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Francis Newton Thorpe, The Federal and State Constitutions, Vol. III Kentucky-Massachusetts [1909]

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Francis Newton Thorpe, The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and other Organic Laws of the States and Territories now or heretofore forming the United States of America, compiled and edited by Francis Newton Thorpe (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1909). Vol. III Kentucky-Massachusetts. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2676

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About this Title:

Thorpe was commissioned by the U.S. Congress to edit a 7 volume collection of Colonial, Federal and State constitutions in 1906. The volumes are in alphabetical order, with Volume 3 dealing with Kentucky through Massachusetts.

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THE FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONS COLONIAL CHARTERS, AND OTHER ORGANIC LAWS OF THE STATES, TERRITORIES, AND COLONIES NOW OR HERETOFORE FORMING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
59th Congress 2d Session HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Document No. 357
Compiled and Edited under the Act of Congress of June 30, 1906 By FRANCIS NEWTON THORPE, Ph. D., LL. D.

Member of the Pennsylvania Bar; Fellow and Professor of American Constitutional History at the University of Pennsylvania, 1885-1898; Member of the American Historical Association; Author of The Constitutional History of the United States, 1765-1895; A (State) Constitutional History of the American People, 1776-1850; A Short Constitutional History of the United States; A (Social and Economic) History of the American People; A History of the Civil War; Editor of the History of North America, Volumes IX, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX, XX; Author of The Government of the People of the United States; Benjamin Franklin and the University of Pennsylvania; The Life of William Pepper, etc.

VOL. III
Kentucky—Massachusetts
WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1909
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The Federal and State Constitutions
Colonial Charters, and other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies, Volume III

Organic Laws State, Territorial, and Colonial

KENTUCKYa

For organic acts issued before 1790 relating to the land now included within Kentucky see in this work:

Charters of Virginia, 1606, 1609, 1612 (Virginia, pp. 3783-3812).
Ordinances for Virginia, 1621 (Virginia, p. 3810).
Constitution of Virginia, 1776 (Virginia, p. 3812).

THE TERRITORY SOUTH OF THE OHIO—1790

[First Congress, Second Session]

An Act for the Government of the Territory of the United States, south of the river Ohio

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the territory of the United States south of the river Ohio, for the purposes of temporary government, shall be one district; the inhabitants of which shall enjoy all the privileges, benefits, and advantages set forth in the ordinance of the late Congress for the government of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio. And the government of the said territory south of the Ohio shall be similar to that which is now exercised in the territory northwest of the Ohio: except so far as is otherwise provided in the conditions expressed in an act of Congress of the present session, entitled “An act to accept a cession of the claims of the State of North Carolina to a certain district of western territory.”‡

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the salaries of the officers, which the President of the United States shall nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate appoint, by virtue of this act, shall be the same as those, by law established, of similar officers in the government northwest of the river Ohio. And the powers, duties, and emoluments of a superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern department shall be united with those of the governor.

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ACT ADMITTING KENTUCKY INTO THE UNION—1791

[First Congress, Third Session]

An Act declaring the consent of Congress, that a new State be formed within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and admitted into this Union, by the name of the State of Kentucky

Whereas the legislature of the commonwealth of Virginia, by an act entitled “An act concerning the erection of the district of Kentucky into an independent state,” passed the eighteenth day of December, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, have consented that the district of Kentucky, within the jurisdiction of the said commonwealth, and according to its actual boundaries at the time of passing the act aforesaid, should be formed into a new state: And whereas a convention of delegates, chosen by the people of the said district of Kentucky, have petitioned Congress to consent that, on the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, the said district should be formed into a new state, and received into the Union, by the name of “The State of Kentucky:”

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That the Congress doth consent that the said district of Kentucky, within the jurisdiction of the commonwealth of Virginia, and according to its actual boundaries on the eighteenth day of December, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, shall, upon the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, be formed into a new State, separate from, and independent of, the said commonwealth of Virginia.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted and declared, That upon the aforesaid first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, the said new State, by the name and style of the State of Kentucky, shall be received and admitted into this Union as a new and entire member of the United States of America.

CONSTITUTION OF KENTUCKY—1792*a

We, the representatives of the people of the State of Kentucky, in convention assembled, do ordain and establish this constitution for its government.

Article I

1. The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments, each of them to 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 judiciary to another.

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2. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly permitted.

3. The legislative powers of this commonwealth shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives.

4. The representatives shall be chosen annually, by the qualified electors of each county respectively, on the first Tuesday in May; but the several elections may be continued for three days, if, in the opinion of the presiding officer or officers, it shall be necessary, and no longer.

5. No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-four years, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the State two years preceding his election, and the last six months thereof an inhabitant of the county in which he may be chosen; unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or this State.

6. Within two years after the first meeting of the general assembly, and within every subsequent term of four years, an enumeration of the free male inhabitants above twenty-one years of age shall be made, in such manner as may be directed by law. The number of the representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed by the legislature, and apportioned among the several counties, according to the number of free male inhabitants above the age of twenty-one years in each, and shall never be less than forty, nor greater than one hundred; but no county hereafter erected shall be entitled to a separate representation, until a sufficient number of free male inhabitants above the age of twenty-one years shall be contained within it, to entitle them to one representative, agreeable to the ratio which shall then be established.

7. The senators shall be chosen for four years.

8. Until the first enumeration be made, the senate shall consist of eleven members, and thereafter for every four members added to the house of representatives, one member shall be added to the senate.

9. In choosing the senate, one member at least shall be elected from each county, until the number of counties is equal to the number of senators; after which, when a new county is made, it shall, as to the choice of senators, be considered as being a part of the county or counties from which it shall have been taken.

10. The senate shall be chosen in the following manner: All persons qualified to vote for representatives shall, on the first Tuesday in May, in the present year, and on the same day in every fourth year, forever thereafter, at the place appointed by law for choosing representatives, elect by ballot, by a majority of votes, as many persons as they are entitled to have for representatives for their respective counties, to be electors of the senate.

11. No person shall be chosen an elector who shall not have resided in the State three years next before his election, and who shall not have attained the age of twenty-seven years.

12. The electors of the senate shall meet at such place as shall be appointed for convening the legislature, on the third Tuesday in May, in the present year, and on the same day in every fourth year forever thereafter; and they, or a majority of them so met, shall proceed to elect by ballot, as senators, men of the most wisdom, Edition: current; Page: [1266] experience, and virtue, above twenty-seven years of age, who shall have been residents of the State above two whole years next preceding the election. If on the ballot two or more shall have an equal number of ballots in their favor, by which the choice shall not be determined by the first ballot, then the electors shall again ballot before they separate, in which they shall be confined to the persons who, on the first ballot, shall have had an equal number, and they who shall have the greatest number in their favor on the second ballot shall be accordingly declared and returned duly elected; and if on the second ballot an equal number shall still be in favor of two or more persons, then the election shall be determined by lot between those who have equal numbers; which proceedings of the electors shall be certified under their hands, and returned to the secretary for the time being; to whom shall also be made, by the proper officers, returns of the persons chosen as electors in the respective counties.

13. The electors of senators shall judge of the qualifications and elections of members of their body, and on a contested election shall admit to a seat as an elector such qualified person as shall appear to them to have the greatest number of legal votes in his favor.

14. The electors, immediately on their meeting, and before they proceed to the election of senators, shall take an oath, or affirmation, to elect, without favor, affection, partiality, or prejudice, such person for governor, and such persons for senators, as they in their judgment and conscience believe best qualified for the respective offices.

15. That in case of refusal, death, resignation, disqualification, or removal out of this State, of any senator, the senate shall immediately thereupon, or at their next meeting thereafter, elect, by ballot, in the same manner as the electors are herein directed to choose senators, another person in his place, for the residue of the said term of four years.

16. The general assembly shall meet on the first Monday in November in every year, till the time of their meeting shall be altered by the legislature, unless sooner convened by the governor.

17. Each house shall choose its speaker and other officers, and the senate shall also choose a speaker, pro tempore, when their speaker shall exercise the office of governor.

18. Each house shall judge of the qualifications of its members; contested elections shall be determined by a committee to be selected, formed, and regulated, in such manner as shall be directed by law. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as may be provided.

19. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member; but not a second time for the same cause.

20. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish them weekly, except such parts of them as may require secrecy, and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on the journals.

21. The doors of each house and of committees of the whole shall be open, unless when the business shall be such as ought to be kept secret.

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22. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days; nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.

23. The members of the general assembly and the electors of the senate shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for their services, which for the present shall be six shillings a day during their attendance on, going to, and returning from the legislature, and the place for choosing the senators; but the same may be increased or diminished by law, if circumstances shall require it, but no alteration shall be made to take effect during the existence of the legislature which shall make such alteration. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony, breach, or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of the respective houses, and at the place for choosing senators, 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.

24. No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, or for one year afterwards, be appointed to any civil office under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the time such senator or representative was in office: Provided, That no member of the first legislature which shall be assembled under this constitution shall be precluded from being appointed to any office which may have been created during his time of service in the said legislature; and no minister of religious society, member of Congress, or other person holding any office of profit under the United States, or this commonwealth, except attorneys at law, justices of the peace, militia officers, and coroners, shall be a member of either house, during his continuance to act as a minister, in Congress, or in office.

25. When vacancies happen in the house of representatives, the speaker shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

26. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may propose amendments as in other bills.

27. Each senator, representative, and sheriff shall, before he be permitted to act as such, take an oath, or make affirmation, that he hath not directly or indirectly given or promised any bribe or treat to procure his election to said office, and every person shall be disqualified from serving as a senator, representative, or sheriff, for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall be convicted of having given or offered any bribe or treat, or canvassed for the said office.

28. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it, but if he shall not approve, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon their journals, and proceed to reconsider it; if after such reconsideration two-thirds of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent with the objections to the other house, by which likewise it shall be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall be a law. But in such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for or against the bill shall be entered on the journals of each house Edition: current; Page: [1268] respectively; if any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it; unless the general assembly by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall be a law, unless sent back within three days after their next meeting.

29. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him; or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Article II

1. The supreme executive power of this commonwealth shall be vested in a governor.

2. The governor shall be chosen by the electors of the senate, at the same time, at the same place, and in the same manner that they are herein directed to elect senators, and the said electors shall make return of their proceedings in the choice of a governor to the secretary for the time being.

3. The governor shall hold his office during four years from the first of June next ensuing his election.

4. He shall be at least thirty years of age, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of this State at least two years next before his election, unless he shall have been absent on public business of the United States, or of this State.

5. No member of Congress, or person holding any office under the United States, or this State, shall exercise the office of governor.

6. The governor shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected.

7. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this commonwealth, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

8. He shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all officers whose offices are established by this constitution, or shall be established by law, and whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for; but no person shall be appointed to an office within any county who shall not have been a citizen or inhabitant therein one year next before his appointment, if the county shall have been so long erected; but if it shall not have been so long erected, then within the limits of the county or counties out of which it shall have been taken.

9. The governor shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of their next session.

10. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, and grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment; in cases of treason, he shall have power to grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the general assembly, in whom the power of pardoning shall be vested.

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11. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

12. He shall, from time to time, give to the general assembly information of the state of the commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge expedient.

13. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly, and in case of disagreement between the two houses, with respect to the time of adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months.

14. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

15. In case of the death or resignation of the governor, or of his removal from office, the speaker of the senate shall exercise the office of governor, until another shall be duly qualified.

16. An attorney-general shall be appointed and commissioned during good behavior; who shall appear for the commonwealth in all criminal prosecutions, and in all civil cases in which the commonwealth shall be interested in any of the superior courts; shall give his opinion when called upon for that purpose by either branch of the legislature, or by the executive, and shall perform such other duties as shall be enjoined him by law.

17. A secretary shall be appointed and commissioned during the governor’s continuance in office, if he shall so long behave himself well; he shall keep a fair register of and attest all the official acts and proceedings of the governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative thereto, before either branch of the legislature, and shall perform such other duties as shall be enjoined him by law.

Article III

1. In elections by the citizens, all free male citizens of the age of twenty-one years, having resided in the State two years, or the county in which they offer to vote one year next before the election, shall enjoy the rights of an elector, but no person shall be entitled to vote except in the county in which he shall actually reside at the time of the election.

2. All elections shall be by ballot.

3. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony, and breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and in going to and returning from them.

Article IV

1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeaching.

2. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate; when sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation; no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

3. The governor and all other civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases Edition: current; Page: [1270] shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under this commonwealth; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment according to law.

Article V

1. The judicial power of this commonwealth, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in one supreme court, which shall be styled the court of appeals, and in such inferior courts as the legislature may from time to time ordain and establish.

2. The judges of both the supreme and inferior courts shall hold their offices during good behavior; but for any reasonable cause which shall not be sufficient ground of impeachment, the governor may remove any of them on the address of two-thirds of each branch of the legislature. They shall, at stated times, receive for their services an adequate compensation, to be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

3. The supreme court shall have original and final jurisdiction in all cases respecting the titles to land under the present land-laws of Virginia, including those which may be depending in the present supreme court for the district of Kentucky at the time of establishing the said supreme court; and in all cases concerning contracts for lands, prior to the establishment of those titles. And the said court shall have power to hear and determine the same in a summary way, and to direct the mode of bringing the same to a hearing, so as to enable them to do right and justice to the parties, with as little delay and at as small an expense as the nature of the business will allow; but the said court shall, in all such cases, oblige the parties to state the material parts of their complaint and defence in writing; and shall, on the conclusion of every cause, state on the records of the whole merits of the case, the questions arising therefrom, the opinions of the court thereupon, and a summary of the reasons in support of those opinions.

4. And it shall be the duty of each judge of the supreme court, present at the hearing of any such case, and differing from a majority of the court, to deliver his opinion in writing, to be entered as aforesaid; and each judge shall deliver his opinion in open court. And the said court shall have power, on the determination of any such cause, to award the legal costs against either party, or to divide the same among the different parties, as to them shall seem just and right. And the said court shall have full power to take such steps as they may judge proper to perpetuate testimony in all cases concerning such titles: Provided, That a jury shall always be impanelled for the finding of such facts as are not agreed by the parties; unless the parties, or their attorneys, shall waive their right of trial by jury and refer the matter of fact to the decision of the court: Provided also, That the legislature may, whenever they may judge it expedient, pass an act or acts to regulate the mode of proceedings in such cases, or to take away entirely the original jurisdiction hereby given to the said court in such cases.

5. In all other cases the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction only, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Edition: current; Page: [1271] legislature shall make; and the legislature may, from time to time, vest in the supreme and inferior courts, or either of them, such powers, both in law and equity, as they shall judge proper and necessary for the due administration of justice.

6. A competent number of justices of the peace shall be appointed in each county; they shall be commissioned during good behavior, but may be removed on conviction of misbehavior in office, or any infamous crime, or on the address of both houses of the legislature.

7. The judges shall, by virtue of their office, be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be, “The Commonwealth of Kentucky;” all prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by authority of the commonwealth of Kentucky, and conclude “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Article VI

1. Sheriffs and coroners shall, at the times and places of elections of representatives, be chosen by the citizens of each county, qualified to vote for representatives. They shall hold their office for three years, if they shall so long behave themselves well, and until a successor be duly qualified; but no person shall be twice chosen or appointed sheriff in any term of six years. Vacancies in either of the said offices shall be filled by a new appointment, to be made by the governor, to continue until the next general election, and until a successor shall be chosen and qualified as aforesaid.

2. The freemen of this commonwealth shall be armed and disciplined for its defence. Those who conscientiously scruple to bear arms shall not be compelled to do so, but shall pay an equivalent for personal service.

3. The field and staff officers of the militia shall be appointed by the governor, except the battalion staff-officers, who shall be appointed by the field-officers of each battalion respectively.

4. The officers of companies shall be chosen by the persons enrolled in the list of each company, and the whole shall be commissioned during good behavior, and during their residence in the bounds of the battalion or company to which they shall be appointed.

5. Each court shall appoint its own clerk, who shall hold his office during good behavior; but no person shall be appointed clerk, only pro tempore, who shall not produce to the court appointing him a certificate from a majority of the judges of the court of appeals that he hath been examined by their clerk, in their presence and under their direction, and that they judge him to be well qualified to execute the office of clerk to any court of the same dignity with that for which he offers himself. They shall be removable for breach of good behavior by the court of appeals only, who shall be judges of the fact as well as of the law. Two-thirds of the members present must concur in the sentence.

6. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Kentucky, and be sealed with the State seal and signed by the governor.

7. The State treasurer shall be appointed annually by the joint ballot of both houses.

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Article VII

1. Members of the general assembly and all officers, executive and judicial, before they enter upon the execution of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear [or affirm, as the case may be] that I will be faithful and true to the commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my abilities, the office of ———, according to law.”

Article VIII

1. Treason against the commonwealth shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid or comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimoney of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on his own confession in open court.

2. Laws shall be made to exclude from office and from suffrage those who thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practices.

3. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law, nor shall any appropriations of money for the support of an army be made for a longer term than one year, and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published annually.

4. The legislature shall direct by law in what manner and what courts suits may be brought against the State.

5. The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed by the legislature the most solemn appeal to God.

6. All laws now in force in the State of Virginia, not inconsistent with this constitution, which are of a general nature, and not local to the eastern part of that State, shall be in force in this State, until they shall be altered or repealed by the legislature.

7. The compact with the State of Virginia, subject to such alterations as may be made therein, agreeably to the mode prescribed by the said compact, shall be considered as a part of this constitution.

Article IX

1. The legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, previous to such emancipation, and a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State. They shall pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming chargeable to the county in which they reside. Edition: current; Page: [1273] They shall have full power to prevent slaves being brought into this State as merchandize. They shall have full power to prevent any slaves being brought into this State from a foreign country, and to prevent those from being brought into this State who have been since the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, or hereafter may be, imported into any of the United States from a foreign country. And they shall have full power to pass such laws as may be necessary to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide for them necessary clothing and provision, to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb, and in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of their owner or owners.

Article X

1. The place for the seat of government shall be fixed in the following manner: The house of representatives shall, during their session which shall be held in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, choose by ballot twenty-one persons, from whom the representation from Fayette and Mercer Counties then present shall alternately strike out one, until the number shall be reduced to five, who, or any three of them concurring in opinion, shall have power to fix on the place for the seat of government, to receive grants from individuals therefor, and to make such conditions with the proprietor or proprietors of the land so pitched on by them as to them shall seem right, and shall be agreed to by the said proprietor or proprietors, and to lay off a town thereon, in such manner as they shall judge most proper.

2. The general assembly and the supreme courts shall within five years hold their sessions at the place so pitched upon by the said commissioners; and the seat of government so fixed shall continue until it shall be changed by two-thirds of both branches of the legislature. The commissioners, before they proceed to act, shall take an oath or make affirmation that they will discharge the trust imposed on them in such manner as in their judgment will be most beneficial to the State at large.

Article XI

1. That the citizens of this State may have an opportunity to amend or change this constitution in a peaceable manner, if to them it shall seem expedient, the persons qualified to vote for representatives shall, at the general election to be held in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, vote also, by ballot, for or against a convention, as they shall severally choose to do; and if thereupon it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens in the State voting for representatives have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall direct that a similar ballot shall be taken the next year; and if thereupon it shall also appear that a majority of all the citizens in the State voting for representatives have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next session, call a convention, to consist of as many members as there shall be in the house of representatives, to be chosen in the same manner, (at Edition: current; Page: [1274] the same places and at the same time that representatives are,) by the citizens entitled to vote for representatives, and to meet within three months after the said election for the purpose of readopting, amending, or changing this constitution. If it shall appear upon the ballot of either year that a majority of the citizens voting for representatives is not in favor of a convention being called, it shall not be done until two-thirds of both branches of the legislature shall deem it expedient.

Article XII

1. That the general, great, and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and unalterably established, we declare that all men, when they form a social compact, are equal, and that no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive or separate public emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.

2. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness. For the advancement of those ends, they have at all times an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their government, in such manner as they may think proper.

3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man of right can be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority can in any case whatever control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious societies or modes of worship.

4. That the civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen shall in no ways be diminished or enlarged on account of his religion.

5. That all elections shall be free and equal.

6. That trial by jury shall be as heretofore, and the right thereof remain inviolate.

7. That the printing-press shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the legislature or any branch of government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communications of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

8. In prosecutions for publications of papers, investigating the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

9. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and that 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.

10. That in all criminal prosecutions the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel; to demand the nature and cause of Edition: current; Page: [1275] accusation against him; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

11. That no person shall for any indictable offence be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger, or by leave of the court for oppression or misdemeanor in office.

12. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of his life or limb, nor shall any man’s property be taken or applied to public use without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being previously made to him.

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

14. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the legislature or its authority.

15. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.

16. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or presumption great, and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

17. That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

18. That no ex post facto law nor any law impairing contracts shall be made.

19. That no persons shall be attainted of treason or felony by the legislature.

20. That no attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor, except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate to the commonwealth.

21. That estates of such persons as shall destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death, and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

22. That the citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together 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.

23. That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

24. That no standing army shall, in time of peace, be kept up, without the consent of the legislature; and the military shall, in all cases and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

25. That no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any Edition: current; Page: [1276] house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

26. That the legislature shall not grant any title of nobility or hereditary distinction, nor create any office the appointment to which shall be for a longer term than during good behavior.

27. That emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.

28. To guard against the high powers which have been delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this constitution, shall be void.

Schedule

1. That no inconvenience may rise from the establishing the government of this State, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared and ordained, that all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well individuals as of bodies-corporate, shall continue as if the said government had not been established.

2. That all officers, civil and military, now in commission under the State of Virginia, shall continue to hold and exercise their offices until the tenth day of August next, and no longer.

3. That until the first enumeration shall be made, as directed by the sixth section of the first article of this constitution, the county of Jefferson shall be entitled to elect three representatives; the county of Lincoln, four representatives; the county of Fayette, nine representatives; the county of Nelson, six representatives; the county of Mercer, four representatives; the county of Madison, three representatives; the county of Bourbon, five representatives; the county of Woodford, four representatives; and the county of Mason, two representatives.

4. The general assembly shall meet at Lexington on the fourth day of June next.

5. All returns herein directed to be made to the secretary shall, previous to his appointment, be made to the clerk of the supreme court for the district of Kentucky.

6. Until a seal shall be provided for the State, the governor shall be at liberty to use his private seal.

7. The oaths of office herein directed to be taken may be administered by any justice of the peace, until the legislature shall otherwise direct.

8. All bonds given by any officer within the district of Kentucky, payable to the governor of Virginia, may be prosecuted in the name of the governor of Kentucky.

9. All offences against the laws of Virginia, which have been committed within the present district of Kentucky, or which may be committed within the same before the first day of June next, shall be cognizable in the courts of this State in the same manner that they would be if they were committed within this State, after the said first day of June.

10. At the elections herein directed to be held in May next, the sheriff of each county, or in case of his absence one of his deputies, shall preside, and if they neglect or refuse to act, the said elections shall be held by any one of the justices of the peace for the county Edition: current; Page: [1277] where such neglect or refusal shall happen; each officer holding such election, having first taken an oath before a justice of the peace to conduct the said election with impartiality, shall have power to administer to any person offering to vote at such election the following oath or affirmation: “I do swear [or affirm] that I am qualified to vote for representatives in the county of ———, agreeably to the constitution formed for the State of Kentucky;” and such officers shall have a right to refuse to receive the vote of any person who shall refuse to take the said oath or make affirmation when tendered to him. And the said elections shall be held at the several places appointed for holding courts in the different counties.

11. The government of the commonwealth of Kentucky shall commence on the first day of June next.

Done in convention, at Danville, the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the sixteenth.

By order of the convention.

Samuel McDowell, President.
Attest:
Tho. Todd, Clerk.

CONSTITUTION OF KENTUCKY—1799*a

We, the representatives of the people of the State of Kentucky, in convention assembled, to secure to all the citizens thereof the enjoyment of the right of life, liberty, and property, and of pursuing happiness, do ordain and establish this constitution for its government:

Article I: CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Kentucky 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 judiciary, to another.

Sec. 2. No person or collection of persons, being one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others; except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

Article II: CONCERNING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POWERS OF THE GOVERNMENT

Section 1. The legislative power of this commonwealth shall be vested in two distinct branches; the one to be styled “the house of representatives,” the other “the senate,” and both together “the general assembly of the commonwealth of Kentucky.”

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Sec. 2. The members of the house of representatives shall continue in service for the term of one year from the day of the commencement of the general election, and no longer.

Sec. 3. Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in the month of August in every year; but the presiding officers of the several elections shall continue the same for three days, at the request of any one of the candidates.

Sec. 4. No person shall be a representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, and hath not attained to the age of twenty-four years, and resided in this state two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county or town for which he may be chosen.

Sec. 5. Elections for representatives for the several counties entitled to representation shall be held at the places of holding their respective courts, or in the several election precincts into which the legislature may think proper, from time to time, to divide any or all of those counties: Provided, That when it shall appear to the legislature that any town hath a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio then fixed, such town shall be invested with the privilege of a separate representation, which shall be retained so long as such town shall contain a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio which may, from time to time, be fixed by law, and thereafter elections, for the county in which such town is situated, shall not be held therein.

Sec. 6. Representation shall be equal and uniform in this commonwealth; and shall be forever regulated and ascertained by the number of qualified electors therein. In the year eighteen hundred and three, and every fourth year thereafter, an enumeration of all the free male inhabitants of the State, above twenty-one years of age, shall be made, in such manner as shall be directed by law. The number of representatives shall, in the several years of making these enumerations, be so fixed as not to be less than fifty-eight, nor more than one hundred, and they shall be apportioned for the four years next following, as near as may be, among the several counties and towns, in proportion to the number of qualified electors; but, when a county not have a residuum or residuums, which, when added to the small county, would entitle it to a separate representation, it shall then be in the power of the legislature to join two or more together, for the purpose of sending a representative: Provided, That when there are two or more counties adjoining, which have residuums over and above the ratio when fixed by law, if said residuums when added together will amount to such ratio, in that case one representative shall be added to that county having the largest residuum.

Sec. 7. The house of representatives shall choose its speaker and other officers.

Sec. 8. In all elections for representatives, every free male citizen (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted) who, at the time being, hath attained to the age of twenty-one years, and resided in the State two years, or the county or town in which he offers to vote one year next preceding the election, shall enjoy the right of an elector; but no person shall be entitled to vote, except in the county or town in which he may actually reside at the time of the election, except as is herein otherwise provided. Electors shall in all cases, except Edition: current; Page: [1279] treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at, going to, and returning from elections.

Sec. 9. The members of the senate shall be chosen for the term of four years; and, when assembled, shall have the power to choose its officers annually.

Sec. 10. At the first session of the general assembly after this constitution takes effect, the senators shall be divided by lot, as equally as may be, into four classes; the seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; of the second class at the expiration of the second year; of the third class at the expiration of the third year; and of the fourth class at the expiration of the fourth year; so that one-fourth shall be chosen every year, and a rotation thereby kept up perpetually.

Sec. 11. The senate shall consist of twenty-four members at least, and for every three members above fifty-eight, which shall be added to the house of representatives, one member shall be added to the senate.

Sec. 12. The same number of senatorial districts shall, from time to time, be established by the legislature, as there may then be senators allotted to the State; which shall be so formed as to contain, as near as may be, an equal number of free male inhabitants in each, above the age of twenty-one years, and so that no county shall be divided, or form more than one district; and where two or more counties compose a district, they shall be adjoining.

Sec. 13. When an additional senator may be added to the senate, he shall be annexed by lot to one of the four classes, so as to keep them as nearly equal in number as possible.

Sec. 14. One senator for each district shall be elected by those qualified to vote for representatives therein, who shall give their votes at the several places in the counties or towns where elections are by law directed to be held.

Sec. 15. No person shall be a senator who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, and who hath not attained to the age of thirty-five years, and resided in this State six years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district from which he may be chosen.

Sec. 16. 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, in like manner, be an annual election for senators to fill the places of those whose time of service may have expired.

Sec. 17. The general assembly shall convene on the first Monday in the month of November in every year, unless a different day be appointed by law; and their session shall be held at the seat of government.

Sec. 18. Not less than a majority of the members of each house of the general assembly shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as may be prescribed thereby.

Sec. 19. Each house of the general assembly shall judge of the Edition: current; Page: [1280] qualifications, elections, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Sec. 20. Each house of the general assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings; punish a member for disorderly behavior; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause.

Sec. 21. Each house of the general assembly shall keep and publish, weekly, a journal of its proceedings; and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on their journal.

Sec. 22. Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sec. 23. The members of the general assembly shall severally receive from the public treasury a compensation for their services, which shall be one dollar and a half a day, during their attendance on, going to, and returning from the session of their respective houses: Provided, That the same may be increased or diminished by law; but no alteration shall take effect during the session at which such alteration shall be made.

Sec. 24. The members of the general assembly shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions 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.

Sec. 25. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this commonwealth, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the time such senator or representative was in office, except to such offices or appointments as may be made or filled by the elections of the people.

Sec. 26. No person, while he continues to exercise the functions of a clergyman, priest, or teacher of any religious persuasion, society, or sect; nor whilst he holds or exercises any office of profit under this commonwealth, shall be eligible to the general assembly; except attorneys at law, justices of the peace, and militia officers: Provided, That justices of the courts of quarter-sessions shall be ineligible so long as any compensation may be allowed them for their services: Provided also, That attorneys for the commonwealth, who receive a fixed annual salary from the public treasury, shall be ineligible.

Sec. 27. No person who at any time may have been a collector of taxes for the State, or the assistant or deputy of such collector, shall be eligible to the general assembly until he shall have obtained a quietus for the amount of such collection, and for all public moneys for which he may be responsible.

Sec. 28. No bill shall have the force of a law until on three several days it be read over in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon; unless, in cases of urgency, four-fifths of the house where the bill shall be depending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

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Sec. 29. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives; but the senate may propose amendments, as in other bills: Provided, That they shall not introduce any new matter, under the color of an amendment, which does not relate to raising a revenue.

Sec. 30. The general assembly shall regulate by law by whom and in what manner writs of election shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.

Article III: CONCERNING THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The supreme executive power of the commonwealth shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled “the governor of the commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected for the term of four years by the citizens entitled to suffrage at the time and places where they shall respectively vote for representatives. The person having the highest number of votes shall be governor; but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes, the election shall be determined by lot, in such manner as the legislature may direct.

Sec. 3. The governor shall be ineligible for the succeeding seven years after the expiration of the time for which he shall have been elected.

Sec. 4. He shall be at least thirty-five years of age, and a citizen of the United States, and have been an inhabitant of this State at least six years next preceding his election.

Sec. 5. He shall commence the execution of his office on the fourth Tuesday succeeding the day of the commencement of the general election on which he shall be chosen, and shall continue in the execution thereof until the end of four weeks next succeeding the election of his successor, and until his successor shall have taken the oaths or affirmations prescribed by this constitution.

Sec. 6. No member of Congress, or person holding any office under the United States, nor minister of any religious society, shall be eligible to the office of governor.

Sec. 7. The governor shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected.

Sec. 8. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this commonwealth, and of the militia thereof, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States; but he shall not command personally in the field, unless he shall be advised so to do by a resolution of the general assembly.

Sec. 9. He shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all officers whose offices are established by this constitution or shall be established by law, and whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for: Provided, That no person shall be so appointed to an office within any county who shall not have been a citizen and inhabitant therein one year next before his appointment, if the county shall have been so long erected; but if it shall not have been so long erected, then within the limits of the county or counties from which it shall have been taken: Provided Edition: current; Page: [1282] also, That the county courts be authorized by law to appoint inspectors, collectors, and their deputies, surveyors of the highways, constables, jailers, and such other inferior officers, whose jurisdiction may be confined within the limits of a county.

Sec. 10. The governor shall have power to fill up vacancies that may happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of the next session.

Sec. 11. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment. In cases of treason, he shall have power to grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the general assembly; in which the power of pardoning shall be vested.

Sec. 12. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 13. He shall from time to time give to the general assembly information of the state of the commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall deem expedient.

Sec. 14. He may on extraordinary occasions convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that should have become, since their last adjournment, dangerous from an enemy or from contagious disorders; and in case of disagreement between the two houses, with respect to the time of adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months.

Sec. 15. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 16. A lieutenant-governor shall be chosen at every election for a governor, in the same manner, continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications. In voting for governor and lieutenant-governor, the electors shall distinguish whom they vote for as governor, and whom as lieutenant-governor.

Sec. 17. He shall, by virtue of his office, be speaker of the senate; have a right, when in committee of the whole, to debate and vote on all subjects; and, when the senate are equally divided, to give the casting vote.

Sec. 18. In case of the impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, refusal to qualify, resignation, or absence from the State, the lieutenant-governor shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of governor, until another be duly qualified, or the governor absent or impeached shall return or be acquitted.

Sec. 19. Whenever the government shall be administered by the lieutenant-governor, or he shall be unable to attend as speaker of the senate, the senators shall elect one of their own members as speaker, for that occasion. And if, during the vacancy of the office of governor, the lieutenant-governor shall be impeached, removed from office, refuse to qualify, resign, die, or be absent from the State, the speaker of the senate shall, in like manner, administer the government.

Sec. 20. The lieutenant-governor, while he acts as speaker to the senate, shall receive for his services the same compensation which shall for the same period be allowed to the speaker of the house of representatives, and no more; and during the time he administers the government as governor, shall receive the same compensation which the governor would have received and been entitled to had he been employed in the duties of his office.

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Sec. 21. The speaker pro tempore of the senate, during the time he administers the government, shall receive in like manner the same compensation which the governor would have received had he been employed in the duties of his office.

Sec. 22. If the lieutenant-governor shall be called upon to administer the government, and shall, while in such administration, resign, die, or be absent from the State 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 speaker.

Sec. 23. An attorney-general, and such other attorneys for the commonwealth as may be necessary, shall be appointed, whose duty shall be regulated by law. Attorneys for the commonwealth, for the several counties, shall be appointed by the respective courts having jurisdiction therein.

Sec. 24. A secretary shall be appointed and commissioned during the term for which the governor shall have been elected, if he shall so long behave himself well. He shall keep a fair register, and attest all the official acts and proceedings of the governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers, relative thereto, before either house of the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be enjoined him by law.

Sec. 25. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon the journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, a majority of all the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall be likewise considered, and if approved by a majority of all the members elected to that house, it shall be a law; but in such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly by their adjournment prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law, unless sent back within three days after their next meeting.

Sec. 26. Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and, before it shall take effect, be approved by him; or, being disapproved, shall be repassed, by a majority of all the members elected to both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Sec. 27. Contested elections for a governor and lieutenant-governor shall be determined by a committee to be selected from both houses of the general assembly, and formed and regulated in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Sec. 28. The freemen of this commonwealth (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted) shall be armed and disciplined for its defence. Those who conscientiously scruple to bear arms shall not be compelled to do so, but shall pay an equivalent for personal service.

Sec. 29. The commanding officers of the respective regiments shall appoint the regimental staff; brigadier-generals, their brigade-majors; Edition: current; Page: [1284] major-generals, their aids; and captains, the non-commissioned officers of companies.

Sec. 30. A majority of the field-officers and captains in each regiment shall nominate the commissioned officers in each company, who shall be commissioned by the governor: Provided, That no nomination shall be made, unless two at least of the field-officers are present; and, when two or more persons have an equal and the highest number of votes, the field-officer present, who may be highest in commission, shall decide the nomination.

Sec. 31. Sheriffs shall hereafter be appointed in the following manner: When time of a sheriff for any county may be about to expire, the county court for the same, a majority of all its justices being present, shall, in the months of September, October, or November, next preceding thereto, recommend to the governor two proper persons to fill the office, who are then justices of the county court, and who shall in such recommendation pay a just regard to seniority in office and a regular rotation. One of the persons so recommended shall be commissioned by the governor, and shall hold his office for two years, if he so long behave well, and until a successor be duly qualified. If the county courts shall omit, in the months aforesaid, to make such recommendation, the governor shall then nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint a fit person to fill such office.

Article IV: CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The judiciary power of this commonwealth, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in one supreme court, which shall be styled the court of appeals, and in such inferior courts as the general assembly may from time to time erect and establish.

Sec. 2. The court of appeals, except in cases otherwise directed by this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only; which shall be coextensive with the State, under such restrictions and regulations, not repugnant to this constitution, as may from time to time be prescribed by law.

Sec. 3. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior; but for any reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground of impeachment, the governor shall remove any of them on the address of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly: Provided, however, That the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in such address, and on the journal of each house. They shall at stated times receive for their services an adequate compensation to be fixed by law.

Sec. 4. The judges shall, by virtue of their office, be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be “The commonwealth of Kentucky.” All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the commonwealth of Kentucky, and conclude, “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Sec. 5. There shall be established in each county now, or which may hereafter be erected, within this commonwealth a county court.

Sec. 6. A competent number of justices of the peace shall be appointed in each county; they shall be commissioned during good Edition: current; Page: [1285] behavior, but may be removed on conviction of misbehavior in office, or of any infamous crime, or on the address of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly: Provided, however, That the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in such address, on the journal of each house.

Sec. 7. The number of the justices of the peace to which the several counties in this commonwealth now established, or which may hereafter be established, ought to be entitled, shall, from time to time, be regulated by law.

Sec. 8. When a surveyor, coroner, or justice of the peace shall be needed in any county, the county court for the same, a majority of all its justices concurring therein, shall recommend to the governor two proper persons to fill the office, one of whom he shall appoint thereto: Provided, however, That if the county court shall for twelve months omit to make such recommendation, after being requested by the governor to recommend proper persons, he shall then nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint a fit person to fill such office.

Sec. 9. When a new county shall be erected, a competent number of justices of the peace, a sheriff, and coroner therefor, shall be recommended to the governor by a majority of all the members of the house of representatives, from the senatorial district or districts in which the county is situated; and if either of the persons thus recommended shall be rejected by the governor or the senate, another person shall immediately be recommended as aforesaid.

Sec. 10. Each court shall appoint its own clerk, who shall hold his office during good behavior; but no person shall be appointed clerk, only pro tempore, who shall not produce to the court appointing him a certificate from a majority of the judges of the court of appeals that he had been examined by their clerk, in their presence and under their direction, and that they judge him to be well qualified to execute the office of clerk of any court of the same dignity with that for which he offers himself. They shall be removable for breach of good behavior, by the court of appeal only, who shall be judges of the fact as well as of the law. Two-thirds of the members present must concur in the sentence.

Sec. 11. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Kentucky, and sealed with the State seal, and signed by the governor.

Sec. 12. The state treasurer, and printer or printers for the commonwealth, shall be appointed annually by the joint vote of both houses of the general assembly: Provided, That during the recess of the same the governor shall have power to fill vacancies which may happen in either of the said offices.

Article V: CONCERNING IMPEACHMENTS

Section 1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeaching.

Sec. 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

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Sec. 3. The governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment, in such cases, shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under this commonwealth; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.

Article VI: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Members of the general assembly, and all officers, executive and judicial, before they enter upon the execution of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear [or affirm, as the case may be] that I will be faithful and true to the commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my abilities, the office of ———, according to law.”

Sec. 2. Treason against the commonwealth shall consist only in levying war against it or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Sec. 3. Every person shall be disqualified from serving as a governor, lieutenant-governor, senator, or representative, for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall be convicted of having given or offered any bribe or treat to procure his election.

Sec. 4. Laws shall be made to exclude from office and from suffrage those who shall thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practices.

Sec. 5. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of appropriations made by law, nor shall any appropriations of money for the support of an army be made for a longer time than one year; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published annually.

Sec. 6. The general assembly shall direct by law in what manner and in what courts suits may be brought against the commonwealth.

Sec. 7. The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed by the general assembly the most solemn appeal to God.

Sec. 8. All laws which, on the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, were in force in the State of Virginia, and which are of a general nature, and not local to that State, and not repugnant to this constitution, nor to the laws which have been enacted by the legislature of this commonwealth, shall be in force within this State, until they shall be altered or repealed by the general assembly.

Sec. 9. The compact with the State of Virginia, subject to such alterations as may be made therein, agreeably to the mode prescribed by the said compact, shall be considered as part of this constitution.

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Sec. 10. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such laws as may be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.

Sec. 11. All civil officers for the commonwealth at large shall reside within the State, and all district, county, or town officers within their respective districts, counties, or towns, (trustees of towns excepted,) and shall keep their respective offices at such places therein as may be required by law; and all militia officers shall reside in the bounds of the division, brigade, regiment, battalion, or company to which they may severally belong.

Sec. 12. The attorney-general, and other attorneys for this commonwealth who receive a fixed annual salary from the public treasury, judges, and clerks of courts, justices of the peace, surveyors of lands, and all commissioned militia officers shall hold their respective offices during good behavior and the continuance of their respective courts, under the exceptions contained in this constitution.

Sec. 13. Absence on the business of this State, or the United States, shall not forfeit a residence once obtained, so as to deprive any one of the right of suffrage or of being elected or appointed to any office under this commonwealth, under the exceptions contained in this constitution.

Sec. 14. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to regulate by law in what cases and what deduction from the salaries of public officers shall be made for neglect of duty in their official capacity.

Sec. 15. Returns of all elections for governor, lieutenant-governor, and members of the general assembly shall be made to the secretary for the time being.

Sec. 16. In all elections by the people, and also by the senate and house of representatives, jointly or separately, the votes shall be personally and publicly given viva voce.

Sec. 17. No member of Congress nor person holding or exercising any office of trust or profit under the United States, or either of them, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly of this commonwealth, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the same.

Sec. 18. The general assembly shall direct by law how persons who now are, or may hereafter become, securities for public officers may be relieved or discharged on account of such securityship.

