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CONSTITUTION OF CONNECTICUT-1818.*
The people of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government, do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights and privileges which they have derived from their ancestors, hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following Constirution, and form of civil government.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established.
SECTION 1. That all men when they form a social compact, are equal u rights; and that no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive public moluments or privileges from the community.
SEC. 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 they have at all times an undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of government in such a manner as they may think expedient.
SEC. 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in this State, provided that the right hereby declared and established, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State.
SEC. 4. No preference shall be given by law to any Christian sect or mode of worship.
SEC. 5. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
SEC. 6. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press.
SEC. 7. In all prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence, and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court.
SEC. 8. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches or seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or things, shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.
SEC. 9. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to he heard by himself and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process to obtain witnesses in his favour; and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury. He shall ot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, but by due course of law. And no person shall be holden to swer for any crime, the punishment of which may be death or imprisonment for life, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; except in
*The constitution of Connecticut was framed by a convention which met at Hartford on August 26, 1818, and adjourned on September 16, 1818. The constitution was submitted to the people on October 5, 1818, and was adopted by a Vote of 13.918 to 12.364. It became effective on October 12. 1818. The constitution Was submitted as a whole, and no proposition was submitted separately.
the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war, or public danger.
SEC. 10. No person shall be arrested, detained or punished, except in cases clearly warranted by law.
SEC. 11. The property of no person shall be taken for public use, without just compensation therefor.
SEC. 12. All courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done to him in his person, property or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial or delay.
SEC. 13. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. SEC. 14. All prisoners shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, where the proof is evident, or the presumption great; and the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it; nor in any case, but by the legislature.
SEC. 15. No person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the legisla
SEC. 16. The citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition. address or remonstrance.
SEC. 17. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the State.
SEC. 18. The military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.
SEC. 19. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house. without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
SEC. 20. No hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honors, shall ever be granted, or conferred, in this State.
SEC. 21. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.
The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments. and each of them confided to a separate magistracy, to wit, those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another.
OF THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.
SECTION 1. The legislative power of this State shall be vested in two distinct houses or branches; the one to be styled THE SENATE, the other THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, and both together THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. The style of their laws shall be, Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened.
SEC. 2. There shall be one stated session of the General Assembly, to be holden in each year, alternately at Hartford and New Haven, on the first Wednesday of May, and at such other times as the General Assembly shall judge necessary; the first session to be holden at Hartford; but the person administering the office of Governour, may, on special emergencies, convene the General Assembly at either of said places, at any other time. And in case of danger from the prevalence of contagious diseases, in either of said places. or other circumstances, the person administering the office of Governour may. by proclamation, convene said Assembly at any other place in this State.
SEC. 3. The House of Representatives shall consist of electors residing in towns from which they are elected. The number of Representatives from each town shall be the same as at present practiced and allowed. a new town shall hereafter be incorporated, such new town shall be entitled to
Altered by amendments of 1873, 1875 and 1884.
one representative only; and if such new town shall be made from one or more towns, the town or towns from which the same shall be made, shall be entitled to the same number of Representatives as at present allowed, unless the number shall be reduced by the consent of such town or towns.
SEC. 4. The Senate shall consist of twelve members, to be chosen annually by the electors.3
SEC. 5. At the meetings of the electors, held in the several towns in this State in April annually, after the election of Representatives, the electors present shall be called upon to bring in their written ballots for Senators. The presiding officer shall receive the votes of the electors, and count and declare them in open meeting. The presiding officer shall also make duplicate lists of the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each, which shall be certified by the presiding officer; one of which lists shall be delivered to the Town Clerk, and the other within ten days after said meeting, shall be delivered under seal, either to the Secretary, or to the sheriff of the county in which said town is situated; which list shall be directed to the Secretary. with a superscription expressing the purport of the contents thereof; and each sheriff, who shall receive such votes, shall, within fifteen days after said meeting, deliver, or cause them to be delivered, to the Secretary.
SEC. 6. The Treasurer, Secretary, and Controller, for the time being. shall canvass the votes publicly. The twelve persons having the greatest number of votes for Senators, shall be declared to be elected.5 But in cases where no choice is made by the electors in consequence of an equality of votes, the House of Representatives shall designate. by ballot, which of the candidates having such equal number of votes, shall be declared to be elected. The return of votes, and the result of the canvass, shall be submitted to the House of Representatives, and also to the Senate, on the first day of the session of the General Assembly; and each house shall be the final judge of the election returns and qualifications of its own members.
SEC. 7. The House of Representatives, when assembled, shall choose a speaker, clerk and other officers. The Senate shall choose its clerk, and other officers, except the President. 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 prescribe.
SEC. 8. Each house shall determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly conduct, and, with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the legislature of a free and independent State.
SEC. 9. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same, when required by one-fifth of its members, except such parts as, in the judgment of a majority, require secrecy. The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journals.
SEC. 10. The Senators and Representatives shall, in all cases of civil process, be privileged from arrest, during the session of the General Assembly, and for four days before the commencement, and after the termination of any session thereof. And for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
SEC. 11. The debates of each house shall be public, except on such occasions as. in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy,
"Altered by amendments of 1836, 1874 and 1876.
"Altered by amendments of 1828, 1836, 1875 and 1901
Altered by amendments of 1828, 1875, 1901 and 1905.
OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.
SECTION 1. The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor, who shall be chosen by the electors of the State, and shall hold his office for one year from the first Wednesday of May next succeeding his election, and until his successor be duly qualified. No person, who is not an elector of this State, and who has not arrived at the age of thirty years, shall be eligible.
