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We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama :



That the great, general and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare:

1. That all men are equally free and independent; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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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, therefore, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to change their form of government in such manner as they may deem expedient.

3. That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes or other rates for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State; and that the civil rights, privileges and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles.

4. That no law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press; and any person may speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

5. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable seizures or searches, and that no warrants shall issue to search any place or to seize any person or thing without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.


6. That in all criminal prosecutions the accused has a right to be heard by himself and counsel, or either; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation and to have a copy thereof; to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; to testify in all cases in his own behalf, if he elects so to do; and in all prosecutions by indictment, a speedy public trial, by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense was committed; and he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, except by due process of law; but the Legislature may, by a general law, provide for a change of venue at the instance of the defendant in all prosecutions by indictment, and such change of venue on application of the defendant, may be heard and determined without the personal presence of the defendant so applying therefor; provided, that at the time of the application for the change of venue, the defendant is imprisoned in jail or some legal place of confinement.

7. That no person shall be accused, or arrested, or detained, except in cases ascertained by law, and according to the form which the same has prescribed; and no person shall be punished but by virtue of a law established and promulgated prior to the offense and legally applied.

*The constitution of Alabama was framed by a convention which assembled at Montgomery on May 21, 1901, and adjourned on September 3, 1901; it was ratified on November 11, 1901, by a vote of 108,613 to 81,734, and was declared in force on November 28, 1901. The constitution was submitted as a whole and no proposition was submitted separately.

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S. That no person shall for any indictable offense be proceeded against erininally by information, except in cases arising in the militia and volunteer forces when in actual service, or when assenibled under arms as a military organization, or, by leave of the court, for misfeasance, misdemeanor, extortion and oppression in office, otherwise than is provided in this Constitution; provided, that in cases of misdemeanor, the Legislature may by law dispense with a Grand Jury and authorize such prosecutions and proceedings before Justices of the Peace or such other inferior courts as may be by law established. '

9. That no person shall, for the same offense, be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; but courts may, for reasons fixed by law. discharge juries from the consideration of any case, and no person shall gain any advantage by reason of such discharge of the jury.


10. That no person shall be barred from prosecuting, or defending before any tribunal in this State, by himself or counsel, any civil cause to which he is a party.

11. That the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

12. That in all prosecutions for libel or for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and that in all indictments for libel, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts under the direction of the court.

13. That all courts shall be open; and that every person for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have a remedy by due process of law; and right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay.

14. That the State of Alabama shall never be made a defendant in any court of law or equity.


15. That excessive fines shall not be imposed nor cruel or unusual punishment inflicted.


16. That all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, when the proof is evident or the presumption great; and that excessive bail shall not in any case be required.

17. That the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended by the authorities of this State.

18. That treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort; and that no person shall be convicted of treason, except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

19. That no person shall be attainted of treason by the Legislature; and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

20. That no person shall be imprisoned for debt.

21. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised except by the Legislature.

22. That no er post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, or making any irrevocable or exclusive grants of special privileges or immunities, shall be passed by the Legislature; and every grant of a franchise. privilege or immunity, shall forever, remain, subject to revocation, alteration or amendment. 1 1. .f

23. That the exercise of the right of eminent domain shall never be abridged nor so construed as to prevent the Legislature from taking the property and franchises of incorporated companies, and subjecting them to public use in the same manner in which the property and franchises of individuals are taken and subjected; but private property shall not be taken for, or applied to, public use, unless just compensation be first made therefor; nor shall private property be taken for private use, or for the use of corporations, other than municipal. without the consent of the owner; provided, however, the Legislature may by law secure to persons or corporations the right of way over the lands of other persons or corporations, and by general laws provide for and regulate the exercise by persons and corporations of the rights herein reserved; but just compensation shall in all cases be first made to the owner; and provided, that the

ferred, by reference to its title only; but so much thereof as is revised, amended, extended, or conferred, shall be re-enacted and published at length. '

