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CONSTITUTION OF VERMONT —1793 AND 1913.*
A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE STATE OF VERMONT.
ARTICLE 1. That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the en joying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety: therefore no male person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave, or apprentice, after he arrives to the age of twenty-one years, nor female in like manner, after she arrive to the age of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their own consent. after they arrive to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts. damages, fines, costs, or the like.
ART. 2. That private property ought to be subservient to public uses whe necessity requires it, nevertheless, whenever any person's property is tak for the use of the public, the owner ought to receive an equivalent in money ART. 3. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worsh Almighty God, according to the dictates of their own consciences and unde standings, as in their opinion shall be regulated by the word of God; and the no man ought to, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worshi or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister, contrary to the dictates of his conscience, nor can any man be justly deprived abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments or peculia[r] mode of religious worship; and that no authority can, ** ought to be vested in, or assumed by, any power whatever, that shall in 25 case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, the free exercise of religious worship. Nevertheless, every sect or deaco
*The convention which framed the first constitution of Vermont assemblet Windsor on July 2 and adjourned on July 8, 1777, after having composed and mously agreed upon a constitution. This constitution was not submitted to the elec for ratification, but was affirmed by the legislature at its sessions of 1779 and The constitution of 1777 provided that a council of censors, consisting of thirte persons, should be chosen in 1785 and every seven years thereafter to inquire wher the constitution had been preserved inviolate in every part, to see whether the vam agencies of government had performed their duties with due vigilance, to prise i amendments to the constitution and to call a constitutional convention. In 2000 ance with this provision, the first council of censors met in 1785, proposed ~~ amendments to the constitution, and called a convention, which assembled at chester on June 29, and adjourned on July 4, 1786, after having promulgated a stitution which was affirmed by the legislature of March, 1787. By an act SEA March 2, 1791, Vermont was admitted to the Union. The second council of cras met in 1792 and convoked a convention, which assembled at Windsor on July 2 adjourned on July 9, 1793, after having promulgated a constitution. This constit as established on July 9, 1793, and amended in 1828, 1836, 1850, 1870, 1883 and is still in force. Chapter I, known as the Bill of Rights, has never been amer since its adoption on July 9, 1793; Chapter II, known as the Plan or Frame of G ernment, has been amended repeatedly on the dates designated above. The thr fourth council of censors, which met in 1799 and 1806, respectively, declined to re mend any alterations in the constitution or to summon a convention. The fifth eac of censors, which assembled in 1813, proposed 28 amendments, all of Which rejected by the convention which met on July 7, 1814. The sixth council of met in 1820 and recommended five amendments, all of which were rejected by convention which they convoked. The seventh council of censors met in 1927 proposed three articles of amendment, two of which were rejected and one adopted the convention which met on June 26, 1828. The eighth council of censors ases in 1834 and proposed 20 articles of amendment, of which 12 were ratified 3" rejected on January 14, 1836. by a convention called by the council. The council of censors met in 1841 and proposed 10 amendments, all of which were rel by the convention which met to consider them on January 4, 1843. The tenth ye of censors met in 1848 and proposed 15 amendments and a convention assert January 2, 1850, to consider them; of the 15, 10 were adopted and 5 The eleventh council of censors met in 1855 and proposed 19 amendments
nation of christians ought to observe the sabbath or Lord's day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.
ART. 4. Every person within this state ought to find a certain remedy, y having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, property or character; he ought to obtain right and ustice, freely, and without being obliged to purchase it; compleatly and vithout any denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the laws.
ART. 5. That the people of this state by their legal representatives, have he sole, inherent, and exclusive right of governing and regulating the internal #olice of the same.
ABT. 6. That all power being originally inherent in and co[n]sequently erived from the people, therefore, all officers of government, whether legisative or executive, are their trustees and servants; and at all times, in a gal way, accountable to them.
ART. 7. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common enefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community, and not or the particular emolument or advantage of any single man, family, or et of men, who are a part only of that community; and that the community ath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right, to reform or alter overnment, in such manner as shall be, by that community, judged most onducive to the public weal.
ART. S. That all elections ought to be free and without corruption, and at all freemen, having a sufficient, evident, common interest with, attachent to the community, have a right to elect officers, and be elected into fice, agreeably to the regulations made in this constitution.