Article VII: CONCERNING SLAVES

Section 1. The general assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, or without paying their owners, previous to such emancipation, a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated. They shall have no power to prevent emigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State. They shall pass laws to permit the owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and preventing them from becoming a charge Edition: current; Page: [1288] to any county in this commonwealth. They shall have full power to prevent slaves being brought into this State as merchandise. They shall have full power to prevent any slaves being brought into this State who have been, since the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, or may hereafter be, imported into any of the United States from a foreign country. And they shall have full power to pass such laws as may be necessary to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide for them necessary clothing and provision, to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb, and in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of their owner or owners.

Sec. 2. In the prosecution of slaves for felony, no inquest by a grand jury shall be necessary, but the proceedings in such prosecutions shall be regulated by law, except that the general assembly shall have no power to deprive them of the privilege of an impartial trial by a petit jury.

Article VIII

Section 1. The seat of government shall continue in the town of Frankfort, until it shall be removed by law: Provided, however, That two-thirds of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall concur in the passage of such law.

Article IX: MODE OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION

Section 1. When experience shall point out the necessity of amending this constitution, and when a majority of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall, within the first twenty days of their stated annual session, concur in passing a law, specifying the alterations intended to be made, for taking the sense of the good people of this State as to the necessity and expediency of calling a convention, it shall be the duty of the several sheriffs and other returning officers, at the next general election which shall be held for representatives after the passage of such law, to open a poll for and make return to the secretary, for the time being, of the names of all those entitled to vote for representatives who have voted for calling a convention; and if thereupon it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this State entitled to vote for representatives have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall direct that a similar poll shall be opened and taken for the next year; and if thereupon it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this State entitled to vote for representatives have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next session, call a convention, to consist of as many members as there shall be in the house of representatives, and no more; to be chosen in the same manner and proportion, at the same places and at the same time, that representatives are, by citizens entitled to vote for representatives; and to meet within three months after the said election for the purpose of readopting, amending, or changing this constitution. But if it shall appear, by the vote of either year, as aforesaid, that a majority of all the citizens entitled to vote for representatives did not vote for a convention, a convention shall not be called.

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Article X

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

Section 1. That all free men, when they form a social compact, are equal, and that no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive, separate public emoluments or privileges from the community but in consideration of public services.

Sec. 2. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their government, in such manner as they may think proper.

Sec. 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious societies or modes of worship.

Sec. 4. That the civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen shall in no wise be diminished or enlarged on account of his religion.

Sec. 5. That all elections shall be free and equal.

Sec. 6. That the ancient mode of trial by jury shall be held sacred, and the right thereof remain inviolate.

Sec. 7. That printing-presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the legislature or any branch of government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Sec. 8. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

Sec. 9. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable seizures and searches; and that no warrant to search any place or to seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

Sec. 10. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and, in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

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Sec. 11. That no person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger, by leave of the court, for oppression or misdemeanor in office.

Sec. 12. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of his life or limb, nor shall any man’s property be taken or applied to public use without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being previously made to him.

Sec. 13. That all courts shall be open, and every person, for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by the due course of laws, and right and justice administered without sale, denial, or delay.

Sec. 14. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the legislature or its authority.

Sec. 15. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.

Sec. 16. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Sec. 17. That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 18. That no ex post facto law, nor any law impairing contracts, shall be made.

Sec. 19. That no person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the legislature.

Sec. 20. That no attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor, except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate to the commonwealth.

Sec. 21. That the estates of such persons as shall destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death; and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

Sec. 22. That the citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together 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. 23. That the rights of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

Sec. 24. That no standing army shall, in time of peace, be kept up, without the consent of the legislature; and the military shall, in all cases and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 25. That 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. 26. That the legislature shall not grant any title of nobility or hereditary distinction, nor create any office the appointment to which shall be for a longer term than during good behavior.

Sec. 27. That emigration from this State shall not be prohibited.

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Sec. 28. To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this constitution, shall be void.

Schedule

That no inconvenience may arise from the alterations and amendments made in the constitution of this commonwealth, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared and ordained:

Section 1. That all laws of this commonwealth in force at the time of making the said alterations and amendments, and not inconsistent therewith, and all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well of individuals as of bodies-corporate, shall continue as if the said alterations and amendments had not been made.

Sec. 2. That all officers now filling any office or appointment shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective offices or appointments for the terms therein expressed, unless by this constitution it is otherwise directed.

Sec. 3. The oaths of office herein directed to be taken may be administered by any justice of the peace until the legislature shall otherwise direct.

Sec. 4. The general assembly, to be held in November next, shall apportion the representatives and senators, and lay off the State into senatorial districts conformable to the regulations prescribed by this constitution. In fixing those apportionments, and in establishing those districts, they shall take for their guide the enumeration directed by law to be made in the present year by the commissioners of the tax, and the apportionments thus made shall remain unaltered until the end of the stated annual session of the general assembly in the year eighteen hundred and three.

Sec. 5. In order that no inconvenience may arise from the change made by this constitution in the time of holding the general election, it is hereby ordained that the first election for governor, lieutenant-governor, and members of the general assembly shall commence on the first Monday in May, in the year eighteen hundred. The persons then elected shall continue in office during the several terms of service prescribed by this constitution, and until the next general election which shall be held after their said terms shall have respectively expired. The returns for the said first election of governor and lieutenant-governor shall be made to the secretary within fifteen days from the day of election, who shall, as soon as may be, examine and count the same in the presence of at least two judges of the court of appeals or district courts, and shall declare who are the persons thereby duly elected, and give them official notice of their election; and if any person shall be equal and highest on the poll, the said judges and secretary shall determine the election by lot.

Sec. 6. This constitution, except so much thereof as is therein otherwise directed, shall not be in force until the first day of June, in the year eighteen hundred; on which day the whole thereof shall take full and complete effect.

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Done in convention, at Frankfort, the seventeenth day of August, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the twenty-fourth.

Alexander S. Bullit, President.

CONSTITUTION OF KENTUCKY—1850*a

PREAMBLE

We, the representatives of the people of the State of Kentucky in convention assembled, to secure to all the citizens thereof the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and property, and of pursuing happiness, do ordain and establish this constitution for its government:

Article I: CONCERNING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT

Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Kentucky 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 judiciary to another.

Sec. 2. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

Article II: CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The legislative power shall be vested in a house of representatives and senate, which together shall be styled “The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Sec. 2. The members of the house of representatives shall continue in service for the term of two years from the day of the general election, and no longer.

Sec. 3. Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in August in every second year, and the mode of holding the elections shall be regulated by law.

Sec. 4. No person shall be a representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, has not attained the age of twenty-four years, and who has not resided in this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county, preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county, town, or city for which he may be chosen.

Sec. 5. The general assembly shall divide each county of this commonwealth into convenient election-precincts, or may delegate power Edition: current; Page: [1293] to do so to such county authorities as may be designated by law; and elections for representatives for the several counties shall be held at the places of holding their respective courts, and in the several election-precincts into which the counties may be divided: Provided, That when it shall appear to the general assembly that any city or town hath a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall be invested with the privilege of a separate representation, in either or both houses of the general assembly, which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio which may, from time to time, be fixed by law; and, thereafter, elections for the county in which such city or town is situated shall not be held therein; but such city or town shall not be entitled to a separate representation, unless such county, after the separation, shall also be entitled to one or more representatives. That whenever a city or town shall be entitled to a separate representation in either house of the general assembly, and by its numbers shall be entitled to more than one representative, such city or town shall be divided, by squares which are contiguous, so as to make the most compact form, into representative districts, as nearly equal as may be, equal to the number of representatives to which such city or town may be entitled; and one representative shall be elected from each district. In like manner shall said city or town be divided into senatorial districts, when by the apportionment more than one senator shall be allotted to such city or town, and a senator shall be elected from each senatorial district; but no ward or municipal division shall be divided by such division of senatorial or representative districts, unless it be necessary to equalize the elective, senatorial, or representative districts.

Sec. 6. Representation shall be equal and uniform in this commonwealth, and shall be forever regulated and ascertained by the number of qualified voters therein. In the year 1850, again in the year 1857, and every eighth year thereafter, an enumeration of all the qualified voters of the State shall be made; and, to secure uniformity and equality of representation, the State is hereby laid off into ten districts. The first district shall be composed of the counties of Fulton, Hickman, Ballard, McCracken, Graves, Calloway, Marshall, Livingston, Crittenden, Union, Hopkins, Caldwell, and Trigg. The second district shall be composed of the counties of Christian, Muhlenburg, Henderson, Daviess, Hancock, Ohio, Breckinridge, Meade, Grayson, Butler, and Edmonson. The third district shall be composed of the counties of Todd, Logan, Simpson, Warren, Allen, Monroe, Barren, and Hart. The fourth district shall be composed of the counties of Cumberland, Adair, Green, Taylor, Clinton, Russell, Wayne, Pulaski, Casey, Boyle, and Lincoln. The fifth district shall be composed of the counties of Harden, Larue, Bullitt, Spencer, Nelson, Washington, Marion, Mercer, and Anderson. The sixth district shall be composed of the counties of Garrard, Madison, Estill, Owsley, Rockcastle, Laurel, Clay, Whitley, Knox, Harlan, Perry, Letcher, Pike, Floyd, and Johnson. The seventh district shall be composed of the counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Trimble, Carroll, Henry, and Shelby, and the city of Louisville. The eighth district shall be composed of the counties of Bourbon, Fayette, Scott, Owen, Franklin, Woodford, and Jessamine. The ninth district shall be composed of the counties of Clarke, Bath, Montgomery, Fleming, Edition: current; Page: [1294] Lewis, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence, Morgan, and Breathitt. The tenth district shall be composed of the counties of Mason, Bracken, Nicholas, Harrison, Pendleton, Campbell, Grant, Kenton, Boone, and Gallatin. The number of representatives shall, at the several sessions of the general assembly next after the making of the enumerations, be apportioned among the ten several districts according to the number of qualified voters in each; and the representatives shall be apportioned, as near as may be, among the counties, towns, and cities in each district; and in making such apportionment the following rules shall govern, to wit: Every county, town, or city, having the ratio, shall have one representative; if double the ratio, two representatives, and so on. Next, the counties, towns, or cities having one or more representatives, and the largest number of qualified voters above the ratio, and counties having the largest number under the ratio, shall have a representative, regard being always had to the greatest number of qualified voters: Provided, That when a county may not have a sufficient number of qualified voters to entitle it to one representative, then such county may be joined to some adjacent county or counties, which counties shall send one representative. When a new county shall be formed of territory belonging to more than one district, it shall form a part of that district having the least number of qualified voters.

Sec. 7. The house of representatives shall choose its speaker and other officers.

Sec. 8. Every free white male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, who has resided in the State two years, or in the county, town, or city in which he offers to vote one year, next preceding the election, shall be a voter; but such voter shall have been for sixty days next preceding the election a resident of the precinct in which he offers to vote, and he shall vote in said precinct, and not elsewhere.

Sec. 9. Voters, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance at, going to, and returning from elections.

Sec. 10. Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, and the senate shall have power to choose its officers biennially.

Sec. 11. Senators and representatives shall be elected, under the first apportionment after the adoption of this constitution, in the year 1851.

Sec. 12. At the session of the general assembly next after the first apportionment under this constitution, the senators shall be divided by lot, as equally as may be, into two classes; the seats of the first class shall be vacated at the end of two years from the day of the election, and those of the second class at the end of four years, so that one-half shall be chosen every two years.

Sec. 13. The number of representatives shall be one hundred, and the number of senators thirty-eight.

Sec. 14. At every apportionment of representation, the State shall be laid off into thirty-eight senatorial districts, which shall be so formed as to contain, as near as may be, an equal number of qualified voters, and so that no county shall be divided in the formation of a senatorial district, except such county shall be entitled, under the enumeration, to two or more senators; and where two or more counties compose a district they shall be adjoining.

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Sec. 15. One senator for each district shall be elected by the qualified voters therein, who shall vote in the precincts where they reside, at the places where elections are by law directed to be held.

Sec. 16. No person shall be a senator who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, has not attained the age of thirty years, and who has not resided in this State six years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district for which he may be chosen.

Sec. 17. The election for senators, next after the first apportionment under this constitution, shall be general throughout the State, and at the same time that the election for representatives is held, and thereafter there shall be a biennial election for senators to fill the places of those whose term of service may have expired.

Sec. 18. The general assembly shall convene on the first Monday in November, after the adoption of this constitution, and again on the first Monday in November, 1851, and on the same day of every second year thereafter, unless a different day be appointed by law, and their sessions shall be held at the seat of government.

Sec. 19. Not less than a majority of the members of each house of the general assembly shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed thereby.

Sec. 20. Each house of the general assembly shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Sec. 21. Each house of the general assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish a member for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause.

Sec. 22. Each house of the general assembly shall keep and publish, weekly, a journal of its proceedings, and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on their journal.

Sec. 23. Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sec. 24. The members of the general assembly shall severally receive from the public treasury a compensation for their services, which shall be three dollars a day during their attendance on, and twelve and a half cents per mile for the necessary travel in going to, and returning from, the sessions of their respective houses: Provided, That the same may be increased or diminished by law; but no alteration shall take effect during the session at which such alteration shall be made; nor shall a session of the general assembly continue beyond sixty days, except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, but this shall not apply to the first session held under this constitution.

Sec. 25. The members of the general assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Edition: current; Page: [1296] speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Sec. 26. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this commonwealth, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the said term, except to such offices or appointments as may be filled by the election of the people.

Sec. 27. No person, while he continues to exercise the functions of a clergyman, priest, or teacher of any religious persuasion, society, or sect, nor while he holds or exercises any office of profit under this commonwealth, or under the Government of the United States, shall be eligible to the general assembly, except attorneys at law, justices of the peace, and militia officers: Provided, That attorneys for the commonwealth, who receive a fixed annual salary, shall be ineligible.

Sec. 28. No person who at any time may have been a collector of taxes or public moneys for the State, or the assistant or deputy of such collector, shall be eligible to the general assembly unless he shall have obtained a quietus, six months before the election, for the amount of such collection, and for all public moneys for which he may have been responsible.

Sec. 29. No bill shall have the force of a law until, on three several days, it be read over in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon, unless, in cases of urgency, four-fifths of the house where the bill shall be depending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

Sec. 30. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may propose amendments, as in other bills: Provided, That they shall not introduce any new matter, under color of amendment, which does not relate to raising revenue.

Sec. 31. The general assembly shall regulate by law by whom and in what manner writs of election shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.

Sec. 32. The general assembly shall have no power to grant divorces, to change the names of individuals, or direct the sales of estates belonging to infants or other persons laboring under legal disabilities by special legislation; but by general laws shall confer such powers on the courts of justice.

Sec. 33. The credit of this commonwealth shall never be given or loaned in aid of any person, association, municipality, or corporation.

Sec. 34. The general assembly shall have no power to pass laws to diminish the resources of the sinking fund, as now established by law, until the debt of the State be paid, but may pass laws to increase them; and the whole resources of said fund, from year to year, shall be sacredly set apart and applied to the payment of the interest and principal of the State debt, and to no other use or purpose, until the whole debt of the State is fully paid and satisfied.

Sec. 35. The general assembly may contract debts to meet casual deficits or failures in the revenue; but such debts, direct or contingent, singly or in the aggregate, shall not at any time exceed five hundred thousand dollars; and the moneys arising from loans creating such debts shall be applied to the purposes for which they were obtained or to repay such debts: Provided, That the State may contract Edition: current; Page: [1297] debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities are threatened, provide for the public defence.

Sec. 36. No act of the general assembly shall authorize any debt to be contracted on behalf of the commonwealth, except for the purposes mentioned in the thirty-fifth section of this article, unless provision be made therein to lay and collect an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest stipulated, and to discharge the debt within thirty years; nor shall such act take effect until it shall have been submitted to the people at a general election, and shall have received a majority of all the votes cast for or against it: Provided, That the general assembly may contract debts, by borrowing money to pay any part of the debt of the State, without submission to the people, and without making provision in the act authorizing the same for a tax to discharge the debt so contracted, or the interest thereon.

Sec. 37. No law enacted by the general assembly shall relate to more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.

Sec. 38. The general assembly shall not change the venue in any criminal or penal prosecution, but shall provide for the same by general laws.

Sec. 39. The general assembly may pass laws authorizing writs of error in criminal or penal cases, and regulating the right of challenge of jurors therein.

Sec. 40. The general assembly shall have no power to pass any act or resolution for the appropriation of any money, or the creation of any debt, exceeding the sum of one hundred dollars, at any one time, unless the same, on its final passage, shall be voted for by a majority of all the members then elected to each branch of the general assembly, and the yeas and nays thereon entered on the journal.

Article III: CONCERNING THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The supreme executive power of the commonwealth shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the commonwealth of Kentucky.

Sec. 2. The governor shall be elected for the term of four years, by the qualified voters of the State, at the time when and places where they shall respectively vote for representatives. The person having the highest number of votes shall be governor; but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes, the election shall be determined by lot, in such manner as the general assembly may direct.

Sec. 3. The governor shall be ineligible for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the term for which he shall have been elected.

Sec. 4. He shall be at least thirty-five years of age, and a citizen of the United States, and have been an inhabitant of this State at least six years next preceding his election.

Sec. 5. He shall commence the execution of the duties of his office on the fifth Tuesday succeeding the day of the general election on which he shall have been chosen, and shall continue in the execution thereof until his successor shall have taken the oath or affirmation prescribed by this constitution.

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Sec. 6. No member of Congress, or person holding any office under the United States, or minister of any religious society, shall be eligible to the office of governor.

Sec. 7. The governor shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the term for which he was elected.

Sec. 8. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this commonwealth, and of the militia thereof, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States; but he shall not command personally in the field, unless advised so to do by a resolution of the general assembly.

Sec. 9. He shall have power to fill vacancies that may occur, by granting commissions, which shall expire when such vacancies shall have been filled according to the provisions of this constitution.

Sec. 10. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment. In cases of treason, he shall have power to grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the general assembly, in which the power of pardoning shall be vested; but he shall have no power to remit the fees of the clerk, sheriff, or commonwealth’s attorney in penal or criminal cases.

Sec. 11. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 12. He shall, from time to time, give to the general assembly information of the state of the commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Sec. 13. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place if that should have become, since their last adjournment, dangerous from an enemy, or from contagious disorders; and in case of disagreement between the two houses, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months.

Sec. 14. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 15. A lieutenant-governor shall be chosen at every regular election of governor, in the same manner, to continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications, as the governor. In voting for governor and lieutenant-governor, the electors shall state for whom they vote as governor and for whom as lieutenant-governor.

Sec. 16. He shall, by virtue of his office, be speaker of the senate, have a right, when in committee of the whole, to debate and vote on all subjects, and, when the senate are equally divided, to give the casting vote.

Sec. 17. Should the governor be impeached, removed from office, die, refuse to qualify, resign, or be absent from the State, the lieutenant-governor shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of governor, until another be duly elected and qualified, or the governor absent or impeached shall return or be acquitted.

Sec. 18. Whenever the government shall be administered by the lieutenant-governor, or he shall fail to attend as speaker of the senate, the senators shall elect one of their own members as speaker for that occasion. And if, during the vacancy of the office of governor, the lieutenant-governor shall be impeached, removed from office, refuse Edition: current; Page: [1299] to qualify, resign, die, or be absent from the State, the speaker of the senate shall, in like manner, administer the government: Provided, That whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of governor, before the first two years of the term shall have expired, a new election for governor shall take place to fill such vacancy.

Sec. 19. The lieutenant-governor, or speaker pro tempore of the senate, while he acts as speaker of the senate, shall receive for his services the same compensation which shall, for the same period, be allowed to the speaker of the house of representatives, and no more; and during the time he administers the government, as governor, shall receive the same compensation which the governor would have received had he been employed in the duties of his office.

Sec. 20. If the lieutenant-governor shall be called upon to administer the government, and shall, while in such administration, resign, die, or be absent from the State during the recess of the general assembly, it shall be the duty of the secretary of state, for the time being, to convene the senate for the purpose of choosing a speaker.

Sec. 21. The governor shall nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint a secretary of state, who shall be commissioned during the term for which the governor was elected, if he shall so long behave himself well. He shall keep a fair register, and attest all the official acts of the governor, and shall, when required, lay the same, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative thereto, before either house of the general assembly; and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by law.

Sec. 22. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, a majority of all the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be considered, and, if approved by a majority of all the members elected to that house, it shall be 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 upon the journals of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law, unless sent back within three days after their next meeting.

Sec. 23. Every order, resolution, or vote in which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him; or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by a majority of all the members elected to both houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Sec. 24. Contested elections for governor and lieutenant-governor shall be determined by both houses of the general assembly, according to such regulations as may be established by law.

Sec. 25. A treasurer shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State, for the term of two years; and an auditor of public accounts, Edition: current; Page: [1300] register of the land-office, and attorney-general for the term of four years. The duties and responsibilities of these officers shall be prescribed by law: Provided, That inferior State officers, not specially provided for in this constitution, may be appointed or elected, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, for a term not exceeding four years.

Sec. 26. The first election under this constitution for governor, lieutenant-governor, treasurer, auditor of public accounts, register of the land-office, and attorney-general shall be held on the first Monday in August, in the year 1851.

Article IV: CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Section 1. The judicial power of this commonwealth, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in one supreme court, (to be styled the court of appeals,) the courts established by this constitution, and such courts, inferior to the supreme court, as the general assembly may, from time to time, erect and establish.

CONCERNING THE COURT OF APPEALS

Sec. 2. The court of appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be coextensive with the State, under such restrictions and regulations, not repugnant to this constitution, as may, from time to time, be prescribed by law.

Sec. 3. The judges of the court of appeals shall, after their first term, hold their offices for eight years, from and after their election, and until their successors shall be duly qualified, subject to the conditions hereinafter prescribed; but for any reasonable cause the governor shall remove any of them on the address of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly: Provided, however, That the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in such address and on the journal of each house. They shall, at stated times, receive for their services an adequate compensation, to be fixed by law, which shall not be diminished during the time for which they shall have been elected.

Sec. 4. The court of appeals shall consist of four judges, any three of whom may constitute a court for the transaction of business. The general assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall divide the State, by counties, into four districts, as nearly equal in voting population and with as convenient limits as may be, in each of which the qualified voters shall elect one judge of the court of appeals: Provided, That whenever a vacancy shall occur in said court, from any cause, the general assembly shall have the power to reduce the number of judges and districts; but in no event shall there be less than three judges and districts. Should a change in the number of the judges of the court of appeals be made, the term of office and number of districts shall be so changed as to preserve the principle of electing one judge every two years.

Sec. 5. The judges shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be “The Commonwealth of Kentucky.” All prosecutions shall be carried Edition: current; Page: [1301] on in the name and by the authority of the commonwealth of Kentucky, and conclude “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Sec. 6. The judges first elected shall serve as follows, to wit: One shall serve until the first Monday in August, 1852; one until the first Monday in August, 1854; one until the first Monday in August, 1856, and one until the first Monday in August, 1858. The judges, at the first term of the court succeeding their election, shall determine, by lot, the length of time which each one shall serve; and at the expiration of the service of each an election in the proper district shall take place to fill the vacancy. The judge having the shortest time to serve shall be styled the chief justice of Kentucky.

Sec. 7. If a vacancy shall occur in said court from any cause, the governor shall issue a writ of election to the proper district to fill such vacancy for the residue of the term: Provided, That if the unexpired term be less than one year, the governor shall appoint a judge to fill such vacancy.

Sec. 8. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge of the court of appeals who is not a citizen of the United States, a resident of the district for which he may be a candidate two years next preceding his election, at least thirty years of age, and who has not been a practising lawyer eight years, or whose service upon the bench of any court of record, when added to the time he may have practised law, shall not be equal to eight years.

Sec. 9. The court of appeals shall hold its sessions at the seat of government, unless otherwise directed by law; but the general assembly may, from time to time, direct that said court shall hold sessions in any one or more of said districts.

Sec. 10. The first election of the judges and clerks of the court of appeals shall take place on the second Monday in May, 1851, and thereafter, in each district, as a vacancy may occur, by the expiration of the term of office; and the judges of the said court shall be commissioned by the governor.

Sec. 11. There shall be elected, by the qualified voters of this State, a clerk of the court of appeals, who shall hold his office, from the first election, until the first Monday in August, 1858, and thereafter for the term of eight years from and after his election; and should the general assembly provide for holding the court of appeals in any one or more of said districts, they shall also provide for the election of a clerk by the qualified voters of such district, who shall hold his office for eight years, possess the same qualifications, and be subject to removal in the same manner, as the clerk of the court of appeals; but if the general assembly shall, at its first or any other session, direct the court of appeals to hold its sessions in more than one district, a clerk shall be elected by the qualified voters of such district. And the clerk first provided for in this section shall be elected by the qualified voters of the other district or districts. The same principle shall be observed whenever the court shall be directed to hold its sessions in either of the other districts. Should the number of judges be reduced, the term of the office of clerk shall be six years.

Sec. 12. No person shall be eligible to the office of clerk of the court of appeals, unless he be a citizen of the United States, a resident of the State two years next preceding his election, of the age of twenty-one years, and have a certificate from a judge of the court of appeals, Edition: current; Page: [1302] or a judge of a circuit court, that he has been examined by the clerk of his court, under his supervision, and that he is qualified for the office for which he is a candidate.

Sec. 13. Should a vacancy occur in the office of clerk of the court of appeals, the governor shall issue a writ of election, and the qualified voters of the State, or of the district in which the vacancy may occur, shall elect a clerk of the court of appeals, to serve until the end of the term for which such clerk was elected: Provided, That when a vacancy shall occur from any cause, or the clerk be under charges upon information, the judges of the court of appeals shall have power to appoint a clerk pro tempore, to perform the duties of clerk until such vacancy shall be filled or the clerk acquitted: And provided further, That no writ of election shall issue to fill a vacancy unless the unexpired term exceed one year.

Sec. 14. The general assembly shall direct, by law, the mode and manner of conducting and making due returns to the secretary of state of all elections of the judges and clerk or clerks of the court of appeals, and of determining contested elections of any of these officers.

Sec. 15. The general assembly shall provide for an additional judge or judges, to constitute, with the remaining judge or judges, a special court for the trial of such cause or causes as may, at any time, be pending in the court of appeals, on the trial of which a majority of the judges cannot sit, on account of interest in the event of the cause, or on account of their relationship to either party, or when a judge may have been employed in or decided the cause in the inferior court.

CONCERNING THE CIRCUIT COURTS

Sec. 16. A circuit court shall be established in each county now existing, or which may hereafter be erected in this commonwealth.

Sec. 17. The jurisdiction of said court shall be and remain as now established, hereby giving to the general assembly the power to change or alter it.

Sec. 18. The right to appeal or sue out a writ of error to the court of appeals shall remain as it now exists, until altered by law, hereby giving to the general assembly the power to change, alter, or modify said right.

Sec. 19. At the first session after the adoption of this constitution, the general assembly shall divide the State into twelve judicial districts, having due regard to business, territory, and population: Provided, That no county shall be divided.

Sec. 20. They shall, at the same time that the judicial districts are laid off, direct elections to be held in each district, to elect a judge for said district, and shall prescribe in what manner the election shall be conducted. The first election of judges of the circuit court shall take place on the second Monday in May, 1851; and afterwards on the first Monday in August, 1856, and on the first Monday in August in every sixth year thereafter.

Sec. 21. All persons qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, in each district, shall have the right to vote for judges.

Sec. 22. No person shall be eligible as judge of the circuit court who is not a citizen of the United States, a resident of the district for which he may be a candidate two years next preceding his election, at Edition: current; Page: [1303] least thirty years of age, and who has not been a practising lawyer eight years, or whose service upon the bench of any court of record, when added to the time he may have practised law, shall not be equal to eight years.

Sec. 23. The judges of the circuit court shall, after their first term, hold their office for the term of six years from the day of their election. They shall be commissioned by the governor, and continue in office until their successors be qualified, but shall be removable from office in the same manner as the judges of the court of appeals; and the removal of a judge from his district shall vacate his office.

Sec. 24. The general assembly, if they deem it necessary, may establish one additional district every four years, but the judicial districts shall not exceed sixteen, until the population of this State shall exceed one million five hundred thousand.

Sec. 25. The judges of the circuit courts shall, at stated times, receive for their services an adequate compensation, to be fixed by law, which shall be equal and uniform throughout the State, and which shall not be diminished during the time for which they were elected.

Sec. 26. If a vacancy shall occur in the office of judge of the circuit court, the governor shall issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy for the residue of the term: Provided, That if the unexpired term be less than one year, the governor shall appoint a judge to fill such vacancy.

Sec. 27. The judicial districts of this State shall not be changed, except at the first session after an enumeration, unless when a new district may be established.

Sec. 28. The general assembly shall provide by law for holding circuit courts when, from any cause, the judge shall fail to attend, or, if in attendance, cannot properly preside.

CONCERNING COUNTY COURTS

Sec. 29. A county court shall be established in each county now existing, or which may hereafter be erected within this commonwealth, to consist of a presiding judge and two associate judges, any two of whom shall constitute a court for the transaction of business: Provided, The general assembly may at any time abolish the office of the associate judges, whenever it shall be deemed expedient; in which event they may associate with said court any or all of the justices of the peace for the transaction of business.

Sec. 30. The judges of the county court shall be elected, by the qualified voters in each county, for the term of four years, and shall continue in office until their successors be duly qualified, and shall receive such compensation for their services as may be provided by law.

Sec. 31. The first election of county-court judges shall take place at the same time of the election of judges of the circuit court. The presiding judge, first elected, shall hold his office until the first Monday in August, 1854. The associate judges shall hold their offices until the first Monday in August, 1852, and until their successors be qualified; and afterwards elections shall be held on the first Monday in August, in the years in which vacancies regularly occur.

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Sec. 32. No person shall be eligible to the office of presiding or associate judge of the county court, unless he be a citizen of the United States, over twenty-one years of age, and shall have been a resident of the county in which he shall be chosen one year next preceding the election.

Sec. 33. The jurisdiction of the county court shall be regulated by law; and, until changed, shall be the same now vested in the county courts of this State.

Sec. 34. Each county in this State shall be laid off into districts of convenient size, as the general assembly may from time to time direct. Two justices of the peace shall be elected in each district, by the qualified voters therein, at such time and place as may be prescribed by law, for the term of four years, whose jurisdiction shall be coextensive with the county. No person shall be eligible as a justice of the peace unless he be a citizen of the United States, twenty-one years of age, and a resident of the district in which he may be candidate.

Sec. 35. Judges of the county court, and justices of the peace, shall be conservators of the peace. They shall be commissioned by the governor. County and district officers shall vacate their offices by removal from the district or county in which they shall be appointed. The general assembly shall provide by law the manner of conducting and making due return of all elections of judges of the county court and justices of the peace, and for determining contested elections, and provide the mode of filling vacancies in these offices.

Sec. 36. Judges of the county court and justices of the peace, sheriffs, coroners, surveyors, jailers, county assessor, attorney for the county, and constables shall be subject to indictment or presentment for malfeasance or misfeasance in office, or wilful neglect in the discharge of their official duties, in such mode as may be prescribed by law, subject to appeal to the court of appeals; and, upon conviction, their offices shall become vacant.

Sec. 37. The general assembly may provide by law that the justices of the peace in each county shall sit at the court of claims, and assist in laying the county levy and making appropriations only.

Sec. 38. When any city or town shall have a separate representation, such city or town, and the county in which it is located, may have such separate municipal courts and executive and ministerial officers as the general assembly may, from time to time, provide.

Sec. 39. The clerks of the court of appeals, circuit and county courts, shall be removable from office by the court of appeals, upon information and good cause shown. The court shall be judges of the fact as well as the law. Two-thirds of the members present must concur in the sentence.

Sec. 40. The Louisville chancery court shall exist under this constitution, subject to repeal, and its jurisdiction to enlargement and modification by the general assembly. The chancellor shall have the same qualifications as a circuit-court judge, and the clerk of said court as a clerk of a circuit court, and the marshal of said court as a sheriff; and the general assembly shall provide for the election, by the qualified voters within its jurisdiction, of the chancellor, clerk, and marshal of said court, at the same time that the judge and clerk of the circuit court are elected for the county of Jefferson, and they shall hold their offices for the same time, and shall be removable in Edition: current; Page: [1305] the same manner: Provided, That the marshal of said court shall be ineligible for the succeeding term.

Sec. 41. The city court of Louisville, the Lexington city court, and all other police-courts established in any city or town, shall remain, until otherwise directed by law, with their present powers and jurisdictions; and the judges, clerks, and marshals of such courts shall have the same qualifications, and shall be elected by the qualified voters of such cities or towns at the same time, and in the same manner, and hold their offices for the same term, as county judges, clerks, and sheriffs, respectively, and shall be liable to removal in the same manner. The general assembly may vest judicial powers, for police purposes, in mayors of cities, police judges, and trustees of towns.

Article V: CONCERNING IMPEACHMENTS

Section 1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Sec. 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.

Sec. 3. The governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under this commonwealth; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject and liable to indictment, trial, and punishment by law.

Article VI: CONCERNING EXECUTIVE AND MINISTERIAL OFFICERS FOR COUNTIES AND DISTRICTS

Section 1. A commonwealth’s attorney for each judicial district, and a circuit-court clerk for each county, shall be elected, whose term of office shall be the same as that of the circuit judges; also, a county-court clerk, an attorney, surveyor, coroner, and jailer, for each county, whose term of office shall be the same as that of the presiding judge of the county court.

Sec. 2. No person shall be eligible to the offices mentioned in this article who is not at the time twenty-four years old, (except clerks of county and circuit courts, sheriffs, constables, and county attorneys who shall be eligible at the age of twenty-one years,) a citizen of the United States, and who has not resided two years next preceding the election in the State, and one year in the county or district for which he is a candidate. No person shall be eligible to the office of commonwealth’s or county attorney unless he shall have been a licensed practicing attorney for two years. No person shall be eligible to the office of clerk unless he shall have procured from a judge of the court of appeals, or a judge of the circuit court, a certificate that he has been examined by the clerk of his court, under his supervision, and that he is qualified for the office for which he is a candidate.

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Sec. 3. The commonwealth’s attorney and circuit-court clerk shall be elected at the same time as the circuit judge—the commonwealth’s attorney by the qualified voters of the district, the circuit-court clerk by the qualified voters of the county. The county attorney, clerk, surveyor, coroner, and jailer shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner as the presiding judge of the county court.

Sec. 4. A sheriff shall be elected in each county by the qualified voters thereof, whose term of office shall, after the first term, be two years, and until his successor be qualified; and he shall be reëligible for a second term; but no sheriff shall, after the expiration of the second term, be reëligible, or act as deputy, for the succeeding term. The first election of sheriff shall be on the second Monday in May, 1851; and the sheriffs then elected shall hold their offices until the first Monday in January, 1853, and until their successors be qualified; and on the first Monday in August, 1852, and on the first Monday of August in every second year thereafter, elections for sheriffs shall be held: Provided, That the sheriffs first elected shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices on the first Monday in June, 1851, and after the first election on the first Monday in January next succeeding their election.

Sec. 5. A constable shall be elected in every justice’s district, who shall be chosen for two years, at such time and place as may be provided by law, whose jurisdiction shall be coextensive with the county in which he may reside.

Sec. 6. Officers for towns and cities shall be elected for such terms, and in such manner, and with such qualifications as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 7. Vacancies in offices under this article shall be filled, until the next regular election, in such manner as the general assembly may provide.

Sec. 8. When a new county shall be erected, officers for the same, to serve until the next stated election, shall be elected or appointed in such a way and at such times as the general assembly may prescribe.

Sec. 9. Clerks, sheriffs, surveyors, coroners, constables, and jailers, and such other officers as the general assembly may from time to time require, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, and as often thereafter as may be deemed proper, give such bond and security as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 10. The general assembly may provide for the election or appointment, for a term not exceeding four years, of such other county or district ministerial and executive officers as shall, from time to time, be necessary and proper.

Sec. 11. A county assessor shall be elected in each county at the same time and for the same term that the presiding judge of the county court is elected, until otherwise provided for by law. He shall have power to appoint such assistants as may be necessary and proper.

Article VII: CONCERNING THE MILITIA

Section 1. The militia of this commonwealth shall consist of all free, able-bodied male persons (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians Edition: current; Page: [1307] excepted) resident in the same, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years; except such persons as now are, or hereafter may be, exempted by the laws of the United States or of this State; but those who belong to religious societies, whose tenets forbid them to carry arms, shall not be compelled to do so, but shall pay an equivalent for personal services.

Sec. 2. The governor shall appoint the adjutant-general and his other staff-officers; the major-generals, brigadier-generals, and commandants of regiments shall respectively appoint their staff-officers; and commandants of companies shall appoint their non-commissioned officers.

Sec. 3. All militia officers, whose appointment is not herein otherwise provided for, shall be elected by persons subject to military duty within their respective companies, battalions, regiments, brigades, and divisions, under such rules and regulations, and for such terms, not exceeding six years, as the general assembly may, from time to time, direct and establish.

Article VIII: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Section 1. Members of the general assembly, and all officers, before they enter upon the execution of the duties of their respective offices, and all members of the bar, before they enter upon the practice of their profession, shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear [or affirm, as the case may be] that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of this State, and be faithful and true to the commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my abilities, the office of ———, according to law; and I do further solemnly swear [or affirm] that since the adoption of the present constitution I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel, with deadly weapons, within this State, nor out of it, with a citizen of this State, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel, with deadly weapons, with a citizen of this State; nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, or aided or assisted any person thus offending: So help me God.”

Sec. 2. Treason against the commonwealth shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Sec. 3. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall be convicted of having given or offered any bribe or treat to procure his election.

Sec. 4. Laws shall be made to exclude from office and from suffrage those who shall thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other crimes or high misdemeanors. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practices.

Sec. 5. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of appropriations made by law, nor shall any appropriations of Edition: current; Page: [1308] money for the support of an army be made for a longer time than two years, and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published annually.

Sec. 6. The general assembly may direct, by law, in what manner, and in what courts, suits may be brought against the commonwealth.

Sec. 7. The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed by the general assembly the most solemn appeal to God.

Sec. 8. All laws which, on the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, were in force in the State of Virginia, and which are of a general nature, and not local to that State, and not repugnant to this constitution, nor to the laws which have been enacted by the general assembly of this commonwealth, shall be in force within this State, until they shall be altered or repealed by the general assembly.

Sec. 9. The compact with the State of Virginia, subject to such alterations as may be made therein agreeably to the mode prescribed by the said compact, shall be considered as part of this constitution.

Sec. 10. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such laws as shall be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.

Sec. 11. All civil officers for the commonwealth at large shall reside within the State, and all district, county, or town officers, within their respective districts, counties, or towns, (trustees of towns excepted,) and shall keep their offices at such places therein as may be required by law; and all militia officers shall reside in the bounds of the division, brigade, regiment, battalion, or company to which they may severally belong.

Sec. 12. Absence on the business of this State, or the United States, shall not forfeit a residence once obtained, so as to deprive any one of the right of suffrage, or of being elected or appointed to any office under this commonwealth, under the exception contained in this constitution.

Sec. 13. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to regulate, by law, in what cases, and what deductions from the salaries of public officers shall be made, for neglect of duty in their official capacity.

Sec. 14. Returns of all elections by the people shall be made to the secretary of state, for the time being, except in those cases otherwise provided for in this constitution, or which shall be otherwise directed by law.

Sec. 15. In all elections by the people, and also by the senate and house of representatives, jointly or separately, the votes shall be personally and publicly given viva voce: Provided, That dumb persons, entitled to suffrage, may vote by ballot.

Sec. 16. All elections by the people shall be held between the hours of six o’clock in the morning and seven o’clock in the evening.

Sec. 17. The general assembly shall, by law, prescribe the time when the several officers authorized or directed by this constitution to be elected or appointed shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices, except where the time is fixed by this constitution.

Sec. 18. No member of Congress, nor person holding or exercising Edition: current; Page: [1309] any office of trust or profit under the United States, or either of them, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly of this commonwealth, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the same.

Sec. 19. The general assembly shall direct by law how persons who now are, or who may hereafter become, securities for public officers may be relieved or discharged on account of such securityship.

Sec. 20. Any person who shall, after the adoption of this constitution, either directly or indirectly, give, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge to any person or persons to fight in single combat, with a citizen of this State, with any deadly weapon, either in or out of the State, shall be deprived of the right to hold any office of honor or profit in this commonwealth, and shall be punished otherwise in such manner as the general assembly may prescribe by law.

Sec. 21. The governor shall have power, after five years from the time of the offence, to pardon all persons who shall have in anywise participated in a duel, either as principals, seconds, or otherwise, and to restore him or them to all the rights, privileges, and immunities to which he or they were entitled before such participation. And upon the presentation of such pardon, the oath prescribed in the first section of this article shall be varied to suit the case.

Sec. 22. At its first session after the adoption of this constitution the general assembly shall appoint not more than three persons, learned in the law, whose duty it shall be to revise and arrange the statute laws of this commonwealth, both civil and criminal, so as to have but one law on any one subject; and also three other persons, learned in the law, whose duty it shall be to prepare a code of practice for the courts, both civil and criminal, in this commonwealth, by abridging and simplifying the rules of practice and laws in relation thereto; all of whom shall, at as early a day as practicable, report the result of their labors to the general assembly for their adoption or modification.

Sec. 23. So long as the board of internal improvement shall be continued, the president thereof shall be elected by the qualified voters of this commonwealth, and hold the office for the term of four years, and until another be duly elected and qualified. The election shall be held at the same time, and be conducted in the same manner, as the election of governor of this commonwealth under this constitution; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the general assembly from abolishing said board of internal improvement, or the office of president thereof.

Sec. 24. The general assembly shall provide, by law, for the trial of any contested election of auditor, register, treasurer, attorney-general, judges of circuit courts, and all other officers not otherwise herein specified.

Sec. 25. The general assembly shall provide by law for the making of the returns, by the proper officers, of the election of all officers to be elected under this constitution; and the governor shall issue commissions to the auditor, register, treasurer, president of the board of internal improvement, superintendent of public instruction, and such other officers as he may be directed by law to commission, as soon as he has ascertained the result of the election of those officers respectively.