46. Senators and Representatives shall be elected by the qualified électors on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, unless the Legislature shall change the time of holding elections, and in every fourth year thereafter. The terms of office of the Senators and Representatives shall commence on the day after the general election at which they are elected, and expire on the day after the general election held in the fourth year after their election, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution. At the general election in the year nineteen hundred and two all the Representatives, together with the Senators for the even numbered districts and for the Thirty-fifth district, shall be elected. The terms of those Senators who represent the odd numbered districts under the law in force prior to the ratification of this Constitution are hereby extended until the day after the general election in the year nineteen hundred and six; and until the expiration of his term as hereinbefore extended, each such Senator shall represent the district established by this Constitution bearing the number corresponding with that for which he was elected. In the year nineteen hundred and six, and in every fourth year thereafter, all the Senators and Representatives shall be elected. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in either House the Governor shall issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the term.

47. Senators shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and Representatives twenty-one years of age at the time of their election. They shall have been citizens and residents of this State for three years, and residents of their respective counties or districts for one year next before their election, if such county or district shall have been so long established; but if not, then of the county or district from which the same shall have been taken; and they shall reside in their respective counties or districts during their terms of office.

48. The Legislature shall meet quadrennially at the Capitol, in the Senate chamber, and in the Hall of the House of Representatives, on the second Tuesday in January next succeeding their election, or on such other day as may be prescribed by law; and shall not remain in session longer than sixty days at the first session held under this Constitution, nor longer than fifty days at any subsequent session. If at any time it should from any cause become impossible or dangerous for the Legislature to meet or remain at the Capitol or for the Senate to meet or remain in the Senate Chamber, or for the Representatives to meet or remain in the Hall of the House of Representatives, the Governor may convene the Legislature, or remove it, after it has convened, to some other place, or may designate some other place for the sitting of the respective Houses, or either of them, as necessity may require.

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49. The pay of the members of the Legislature shall be four dollars per day, and ten cents per mile in going to and returning from the seat of government, to be computed by the nearest usual route traveled.

50. The Legislature shall consist of not more than thirty-five Senators, and not more than one hundred and five members of the House of Representatives, to be apportioned among the several districts and counties as prescribed in this Constitution; provided that in addition to the above number of Representatives each new county hereafter created shall be entitled to one Representative.

51. The Senate, at the beginning of each regular session, and at such other times as may be necessary, shall elect one of its members president pro tem. thereof, to preside over its deliberations in the absence of the LieutenantGovernor; and the House of Representatives, at the beginning of each regular session, and at such other times as may be necessary, shall elect one of its members as Speaker; and the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall hold their offices, respectively, until their successors are elected and qualified. In case of the temporary disability of either of said presiding officers, the House to which he belongs may elect one of its members to preside over that House, and to perform all the duties of such officer during the continuance of his disability; and such temporary officer. while performing duty as such, shall receive the same compensation to which

the permanent officer is entitled by law, and no other. Each House shall choose its own officers, and shall judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its members.

52. A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business: but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.

53. Each House shall have power to determine the rules of its proceedings, and to punish its members and other persons, for contempt or disorderly behavior in its presence; to enforce obedience to its processes; to protect its members against violence or offers of bribery or corrupt solicitation; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the House, to expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense; and the two Houses shall have all the powers necessary for the Legislature of a free State.

54. A member of the Legislature expelled for corruption shall not thereafter be eligible to either House; and punishment for contempt or disorderly behavior shall not bar an indictment for the same offense.

55. Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and cause the same to be published immediately after its adjournment, excepting such parts as, in its judgment, may require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the request of one-tenth of the members present, be entered on the Journal. Any member of either House shall have liberty to dissent from or protest against, any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public, or to an individual, and have the reason for his dissent entered on the Journal.

56. Members of the Legislature shall in all cases, except treason, felony, violation of their oath of office, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House they shall not be questioned in any other place.