ART. 9. That every member of society hath a right to be protected in e enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and therefore is bound to conibute his proportion towards the expence of that protection, and yield his ersonal service, when necessary, or an equivalent thereto, but no part of y person's property can be justly taken from him, or applied, to public es, without his own consent, or that of the Representative Body of the
nvention which assembled to consider these proposed amendments met on January 1857, and rejected all of the proposals. The twelfth council of censors met in 62 and made no proposals and no convention was held. The thirteenth council of sors met in 1869 and proposed six amendments and one contingent amendment. e convention met on June 8, 1870, and adopted three of these amendments, includg the contingent amendment, and rejected four. By virtue of one of the amendents adopted in 1870, the council of censors was abolished and the present method amending the constitution by legislative initiative and reference to the electors s adopted. In 1880, twenty-three amendments were proposed by the legislature d two were adopted; in 1890, nine amendments were proposed and none was opted; in 1900, four amendments were proposed and none was adopted; in 1910, een amendments were proposed and eight were adopted. By an amendment ratified the freemen on March 4, 1913 (Section 70, of Chapter II), the justices of the preme court were directed to revise Chapter II of the constitution by incorporating rein "all amendments that are now or may be then in force and excludtherefrom all sections, clauses and words not in force and rearranging and renuming the sections thereof under appropriate titles as in their judgment may be most ical and convenient." In accordance with these instructions, the justices certified revision of Chapter II of the constitution to the secretary of state on September 1913.
Article of Amendment No. 1 was proposed by the council of censors in 1827, and opted by the convention on June 27, 1828.
Articles of Amendment Nos. 2-13, inclusive, were proposed by the council of sors in 1834 and adopted by the convention on June 14, 1836. Articles of Amendment Nos. 14-23, inclusive, were proposed sors in 1848, and adopted by the convention which met on January 2, 1850.
the council of
Articles of Amendment Nos. 24-26, inclusive, were proposed by the council of sors in 1869, and adopted by the convention which met on June 8, 1870.
Articles of Amendment Nos. 27 and 28 were proposed by legislative process and ified on March 6, 1883.
Proposal No. 6 was made by the senate on December 7, 1910, concurred in by house on January 11, 1911, concurred in by the senate on December 10, 1912, conred in by the house on January 28, 1913, ratified on March 4, 1913, and proclaimed pted on April 8, 1913. The changes effected by this proposal are made in Sections 28, 42, 43, 44 and 50 as revised.
freeman, nor can any man who is conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto, if he will pay such equivalent; nor are the people bound by any law but such as they have in like manner assented to, for their common and previous to any law being made to raise a tax, the purpose 'for' which it is to be raised ought to appear evident to the Legislature to be of more service to cómmunity than the money would be if not collected.
ART. 10. That in all prosecutions for criminal offenses, a person hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel; to demand the cause and nature of his accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses; to call for evidence in his favor, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the country; without the unanimous consent of which jury, he cannot be found guilty nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; nor can any person be justly deprived of his liberty, except by the laws of the land. or the judgment of his peers.
ART. 11. That the people have a right to hold themselves, their houses, papers, and possessions, free from search or seizure; and therefore warrants. without oath or affirmation first made, affording sufficient foundation for then.. and whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded or required to search suspected places, or to seize any person or persons, his, her or their property. not particularly described, are contrary to that right, and ough not to be granted.
ART. 12. That when any issue in fact, proper for the cognizance of a jury is joined in a court of law, the parties have a right to trial by jury, which ought to be held sacred.
ART. 13. That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their sentiments, concerning the transactions of government. and therefore the freedom of the press ought not to be restrained.
ART. 14. The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, în the Legisla ture, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any other court or place whatsoever. ́
ART. 15. The power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, ough never to be exercised but by the Legislature, or by authority derived from it. to be exercised in such particular cases, as this constitution, or the Legis lature shall provide for,
ART. 16. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State-and as standing armies in time of peace are da gerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military shond be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.
ART. 17. That no person in this state can in any case be subjected to law martial, or to any penalties or pains by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army, and the militia in actual service.
ART. 18. That frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, af absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty, and keep governmen free: the people ought, therefore, to pay particular attention to these points. in the choice of officers and representatives, and have a right, in a legal way. to exact a due and constant regard to them, from their legislators and magi、 trates, in making and executing such laws are are necessary for the goo. government of the State.
ART. 19. That all people have a natural and inherent right to emigrate from one state to another that will receive them,
ART. 20. That the people have a right to assemble together to consu for their common good-to instruct their Representatives-and to apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances, by address, petition or remonstrane. ART. 21. That no person shall be liable to be transported out of this state for trial for any offense committed within the same.
PLAN OR FRAME OF GOVERNMENT-DELEGATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.
SECTION 1. The Commonwealth or State of Verniout shall be governed y a Governor (or Lieutenant-Governor), à Senate and a House of Repreentatives of the freemen of the same, in manner and form following.1
SEC. 2. The Supreme Legislative power shall be exercised by a Senate nd a House of Representatives."
SEC. 3. The Supreme Executive power shall be exercised by a Governor, r. in his absence, à Lieutenant-Governor.3 |
SEC. 4. Courts of Justice shall be maintained in every county in this tate, and also in new counties when formed.
SEC. 5. The Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary departments, shall be eparate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging o the others.
