« AnteriorContinuar »
and establish, and the judges thereof, in the county courts, and in jus-· tices of the peace. The legislature may also vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in corporation courts; and in the magistrates who may belong to the corporate body. The jurisdiction of these tribunals
, and of the judges thereof, shall be regulated by law. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, or until removed in the manner prescribed in this constitution; and shall, at the same time, hold no other office, appointment, or public trust; and the acceptance thereof" by either of them shall vacate his judicial office.
2. No law abolishing any court shall be construed to deprive a judge thereof of his office, unless two-thirds of the members of each house present concur in the passing thereof; but the legislature may assign other judicial duties to the judges of courts abolished by any law enacted by less than two-thirds of the members of each house present.
3. The present judges of the supreme court of appeals, of the general court, and of the supreme courts of chancery, shall remain in office until the termination of the session of the first legislature elected under this constitution, and no longer.
4. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts shall be elected by the joint vote of both houses of the general assembly.
5. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts shall receive fixed and adequate salaries, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
6. Judges may be removed from office by a concurrent vote of both houses of the general assembly; but two-thirds of the members present must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journals of each. The judge against whom the legislature may be about to proceed shall receive notice thereof, accompanied with a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either house of the general assembly shall act thereupon.
7. On the creation of any new county, justices of the peace shall be appointed, in the first instance, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. When vacancies shall occur in any county, or it shall, for any cause, be deemed necessary to increase the number, appointments shall be made by the governor, on the recommendation of the respective county courts.
8. The attorney-general shall be appointed by joint vote of the two houses of the generat assembly, and commissioned by the governor, and shall hold his office during the pleasure of the general assembly. T'he clerks of the several courts, when vacancies shall occur, shall
. be appointed by their respective courts, and the tenure of office, as well of those now in office as of those who may be hereafter, appointed, shall be prescribed by law. The sheriffs and coroners shall be nominated by the respective county courts, and when approved by the governor, shall be commissioned by him. The judges shall appoint constables. And all fees of the aforesaid officers, shall be regulated by
9. Writs shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear teste by the clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth.
A treasurer shall be appointed annually by joint vote of both houses.
The executive department of the government shall remain as at pre-
January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and
PHILIP P. BARBOUR,
President of the Convention, D. Briggs, Secretary of the Convention.
CONSTITUTION OF NORTH CAROLINA
The Constitution or form of Government, agreed to and resolved
upon, by the Representatives of the freemen of the state of North Carolina, elected and chosen for that particular purpose, in Congress assembled, at Halifax, December 18, 1776.
A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, &c. 1. That all political power is vested in, and derived from, the people only.
2. That the people of this state ought to have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof,
3. That no men, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.
4. That the legislative, executive, and supreme judicial powers of government, ought to be for ever separate and distinct from each other,
5. That all powers of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
6. That elections of members to serve as representatives in general assembly ought to be free.
7. That in all criminal prosecutions, every man has a right to be informed of the accusation against him, and to confront the accusers and witnesses with other testimony, and shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself.
8. That no freeman shall be put to answer any criminal charge, but by indictment, presentment, or impeachment.
9. That no freeman shall be convicted of any crime, but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good and lawful men, in open court, as heretofore used.
10. That excessive bail should not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted.
11. That general warrants, whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places, without evidence of the fact committed, or to seize any person or persons, not named, whose offences are no. particularly described, and supported by evidence, are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be granted..
12. That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manDer destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the law of the land.
13. That every freeman restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy, to inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same, if unlawful; and that such remedy ought not to be denied or
14. That in all controversies at law, respecting property, the ancient mode of trial by jury is one of the best securities of the rights of the people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable.
15. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty ; and therefore ought never to be restrained.
16. That the people of this state ought not to be taxed, or made subject to the payment of any impost, or duty, without the consent of themselves, or their representatives in general assembly freely given.
17. That the people have a right to bear arms, for the defence of the state; and as standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept un der strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
18. That the people have a right to assemble together, to consult fo. the common good, to instruet their representatives, and to apply to the legislature for redress of grievances.
19. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience.
20. That, for redress of grievances, and for amending and strengthen. ing the laws, elections ought to be often held.
21. That a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty
22. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honours ought to be granted or conferred in this state.
23. That perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free state, and ought not to be allowed.
24. That retrospective laws, punishing facts committed before the Fristence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oppres
sive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty ; wherefore, no ex post facto law ought to be made.