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Sec. 26. When a vacancy shall happen in the office of attorney-general, auditor of public accounts, treasurer, register of the land-office, president of the board of internal improvement, or superintendent of public instruction, the governor, in the recess of the senate, shall have power to fill the vacancy, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session, and shall fill the vacancy for the balance of the time by and with the advice and consent of the senate.

Article IX: CONCERNING THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT

The seat of government shall continue in the city of Frankfort until it shall be removed by law: Provided, however, That two-thirds of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall concur in the passage of such law.

Article X: CONCERNING SLAVES

Section 1. The general assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of their owners, or without paying their owners, previous to such emancipation, a full equivalent in money for the slaves so emancipated, and providing for their removal from the State. They shall have no power to prevent immigrants to this State from bringing with them such persons as are deemed slaves by the laws of any of the United States, so long as any person of the same age or description shall be continued in slavery by the laws of this State. They shall pass laws to permit owners of slaves to emancipate them, saving the rights of creditors, and to prevent them from remaining in this State after they are emancipated. They shall have full power to prevent slaves being brought into this State as merchandise. They shall have full power to prevent slaves being brought into this State who have been, since the first day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, or may hereafter be, imported into any of the United States from a foreign country. And they shall have full power to pass such laws as may be necessary to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity; to provide for them necessary clothing and provisions; to abstain from all injuries to them, extending to life or limb; and in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of their owner or owners.

Sec. 2. The general assembly shall pass laws providing that any free negro or mulatto hereafter immigrating to, and any slave hereafter emancipated in, and refusing to leave this State, or having left, shall return and settle within this State, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and punished by confinement in the penitentiary thereof.

Sec. 3. In the prosecution of slaves for felony, no inquest by a grand jury shall be necessary; but the proceedings in such prosecution shall be regulated by law, except that the general assembly shall have no power to deprive them of the privilege of an impartial trial by a petit jury.

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Article XI: CONCERNING EDUCATION

Section 1. The capital of the fund called and known as the “common-school fund,” consisting of one million two hundred and twenty-five thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight dollars and forty-two cents, for which bonds have been executed by the State to the board of education, and seventy-three thousand five hundred dollars of stock in the Bank of Kentucky; also, the sum of fifty-one thousand two hundred and twenty-three dollars and twenty-nine cents, balance of interest on the school-fund of the year 1848, unexpended, together with any sum which may be hereafter raised in the State by taxation, or otherwise, for purposes of education, shall be held inviolate, for the purpose of sustaining a system of common schools. The interest and dividends of said funds, together with any sum which may be produced for that purpose, by taxation or otherwise, may be appropriated in aid of common schools, but for no other purpose. The general assembly shall invest said fifty-one thousand two hundred and twenty-three dollars and twenty-nine cents in some safe and profitable manner; and any portion of the interest and dividends of said school-fund, or other money or property raised for school purposes, which may not be needed in sustaining common schools, shall be invested in like manner. The general assembly shall make provision, by law, for the payment of the interest of said school-fund: Provided, That each county shall be entitled to its proportion of the income of said fund, and if not called for for common-school purposes, it shall be reinvested from time to time for the benefit of such county.

Sec. 2. A superintendent of public instruction shall be elected by the qualified voters of this commonwealth at the same time the governor is elected, who shall hold his office for four years, and his duties and salary shall be prescribed and fixed by law.

Article XII: MODE OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION

Section 1. When experience shall point out the necessity of amending this constitution, and when a majority of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly shall, within the first twenty days of any regular session, concur in passing a law for taking the sense of the good people of this commonwealth as to the necessity and expediency of calling a convention, it shall be the duty of the several sheriffs and other officers of elections, at the next general election which shall be held for representatives to the general assembly after the passage of such law, to open a poll for, and make return to the secretary of state, for the time being, of the names of all those entitled to vote for representatives who have voted calling a convention: and if, thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this State entitled to vote for representatives have voted for calling a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next regular session, direct that a similar poll shall be opened and return made for the next election for representatives; and if, thereupon, it shall appear that a Edition: current; Page: [1312] majority of all the citizens of this State entitled to vote for representatives have voted for calling a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next session, pass a law calling a convention, to consist of as many members as there shall be in the house of representatives, and no more, to be chosen on the first Monday in August thereafter, in the same manner and proportion, and at the same places, and possessed of the same qualifications of a qualified elector, by citizens entitled to vote for representatives, and to meet within three months after their election, for the purpose of readopting, amending, or changing this constitution; but if it shall appear by the vote of either year, as aforesaid, that a majority of all the citizens entitled to vote for representatives did not vote for calling a convention, a convention shall not then be called. And for the purpose of ascertaining whether a majority of the citizens, entitled to vote for representatives, did or did not vote for calling a convention, as above, the general assembly passing the law authorizing such vote shall provide for ascertaining the number of citizens entitled to vote for representatives within the State.

Sec. 2. The convention, when assembled, shall judge of the election of its members and decide contested elections, but the general assembly shall, in calling a convention, provide for taking testimony in such cases and for issuing a writ of election in case of a tie.

Article XIII: BILL OF RIGHTS.

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

Section 1. That all freemen, when they form a social compact, are equal, and that no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive, separate public emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services.

Sec. 2. That absolute, arbitrary power over the lives, liberty, and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.

Sec. 3. The right of property is before and higher than any constitutional sanction; and the right of the owner of a slave to such slave, and its increase, is the same, and as inviolable as the right of the owner of any property whatever.

Sec. 4. That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, happiness, security, and the protection of property. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish their government, in such manner as they may think proper.

Sec. 5. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious societies or modes of worship.

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Sec. 6. That the civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen shall in no wise be diminished or enlarged on account of his religion.

Sec. 7. That all elections shall be free and equal.

Sec. 8. That the ancient mode of trial by jury shall be held sacred, and the right thereof remain inviolate, subject to such modifications as may be authorized by this constitution.

Sec. 9. That printing-presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the general assembly, or any branch of government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Sec. 10. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

Sec. 11. That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable seizures and searches, and that no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

Sec. 12. That in all criminal prosecutions, the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and, in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself; nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property unless by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.

Sec. 13. That no person shall, for any indictable offence, be proceeded against criminally, by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger, or by leave of the court, for oppression or misdemeanor in office.

Sec. 14. No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of his life or limb; nor shall any man’s property be taken or applied to public use without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being previously made to him.

Sec. 15. That all courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by the due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial, or delay.

Sec. 16. That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the general assembly, or its authority.

Sec. 17. That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.

Sec. 18. That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be Edition: current; Page: [1314] suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Sec. 19. That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 20. That no ex post facto law, nor any law impairing contracts, shall be made.

Sec. 21. That no person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the general assembly.

Sec. 22. That no attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor, except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate to the commonwealth.

Sec. 23. That the estates of such persons as shall destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death; and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

Sec. 24. That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together 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. 25. That the rights of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned; but the general assembly may pass laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed arms.

Sec. 26. That no standing army shall, in time of peace, be kept up, without the consent of the general assembly; and the military shall, in all cases and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Sec. 27. That 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. 28. That the general assembly shall not grant any title of nobility, or hereditary distinction, nor create any office, the appointment to which shall be for a longer time than for a term of years.

Sec. 29. That emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.

Sec. 30. To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and that all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this constitution, shall be void.

Schedule

That no inconvenience may arise from the alterations and amendments made in the constitution of this commonwealth, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared and ordained:

Section 1. That all the laws of this commonwealth, in force at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and not inconsistent therewith, and all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well of individuals as of bodies-corporate, shall continue as if this constitution had not been adopted.

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Sec. 2. The oaths of office herein directed to be taken may be administered by any judge or justice of the peace, until the general assembly shall otherwise direct.

Sec. 3. No office shall be superseded by the adoption of this constitution, but the laws of the State relative to the duties of the several officers, legislative, executive, judicial, and military, shall remain in full force, though the same be contrary to this constitution, and the several duties shall be performed by the respective officers of the State, according to the existing laws, until the organization of the government, as provided for under this constitution, and the entering into office of the officers to be elected or appointed under said government, and no longer.

Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of the general assembly which shall convene in the year 1850 to make an apportionment of the representation of this State, upon the principle set forth in this constitution; and until the first apportionment shall be made as herein directed, the apportionment of senators and representatives among the several districts and counties in this State shall remain as at present fixed by law: Provided, That on the first Monday in August, 1850, all senators shall go out of office, and on that day an election for senators and representatives shall be held throughout the State, and those then elected shall hold their offices for one year, and no longer: Provided, further, That at the elections to be held in the year 1850, that provision in this constitution which requires voters to vote in the precinct within which they reside shall not apply.

Sec. 5. All recognizances heretofore taken, or which may be taken before the organization of the judicial department under this constitution, shall remain as valid as though this constitution had not been adopted, and may be prosecuted in the name of the commonwealth. All criminal prosecutions and penal actions which have arisen or may arise before the reorganization of the judicial department under this constitution, may be prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of the commonwealth.

We, the representatives of the freemen of Kentucky, in convention assembled, in their name, and by the authority of the commonwealth of Kentucky, and in virtue of the powers vested in us, as delegates from the counties respectively affixed to our names, do ordain and proclaim the foregoing to be the constitution of the commonwealth of Kentucky from and after this day.

Done at Frankfort this eleventh day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty, and in the fifty-ninth year of the commonwealth.

James Guthrie, President.
Tho. S. Helm, Secretary.
Tho. D. Tilford, Assistant Secretary.
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CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY—1890*

PREAMBLE

We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

BILL OF RIGHTS

That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, We Declare that:

Section 1. All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned:

  • First: The right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties.
  • Second: The right of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences.
  • Third: The right of seeking and pursuing their safety and happiness.
  • Fourth: The right of freely communicating their thoughts and opinions.
  • Fifth: The right of acquiring and protecting property.
  • Sixth: The right of assembling together in a peaceable manner for their common good, and of applying to those invested with the power of government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.
  • Seventh: The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.

Sec. 2. Absolute and arbitrary power over the lives, liberty and property of freemen exists nowhere in a republic, not even in the largest majority.

Sec. 3. All men, when they form a social compact, are equal; and no grant of exclusive, separate public emoluments or privileges shall be made to any man or set of men, except in consideration of public services; but no property shall be exempt from taxation except as provided in this Constitution; and every grant of a franchise, privilege or exemption, shall remain subject to revocation, alteration or amendment.

Sec. 4. All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety, happiness and the protection of property. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may deem proper.

Sec. 5. No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be Edition: current; Page: [1317] compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister or religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Sec. 6. All elections shall be free and equal.

Sec. 7. The ancient mode of trial by jury shall be held sacred, and the right thereof remain inviolate, subject to such modifications as may be authorized by this Constitution.

Sec. 8. Printing presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the General Assembly or any branch of government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. Every person may freely and fully speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Sec. 9. In prosecutions for the publication of papers investigating the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libel the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

Sec. 10. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from unreasonable search and seizure; and no warrant shall issue to search any place, or seize any person or thing, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.

Sec. 11. In all criminal prosecutions the accused has the right to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor. He can not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty or property, unless by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land; and in prosecutions by indictment or information, he shall have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; but the General Assembly may provide by a general law for a change of venue in such prosecutions for both the defendant and the Commonwealth, the change to be made to the most convenient county in which a fair trial can be obtained.

Sec. 12. No person, for an indictable offense, shall be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger, or by leave of court for oppression or misdemeanor in office.

Sec. 13. No person shall, for the same offense, be twice put in jeopardy of his life or limb, nor shall any man’s property be taken or applied to public use without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being previously made to him.

Sec. 14. All courts shall be open and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial or delay.

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Sec. 15. No power to suspend laws shall be exercised, unless by the General Assembly or its authority.

Sec. 16. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Sec. 17. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishment inflicted.

Sec. 18. The person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his creditors in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 19. No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be enacted.

Sec. 20. No person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the General Assembly, and no attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor, except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate to the Commonwealth.

Sec. 21. The estate of such persons as shall destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in cases of natural death; and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.

Sec. 22. No standing army shall, in time of peace, be maintained without the consent of the General Assembly; and the military shall, in all cases and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power; nor shall any soldier, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, except in a manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 23. The General Assembly shall not grant any title of nobility or hereditary distinction, nor create any office, the appointment of which shall be for a longer time than a term of years.

Sec. 24. Emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.

Sec. 25. Slavery and involuntary servitude in this State are forbidden, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

Sec. 26. To guard against transgression of the high powers which we have delegated, We Declare that every thing in this Bill of Rights is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this Constitution, shall be void.

DISTRIBUTION OF THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT

Sec. 27. The powers of the government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them be confined 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.

Sec. 28. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

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LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Sec. 29. The legislative power shall be vested in a House of Representatives and a Senate, which, together, shall be styled the “General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Sec. 30. Members of the House of Representatives and Senators elected at the August election in one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one, and Senators then holding over, shall continue in office until and including the last day of December, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-three. Thereafter the term of office of Representatives and Senators shall begin upon the first day of January of the year succeeding their election.

Sec. 31. At the general election in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-three one Senator shall be elected in each Senatorial District, and one Representative in each Representative District. The Senators then elected shall hold their offices, one-half for two years and one-half for four years, as shall be determined by lot at the first session of the General Assembly after their election, and the Representatives shall hold their offices for two years. Every two years thereafter there shall be elected for four years one Senator in each Senatorial District in which the term of his predecessor in office will then expire, and in every Representative District one Representative for two years.

Sec. 32. No person shall be a Representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of Kentucky, has not attained the age of twenty-four years, and who has not resided in this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county, town or city for which he may be chosen. No person shall be a Senator who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of Kentucky, has not attained the age of thirty years, and has not resided in this State six years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district for which he may be chosen.

Sec. 33. The first General Assembly after the adoption of this Constitution shall divide the State into thirty-eight Senatorial districts, and one hundred representative districts, as nearly equal in population as may be without dividing any county, except where a county may include more than one district, which districts shall constitute the Senatorial and Representative districts for ten years. Not more than two counties shall be joined together to form a Representative district: Provided, In doing so the principle requiring every district to be as nearly equal in population as may be shall not be violated. At the expiration of that time, the General Assembly shall then, and every ten years thereafter, redistrict the State according to this rule, and for the purposes expressed in this section. If, in making said districts, inequality of population should be unavoidable, any advantage resulting therefrom shall be given to districts having the largest territory. No part of a county shall be added to another county to make a district, and the counties forming a district shall be contiguous.

Sec. 34. The House of Representatives shall choose its Speaker and other officers, and the Senate shall have power to choose its officers biennially.

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Sec. 35. The number of Representatives shall be one hundred, and the number of Senators thirty-eight.

Sec. 36. The first General Assembly, the members of which shall be elected under this Constitution, shall meet on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January, eighteen hundred and ninety-four, and thereafter the General assembly shall meet on the same day every second year, and its sessions shall be held at the seat of government, except in case of war, insurrection or pestilence, when it may, by proclamation of the Governor, assemble, for the time being, elsewhere.

Sec. 37. Not less than a majority of the members of each House of the General Assembly shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 38. Each House of the General Assembly shall judge of the qualifications, elections and returns of its members, but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Sec. 39. Each House of the General Assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish a member for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause, and may punish for contempt any person who refuses to attend as a witness, or to bring any paper proper to be used as evidence before the General Assembly, or either House thereof, or a Committee of either, or to testify concerning any matter which may be a proper subject of inquiry by the General Assembly, or offers or gives a bribe to a member of the General Assembly, or attempts by other corrupt means or device to control or influence a member to cast his vote or withhold the same. The punishment and mode of proceeding for contempt in such cases shall be prescribed by law, but the term of imprisonment in any such case shall not extend beyond the session of the General Assembly.

Sec. 40. Each House of the General Assembly shall keep and publish daily a journal of its proceedings; and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of the members elected, be entered on the journal.

Sec. 41. Neither House, during the session of the General Assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which it may be sitting.

Sec. 42. The members of the General Assembly shall severally receive from the State Treasury compensation for their services, which shall be five dollars a day during their attendance on, and fifteen cents per mile for the necessary travel in going to and returning from, the sessions of their respective Houses: Provided, The same may be changed by law; but no change shall take effect during the session at which it is made; nor shall a session of the General Assembly continue beyond sixty legislative days, exclusive of Sundays and legal holidays; but this limitation as to length of session shall not apply to the first session held under this Constitution, nor to the Senate when sitting as a court of impeachment. A legislative day shall be construed to mean a calendar day.

Sec. 43. The members of the General Assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged Edition: current; Page: [1321] from arrest during their attendance on the sessions 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.

Sec. 44. No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit in this Commonwealth, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the said term, except to such offices as may be filled by the election of the people.

Sec. 45. No person who may have been a collector of taxes or public moneys for the Commonwealth, or for any county, city, town or district, or the assistant or deputy of such collector, shall be eligible to the General Assembly, unless he shall have obtained a quietus six months before the election for the amount of such collection, and for all public moneys for which he may have been responsible.

Sec. 46. No bill shall be considered for final passage, unless the same has been reported by a Committee and printed for the use of the members. Every bill shall be read at length on three different days in each House; but the second and third readings may be dispensed with by a majority of all the members elected to the House in which the bill is pending. But whenever a Committee refuses or fails to report a bill submitted to it in a reasonable time, the same may be called up by any member, and be considered in the same manner it would have been considered if it had been reported. No bill shall become a law unless, on its final passage, it receives the votes of at least two-fifths of the members elected to each House, and a majority of the members voting, the vote to be taken by yeas and nays and entered in the journal: Provided, Any act or resolution for the appropriation of money or the creation of debt shall, on its final passage, receive the votes of a majority of all the members elected to each House.

Sec. 47. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose amendments thereto; Provided, No new matter shall be introduced, under color of amendment, which does not relate to raising revenue.

Sec. 48. The General Assembly shall have no power to enact laws to diminish the resources of the Sinking Fund as now established by law until the debt of the Commonwealth be paid, but may enact laws to increase them; and the whole resources of said fund, from year to year, shall be sacredly set apart and applied to the payment of the interest and principal of the State debt, and to no other use or purpose, until the whole debt of the State is fully satisfied.

Sec. 49. The General Assembly may contract debts to meet casual deficits or failures in the revenue; but such debts, direct or contingent, singly or in the aggregate, shall not at any time exceed five hundred thousand dollars, and the moneys arising from loans creating such debts shall be applied only to the purpose or purposes for which they were obtained, or to repay such debts: Provided, The General Assembly may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities are threatened, provide for the public defense.

Sec. 50. No act of the General Assembly shall authorize any debt to be contracted on behalf of the Commonwealth except for the purposes Edition: current; Page: [1322] mentioned in section forty-nine, unless provision be made therein to levy and collect an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest stipulated, and to discharge the debt within thirty years; nor shall such act take effect until it shall have been submitted to the people at a general election, and shall have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it: Provided, The General Assembly may contract debts by borrowing money to pay any part of the debt of the State, without submission to the people, and without making provision in the act authorizing the same for a tax to discharge the debt so contracted, or the interest thereon.

Sec. 51. No law enacted by the General Assembly shall relate to more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title, and no law shall be revised, amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred 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.

Sec. 52. The General Assembly shall have no power to release, extinguish, or authorize the releasing or extinguishing, in whole or in part, the indebtedness or liability of any corporation or individual to this Commonwealth, or to any county or municipality thereof.

Sec. 53. The General Assembly shall provide by law for monthly investigations into the accounts of the Treasurer and Auditor of Public Accounts, and the result of these investigations shall be reported to the Governor, and these reports shall be semi-annually published in two newspapers of general circulation in the State. The reports received by the Governor shall, at the beginning of each session, be transmitted by him to the General Assembly for scrutiny and appropriate action.

Sec. 54. The General Assembly shall have no power to limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death, or for injuries to person or property.

Sec. 55. No act, except general appropriation bills, shall become a law until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was passed, except in cases of emergency, when, by the concurrence of a majority of the members elected to each House of the General Assembly, by a yea and nay vote entered upon their journals, an act may become a law when approved by the Governor; but the reasons for the emergency that justifies this action must be set out at length in the journal of each House.

Sec. 56. No bill shall become a law until the same shall have been signed by the presiding officer of each of the two Houses in open session; and before such officer shall have affixed his signature to any bill, he shall suspend all other business, declare that such bill will now be read, and that he will sign the same to the end that it may become a law. The bill shall then be read at length and compared; and, if correctly enrolled, he shall, in presence of the House in open session, and before any other business is entertained, affix his signature, which fact shall be noted in the journal, and the bill immediately sent to the other House. When it reaches the other House, the presiding officer thereof shall immediately suspend all other business announce the reception of the bill, and the same proceeding shall thereupon be observed in every respect as in the House in which it was first signed. And thereupon the Clerk of the latter House shall Edition: current; Page: [1323] immediately present the same to the Governor for his signature and approval.

Sec. 57. A member who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill proposed or pending before the General Assembly, shall disclose the fact to the House of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon upon pain of expulsion.

Sec. 58. The General Assembly shall neither audit nor allow any private claim against the Commonwealth, except for expenses incurred during the session at which the same was allowed; but may appropriate money to pay such claim as shall have been audited and allowed according to law.

LOCAL AND SPECIAL LEGISLATION

Sec. 59. The General Assembly shall not pass local or special acts concerning any of the following subjects, or for any of the following purposes, namely:

  • First: To regulate the jurisdiction, or the practice, or the circuits of courts of justice, or the rights, powers, duties or compensation of the officers thereof; but the practice in circuit courts in continuous session may, by a general law, be made different from the practice of circuit courts held in terms.
  • Second: To regulate the summoning, impaneling or compensation of grand or petit jurors.
  • Third: To provide for changes of venue in civil or criminal causes.
  • Fourth: To regulate the punishment of crimes and misdemeanors, or to remit fines, penalties or forfeitures.
  • Fifth: To regulate the limitation of civil or criminal causes.
  • Sixth: To affect the estate of cestuis que trust, decedents, infants or other persons under disabilities, or to authorize any such persons to sell, lease, encumber or dispose of their property.
  • Seventh: To declare any person of age, or to relieve an infant or feme covert of disability, or to enable him to do acts allowed only to adults not under disabilities.
  • Eighth: To change the law of descent, distribution or succession.
  • Ninth: To authorize the adoption or legitimation of children.
  • Tenth: To grant divorces.
  • Eleventh: To change the name of persons.
  • Twelfth: To give effect to invalid deeds, wills or other instruments.
  • Thirteenth: To legalize, except as against the Commonwealth, the unauthorized or invalid act of any officer or public agent of the Commonwealth, or of any city, county or municipality thereof.
  • Fourteenth: To refund money legally paid into the State Treasury.
  • Fifteenth: To authorize or to regulate the levy, the assessment or the collection of taxes, or to give any indulgence or discharge to any assessor or collector of taxes, or to his sureties.
  • Sixteenth: To authorize the opening, altering, maintaining or vacating roads, highways, streets, alleys, town plats, cemeteries, graveyards, or public grounds not owned by the Commonwealth.
  • Seventeenth: To grant a charter to any corporation, or to amend the charter of any existing corporation; to license companies or persons to own or operate ferries, bridges, roads or turnpikes; to declare streams navigable, or to authorize the construction of booms or dams Edition: current; Page: [1324] therein, or to remove obstructions therefrom; to affect toll-gates, or to regulate tolls; to regulate fencing or the running at large of stock.
  • Eighteenth: To create, increase or decrease fees, percentages or allowances to public officers, or to extend the time for the collection thereof, or to authorize officers to appoint deputies.
  • Nineteenth: To give any person or corporation the right to lay a railroad track or tramway, or to amend existing charters for such purposes.
  • Twentieth: To provide for conducting elections, or for designating the places of voting, or changing the boundaries of wards, precincts or districts, except when new counties may be created.
  • Twenty-first: To regulate the rate of interest.
  • Twenty-second: To authorize the creation, extension, enforcement, impairment or release of liens.
  • Twenty-third: To provide for the protection of game and fish.
  • Twenty-fourth: To regulate labor, trade, mining or manufacturing.
  • Twenty-fifth: To provide for the management of common schools.
  • Twenty-sixth: To locate or change a county seat.
  • Twenty-seventh: To provide a means of taking the sense of the people of any city, town, district, precinct, or county, whether they wish to authorize, regulate or prohibit therein the sale of vinous, spirituous or malt liquors, or alter the liquor laws.
  • Twenty-eighth: Restoring to citizenship persons convicted of infamous crimes.
  • Twenty-ninth: In all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, no special law shall be enacted.

Sec. 60. The General Assembly shall not indirectly enact any special or local act by the repeal in part of a general act, or by exempting from the operation of a general act any city, town, district or county; but laws repealing local or special acts may be enacted. No law shall be enacted granting powers or privileges in any case where the granting of such powers or privileges shall have been provided for by a general law, nor where the Courts have jurisdiction to grant the same or to give the relief asked for. No law, except such as relates to the sale, loan or gift of vinous, spirituous or malt liquors, bridges, turnpikes, or other public roads, public buildings or improvements, fencing, running at large of stock, matters pertaining to common schools, paupers, and the regulation by counties, cities, towns or other municipalities of their local affairs, shall be enacted to take effect upon the approval of any other authority than the General Assembly, unless otherwise expressly provided in this Constitution.

Sec. 61. The General Assembly shall, by general law, provide a means whereby the sense of the people of any county, city, town, district or precinct may be taken, as to whether or not spirituous, vinous or malt liquors shall be sold, bartered or loaned therein, or the sale thereof regulated. But nothing herein shall be construed to interfere with or to repeal any law in force relating to the sale or gift of such liquors. All elections on this question may be held on a day other than the regular election days.

Sec. 62. The style of the laws of this Commonwealth shall be as follows: “Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

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COUNTIES AND COUNTY SEATS

Sec. 63. No new county shall be created by the General Assembly which will reduce the county or counties, or either of them, from which it shall be taken, to less area than four hundred square miles; nor shall any county be formed of less area, nor shall any boundary line thereof pass within less than ten miles of any county seat of the county or counties proposed to be divided. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the General Assembly from abolishing any county.

Sec. 64. No county shall be divided, or have any part stricken therefrom, except in the formation of new counties, without submitting the question to a vote of the people of the county, nor unless the majority of all the legal voters of the county voting on the question shall vote for the same. The county seat of no county as now located, or as may hereafter be located, shall be moved, except upon a vote of two-thirds of those voting; nor shall any new county be established which will reduce any county to less than twelve thousand inhabitants, nor shall any county be created containing a less population.

Sec. 65. There shall be no territory stricken from any county unless a majority of the voters living in such territory shall petition for such division. But the portion so stricken off and added to another county, or formed in whole or in part into a new county, shall be bound for its proportion of the indebtedness of the county from which it has been taken.

IMPEACHMENTS

Sec. 66. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Sec. 67. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be upon oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present.

Sec. 68. The Governor and all civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanors in office; but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit under this Commonwealth; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject and liable to indictment, trial and punishment by law.

THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Officers for the State at Large

Sec. 69. The supreme executive power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate, who shall be styled the “Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Sec. 70. He shall be elected for the term of four years by the qualified voters of the State. The person having the highest number of votes shall be Governor; but if two or more shall be equal and highest in votes, the election shall be determined by lot in such manner as the General Assembly may direct.

Sec. 71. He shall be ineligible for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the term for which he shall have been elected.

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Sec. 72. He shall be at least thirty years of age, and have been a citizen and a resident of Kentucky for at least six years next preceding his election.

Sec. 73. He shall commence the execution of the duties of his office on the fifth Tuesday succeeding his election, and shall continue in the execution thereof until his successor shall have qualified.

Sec. 74. He shall at stated times receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law.

Sec. 75. He shall be Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy of this Commonwealth, and of the militia thereof, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States; but he shall not command personally in the field, unless advised so to do by a resolution of the General Assembly.

Sec. 76. He shall have the power, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, to fill vacancies by granting commissions, which shall expire when such vacancies shall have been filled according to the provisions of this Constitution.

Sec. 77. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, commute sentences, grant reprieves and pardons, except in case of impeachment, and he shall file with each application therefor a statement of the reasons for his decision thereon, which application and statement shall always be open to public inspection. In cases of treason, he shall have power to grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the General Assembly, in which the power of pardoning shall be vested; but he shall have no power to remit the fees of the Clerk, Sheriff, or Commonwealth’s Attorney in penal or criminal cases.

Sec. 78. He may require information in writing from the officers of the Executive Department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sec. 79. He shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly information of the state of the Commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Sec. 80. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat of Government, or at a different place, of that should have become dangerous from an enemy or from contagious diseases. In case of disagreement between the two Houses with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding four months. When he shall convene the General Assembly it shall be by proclamation, stating the subjects to be considered, and no others shall be considered.

Sec. 81. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 82. A Lieutenant-Governor shall be chosen at every regular election for Governor, in the same manner, to continue in office for the same time, and possess the same qualifications as the Governor. He shall be ineligible to the office of Lieutenant-Governor for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the term for which he shall have been elected.

Sec. 83. He shall, by virtue of his office, be President of the Senate, have a right, when in Committee of the Whole, to debate and vote on all subjects, and when the Senate is equally divided, to give the casting vote.

Sec. 84. Should the Governor be impeached and removed from office, die, refuse to qualify, resign, be absent from the State, or be, Edition: current; Page: [1327] from any cause, unable to discharge the duties of his office, the Lieutenant-Governor shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of Governor until another be duly elected and qualified, or the Governor shall return or be able to discharge the duties of his office. On the trial of the Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor shall not act as President of the Senate or take part in the proceedings, but the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals shall preside during the trial.

Sec. 85. A President pro tempore of the Senate shall be elected by each Senate as soon after its organization as possible, the Lieutenant-Governor vacating his seat as President of the Senate until such election shall be made; and as often as there is a vacancy in the office of President pro tempore, another President pro tempore of the Senate shall be elected by the Senate, if in session. And if, during the vacancy of the office of Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor shall be impeached and removed from office, refuse to qualify, resign, die or be absent from the State, the President pro tempore of the Senate shall in like manner administer the government: Provided, Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of Governor before the first two years of the term shall have expired, a new election for Governor shall take place to fill such vacancy.

Sec. 86. The Lieutenant-Governor, or President pro tempore of the Senate, while he acts as President of the Senate, shall receive for his services the same compensation which shall, for the same period, be allowed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and during the time he administers the government as Governor, he shall receive the same compensation which the Governor would have received had he been employed in the duties of his office.

Sec. 87. If the Lieutenant-Governor shall be called upon to administer the government, and shall, while in such administration, resign, die or be absent from the State during the recess of the General Assembly, if there be no President pro tempore of the Senate, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, for the time being, to convene the Senate for the purpose of choosing a President; and until a President is chosen, the Secretary of State shall administer the government. If there be no Secretary of State to perform the duties devolved upon him by this section, or in case that officer be absent from the State, then the Attorney-General, for the time being, shall convene the Senate for the purpose of choosing a President, and shall administer the government until a President is chosen.

Sec. 88. Every bill which shall have passed the two Houses shall be presented to the Governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House in which it originated, which shall enter the objections in full upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, a majority of all the members elected to that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be considered, and if approved by a majority of all the members elected to that House, it shall be a law; but in such case 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 upon the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law Edition: current; Page: [1328] in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall be a law, unless disapproved by him within ten days after the adjournment, in which case his veto message shall be spread upon the register kept by the Secretary of State. The Governor shall have power to disapprove any part or parts of appropriation bills embracing distinct items, and the part or parts disapproved shall not become a law unless reconsidered and passed, as in case of a bill.

Sec. 89. Every order, resolution or vote, in which the concurrence of both Houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, shall be presented to the Governor, and, before it shall take effect, be approved by him; or being disapproved, shall be repassed by a majority of the members elected to both Houses, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in case of a bill.

Sec. 90. Contested elections for Governor and Lieutenant-Governor shall be determined by both Houses of the General Assembly, according to such regulations as may be established by law.

Sec. 91. A Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Register of the Land Office, Commissioner of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics, Secretary of State, Attorney-General and Superintendent of Public Instruction, shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time the Governor is elected, for the term of four years, each of whom shall be at least thirty years of age at the time of his election, and shall have been a resident citizen of the State at least two years next before his election. The duties of all these officers shall be such as may be prescribed by law, and the Secretary of State shall keep a fair register of and attest all the official acts of the Governor, and shall, when required, lay the same and all papers, minutes and vouchers relative thereto before either House of the General Assembly. The officers named in this section shall enter upon the discharge of their duties the first Monday in January after their election, and shall hold their offices until their successors are elected and qualified.

Sec. 92. The Attorney-General shall have been a practicing lawyer eight years before his election.

Sec. 93. The Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics, Attorney-General, Superintendent of Public Instruction and Register of the Land Office shall be ineligible to re-election for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the term for which they shall have been elected. The duties and responsibilities of these officers shall be prescribed by law, and all fees collected by any of said officers shall be covered into the treasury. Inferior State officers, not specifically provided for in this Constitution, may be appointed or elected, in such manner as may be prescribed by law, for a term not exceeding four years, and until their successors are appointed or elected and qualified.

Sec. 94. The General Assembly may provide for the abolishment of the office of the Register of the Land Office, to take effect at the end of any term, and shall provide by law for the custody and preservation of the papers and records of said office, if the same be abolished.

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Sec. 95. The election under this Constitution for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Register of the Land Office, Attorney-General, Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Commissioner of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics, shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, eighteen hundred and ninety-five, and the same day every four years thereafter.

Sec. 96. All the officers mentioned in section ninety-five shall be paid for their services by salary, and not otherwise.

Officers for Districts and Counties

Sec. 97. At the general election in eighteen hundred and ninety-two there shall be elected in each circuit court district a Commonwealth’s Attorney, and in each county a clerk of the circuit court, who shall enter upon the discharge of the duties of their respective offices on the first Monday in January after their election, and shall hold their offices five years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. In the year eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, and every six years thereafter, there shall be an election in each county for a circuit court clerk, and for a Commonwealth’s Attorney in each circuit court district, unless that office be abolished, who shall hold their respective offices for six years from the first Monday in January after their election, and until the election and qualification of their successors.

Sec. 98. The compensation of the Commonwealth’s Attorney shall be by salary and such percentage of fines and forfeitures as may be fixed by law, and such salary shall be uniform in so far as the same shall be paid out of the State Treasury, and not to exceed the sum of five hundred dollars per annum; but any county may make additional compensation, to be paid by said county. Should any percentage of fines and forfeitures be allowed by law, it shall not be paid except upon such proportion of the fines and forfeitures as have been collected and paid into the State Treasury, and not until so collected and paid.

Sec. 99. There shall be elected in eighteen hundred and ninety-four in each county a Judge of the County Court, a County Court Clerk, a County Attorney, Sheriff, Jailer, Coroner, Surveyor and Assessor, and in each Justice’s District one Justice of the Peace and one Constable, who shall enter upon the discharge of the duties of their offices on the first Monday in January after their election, and continue in office three years, and until the election and qualification of their successors; and in eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, and every four years thereafter, there shall be an election in each county of the officers mentioned, who shall hold their offices four years (from the first Monday in January after their election), and until the election and qualification of their successors. The first election of Sheriffs under this Constitution shall be held in eighteen hundred and ninety-two, and the Sheriffs then elected shall hold their offices two years, and until the election and qualification of their successors. The Sheriffs now in office for their first term shall be eligible to re-election in eighteen hundred and ninety-two, and those elected in eighteen hundred and ninety-two for the first term shall be eligible Edition: current; Page: [1330] to re-election in eighteen hundred and ninety-four, but thereafter no Sheriff shall be eligible to re-election or to act as deputy for the succeeding term.

Sec. 100. No person shall be eligible to the offices mentioned in sections ninety-seven and ninety-nine who is not at the time of his election twenty-four years of age (except Clerks of County and Circuit Courts, who shall be twenty-one years of age), a citizen of Kentucky, and who has not resided in the State two years, and one year next preceding his election in the county and district in which he is a candidate. No person shall be eligible to the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney unless he shall have been a licensed practicing lawyer four years. No person shall be eligible to the office of County Attorney unless he shall have been a licensed practicing lawyer two years. No person shall be eligible to the office of Clerk unless he shall have procured from a Judge of the Court of Appeals, or a Judge of a Circuit Court, a certificate that he has been examined by the Clerk of his Court under his supervision, and that he is qualified for the office for which he is a candidate.

Sec. 101. Constables shall possess the same qualifications as Sheriffs, and their jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the counties in which they reside. Constables now in office shall continue in office until their successors are elected and qualified.

Sec. 102. When a new county shall be created, officers for the same, to serve until the next regular election, shall be elected or appointed in such way and at such times as the General Assembly may prescribe.

Sec. 103. The Judges of County Courts, Clerks, Sheriffs, Surveyors, Coroners, Jailers, Constables, and such other officers as the General Assembly may, from time to time, require, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, and as often thereafter as may be deemed proper, give such bond and security as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 104. The General Assembly may abolish the office of Assessor and provide that the assessment of property shall be made by other officers; but it shall have power to re-establish the office of Assessor and prescribe his duties. No person shall be eligible to the office of Assessor two consecutive terms.

Sec. 105. The General Assembly may, at any time, consolidate the offices of Jailer and Sheriff in any county or counties, as it shall deem most expedient; but in the event such consolidation be made, the office of Sheriff shall be retained, and the Sheriff shall be required to perform the duties of Jailer.

Sec. 106. The fees of county officers shall be regulated by law. In counties or cities having a population of seventy-five thousand or more, the Clerks of the respective courts thereof (except the Clerk of the City Court), the Marshals, the Sheriffs and the Jailers, shall be paid out of the State Treasury, by salary to be fixed by law, the salaries of said officers and of their deputies and necessary office expenses not to exceed seventy-five per centum of the fees collected by said officers, respectively, and paid into the Treasury.

Sec. 107. The General Assembly may provide for the election or appointment, for a term not exceeding four years, of such other county or district ministerial and executive officers as may, from time to time, be necessary.

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Sec. 108. The General Assembly may, at any time after the expiration of six years from the adoption of this Constitution, abolish the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney, to take effect upon the expiration of the terms of the incumbents, in which event the duties of said office shall be discharged by the County Attorneys.

THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

Sec. 109. The judicial power of the Commonwealth, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in the Senate when sitting as a court of impeachment, and one Supreme Court (to be styled the Court of Appeals) and the courts established by this Constitution.

Court of Appeals

Sec. 110. The Court of Appeals shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be co-extensive with the State, under such restrictions and regulations not repugnant to this Constitution, as may from time to time be prescribed by law. Said court shall have power to issue such writs as may be necessary to give it a general control of inferior jurisdictions.

Sec. 111. The Court of Appeals shall be held at the seat of government; but if that shall become dangerous, in case of war, insurrection or pestilence, it may adjourn to meet and transact its business at such other place in the State as it may deem expedient for the time being.

Sec. 112. The Judges of the Court of Appeals shall severally hold their offices for the term of eight years, commencing on the first Monday in January next succeeding their respective elections, and until their several successors are qualified, subject to the conditions hereinafter prescribed. For any reasonable cause the Governor shall remove them, or any one or more of them, on the address of two-thirds of each House of the General Assembly. The cause or causes for which said removal shall be required shall be stated at length in such address and in the journal of each House. They shall at stated times receive for their services an adequate compensation, to be fixed by law.

Sec. 113. The Court of Appeals shall, after eighteen hundred and ninety-four, consist of not less than five nor more than seven Judges. They shall, severally, by virtue of their office, be conservators of the peace throughout the State, and shall be commissioned by the Governor.

Sec. 114. No person shall be eligible to election as a Judge of the Court of Appeals who is not a citizen of Kentucky and has not resided in this State five years and in the district in which he is elected two years next preceding his election, and who is less than thirty-five years of age, and has not been a practicing lawyer eight years, or whose services upon the bench of a Circuit Court or court of similar jurisdiction, when added to the time he may have practiced law, shall not be equal to eight years.

Sec. 115. The present Judges of the Court of Appeals shall hold their offices until their respective terms expire, and until their several successors shall be qualified; and at the regular election next preceding the expiration of the term of each of the present Judges, his Edition: current; Page: [1332] successor shall be elected. The General Assembly shall, before the regular election in eighteen hundred and ninety-four, provide for the election of such Judges of the Court of Appeals, not less than five nor exceeding seven, as may be necessary; and if less than seven Judges be provided for, the General Assembly may, at any time, increase the number to seven.

Sec. 116. The Judges of the Court of Appeals shall be elected by districts. The General Assembly shall, before the regular election in eighteen hundred and ninety-four, divide the State, by counties, into as many districts, as nearly equal in population and as compact in form as possible, as it may provide shall be the number of Judges of the Court of Appeals; and it may, every ten years thereafter, or when the number of Judges requires it, redistrict the State in like manner. Upon the creation of new or additional districts, the General Assembly shall designate the year in which the first election for a Judge of the Court of Appeals shall be held in each district, so that not more than the number of Judges provided for shall be elected, and that no Judge may be deprived of his office until the expiration of the term for which he was elected.

Sec. 117. A majority of the Judges of the Court of Appeals shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but in the event as many as two decline, on account of interest or for other reason, to preside in the trial of any cause, the Governor, on that fact being certified to him by the Chief Justice, shall appoint to try the particular cause a sufficient number of Judges to constitute a full Court. The Judges so appointed shall possess the qualifications prescribed for Judges of the Court of Appeals, and receive the same compensation proportioned to the length of service.

Sec. 118. The Judge longest in commission as Judge of the Court of Appeals shall be Chief Justice, and if the term of service of two or more Judges be the same, they shall determine by lot which of their number shall be Chief Justice. The Court shall prescribe by rule that petitions for rehearing shall be considered by a Judge who did not deliver the opinion in the case; and the Court, if composed of seven Judges, shall divide itself into sections for the transaction of business, if, in the judgment of the Court, such arrangement is necessary.

Sec. 119. The Superior Court shall continue until the terms of the present Judges of said Court expire, and upon the expiration of their terms, all causes pending before the Superior Court shall be transferred to the Court of Appeals and be determined by it.

