elector for such office.

$ 2. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office to which he may have been elected, if he be convicted of having offered, or procured any other person to offer, any bribe to secure his election, or the election of any other person.

$ 3. All general officers shall take the following engagement before they act in their respective offices, to wit: You

being by the free vote of the electors of this State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, elected unto the place of

do solemnly swear (or affirm) to be true and faithful unto this state, and to support the Constitution of this State and of the United States; that you will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties of your a foresaid office to the best of your abilities, according to law: So help you God. Or, this affirmation you make and give upon the peril of the penalty of perjury.

84. The members of the General Assembly, the Judges of all the Courts, and all other officers, both civil and military, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution, and the Constitution of the United States.

$ 5. The oath, or affirmation, shall be administered to the Governor, Lieuten. ant-Governor, Senators, and Rep ezentatives by the Secretary of State, or, in his absence, by the Attorney-General. The Secretary of State, Attorney-General, and General Treasurer, shall be engaged by the Governor, or by a Justice of the Supreme Court.

66. No person holding any office under the government of the United States, or of any other State or country, shall act as a general officer, or as a member of the General Assembly, unless at the time of taking his engagement, he shall have resigned liis office under such government; and if any general officer, Senator, Representative, or Judge, shall, after his election and engagement, accept any appointment under any other government, bis office under this shall be jinme. diately vacated: but this restriction shall not apply to any person appointed to take depositions or acknowledgements of deeds, or other legal instruments, by the authority of any other State or country.

ARTICLE 10.-OF THE JUDICIAL POWER. 8 1. The Judicial power of this State shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the General Assembly may, from time to time, ordain and establish,

$ 2. The several courts shall have such jurisdiction as may from time to time be prescribed by law. Chancery powers may be conferred on the Supreme Court, but on no other Court to any greater extent than is low provided by law.

[ocr errors]

$3. The Judges of the Supreme Court shall, in all trials, instruct the jury in the law. They shall also give their written opinion upon any question of law whenever requested by the Governor, or by either House of the General Assem. bly.

4. The Judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected by the two Houses in grand committee. Each Judge shall hold his office until his place be declared vacant by a resolution of the General Assembly to that effect; which resolution it may originate, and be concurred in the same majority of the other House. Such resolution shall not be entertained at any other than the annual session for the election of public officers; and in default of the passage thereof at said session, the Judge shall hold his place as is herein provided. But a Judge of any court shall be removed from office, if, upon impeachment, he shall be found guilty of any official misdemeanor.

§ 3. In case of vacancy by death, resignation, removal from the State or from office, refusal or inability to serve, of any Judge of the Supreme Court, the office may be filled by the grand committee, until the next annual election, and the Judge then elected shall hold his office as before provided. In cases of impeach. Deni, or temporary absence or inability, the Governor may appoint a person to discharge the duties of the office during the vacancy caused thereby.

§ 6. The Judges of the Supreme Court shall receive a compensation for their services, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

$7. The towns of New Shoreham and Jamestown may continue to elect their wardens as heretofore. The other towns and the city of Providence, may elect such number of justices of the peace, resident therein, as they may deem proper. The jurisdiction of said justices and wardens shall be regulated by law. The justices shall be commissioned by the Governor.


OF IMPEACHMENTS. $1. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. Avote of two-thirds of all the members elected shall be required for an impeachment of the Governor. Any officer impeached, shall thereby be suspended from office until judgment in the case shall have been pronounced.

62. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; and, when sitting for that purpose, they shall be under oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted except by vote of two-thirds of the members elected. When the Governor is im. peached, the chief or presiding justice of the Supreme Court for the time being, sball preside, with a casting vote in all preliminary questions.

§ 3. The Governor and all other executive and judicial officers, shall be liable to impeachment; but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than to Temoval from office. The person convicted, shall, nevertheless, be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.

ARTICLE 12. — OF EDUCATION. 1. The diffusion of knowledge, as well as of virtue, among the people, being essential to the preservation of their rights and liberties, it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to promote public schools, and to adopt all means which they may deem necessary and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education. 42. The money which now is, or which may hereafter be appropriated by law for the establishment of a permanent fund for the support of public schools, shall Le securely invested and remain a perpetual fund for that purpose.

3. All donations for the support of public schools or for other purposes of education, which may be received by the General Assembly, shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by the donors.