25. The property of the soil, in a free government, being one of the essential rights of the collective body of the people, it is necessary, in order to avoid future disputes, that the limits of the state should be ascertained with precision : and as the former temporary line between North and South Carolina was confirmed, and extended by commissioners, appointed by the legislatures of the two states, agreeable to the order of the late king George II. in council, that line, and that only, should be esteemed the southern boundary of this state ; that is to say, beginning on the sea-side, at a cedar stake at or near the mouth of Little River, (being the southern extremity of Brunswick county,) and running from thence a north-west course, through the boundary-house, which stands in thirty-three degrees fifty-six minutes, to thirty-five degrees north latitude ; and from thence a west course, so far as is mentioned in the charter of king Charles II. to the late proprietors of Carolina. Therefore, all the territory, seas, waters, and harbours, with their appurtenances, lying between the line above described, and the southern line of the state of Virginia, which begins on the sea-shore, in thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and from thence runs west, agreeable to the said charter of king Charles, are the right and property of the people of this state, to be held by them in sovereignty: any partial line, without the consent of the legislature of this state, at any time thereafter directed or laid out, in any wise notwithstanding: provided always, that this declaration of right shall not prejudice any nation or nations of Indians, from enjoying such hunting grounds as may have been, or hereafter shall be secured to them, by any former or future legislature of this state : And provided also, that it shall not be construed so as to prevent the establishment of one or more governments westward of this state, by consent of the legislature : And provided further, that nothing herein contained shall affect the titles or possessions of individuals, holding or claiming under the laws heretofore in force, or grants heretofore made by the late king George II., or his predecessors, or the late lords, proprietors, or any of them.
The Constitution, or Form of Government, &c. Whereas allegiance and protection are in their nature reciprocal, and the one should right be refused when the other is withdrawn:
And whereas George the Third, king of Great Britain, and late sove reign of the British American colonies, hath not only withdrawn from them his protection, but, by an act of the British legislature, declared the inhabitants of these states out of the protection of the British crown, and all their property found upon the high-seas liable to be seized and confiscated to the uses mentioned in the said act; and the said George the Third has also sent fleets and armies to prosecute a cruel war against them, for the purpose of reducing the inhabitants of the said colonies to a state of abject slavery ; in consequence whereof, all government, under the said king, within the said colonies, hath ceased, and a total dissolution of government, in many of them, bath taken place :
And whereas the continental congress, having considered the pre
, and other previous violations of the rights of the good people of America, have therefore declared that the thirteen united colonies are, of right, wholly absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, or any other foreign jurisdiction whatsoever; and that the said colonies now are, and for ever shall be, free and independent
states : Wherefore, in our present state, in order to prevent anarchy and confusion, it becomes necessary that government should be established in this state ; therefore, we, the representatives of the freemen of North Carolina, chosen and assembled in congress for the express purpose of framing a constitution, under the authority of the people, most conducive to their happiness and prosperity, do declare, that a government for this state shall be established, in manner and form following, to wit :
1. That the legislative authority shall be vested in two distinct branches, both dependent on the people, to wit, a senate and house of 2. That the senate shall be composed of representatives, annually chosen by ballot, one for each county in the state.
3. That the house of commons shall be composed of representatives, annually chosen by ballot, two for each county, and one for each of the towns of Edenton, Newbern, Wilmington, Salisbury, Hillsborough, and Halifax.
4. That the senate and house of commons, assembled for the purpose of legislation, shall be denominated the general assembly.
6. That each member of the senate shall have usually resided in the county in which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election, and for the same time shall have possessed, and continue to possess, in the county which he represents, not less than three hundred acres of land in fee.
6. That each member of the house of commons shall have usually resided in the county in which he is chosen for one year immediately preceding his election, and for six months shall have possessed, and continue to possess, in the county which he represents, not less than one hundred acres of land in fee, or for the term of his own life.
7. That all freemen of the age of twenty-one years, who have been inhabitants of any one county within the state twelve months immediately preceding the day of any election, and possessed of a freehold, within the same county, of fifty acres of land, for six months next before, and at the day of election, shall be entitled to vote for a member
8. That all freemen of the age of twenty-one years, who have been inhabitants of any one county within the state twelve months immediately preceding the day of any election, and shall have paid public laxes, shall be entitled to vote for members of the house of commons, for the county in which he resides.
9. That all persons possessed of a freehold, in any town in this state, having a right of representation, and also all freemen, who have been inhabitants of any such town twelve months next before, and at the day of election, and shall have paid public taxes, shall be entitled to vote for A member to represent
such town in the house of commons : provided, always, that this section shall not entitle any inhabitant of such town to vote for members of the house of commons for the county in which
of the senate.