Sec. 120. The present Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall serve until the expiration of the term for which he was elected, and until his successor is elected and qualified. At the election in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-seven there shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State a Clerk of the Court of Appeals, who shall take his office the first Monday in September, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and who shall hold his office until the regular election in nineteen hundred and three, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified. In nineteen hundred and three and thereafter, the Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall be elected at the same time as the Governor for the term of four years; and the said Clerk shall take his office on the first Monday in January following his election Edition: current; Page: [1333] and shall hold his office until his successor is elected and qualified. The Clerk shall be ineligible for the succeeding term.

Sec. 121. No person shall be eligible to the office of Clerk of the Court of Appeals unless he is a citizen of Kentucky, a resident thereof for two years next preceding his election, of the age of twenty-one years, and have a certificate from a Judge of the Court of Appeals that he has been examined by him, or by the Clerk of his Court under his supervision, and that he is qualified for the office.

Sec. 122. Should a vacancy occur in the office of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, or should the Clerk be under charges, the Court of Appeals shall have power to appoint a Clerk until the vacancy be filled as provided in this Constitution, or until the Clerk be acquitted.

Sec. 123. The style of process shall be, “The Commonwealth of Kentucky.” All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the “Commonwealth of Kentucky,” and conclude against the peace and dignity of the same.

Sec. 124. The Clerks of the Court of Appeals, Circuit and County Courts, shall be removable from office by the Court of Appeals, upon information and good cause shown. The Court shall be judge of the facts as well as the law. Two-thirds of the members present must concur in the sentence.

Circuit Courts

Sec. 125. A Circuit Court shall be established in each county now existing, or which may hereafter be created, in this Commonwealth.

Sec. 126. The jurisdiction of said Court shall be and remain as now established, hereby giving to the General Assembly the power to change it.

Sec. 127. The right to appeal or sue out a writ of error shall remain as it now exists until altered by law, hereby giving to the General Assembly the power to change or modify said right.

Sec. 128. At its first session after the adoption of this Constitution, the General Assembly, having due regard to territory, business and population, shall divide the State into a sufficient number of judicial districts to carry into effect the provisions of this Constitution concerning Circuit Courts. In making such apportionment no county shall be divided, and the number of said districts, excluding those in counties having a population of one hundred and fifty thousand, shall not exceed one district for each sixty thousand of the population of the entire State.

Sec. 129. The General Assembly shall, at the same time the judicial districts are laid off, direct elections to be held in each district to elect a judge therein. The first election of judges of the Circuit Courts under this Constitution shall take place at the annual election in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-two, and the judges then elected shall enter upon the discharge of the duties of their respective offices on the first Monday in January after their election, and hold their offices five years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. At the general election in eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, and every six years thereafter, there shall be an election for Judges of the circuit courts, who shall hold their offices for six years from the first Monday in January succeeding their election. They shall be commissioned by the Governor, and continue in office until their successors Edition: current; Page: [1334] shall have been qualified, but shall be removable in the same manner as the Judges of the Court of Appeals. The removal of a Judge from his district shall vacate his office.

Sec. 130. No person shall be eligible as Judge of the circuit court who is less than thirty-five years of age when elected, who is not a citizen of Kentucky, and a resident of the district in which he may be a candidate two years next preceding his election, and who has not been a practicing lawyer eight years.

Sec. 131. There shall be at least three regular terms of Circuit Court held in each county every year.

Sec. 132. The General Assembly, when deemed necessary, may establish additional districts; but the whole number of districts, exclusive of counties having a population of one hundred and fifty thousand, shall not exceed at any time one for every sixty thousand of population of the State according to the last enumeration.

Sec. 133. The Judges of the Circuit Court shall, at stated times, receive for their services an adequate compensation to be fixed by law, which shall be equal and uniform throughout the State, so far as the same shall be paid out of the State Treasury.

Sec. 134. The Judicial Districts of the State shall not be changed except at the first session after an enumeration, unless upon the establishment of a new district.

Sec. 135. No Courts, save those provided for in this Constitution, shall be established.

Sec. 136. The General Assembly shall provide by law for holding Circuit Courts when, from any cause, the Judge shall fail to attend, or, if in attendance, can not properly preside.

Sec. 137. Each county having a population of one hundred and fifty thousand or over, shall constitute a district, which shall be entitled to four Judges. Additional Judges for said district may, from time to time, be authorized by the General Assembly, but not to exceed one Judge for each increase of forty thousand of population in said county, to be ascertained by the last enumeration. Each of the Judges in such a district shall hold a separate court, except when a general term may be held for the purpose of making rules of court, or as may be required by law: Provided, No general term shall have power to review any order, decision or proceeding of any branch of the court in said district made in separate term. There shall be one Clerk for such district who shall be known as the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Criminal causes shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of some one branch of said court, and all other litigation in said district, of which the Circuit Court may have jurisdiction, shall be distributed as equally as may be between the other branches thereof, in accordance with the rules of the court made in general term or as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 138. Each county having a city of twenty thousand inhabitants, and a population, including said city, of forty thousand or more, may constitute a district, and when its population reaches seventy-five thousand, the General Assembly may provide that it shall have an additional Judge, and such district may have a Judge for each additional fifty thousand population above one hundred thousand. And in such counties the General Assembly shall, by proper laws, direct in what manner the court shall be held and the business therein conducted.

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Quarterly Courts

Sec. 139. There shall be established in each county now existing, or which may be hereafter created, in this State, a Court, to be styled the Quarterly Court, the jurisdiction of which shall be uniform throughout the State, and shall be regulated by a general law, and, until changed, shall be the same as that now vested by law in the Quarterly Courts of this Commonwealth. The Judges of the County Court shall be the Judges of the Quarterly Courts.

County Courts

Sec. 140. There shall be established in each county now existing, or which may be hereafter created, in this State, a Court to be styled the County Court, to consist of a Judge, who shall be a conservator of the peace, and shall receive such compensation for his services as may be prescribed by law. He shall be commissioned by the Governor, and shall vacate his office by removal from the county in which he may have been elected.

Sec. 141. The jurisdiction of the County Court shall be uniform throughout the State, and shall be regulated by general law, and, until changed, shall be the same as now vested in the County Courts of this State by law.

Justices’ Courts

Sec. 142. Each county now existing, or which may hereafter be created, in this State, shall be laid off into districts in such manner as the General Assembly may direct; but no county shall have less than three nor more than eight districts, in each of which districts one Justice of the Peace shall be elected as provided in section ninety-nine. The General Assembly shall make provisions for regulating the number of said districts from time to time within the limits herein prescribed, and for fixing the boundaries thereof. The jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace shall be co-extensive with the county, and shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. Justices of the Peace shall be conservators of the peace. They shall be commissioned by the Governor, and shall vacate their offices by removal from the districts, respectively, in which they may have been elected.

Police Courts

Sec. 143. A Police Court may be established in each city and town in this State, with jurisdiction in cases of violation of municipal ordinances and by-laws occurring within the corporate limits of the city or town in which it is established, and such criminal jurisdiction within the said limits as Justices of the Peace have. The said Courts may be authorized to act as examining Courts, but shall have no civil jurisdiction: Provided, The General Assembly may confer civil jurisdiction on Police Courts in cities and towns of the fourth and fifth classes and in towns of the sixth class having a population of two hundred and fifty or more, which jurisdiction shall be uniform throughout the State, and not exceed that of Justices of the Peace.

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Fiscal Courts

Sec. 144. Counties shall have a Fiscal Court, which may consist of the Judge of the County Court and the Justices of the Peace, in which Court the Judge of the County Court shall preside, if present; or a county may have three Commissioners, to be elected from the county at large, who, together with the Judge of the County Court, shall constitute the Fiscal Court. A majority of the members of said Court shall constitute a Court for the transaction of business. But where, for county governmental purposes, a city is by law separated from the remainder of the county, such Commissioners may be elected from the part of the county outside of such city.

SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS

Sec. 145. Every male citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one years, who has resided in the State one year, and in the county six months, and in the precinct in which he offers to vote sixty days, next preceding the election, shall be a voter in said precinct and not elsewhere; but the following persons are excepted and shall not have the right to vote:

  • First: Persons convicted in any court of competent jurisdiction of treason, or felony, or bribery in an election, or of such high misdemeanor as the General Assembly may declare shall operate as an exclusion from the right of suffrage; but persons hereby excluded may be restored to their civil rights by Executive pardon.
  • Second: Persons, who, at the time of the election, are in confinement under the judgment of a court for some penal offense.
  • Third: Idiots and insane persons.

Sec. 146. No person in the military, naval or marine service of the United States shall be deemed a resident of this State by reason of being stationed within the same.

Sec. 147. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the registration of all persons entitled to vote in cities and towns having a population of five thousand or more; and may provide by general law for the registration of other voters in the State. Where registration is required, only persons registered shall have the right to vote. The mode of registration shall be prescribed by the General Assembly. In all elections by persons in a representative capacity the voting shall be viva voce and made a matter of record; but all elections by the people shall be by secret official ballot, furnished by public authority to the voters at the polls, and marked by each voter in private at the polls, and then and there deposited. The word “Elections” in this section includes the decision of questions submitted to the voters, as well as the choice of officers by them. The first General Assembly held after the adoption of this Constitution shall pass all necessary laws to enforce this provision, and shall provide that persons illiterate, blind, or in any way disabled, may have their ballots marked as herein required.

Sec. 148. Not more than one election each year shall be held in this State or in any city, town, district, or county thereof, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution. All elections of State, county, city, town or district officers shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November; but no officer of any city, town, or Edition: current; Page: [1337] county, or of any subdivision thereof, except members of municipal legislative boards, shall be elected in the same year in which members of the House of Representatives of the United States are elected. District or State Officers, including members of the General Assembly, may be elected in the same year in which members of the House of Representatives of the United States are elected. All elections by the people shall be between the hours of six o’clock A. M. and seven o’clock P. M., but the General Assembly may change said hours, and all officers of any election shall be residents and voters in the precinct in which they act. The General Assembly shall provide by law that all employers shall allow employees, under reasonable regulations, at least four hours on election days, in which to cast their votes.

Sec. 149. Voters, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, or violation of the election laws, shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and while they are going to and returning therefrom.

Sec. 150. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit for the term for which he shall have been elected who shall be convicted of having given, or consented to the giving, offer or promise of any money or other thing of value, to procure his election, or to influence the vote of any voter at such election; and in any corporation shall, directly or indirectly, offer, promise or give, or shall authorize, directly or indirectly, any person to offer, promise or give any money or any thing of value to influence the result of any election in this State, or the vote of any voter authorized to vote therein, or who shall afterward reimburse or compensate, in any manner whatever, any person who shall have offered, promised or given any money or other thing of value to influence the result of any election or the vote of any such voter, such corporation if organized under the laws of this Commonwealth, shall, on conviction thereof, forfeit its charter and all rights, privileges and immunities thereunder; and if chartered by another State and doing business in this State, whether by license, or upon mere sufferance, such corporation upon conviction of either of the offenses aforesaid, shall forfeit all right to carry on any buisness in this State; and it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide for the enforcement of the provisions of this section. All persons shall be excluded from office who have been, or shall hereafter be, convicted of a felon, or of such high misdemeanor as may be prescribed by law, but such disability may be removed by pardon of the Governor. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon, from power, bribery, tumult or other improper practices.

Sec. 151. The General Assembly shall provide suitable means for depriving of office any person who, to procure his nomination or election, has, in his canvass or election, been guilty of any unlawful use of money, or other thing of value, or has been guilty of fraud, intimidation, bribery, or any other corrupt practice, and he shall be held responsible for acts done by others with his authority, or ratified by him.

Sec. 152. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, vacancies in all elective offices shall be filled by election or appointment, as follows: If the unexpired term will end at the next succeeding annual Edition: current; Page: [1338] election at which either city, town, county, district, or State officers are to be elected, the office shall be filled by appointment for the remainder of the term. If the unexpired term will not end at the next succeeding annual election at which either city, town, county, district, or State officers are to be elected, and if three months intervene before said succeeding annual election at which either city, town, county, district, or State officers are to be elected, the office shall be filled by appointment until said election, and then said vacancy shall be filled by election for the remainder of the term. If three months do not intervene between the happening of said vacancy and the next succeeding election at which city, town, county, district or State officers are to be elected, the office shall be filled by appointment until the second succeeding annual election at which city, town, county, district or State officers are to be elected; and then, if any part of the term remains unexpired, the office shall be filled by election until the regular time for the election of officers to fill said offices. Vacancies in all offices for the State at large, or for districts larger than a county, shall be filled by appointment of the Governor; all other appointments shall be made as may be prescribed by law. No person shall ever be appointed a member of the General Assembly, but vacancies therein may be filled at a special election, in such manner as may be provided by law.

Sec. 153. Except as otherwise herein expressly provided, the General Assembly shall have power to provide by general law for the manner of voting, for ascertaining the result of elections and making due returns thereof, for issuing certificates or commissions to all persons entitled thereto, and for the trial of contested elections.

Sec. 154. The General Assembly shall prescribe such laws as may be necessary for the restriction or prohibition of the sale or gift of spirituous, vinous or malt liquors on election days.

Sec. 155. The provisions of sections one hundred and forty-five to one hundred and fifty-four, inclusive, shall not apply to the election of school trustees and other common school district elections. Said elections shall be regulated by the General Assembly, except as otherwise provided in this constitution.

Muncipalities.

Sec. 156. The cities and towns of this Commonwealth, for the purposes of their organization and government, shall be divided into six classes. The organization and powers of each class shall be defined and provided for by general laws, so that all municipal corporations of the same class shall possess the same powers and be subject to the same restrictions. To the first class shall belong cities with a population of one hundred thousand or more; to the second class, cities with a population of twenty thousand or more, and less than one hundred thousand; to the third class, cities with a population of eight thousand or more, and less than twenty thousand; to the fourth class, cities and towns with a population of three thousand or more, and less than eight thousand; to the fifth class, cities and towns with a population of one thousand or more, and less than three thousand; to the sixth class, towns with a population of less than one thousand. The General Assembly shall assign the cities and towns of the Commonwealth to the classes to which they respectively belong, and Edition: current; Page: [1339] change assignments made as the population of said cities and towns may increase or decrease, and in the absence of other satisfactory information as to their population, shall be governed by the last preceding Federal census in so doing; but no city or town shall be transferred from one class to another, except in pursuance of a law previously enacted and providing therefor. The General Assembly, by a general law, shall provide how towns may be organized, and enact laws for the government of such towns until the same are assigned to one or the other of the classes above named; but such assignment shall be made at the first session of the General Assembly after the organization of said town or city.

Sec. 157. The tax rate of cities, towns, counties, taxing districts and other municipalities, for other than school purposes, shall not, at any time, exceed the following rates upon the value of the taxable property therein, viz: For all towns or cities having a population of fifteen thousand or more, one dollar and fifty cents on the hundred dollars; for all towns or cities having less than fifteen thousand and not less than ten thousand, one dollar on the hundred dollars; for all towns or cities having less than ten thousand, seventy-five cents on the hundred dollars; and for counties and taxing districts, fifty cents on the hundred dollars; unless it should be necessary to enable such city, town, county, or taxing district to pay the interest on, and provide a sinking fund for the extinction of, indebtedness contracted before the adoption of this Constitution. No county, city, town, taxing district, or other municipality, shall be authorized or permitted to become indebted, in any manner or for any purpose, to an amount exceeding, in any year, the income and revenue provided for such year, without the assent of two-thirds of the voters thereof, voting at an election to be held for that purpose; and any indebtedness contracted in violation of this section shall be void. Nor shall such contract be enforceable by the person with whom made; nor shall such municipality ever be authorized to assume the same.

Sec. 158. The respective cities, towns, counties, taxing districts, and municipalities shall not be authorized or permitted to incur indebtedness to an amount, including existing indebtedness, in the aggregate exceeding the following named maximum percentages on the value of the taxable property therein, to be estimated by the assessment next before the last assessment previous to the incurring of the indebtedness, viz: Cities of the first and second classes, and of the third class having a population exceeding fifteen thousand, ten per centum; cities of the third class having a population of less than fifteen thousand, and cities and towns of the fourth class, five per centum; cities and towns of the fifth and sixth classes, three per centum; and counties, taxing districts and other municipalities, two per centum: Provided, Any city, town, county, taxing district or other municipality may contract an indebtedness in excess of such limitations when the same has been authorized under laws in force prior to the adoption of this Constitution, or when necessary for the completion of and payment for a public improvement undertaken and not completed and paid for at the time of the adoption of this Constitution: And provided further, If, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, the aggregate indebtedness, bonded or floating, of any city, town, county, taxing district or other municipality, Edition: current; Page: [1340] including that which it has been or may be authorized to contract as herein provided, shall exceed the limit herein prescribed, then no such city or town shall be authorized or permitted to increase its indebtedness in an amount exceeding two per centum, and no such county, taxing district or other municipality, in an amount exceeding one per centum, in the aggregate upon the value of the taxable property therein, to be ascertained as herein provided, until the aggregate of its indebtedness shall have been reduced below the limit herein fixed, and thereafter it shall not exceed the limit, unless in case of emergency, the public health or safety should so require. Nothing herein shall prevent the issue of renewal bonds, or bonds to fund the floating indebtedness of any city, town, county, taxing district or other municipality.

Sec. 159. Whenever any county, city, town, taxing district or other municipality is authorized to contract an indebtedness, it shall be required, at the same time, to provide for the collection of an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on said indebtedness, and to create a sinking fund for the payment of the principal thereof, within not more than forty years from the time of contracting the same.

Sec. 160. The Mayor or Chief Executive, Police Judges, members of legislative boards or councils of towns and cities shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof: Provided, The Mayor or Chief Executive and Police Judges of the towns of the fourth, fifth and sixth classes may be appointed or elected as provided by law. The terms of office of Mayors or Chief Executives and Police Judges shall be four years, and until their successors shall be qualified; and of members of legislative boards, two years. When any city of the first or second class is divided into wards or districts, members of legislative boards shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of said city, but so selected that an equal proportion thereof shall reside in each of the said wards or districts; but when in any city of the first, second or third class, there are two legislative boards, the less numerous shall be selected from and elected by the voters at shall be four years, and until their successors shall be qualified. No Mayor or Chief Executive or fiscal officer of any city of the first or second class, after the expiration of the term of office to which he has been elected under this Constitution, shall be eligible for the succeeding term. “Fiscal officer” shall not include an Auditor or Assessor, or any other officer whose chief duty is not the collection or holding of public moneys. The General Assembly shall prescribe the qualifications of all officers of towns and cities, the manner in and causes for which they may be removed from office, and how vacancies in such large of said city; but other officers of towns or cities shall be elected by the qualified voters therein, or appointed by the local authorities thereof, as the General Assembly may, by a general law, provide; but when elected by the voters of a town or city, their terms of office

Sec. 161. The compensation of any city, county, town or municipal officer shall not be changed after his election or appointment, or during his term of office; nor shall the term of any such officer be extended beyond the period for which he may have been elected or appointed.

Sec. 162. No county, city, town or other municipality shall ever be authorized or permitted to pay any claim created against it, under Edition: current; Page: [1341] any agreement or contract made without express authority of law, and all such unauthorized agreements or contracts shall be null and void.

Sec. 163. No street railway, gas, water, steam heating, telephone, or electric light company, within a city or town, shall be permitted or authorized to construct its tracks, lay its pipes or mains, or erect its poles, posts or other apparatus along, over, under or across the streets, alleys or public grounds of a city or town, without the consent of the proper legislative bodies or boards of such city or town being first obtained; but when charters have been heretofore granted conferring such rights, and work has in good faith been begun thereunder, the provisions of this section shall not apply.

Sec. 164. No county, city, town, taxing district or other municipality shall be authorized or permitted to grant any franchise or privilege, or make any contract in reference thereto, for a term exceeding twenty years. Before granting such franchise or privilege for a term of years, such municipality shall first, after due advertisement, receive bids therefor publicly, and award the same to the highest and best bidder; but it shall have the right to reject any or all bids. This section shall not apply to a trunk railway.

Sec. 165. No person shall, at the same time, be a State officer or a deputy officer, or member of the General Assembly, and an officer of any county, city, town, or other municipality, or an employe thereof; and no person shall, at the same time, fill two municipal offices, either in the same or different municipalities, except as may be otherwise provided in this Constitution: but a Notary Public, or an officer of the Militia, shall not be ineligible to hold any other office mentioned in this section.

Sec. 166. All acts of incorporation of cities and towns heretofore granted, and all amendments thereto, except as provided in section one hundred and sixty-seven, shall continue in force under this Constitution, and all City and Police Courts established in any city or town shall remain, with their present powers and jurisdictions, until such time as the General Assembly shall provide by general laws for the government of towns and cities, and the officers and courts thereof; but not longer than four years from and after the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one, within which time the General Assembly shall provide by general laws for the government of towns and cities, and the officers and courts thereof, as provided in this Constitution.

Sec. 167. All city and town officers in this State shall be elected or appointed as provided in the charter of each respective town and city, until the general election in November, 1893, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified, at which time the terms of all such officers shall expire; and at that election, and thereafter as their terms of office may expire, all officers required to be elected in cities and towns by this Constitution, or by general laws enacted in conformity to its provisions, shall be elected at the general elections in November, but only in the odd years, except members of municipal legislative boards, who may be elected either in the even or odd years, or part in the even and part in the odd years: Provided, That the terms of office of Police Judges, who were elected for four years it the August election, eighteen hundred and ninety, shall expire Edition: current; Page: [1342] August thirty-first, eighteen hundred and ninety-four, and the terms of Police Judges elected in November, eighteen hundred and ninety-three, shall begin September first, eighteen hundred and ninety-four, and continue until the November election, eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Sec. 168. No municipal ordinance shall fix a penalty for a violation thereof at less than that imposed by statute for the same offense. A conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same offense.

REVENUE AND TAXATION

Sec. 169. The fiscal year shall commence on the first day of July in each year, unless otherwise provided by law.

Sec. 170. There shall be exempt from taxation public property used for public purposes; places actually used for religious worship, with the grounds attached thereto and used and appurtenant to the house of worship, not exceeding one-half acre in cities or towns, and not exceeding two acres in the country; places of burial not held for private or corporate profit, institutions of purely public charity, and institutions of education not used or employed for gain by any person or corporation, and the income of which is devoted solely to the cause of education; public libraries, their endowments, and the income of such property as is used exclusively for their maintenance; all parsonages or residences owned by any religious society, and occupied as a home, and for no other purpose, by the minister of any religion, with not exceeding one-half acre of ground in towns and cities and two acres of ground in the country appurtenant thereto; household goods and other personal property of a person with a family, not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars in value; crops grown in the year in which the assessment is made, and in the hands of the producer; and all laws exempting or commuting property from taxation other than the property above mentioned shall be void. The General Assembly may authorize any incorporated city or town to exempt manufacturing establishments from municipal taxation, for a period not exceeding five years, as an inducement to their location.

Sec. 171. The General Assembly shall provide by law an annual tax, which, with other resources, shall be sufficient to defray the estimated expenses of the Commonwealth for each fiscal year. Taxes shall be levied and collected for public purposes only. They shall be uniform upon all property subject to taxation within the territorial-limits of the authority levying the tax; and all taxes shall be levied and collected by general laws.

Sec. 172. All property, not exempted from taxation by this Constitution, shall be assessed for taxation at its fair cash value, estimated at the price it would bring at a fair voluntary sale; and any officer, or other person authorized to assess values for taxation, who shall commit any willful error in the performance of his duty, shall be deemed guilty of misfeasance, and upon conviction thereof shall forfeit his office, and be otherwise punished as may be provided by law.

Sec. 173. The receiving, directly or indirectly, by any officer of the Commonwealth, or of any county, city or town, or member or officer Edition: current; Page: [1343] of the General Assembly, of any interest, profit or perquisites arising from the use or loan of public funds in his hands, or moneys to be raised through his agency for State, city, town, district or county purposes shall be deemed a felony. Said offense shall be punished as may be prescribed by law, a part of which punishment shall be disqualification to hold office.

Sec. 174. All property, whether owned by natural persons or corporations, shall be taxed in proportion to its value, unless exempted by this Constitution; and all corporate property shall pay the same rate of taxation paid by individual property. Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prevent the General Assembly from providing for taxation based on incomes, licenses or franchises.

Sec. 175. The power to tax property shall not be surrendered or suspended by any contract or grant to which the Commonwealth shall be a party.

Sec. 176. The Commonwealth shall not assume the debt of any county, municipal corporation or political subdivision of the State, unless such debt shall have been contracted to defend itself in time of war, to repel invasion or to suppress insurrection.

Sec. 177. The credit of the Commonwealth shall not be given, pledged or loaned to any individual, company, corporation or association, municipality, or political subdivision of the State; nor shall the Commonwealth become an owner or stockholder in, nor make donation to, any company, association or corporation; nor shall the Commonwealth construct a railroad or other highway.

Sec. 178. All laws authorizing the borrowing of money by and on behalf of the Commonwealth, county or other political subdivision of the State, shall specify the purpose for which the money is to be used, and the money so borrowed shall be used for no other purpose.

Sec. 179. The General Assembly shall not authorize any county or subdivision thereof, city, town, or incorporated district, to become a stockholder in any company, association or corporation, or to obtain or appropriate money for, or to loan its credit to, any corporation, association or individual, except for the purpose of constructing or maintaining bridges, turnpike roads, or gravel roads: Provided, If any municipal corporation shall offer to the Commonwealth any property or money for locating or building a Capitol, and the Commonwealth accepts such offer, the corporation may comply with the offer.

Sec. 180. The General Assembly may authorize the counties, cities or towns to levy a poll-tax not exceeding one dollar and fifty cents per head. Every act enacted by the General Assembly, and every ordinance and resolution passed by any county, city, town, or municipal board or local legislative body, levying a tax, shall specify distinctly the purpose for which said tax is levied, and no tax levied and collected for one purpose shall ever be devoted to another purpose.

aSec. 181. The General Assembly shall not impose taxes for the purposes of any county, city, town or other municipal corporation, but may, by general laws, confer on the proper authorities thereof, respectively, the power to assess and collect such taxes. The General Assembly may, by general laws only, provide for the payment of Edition: current; Page: [1344] license fees on franchises, stock used for breeding purposes, the various trades, occupations and professions, or a special or excise tax; and may, by general laws, delegate the power to counties, towns, cities, and other municipal corporations, to impose and collect license fees on stock used for breeding purposes, on franchises, trades, occupations and professions.

Sec. 182. Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prevent the General Assembly from providing by law how railroads and railroad property shall be assessed and how taxes thereon shall be collected. And until otherwise provided, the present law on said subject shall remain in force.

EDUCATION

Sec. 183. The General Assembly shall, by appropriate legislation, provide for an efficient system of common schools throughout the State.

Sec. 184. The bond of the Commonwealth issued in favor of the Board of Education for the sum of one million three hundred and twenty-seven thousand dollars shall constitute one bond of the Commonwealth in favor of the Board of Education, and this bond and the seventy-three thousand five hundred dollars of the stock in the Bank of Kentucky, held by the Board of Education, and its proceeds, shall be held inviolate for the purpose of sustaining the system of common schools. The interest and dividends of said fund, together with any sum which may be produced by taxation or otherwise for purposes of common school education, shall be appropriated to the common schools, and to no other purpose. No sum shall be raised or collected for education other than in common schools until the question of taxation is submitted to the legal voters, and the majority of the votes cast at said election shall be in favor of such taxation: Provided, The tax now imposed for educational purposes, and for the endowment and maintenance of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, shall remain until changed by law.

Sec. 185. The General Assembly shall make provision, by law, for the payment of the interest of said school fund, and may provide for the sale of the stock in the Bank of Kentucky; and in case of a sale of all or any part of said stock, the proceeds of sale shall be invested by the Sinking Fund Commissioners in other good interest-bearing stocks or bonds, which shall be subject to sale and reinvestment, from time to time, in like manner, and with the same restrictions, as provided with reference to the sale of the said stock in the Bank of Kentucky.

Sec. 186. Each county in the Commonwealth shall be entitled to its proportion of the school fund on its census of pupil children for each school year; and if the pro rata share of any school district be not called for after the second school year, it shall be covered into the treasury and be placed to the credit of the school fund for general apportionment the following school year. The surplus now due the several counties shall remain a perpetual obligation against the Commonwealth for the benefit of said respective counties, for which the Commonwealth shall execute its bond, bearing interest at the rate of six per centum per annum, payable annually to the counties respectively entitled to the same, and in the proportion to which they are entitled, to be used exclusively in aid of common schools.

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Sec. 187. In distributing the school fund no distinction shall be made on account of race or color, and separate schools for white and colored children shall be maintained.

Sec. 188. So much of any moneys as may be received by the Commonwealth from the United States under the recent act of Congress refunding the direct tax shall become a part of the school fund, and be held as provided in section one hundred and eighty-four; but the General Assembly may authorize the use, by the Commonwealth, of the moneys so received or any part thereof, in which event a bond shall be executed to the Board of Education for the amount so used which bond shall be held on the same terms and conditions, and subject to the provisions of section one hundred and eighty-four, concerning the bond therein referred to.

Sec. 189. No portion of any fund or tax now existing, or that may hereafter be raised or levied for educational purposes, shall be appropriated to, or used by, or in aid of, any church, sectarian or denominational school.

CORPORATIONS

Sec. 190. No corporation in existence at the time of the adoption of this Constitution shall have the benefit of future legislation without first filing in the office of the Secretary of State an acceptance of the provisions of this Constitution.

Sec. 191. All existing charters or grants of special or exclusive privileges, under which a bona fide organization shall not have taken place, and business been commenced in good faith at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall thereafter be void and of no effect.

Sec. 192. No corporation shall engage in business other than that expressly authorized by its charter, or the law under which it may have been or hereafter may be organized, nor shall it hold any real estate, except such as may be proper and necessary for carrying on its legitimate business, for a longer period than five years, under penalty of escheat.

Sec. 193. No corporation shall issue stock or bonds except for an equivalent in money paid or labor done, or property actually received and applied to the purposes for which such corporation was created, and neither labor nor property shall be received in payment of stock or bonds at a greater value than the market price at the time said labor was done or property delivered, and all fictitious increase of stock or indebtedness shall be void.

Sec. 194. All corporations formed under the laws of this State, or carrying on business in this State, shall, at all times, have one or more known places of business in this State, and an authorized agent or agents there, upon whom process may be executed, and the General Assembly shall enact laws to carry into effect the provisions of this section.

Sec. 195. The Commonwealth, in the exercise of the right of eminent domain, shall have and retain the same powers to take the property and franchises of incorporated companies for public use which it has and retains to take the property of individuals, and the exercise of the police powers of this Commonwealth shall never be abridged, nor so construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such manner as to infringe upon the equal rights of individuals.

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Sec. 196. Transportation of freight and passengers by railroad, steamboat or other common carrier, shall be so regulated, by the general law, as to prevent unjust discrimination. No common carrier shall be permitted to contract for relief from its common law liability.

Sec. 197. No railroad, steamboat or other common carrier, under heavy penalty to be fixed by the General Assembly, shall give a free pass or passes, or shall, at reduced rates not common to the public, sell tickets for transportation to any State, district, city, town or county officer, or member of the General Assembly, or Judge; and any State, district, city, town or county officer, or member of the General Assembly, or Judge, who shall accept or use a free pass or passes, or shall receive or use tickets or transportation at reduced rates not common to the public, shall forfeit his office. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to enact laws to enforce the provisions of this section.

Sec. 198. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly from time to time, as necessity may require, to enact such laws as may be necessary to prevent all trusts, pools, combinations or other organizations, from combining to depreciate below its real value any article, or to enhance the cost of any article above its real value.

Sec. 199. Any association or corporation, or the lessees or managers thereof, organized for the purpose, or any individual, shall have the right to construct and maintain lines of telegraph within this State, and to connect the same with other lines, and said companies shall receive and transmit each other’s messages without unreasonable delay or discrimination, and all such companies are hereby declared to be common carriers and subject to legislative control. Telephone companies operating exchanges in different towns or cities, or other public stations, shall receive and transmit each other’s messages without unreasonable delay or discrimination. The General Assembly shall, by general laws of uniform operation, provide reasonable regulations to give full effect to this section. Nothing herein shall be construed to interfere with the rights of cities or towns to arrange and control their streets and alleys, and to designate the places at which, and the manner in which, the wires of such companies shall be erected or laid within the limits of such city or town.

Sec. 200. If any railroad, telegraph, express, or other corporation, organized under the laws of this Commonwealth, shall consolidate by sale or otherwise, with any railroad, telegraph, express or other corporation organized under the laws of any other State, the same shall not thereby become a foreign corporation, but the courts of this Commonwealth shall retain jurisdiction over that part of the corporate property within the limits of this State in all matters which may arise, as if said consolidation had not taken place.

Sec. 201. No railroad, telegraph, telephone, bridge or common carrier company shall consolidate its capital stock, franchises or property, or pool its earnings, in whole or in part, with any other railroad, telegraph, telephone, bridge or common carrier company, owning a parallel or competing line or structure, or acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise, any parallel or competing line or structure, or operate the same; nor shall any railroad company or other common carrier combine or make any contract with the owners of any vessel that leaves or makes port in this State, or with any common carrier, by Edition: current; Page: [1347] which combination or contract the earnings of one doing the carrying are to be shared by the other not doing the carrying.

Sec. 202. No corporation organized outside the limits of this State shall be allowed to transact business within the State on more favorable conditions than are prescribed by law to similar corporations organized under the laws of this Commonwealth.

Sec. 203. No corporation shall lease or alienate any franchise so as to relieve the franchise or property held thereunder from the liabilities of the lessor or grantor, lessee or grantee, contracted or incurred in the operation, use or enjoyment of such franchise, or any of its privileges.

Sec. 204. Any President, Director, Manager, Cashier or other officer of any banking institution or association for the deposit or loan of money, or any individual banker, who shall receive or assent to the receiving of deposits after he shall have knowledge of the fact that such banking institution or association or individual banker is insolvent, shall be individually responsible for such deposits so received, and shall be guilty of felony and subject to such punishment as shall be prescribed by law.

Sec. 205. The General Assembly shall, by general laws, provide for the revocation or forfeiture of the charters of all corporations guilty of abuse or misuse of their corporate powers, privileges or franchises, or whenever said corporations become detrimental to the interest and welfare of the Commonwealth or its citizens.

Sec. 206. All elevators or storehouses, where grain or other property is stored for a compensation, whether the property stored be kept separate or not, are declared to be public warehouses, subject to legislative control, and the General Assembly shall enact laws for the inspection of grain, tobacco and other produce, and for the protection of producers, shippers and receivers of grain, tobacco and other produce.

Sec. 207. In all elections for directors or managers of any corporation, each share-holder shall have the right to cast as many votes in the aggregate as he shall be entitled to vote in said company under its charter, multiplied by the number of directors or managers to be elected at such election; and each share-holder may cast the whole number of votes, either in person or by proxy, for one candidate, or distribute such votes among two or more candidates, and such directors or managers shall not be elected in any other manner.

Sec. 208. The word corporation as used in this Constitution shall embrace joint stock companies and associations.

RAILROADS AND COMMERCE

Sec. 209. A commission is hereby established, to be known as “The Railroad Commission” which shall be composed of three Commissioners. During the session of the General Assembly which convenes in December, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, and before the first day of June, eighteen hundred and ninety-two, the Governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, said three Commissioners, one from each Superior Court District as now established, and said appointees shall take their office at the expiration of the terms of the present incumbents. The Commissioners so Edition: current; Page: [1348] appointed shall continue in office during the term of the present Governor, and until their successors are elected and qualified. At the regular election in eighteen hundred and ninety-five and every four years thereafter the Commissioners shall be elected, one in each Superior Court District, by the qualified voters thereof, at the same time and for the same term as the Governor. No person shall be eligible to said office unless he be, at the time of his election, at least thirty years of age, a citizen of Kentucky two years, and a resident of the district from which is chosen one year, next preceding his election. Any vacancy in this office shall be filled as provided in section one hundred and fifty-two of this Constitution. The General Assembly may from time to time change said districts so as to equalize the population thereof; and may, if deemed expedient, require that the Commissioners be all elected by the qualified voters of the State at large. And if so required, one Commissioner shall be from each District. No person in the service of any railroad or common carrier company or corporation, or of any firm or association conducting business as a common carrier, or in anywise pecuniarily interested in such company, corporation, firm or association, or in the railroad business, or as a common carrier, shall hold such office. The powers and duties of the Railroad Commissioners shall be regulated by law; and until otherwise provided by law, the Commission so created shall have the same powers and jurisdiction, perform the same duties, be subject to the same regulations, and receive the same compensation, as now conferred, prescribed and allowed by law to the existing Railroad Commissioners. The General Assembly may, for cause, address any of said Commissioners out of office by similar proceedings as in the case of Judges of the Court of Appeals; and the General Assembly shall enact laws to prevent the nonfeasance and misfeasance in office of said Commissioners, and to impose proper penalties therefor.

Sec. 210. No corporation engaged in the business of common carrier shall, directly or indirectly, own, manage, operate, or engage in any other business than that of a common carrier, or hold, own, lease or acquire directly or indirectly, mines, factories, or timber, except such as shall be necessary to carry on its business; and the General Assembly shall enact laws to give effect to the provisions of this section.

Sec. 211. No railroad corporation organized under the laws of any other State, or of the United States, and doing business, or proposing to do business, in this State, shall be entitled to the benefit of the right of eminent domain or have power to acquire the right of way or real estate for depot or other uses, until it shall have become a body-corporate pursuant to and in accordance with the laws of this Commonwealth.

Sec. 212. The rolling stock and other movable property belonging to any railroad corporation or company in this State shall be considered personal property, and shall be liable to execution and sale in the same manner as the personal property of individuals. The earnings of any railroad company or corporation, and choses in action, money and personal property of all kinds belonging to it, in the hands, or under the control, of any officer, agent or employe of such corporation or company, shall be subject to process of attachment to the same extent and in the same manner, as like property of Edition: current; Page: [1349] individuals when in the hands or under the control of other persons. Any such earnings, choses in action, money or other personal property may be subjected to the payment of any judgment against such corporation or company, in the same manner and to the same extent as such property of individuals in the hands of third persons.

Sec. 213. All railroad, transfer, belt lines and railway bridge companies, organized under the laws of Kentucky, or operating, maintaining or controlling any railroad, transfer, belt lines or bridges, or doing a railway business in this State, shall receive, transfer, deliver, and switch empty or loaded cars, and shall move, transport, receive, load or unload all the freight in car loads or less quantities, coming to or going from any railroad, transfer, belt line, bridge or siding thereon, with equal promptness and dispatch, and without any discrimination as to charges, preference, drawback or rebate in favor of any person, corporation, consignee or consignor, in any matter as to payment, transportation, handling or delivery; and shall so receive, deliver, transfer and transport all freight as above set forth, from and to any point where there is a physical connection between the tracks of said companies. But this section shall not be construed as requiring any such common carrier to allow the use of its tracks for the trains of another engaged in like business.

Sec. 214. No railway, transfer, belt line or railway bridge company shall make any exclusive or preferential contract or arrangement with any individual, association or corporation, for the receipt, transfer, delivery, transportation, handling, care or custody of any freight, or for the conduct of any business as a common carrier.

Sec. 215. All railway, transfer, belt lines or railway bridge companies shall receive, load, unload, transport, haul, deliver and handle freight of the same class for all persons, associations or corporations from and to the same points and upon the same conditions, in the same manner and for the same charges, and for the same method of payment.

Sec. 216. All railway, transfer, belt lines and railway bridge companies shall allow the tracks of each other to unite, intersect and cross at any point where such union, intersection and crossing is reasonable or feasible.

Sec. 217. Any person, association or corporation, willfully or knowingly violating any of the provisions of sections two hundred and thirteen, two hundred and fourteen, two hundred and fifteen, or two hundred and sixteen, shall, upon conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction, for the first offense be fined two thousand dollars; for the second offense, five thousand dollars, and for the third offense, shall thereupon, ip80 facto, forfeit its franchises, privileges or charter rights; and if such delinquent be a foreign corporation, it shall, ip80 facto, forfeit its right to do business in this State; and the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth shall forthwith, upon notice of the violation of any of said provisions, institute proceedings to enforce the provisions of the aforesaid sections.

Sec. 218. It shall be unlawful for any person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, or any common carrier, to charge or receive any greater compensation in the aggregate for the transportation of passengers, or of property of like kind, under substantially similar circumstances and conditions, for a shorter than for a longer distance over the same line, in the same direction, the shorter Edition: current; Page: [1350] being included within the longer distance; but this shall not be construed as authorizing any common carrier, or person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, to receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance: Provided, That upon application to the Railroad Commission, such common carrier, or person, or corporation owning or operating a railroad in this State, may in special cases, after investigation by the Commission, be authorized to charge less for longer than for shorter distances for the transportation of passengers, or property; and the Commission may, from time to time, prescribe the extent to which such common carrier, or person or corporation, owning or operating a railroad in this State, may be relieved from the operations of this section.

THE MILITIA

Sec. 219. The militia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall consist of all able-bodied male residents of the State between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such persons as may be exempted by the laws of the State or of the United States.

Sec. 220. The General Assembly shall provide for maintaining an organized militia; and may exempt from military service persons having conscientious scruples against bearing arms; but such persons shall pay an equivalent for such exemption.

Sec. 221. The organization, equipment and discipline of the militia shall conform as nearly as practicable to the regulations for the government of the armies of the United States.

Sec. 222. All militia officers whose appointment is not herein otherwise provided for, shall be elected by persons subject to military duty within their respective companies, battalions, regiments or other commands, under such rules and regulations and for such terms, not exceeding four years, as the General Assembly may, from time to time, direct and establish. The Governor shall appoint an Adjutant-General and his other staff officers; the generals and commandants of regiments and battalions shall respectively appoint their staff officers, and the commandants of companies shall, subject to the approval of their regimental or battalion commanders, appoint their non-commissioned officers. The Governor shall have power to fill vacancies that may occur in elective offices by granting commissions which shall expire when such vacancies have been filled according to the provisions of this Constitution.

