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In Force November 1, 1875


We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our Preamble. freedom, do ordain and establish the following declaration of rights and frame of government, as the constitution of the state of Nebraska:



SECTION 1. All persons are by nature free and Rights of independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, and the protection of property, governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.


SEC. 2. There shall be neither slavery nor invol- Slavery prohib untary servitude in this state, otherwise than for punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

SEC. 3. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. (1 Neb., 37; 2 Neb., 403; 6 Neb., 42, 54, 71; 7 Neb., 278; 10 Neb., 114.)

Religious freedom.

Freedom of speech and the press.

Trial by jury.

Search and seizure.

Habeas corpus.

SEC. 4. All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship against his consent, and no preference shall be given by law to any religious society, nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience be permitted. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for office, nor shall any person be incompetent to be a witness on account of his religious belief; but nothing herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths and affirmations. Religion, morality, and knowledge, however, being essential to good government, it shall be the duty of the legislature to pass suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship, and to encourage schools and the means of instruction.

SEC. 5. Every person may freely speak, write, and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel both civil and criminal, the truth, when published with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense.

SEC. 6. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, but the legislature may authorize trial by a jury of a less number than twelve men, in courts inferior to the district court. (3 Neb., 94; 5 Neb., 148, 458; 13 Neb. 451)

SEC. 7. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, 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 person or thing to be


SEC. 8. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless, in case of rebellion or in

vasion, the public safety requires it, and then only in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

SEC. 9. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient Ball. sureties, except for treason and murder, where the proof is evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

SEC. 10. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense, except in cases in which the punishment is by fine or imprisonment, otherwise than in the penitentiary, in case of impeachment, and in cases arising in the army and navy or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; Provided, That the legislature may, by law, provide for holding persons to answer for criminal offenses on information of a public prosecutor; and may, by law, abolish, limit, change, amend, or otherwise regulate the grand jury system.




SEC. 11. In all criminal prosecutions the accused Impartial trial shall have the right to appear and defend in person or by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of accusation, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed. 4 Neb., 226, 547; 5 Neb., 34; 11 Neb., 1.)

SEC. 12. No person shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to give evidence against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.

istered without

SEC. 13. All courts shall be open, and every per- Justice adminson, for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person delay. or reputation, shall have a remedy by due course of law, and justice administered without denial or delay.

SEC. 14. Treason against the state shall consist Treason. only in levying war against the state, or in adhering to



Bill of attainder; ex post facto law.

Military power,


Right of petition.

Imprisonment for debt.

Private prop erty.

Freedom of elections.

Writ of error.

No person

its enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of
two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in
open court.

SEC. 15. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offense, and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate; nor shall any person be transported out of the state for any offense committed within the state.

SEC. 16. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or making any irrevocable grant of special privileges or immunities, shall be passed. (1 Neb., 381, 419, 462; 3 Neb., 383; 6 Neb., 33; 7 Neb., 179.)

SEC. 17. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

SEC. 18. 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.

SEC. 19. The right of the people, peaceably, to assemble to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.

SEC. 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action on mesne or final process, unless in cases of fraud. (13 Neb., 194.)

SEO. 21. The property of no person shall be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation therefor. (1 Neb., 30; 2 Neb., 399; 3 Neb., 241; 12 Neb., 166.)

SEC. 22. All elections shall be free; and there shall be no hindrance or impediment to the right of a qualified voter to exercise the elective franchise.

SEC. 23. The writ of error shall be a writ of right in all cases of felony; and in capital cases shall operate as a superscdeas to stay the execution of the sentence of

death until the further order of the supreme court in

premises. (8 Neb., 24.)


SEC. 24. The right to be heard in all civil cases in Rights in civil the court of last resort, by appeal, error, or otherwise, shall not be denied. (5 Neb., 458; 6 Neb., 71; 12 Neb.,72.) SEC. 25. No distinction shall ever be made by law between resident aliens and citizens in reference to the possession,enjoyment, or descent of property. (2 Neb. 9.)


tained by

SEO. 26. This enumeration of rights shall not be powers reconstrued to impair or deny others retained by the people. people, and all powers not herein delegated remain with the people.


SECTION 1. The powers of the government of this Division of state are divided into three distinct departments: the powers. legislative, executive, and judicial, and no person, or collection of persons, being one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except as hereinafter expressly directed or permitted. (6 Neb., 69; 7 Neb., 180.)


Legislative au

SECTION 1. The legislative authority is vested in a senate and house of representatives. (7 Neb., 314.) thority. SEC. 2. The legislature shall provide by law for an census. enumeration of the inhabitants of the state in the year eighteen hundred and eighty-five, and every ten years thereafter; and at its first regular session after each enumeration, and also after each enumeration made by the authority of the United States, but at no other time, the legislature shall apportion the senators and representatives according to the number of inhabitants, excluding Indians not taxed, and soldiers and officers of the United States army and navy.


SEC. 3. The house of representatives shall consist Number of of eighty-four members, and the senate shall consist of

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