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CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA.
PREAMBLE. We the people of the state of Louisiana do ordain and establish this Constitution.
DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS. Art. 1. The powers of the government of the state of Louisiana shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them be confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: those which are legislative to one ; those which are executive to another; and those which are judicial to another.
ART. 2. No one of these departments, nor any person holding office in one of them, shall exercise power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.
Art. 3. The legislative powers of the state shall be vested in two distinct branches, the one to be styled the “ House of Representatives,” the other “the Senate," and both “ the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana.”
Art. 4. The members of the house of representatives shall continue in service for the term of two years from the day of the closing of the general elections.
Art. 5. Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in November, every two years; and the election shall be completed in one day. The general assembly shall meet every second year, on the third Monday in January next ensuing the elec
tion, unless a different day be appointed by law, and their session shall be held at the seat of government.
Art. 6. No person shall be a representative, who, at the time of his election, is not a free white male, and has not been for three years a citizen of the United States, and has not attained the age of twenty-one years, and resided in the state for the three years next preceding the election, and the last year thereof in the parish for which he may be chosen.
Art. 7. Elections for representatives for the several parishes or representative districts shall be held at the several election precincts established by law. The legislature may delegate the power of establishing election precincts to the parochial or municipal authorities.
Art. 8. Representation in the house of representatives shall be equal and uniform, and shall be regulated and ascertained by the number of qualified electors. Each parish shall have at least one representative ; no new parish shall be created with a territory less than six hundred and twenty-five square miles, nor with a number of electors less than the full number entitling it to a representative, nor when the creation of such new parish would leave any other parish without the said extent of territory and number of electors.
The first enumeration to be made by the state authorities under this constit on, shall be made in the year 1847, the second in the year 1855; and the subsequent enumerations shall be made every tenth year thereafter, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law for the purpose of ascertaining the total population and the number of qualified electors in each parish and election district.
At the first regular session of the legislature after the making of each enumeration, the legislature shall apportion the representation amongst the several parishes and election districts on the basis of qualified electors as aforesaid. A representative number shall be fixed, and each parish and election district shall have as many representatives as the aggregate number of its electors will entitle it to, and an additional representative for any fraction exceeding one-half the representative number. The number of representatives shall not be more than one hundred nor less than seventy.
The part of the parish of Orleans situated on the left bank of the Mississippi, shall be divided into nine representative districts, as follows, viz:
1st. First district to extend from the line of the parish of Jefferson to the middle of Benjamin, Estelle and Thalia streets.
2d. Second district to extend from the last mentioned limits to the middle of Julia street, until it strikes the New Orleans canal, thence down said canal to the lake.
3d. Third district to comprise the residue of the Second Municipality.
4th. Fourth district to extend from the middle of Canal street to the middle of St. Louis street, until it reaches the Metairie road, thence along said road to the New Orleans Canal.
5th. Fifth district to extend from the last mentioned limits to the middle of St. Philip street, thence down said street until its intersection with the Bayou St. John, thence along the middle of said Bayou until it intersects the Metairie road, thence along said road until it reaches St. Louis street.
6th. Sixth district to be composed of the residue of the first municipality
7th. Seventh district, from the middle of Esplanade street to the middle of Champs Elysées street.
8th. Eighth district, from the middle of Champs Elysées street to the middle of Enghein street and Lafayette avenue.
9th. Ninth district, from the middle of Enghein street and Lafayette avenue to the lower limits of the parish.
Art. 9. The house of representatives shall choose its speaker and other officers.
Art. 10. In all elections by the people, every free white male, who has been two years a citizen of the United States, who has attained the age of twenty-one years, and resided in the state two consecutive years next preceding the election, and the last year thereof in the parish in which he offers to vote, shall have the right of voting: Provided, that no person shall be deprived of the right of voting who at the time of the adoption of this constitution was entitled to that right under the constitution of 1812. Electors
shall in all cases except treason, felony, breach of surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at, going to, or returning from elections.
Art. 11. Absence from the state for more than ninety consecutive days, shall interrupt the acquisition of the residence required in the preceding section, unless the person absenting himself shall be a house-keeper, or shall occupy a tenement for carrying on business, and his dwelling-house or tenements for carrying on business shall be actually occupied during his absence, by his family or servants, or some portion thereof, or by some one employed by him.
Art. 12. No soldier, seaman or marine in the army or navy of the United States, no pauper, no person under interdiction, nor under conviction of any crime punishable with hard labor, shall be entitled to vote at any election in this state.
Art. 13. No person shall be entitled to vote at any election held in this state, except in the parish of his residence, and in cities and towns divided into election precincts, in the election precinct in which he resides.
ART. 14. The members of the senate shall be chosen for the term of four years. The senate, when assembled, shall have the power to choose its officers every two years.
Art. 15. The legislature, in every year in which they shall apportion representation in the house of representatives, shall divide the state into senatorial districts. No parish shall be divided in the formation of a senatorial district, the parish of Orleans excepted. And whenever a new parish shall be created, it shall be attached to the senatorial district from which most of its territory was taken, or to another contiguous district, at the discretion of the legislature; but shall not be attached to more than one district. The number of senators shall be thirty-two, and they shall be apportioned among the senatorial districts according to the total population contained in the several districts : Provided, that no parish shall be entitled to more than one-eighth of the whole number of senators.
Art. 16. In all apportionments of the senate, the population of the city of New Orleans shall be deducted from the population of the whole state, and the remainder of the population
divided by the number twenty-eight, and the result produced by this division shall be the senatorial ratio entitling a senatorial district to a senator. Single or contiguous "parishes shall be formed into districts having a population the nearest possible to the number entitling a district to a senator ; and if, in the apportionment to be made, a parish or district fall short of or exceed the ratio, one-fifth, then a district may be formed having not more than two senators, but not otherwise.
No new apportionment shall have the effect of abridging the term of service of any senator already elected at the time of making the apportionment.
After an enumeration has been made as directed in the eighth article, the legislature shall not pass any law until an apportionment of representation in both houses of the general assembly be made.
-Art. 17. At the first session of the general assembly, after this constitution takes effect, the senators shall be equally divided by lot into two classes; the seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the se. cond class at the expiration of the fourth year; so that one half shall be chosen every two years, and a rotation thereby kept up perpetually. In case any district shall have elected two or more senators, said senators shall vacate their seats respectively at the end of two and four years, and lots shall be drawn between them.
ART. 18. No person shall be a senator who at the time of his election, has not been a citizen of the United States ten years, and who has not attained the age of twenty-seven years, and resided in the state four years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district in which he may be chosen.
ART. 19. The first election for senators shall be general throughout the state, and at the same time that the general election for representatives is held ; and thereafter there shall be biennial elections to fill the place of those whose time of service may have expired.
ART. 20. Not less than a majority of the members of each house of the general assembly shall form a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and