Sec. 223. The General Assembly shall provide for the safe-keeping of the public arms, military records, relics and banners of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 224. The General Assembly shall provide by a general law what officers shall execute bond for the faithful discharge of their duties, and fix the liability therein.

Sec. 225. No armed person or bodies of men shall be brought into this State for the preservation of the peace or the suppression of domestic violence, except upon the application of the General Assembly, or of the Governor when the General Assembly may not be in session.

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Sec. 226. Lotteries and gift enterprises are forbidden, and no privileges shall be granted for such purposes, and none shall be exercised, and no schemes for similar purposes shall be allowed. The General Assembly shall enforce this section by proper penalties. All lottery privileges or charters heretofore granted are revoked.

Sec. 227. Judges of the County Court, Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, Coroners, Surveyors, Jailers, Assessors, County Attorneys and Constables shall be subject to indictment or prosecution for misfeasance or malfeasance in office, or willful neglect in discharge of official duties, in such mode as may be prescribed by law; and upon conviction, his office shall become vacant, but such officer shall have the right of appeal to the Court of Appeals.

Sec. 228. Members of the General Assembly and all officers, before they enter upon the execution of the duties of their respective offices, and all members of the bar, before they enter upon the practice of their profession, shall take the following oath or affirmation: I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability the office of ——— according to law; and I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God.

Sec. 229. Treason against the Commonwealth shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies giving them aid and comfort. 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.

Sec. 230. No money shall be drawn from the State Treasury, except in pursuance of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published annually.

Sec. 231. The General Assembly may, by law, direct in what manner and in what courts suits may be brought against the Commonwealth.

Sec. 232. The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed by the General Assembly the most solemn appeal to God.

Sec. 233. All laws which, on the first day of June, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, were in force in the State of Virginia, and which are of a general nature and not local to that State, and not repugnant to this Constitution, nor to the laws which have been enacted by the General Assembly of this Commonwealth, shall be in force within this State until they shall be altered or repealed by the General Assembly.

Sec. 234. All civil officers for the State at large shall reside within the State, and all district, county, city or town officers shall reside Edition: current; Page: [1352] within their respective districts, counties, cities or towns, and shall keep their offices at such places therein as may be required by law.

Sec. 235. The salaries of public officers shall not be changed during the terms for which they were elected; but it shall be the duty of the General Assembly to regulate, by a general law, in what cases and what deductions shall be made for neglect of official duties. This section shall apply to members of the General Assembly also.

Sec. 236. The General Assembly shall, by law, prescribe the time when the several officers authorized or directed by this Constitution to be elected or appointed, shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices, except where the time is fixed by this Constitution.

Sec. 237. No member of Congress, or person holding or exercising an office of trust or profit under the United States, or any of them, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible to hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under this Constitution, or the laws made in pursuance thereof.

Sec. 238. The General Assembly shall direct by law how persons who now are, or may hereafter become, sureties for public officers, may be relieved of or discharged from suretyship.

Sec. 239. Any person who shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, either directly or indirectly, give, accept or knowingly carry a challenge to any person or persons to fight in single combat, with a citizen of this State, with a deadly weapon, either in or out of the State, shall be deprived of the right to hold any office of honor or profit in this Commonwealth; and if said acts, or any of them, be committed within this State, the person or persons so committing them shall be further punished in such manner as the General Assembly may prescribe by law.

Sec. 240. The Governor shall have power, after five years from the time of the offense, to pardon any person who shall have participated in a duel as principal, second or otherwise, and to restore him to all the rights, privileges and immunities to which he was entitled before such participation. Upon presentation of such pardon the oath prescribed in section two hundred and twenty-eight shall be varied to suit the case.

Sec. 241. Whenever the death of a person shall result from an injury inflicted by negligence or wrongful act, then, in every such case, damages may be recovered for such death, from the corporations and persons so causing the same. Until otherwise provided by law, the action to recover such damages shall in all cases be prosecuted by the personal representative of the deceased person. The General Assembly may provide how the recovery shall go and to whom belong; and until such provision is made the same shall form part of the personal estate of the deceased person.

Sec. 242. Municipal and other corporations, and individuals invested with the privilege of taking private property for public use, shall make just compensation for property taken, injured or destroyed by them; which compensation shall be paid before such taking, or paid or secured, at the election of such corporation or individual, before such injury or destruction. The General Assembly shall not deprive any person of an appeal from any preliminary assessment of damages against any such corporation or individual made by Commissioners or otherwise; and upon appeal from such preliminary Edition: current; Page: [1353] assessment, the amount of such damages shall, in all cases, be determined by a jury, according to the course of the common law.

Sec. 243. The General Assembly shall, by law, fix the minimum ages at which children may be employed in places dangerous to life or health, or injurious to morals; and shall provide adequate penalties for violations of such law.

Sec. 244. All wage-earners in this State employed in factories, mines, workshops, or by corporations, shall be paid for their labor in lawful money. The General Assembly shall prescribe adequate penalties for violations of this section.

Sec. 245. Upon the promulgation of this Constitution, the Governor shall appoint three persons, learned in the law, who shall be Commissioners to revise the statute laws of this Commonwealth, and prepare amendments thereto, to the end that the statute laws shall conform to and effectuate this Constitution. Such revision and amendments shall be laid before the next General Assembly for adoption or rejection, in whole or in part. The said Commissioners shall be allowed ten dollars each per day for their services, and also necessary stationery for the time during which they are actually employed; and upon their certificate the Auditor shall draw his warrant upon the Treasurer. They shall have the power to employ clerical assistants, at a compensation not exceeding ten dollars per day in the aggregate. If the Commissioners, or any of them, shall refuse to act, or a vacancy shall occur, the Governor shall appoint another or others in his or their place.

Sec. 246. No public officer, except the Governor, shall receive more than five thousand dollars per annum, as compensation for official services, independent of the compensation of legally authorized deputies and assistants, which shall be fixed and provided for by law. The General Assembly shall provide for the enforcement of this section by suitable penalties, one of which shall be forfeiture of office by any person violating its provisions.

Sec. 247. The printing and binding of the laws, journals, department reports, and all other public printing and binding, shall be performed under contract, to be given to the lowest responsible bidder, below such maximum and under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. No member of the General Assembly, or officer of the Commonwealth, shall be in any way interested in any such contract; and all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the Governor.

Sec. 248. A grand jury shall consist of twelve persons, nine of whom concurring, may find an indictment. In civil and misdemeanor cases, in courts inferior to the Circuit Courts, a jury shall consist of six persons. The General Assembly may provide that in any or all trials of civil actions in the Circuit Courts, three-fourths or more of the jurors concurring may return a verdict, which shall have the same force and effect as if rendered by the entire panel. But where a verdict is rendered by a less number than the whole jury, it shall be signed by all the jurors who agree to it.

Sec. 249. The House of Representatives of the General Assembly shall not elect, appoint, employ or pay for, exceeding one Chief Clerk, one Assistant Clerk, one Enrolling Clerk, one Sergeant-at-Arms, one Door-keeper, one Janitor, two Cloak-room Keepers and Edition: current; Page: [1354] four Pages; and the Senate shall not elect, appoint, employ or pay for, exceeding one Chief Clerk, one Assistant Clerk, one Enrolling Clerk, one Sergeant-at-Arms, one Door-keeper, one Janitor, one Cloak-room Keeper and three Pages; and the General Assembly shall provide, by general law, for fixing the per diem or salary of all of said employes.

Sec. 250. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to enact such laws as shall be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, the arbitrators to be appointed by the parties who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.

Sec. 251. No action shall be maintained for possession of any lands lying within this State, where it is necessary for the claimant to rely for his recovery on any grant or patent issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia, or by the Commonwealth of Kentucky prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty, against any person claiming such lands by possession to a well-defined boundary, under a title of record, unless such action shall be instituted within five years after this Constitution shall go into effect, or within five years after the occupant may take possession; but nothing herein shall be construed to affect any right, title or interest in lands acquired by virtue of adverse possession under the laws of this commonwealth.

Sec. 252. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide by law, as soon as practicable, for the establishment and maintenance of an institution or institutions for the detention, correction, instruction and reformation of all persons under the age of eighteen years, convicted of such felonies and such misdemeanors as may be designated by law. Said institution shall be known as the “House of Reform.”

Sec. 253. Persons convicted of felony and sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary shall be confined at labor within the walls of the penitentiary; and the General Assembly shall not have the power to authorize employment of convicts elsewhere, except upon the public works of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, or when, during pestilence or in case of the destruction of the prison buildings, they cannot be confined in the penitentiary.

Sec. 254. The Commonwealth shall maintain control of the discipline, and provide for all supplies, and for the sanitary condition of the convicts, and the labor only of convicts may be leased.

Sec. 255. The seat of government shall continue in the city of Frankfort, unless removed by a vote of two-thirds of each House of the first General Assembly which convenes after the adoption of this Constitution.

MODE OF REVISION

Sec. 256. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either House of the General Assembly at a regular session, and if such amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by three-fifths of all the members elected to each House, such proposed amendment or amendments, with the yeas and nays of the members of each House taken thereon, shall be entered in full in their respective journals. Then such proposed amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the voters of the State for their ratification or rejection at the next general election for members of the House of Representatives, the Edition: current; Page: [1355] vote to be taken thereon in such manner as the General Assembly may provide, and to be certified by the officers of election to the Secretary of State in such manner as shall be provided by law, which vote shall be compared and certified by the same board authorized by law to compare the polls and give certificates of election to officers for the State at large. If it shall appear that a majority of the votes cast for and against an amendment at said election was for the amendment, then the same shall become a part of the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and shall be so proclaimed by the Governor, and published in such manner as the General Assembly may direct. Said amendments shall not be submitted at an election which occurs less than ninety days from the final passage of such proposed amendment or amendments. Not more than two amendments shall be voted upon at any one time. Nor shall the same amendment be again submitted within five years after submission. Said amendments shall be so submitted as to allow a separate vote on each, and no amendment shall relate to more than one subject. But no amendment shall be proposed by the first General Assembly which convenes after the adoption of this Constitution. The approval of the Governor shall not be necessary to any bill, order, resolution or vote of the General Assembly, proposing an amendment or amendments to this Constitution.

Sec. 257. Before an amendment shall be submitted to a vote, the Secretary of State shall cause such proposed amendment, and the time that the same is to be voted upon, to be published at least ninety days before the vote is to be taken thereon in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 258. When a majority of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly shall concur, by a yea and nay vote, to be entered upon their respective journals, in enacting a law to take the sense of the people of the State as to the necessity and expediency of calling a convention for the purpose of revising or amending this Constitution, and such amendments as may have been made to the same, such law shall be spread upon their respective journals. If the next General Assembly shall, in like manner, concur in such law, it shall provide for having a poll opened in each voting precinct in this State by the officers provided by law for holding general elections at the next ensuing regular election to be held for State officers or members of the House of Representatives, which does not occur within ninety days from the final passage of such law, at which time and places the votes of the qualified voters shall be taken for and against calling the Convention, in the same manner provided by law for taking votes in other State elections. The vote for and against said proposition shall be certified to the Secretary of State by the same officers and in the same manner as in State elections. If it shall appear that a majority voting on the proposition was for calling a Convention, and if the total number of votes cast for the calling of the Convention is equal to one-fourth of the number of qualified voters who voted at the last preceding general election in this State, the Secretary of State shall certify the same to the General Assembly at its next regular session, at which session a law shall be enacted calling a Convention to readopt, revise or amend this Constitution, and such amendments as may have been made thereto.

Edition: current; Page: [1356]

Sec. 259. The Convention shall consist of as many delegates as there are members of the House of Representatives; and the delegates shall have the same qualifications and be elected from the same districts as said Representatives.

Sec. 260. Delegates to such convention shall be elected at the next general State election after the passage of the act calling the convention, which does not occur within less than ninety days; and they shall meet within ninety days after their election at the Capital of the State, and continue in session until their work is completed.

Sec. 261. The General Assembly, in the act calling the convention, shall provide for comparing the polls and giving certificates of election to the delegates elected, and provide for their compensation.

Sec. 262. The convention, when assembled, shall be the judge of the election and qualification of its members, and shall determine contested elections. But the General Assembly shall, in the act calling the convention, provide for taking testimony in such cases, and for issuing a writ of election in case of a tie.

Sec. 263. Before a vote is taken upon the question of calling a convention, the Secretary of State shall cause notice of the election to be published in such manner as may be provided by the act directing said vote to be taken.

SCHEDULE.

That no inconvenience may arise from the alterations and amendments made in this Constitution, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared and ordained:

First: That all laws of this Commonwealth in force at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, not inconsistent therewith, shall remain in full force until altered or repealed by the General Assembly; and all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims and contracts of the State, counties, individuals or bodies corporate, not inconsistent therewith, shall continue as valid as if this Constitution had not been adopted. The provisions of all laws which are inconsistent with this Constitution shall cease upon its adoption, except that all laws which are inconsistent with such provisions as require legislation to enforce them shall remain in force until such legislation is had, but not longer than six years after the adoption of this Constitution, unless sooner amended or repealed by the General Assembly.

Second: That all recognizances, obligations and all other instruments entered into or executed before the adoption of this Constitution, to the State, or to any city, town, county or subdivision thereof, and all fines, taxes, penalties and forfeitures due or owing to this State, or to any city, town, county or subdivision thereof; and all writs, prosecutions, actions and causes of action, except as otherwise herein provided, shall continue and remain unaffected by the adoption of this Constitution. And all indictments which shall have been found, or may hereafter be found, for any crime or offense committed before this Constitution takes effect, may be prosecuted as if no change had taken place, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.

Third: All circuit, chancery, criminal, law and equity, law, and Common Pleas Courts, as now constituted and organized by law, shall continue with their respective jurisdictions until the Judges of the Circuit Courts provided for in this Constitution shall have been Edition: current; Page: [1357] elected and qualified, and shall then cease and determine; and the causes, actions and proceedings then pending in said first named courts, which are discontinued by this Constitution, shall be transferred to, and tried by, the Circuit Courts in the counties, respectively, in which said causes, actions and proceedings are pending.

Fourth: The Treasurer, Attorney-General, Auditor of Public Accounts, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Register of the Land Office, elected in eighteen hundred and ninety-one, shall hold their offices until the first Monday in January, eighteen hundred and ninety-six, and until the election and qualification of their successors. The Governor and Lieutenant-Governor elected in eighteen hundred and ninety-one shall hold their offices until the sixth Tuesday after the first Monday in November, eighteen hundred and ninety-five, and until their successors are elected and qualified. The Governor and Treasurer elected in eighteen hundred and ninety-one shall be ineligible to the succeeding term. The Governor elected in eighteen hundred and ninety-one may appoint a Secretary of State and a Commissioner of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics, as now provided, who shall hold their offices until their successors are elected and qualified, unless sooner removed by the Governor. The official bond of the present Treasurer shall be renewed at the expiration of two years from the time of his qualification.

Fifth: All officers who may be in office at the adoption of this Constitution, or who may be elected before the election of their successors, as provided in this Constitution, shall hold their respective offices until their successors are elected or appointed and qualified as provided in this Constitution.

Sixth: The quarterly courts created by this Constitution shall be the successors of the present statutory Quarterly Courts in the several counties of this State; and all suits, proceedings, prosecutions, records and judgments now pending or being in said last named courts shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, be transferred to the Quarterly Courts created by this Constitution, and shall proceed as though the same had been therein instituted.

ORDINANCE

We, the representatives of the people of Kentucky, in Convention assembled, in their name and by their authority and in virtue of the power vested in us as Delegates from the counties and districts respectively affixed to our names, do ordain and proclaim the foregoing to be the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from and after this date.

Done at Frankfort this twenty-eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-one, and in the ninety-nintha year of the Commonwealth.

Cassius M. Clay, Jr.,
President of the Convention,
and Member from the County of Bourbon.
Thomas G. Poore, Secretary.
James B. Martin, Assistant Secretary.
James Edwards Stone, Reading Clerk.
Edition: current; Page: [1358]
October 6, 1891.
Frankfort, Ky.,
C. T. Allen
Allen, C. T.

Having been appointed by the Convention to superintend the correct printing of the Constitution, etc., I hereby certify that I have carefully compared the above printed copy with the enrolled copy in the office of Secretary of State, and find it correct.

C. T. Allen, Delegate from Caldwell County.

AMENDMENT, 1892

Sec. 181. The General Assembly shall not impose taxes for the purposes of any county, city, town or other municipal corporation, but may, by general laws, confer on the proper authorities thereof, respectively, the power to assess and collect taxes. The General Assembly may, by general laws only, provide for the payment of license fees on franchises, stock used for breeding purposes, the various trades, occupations and professions, or a special or excise tax; and may by general laws, delegate the power to counties, towns, cities and other municipal corporations, to impose and collect license fees on stock used for breeding purposes on franchises, trades, occupations and professions.

And the General Assembly may, by general laws only, authorize cities or towns of any class to provide for taxation for municipal purposes on personal property, tangible and intangible based on income, licenses or franchises, in lieu of an ad valorem tax thereon: Provided, Cities of the first class shall not be authorized to omit the imposition of an ad valorem tax on such property of any steam railroad, street railway, ferry, bridge, gas, water, heating, telephone, telegraph, electric light, or electric power company.

Edition: current; Page: [1359]

LOUISIANAa

TREATY CEDING LOUISIANA—1803b

Concluded, April 30, 1803; ratifications exchanged at Washington, October 21, 1803; proclaimed, October 21, 1803

The President of the United States of America, and the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, desiring to remove all source of misunderstanding, relative to objects of discussion mentioned in the second and fifth articles of the convention of the 8th Vendémiaire, an 9, (30th September, 1800), relative to the rights claimed by the United States, in virtue of the treaty concluded at Madrid, the 27th of October, 1795, between His Catholic Majesty and the said United States, and willing to strengthen the union and friendship, which at the time of the said convention was happily re-established between the two nations, have respectively named their Plenipotentiaries, to wit: The President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said States, Robert R. Livingston, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, and James Monroe, Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the said States, near the Government of the French Republic; and the First Consul, in the name of the French people, Edition: current; Page: [1360] Citizen Francis Barbé Marbois, Minister of the Public Treasury, who, after having respectively exchanged their full powers, have agreed to the following articles:

Article I

Whereas, by the article the third of the treaty concluded at St. Ildefonso, the 9th Vandémiaire, an 9 (1st October, 1800), between the First Consul of the French Republic and His Catholic Majesty, it was agreed as follows: “His Catholic Majesty promises and engages on his part to cede to the French Republic, six months after the full and entire execution of the conditions and stipulations herein, relative to his Royal Highness the Duke of Parma, the Colony or Province of Louisiana, with the same extent that it now has in the hands of Spain, and that it had when France possessed it; and such as it should be after the treaties subsequently entered into between Spain and other States”; and whereas, in pursuance of the treaty, particularly of the third article, the French Republic has an incontestable title to the domain and to the possession of the said territory, the First Consul of the French Republic, desiring to give to the United States a strong proof of his friendship, doth hereby cede to the said United States, in the name of the French Republic, for ever and in full sovereignty, the said territory, with all its rights and appurtenances, as fully and in the same manner as they have been acquired by the French Republic, in virtue of the above-mentioned treaty, concluded with His Catholic Majesty.

Article II

In the cession made by the preceding article, are included the adjacent islands belonging to Louisiana, all public lots and squares, vacant lands, and all public buildings, fortifications, barracks, and other edifices, which are not private property. The archives, papers, and documents, relative to the domain and sovereignty of Louisiana and its dependencies, will be left in the possession of the commissaries of the United States, and copies will be afterwards given in due form to the magistrates and municipal officers, of such of the said papers and documents as may be necessary to them.

Article III

The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the Federal constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities, of citizens of the United States; and, in the mean time, they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess.

Article IV

There shall be sent by the Government of France a Commissary to Louisiana, to the end that he do every act necessary, as well to receive from the officers of His Catholic Majesty the said country and its Edition: current; Page: [1361] dependencies in the name of the French Republic, if it has not been already done, as to transmit it, in the name of the French Republic, to the Commissary or agent of the United States.

Article V

Immediately after the ratification of the present treaty by the President of the United States, and in case that of the First Consul shall have been previously obtained, the Commissary of the French Republic shall remit all military posts of New Orleans, and other parts of the ceded territory, to the Commissary or Commissaries named by the President to take possession; the troops, whether of France or Spain, who may be there, shall cease to occupy any military post from the time of taking possession, and shall be embarked as soon as possible in the course of three months after the ratification of this treaty.

Article VI

The United States promise to execute such treaties and articles as may have been agreed between Spain and the tribes and nations of Indians, until, by mutual consent of the United States and the said tribes or nations, other suitable articles shall have been agreed upon.

Article VII

As it is reciprocally advantageous to the commerce of France and the United States, to encourage the communication of both nations, for a limited time, in the country ceded by the present treaty, until general arrangements relative to the commerce of both nations may be agreed on, it has been agreed between the contracting parties, that the French ships coming directly from France or any of her colonies, loaded only with the produce and manufactures of France or her said colonies, and the ships of Spain coming directly from Spain or any of her colonies, loaded only with the produce or manufactures of Spain or her colonies, shall be admitted during the space of twelve years in the port of New Orleans, and in all other legal ports of entry within the ceded territory, in the same manner as the ships of the United States coming directly from France or Spain, or any of their colonies, without being subject to any other or greater duty on merchandise, or other or greater tonnage than that paid by the citizens of the United States.

During the space of time above mentioned, no other nation shall have a right to the same privileges in the ports of the ceded territory. The twelve years shall commence three months after the exchange of ratifications, if it shall take place in France, or three months after it shall have been notified at Paris to the French Government, if it shall take place in the United States; it is, however, well understood, that the object of the above article is to favor the manufactures, commerce, freight, and navigation of France and of Spain, so far as relates to the importations that the French and Spanish shall make into the said ports of the United States, without in any sort affecting the regulations that the United States may make concerning the exportation of the produce and merchandise of the United States, or any right they may have to make such regulations.

Edition: current; Page: [1362]

Article VIII

In future and forever, after the expiration of the twelve years, the ships of France shall be treated upon the footing of the most favored nations in the ports above mentioned.

Article IX

The particular convention signed this day by the respective Ministers, having for its object to provide the payment of debts due to the citizens of the United States by the French Republic, prior to the 30th of Septr. 1800, (8th Vendémiaire, an 9,) is approved, and to have its execution in the same manner as if it had been inserted in the present treaty; and it shall be ratified in the same form and in the same time, so that the one shall not be ratified distinct from the other. Another particular convention, signed at the same date as the present treaty, relative to a definitive rule between the contracting parties is, in the like manner, approved, and will be ratified in the same form and in the same time, and jointly.

Article X

The present treaty shall be ratified in good and due form, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in the space of six months after the date of the signature by the Ministers Plenipotentiary, or sooner if possible.

In faith whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed these articles in the French and English languages, declaring, nevertheless, that the present treaty was originally agreed to in the French language, and have thereunto affixed their seals.

Done at Paris, the 10th day of Floréal, in the 11th year of the French Republic, and the 30th of April, 1803.

R. R. Livingston.
James Monroe.
Barbé Marbois.

CONVENTION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE FRENCH REPUBLIC—1803

Concluded April 30, 1803; ratifications exchanged at Washington, October 21, 1803; proclaimed October 21, 1803

The President of the United States of America, and the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, in consequence of the Treaty of cession of Louisiana, which has been signed this day, wishing to regulate definitely everything which has relation to the said cession, have authorized, to this effect, the Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: the President of the United States has, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said States, nominated for their Plenipotentiaries, Robert R. Livingston, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, and James Monroe, Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the said United States, near the Government of the French Republic; and the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, has named, Edition: current; Page: [1363] as Plenipotentiary of the said Republic, the citizen Francis Barbé Marbois, who, in virtue of their full powers, which have been exchanged this day, have agreed to the following articles:

Article I

The Government of the United States engages to pay to the French Government, in the manner specified in the following articles, the sum of sixty millions of francs, independent of the sum which shall be fixed by another convention for the payment of the debts due by France to citizens of the United States.

Article II

For the payment of the sum of sixty millions of francs, mentioned in the preceding article, the United States shall create a stock of eleven million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, bearing an interest of six per cent. per annum, payable, half-yearly, in London, Amsterdam, or Paris, amounting by the half-year to three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars, according to the proportions which shall be determined by the French Government, to be paid at either place: the principal of the said stock to be reimbursed at the Treasury of the United States, in annual payments of not less than three millions of dollars each; of which the first payment shall commence fifteen years after the date of the exchange of ratifications: this stock shall be transferred to the Government of France, or to such person or persons as shall be authorized to receive it, in three months, at most, after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, and after Louisiana shall be taken possession of in the name of the Government of the United States.

It is further agreed that, if the French Government should be desirous of disposing of the said stock, to receive the capital in Europe at shorter terms, that its measures, for that purpose, shall be taken so as to favor, in the greatest degree possible, the credit of the United States, and to raise to the highest price the said stock.

Article III

It is agreed that the dollar of the United States, specified in the present convention, shall be fixed at five francs 3333-10000ths or five livres eight sous tournois.

The present convention shall be ratified in good and due form, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in the space of six months, to date from this day, or sooner if possible.

In faith of which, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles, both in the French and English languages, declaring, nevertheless, that the present treaty has been originally agreed on and written in the French language, to which they have hereunto affixed their seals.

Done at Paris, the tenth of Floréal, eleventh year of the French Republic, (30th April, 1803.)

Robert R. Livingston.
James Monroe.
Barbé Marbois.
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ACT FOR TAKING POSSESSION OF LOUISIANA—1803a

[Eighth Congress, First Session]

An Act to enable the President of the United States to take possession of the territories ceded by France to the United States, by the treaty concluded at Paris, on the thirtieth of April last; and for the temporary government thereof

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to take possession of and occupy the territories ceded by France to the United States, by the treaty concluded at Paris on the thirtieth day of April last, between the two nations, and that he may for that purpose, and in order to maintain in the said territories the authority of the United States, employ any part of the army and navy of the United States, and of the force authorized by an act passed the third day of March last, intituled “An act directing a detachment from the militia of the United States, and for erecting certain arsenals,” which he may deem necessary; and so much of the sum appropriated by the said act as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated for the purpose of carrying this act into effect; to be applied under the direction of the President of the United States.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That until the expiration of the present session of Congress, unless provision for the temporary government of the said territories be sooner made by Congress, all the military, civil, and judicial powers exercised by the officers of the existing government of the same, shall be vested in such person and persons, and shall be exercised in such manner as the President of the United States shall direct for maintaining and protecting the inhabitants of Louisiana in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion.

TERRITORIES OF LOUISIANA AND ORLEANS—1804

[Eighth Congress, First Session]

An Act erecting Louisiana into two territories, and providing for the temporary government thereof

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all that portion of country ceded by France to the United States, under the name Edition: current; Page: [1365] of Louisiana, which lies south of the Mississippi territory, and of an east and west line, to commence on the Mississippi River, at the thirty-third degree of north latitude, and to extend west to the western boundary of the said cession, shall constitute a territory of the United States, under the name of the territory of Orleans; the government whereof shall be organized and administered as follows:

Sec. 2. The executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall reside in the said territory, and hold his office during the term of three years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. He shall be commander-in-chief of the militia of the said territory, shall have power to grant pardons for offences against the said territory, and reprieves for those against the United States, until the decision of the President of the United States thereon shall be made known; and to appoint and commission all officers, civil and of the militia, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sec. 3. A secretary of the territory shall also be appointed, who shall hold his office during the term of four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States, whose duty it shall be, under the direction of the governor, to record and preserve all the papers and proceedings of the executive, and all the acts of the governor and legislative council, and transmit authentic copies of the proceedings of the governor in his executive department, every six months, to the President of the United States. In case of the vacancy of the office of governor, the government of the said territory shall devolve on the secretary.

Sec. 4. The legislative powers shall be vested in the governor, and in thirteen of the most fit and discreet persons of the territory, to be called the legislative council, who shall be appointed annually by the President of the United States from among those holding real estate therein, and who shall have resided one year at least in the said territory, and hold no office of profit under the territory or the United States. The governor, by and with advice and consent of the said legislative council, or of a majority of them, shall have power to alter, modify, or repeal the laws which may be in force at the commencement of this act. Their legislative powers shall also extend to all the rightful subjects of legislation; but no law shall be valid which is inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States, or which shall lay any person under restraint, burden, or disability, on account of his religious opinions, professions, or worship; in all which he shall be free to maintain his own, and not burdened for those of another. The governor shall publish throughout the said territory all the laws which shall be made, and shall from time to time report the same to the President of the United States to be laid before Congress; which, if disapproved of by Congress, shall thenceforth be of no force. The governor or legislative council shall have no power over the primary disposal of the soil, nor to tax the lands of the United States, nor to interfere with the claims to land within the said territory. The governor shall convene and prorogue the legislative council whenever he may deem it expedient. It shall be his duty to obtain all the information in his power in relation to the customs, habits, and dispositions of the inhabitants of the said territory, Edition: current; Page: [1366] and communicate the same from time to time to the President of the United States.

Sec. 5. The judicial power shall be vested in a superior court, and in such inferior courts, and justices of the peace, as the legislature of the territory may from time to time establish. The judges of the superior court and the justices of the peace shall hold their offices for the term of four years. The superior court shall consist of three judges, any one of whom shall constitute a court; they shall have jurisdiction in all criminal cases, and exclusive jurisdiction in all those which are capital; and original and appellate jurisdiction in all civil cases of the value of one hundred dollars. Its sessions shall commence on the first Monday of every month, and continue till all the business depending before them shall be disposed of. They shall appoint their own clerk. In all criminal prosecutions which are capital, the trial shall be by a jury of twelve good and lawful men of the vicinage; and in all cases, criminal and civil, in the superior court, the trial shall be by a jury, if either of the parties require it. The inhabitants of the said territory shall be entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus; they shall be bailable, unless for capital offences, where the proof shall be evident or the presumption great; and no cruel, and unusual punishments shall be inflicted.

Sec. 6. The governor, secretary, judges, district attorney, marshal, and all general officers of the militia, shall be appointed by the President of the United States in the recess of the Senate; but shall be nominated at their next meeting for their advice and consent. The governor, secretary, judges, members of the legislative council, justices of the peace, and all other officers, civil and of the militia, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States, and for the faithful discharge of the duties of their office; the governor, before the President of the United States, or before a judge of the supreme or district court of the United States, or before such other person as the President of the United States shall authorize to administer the same; the secretary, judges, and members of the legislative council, before the governor; and all other officers before such persons as the governor shall direct. The governor shall receive an annual salary of five thousand dollars; the secretary, of two thousand dollars, and the judges, of two thousand dollars each; to be paid quarter-yearly out of the revenues of impost and tonnage, accruing within the said territory. The members of the legislative council shall receive four dollars each per day during their attendance in council.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the following acts, that is to say:

  • An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States;
  • An act in addition to an act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States;
  • An act to prevent citizens of the United States from privateering against nations in amity with or against citizens of the United States;
  • An act for the punishment of certain crimes therein specified;
  • An act respecting fugitives from justice and persons escaping from the service of their masters; Edition: current; Page: [1367]
  • An act to prohibit the carrying on the slave-trade from the United States to any foreign place or country;
  • An act to prevent the importation of certain persons into certain States, where, by the laws thereof, their admission is prohibited;
  • An act to establish the post-office of the United States;
  • An act further to alter and establish certain post-roads, and for the more secure carriage of the mail of the United States;
  • An act for the more general promulgation of the laws of the United States;
  • An act in addition to an act intituled an act for the more general promulgation of the laws of the United States;
  • An act to promote the progress of useful arts, and to repeal the act heretofore made for that purpose;
  • An act to extend the privilege of obtaining patents for useful discoveries and inventions to certain persons therein mentioned, and to enlarge and define the penalties for violating the rights of patentees;
  • An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned;
  • An act supplementary to an act intituled an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints;
  • An act providing for salvage in cases of recapture;
  • An act respecting alien enemies;
  • An act to prescribe the mode in which the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings in each State shall be authenticated, so as to take effect in every other State;
  • An act for establishing trading-houses with the Indian tribes;
  • An act for continuing in force a law entitled An act for establishing trading-houses with the Indian tribes; and
  • An act making provision relative to rations for Indians, and to their visits to the seat of Government,

Shall extend to, and have full force and effect in the above-mentioned territories.

Sec. 8. There shall be established in the said territory a district court, to consist of one judge, who shall reside therein, and be called the district judge, and who shall hold, in the city of Orleans, four sessions annually; the first to commerce on the third Monday in October next, and the three other sessions, progressively, on the third Monday of every third calendar month thereafter. He shall in all things have and exercise the same jurisdiction and powers which are by law given to, or may be exercised by, the judge of Kentucky district; and shall be allowed an annual compensation of two thousand dollars, to be paid quarter-yearly out of the revenues of impost and tonnage accruing within the said territory. He shall appoint a clerk for the said district, who shall reside and keep the records of the court, in the city of Orleans, and shall receive for the services performed by him the same fees to which the clerk of Kentucky district is entitled for similar services.

There shall be appointed in the said district a person learned in the law, to act as attorney for the United States, who shall, in addition Edition: current; Page: [1368] to his stated fees, be paid six hundred dollars annually, as a full compensation for all extra services. There shall also be appointed a marshal for the said district, who shall perform the same duties, be subject to the same regulations and penalties, and be entitled to the same fees to which marshals in other districts are entitled for similar services; and shall moreover be paid two hundred dollars annually as a compensation for all extra services.

Sec. 9. All free male white persons who are house-keepers, and who shall have resided one year, at least, in the said territory, shall be qualified to serve as grand or petit jurors in the courts of the said territory, and they shall, until the legislature thereof shall otherwise direct, be selected in such manner as the judges of the said courts, respectively, shall prescribe, so as to be most conducive to an impartial trial, and to be least burdensome to the inhabitants of the said territory.

Sec. 10. It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to import or bring into the said territory, from any port or place without the limits of the United States, or cause or procure to be so imported or brought, or knowingly to aid or assist in importing or bringing any slave or slaves. And every person so offending, and being thereof convicted before any court within said territory, having competent jurisdiction, shall forfeit and pay, for each and every slave so imported or brought, the sum of three hundred dollars; one moiety for the use of the United States and the other moiety for the use of the person or persons who shall sue for the same; and every slave so imported or brought shall thereupon become entitled to or receive his or her freedom. It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to import or bring into the said territory, from any port or place within the limits of the United States, or to cause or procure to be so imported or brought, or knowingly to aid or assist in so importing or bringing, any slave or slaves, which shall have been imported since the first day of May, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight, into any port or place within the limits of the United States, or which may hereafter be so imported from any port or place without the limits of the United States; and every person so offending and being thereof convicted before any court within said territory, having competent jurisdiction, shall forfeit and pay for each and every slave, so imported or brought, the sum of three hundred dollars, one moiety for the use of the United States, and the other moiety for the use of the person or persons who shall sue for the same; and no slave or slaves shall directly or indirectly be introduced into said territory, except by a citizen of the United States removing into said territory for actual settlement, and being at the time of such removal bona fide owner of such slave or slaves; and every slave imported or brought into the said territory, contrary to the provisions of this act, shall thereupon be entitled to and receive his or her freedom.

Sec. 11. The laws in force in the said territory at the commencement of this act, and not inconsistent with the provisions thereof, shall continue in force until altered, modified, or repealed by the legislature.

Sec. 12. The residue of the province of Louisiana, ceded to the United States, shall be called the district of Louisiana,a the government Edition: current; Page: [1369] whereof shall be organized and administered as follows: The executive power now vested in the governor of the Indiana territory shall extend to and be exercised in the said district of Louisiana. The governor and judges of the Indiana territory shall have power to establish in the said district of Louisiana inferior courts, and prescribe their jurisdiction and duties, and to make all laws which they may deem conducive to the good government of the inhabitants thereof: Provided, however, That no law shall be valid which is inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States, or which shall lay any person under restraint or disability on account of his religious opinions, profession, or worship; in all of which he shall be free to maintain his own, and not burdened for those of another: And provided also, That in all criminal prosecutions, the trial shall be by a jury of twelve good and lawful men of the vicinage, and in all civil cases of the value of one hundred dollars, the trial shall be by jury, if either of the parties require it. The judges of the Indiana territory, or any two of them, shall hold annually two courts within the said district, at such place as will be most convenient to the inhabitants thereof in general, shall possess the same jurisdiction they now possess in the Indiana territory, and shall continue in session until all the business depending before them shall be disposed of. It shall be the duty of the secretary of the Indiana territory to record and preserve all the papers and proceedings of the governor, of an executive nature, relative to the district of Louisiana, and transmit authentic copies thereof every six months to the President of the United States. The governor shall publish throughout the said district all the laws which may be made as aforesaid, and shall, from time to time, report the same to the President of the United States, to be laid before Congress, which, if disapproved of by Congress, shall thenceforth cease and be of no effect.

The said district of Louisiana shall be divided into districts by the governor, under the direction of the President, as the convenience of the settlements shall require, subject to such alterations hereafter as experience may prove more convenient. The inhabitants of each district, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, shall be formed into a militia, with proper officers, according to their numbers, to be appointed by the governor, except the commanding officer, who shall be appointed by the President, and who, whether a captain, a major, or a colonel, shall be the commanding officer of the district, and as such shall, under the governor, have command of the regular officers and troops in his district, as well as of the militia, for which he shall have a brevet commission, giving him such command, and the pay and emoluments of an officer of the same grade in the regular army; he shall be specially charged with the employment of the military and militia of his district, in cases of sudden invasion or insurrection, and until the orders of the governor can be received, and at all times with the duty of ordering a military patrol, aided by militia, if necessary, to arrest unauthorized settlers in any part of his district, and to commit such offenders to jail, to be dealt with according to law.

Sec. 13. The laws in force in the said district of Louisiana at the commencement of this act, and not inconsistent with any of the provisions thereof, shall continue in force until altered, modified, or repealed by the governor and judges of the Indiana territory, as aforesaid.

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Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, That all grants for lands within the territories ceded by the French Republic to the United States, by the treaty of the thirtieth of April, in the year one thousand eight hundred and three, the title whereof was, at the date of the treaty of San Ildefonso, in the crown, government, or nation of Spain, and every act and proceeding subsequent thereto, of whatsoever nature, towards the obtaining any grant, title, or claim to such lands, and under whatsoever authority transacted, or pretended, be, and the same are hereby declared to be, and to have been from the beginning, null, void, and of no effect in law or equity. Provided, nevertheless, That anything in this section contained shall not be construed to make null and void any bona-fide grant, made agreeably to the laws, usages, and customs of the Spanish government, to an actual settler on the lands so granted, for himself and for his wife and family; or to make null and void any bona-fide act or proceeding done by an actual settler, agreeably to the laws, usages, and customs of the Spanish government, to obtain a grant for lands actually settled on by the person or persons claiming title thereto, if such settlement in either case was actually made prior to the twentieth day of December, one thousand eight hundred and three: And provided further, That such grant shall not secure to the grantee or his assigns more than one mile square of land, together with such other and further quantity as heretofore has been allowed for the wife and family of such actual settler, agreeably to the laws, usages, and customs of the Spanish government. And that if any citizen of the United States, or other person, shall make a settlement on any lands belonging to the United States, within the limits of Louisiana, or shall survey, or attempt to survey, such lands, or to designate boundaries by marking trees, or otherwise, such offender shall, on conviction thereof, in any court of record of the United States, or the territories of the United States, forfeit a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, and suffer imprisonment not exceeding twelve months; and it shall, moreover, be lawful for the President of the United States to employ such military force as he may judge necessary to remove from lands belonging to the United States any such citizen or other person who shall attempt a settlement thereon.

Sec. 15. The President of the United States is hereby authorized to stipulate with any Indian tribes owning lands on the east side of the Mississippi, and residing thereon, for an exchange of lands, the property of the United States, on the west side of the Mississippi, in case the said tribe shall remove and settle thereon; but in such sctipulation, the said tribes shall acknowledge themselves to be under the protection of the United States, and shall agree that they will not hold any treaty with any foreign power, individual state, or with the individuals of any state or power; and that they will not sell or dispose of the said lands, or any part thereof, to any sovereign power, except to the United States, nor to the subjects or citizens of any other sovereign power, nor to the citizens of the United States. And, in order to maintain peace and tranquillity with the Indian tribes who reside within the limits of Louisiana, as ceded by France to the United State, the act of Congress, passed on the thirtieth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and two, intituled “An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve Edition: current; Page: [1371] peace on the frontiers,” is hereby extended to the territories erected and established by this act; and the sum of fifteen thousand dollars of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated by law is hereby appropriated to enable the President of the United States to effect the object expressed in this section.

Sec. 16. The act passed on the thirty-first day of October, one thousand eight hundred and three, entitled “An act to enable the President of the United States to take possession of the territories ceded by France to the United States by the treaty concluded at Paris on the thirtieth day of April last, and for the temporary government thereof,” shall continue in force until the first day of October next, anything therein to the contrary notwithstanding; on which said first day of October, this act shall commence and have full force, and shall continue in force for and during the term of one year, and to the end of the next session of Congress which may happen thereafter.

THE TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT OF ORLEANS—1805

[Eighth Congress, Second Session]

An Act further providing for the government of the territory of Orleans

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be, and he is herby, authorized to establish within the territory of Orleans a government in all respects similar (except as is herein otherwise provided) to that now exercised in the Mississippi territory; and shall, in the recess of the Senate, but to be nominated at their next meeting, for their advice and consent, appoint all the officers necessary therein, in conformity with the ordinance of Congress, made on the thirteenth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven; and that from and after the establishment of the said government, the inhabitants of the territory of Orleans shall be entitled to and enjoy all the rights, privileges, and advantages secured by the said ordinance, and now enjoyed by the people of the Mississippi territory.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That so much of the said ordinance of Congress as relates to the organization of a general assembly, and prescribes the powers thereof, shall, from and after the fourth day of July next, be in force in the said territory of Orleans; and in order to carry the same into operation, the governor of the said territory shall cause to be elected twenty-five representatives, for which purpose he shall lay off the said territory into convenient election-districts, on or before the first Monday of October next, and give due notice thereof throughout the same; and shall appoint the most convenient time and place within each of the said districts, for holding the elections; and shall nominate a proper officer or officers to preside at and conduct the same, and to return to him the names of the persons who may have been duly elected. All subsequent elections shall be regulated by the legislature; and the number of representatives shall be determined, and the apportionment made, in the manner prescribed by the said ordinance.