SEC. 6. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall be styled, The General Assembly of the State of Vermont. Each shall have and exercise the ike powers in all acts of legislation; and no bill, resolution, or other thing, hich shall have been passed by the one, shall have the effect of, or be delared to be, a law, without the concurrence of the other. Provided, That all Revenue bills shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate ay propose or concur in amendments, as on other bills. Neither House during he session of the General Assembly, shall, without the consent of the other. djourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which he two Houses shall be sitting; and in case of disagreement between the wo Houses with respect to adjournment, the Governor may adjourn them to uch time as he shall think proper. They may prepare bills and enact them to laws, redress gievances, grant charters of incorporation, subject to the rovisions of section 65, constitute towns, boroughs, cities and counties; and hey shall have all other powers necessary for the Legislature of a free and overeign State; but they shall have no power to add to, alter, abolish, or fringe any part of this Constitution, 4
SEC. 7. The General Assembly shall meet biennially on the first Wednesay next after the first Monday of January, beginning in A. D. 1915.5
SEC. 8. The doors of the House in which the General Assembly of this ommonwealth shall sit, shall be open for the admission of all persons who ehave decently, except only when the welfare of the State may require hem to be shut.
SEC. 9. The votes and proceedings of the General Assembly shall be printed when one-third of the members of either House think it necessary) as soon s convenient after the end of the session, with the yeas and nays of the House of Representatives on any question when required by five members, and f the Senate when required by one Senator (except where the votes shall be iken by ballot), in which case every member of either House shall have a ight to insert the reasons of his vote upon the minutes.6
SEC. 10. The style of the laws of this State shall be, "It is hereby enacted y the General Assembly of the State of Vermont.”
SEC. 11. Every bill which shall have passed the Senate and House of Representatives shall, before it becomes a law. be presented to the Governor; he approve, be shall sign it; if not, he shall return it, with his objections writing to the House in which it shall have originated; which shall pro
Amendments Nos. 3 and 8, 1836.
2 Amendment No. 3, 1836.
Amendment No. 8, 1836.
Amendments Nos. 2 and 3, 1836.
Amendment No. 24, Section 1, 1870; and Proposal No. 2 made by the senate n December 7, 1910, concurred in by the house on January 11, 1911, concurred in y the senate on December 17, 1912, concurred in by the house on January 23, 1913, atified by the electors on March 4, 1913, and proclaimed adopted on April 8, 1913.
"Proposal No. 3 made by the senate on December 7, 1910, concurred in by the ouse on January 11, 1911, concurred in by the senate on December 10, 1912, concurred n by the house on January 28, 1913, ratified on March 4. 1913, and proclaimed dopted on April 8, 1913.
ceed to reconsider it. If. upon such reconsideration, two-thirds of the mem bers present of that House shall pass the bill, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds of the members present of that House, it shall become a law,7
But, in all such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for or against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House, respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor, as aforesaid, within five days (Sundays excepted after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it; unless the two Houses by their adjournment within three days after the presentation of such bill shall prevent its return; in which case it shall not become a law.
SEC. 12. No member of the General Assembly shall, directly or indirectly, receive any fee or reward, to bring forward or advocate any bill, petition, or other business to be transacted in the Legislature; or advocate any cause, as counsel in either House of legislation, except when employed in behalf of the State.
SEC. 13. In order that the freemen of this State may enjoy the benefit of election as equally as may be, each inhabited town in this State may, forever hereafter, hold elections therein and choose each one Representative to represent them in the House of Representatives,
SEC. 14. The Representatives so chosen (a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum for transacting any other business than raising a State tax. for which two-thirds of the members elected shall be present) shall meet as required by section 7, and shall be styled the House of Representatives: they shall have power to choose their Speaker, their Clerk, and other necessary officers, sit on their own adjournments subject to the limitations of section 6. judge of the elections and qualifications of their own members; they may expel members, but not for causes known to their constituents antecedent to their election, administer oaths and affirmations in matters depending before them, and impeach state criminals.8
SEC. 15. No person shall be elected a Representative until he has resided in this State two years, the last of which shall be in the town for which is elected.
SEC. 16, The, Representatives having met, and chosen their Speaker and Clerk, shall each of them, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe. as well the oath, or affirmation of allegiance hereinafter directed (except where they shall produce certificates of their having theretofore taken and sa scribed the same) as the following oath or affirmation:
You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose, or assent to, any bill, vote or resolution which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do nor consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge the r rights and privileges, as declared by the Constitution of this State; but will in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest Representative and guar dian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and ability. (I case of an oath) So help you God. (Or in case of an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.
SEC. 17. The Representatives having met on the day appointed by l for the commencement of a biennial session of the General Assembly, an chosen their Speaker, and the Senators having met, shall, before they proceed to business, take and subscribe the following oath, in addition to the oth prescribed in the foregoing section:
do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you did not at the time of your election to this body, and that you do not now, hold any
7 Amendment No. 11. 1836; Proposal No. 1 made by the senate on December i 1910, concurred in by the house on January 11, 1911, concurred in by the senate December 17, 1912, concurred in by the house on January 22, 1913, ratified on Mar 4, 1913, and proclaimed adopted on April 8, 1913.
༣ Amendment No. 2, 1836.