SEC. 2. At the meetings of the electors in the respective towns, in the month of April in each year, immediately after the election of Senators, the presiding officers shall call upon the electors to bring in their ballotss for him whom they would elect to be Governour, with his name fairly written. When such ballots shall have been received and counted in the presence of the electors, duplicate lists of the persons voted for, and of the number of votes given for each, shall be made and certified by the presiding officer, one of which lists shall be deposited in the office of the Town Clerk within three days, and the other, within ten days after said election, shall be transmitted to the Secretary, or to the sheriff of the county, in which such election shall have been held. The sheriff receiving said votes shall deliver, or cause them to be delivered to the Secretary, within fifteen days next after said election. The votes so returned shall be counted by the Treasurer, Secretary, and Controller. within the month of April. A fair list of the persons and number of votes given for each, together with the returns of the presiding officers, shall be, by the Treasurer, Secretary, and Controller, made and laid before the General Assembly, then next to be holden, on the first day of the session thereof; and said Assembly shall, after examination of the same, declare the person whom they shall find to be legally chosen, and give him notice accordingly. If no person shall have a majority of the whole number of said votes, or if two or more shall have an equal and the greatest number of said votes, then said Assembly, on the second day of their session, by joint ballot of both houses. shall proceed, without debate, to choose a Governour, from a list of the names of the two persons having the greatest number of votes, or of the names of the persons having an equal and highest number of votes so returned as aforesaid. The General Assembly shall by law prescribe the manner in which all questions concerning the election of a Governour, or Lieutenant-Governour, shall be determined.
SEC. 3. At the annual meetings of the electors, immediately after the election of Governour. there shall also be chosen in the same manner as is hereinbefore provided for the election of Governour, a Lieutenant-Governour, 10 who shall continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications.
SEC. 4. The compensation of the Governour, Lieutenant-Governour, Senators and Representatives, shall be established by law. and shall not be varied so as to take effect until after an election, which shall next succeed the passage of the law establishing said compensations.
SEC. 5. The Governour shall be Captain-General of the militia of the State, except when called into the service of the United States.
SEC. 6. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department, on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
SEC. 7. The Governour, in case of a disagreement between the two houses of the General Assembly, respecting the time of adjournment, may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not beyond the day of the next stated session.
SEC. S. He shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly infor
Made to apply to biennial elections by amendment of 1875.
"Altered by amendment of 1901.
10 Altered by amendment of 1875 and 1884.
mation of the state of the government, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall deem expedient.
SEC. 9. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
SEC. 10. The Governour shall have power to grant reprieves after convictions, in all cases except those of impeachment, until the end of the next session of the General Assembly, and no longer.
SEC. 11. All commissions shall be in the name and by authority of the State of Connecticut; shall be sealed with the State seal, signed by the Governour, and attested by the Secretary.
SEC. 12. Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the General Assembly, shall be presented to the Governour. If he approves, he shall sign and transmit it to the Secretary, but if not, he shall return it to the house in which it originated, with his objections, which shall be entered on the journals of the house; who shall proceed to reconsider the bill. If after such reconsideration, that house shall again pass it. it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, which shall also reconsider it. If approved, it shall become a law. But in such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays; and the names of the members voting for and against the bill, shall be entered on the journals of each house respectively. If the bill shall not he returned by the Governour within three days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it; unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, prevents its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
SEC. 13. The Lieutenant-Governour shall, by virtue of his office, be President of the Senate, and have, when in Committee of the Whole, a right to debate, and when the Senate is equally divided, to give the casting vote.
SEC. 14. In case of the death, resignation, refusal to serve, or removal from office of the Governour,11 or of his impeachment or absence from the State, the Lieutenant-Governour shall exercise the powers and authority appertaining to the office of Governour, until another be chosen at the next periodical election for Governour, and be duly qualified: or until the Governour, impeached or absent, shall be acquitted or return.
SEC. 15. When the government shall be administered by the LieutenantGovernour, or he shall be unable to attend as President of the Senate, the Senate shall elect one of their members, as President pro tempore. And if during the vacancy of the office of Governour, the Lieutenant-Governour shall die. resign, refuse to serve, or be removed from office, or if he shall be impeached, or absent from the State, the President of the Senate pro tempore shall, in like manner, administer the government, until he be superseded by a Governour or Lieutenant-Governour.
SEC. 16. If the Lieutenant-Governour shall be required to administer the Government. and shall, while in such administration, die or resign during the recess of the General Assembly, it shall be the duty of the Secretary, for the time being, to convene the Senate for the purpose of choosing a President pro tempore.
SEC. 17. A Treasurer shall annually be chosen. by the electors, at their meeting in April;12 and the votes shall be returned, counted, canvassed, and declared, in the same manner as is provided for the election of Governour and Lieutenant-Governour; but the votes for Treasurer shall be canvassed by the Secretary and Controller only. He shall receive all moneys belonging to the State, and disburse the same only as he may be directed by law. He shall pay no warrant or order for the disbursement of public money, until the same has been registered in the office of the Controller.
SEC. 18. A Secretary shall be chosen next after the Treasurer. and in the same manner:12 and the votes for Secretary shall be returned to, and counted, canvassed and declared by the Treasurer and Controller. He shall bave the safe keeping and custody of the public records and documents, and
"Altered by amendment of 1911.
12 Altered by amendments of 1836 and 1875.