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Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the representatives to be chosen as aforesaid shall be convened by the governor, in the city of Orleans, on the first Monday in November next; and the first general assembly shall be convened by the governor as soon as may be convenient, at the city of Orleans, after the members of the legislative council shall be appointed and commissioned; and the general assembly shall meet, at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, annually, unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day. Neither house, during the session, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two branches are sitting.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the laws in force in the said territory at the commencement of this act, and not inconsistent with the provisions thereof, shall continue in force until altered, modified, or repealed by the legislature.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the second paragraph of the said ordinance, which regulates the descent and distribution of estates; and also the sixth article of compact which is annexed to and makes part of said ordinance, are hereby declared not to extend to but are excluded from all operation within the said territory of Orleans.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the governor, secretary, and judges to be appointed by virtue of this act shall be severally allowed the same compensation which is now allowed to the governor, secretary, and judges of the territory of Orleans. And all the additional officers authorized by this act shall respectively receive the same compensation for their services as are by law established for similar offices in the Mississippi territory, to be paid quarter-yearly out of the revenues of impost and tonnage accruing within the said territory of Orleans.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That whenever it shall be ascertained by an actual census or enumeration of the inhabitants of the territory of Orleans, taken by proper authority, that the number of free inhabitants included therein shall amount to sixty thousand, they shall thereupon be authorized to form for themselves a constitution and state government, and be admitted into the Union upon the footing of the original states, in all respects whatever, conformably to the provisions of the third article of the treaty concluded at Paris on the thirtieth of April, one thousand eight hundred and three, between the United States and the French Republic: Provided, That the constitution so to be established shall be republican, and not inconsistent with the constitution of the United States, nor inconsistent with the ordinance of the late Congress, passed the thirteenth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, so far as the same is made applicable to the territorial government hereby authorized to be established: Provided, however, That Congress shall be at liberty, at any time prior to the admission of the inhabitants of the said territory to the right of a separate state, to alter the boundaries thereof as they may judge proper: Except only, That no alteration shall be made which shall procrastinate the period for the admission of the inhabitants thereof to the rights of a state government according to the provision of this act.

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Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That so much of an act intituled “An act erecting Louisiana into two territories, and providing for the temporary government thereof,” as is repugnant with this act, shall, from and after the first Monday of November next, be repealed. And the residue of the said act shall continue in full force until repealed, anything in the sixteenth section of the said act to the contrary notwithstanding.

THE TERRITORY OF LOUISIANA—1805a

[Eighth Congress, Second Session.]

An Act further providing for the government of the district of Louisiana.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all that part of the country ceded by France to the United States, under the general name of Louisiana, which, by an act of the last session of Congress, was erected into a separate district, to be called the district of Louisiana, shall heneforth be known and designated by the name and title of the Territory of Louisiana, the government whereof shall be organized and administered as follows: The executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall reside in said territory, and hold his office during the term of three years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. He shall be commander-in-chief of the militia of the said territory, superintendent ex officio of Indian affairs, and shall appoint and commission all officers in the same below the rank of general officers; shall have power to grant pardons for offences against the same, and reprieves for those against the United States until the decision of the President thereon shall be known.

Sec. 2. There shall be a secretary, whose commission shall continue in force for four years, unless sooner revoked by the President of the United States, who shall reside in the said territory, and whose duty it shall be, under the direction of the governor, to record and preserve all the papers and proceedings of the executive and all the acts of the governor and of the legislative body, and transmit authentic copies of the same every six months to the President of the United States. In case of a vacancy of the office of governor, the government of the said territory shall be exercised by the secretary.

Sec. 3. The legislative power shall (be) vested in the governor and in three judges, or a majority of them, who shall have power to establish inferior courts in the said territory, and prescribe their jurisdiction and duties, and to make all laws which they may deem conducive to the good government of the inhabitants thereof: Provided, however, That no law shall be valid which is inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States, or which shall lay any person under restraint or disability on account of his religious opinions, Edition: current; Page: [1374] profession, or worship, in all of which he shall be free to maintain his own and not be burthened with those of another: And provided also, That in all criminal prosecutions the trial shall be by a jury of twelve good and lawful men of the vicinage, and in all civil cases of the value of one hundred dollars the trial shall be by jury, if either of the parties require it. And the governor shall publish throughout the said territory all the laws which may be made as aforesaid, and shall, from time to time, report the same to the President of the United States, to be laid before Congress, which, if disapproved of by Congress, shall thenceforth cease and be of no effect.

Sec. 4. There shall be appointed three judges, who shall hold their offices for the term of four years, who, or any two of them, shall hold annually two courts within the said district, at such place as will be most convenient to the inhabitants thereof in general; shall possess the same jurisdiction which is possessed by the judges of the Indiana territory, and shall continue in session until all the business depending before them shall be disposed of.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That for the more convenient distribution of justice, the prevention of crimes and injuries, and execution of process, criminal and civil, the governor shall proceed, from time to time, as circumstances may require, to lay out those parts of the territory in which the Indian title shall have been extinguished into districts, subject to such alterations as may be found necessary, and he shall appoint thereto such magistrates and other civil officers as he may deem necessary, whose several powers and authorities shall be regulated and defined by law.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the governor, secretary, and judges to be appointed by virtue of this act shall respectively receive the same compensations for their services as are by law established for similar offices in the Indiana territory, to be paid quarter-yearly out of the treasury of the United States.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the governor, secretary, judges, justices of the peace, and all other officers, civil or military, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, shall take an oath, or affirmation, to support the constitution of the United States and for the faithful discharge of the duties of their office; the governor before the President of the United States, or before a judge of the supreme or district court of the United States, or before such other person as the President of the United States shall authorize to administer the same; the secretary and judges before the governor; and all other officers before such person as the governor shall direct.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the governor, secretary, and judges, to be appointed by virtue of this act, and all the additional officers authorized thereby, or by the act for erecting Louisiana into two territories, and providing for the temporary government thereof, shall be appointed by the President of the United States in the recess of the Senate, but shall be nominated at their next meeting for their advice and consent.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That the laws and regulations in force in the said district at the commencement of this act, and not inconsistent with the provisions thereof, shall continue in force until altered, modified, or repealed by the legislature.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That so much of an act intituled “An act erecting Louisiana into two territories, and providing for Edition: current; Page: [1375] the temporary government thereof,” as is repugnant to this act, shall, from and after the fourth day of July next, be repealed; on which said fourth day of July this act shall commence and have full force.

PROCLAMATION RESPECTING TAKING POSSESSION OF PART OF LOUISIANA—1810

By the President of the United States of America.

A PROCLAMATION

Whereas the territory south of the Mississippi Territory and eastward of the River Mississippi and extending to the River Perdido, of which possession was not delivered to the United States in pursuance of the treaty concluded at Paris, on the 30th of April, 1803, has at all times, as is well known, been considered and claimed by them, as being within the colony of Louisiana conveyed by the said treaty, in the same extent that it had in the hands of Spain, and that it had when France originally possessed it.

And whereas, the acquiescence of the United States in the temporary continuance of the said territory under the Spanish authority was not the result of any distrust of their title, as has been particularly evinced by the general tenor of their laws, and by the distinction made in the application of those laws between that territory and foreign countries, but was occasioned by their concilatory views, and by a confidence in the justice of their cause; and in the success of candid discussion and amicable negotiation with a just and friendly power.

And whereas a satisfactory adjustment, too long delayed, without the fault of the United States, has for some time been entirely suspended by events over which they had no control, and whereas a crises has at length arrived subversive of the order of things under the Spanish authorities, whereby a failure of the United States to take the said territory into its possession may lead to events ultimately contravening the views of both parties, whilst in the mean time the tranquillity and security of our adjoining territories are endangered, and new facilities given to violations of our revenue and commercial laws, and of those prohibiting the introduction of slaves.

Considering, moreover, that under these peculiar and imperative circumstances, a forbearance on the part of the United States to occupy the territory in question, and thereby guard against the confusions and contingencies which threaten it, might be construed into a dereliction of their title, or an insensibility to the importance of the state; considering that in the hands of the United States it will not cease to be a subject of fair and friendly negotiation and adjustment; considering finally that the acts of Congress tho’ contemplating a present possession by a foreign authority, have contemplated also an eventual possession of the said territory by the United States, and are accordingly so framed, as in the case to extend in their operation, to the same:

Now be it known that I, James Madison, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of these weighty and urgent considerations, Edition: current; Page: [1376] have deemed it right and requisite, that possession should be taken of the said territory, in the name and behalf of the United States. William C. C. Claiborne, governor of the Orleans Territory of which the said territory is to be taken as part, will accordingly proceed to execute the same; and to exercise over the said territory the authorities and functions legally appertaining to his office. And the good people inhabiting the same, are invited and enjoined to pay due respect to him in that character, to be obedient to the laws; to maintain order; to cherish harmony; and in every manner to conduct themselves as peaceable citizens; under full assurance that they will be protected in the enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion.

In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed, and signed the same with my hand.

[l. s.] Done at the city of Washington, the twenty-seventh day of October, ad 1810, and in the thirty-fifth year of the independence of the said United States.
James Madison.
By the President: R. Smith, Secretary of State.

ENABLING ACT FOR LOUISIANA—1811

[Eleventh Congress, Third Session]

An Act to enable the people of the Territory of Louisiana to form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of such state into the Union, on an equal footing with the original states, and for other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the inhabitants of all that part of the territory or country ceded under the name of Louisiana, by the treaty made at Paris on the thirtieth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and three, between the United States and France, contained within the following limits, that is to say: Beginning at the mouth of the river Sabine; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river, including all islands, to the thirty-second degree of latitude; thence due north to the northernmost part of the thirty-third degree of north latitude; thence along the said parallel of latitude to the river Mississippi; thence down the said river to the river Iberville; and from thence, along the middle of the said river and Lakes Maurepas and Ponchartrain, to the Gulf of Mexico; thence bounded by the said gulf to the place of beginning, including all islands within three leagues of the coast, be, and they are hereby, authorized to form for themselves a constitution and state government, and to assume such name as they may deem proper, under the provisions and upon the conditions hereinafter mentioned.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That all free white male citizens of the United States, who shall have arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and resided within the said territory at least one year previous to the day of election, and shall have paid a territorial, county, or district, or parish tax, and all persons having in other respects the legal qualifications to vote for representatives in the general assembly of the said territory, be, and they are hereby, authorized to choose Edition: current; Page: [1377] representatives to form a convention, who shall be apportioned amongst the several counties, districts, and parishes in the said territory of Orleans in such manner as the legislature of the said territory shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed sixty, and the elections for the representatives aforesaid shall take place on the third Monday in September next, and shall be conducted in the same manner as is now provided by the laws of the said territory for electing members for the house of representatives.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the members of the convention, when duly elected, be, and they are hereby, authorized to meet at the city of New Orleans, on the first Monday of November next, which convention, when met, shall first determine, by a majority of the whole number elected, whether it be expedient or not, at that time, to form a constitution and state government for the people within the said territory, and if it be determined to be expedient, then the convention shall in like manner declare, in behalf of the people of the said territory, that it adopts the constitution of the United States; whereupon the said convention shall be, and hereby is, authorized to form a constitution and state government for the people of the said territory: Provided, The constitution to be formed, in virtue of the authority herein given, shall be republican, and consistent with the constitution of the United States; that it shall contain the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty; that it shall secure to the citizen the trial by jury in all criminal cases, and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, conformable to the provisions of the constitution of the United States; and that after the admission of the said territory of Orleans as a state into the Union, the laws which such state may pass shall be promulgated and its records of every description shall be preserved, and its judicial and legislative written proceedings conducted in the language in which the laws and the judicial and legislative written proceedings of the United States are now published and conducted: And provided also, That the said convention shall provide by an ordinance, irrevocable without the consent of the United States, that the people inhabiting the said territory do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right or title to the waste or unappropriated lands lying within the said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States, and moreover that each and every tract of land sold by Congress shall be and remain exempt from any tax laid by the order or under the authority of the state, whether for state, county, township, parish, or any other purpose whatever, for the term of five years from and after the respective days of the sales thereof, and that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the said state shall never be taxed higher than the lands belonging to persons residing therein, and that no taxes shall be imposed on lands the property of the United States, and that the river Mississippi and the navigable rivers and waters leading into the same or into the Gulf of Mexico shall be common highways and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of the said state as to other citizens of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll therefor imposed by the said state.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That in case the convention shall declare its assent in behalf of the people of the said territory to the Edition: current; Page: [1378] adoption of the constitution of the United States, and shall form a constitution and state government for the people of the said territory of Orleans, the said convention, as soon thereafter as may be, is hereby required to cause to be transmitted to Congress the instrument by which its assent to the constitution of the United States is thus given and declared, and also a true and attested copy of such constitution or frame of state government as shall be formed and provided by said convention, and if the same shall not be disapproved by Congress, at their next session after the receipt thereof, the said state shall be admitted into the Union upon the same footing with the original states.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That five per centum of the net proceeds of the sales of the lands of the United States, after the first day of January, shall be applied to laying out and constructing public roads and levees in the said state, as the legislature thereof may direct.

ACT FOR THE ADMISSION OF LOUISIANA—1812

[Twelfth Congress, First Session]

An act for the admission of the state of Louisiana into the Union, and to extend the laws of the United States to the said state

Whereas the representatives of the people of all that part of the territory or country ceded, under the name of “Louisiana,” by the treaty made at Paris on the thirtieth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and three, between the United States and France, contained within the following limits, that is to say: Beginning at the mouth of the river Sabine; thence, by a line to be drawn along the middle of said river, including all islands, to the thirty-second degree of latitude; thence due north to the northernmost part of the thirty-third degree of north latitude; thence along the said parallel of latitude to the river Mississippi; thence down the said river to the river Iberville; and from thence along the middle of the said river, and lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, to the gulf of Mexico; thence bounded by the said gulf to the place of beginning, including all islands within three leagues of the coast, did, on the twenty-second day of January, one thousand eight hundred and twelve, form for themselves a constitution and state government, and give to the said state the name of the state of Louisiana in pursuance of an act of Congress entitled “An act to enable the people of the territory of Orleans to form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of the said state into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, and for other purposes;” and the said constitution having been transmitted to Congress, and by them being hereby approved: Therefore,

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the said state shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatever, by the name and title of Edition: current; Page: [1379] the state of Louisiana: Provided, That it shall be taken as a condition upon which the said state is incorporated in the Union, that the river Mississippi, and the navigable rivers and waters leading into the same, and into the gulf of Mexico, shall be common highways and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of the said state as to the inhabitants of other states and the territories of the United States, without any tax, duty, impost, or toll therefor, imposed by the said state; and that the above condition, and also all other the conditions and terms contained in the third section of the act, the title whereof is hereinbefore recited, shall be considered, deemed, and taken fundamental conditions and terms, upon which the said state is incorporated in the Union.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That until the next general census and apportionment of representatives, the said state shall be entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives of the United States; and that all the laws of the United States not locally inapplicable shall be extended to the said state, and shall have the same force and effect within the same as elsewhere within the United States.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said state, together with the residue of that portion of country which was comprehended within the territory of Orleans, as constituted by the act entituled “An act erecting Louisiana into two territories, and providing for the temporary government thereof,” shall be one district, and be called the Louisiana district; and there shall be established in the said district a district court, to consist of one judge, who shall reside therein, and be called the district judge; and there shall be, annually, four stated sessions of the said court held at the city of Orleans; the first to commence on the third Monday in July next, and the three other sessions progressively, on the third Monday of every third calendar month thereafter. The said judge shall, in all things, have and exercise the same jurisdiction and powers which, by the act the title whereof is in this section recited, were given to the district judge of the territory of Orleans; and he shall be allowed an annual compensation of three thousand dollars, to be paid quarter-yearly at the treasury of the United States. The said judge shall appoint a clerk of the said court, who shall reside and keep the records of the court in the city of Orleans, and shall receive for the services performed by him the same fees heretofore allowed to the clerk of the Orleans territory.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed in the said district a person learned in the law, to act as attorney for the United States, who shall, in addition to his stated fees, be paid six hundred dollars annually as a full compensation for all extra services. There shall also be appointed a marshal for the said district, who shall perform the same duties, be subject to the same regulations and penalties, and be entitled to the same fees to which marshals in other districts are entitled for similar services; and shall, moreover, be paid two hundred dollars annually as a compensation for all extra services.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That nothing in this act shall be construed to repeal the fourth section of an act entitled “An act for laying and collecting duties on imports and tonnage within the territories Edition: current; Page: [1380] ceded to the United States by the treaty of the thirtieth of April, one thousand eight hundred and three, between the United States and the French Republic, and for other purposes;” and that the collection-district shall be and remain as thereby established.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That this act shall commence and be in force from and after the thirtieth day of April, eighteen hundred and twelve.

ACT TO ENLARGE THE LIMITS OF LOUISIANA—1812

[Twelfth Congress, First Session]

An Act to enlarge the limits of the state of Louisiana

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, in case the legislature of the state of Louisiana shall consent thereto, all that tract of country comprehended within the following bounds to wit: Beginning at the junction of the Iberville with the river Mississippi; thence, along the middle of the Iberville, the river Amite, and of the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the eastern mouth of the Pearl River; thence up the eastern branch of Pearl River to the thirty-first degree of north latitude; thence along the said degree of latitude to the river Mississippi; thence down the said river to the place of beginning, shall become and form a part of the said state of Louisiana, and be subject to the constitution and laws thereof, in the same manner, and for all intents and purposes, as if it had been included within the original boundaries of the said state.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be incumbent upon the legislature of the state of Louisiana, in case they consent to the incorporation of the territory aforesaid within their limits, at their first session, to make provision by law for the representation of the said territory in the legislature of the state upon the principles of the constitution, and for securing to the people of the said territory equal rights, privileges, benefits, and advantages with those enjoyed by the people of the other parts of the state; which law shall be liable to revision, modification, and amendment by Congress, and also in the manner provided for the amendment of the state constitution, but shall not be liable to change or amendment by the legislature of the state.

CONSTITUTION OF LOUISIANA—1812*

We, the Representatives of the People of all that part of the Territory or country ceded under the name of Louisiana, by the treaty made at Paris, on the 30th day of April 1803, between the United Edition: current; Page: [1381] States and France, contained in the following limits, to wit; beginning at the mouth of the river Sabine, thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of said river, including all its islands, to the thirty second degree of latitude—thence due north to the Northernmost part of the thirty third degree of north latitude—thence along the said parallel of latitude to the river Mississippi—thence down the said river to the river Iberville, and from thence along the middle of the said river and lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mexico—thence bounded by the said Gulf to the place of beginning, including all Islands within three leagues of the coast—in Convention Assembled by virtue of an act of Congress, entitled “an act to enable the people of the Territory of Orleans to form a constitution and State government and for the admission of said State into the Union on an equal footing with the original States, and for other purpose;” In order to secure to all the citizens thereof the enjoyment of the right of life, liberty and property, do ordain and establish the following constitution or form of government, and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the name of the State of Louisiana.

Article 1st: CONCERNING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POWERS OF GOVERNMENT.

Sect. 1st. 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 viz—those which are Legislative to one, those which are executive to another, and those which are judiciary to another.

Sect. 2d. No person or Collection of persons, being one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others; except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

Article II: CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Sect. 1st. The Legislative power of this State shall be vested in two distinct branches, the one to be styled the House of Representatives, the other the senate, and both together, the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana.

Sect. 2d. The Members of the House of Representatives shall continue in service for the term of two years from the day of the commencement of the general election.

Sect. 3d. Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in July every two years, and the General Assembly shall convene on the first Monday in January in every year, unless a different day be appointed by law, and their sessions shall be held at the Seat of Government.

Sect. 4th. No person shall be a Representative who, at the time of his election is not a free white male citizen of the United States, and hath not attained to the age of twenty one years, and resided in the state two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof Edition: current; Page: [1382] in the county for which he may be chosen or in the district for which he is elected in case the said counties may be divided into separate districts of election, and has not held for one year in the said county or district landed property to the value of five hundred dollars agreeably to the last list.

Sect. 5th. Elections for Representatives for the several counties entitled to representation, shall be held at the places of holding their respecting courts, or in the several election precincts, into which the Legislature may think proper, from time to time, to divide any or all of those counties.

Sect. 6th. Representation shall be equal and uniform in this state, and shall be forever regulated and ascertained by the number of qualified electors therein. In the year one thousand eight hundred and thirteen and every fourth year thereafter, an enumeration of all the electors shall be made in such manner as shall be directed by law. The number of Representatives shall, in the several years of making these enumerations be so fixed as not to be less than twenty five nor more than fifty.

Sect. 7th. The House of Representatives shall choose its speaker and other officers.

Sect. 8th. In all elections for Representatives every free white male citizen of the United States, who at the time being, hath attained to the age of twenty one years and resided in the county in which he offers to vote one year not preceding the election, and who in the last six months prior to the said election, shall have paid a state tax, shall enjoy the right of an elector: provided however that every free white male citizen of the United States who shall have purchased land from the United States, shall have the right of voting whenever he shall have the other qualifications of age and residence above prescribed—Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony, breach or surety of peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at, going to or returning from elections.

Sect. 9th. The members of the Senate shall be chosen for the term of four years, and when assembled shall have the power to choose its officers annually.

Sect. 10th. The State shall be divided in fourteen senatorial districts, which shall forever remain indivisible, as follows; the Parish of St. Bernard and Plaquemine including the country above as far as the land (Des Pécheurs) on the east of the Mississippi and on the west as far as Bernoudy’s canal shall form one district. The city of New-Orleans beginning at the Nuns’ Plantation above and extending below as far as the above mentioned canal (Des Pécheurs) including the inhabitants of the Bayou St. John, shall form the second district, the remainder of the county of Orleans shall form the third district. The counties of German Coast, Acadia, Lafourche, Iberville, Point Coupée, Concordia, Attakapas, Opelousas, Rapides, Natchitoches and Ouachitta, shall each form one district, and each district shall elect a Senator.

Sect. 11th. At the Session of the General Assembly after this constitution takes effect, the Senators shall be divided by lot, as equally as may be, into two classes; the seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second 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.

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Sect. 12th. No person shall be a Senator who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, and who hath not attained to the age of twenty seven years; resided in this state four years next preceding his election, and one year in the district, in which he may be chosen; and unless he holds within the same a landed property to the value of one thousand dollars agreeably to the tax list.

Sect. 13th. 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 a biennial election of Senators to fill the places of those whose time of service may have expired.

Sect. 14th. 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 shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as may be prescribed thereby.

Sect. 15th. Each house of the general assembly shall judge of the qualifications, elections and returns of its members, but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Sect. 16th. Each house of the general assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish a member for disorderly behaviour, and with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

Sect. 17th. Each house of the general assembly shall keep and publish weekly a Journal of its proceedings, and the yeas and nays of the members on any question, shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on their Journal.

Sect. 18th. Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Sect. 19th. The members of the general assembly shall severally receive from the Public Treasury a compensation for their services, which shall be four dollars per day, during their attendance on, going to and returning from the sessions of their respective houses; Provided that the same may be increased or diminished by law; but no alteration shall take effect during the period of service of the members of the house of Representatives, by whom such alteration shall have been made.

Sect. 20. The members of the general assembly shall in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest, during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and in going to or returning from the same, and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Sect. 21. No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been encreased during the time such Senator or Representative was in office, except to such offices or appointments as may be filled by the elections of the people.

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Sect. 22. No person while he continues to exercise the functions of a clergyman, priest or teacher of any religious persuasion, society or sect, shall be eligible to the general assembly, or to any office of profit or trust under this State.

Sect. 23. No person who at any time may have been a collector of taxes for the State, or the assistant or deputy of such collector shall be eligible to the general assembly, until he shall have obtained a quietus for the amount of such collection, and for all public moneys for which he may be responsible.

Sect. 24. No bill shall have the force of a law until, on three several days, it be read over in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon; unless in case of urgency, four-fifths of the house where the bill shall be depending, may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

Sect. 25. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose amendments as in other bills; Provided that they shall not introduce any new matter under the colour of an amendment which does not relate to raising a revenue.

Sect. 26. The general assembly shall regulate, by law, by whom and in what manner writs of election shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.

Article III: CONCERNING THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Sect. 1. The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the Governor of the State of Louisiana.

Sect. 2. The Governor shall be elected for the term of four years in the following manner, the citizens entitled to vote for representatives shall vote for a Governor at the time and place of voting for Representatives and Senators. Their votes shall be returned by the persons presiding over the elections to the seat of government addressed to the president of the Senate, and on the second day of the general assembly, the members of the two houses shall meet in the House of Representatives, and immediately after the two candidates who shall have obtained the greatest number of votes, shall be ballotted for and the one having a majority of votes shall be governor.—Provided however that if more than two candidates have obtained the highest number of votes, it shall be the duty of the general assembly to ballot for them in the manner above prescribed, and in case several candidates should obtain an equal number of votes next to the candidate who has obtained the highest number, it shall be the duty of the general assembly to select in the same manner the candidate who is to be balloted for with him who has obtained the highest number of votes.

Sect. 3. The governor shall be ineligible for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the time for which he shall have been elected.

Sect. 4. He shall be at least thirty five years of age, and a citizen of the United States, and have been an inhabitant of this state at Edition: current; Page: [1385] least six years preceding his election, and shall hold in his own right a landed estate of five thousand dollars value, agreeably to the tax list.

Sect. 5. He shall commence the execution of his office on the fourth Monday succeeding the day of his election, and shall continue in the execution thereof, until the end of four weeks next succeeding the election of his successor, and until his successor shall have taken the oaths or affirmations prescribed by this Constitution.

Sect. 6. No member of Congress, or person holding any office under the United States, or minister of any religious society, shall be eligible to the office of Governor.

Sect. 7. The governor shall at stated times, receive for his services a compensation which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected.

Sect. 8. He shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia thereof except when they shall be called into the service of the United States, but he shall not command personally in the field, unless he shall be advised so to do by a resolution of the general assembly.

Sect. 9th. He shall nominate and appoint with the advice and consent of the Senate, Judges, Sheriffs and all other Officers whose offices are established by this Constitution, and whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for.—Provided however that the Legislature shall have a right to prescribe the mode, of appointment of all other offices to be established by law.

Sect. 10. The governor shall have power to fill up vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Legislature, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session.

Sect. 11. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, and, except in cases of impeachment, to grant reprieves & pardons, with the approbation of the Senate. In cases of treason he shall have power to grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the general assembly in which the power of pardoning shall be vested.

Sect. 12. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Sect. 13. He shall from time to time give to the general assembly information respecting the situation of the state, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Sect. 14. He may on extraordinary occasions convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place if that should have become dangerous from an enemy or from contagious disorders; and in case of desagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of adjournment, he may ajourn them to such time as he may think proper, not exceeding four months.

Sect. 15. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Sect. 16. It shall be his duty to visit the different counties at least once in every two years, to inform himself of the state of the militia and the general condition of the country.

Sect. 17. In case of the impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, refusal to qualify, resignation, or absence from the state, the president of the senate shall exercise all the power and authority appertaining to the office of governor, untill another be Edition: current; Page: [1386] duly qualified, or the governor absent or impeached shall return or be acquitted.

Sect. 18. The president of the Senate, during the time he administers the government shall receive the same compensation which the governor would have received had he been employed in the duties of his office.

Sect. 19. A secretary of state shall be appointed and commissioned during that term for which the governor shall have been elected, if he shall so long behave himself well, he shall keep a fair register, and attest all official acts and proceedings of the governor, and shall when required, lay the same and all papers, minutes and vouchers relative thereto, before either house of the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be enjoined him by law.

Sect. 20. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor, if he approve, he shall sign it, if not he shall return it with his objection to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it—if after such reconsideration, two thirds of all the members elected to that house, shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered and if approved by two thirds of all the members elected to that house, it shall be 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 journal of each house respectively; if any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall be a law, unless sent back within three days after their next meeting.

Sect. 21. Every order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him; or being disapproved shall be repassed by two thirds of both houses.

Sect. 22. The free white men of this State, shall be armed and disciplined for its defence; but those who belong to religious societies, whose tenets forbid them to carry arms, shall not be compelled so to do, but shall pay an equivalent for personal service.

Sect. 23. The militia of this state shall be organized in such manner as may be hereafter deemed most expedient by the legislature.

Article IV: CONCERNING THE JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Sect. 1st. The judiciary power shall be vested in a supreme court and inferior courts.

Sect. 2d. The supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which jurisdiction shall extend to all civil cases when the matter in dispute shall exceed the sum of three hundred dollars.

Sect. 3d. The supreme court shall consist of not less than three judges, nor more than five; the majority of whom shall form a quorum; each of the said judges shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars Edition: current; Page: [1387] annually. The supreme court shall hold its sessions at the places hereinafter mentioned; and for that purpose the state is hereby divided into two districts of appellate jurisdiction, in each of which the supreme court shall administer justice in the manner hereafter prescribed. The Eastern district to consist of the counties of New Orleans, German Coast, Acadia, Lafourche, Iberville, and Point Coupee; the western district to consist of the counties of Attakapas, Opelousas, Rapides, Concordia, Natchitoches, and Ouachita. The supreme court shall hold its sessions in each year, for the Eastern district in New-Orleans during the months of November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, and July; and for the western district, at Opelousas during the months of August, September and October: for five years: Provided however, That every five years the legislature may change the place of holding said court in the western district. The said court shall appoint its own clerks.

Sect. 4th. The legislature is authorised to establish such inferior courts as may be convenient to the administration of justice.

Sect. 5th. The judges both of the supreme and inferior courts shall hold their offices during good behaviour; but for any reasonable cause which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the Governor shall remove any of them, on the address of three fourths of each house of the general assembly: Provided however, That the cause or causes for which such removal may be required, shall be stated at length in the address, and inserted on the journal of each house.

Sect. 6th. The judges, by virtue of their office, shall be conservators of the peace throughout the state; the style of all process shall be “The State of Louisiana.” All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the state of Louisiana, and conclude “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Sect. 7. There shall be an attorney general for the state, and as many other prosecuting attorneys for the state as may be hereafter found necessary. The said attorneys shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and approbation of the Senate. Their duties shall be determined by law.

Sect. 8. All commissions shall be in the name, and by the authority of, the state of Louisiana, and sealed with the state seal, and signed by the Governor.

Sect. 9. The state treasurer, and printer or printers of the state, shall be appointed, annually, by the joint vote of both houses of the general assembly: Provided, That during the recess of the same, the Governor shall have power to fill vacancies which may happen in either of the said offices.

Sect. 10. The clerks of the several courts shall be removable for breach of good behaviour, by the court of appeals only, who shall be judge of the fact, as well as of the law.

Sect. 11. The existing laws in this territory, when this constitution goes into effect, shall continue to be in force until altered or abolished by the Legislature; Provided however, that the Legislature shall never adopt any system or code of laws, by a general reference to the said system or code, but in all cases, shall specify the several provisions of the laws it may enact.

Sect. 12. The judges of all courts within this state, shall, as often as it may be possible so to do, in every definitive judgment, refer to Edition: current; Page: [1388] the particular law, in virtue of which such judgment may have been rendered, and in all cases adduce the reasons on which their judgment is founded.

Article V: CONCERNING IMPEACHMENT.

Sect. 1. The power of impeachment shall be vested in the House of Representatives alone.

Sect. 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate when sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

Sect. 3. The governor and all the civil officers, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office, but judgment, in such cases, shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor trust or profit under this State; but the parties convicted shall nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial and punishment according to law.

Article VI: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sect. 1. Members of the general assembly and all officers executive and judicial, before they enter upon the execution of their respective offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I (A. B.) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as—according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the rules and regulations of the Constitution, and the laws of this State; so help me God!”

Sect. 2. Treason against the State, shall consist only in levying war against it or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Sect. 3. Every person shall be disqualified from serving as governor, Senator or Representative for the term for which he shall have been elected, who shall have been convicted of having given or offered any bribe to procure his election.

Sect. 4. Laws shall be made to exclude from office and from suffrage those who shall thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery or other high crimes or misdemeanors, the privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections and prohibiting under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon, from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practices.

Sect. 5. No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations made by law; nor shall any appropriation of money for the support of an army be made for a longer term than one year; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys, shall be published annually.

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Sect. 6. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such laws as may be necessary and proper to decide differences by arbitrators, to be appointed by the parties, who may choose that summary mode of adjustment.

Sect. 7. All civil officers for the state at large shall reside within the State, and all district or county officers within their respective districts or counties, and shall keep their respective offices at such places therein as may be required by law.

Sect. 8. The Legislature shall determine the time of duration of the several public offices when such time shall not have been fixed by this Constitution, and all civil officers except the governor and judges of the superior and inferior courts shall be removable by an address of two thirds of the members of both houses, except those, the removal of whom has been otherwise provided for by this Constitution.

Sect. 9. Absence on the business of this State or of the United States, shall not forfeit a residence once obtained, so as to deprive any one of the rights of suffrage, or of being elected or appointed to any office under this State, under the exceptions contained in this Constitution.

Sect. 10. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to regulate by law in what cases, and what deduction from the salaries of public officers shall be made for neglect of duty in their official capacity.

Sect. 11. Returns of all elections for the members of the general assembly, shall be made to the secretary of state for the time being.

Sect. 12. The Legislature shall point out the manner in which a man coming into the country shall declare his residence.

Sect. 13. In all elections by the people, and also by the Senate and House of Representatives jointly or separately, the vote shall be given by ballot.

Sect. 14. No members of Congress, nor person holding or exercising any office of trust or profit under the United States, or either of them, or under any foreign powers shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly of this State, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the same.

Sect. 15. All laws that may be passed by the Legislature, and the public records of this State, and the judicial and legislative written proceedings of the same, shall be promulgated, preserved and conducted in the language in which the constitution of the United States is written.

Sect. 16. The general assembly shall direct by law how persons who are now or may hereafter become securities for public officers, may be relieved or discharged on account of such securityship.

Sect. 17. No power of suspending the laws of this State shall be exercised, unless by the Legislature, or its authority.

Sect. 18. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused have the right of being heard by himself or counsel, of demanding the nature and cause of the accusation against him, of meeting the witnesses face to face, of having compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour, and prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage, nor shall he be compelled to give evidence against himself.

Sect. 19. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offences, where the proof is evident or presumption Edition: current; Page: [1390] great, and the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

Sect. 20. No expost facto law nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed.

Sect. 21. Printing presses shall be free to every person who undertakes to examine the proceedings of the Legislature, or any branch of the government, and no law shall ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

Sect. 22. Emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.

Sect. 23. The citizens of the town of New-Orleans shall have the right of appointing the several public officers necessary for the administration and the police of the said city, pursuant to the mode of election which shall be prescribed by the Legislature; Provided that the mayor and recorder be ineligible to a seat in the general assembly.

Sect. 24. The seat of government shall continue at New Orleans until removed by law.

Sect. 25. All laws contrary to this Constitution shall be null and void.

Article VII: MODE OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION

Sect. 1. When experience shall point out the necessity of amending this Constitution, and a majority of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly, shall, within the first twenty days of their stated annual session, concur in passing a law, specifying the alterations intended to be made, for taking the sense of the good people of this state, as to the necessity and expediency of calling a convention, it shall be the duty of the several returning officers, at the next general election which shall be held for Representatives after the passage of such law, to open a poll for, and make return to the secretary for the time being, of the names of all those entitled to vote for Representatives, who have voted for calling a convention; and if thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this state, entitled to vote for Representatives, have voted for a convention, the general assembly, shall direct that a similar poll shall be opened, and taken for the next year; and if thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this state entitled to vote for Representatives, have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall, at their next session, call a convention to consist of as many members as there shall be in the general assembly, and no more, to be chosen in same manner and proportion, at the same places and at the same time, that Representatives are, by citizens entitled to vote for Representatives; and to meet within three months after the said election, for the purpose of re-adopting, amending or changing this constitution. But if it shall appear by the vote of either year, as aforesaid, that a majority of all the citizens entitled to vote for Representatives, did not vote for a convention, a convention shall not be called.

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Schedule

Sect. 1. That no inconveniences may arise from the change of a territorial to permanent state government, it is declared by the Convention that all rights, suits, actions, prosecutions, claims and contracts, both as it respects individuals and bodies corporate, shall continue as if no change had taken place in this government in virtue of the laws now in force.

Sect. 2. All fines, penalties and forfeitures, due and owing to the territory of Orleans shall inure to the use of the state. All bonds executed to the governor or any other officer in his official capacity in the territory, shall pass over to the governor or to the officers of the State and their successors in office, for the use of the State, by him or by them to be respectively assigned over to the use of those concerned, as the case may be.

Sect. 3. The governor, secretary and judges, and all other officers under the territorial government, shall continue in the exercise of their duties of their respective departments until the said officers are superceded under the authority of this Constitution.

Sect. 4. All laws now in force in this territory, not inconsistent with this constitution, shall continue and remain in full effect until repealed by the legislature.

Sect. 5. The governor of this state shall make use of his private seal, until a state seal be procured.

Sect. 6. The oaths of office herein directed to be taken, may be administered by any justice of the peace, until the legislature shall otherwise direct.

Sect. 7. At the expiration of the time after which this constitution is to go into operation, or immediately after official information shall have been received that congress have approved of the same, the president of the Convention shall issue writs of election to the proper officers in the different counties, enjoining them to cause an election to be held for governor and members of the general assembly, in each of their respective districts. The election shall commence on the fourth Monday following the day of the date of the President’s proclamation, and shall take place on the same day throughout the state. The mode and duration of the said election shall be determined by the laws now in force: Provided however, that in case of absence or disability of the President of the Convention, to cause the said election to be carried into effect, the Secretary of the Convention shall discharge the duties hereby imposed on the President, and that in case of absence of the secretary a committee of Messrs Blanque, Brown, and Urquhart or a majority of them, shall discharge the duties herein imposed on the secretary of the convention—and the members of the general assembly thus elected shall assemble on the fourth Monday thereafter at the seat of government. The governor and members of the general assembly for this time only, shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices, immediately after their election, and shall continue in office in the same manner and during the same period they would have done had they been elected on the first Monday of July 1812.

Sect. 8. untill the first enumeration shall be made as directed in the sixth section of the second article of this Constitution, the, county of Edition: current; Page: [1392] Orleans shall be entitled to Six Representatives to be elected as follows: one by the first senatorial district within the said county, four by the second district, and one by the third district—The county of German Coast, to two Representatives, the county of Acadia, to two Representatives; the county of Iberville, to two Representatives; the county of Lafourche, to two Representatives; to be elected as follows: one by the parish of the assumption, and the other by the parish of the interior; the county of Rapides, to two Representatives; the county of Natchitoches, to one Representative; the county of Concordia, to one Representative; the county of Ouachitta, to one Representative; the county of Opelloussas, to two Representatives; the county of Attakapas, to three Representatives to be elected as follows: two by the parish of St. Martin and the third by the parish of St. Mary, and the respective senatorial districts created by this Constitution, to one senator each.

Done in Convention, at New Orleans, the twenty second day of the month of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve, and of the independence of the United States of America, the thirty-sixth.

J. Poydras,
President of the Convention.
Eligius Fromentin,
Secretary of the Convention.

CONSTITUTION OF LOUISIANA—1845*a

PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Louisiana, do ordain and establish this constitution:

Title I: DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS

Article 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.

Title II: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 3. The legislative powers of the State shall be vested in two distinct branches, the one to be styled the “house of representatives,” Edition: current; Page: [1393] 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 election, 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 constitution 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.

That 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 its strikes the New Orleans Canal; thence down said canal to the lake.
  • 3d. Third district to comprise the residue of the second municipality. Edition: current; Page: [1394]
  • 4th. Fourth district to extend from the middle of Canal street to the middle of Saint 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 Saint Philip street; thence down said street until its intersection with the Bayou Saint John; thence along the middle of said Bayou until it intersects the Metairie road; thence along said road until it reaches Saint 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 La Fayette avenue.
  • 9th. Ninth district, from the middle of Enghein street and La Fayette 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 housekeeper, 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; Edition: current; Page: [1395] 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 second 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 shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members.

Art. 21. Each house of the general assembly shall judge of the qualification, election, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Art. 22. Each house of the general assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish a member for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

Art. 23. Each house of the general assembly shall keep and publish weekly a journal of its proceedings; and the yeas and nays of Edition: current; Page: [1396] the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on the journal.

Art. 24. Each house may punish, by imprisonment, any person not a member, for disrespectful and disorderly behavior in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings. Such imprisonment shall not exceed ten days for any one offence.

Art. 25. Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Art. 26. The members of the general assembly shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for their services, which shall be four dollars per day during their attendance, going to, and returning from the session of their respective houses. The compensation may be increased or diminished by law; but no alteration shall take effect during the period of service of the members of the house of representatives by whom such alteration shall have been made. No session shall extend to a period beyond sixty days, to date from its commencement, and any legislative action had after the expiration of the said sixty days shall be null and void. This provision shall not apply to the first legislature which is to convene after the adoption of this constitution.

Art. 27. The members of the general assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and going to or returning from the same, and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Art. 28. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this State, which shall have been created or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during the time such senator or representative was in office, except to such offices or appointments as may be filled by the elections of the people.

Art. 29. No person, while he continues to exercise the functions of a clergyman, priest, or teacher of any religious persuasion, society, or sect, shall be eligible to the general assembly.

Art. 30. No person who at any time may have been a collector of taxes, or who may have been otherwise intrusted with public money, shall be eligible to the general assembly, or to any office of profit or trust under the State government, until he shall have obtained a discharge for the amount of such collections, and for all public moneys with which he may have been intrusted.