4. The General Assembly shall make all necessary provisions by law for car. rying this article into effect. They shall not divert said money or fund from the aforesaid uses, nor borrow, appropriate, or use the same, or any part thereof, for any other purpose, under any preience whatsoever.


-ON AMENDMENTS. The General Assembly may propose amendments to this constitution by the VAR of a majority of all the members elected to each House. Such propositions for amendment shall be published in the newspapers, and printed copies of them *1981 be sent by the Secretary of State, with the names of all the members who shall have voted thereon, with the yeas and nays, to all the town and city clerks in the State. The said propositions shall be, by said clerks, inserted in the war. nats or notices by them issued, for warning the next annual town and ward meetings in April; and the clerks shall read said propositions to the electors when

thus assembled, with the names of all the Representatives and Senators who shall have voted thereon, with the yeas and nays, before the election of Senators and Representatives shall be had. If a majority of all the members clected to each House, at said amual meeting, shall approve any proposition thus inade, the same shall be published and submitted to the electors in the mode provided in the act of approval; and if then approved by three-fifths of the electors of the State present, iind voting thereon in town and ward meetings, it shall become a part of the constitution of the State. ARTICLE 14.

OF TILE ADOPTION OF THIS CONSTITUTION. § 1. This constitution, if adopted, shall go into operation on the first Tuesday of May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-three. The first elec. tion of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney-General, and General Treasurer, and of Senators and Representatives under said constitution, shall he had on the first Wednesday of April next preceding, by the electors qualified under said constitution. And the town and ward meetings therefore shall be warned and conducted as is now provided by law. All civil and military oilicers now elected, or who shall hereafter be elected, by the General Assembly, or other competent authority, before the said first Wednesday of April, shall hold their offices and may exercise their powers until the said firsi Tuesday of May, or until their successors shall be qualified to act. All statutes, public and private, not repugnant to this constitution, shall continue in force until they expire by their own limitation, or are repealed by the General Assembly. All charters, con. tracts, judgments, actions, and rights of action, shall be as valid as if this consti. tution had not been made. The present government shall exercise all the powers with which it is now clothed, until the said first Tuesday of May, one thousand eight hundred and forty-three, and until the government under this constitution is duly organized.

§ 2. All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this constitution, shall be as valid against the State as if this constitution had not been adopted.

§ 3. 'The Supreme Court, established by this constitution, shall have the same jurisdiciion as the Supreme Judicial Court at present established, and shall have jurisdiction of all causes which may be appealed to, or pending in the saine; and shall be held at the same times and places, and in each county, as the present Supreme Judicial Court, until otherwise prescribed by the General Assembly.

§ 4. The towns of New Shoreham and Jamestown shall continue to enjoy the exemptions from military duty which they now enjoy, until otherwise prescribed by law.

Done in Convention, at East-Greenwich, this fifth day of November, eighteen hundred and forty-two.

JAMES FENNER, President.

HENRY Y. CRANSTON, Vice-Pres't. THOMAS A. Jenckes, 1

Secretaries. Walter W. Updike, )


PREAMBLE. The people of Connecticut, acknowledging, with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government, do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights, and privileges which they have derived from their ancestors, hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following constitution and form of civil government.


Declaration of Rights. That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognised and established, we declare :

$ 1, That all men, when they form a social compact, are equal in

rights; and that no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive public emoluments or privileges from the community.

$ 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit; and that they have at all times an undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of government in such manner as they may think expedient.

$ 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall for ever be free to all persons in this state, provided that the right hereby declared and established shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.

$ 4. No preference shall be given by law to any Christian sect or mode of worship.

$ 5. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

$6. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press.

$7. In all prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence, and the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court.

$ 8. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches, or seizures ; and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or things, shall issue, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

$ 9. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have a right to be heard, by himself and by counsel : to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted by the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory process to obtain witnesses in his favour; and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury. He shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by due course of law. And no person shall be holden to answer for any crime, the punishment of which may be death or imprisonment for life, unless on a presentment or an indictment of a grand jury ; except in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger.

$10. No person shall be arrested, detained, or punished, except in cases clearly warranted by law.

$ 11. The property of no person shall be taken for public use, without just compensation therefor.

$ 12. All courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him, in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial, or


$ 13. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed.

$14. All prisoners shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offences, where the proof is evident, or the presumption great ; and the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus shall ,

« AnteriorContinuar »