The doors of each House shall be opened except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the House, may require secrecy; but no person shall be admitted to the floor of either House while the same is in session, except members of the Legislature, officers and employees of the two Houses, the Governor and his secretaries. representatives of the press and other persons to whom either House, by unanimous vote, may extend the privileges of its floor.

58. Neither House shall, without consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting. except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.

59. No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any office of profit under the State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term, except such offices as may be filled by election by the people.

60. No person convicted of embezzlement of the public money, bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime, shall be eligible to the Legislature or capable of holding any office of trust or profit in this State.

61. No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended on its passage through either House as to change the original purpose.

62. No bill shall become a law until it shall have been referred to a standing committee of each House, acted upon by such committee in session, and returned therefrom, which facts shall affirmatively appear upon the Journal of each House.

63. Every bill shall be read on three different days in each House, and no bill shall become a law unless on its final passage it be read at length, and the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered upon the Journal, and a majority of each House be recorded thereon as voting in its favor, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.

64. No amendment to bills shall be adopted except by a majority of the

House wherein the same is offered, nor unless the amendment, with the names of those voting for and against the same, shall be entered at length on the Journal of the House in which the same is adopted; and no amendment to bills by one House shall be concurred in by the other, unless a vote be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the same be recorded at length on the Journal; and no report of a committee of conference shall be adopted in either House except upon a vote taken by yeas and nays and entered on the Journal as herein provided for the adoption of amendments.

65. The Legislature shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purpose, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale in this State of lottery or gift enterprise tickets, or tickets in any scheme in the nature of a lottery; and all acts or parts of acts heretofore passed by the Legislature of this State, authorizing a lottery or lotteries, and all acts amendatory thereof, or supplemental thereto. are hereby voided.

66. The presiding officer of each House shall, in the presence of the House over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the Legislature, after the same shall have been publicly read at length immediately before signing, and the fact of reading and signing shall be entered upon the Journal; but the reading at length may be dispensed with by a two-thirds vote of a quorum present, which fact shall also be entered on the Journal.

67. The Legislature shall prescribe by law the number, duties and compensation of the officers and employees of each House, and no pay shall be made from the State Treasury or be in any way authorized to any person except to an acting officer or employee elected or appointed in pursuance of law.

68. The Legislature shall have no power to grant, or to authorize or require any county or municipal authority to grant, nor shall any county or municipal authority have power to grant, any extra compensation, fee or allowance to any public officer, servant or employee, agent or contractor, after service shall have been rendered or contract made; nor to increase or decrease the fees and compensation of such officers, during their terms of office; nor shall any officer of the State bind the State to the payment of any sum of money, but by authority of law; provided this section shall not apply to allowauces made by commissioners' court, or boards of revenue to county officers for ex-officio services, nor prevent the Legislature from increasing or diminishing at any time the allowance to sheriffs or other officers for feeding, transferring or guarding prisoners.

69. All stationery, printing, paper and fuel used in the legislative and other departments of government, shall be furnished, and the printing, binding and distribution of laws. Journals, department reports and all other printing, binding and repairing, and furnishing the halls and rooms used for the meeting of the Legislature and its committees, shall be performed, under contract, to be given to the lowest responsible bidder below a maximum price. and under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law; no member or officer of any department of the government shall be in any way interested in such contracts, and all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the Governor, Auditor, and Treasurer.

70. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. The Governor, Auditor and Attorney General shall, before each regular session of the Legislature, prepare a general revenue bill, to be submitted to the Legislature for its information. and the Secretary of State shall have printed for the use of the Legislature a sufficient number of copies of the bill so prepared, which the Governor shall transmit to the House of Representatives as soon as organized to be used or dealt with as that House may elect. The Senate may propose amendments to revenue bills. No revenue bill shall be passed during the last five days of the session.

71. The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but appropriations for the ordinary expenses of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial departments of the State, for interest on the public debt, and for the public schools. The salary of no officer or employee shall be increased in such bill,

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