Art. 31. No bill shall have the force of a law until, on three several days, it be read over in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon; unless, in case of urgency, four-fifths of the house where the bill shall be pending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

Art. 32. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may propose amendments, as in other bills: Provided, They shall not introduce any new matter, under color of an amendment, which does not relate to raising revenue.

Art. 33. The general assembly shall regulate by law by whom and Edition: current; Page: [1397] in what manner writs of election shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.

Art. 34. A majority of all the members elected to the senate shall be required for the confirmation or rejection of officers to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate; and the senate, in deciding thereon, shall vote by yeas and nays, and the names of the senators voting for and against the appointments, respectively, shall be entered on a journal to be kept for that purpose, and made public at the end of each session, or before.

Art. 35. Returns of all elections for members of the general assembly shall be made to the secretary of state.

Art. 36. A treasurer of the State shall be elected biennially, by joint ballot of the two houses of the general assembly. The governor shall have power to fill any vacancy that may happen in that office during the recess of the legislature.

Art. 37. In the year in which a regular election for a Senator of the United States is to take place, the members of the general assembly shall meet in the hall of the house of representatives, on the Monday following the meeting of the legislature, and proceed to the said election.

TITLE III: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 38. The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the State of Louisiana. He shall hold his office during the term of four years; and, together with the lieutenant-governor chosen for the same term, be elected as follows: The qualified electors for representatives shall vote for a governor and lieutenant-governor, at the time and place of voting for representatives; the returns of every election shall be sealed up and transmitted by the proper returning-officer to the secretary of state, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of representatives, on the second day of the session of the general assembly, then next to be holden. The members of the general assembly shall meet in the house of representatives to examine and count the votes. The person having the greatest number of votes for governor shall be declared duly elected; but if two or more persons shall be equal, and highest in the number of votes polled for governor, one of them shall immediately be chosen governor, by joint vote of the members of the general assembly. The person having the greatest number of votes for lieutenant-governor shall be lieutenant-governor; but if two or more persons shall be equal and highest in the number of votes polled for lieutenant-governor, one of them shall be immediately chosen lieutenant-governor, by joint vote of the members of the general assembly.

Art. 39. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor who shall not have attained the age of thirty-five years, been fifteen years a citizen of the United States, and a resident within the State for the same space of time next preceding his election.

Art. 40. The governor shall enter on the discharge of his duties on the fourth Monday of January next ensuing his election, and shall continue in office until the Monday next succeeding the day that his Edition: current; Page: [1398] successor shall be declared duly elected, and shall have taken the oath or affirmation prescribed by this constitution.

Art. 41. The governor shall be ineligible for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the time for which he shall have been elected.

Art. 42. No member of Congress, or person holding any office under the United States, or minister of any religious society, shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor.

Art. 43. In case of the impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, refusal or inability to qualify, resignation, or absence from the State, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor for the residue of the term, or until the governor, absent or impeached, shall return or be acquitted. The legislature may provide by law for the case of removal, impeachment, death, resignation, disability, or refusal to qualify, of both the governor and lieutenant-governor, declaring what officer shall act as governor; and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or for the residue of the term.

Art. 44. The lieutenant-governor, or other officer discharging the duties of governor, shall, during his administration, receive the same compensation to which the governor would have been entitled had he continued in office.

Art. 45. The lieutenant-governor shall, by virtue of his office, be president of the senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein. Whenever he shall administer the government, or shall be unable to attend as president of the senate, the senators shall elect one of their own members as president of the senate for the time being.

Art. 46. While he acts as president of the senate, the lieutenant-governor shall receive for his services the same compensation which shall for the same period be allowed to the speaker of the house of representatives, and no more.

Art. 47. The governor shall have power to grant reprieves for all offences against the State, and, except in cases of impeachment, shall, with the consent of the senate, have power to grant pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction. In cases of treason, he may grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the general assembly, in which the power of pardoning shall be vested.

Art. 48. The governor shall at stated times receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected.

Art. 49. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy or this State, and of the militia thereof, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

Art. 50. He shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all officers whose offices are established by this constitution, and whose appointment is not therein otherwise provided for: Provided, however, That the legislature shall have a right to prescribe the mode of appointment to all other offices established by law.

Art. 51. The governor shall have power to fill vacancies that may happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session, unless otherwise provided for in this constitution; but no person who has been nominated Edition: current; Page: [1399] for office, and rejected by the senate, shall be appointed to the same office during the recess of the senate.

Art. 52. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Art. 53. He shall, from time to time, give to the general assembly information respecting the situation of the State, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Art. 54. He may on extraordinary occasions convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that should have become dangerous from an enemy or from epidemic; and in case of disagreement between the two houses as to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he may think proper, not exceeding four months.

Art. 55. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Art. 56. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it, if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if after such reconsideration two-thirds of all the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to that house, it shall be a law; but in such cases the vote 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 journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly, by adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law unless sent back within three days after their next meeting.

Art. 57. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the general assembly.

Art. 58. There shall be a secretary of state, who shall hold his office during the time for which the governor shall have been elected. The records of the State shall be kept and preserved in the office of the secretary; he shall keep a fair register of the official acts and proceedings of the governor, and, when necessary, shall attest them. He shall, when required, lay the said register, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative to his office, before either house of the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be enjoined on him by law.

Art. 59. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana, and shall be sealed with the State seal, and signed by the governor.

Art. 60. The free white men of the State shall be armed and disciplined for its defence; but those who belong to religious societies Edition: current; Page: [1400] whose tenets forbid them to carry arms, shall not be compelled so to do, but shall pay an equivalent for personal services.

Art. 61. The militia of the State shall be organized in such manner as may be hereafter deemed most expedient by the legislature.

Title IV: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Art. 62. The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court, in district courts, and in justices of the peace.

Art. 63. The supreme court, except in cases hereinafter provided, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which jurisdiction shall extend to all cases where the matter in dispute shall exceed three hundred dollars, and to all cases in which the constitutionality or legality of any tax, toll, or impost, of any kind or nature soever, shall be in contestation, whatever may be the amount thereof; and likewise to all fines, forfeitures, and penalties imposed by municipal corporations, and in criminal cases on questions of law alone, whenever the punishment of death or hard labor may be inflicted, or when a fine exceeding three hundred dollars is actually imposed.

Art. 64. The supreme court shall be composed of one chief justice and of three associate justices, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum. The chief justice shall receive a salary of six thousand dollars, and each of the associate judges a salary of five thousand five hundred dollars annually. The court shall appoint its own clerks. The judges shall be appointed for the term of eight years.

Art. 65. When the first appointments are made under this constitution, the chief justice shall be appointed for eight years, one of the associate judges for six years, one for four years, and one for two years; and in the event of the death, resignation, or removal of any of said judges before the expiration of the period for which he was appointed, his successor shall be appointed only for the remainder of his term; so that the term of service of no two of said judges shall expire at the same time.

Art. 66. The supreme court shall hold its sessions in New Orleans from the first Monday of the month of November to the end of the month of June, inclusive. The legislature shall have power to fix the sessions elsewhere during the rest of the year; until otherwise provided, the sessions shall be held as heretofore.

Art. 67. The supreme court, and each of the judges thereof, shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, at the instance of all persons in actual custody under process, in all cases in which they may have appellate jurisdiction.

Art. 68. In all cases in which the judges shall be equally divided in opinion, the judgment appealed from shall stand affirmed; in which case each of the judges shall give his separate opinions in writing.

Art. 69. All judges, by virtue of their office, shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be “The State of Louisiana.” All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana, and conclude against the peace and dignity of the same.

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Art. 70. The judges of all the courts within this State shall, as often as it may be possible so to do, in every definitive judgment, refer to the particular law in virtue of which such judgment may be rendered, and in all cases adduce the reasons on which their judgment is founded.

Art. 71. No court or judge shall make any allowance by way of fee or compensation in any suit or proceedings, except for the payment of such fees to ministerial officers as may be established by law.

Art. 72. No duties or functions shall ever be attached by law to the supreme or district courts, or to the several judges thereof, but such as are judicial; and the said judges are prohibited from receiving any fees of office or other compensation than their salaries for any civil duties performed by them.

Art. 73. The judges of all courts shall be liable to impeachment; but for any reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the governor shall remove any of them on the address of three-fourths of the members present of each house of the general assembly. In every such case the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in the address, and inserted in the journal of each house.

Art. 74. There shall be an attorney-general for the State, and as many district attorneys as may be hereafter found necessary. They shall hold their offices for two years; their duties shall be determined by law.

Art. 75. The first legislature assembled under this constitution shall divide the State into judicial districts, which shall remain unchanged for six years, and be subject to reorganization every sixth year thereafter.

The number of districts shall not be less than twelve nor more than twenty.

For each district one judge, learned in the law, shall be appointed, except in the districts in which the cities of New Orleans and La Fayette are situated, in which the legislature may establish as many district courts as the public interest may require.

Art. 76. Each of the said judges shall receive a salary to be fixed by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during his term of office, and shall never be less than two thousand five hundred dollars annually. He must be a citizen of the United States, over the age of thirty years, and have resided in the State for six years next preceding his appointment, and have practised law therein for the space of five years.

Art. 77. The judges of the district courts shall hold their offices for the term of six years. The judges first appointed shall be divided by lot into three classes, as nearly equal as can be, and the term of office of the judges of the first class shall expire at the end of two years, of the second class at the end of four years, and of the third class at the end of six years.

Art. 78. The district courts shall have original jurisdiction in all civil cases, when the amount in dispute exceeds fifty dollars, exclusive of interest. In all criminal cases, and in all matters connected with successions, their jurisdiction shall be unlimited.

Art. 79. The legislature shall have power to vest in clerks of courts authority to grant such orders and do such acts as may be Edition: current; Page: [1402] deemed necessary for the furtherance of the administration of justice, and in all cases the powers thus granted shall be specified and determined.

Art. 80. The clerks of the several courts shall be removable for breach of good behavior by the judges thereof; subject in all cases to an appeal to the supreme court.

Art. 81. The jurisdiction of justices of the peace shall never exceed, in civil cases, the sum of one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, subject to appeal to the district court in such cases as shall be provided for by law. They shall be elected by the qualified voters of each parish for the term of two years, and shall have such criminal jurisdiction as shall be provided for by law.

Art. 82. Clerks of the district courts in this State shall be elected by the qualified electors in each parish, for the term of four years, and, should a vacancy occur subsequent to an election, it shall be filled by the judge of the court in which such vacancy exists, and the person so appointed shall hold his office until the next general election.

Art. 83. A sheriff and a coroner shall be elected in each parish, by the qualified voters thereof, who shall hold their offices for the term of two years, unless sooner removed.

Should a vacancy occur in either of these offices subsequent to an election, it shall be filled by the governor; and the person so appointed shall continue in office until his successor shall be elected and qualified.

Title V: IMPEACHMENT

Art. 84. The power of impeachment shall be vested in the house of representatives.

Art. 85. Impeachments of the governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney-general, secretary of state, State treasurer, and of the judges of the district courts, shall be tried by the senate; the chief-justice of the supreme court, or the senior judge thereof, shall preside during the trial of such impeachment. Impeachments of the judges of the supreme court shall be tried by the senate. When sitting as a court of impeachment, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present.

Art. 86. Judgments in cases of impeachment shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under this State; but the parties convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.

Art. 87. All officers against whom articles of impeachment may be preferred shall be suspended from the exercise of their functions during the pendency of such impeachment; the appointing power may make a provisional appointment to replace any suspended officer until the decision on the impeachment.

Art. 88. The legislature shall provide by law for the trial, punishment, and removal from office of all other officers of the State, by indictment or otherwise.

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Title VI: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 89. Members of the general assembly, and all officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation:

“I, [A. B.,] do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as ———, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State; and I do further solemnly swear [or affirm] that, since the adoption of the present constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State, nor out of it, with a citizen of this State, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons with a citizen of this State, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, or aided, advised, or assisted any person thus offending: So help me God.

Art. 90. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Art. 91. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit in this State who shall have been convicted of having given or offered a bribe to procure his election or appointment.

Art. 92. Laws shall be made to exclude from office, and from the right of suffrage, those who shall hereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon, from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practice.

Art. 93. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of specific appropriations made by law, nor shall any appropriation of money be made for a longer term than two years. A regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published annually, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Art. 94. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such laws as may be proper and necessary to decide differences by arbitration.

Art. 95. All civil officers for the State at large shall reside within the State, and all district or parish officers within their districts or parishes, and shall keep their offices at such places therein as may be required by law. And no person shall be elected or appointed to any parish office who shall not have resided in such parish long enough before such election or appointment to have acquired the right of voting in such parish; and no person shall be elected or appointed to any district office who shall not have resided in such district, or an adjoining district, long enough before such appointment or election to have acquired the right of voting for the same.

Art. 96. The duration of all offices not fixed by this constitution shall never exceed four years.

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Art. 97. All civil officers, except the governor and judges of the supreme and district courts, shall be removable by an address of a majority of the members of both houses, except those the removal of whom has been otherwise provided for by this constitution.

Art. 98. Absence on the business of this State or of the United States shall not forfeit a residence once obtained, so as to deprive any one of the right of suffrage, or of being elected or appointed to any office under the exceptions contained in this constitution.

Art. 99. It shall be the duty of the legislature to provide by law for deductions from the salaries of public officers who may be guilty of a neglect of duty.

Art. 100. The legislature shall point out the manner in which a person coming into the State shall declare his residence.

Art. 101. In all elections by the people the vote shall be by ballot, and in all elections by the senate and house of representatives, jointly or separately, the vote shall be given viva voce.

Art. 102. No member of Congress, or person holding or exercising any office of trust or profit under the United States, or either of them, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the State.

Art. 103. The laws, public records, and the judicial and legislative written proceedings of the State, shall be promulgated, preserved, and conducted in the language in which the Constitution of the United States is written.

Art. 104. The secretary of the senate and clerk of the house of representatives shall be conversant with the French and English languages, and members may address either house in the French or English language.

Art. 105. The general assembly shall direct by law how persons who are now or may hereafter become sureties for public officers may be discharged from such suretyship.

Art. 106. No power of suspending the laws of this State shall be exercised, unless by the legislature, or by its authority.

Art. 107. Prosecutions shall be by indictment or information. The accused shall have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; he shall have the right of being heard by himself or counsel; he shall have the right, unless he shall have fled from justice, of meeting the witnesses face to face, and shall have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

Art. 108. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, where the proof is evident or presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Art. 109. No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed, nor vested rights be divested, unless for purposes of public utility, and for adequate compensation previously made.

Art. 110. The press shall be free. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects; being responsible for an abuse of this liberty.

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Art. 111. Emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.

Art. 112. The general assembly which shall meet after the first election of representatives under this constitution shall, within the first month after the commencement of the session, designate and fix the seat of government at some place not less than sixty miles from the city of New Orleans, by the nearest travelling route, and if on the Mississippi River by the meanders of the same; and, when so fixed, it shall not be removed without the consent of four-fifths of the members of both houses of the general assembly. The sessions shall be held in New Orleans until the end of the year 1848.

Art. 113. The legislature shall not pledge the faith of the State for the payment of any bonds, bills, or other contracts or obligations for the benefit or use of any person or persons, corporation, or body-politic whatever. But the State shall have the right to issue new bonds in payment of its outstanding obligations or liabilities, whether due or not; the said new bonds, however, are not to be issued for a larger amount, or at a higher rate of interest, than the original obligations they are intended to replace.

Art. 114. The aggregate amount of debts hereafter contracted by the legislature shall never exceed the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, except in the case of war, to repel invasions or suppress insurrections, unless the same be authorized by some law, for some single object or work, to be distinctly specified therein; which law shall provide ways and means, by taxation, for the payment of running interest during the whole time for which said debt shall be contracted, and for the full and punctual discharge at maturity of the capital borrowed; and said law shall be irrepealable until principal and interest are fully paid and discharged, and shall not be put into execution until after its enactment by the first legislature returned by a general election after its passage.

Art. 115. The legislature shall provide by law for a change of venue in civil and criminal cases.

Art. 116. No lottery shall be authorized by this State, and the buying or selling of lottery-tickets within the State is prohibited.

Art. 117. No divorce shall be granted by the legislature.

Art. 118. Every law enacted by the legislature shall embrace but one object, and that shall be expressed in the title.

Art. 119. No law shall be revised or amended by reference to its title; but in such case, the act revised, or section amended, shall be reënacted and published at length.

Art. 120. The legislature shall never adopt any system or code of laws by general reference to such system or code of laws, but in all cases shall specify the several provisions of the laws it may enact.

Art. 121. The State shall not become subscriber to the stock of any corporation or joint-stock company.

Art. 122. No corporate body shall be hereafter created, renewed, or extended with banking or discounting privileges.

Art. 123. Corporations shall not be created in this State by special laws, except for political or municipal purposes, but the legislature shall provide, by general laws, for the organization of all other corporations, except corporations with banking or discounting privileges, the creation of which is prohibited.

Art. 124. From and after the month of January, 1890, the legislature Edition: current; Page: [1406] shall have the power to revoke the charters of all corporations whose charters shall not have expired previous to that time, and no corporations hereafter to be created shall ever endure for a longer term than twenty-five years, except those which are political or municipal.

Art. 125. The general assembly shall never grant any exclusive privilege or monopoly for a longer period than twenty years.

Art. 126. No person shall hold or exercise, at the same time, more than one civil office of emolument, except that of justice of the peace.

Art. 127. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. After the year 1848, all property on which taxes may be levied in this State shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law. No one species of property shall be taxed higher than another species of property of equal value, on which taxes shall be levied; the legislature shall have power to levy an income tax, and to tax all persons pursuing any occupation, trade, or profession.

Art. 128. The citizens of the city of New Orleans shall have the right of appointing the several public officers necessary for the administration of the police of the said city, pursuant to the mode of elections which shall be prescribed by the legislature: Provided, That the mayor and recorders shall be ineligible to a seat in the general assembly; and the mayor, recorders, and aldermen shall be commissioned by the governor as justices of the peace, and the legislature may vest in them such criminal jurisdiction as may be necessary for the punishment of minor crimes and offences, and as the police and good order of said city may require.

Art. 129. The legislature may provide by law in what cases officers shall continue to perform the duties of their offices until their successors shall have been inducted into office.

Art. 130. Any citizen of this State who shall, after the adoption of this constitution, fight a duel with deadly weapons, with a citizen of this State, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, either within this State or out of it, with a citizen of this State, or who shall act as second, or knowingly aid and assist in any manner those thus offending, shall be deprived of holding any office of profit, and of enjoying the right of suffrage under this constitution.

Art. 131. The legislature shall have power to extend this constitution and the jurisdiction of this State over any territory acquired by compact with any State, or with the United States, the same being done by the consent of the United States.

Art. 132. The constitution and laws of this State shall be promulgated in the English and French languages.

Title VII: PUBLIC EDUCATION

Art. 133. There shall be appointed a superintendent of public education, who shall hold his office for two years. His duties shall be prescribed by law. He shall receive such compensation as the legislature may direct.

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Art. 134. The legislature shall establish free public schools throughout the State, and shall provide means for their support by taxation on property, or otherwise.

Art. 135. The proceeds of all lands heretofore granted by the United States to this State for the use or support of schools, and of all lands which may hereafter be granted or bequeathed to the State, and not expressly granted or bequeathed for any other purpose, which hereafter may be disposed of by the State, and the proceeds of the estates of deceased persons to which the State may become entitled by law, shall be held by the State as a loan, and shall be and remain a perpetual fund on which the State shall pay an annual interest of 6 per cent.; which interest, together with all the rents of the unsold lands, shall be appropriated to the support of such schools, and this appropriation shall remain inviolable.

Art. 136. All moneys arising from the sales which have been or may hereafter be made of any lands heretofore granted by the United States to this State, for the use of a seminary of learning, and from any kind of donation that may hereafter be made for that purpose, shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, at 6 per cent. per annum, shall be appropriated to the support of a siminary of learning for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences, and no law shall ever be made diverting said fund to any other use than to the establishment and improvement of said seminary of learning.

Art. 137. A university shall be established in the city of New Orleans. It shall be composed of four faculties, to wit: One of law, one of medicine, one of the natural sciences, and one of letters.

Art. 138. It shall be called the “University of Louisiana,” and the medical college of Louisiana, as at present organized, shall constitute the faculty of medicine.

Art. 139. The legislature shall provide by law for its further organization and government, but shall be under no obligation to contribute to the establishment or support of said university by appropriations.

Title VIII: MODE OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION

Art. 140. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in the senate or house of representatives, and if the same shall be agreed to by three-fifths of the members elected to each house, and approved by the governor, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and the secretary of state shall cause the same to be published, three months before the next general election, in at least one newspaper in French and English, in every parish in the State, in which a newspaper shall be published; and if in the legislature next afterwards chosen such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house, the secretary of state shall cause the same again to be published in the manner aforesaid, at least three months previous to the next general election for representatives to the State legislature, and such proposed amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the people at Edition: current; Page: [1408] said election; and if a majority of the qualified electors shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, the same shall become a part of the constitution. If more than one amendment be submitted at a time, they shall be submitted in such manner and form that the people may vote for or against each amendment separately.

Title IX: SCHEDULE

Art. 141. The constitution adopted in eighteen hundred and twelve is declared to be superseded by this constitution, and, in order to carry the same into effect, it is hereby declared and ordained as follows:

Art. 142. All rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well as of individuals as of bodies-corporate, and all laws in force at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and not inconsistent therewith, shall continue as if the same had not been adopted.

Art. 143. Until the first enumeration shall be made as directed in article eighth of this constitution, the parish of Orleans shall have twenty representatives, to be elected as follows, viz:

Eight by the first municipality, seven by the second municipality, and four by the third municipality, to be distributed among the nine representative districts as follows: By allotting to the first district, two; second, two; third, three; fourth, three; fifth, three; sixth, two; seventh, two; eighth, one; ninth, one; and to that part of the parish on the right bank of the Mississippi, one.

The parish of Plaquemines shall have three; Saint Bernard, one; Jefferson, three; Saint Charles, one; Saint John the Baptist, one; Saint James, two; Ascension, two; Assumption, three; La Fourche Interior, three; Terre Bonne, two; Iberville, two; West Baton Rouge, one; East Baton Rouge, three; West Feliciana, two; East Feliciana, three; Saint Helena, one; Washington, one; Livingston, one; Saint Tammany, one; Point Coupee, one; Concordia, one; Tensas, one; Madison, one; Carroll, one; Franklin, one; Saint Mary, two; Saint Martin, three; Vermillion, one; La Fayette, two; Saint Landry, five; Calcasieu, one; Avoyelles, two; Rapides, three; Natchitoches, three; Sabine, two; Caddo, one; De Soto, one; Ouachita, one; Morehouse, one; Union, one; Jackson, one; Caldwell, one; Catahoula, two; Claiborne, two; Bossier, one; total, ninety-eight.

And the State shall be divided into the following senatorial districts: All that portion of the parish of Orleans lying on the east side of the Mississippi River shall compose one senatorial district, and shall elect four senators; the parishes of Plaquemines, Saint Bernard, and that part of the parish of Orleans on the right bank of the river, shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Jefferson shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Saint Charles and Saint John the Baptist shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Saint James shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Ascension shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Assumption, La Fourche Interior, and Terre Bonne, shall compose one district, with two senators; the parishes of Iberville and West Baton Rouge shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of East Baton Rouge Edition: current; Page: [1409] shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Point Coupee shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Avoyelles shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Saint Mary shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Saint Martin shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of La Fayette and Vermillion shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Saint Landry and Calcasien shall compose one district, with two senators; the parish of West Feliciana shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of East Feliciana shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Saint Helena and Livingston shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Washington and Saint Tammany shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Concordia and Tensas shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Carroll and Madison shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Jackson, Union, Morehouse, and Ouachita shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Caldwell, Franklin, and Catahoula shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Rapides shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Bossier and Claiborne shall compose one district, with one senator; the parish of Natchitoches shall compose one district, with one senator; the parishes of Sabine, De Soto, and Caddo shall compose one district, with one senator.

Art. 144. In order that no inconvenience may result to the public service from the taking effect of this constitution, no office shall be superseded thereby, but the laws of the State relative to the duties of the several officers, executive, judicial, and military, shall remain in full force, though the same be contrary to this constitution, and the several duties shall be performed by the respective officers of the State, according to the existing laws, until the organization of the government under this constitution, and the entering into office of the new officers, to be appointed under said government, and no longer.

Art. 145. Appointments to office by the executive under this constitution shall be made by the governor to be elected under its authority.

Art. 146. The provisions of article twenty-eight, concerning the inability of members of the legislature to hold certain offices therein mentioned, shall not be held to apply to the members of the first legislature elected under this constitution.

Art. 147. The time of service of all officers chosen by the people, at the first election under this constitution, shall terminate as though the election had been holden on the first Monday of November, 1845, and they had entered on the discharge of their duties at the time designated therein.

Art. 148. The legislature shall provide for the removal of all causes now pending in the supreme or other courts of the State, under the constitution of 1812, to courts created by this constitution.

Art. 149. Appeals to the supreme court from the parishes of Jackson, Union, Morehouse, Catahoula, Caldwell, Ouachita, Franklin, Carroll, Madison, Tensas, and Concordia, shall, until otherwise provided for, be returnable to New Orleans.

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Title X: ORDINANCE

Art. 150. Immediately after the adjournment of the convention, the governor shall issue his proclamation, directing the several officers of this State, authorized by law to hold elections for members of the general assembly, to open and hold a poll in every parish of the State, at the places designated by law, upon the first Monday of November next, for the purpose of taking the sense of the good people of this State in regard to the adoption or rejection of this constitution; and it shall be the duty of the said officers to receive the votes of all persons entitled to vote under the old constitution, and under this constitution. Each voter shall express his opinion by depositing in the ballot-box a ticket whereon shall be written “The constitution accepted,” or “The constitution rejected,” or some such words as will distinctly convey the intention of the voter. At the conclusion of the said election, which shall be conducted in every respect as the general State election is now conducted, the parish judges and commissioners designated to preside over the same shall carefully examine and count each ballot so deposited, and shall forthwith make due returns thereof to the secretary of state, in conformity to the provisions of the existing law upon the subject of elections.

Art. 151. Upon the receipt of the said returns, or on the first Monday of December, if the returns be not sooner received, it shall be the duty of the governor, the secretary of state, the attorney-general, and the State treasurer, in the presence of all such persons as may choose to attend, to compare the votes given at the said poll, for the ratification and rejection of this constitution, and if it shall appear from said returns that a majority of all the votes given are for ratifying this constitution, then it shall be the duty of the governor to make proclamation of that fact, and thenceforth this constitution shall be ordained and established as the constitution of the State of Louisiana. But whether this constitution be accepted or rejected, it shall be the duty of the governor to cause to be published in the State paper the result of the polls, showing the number of votes cast in each parish for and against the said constitution.

Art. 152. Should this constitution be accepted by the people, it shall also be the duty of the governor forthwith to issue his proclamation, declaring the present legislature, elected under the old constitution, to be dissolved, and directing the several officers of the State, authorized by law to hold elections for members of the general assembly, to hold an election at the places designated by law, upon the third Monday in January next, (1846,) for governor, lieutenant-governor, members of the general assembly, and all other officers whose election is provided for pursuant to the provisions of this constitution. And the said election shall be conducted, and the returns thereof made, in conformity with the existing laws upon the subject of State elections.

Art. 153. The general assembly elected under this constitution shall convene at the State-house, in the city of New Orleans, upon the second Monday of February next (1846) after the elections; and Edition: current; Page: [1411] that the governor and lieutenant-governor, elected at the same time, shall be duly installed in office during the first week of their session, and before it shall be competent for the said general assembly to proceed with the transaction of business.

Joseph Walker, President.
Horatio Davis, Secretary.

CONSTITUTION OF LOUISIANA—1852*a

PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Louisiana, do ordain and establish this constitution.

Title I: DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS

Article 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.

Title II: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 3. The legislative power 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 annually, on the third Monday in January, unless a different day be appointed by law, and their sessions shall be held at the seat of government.

Art. 6. Every duly-qualified elector under this constitution shall be eligible to a seat in the general assembly: Provided, That no person shall be a representative or senator, unless he be, at the time of his election, a duly-qualified voter of the representative or senatorial district from which he is elected.

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Art. 7. Elections for members of the general assembly 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 total population of each of the several parishes of the State. 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 population 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 amount of population.

The first enumeration by the State authorities under this constitution shall be made in the year 1853, the second in the year 1858, the third in the year 1865; after which time the general assembly shall direct in what manner the census shall be taken, so that it be made at least once in every period of ten years, for the purpose of ascertaining the total population 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 among the several parishes and election-districts on the basis of the total population as aforesaid. A representative number shall be fixed, and each parish and election-district shall have as many representatives as its aggregate population shall 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.

Until an apportionment shall be made, and elections held under the same, in accordance with the first enumeration to be made as directed in this article, the representation in the senate and house of representatives shall be and remain as at present established by law.

The limits of the parish of Orleans are hereby extended, so as to embrace the whole of the present city of New Orleans, including that part of the parish of Jefferson formerly known as the city of La Fayette.

All that part of the parish of Orleans which is situated on the left bank of the Mississippi River, shall be divided by the legislature into not more than ten representative districts, and until a new apportionment shall be made according to the first census to be taken under this constitution, that part of the city of New Orleans which was comprised within the former limits of the city of La Fayette shall vote for senators from the parish of Orleans, and form the tenth representative district, and shall elect two out of the three representatives now apportioned by law to the parish of Jefferson; the other representative districts shall remain as they are now established.

Art. 9. The house of representatives shall choose its speaker and other officers.

Art. 10. Every free white male who has attained the age of twenty-one years, and who has been a resident of the State twelve months next preceding the election, and the last six months thereof in the parish in which he offers to vote, and who shall be a citizen of the United States, shall have the right of voting, but no voter, on removing from one parish to another within the State, shall lose the right Edition: current; Page: [1413] of voting in the former until he shall have acquired it in the latter. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest, during their attendance at, going to, or returning from elections.

Art. 11. The legislature shall provide by law that the names and residence of all qualified electors of the city of New Orleans shall be registered, in order to entitle them to vote; but the registry shall be free of cost to the elector.

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.

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 five 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-seven, 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 second 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 Edition: current; Page: [1414] vacate their seats respectively at the end of two and four years, and lots shall be drawn between them.

Art. 18. 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 places of those whose time of service may have expired.

Art. 19. 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 shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members.

Art. 20. Each house of the general assembly shall judge of the qualification, election, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Art. 21. Each house of the general assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish a member for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

Art. 22. Each house of the general assembly shall keep and publish a weekly journal of its proceedings, and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on the journal.

Art. 23. Each house may punish by imprisonment any person, not a member, for disrespectful and disorderly behavior in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings. Such imprisonment shall not exceed ten days for any one offence.

Art. 24. Neither house, during the sessions of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Art. 25. The members of the general assembly shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for their services, which shall be four dollars per day during their attendance, going to and returning from the session of their respective houses. The compensation may be increased or diminished by law; but no alteration shall take effect during the period of service of the members of the house of representatives by whom such alteration shall have been made. No session shall extend to a period beyond sixty days, to date from its commencement, and any legislative action had after the expiration of the said sixty days shall be null and void. This provision shall not apply to the first legislature which is to convene after the adoption of this constitution.

Art. 26. The members of the general assembly shall in all cases, except treason, felony, breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and going to or returning from the same, and for any speech or debate in either house they shall not be questioned in any other place.

Art. 27. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this State, which shall have been created or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during the time such senator or representative was in office, except to such offices or appointments as may be filled by the elections of the people.

Art. 28. No person who at any time may have been a collector of Edition: current; Page: [1415] taxes, whether State, parish, or municipal, or who may have been otherwise intrusted with public money, shall be eligible to the general assembly, or to any office of profit or trust under the State government, until he shall have obtained a discharge for the amount of such collections, and for all public moneys with which he may have been intrusted.

Art. 29. No bill shall have the force of a law until, on three several days, it be read over in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon, unless, in case of urgency, four-fifths of the house where the bill shall be pending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

Art. 30. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may propose amendments as in other bills, provided they shall not introduce any new matter under color of an amendment which does not relate to raising revenue.

Art. 31. The general assembly shall regulate by law by whom and in what manner writs of elections shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.

Art. 32. The senate shall vote on the confirmation or rejection of officers, to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, by yeas and nays, and the names of the senators voting for or against the appointments, respectively, shall be entered on a journal to be kept for that purpose, and made public at the end of each session, or before.

Art. 33. Returns of all elections for members of the general assembly shall be made to the secretary of state.

Art. 34. In the year in which a regular election for a Senator of the United States is to take place, the members of the general assembly shall meet in the hall of the house of representatives, on the Monday following the meeting of the legislature, and proceed to the said election.

Title III: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 35. The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the State of Louisiana. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the lieutenant-governor, chosen for the same term, be elected as follows: The qualified electors for representatives shall vote for a governor and lieutenant-governor, at the time and place of voting for representatives. The returns of every election shall be sealed up and transmitted by the proper returning-officer to the secretary of state, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of representatives on the second day of the session of the general assembly then next to be holden. The members of the general assembly shall meet in the house of representatives to examine and count the votes. The person having the greatest number of votes for governor shall be declared duly elected, but if two or more persons shall be equal and highest in the number of votes polled for governor, one of them shall immediately be chosen governor by joint vote of the members of the general assembly. The person having the greatest number of votes for lieutenant-governor shall be lieutenant-governor, but if two or more persons shall be equal and highest in the number Edition: current; Page: [1416] of votes polled for lieutenant-governor, one of them shall be immediately chosen lieutenant-governor by joint vote of the members of the general assembly.

Art. 36. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor who shall not have attained the age of twenty-eight years, and been a citizen and a resident within the State for the space of four years next preceding his election.

Art. 37. The governor shall enter on the discharge of his duties on the fourth Monday of January next ensuing his election, and shall continue in office until the Monday next succeeding the day that his successor shall be declared duly elected, and shall have taken the oath or affimation required by the constitution.

Art. 38. The governor shall be ineligible for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the time for which he shall have been elected.

Art. 39. No member of Congress or person holding any office under the United States shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor.

Art. 40. In case of the impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, refusal or inability to qualify, resignation, or absence from the State, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor for the residue of the term, or until the governor, absent or impeached, shall return or be acquitted. The legislature may provide by law for the case of removal, impeachment, death, resignation, disability or refusal to qualify of both the governor or lieutenant-governor, declaring what officer shall act as governor, and such officer shall act accordingly until the disability be removed or for the residue of the term.

Art. 41. The lieutenant-governor, or officer discharging the duties of governor, shall, during his administration, receive the same compensation to which the governor would have been entitled had he continued in office.

Art. 42. The lieutenant-governor shall, by virtue of his office, be president of the senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein. Whenever he shall administer the government, or shall be unable to attend as president of the senate, the senators shall elect one of their own members as president of the senate for the time being.

Art. 43. While he acts as president of the senate, the lieutenant-governor shall receive for his services the same compensation which shall for the same period be allowed to the speaker of the house of representatives, and no more.

Art. 44. The governor shall have power to grant reprieves for all offences against the State, and, except in cases of impeachment, shall, with the consent of the senate, have power to grant pardons and remit fines and forfeitures after conviction. In cases of treason he may grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the general assembly, in which the power of pardoning shall be vested.

Art. 45. The governor shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected.

Art. 46. He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia thereof, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

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Art. 47. He shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all officers whose offices are established by this constitution, and whose appointment is not therein otherwise provided for: Provided, however, That the legislature shall have a right to prescribe the mode of appointment to all other offices established by law.

Art. 48. The governor shall have power to fill vacancies that may happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session, unless otherwise provided for in this constitution; but no person who has been nominated for office, and rejected by the senate, shall be appointed to the same office, during the recess of the senate.

Art. 49. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Art. 50. He shall, from time to time, give to the general assembly information respecting the situation of the State, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Art. 51. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that should have become dangerous from an enemy or from epidemic; and in case of disagreement between the two houses as to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he may think proper, not exceeding four months.

Art. 52. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Art. 53. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor; if he approve he shall sign it, if not he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if after such reconsideration two-thirds of all the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to that house, it shall be a law; but in such cases the vote of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays; and the names of the members 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 within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly, by adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law, unless sent back within three days after their next session.

Art. 54. Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect, be approved by him, or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the general assembly.

Art. 55. There shall be a secretary of state, who shall hold his office during the time for which the governor shall have been elected. The records of the State shall be kept and preserved in the office of the secretary; he shall keep a fair register of the official acts and proceedings of the governor, and, when necessary, shall attest them. He shall, when required, lay the said register, and all papers, minutes, Edition: current; Page: [1418] and vouchers relative to his office, before either house of the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be enjoined on him by law.

Art. 56. There shall be a treasurer of the State, who shall hold his office during the term of two years.

Art. 57. The secretary of state and treasurer of state shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State. And in case of any vacancies caused by the death, resignation, or absence of the treasurer or secretary of state, the governor shall order an election to fill said vacancy.

Art. 58. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana, and shall be sealed with the State seal and signed by the governor.

Art. 59. The free white men of the State shall be armed and disciplined for its defence; but those who belong to religious societies whose tenets forbid them to carry arms, shall not be compelled so to do, but shall pay an equivalent for personal services.

Art. 60. The militia of the State shall be organized in such manner as may be hereafter deemed most expedient by the legislature.

Title IV: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Art. 61. The judiciary power shall be vested in a supreme court, in such inferior courts as the legislature may, from time to time, order and establish, and in justices of the peace.

Art. 62. The supreme court, except in the cases hereinafter provided, shall have appellate jurisdiction only; which jurisdiction shall extend to all cases when the matter in dispute shall exceed three hundred dollars; to all cases in which the constitutionality or legality of any tax, toll, or impost whatsoever, or of any fine, forfeiture, or penalty imposed by a municipal corporation, shall be in contestation; and to all criminal cases on questions of law alone, whenever the offence charged is punishable with death, or imprisonment at hard labor, or when a fine exceeding three hundred dollars is actually imposed. The legislature shall have power to restrict the jurisdiction of the supreme court in civil cases to questions of law only.

Art. 63. The supreme court shall be composed of one chief justice and four associate justices, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum. The chief justice shall receive a salary of six thousand dollars, and each of the associate judges a salary of five thousand five hundred dollars, annually, until otherwise provided by law. The court shall appoint its own clerks; the judges shall be elected for the term of ten years.

Art. 64. The chief justice shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State. The legislature shall divide the State into four districts, and the qualified electors of each district shall elect one of the associate justices. The State shall be divided into the following districts until the legislature shall otherwise direct:

First district.The parishes of Plaquemines, Saint Bernard, that portion of the parish of Orleans on the right bank of the Mississippi River, and that portion of the city of New Orleans which lies below the line extending from the river Mississippi, along the middle of Edition: current; Page: [1419] Julia street, until it strikes the New Orleans Canal, and thence down said canal to the lake.

Second district.That portion of the city of New Orleans which is situated above the line extending along the middle of Julia street until it strikes the New Orleans Canal, and thence down said canal to the lake, and the parishes of Jefferson, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Charles, Saint James, Ascension, Assumption, La Fourche Interior, Terre Bonne, West Baton Rouge, and Iberville.

Third district.The parishes of Saint Tammany, Washington, Livingston, Saint Helena, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Point Coupee, Avoyelles, Tensas, Concordia, La Fayette, Vermillion, Saint Mary, Saint Martin, and Saint Landry.

Fourth district.The parishes of Calcasieu, Rapides, Sabine, Natchitoches, De Soto, Caddo, Bossier, Claiborne, Bienville, Caldwell, Union, Ouachita, Morehouse, Jackson, Franklin, Catahoula, Madison, Carroll, and Winn.

Art. 65. The office of one of the associate justices shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of another at the expiration of the fourth year, of a third at the expiration of the sixth year, and of the fourth at the expiration of the eighth year; so that one of the judges of the supreme court shall be elected every second year.

Art. 66. The secretary of state, on receiving the official returns of the first election, shall proceed immediately, in the presence and with the assistance of two justices of the peace, to determine by lot among the four candidates having the highest number of votes in the respective districts, which of the associate judges elect shall serve for the term of two years, which shall serve for the term of four years, which for the term of six years, and which for the term of eight years; and the governor shall issue commissions accordingly.

Art. 67. Any vacancy that may occur in the supreme court, from resignation or otherwise, shall be filled by election for the remainder of the unexpired term, but if such remainder do not exceed one year, the vacancy shall be filled by executive appointment.

Art. 68. The supreme court shall hold its sessions in New Orleans from the first Monday of the month of November to the end of the month of June inclusive. The legislature shall have power to fix the sessions elsewhere during the rest of the year; until otherwise provided, the sessions shall be held as heretofore.

Art. 69. The supreme court and each of the judges thereof shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, at the instance of all persons in actual custody under process, in all cases in which they may have appellate jurisdiction.

Art. 70. No judgment shall be rendered by the supreme court without the concurrence of a majority of the judges comprising the court. Whenever a majority cannot agree, in consequence of the recusation of any member or members of the court, the judges not recused shall have power to call upon any judge or judges of the inferior courts, whose duty it shall be, when so called upon, to sit in the place of the judges recused, and to aid in determining the case.

Art. 71. All judges, by virtue of their office, shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be “The State of Louisiana.” All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by authority of the State of Louisiana, and conclude “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

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Art. 72. The judges of all courts within the State shall, as often as it may be possible so to do, in every definitive judgment, refer to the particular law in virtue of which such judgment may be rendered, and in all cases adduce the reasons on which their judgment is founded.

Art. 73. The judges of all courts shall be liable to impeachment, but for any reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the governor shall remove any of them, on the address of three-fourths of the members present of each house of the general assembly. In every such case the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in the address, and inserted in the journal of each house.

Art. 74. There shall be an attorney-general for the State, and as many district attorneys as may be hereafter found necessary. They shall hold their offices for four years; their duties shall be determined by law.

Art. 75. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall, at stated times, receive a salary, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office, and they are prohibited from receiving any fees of office, or other compensation than their salaries for any civil duties performed by them.

Art. 76. The legislature shall have power to vest in clerks of courts authority to grant such orders and do such acts as may be deemed necessary for the furtherance of the administration of justice, and in all cases the powers thus granted shall be specified and determined.

Art. 77. The judges of the several inferior courts shall have power to remove the clerks thereof for breach of good behavior; subject in all cases to an appeal to the supreme court.

Art. 78. The jurisdiction of justices of the peace shall be limited in civil cases to cases where the matter in dispute does not exceed one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, subject to appeal in such cases as shall be provided for by law. They shall be elected by the qualified electors of each parish, district, or ward, for the term of two years, in such manner and shall have such criminal jurisdiction as shall be provided by law.

Art. 79. Clerks of the inferior courts in this State shall be elected for the term of four years, and should a vacancy occur subsequent to an election, it shall be filled by the judge of the court in which such vacancy exists, and the person so appointed shall hold his office until the next general election.

Art. 80. A sheriff and a coroner shall be elected in each parish by the qualified voters thereof, who shall hold their office for the term of two years, unless sooner removed. The legislature shall have the power to increase the number of sheriffs in any parish. Should a vacancy occur in either of these offices subsequent to an election, it shall be filled by the governor; and the person so appointed shall continue in office until his successor shall be elected and qualified.

Art. 81. The judges of the several inferior courts shall be elected by the duly-qualified voters of their respective districts or parishes.

Art. 82. It shall be the duty of the legislature to fix the time for holding elections for all judges at a time which shall be different from that fixed for all other elections.

Art. 83. The attorney-general shall be elected by the qualified Edition: current; Page: [1421] voters of the State, and the district attorney by the qualified voters of each district on the day of the election for governor of the State.

Art. 84. The legislature may determine the mode of filling vacancies in the offices of the inferior judges, attorney-general, district attorneys, and all other officers not otherwise provided for in this constitution.

Title V: IMPEACHMENT

Art. 85. The power of impeachment shall be vested in the house of representatives.

Art. 86. Impeachments of the governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney-general, secretary of state, State treasurer, and of the judges of the inferior courts, justices of the peace excepted, shall be tried by the senate; the chief justice of the supreme court, or the senior judge thereof, shall preside during the trial of such impeachment. Impeachments of the judges of the supreme court shall be tried by the senate. When sitting as a court of impeachment, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present.

Art. 87. Judgments in cases of impeachment shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the State; but the convicted parties shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.

Art. 88. All officers against whom articles of impeachment may be preferred shall be suspended from the exercise of their functions during the pendency of such impeachment; the appointing power may make a provisional appointment to replace any suspended officer until the decision of the impeachment.

Art. 89. The legislature shall provide by law for the trial, punishment, and removal from office of all other officers of the State by indictment or otherwise.

Title VI: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 90. Members of the general assembly, all officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation:

“I [A. B.] do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will support the constitution of the United States and of this State, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as ———, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the constitution and laws of the United States, and of this State; and I do further solemnly swear [or affirm] that since the adoption of the present constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within the State, nor out of it, with a citizen of this State, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons with a citizen of this State, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, or aided, advised, or assisted any person thus offending: So help me God.”

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Art. 91. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Art. 92. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit in this State who shall have been convicted of having given or offered a bribe to procure his election or appointment.

Art. 93. Laws shall be made to exclude from office, and from the right of suffrage, those who shall hereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon, from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practice.

Art. 94. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of specific appropration made by law, nor shall any appropriation of money be made for a longer term than two years. A regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published annually, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Art. 95. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such laws as may be proper and necessary to decide differences by arbitration.

Art. 96. All civil officers for the State at large shall reside within the State, and all district or parish officers, within their districts or parishes, and shall keep their offices at such places therein as may be required by law.

Art. 97. All civil officers, except the governor and judges of the supreme and inferior courts, shall be removable by an address of a majority of the members of both houses, except those the removal of whom has been otherwise provided by this constitution.

Art. 98. In all elections by the people the vote shall be by ballot, and in all elections by the senate and house of representatives, jointly or separately, the vote shall be given viva voce.

Art. 99. No member of Congress, or person holding or exercising any office of trust or profit under the United States, or either of them, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the State.

Art. 100. The laws, public records, and the judicial and legislative written proceedings of the State shall be promulgated, preserved, and conducted in the language in which the Constitution of the United States is written.

Art. 101. The secretary of the senate and clerk of the house of representatives shall be conversant with the French and English languages, and members may address either house in French or English language.

Art. 102. No power of suspending the laws of this State shall be exercised, unless by the legislature or by its authority.

Art. 103. Prosecutions shall be by indictment or information. The accused shall have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; he shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; he shall have the right of being heard by himself or counsel; he shall Edition: current; Page: [1423] have the right of meeting the witnesses face to face, and shall have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

Art. 104. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, where the proof is evident or presumption great, or unless after conviction for any offence or crime punishable with death or imprisonment at hard labor. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Art. 105. No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed, nor vested rights be divested, unless for purposes of public utility, and for adequate compensation previously made.

Art. 106. The press shall be free. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects; being responsible for an abuse of this liberty.

Art. 107. The seat of government shall be and remain at Baton Rouge, and shall not be removed without the consent of three-fourths of both houses of the general assembly.

Art. 108. The State shall not subscribe for the stock of, nor make a loan to, nor pledge its faith for the benefit of any corporation or joint-stock company, created or established for banking purposes, nor for other purposes than those described in following article.

Art. 109. The legislature shall have power to grant aid to companies or associations of individuals, formed for the exclusive purpose of making works of internal improvement, wholly or partially within the State, to the extent only of one-fifth of the capital of such companies, by subscription of stock or loan of money or public bonds; but any aid thus granted shall be paid to the company only in the same proportion as the remainder of the capital shall be actually paid in by the stockholders of the company, and, in case of loan, such adequate security shall be required as to the legislature may seem proper. No corporation or individual association receiving the aid of the State, as herein provided, shall possess banking or discounting privileges.

Art. 110. No liability shall be contracted by the State as above mentioned, unless the same be authorized by some law for some single object or work to be distinctly specified therein, which shall be passed by a majority of the members elected to both houses of the general assembly, and the aggregate amount of debts and liabilities incurred under this and the preceding article shall never, at any one time, exceed eight millions of dollars.

Art. 111. Whenever the legislature shall contract a debt exceeding in amount the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, unless in case of war to repel invasion or suppress insurrection, they shall, in the law creating the debt, provide adequate ways and means for the payment of the current interest and of the principal when the same shall become due. And the said law shall be irrepealable until principal and interest are fully paid and discharged, or unless the repealing law contains some other adequate provision for the payment of the principal and interest of the debt.

Art. 112. The legislature shall provide by law for a change of venue in civil and criminal cases.

Art. 113. No lottery shall be authorized by this State, and the buying and selling of lottery-tickets within the State is prohibited.

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Art. 114. No divorce shall be granted by the legislature.

Art. 115. Every law enacted by the legislature shall embrace but one object, and that shall be expressed in the title.

Art. 116. No law shall be revived or amended by reference to its title; but in such case, the act revived, or section amended, shall be reënacted and published at length.

Art. 117. The legislature shall never adopt any system or code of laws by general reference to such system or code of laws, but in all cases shall specify the several provisions of the laws it may enact.

Art. 118. Corporations with banking or discounting privileges may be either created by special acts, or formed under general laws; but the legislature shall, in both cases, provide for the registry of all bill or notes issued or put in circulation as money, and shall require ample security for the redemption of the same in specie.

Art. 119. The legislature shall have no power to pass any law sanctioning in any manner, directly or indirectly, the suspension of specie payments by any person, association, or corporation issuing bank-notes of any description.

Art. 120. In case of insolvency of any bank or banking association, the bill-holders thereof shall be entitled to preference in payment over all other creditors of such bank or association.

Art. 121. The legislature shall have power to pass such laws as it may deem expedient for the relief or revival of the Citizens’ Bank of Louisiana, and the acts already passed for the same purpose are ratified and confirmed: Provided, That the bank is subject to the restrictions contained in articles 119 and 120 of this constitution.

Art. 122. No person shall hold or exercise, at the same time, more than one civil office of emolument, except that of justice of the peace.

Art. 123. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. All property on which taxes may be levied in this State shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law. No one species of property shall be taxed higher than another species of property of equal value, on which taxes shall be levied: the legislature shall have power to levy an income-tax, and to tax all persons pursuing any occupation, trade, or profession.

Art. 124. The citizens of the city of New Orleans shall have the right of appointing the several public officers necessary for the administration of the police of the said city, pursuant to the mode of elections which shall be prescribed by the legislature: Provided, That the mayor and recorders shall be ineligible to a seat in the general assembly; and the mayor, recorders, aldermen, and assistant aldermen shall be commissioned by the governor as justices of the peace, and the legislature may vest in them such criminal jurisdiction as may be necessary for the punishment of minor crimes and offences, and as the police and good order of said city may require.

Art. 125. The legislature may provide by law in what case officers shall continue to perform the duties of their offices until their successors shall have been inducted into office.

Art. 126. Any citizen of this State who shall, after the adoption of this constitution, fight a duel with deadly weapons with a citizen of this State, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, either within this State or out of it, with a citizen of this State, or who shall act as second, or knowingly aid or assist in any manner those thus offending, shall be deprived of holding any office Edition: current; Page: [1425] or trust or profit, and of enjoying the right of suffrage under this constitution; and the office of any State officer, member of the general assembly, or of any other person holding office of profit or trust under this constitution, and the laws made in pursuance thereof, shall be, ipso facto, vacated by the fact of any such person committing the offence mentioned in this article, and the legislature shall provide by law for the ascertaining and declaration of such forfeiture.

Art. 127. The legislature shall have power to extend this constitution and the jurisdiction of this State over any territory acquired by compact with any State, or with the United States, the same being done by the consent of the United States.

Art. 128. None of the lands granted by Congress to the State of Louisiana for aiding it in constructing the necessary levees and drains, to reclaim the swamp and overflowed lands in this State, shall be diverted from the purposes for which they were granted.

Art. 129. The constitution and laws of this State shall be promulgated in the English and French languages.

Title VII: INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS

Art. 130. There shall be a board of public works, to consist of four commissioners. The State shall be divided by the legislature into four districts, containing as nearly as may be an equal number of voters, and one commissioner shall be elected in each district by the legal voters thereof for the term of four years; but, of the first elected, two, to be designated by lot, shall remain in office for two years only.

Art. 131. The general assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall provide for the election and compensation of the commissioners and the organization of the board. The commissioners first elected shall assemble on a day to be appointed by law, and decide by lot the order in which their terms of service shall expire.

Art. 132. The commissioners shall exercise a diligent and faithful supervision of all public works in which the State may be interested, except those made by joint-stock companies. They shall communicate to the general assembly, from time to time, their views concerning the same, and recommend such measures as they may deem necessary, in order to employ to the best advantage and for the purposes for which they were granted, the swamps and overflowed lands conveyed by the United States to this State. They shall appoint all officers engaged on the public works, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law.

Art. 133. The commissioners may be removed by the concurrent vote of a majority of all the members elected to each house of the general assembly; but the cause of the removal shall be entered on the journal of each house.

Art. 134. The general assembly shall have power, by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house, to abolish said board, whenever in their opinion a board of public works shall no longer be necessary.

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Title VIII: PUBLIC EDUCATION

Art. 135. There shall be elected a superintendent of public education, who shall hold his office for the term of two years. His duties shall be prescribed by law, and he shall receive such compensation as the legislature may direct: Provided, That the general assembly shall have power, by a vote of the majority of the members elected to both houses, to abolish the said office of superintendent of public education whenever in their opinion said office shall be no longer necessary.

Art. 136. The general assembly shall establish free public schools throughout the State; and shall provide for their support by general taxation on property or otherwise; and all moneys so raised or provided shall be distributed to each parish in proportion to the number of free white children between such ages as shall be fixed by the general assembly.

Art. 137. The proceeds of all lands heretofore granted by the United States to this State for the use or support of schools, and of all lands which may hereafter be granted or bequeathed to the State, and not expressly granted or bequeathed for any other purpose, which hereafter may be disposed of by the State, and the proceeds of the estates of deceased persons, to which the State may become entitled by law, shall be held by the State as a loan, and shall be and remain a perpetual fund, on which the State shall pay an annual interest of 6 per cent.; which interest, together with the interest of the trust funds deposited with this State by the United States, under the act of Congress approved June 23, 1836, and all the rents of the unsold lands, shall be appropriated to the support of such schools, and this appropriation shall remain inviolable.

Art. 138. All moneys arising from the sales which have been or may hereafter be made of any lands heretofore granted by the United States to this State, for the use of a seminary of learning, and from any kind of donation that may hereafter be made for that purpose, shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, at 6 per cent. per annum, shall be appropriated to the support of a seminary of learning for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences, and no law shall ever be made diverting said fund to any other use than to the establishment and improvement of said seminary of learning.

Art. 139. The University of Louisiana in New Orleans, as now established, shall be maintained.

Art. 140. The legislature shall have power to pass such laws as may be necessary for the further regulation of the university, and for the promotion of literature and science, but shall be under no obligation to contribute to the support of said university by appropriations.

Title IX: MODE OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION

Art. 141. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in the senate or house of representatives, and if the same shall be agreed to by two-thirds of the members elected to each house, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and the secretary of Edition: current; Page: [1427] state shall cause the same to be published, three months before the next general election for representatives of the State legislature, in at least one newspaper, in French and English, in every parish in the State in which a newspaper shall be published; and such proposed amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the people at said election; and if a majority of the voters at said election shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, the same shall become a part of the constitution. If more than one amendment be submitted at a time, they shall be submitted in such manner and form that the people may vote for or against each amendment separately.

Title X: SCHEDULE

Art. 142. The constitution adopted in eighteen hundred and forty-five is declared to be superseded by this constitution, and in order to carry the same into effect, it is hereby declared and ordained as follows:

Art. 143. All rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well of individuals as of bodies-corporate, and all laws in force at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and not inconsistent therewith, shall continue as if the same had not been adopted.

Art. 144. In order that no inconvenience may result to the public service from the taking effect of this constitution, no office shall be superseded thereby; but the laws of the State relative to the duties of the several officers, executive, judicial, and military, shall remain in full force, though the same be contrary to this constitution, and the several duties shall be performed by the respective officers of the State, according to the existing laws, until the organization of the government under this constitution, and the entering into office of the new officers to be appointed under said government, and no longer.

Art. 145. Appointments to office by the executive under this constitution shall be made by the governor to be elected under its authority.

Art. 146. The legislature shall provide for the removal of all causes now pending in the supreme court or other courts of the State, under the constitution of 1845, to courts created by or under this constitution.

Art. 147. The time of service of all officers chosen by the people, at the first election under this constitution, shall terminate as though the election had been holden on the first Monday of November, 1851, and they had entered on the discharge of their duties at the time designated therein. The first-class senators designated in article 17 shall hold their seats until the day of the closing of the general elections in November, 1853, and the second-class until the day of the closing of the general elections in November, 1855.

Art. 148. The first election for judges of the supreme court shall be held on the first Monday of April next, (1853,) and they shall enter into office on the first Monday of May, 1853.

Art. 149. The first term of service of the district attorneys and the clerks of the inferior courts to be ordered and established under this constitution shall be regulated by the term of service of the first governor, so that a new election for these officers shall be held on the first Monday of November, 1855.

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Title XI: ORDINANCE

Art. 150. Immediately after the adjournment of the convention, the governor shall issue his proclamation, directing the several officers of this State authorized by law to hold elections for members of the general assembly, to open and hold a poll in every parish in the State, at the places designated by law, upon the first Tuesday of November next, for the purpose of taking the sense of the good people of this State in regard to the adoption or rejection of this constitution; and it shall be the duty of said officers to receive the votes of all persons entitled to vote under the old constitution and under this constitution. Each voter shall express his opinion by depositing in a separate box, kept for that purpose, a ticket, whereon shall be written “The constitution accepted,” or “The constitution rejected,” or some such word as will distinctly convey the intention of the voter. At the conclusion of said election, which shall be conducted in every respect as the general State election is now conducted, the commissioners designated to preside over the same shall carefully examine and count each ballot so deposited, and shall forthwith make due returns thereof to the secretary of state, in conformity to the provisions of the existing law upon the subject of elections.

Art. 151. Upon the receipt of the said returns, or on the fifth Monday of November, if the returns be not sooner received, it shall be the duty of the governor, the secretary of state, the attorney-general, and the state treasurer, in the presence of all such persons as may choose to attend, to compare the votes given at the said poll for the ratification and rejection of this constitution, and if it shall appear from said returns that a majority of all the votes given is for ratifying this constitution, then it shall be the duty of the governor to make proclamation of that fact, and thenceforth this constitution shall be ordained and established as the constitution of the State of Louisiana. But whether this constitution be accepted or rejected, it shall be the duty of the governor to cause to be published in the official paper of the convention the result of the polls, showing the number of votes cast in each parish for and against the said constitution.

Art. 152. Should this constitution be accepted by the people, it shall also be the duty of the governor forthwith to issue his proclamation, declaring the present legislature, elected under the old constitution, to be dissolved, and directing the several officers of the State authorized by law to hold elections for members of the general assembly to hold an election, at the places designated by law, upon the fourth Monday of December next, for governor, lieutenant-governor, members of the general assembly, secretary of state, attorney-general, treasurer, and superintendent of public education; and the said election shall be conducted and the returns thereof made in conformity with existing laws upon the subject of State elections.

Art. 153. The general assembly elected under this constitution shall convene at the State-house, in Baton Rouge, upon the third Monday of January next after the elections, and the governor and lieutenant-governor elected at the same time shall be duly installed in office during the first week of this session, and before it shall be competent for the said general assembly to proceed with the transaction of business

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Art. 154. All the publications herein ordered shall be made in the official journal of the convention.

Art. 155. This constitution shall be published in French and English in the official journal of the convention, from the period of its adjournment until the first Tuesday of November, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two.

Done at Baton Rouge, July 31, 1852.

Duncan F. Kenner, President.
J. B. Walton, Secretary.

CONSTITUTION OF LOUISIANA—1861

[A State convention, which met at New Orleans, passed an ordinance of secession on the 25th of December, 1860, but refused, by a vote of 84 against 45, to submit it to the people. In March, 1861, this convention amended the State constitution of 1852 by inserting the words “Confederate States” in place of “United States,” with a few other unimportant changes. These amendments were not submitted to the people.]

CONSTITUTION OF LOUISIANA—1864*a

PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Louisiana, do ordain and establish this constitution:

Title I: EMANCIPATION

Article 1. Slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, are hereby forever abolished and prohibited throughout the State.

Art. 2. The legislature shall make no law recognizing the right of property in man.

Title II: DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS

Art. 3. The powers of the government of the State of Louisiana shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them shall be confined 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.

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Art. 4. 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.

Title III: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 5. The legislative power 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. 6. 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. 7. 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 annually on the first Monday in January, unless a different day be appointed by law, and their sessions shall be held at the seat of government. There shall also be a session of the general assembly in the city of New Orleans, beginning on the first Monday of October, eighteen hundred and sixty-four; and it shall be the duty of the governor to cause a special election to be held for members of the general assembly, in all the parishes where the same may be held, on the day of the election for ratification or rejection of this constitution, to be valid in case of ratification; and in other parishes or districts he shall cause elections to be held as soon as it may become practicable, to fill the vacancies for such parishes or districts in the general assembly. The term of office of the first general assembly shall expire as though its members had been elected on the first Monday of November, eighteen hundred and sixty-three.

Art. 8. Every duly-qualified elector under this constitution shall be eligible to a seat in the general assembly: Provided, That no person shall be a representative or senator unless he be, at the time of his election, a duly-qualified voter of the representative or senatorial district from which he is elected.

Art. 9. Elections for the members of the general assembly shall be held at the several election-precincts established by law.

Art. 10. 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 by the State authorities, under this constitution, shall be made in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-six; the second in the year eighteen hundred and seventy; the third in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-six; after which time the general assembly shall direct in what manner the census shall be taken, so that it be made at least once in every period of ten years for the purpose of ascertaining the total population, and the number of qualified Edition: current; Page: [1431] electors in each parish and election-district; and in case of informality, omission, or error in the census-returns from any district, the legislature shall order a new census taken in such parish or election-district.

Art. 11. At the first 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 and twenty, nor less than ninety.

Art. 12. Until an apportionment shall be made, and elections held under the same, in accordance with the first enumeration to be made, as directed in article ten, the representation in the senate and house of representatives shall be as follows:

For the parish of Orleans, forty-four representatives, to be elected as follows: First representative district, three; second representative district, five; third representative district, seven; fourth representative district, three; fifth representative district, four; sixth representative district, two; seventh representative district, three; eighth representative district, three; ninth representative district, four; tenth representative district eight; Orleans, right bank, two.

  • For the parish of Livingston, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Tammany, one:
  • For the parish of Point Coupee, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Martin, two;
  • For the parish of Concordia, one;
  • For the parish of Madison, one;
  • For the parish of Franklin, one;
  • For the parish of St. Mary, one;
  • For the parish of Jefferson, three;
  • For the parish of Plaquemines, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Bernard, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Charles, one;
  • For the parish of Saint John the Baptist, one;
  • For the parish of Saint James, one;
  • For the parish of Ascension, one;
  • For the parish of Assumption, three;
  • For the parish of La Fourche, three;
  • For the parish of Terre Bonne, two;
  • For the parish of Iberville, one;
  • For the parish of West Baton Rouge, one;
  • For the parish of East Baton Rouge, two;
  • For the parish of West Feliciana, one;
  • For the parish of East Feliciana, one;
  • For the parish of Washington, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Helena, one;
  • For the parish of Vermillion, one;
  • For the parish of La Fayette, two;
  • For the parish of Saint Landry, four;
  • For the parish of Calcasieu, two;
  • For the parish of Avoyelles, two; Edition: current; Page: [1432]
  • For the parish of Rapides, three;
  • For the parish of Natchitoches, two;
  • For the parish of Sabine, one;
  • For the parish of Caddo, two;
  • For the parish of De Soto, two;
  • For the parish of Ouachita, one;
  • For the parish of Union, two;
  • For the parish of Morehouse, one;
  • For the parish of Jackson, two;
  • For the parish of Caldwell, one;
  • For the parish of Catahoula, two;
  • For the parish of Claiborne, three;
  • For the parish of Bossier, one;
  • For the parish of Bienville, two;
  • For the parish of Carroll, one;
  • For the parish of Tensas, one;
  • For the parish of Winn, two;
  • Total, one hundred and eighteen.

And the State shall be divided into the following senatorial districts: All that portion of the parish of Orleans lying on the left bank of the Mississippi River shall be divided into two senatorial districts; the first and fourth districts of the city of New Orleans shall compose one district, and shall elect five senators; and the second and third districts of said city shall compose the other district, and shall elect four senators.

  • The parishes of Plaquemines, Saint Bernard, and all that part of the parish of Orleans on the right bank of the Mississippi River, shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parish of Jefferson shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of Saint Charles and La Fourche shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of Saint John the Baptist and Saint James shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of Ascension, Assumption, and Terre Bonne shall form one district, and shall elect two senators.
  • The parish of Iberville shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parish of East Baton Rouge shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of West Baton Rouge, Point Coupee, and West Feliciana shall form one district, and shall elect two senators.
  • The parish of East Feliciana shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of Washington, Saint Tammany, Saint Helena, and Livingston shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of Concordia and Tensas shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of Madison and Carroll shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of Morehouse, Ouachita, Union, and Jackson shall form one district, and shall elect two senators.
  • The parishes of Catahoula, Caldwell, and Franklin shall form one district, and shall elect one senator. Edition: current; Page: [1433]
  • The parishes of Bossier, Bienville, Claiborne, and Winn shall form one district, and shall elect two senators.
  • The parishes of Natchitoches, Sabine, De Soto, and Caddo shall form one district, and shall elect two senators.
  • The parishes of Saint Landry, La Fayette, and Calcasieu shall form one district, and shall elect two senators.
  • The parishes of Saint Martin and Vermillion shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parish of Saint Mary shall form one district, and shall elect one senator.
  • The parishes of Rapides and Avoyelles shall form one district, and shall elect two senators.

Art. 13. The house of representatives shall choose its speaker and other officers.

Art. 14. Every white male, who has attained the age of twenty-one years, and who has been a resident of the State twelve months next preceding the election, and the last three months thereof in the parish in which he offers to vote, and who shall be a citizen of the United States, shall have the right of voting.

Art. 15. The legislature shall have power to pass laws extending suffrage to such other persons, citizens of the United States, as by military service, by taxation to support the government, or by intellectual fitness, may be deemed entitled thereto.

Art. 16. No voter, on removing from one parish to another within the State, shall lose the right of voting in the former until he shall have acquired it in the latter. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at, going to, or returning from elections.

Art. 17. The legislature shall provide by law that the names and residence of all qualified electors shall be registered in order to entitle them to vote; but the registry shall be free of cost to the elector.

Art. 18. 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. 19. 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. 20. 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 own officers.

Art. 21. The legislature, in every year in which they apportion representation in the house of representatives, shall divide the State into senatorial districts.

Art. 22. 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-six; and they shall be apportioned among the senatorial districts according to the electoral population contained in the several districts; Provided, That no parish be entitled to more than nine senators.

Art. 23. In all apportionments of the senate, the electoral population Edition: current; Page: [1434] of the whole State shall be divided by the number thirty-six, 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 the apportionment to make a parish or district fall short of or exceed the ratio, 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 tenth article, the legislature shall not pass any law until an apportionment of representation in both houses of the general assembly be made.

Art. 24. 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 term of the first house of representatives; of the second class, at the expiration of the term of the second house of representatives; 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 the term aforesaid, and lots shall be drawn between them.

Art. 25. The first election for senators shall be held at the same time that the election for representatives is held; and thereafter there shall be elections of senators at the same time with each general election of representatives, to fill the places of those senators whose term of service may have expired.

Art. 26. 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 shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members.

Art. 27. Each house of the general assembly shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and return of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such a manner as shall be directed by law.

Art. 28. Each house of the general assembly may determine the rules of its proceeding, punish a member for disorderly behavior, and, with a concurrence of two thirds, expel a member; but not a second time for the same offence.

Art. 29. Each house of the general assembly shall keep and publish weekly a journal of its proceedings; and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on the journal.

Art. 30. Each house may punish, by imprisonment, any person, not a member, for disrespectful and disorderly behavior in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings. Such imprisonment shall not exceed ten days for any one offence.

Art. 31. Neither house, during the sessions of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

Art. 32. The members of the general assembly shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for their services, which shall be Edition: current; Page: [1435] eight dollars per day during their attendance, going to, and returning from the sessions of their respective houses. The compensation may be increased or diminished by law, but no alteration shall take effect during the period of service of the members of the house of representatives by whom such alteration shall have been made. No session shall extend to a period beyond sixty days, to date from its commencement, and any legislative action had after the expiration of the said sixty days shall be null and void. This provision shall not apply to the first legislature which is to convene after the adoption of this constitution.

Art. 33. The members of the general assembly shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and going to or returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house shall not be questioned in any other place.

Art. 34. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the time such senator or representative was in office, except to such offices as may be filled by the election of the people.

Art. 35. No person who at any time may have been a collector of taxes, whether State, parish, or municipal, or who may have been otherwise intrusted with public money, shall be eligible to the general assembly, or to any office of profit or trust under the State government, until he shall have obtained a discharge for the amount of such collections, and for all public moneys with which he may have been intrusted.

Art. 36. No person while he continues to exercise the functions of a clergyman of any religious denomination whatever shall be eligible to the general assembly.

Art. 37. No bill shall have the force of a law until, on three several days, it be read over in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon; unless, in case of urgency, four-fifths of the house where the bill shall be pending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

Art. 38. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives; but the senate may propose amendments, as in other bills: Provided, They shall not introduce any new matter, under the color of an amendment, which does not relate to raising revenue.

Art. 39. The general assembly shall regulate, by law, by whom, and in what manner, writs of election shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.

Art. 40. The senate shall vote on the confirmation or rejection of the officers to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, by yeas and nays; and the names of the senators voting for and against the appointments, respectively, shall be entered on a journal to be kept for that purpose, and made public at the end of each session, or before.

Art. 41. Returns of all elections for members of the general assembly shall be made to the secretary of state.

Art. 42. In the year in which a regular election for a Senator of Edition: current; Page: [1436] the United States is to take place, the members of the general assembly shall meet in the hall of the house of representatives on the second Monday following the meeting of the legislature, and proceed to said election.

Title IV: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 43. The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the State of Louisiana. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the lieutenant-governor chosen for the same term, be elected as follows: The qualified electors for representatives shall vote for governor and lieutenant-governor at the time and place of voting for representatives; the returns of every election shall be sealed up and transmitted by the proper returning-officer to the secretary of state, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of representatives on the second day of the session of the general assembly then to be holden. The members of the general assembly shall meet in the house of representatives to examine and count the votes. The person having the greatest number of votes for governor shall be declared duly elected; but if two or more persons shall be equal and the highest in the number of votes polled for governor, one of them shall immediately be chosen governor by joint vote of the members of the general assembly. The person having the greatest number of votes polled for lieutenant-governor shall be lieutenant-governor; but if two or more persons shall be equal and highest in the number of votes polled for lieutenant-governor, one of them shall be immediately chosen lieutenant-governor by joint vote of the members of the general assembly.

Art. 44. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor who shall not have attained the age of thirty-five years, and been a citizen and resident within the State for the period of five years next preceding his election.

Art. 45. The governor shall enter on the discharge of his duties on the second Monday of January next ensuing election, and shall continue in office until the Monday next succeeding the day that his successor shall be declared duly elected, and shall have taken the oath or affirmation required by the constitution.

Art. 46. No member of Congress, minister of any religious denomination, or any person holding office under the United States Government, shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor.

Art. 47. In case of impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, refusal or inability to qualify, resignation, or absence from the State, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor for the residue of the term, or until the governor, absent or impeached, shall return or be acquitted. The legislature may provide by law for the case of removal, impeachment, death, resignation, disability, or refusal to qualify, of both the governor and the lieutenant-governor, declaring what officer shall act as governor, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or for the remainder of the term.

Art. 48. The lieutenant-governor, or officer discharging the duties Edition: current; Page: [1437] of governor, shall, during his administration, receive the same compensation to which the governor would have been entitled had he continued in office.

Art. 49. The lieutenant-governor shall, by virtue of his office, be president of the senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein. Whenever he shall administer the government, or shall be unable to attend as president of the senate, the senators shall elect one of their own members as president of the senate for the time being.

Art. 50. The governor shall receive for his services a compensation of eight thousand dollars per annum, payable quarterly on his own warrant.

Art. 51. The lieutenant-governor shall receive for his services a salary of five thousand dollars per annum, to be paid quarterly.

Art. 52. The governor shall have power to grant reprieves for all offences against the State, and, except in cases of impeachment, shall, with the consent of the senate, have power to grant pardons, remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction. In cases of treason he may grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the general assembly, in which the power of pardoning shall be vested.

Art. 53. He shall be commander-in-chief of the militia of this State, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

Art. 54. He shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all officers whose offices are established by the constitution, and whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for: Provided, however, That the legislature shall have a right to prescribe the mode of appointment to all other offices established by law.

Art. 55. The governor shall have power to fill vacancies that may happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session thereof, unless otherwise provided for in this constitution; but no person who has been nominated for office and rejected by the senate shall be appointed to the same office during the recess of the senate.

Art. 56. He may require information, in writing, from the officers in the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Art. 57. He shall from time to time give to the general assembly information respecting the situation of the State, and recommend to their consideration such measures as may be deemed expedient.

Art. 58. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place if that should have become dangerous from an enemy, or from epidemic; and, in case of disagreement between the two houses as to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he may think proper, not exceeding four months.

Art. 59. He shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed.

Art. 60. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor; if he approves, he shall sign it, if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to consider it; if after such consideration two-thirds of all the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall Edition: current; Page: [1438] be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall be likewise considered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members elected to that house, it shall be a law; but in such cases the vote of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members 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 within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it; unless the general assembly, by adjournment, prevent its return.

Art. 61. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor, and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the general assembly.

Art. 62. There shall be a secretary of state, who shall hold his office during the term for which the governor shall have been elected. The records of the State shall be kept and preserved in the office of the secretary; he shall keep a fair register of the official acts and proceedings of the governor, and, when necessary, shall attest them; he shall, when required, lay the said register, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative to his office, before either house of the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be enjoined on him by law.

Art. 63. There shall be a treasurer of the State, and an auditor of public accounts, who shall hold their respective offices during the term of four years.

Art. 64. The secretary of state, treasurer of state, and auditor of public accounts shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State; and in case of any vacancy caused by the resignation, death, or absence of the secretary, treasurer, or auditor, the governor shall order an election to fill said vacancy.

Art. 65. The secretary of state, the treasurer, and the auditor shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum each.

Art. 66. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana, and shall be sealed with the State seal and signed by the governor.

Art. 67. All able-bodied men in the State shall be armed and disciplined for its defence.

Art. 68. The militia of the State shall be organized in such manner as may be hereafter deemed most expedient by the legislature.

Title V: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Art. 69. The judiciary power shall be vested in a supreme court, in such inferior courts as the legislature may, from time to time, order and establish, and in justices of the peace.

Art. 70. The supreme court, except in cases hereafter provided, shall have appellate jurisdiction only; which jurisdiction shall extend to all cases when the matter in dispute shall exceed three hundred dollars; to all cases in which the constitutionality or legality of any tax, toll, or impost whatsoever, or of any fine, forfeiture, or penalty imposed by a municipal corporation, shall be in contestation; and to Edition: current; Page: [1439] all criminal cases on questions of law alone whenever the offence charged is punishable with death or imprisonment at hard labor, or when a fine exceeding three hundred dollars is actually imposed.

Art. 71. The supreme court shall be composed of one chief justice and four associate justices, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum. The chief justice shall receive a salary of seven thousand five hundred dollars, and each of the associate justices a salary of seven thousand dollars, annually, until otherwise provided by law. The court shall appoint its own clerks.

Art. 72. The supreme court shall hold its sessions in New Orleans, from the first Monday in the month of November to the end of the month of June, inclusive. The legislature shall have the power to fix the sessions elsewhere during the rest of the year; until otherwise provided, the sessions shall be held as hertofore.

Art. 73. The supreme court, and each of the judges thereof, shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, at the instance of all persons in actual custody under process, in all cases in which they may have appellate jurisdiction.

Art. 74. No judgment shall be rendered by the supreme court without the concurrence of a majority of the judges comprising the court. Whenever the majority cannot agree, in consequence of the recusation of any member of the court, the judges not recused shall have power to call upon any judge or judges of the inferior courts, whose duty it shall be, when so called upon, to sit in the place of the judge of judges recused, and to aid in determining the case.

Art. 75. All judges, by virtue of their office, shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be “The State of Louisiana.” All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana, and conclude “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Art. 76. The judges of all courts within the State shall, as often as it may be advisable so to do, in every definite judgment, refer to the particular law in virtue of which such judgment may be rendered, and in all cases adduce the reasons on which their judgment is founded.

Art. 77. The judges of all courts shall be liable to impeachment; but for any reasonable cause, which shall not be sufficient ground for impeachment, the governor shall remove any of them, on the address of a majority of the members elected to each house of the general assembly. In every such case the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in the address, and inserted in the journal of each house.

Art. 78. The judges both of the supreme and inferior courts shall receive a salary which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office; and they are prohibited from receiving any fees of office or other compensation than their salaries for any civil duties performed by them.

Art. 79. The judges of the supreme court shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, for a term of eight years; the judges of the inferior courts for a term of six years.

Art. 80. The clerks of the inferior courts shall be elected by the qualified voters of their several districts, and shall hold their offices during a term of four years.

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Art. 81. The legislature shall have power to vest in clerks of courts authority to grant such orders and do such acts as may be deemed necessary for the furtherance of the administration of justice, and in all cases the powers thus granted shall be specified and determined.

Art. 82. The jurisdiction of justices of the peace shall not exceed, in civil cases, the sum of one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, subject to appeal in such cases as shall be provided for by law. They shall be elected by the qualified voters of their several districts, and shall hold their office during a term of two years. They shall have such criminal jurisdiction as shall be provided by law.

Art. 83. There shall be an attorney-general for the State, and as many district attorneys as the legislature shall find necessary. The attorney-general shall be elected every four years by the qualified voters of the State. He shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum, payable, on his own warrant, quarterly. The district attorneys shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective districts, for a term of four years. They shall receive such salaries as shall be provided by the legislature.

Art. 84. A sheriff and a coroner shall be elected in each parish by the qualified voters thereof, who shall hold their offices for the term of two years. The legislature shall have the power to increase the number of sheriffs in any parish. Should a vacancy occur in either of these offices subsequent to an election, it shall be filled by the governor, and the person so appointed shall continue in office until his successor shall be elected and qualified.

Title VI: IMPEACHMENT

Art. 85. The power of impeachment shall be vested in the house of representatives.

Art. 86. Impeachments of the governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney-general, secretary of state, state treasurer, auditor of public accounts, and the judges of the inferior courts, justices of the peace excepted, shall be tried by the senate; the chief justice of the supreme court, or the senior judge thereof, shall preside during the trial of such impeachment. Impeachments of the judges of the supreme court shall be tried by the senate. When sitting as a court of impeachment, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of a majority of the senators elected.

Art. 87. Judgments in case of impeachment shall extend only to removal from office; and disqualification from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the State; but the convicted parties shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.

Art. 88. All officers against whom articles of impeachment may be preferred shall be suspended from the exercise of their functions during the pendency of such impeachment; the appointing power may make a provisional appointment to replace any suspended officer until the decision of the impeachment.

Art. 89. The legislature shall provide by law for the trial, punishment, and removal from office of all other officers of the State by indictment or otherwise.

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Title VII: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 90. Members of the general assembly, and all officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation:

“I [A. B.] do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as ———, according to the best of my abilities and understanding: so help me God.”

Art. 91. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.

Art. 92. The legislature shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted.

Art. 93. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit in this State, and shall be excluded from the right of suffrage, who shall have been convicted of treason, perjury, forgery, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors.

Art. 94. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offence.

Art. 95. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections, and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practice.

Art. 96. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of specific appropriation made by law; nor shall any appropriation of money be made for a longer term than two years. A regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published annually, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Art. 97. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to pass such laws as may be proper and necessary to decide differences by arbitration.

Art. 98. All civil officers for the State at large shall be voters of and reside within the State; and all district or parish officers shall be voters of and reside within their respective districts or parishes, and shall keep their offices at such places therein as may be required by law.

Art. 99. All civil officers shall be removable by an address of a majority of the members elected to both houses, except those the removal of whom has been otherwise provided by this constitution.

Art. 100. In all elections by the people the vote shall be taken by ballot, and in all elections by the senate and house of representatives, jointly or separately, the vote shall be given viva voce.

Art. 101. No member of Congress, nor person holding or exercising any office of trust or profit under the United States, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the general assembly, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the State.

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Art. 102. None but citizens of the United States shall be appointed to any office of trust or profit in this State.

Art. 103. The laws, public records, and the judicial and legislative written proceedings of the State shall be promulgated, preserved, and conducted in the language in which the Constitution of the United States is written.

Art. 104. No power of suspending the laws of the State shall be exercised, unless by the legislature or by its authority.

Art. 105. Prosecutions shall be by indictment or information. The accused shall have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the parish in which the offence shall have been committed. He shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; he shall have the right of being heard, by himself or counsel; he shall have the right of meeting the witnesses face to face, and shall have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor. He shall not be twice put in jeopardy for the same offence.

Art. 106. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, where the proof is evident or presumption great, or unless after conviction for any offence or crime punishable with death or imprisonment at hard labor. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

Art. 107. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Art. 108. 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 warrants 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 seized.

Art. 109. No ex post facto or retroactive law, nor any law impairing the obligations of contracts, shall be passed, nor vested rights be divested, unless for purposes of public utility and for adequate compensation previously made.

Art. 110. All courts shall be open; and every person, for any injury done him, in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered without denial or unreasonable delay.

Art. 111. The press shall be free; every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for an abuse of this liberty.

Art. 112. The legislature shall not have power to grant aid to companies or associations of individauls, except to charitable associations, and to such companies of associations as are and shall be formed for the exclusive purpose of making works of internal improvement, wholly or partially within the State, to the extent only of one-fifth of the capital of such companies, by subscription of stock or loan in money or public bonds; but any aid thus granted shall be paid to the company only in the same proportion as the remainder of the capital shall be actually paid in by the stockholders of the company; and, in case of loan, such adequate security shall be required as to the legislature may seem proper. No corporation or individual association, receiving the aid of the State as herein provided, shall possess banking or discounting privileges.

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Art. 113. No liability shall be contracted by the State as above mentioned, unless the same be authorized by some law for some single object or work, to be distinctly specified therein, which shall be passed by a majority of the members elected to both houses of the general assembly, and the aggregate amount of debts and liabilities incurred under this and the preceding article shall never, at any time, exceed eight millions of dollars.

Art. 114. Whenever the legislature shall contract a debt exceeding in amount the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, unless in case of war, to repel invasion, or suppress insurrection, they shall, in the law creating the debt, provide adequate ways and means for the payment of the current interest and of the principal when the same shall become due. And the said law shall be irrepealable until principal and interest are fully paid and discharged, or unless the repealing law contains some other adequate provision for the payment of the principal and interest of the debt.

Art. 115. The legislature shall provide by law for all change of venue in civil and criminal cases.

Art. 116. The legislature shall have the power to license the selling of lottery-tickets and the keeping of gambling-houses; said houses in all cases shall be on the first floor and kept with open doors; but in all cases not less than ten thousand dollars per annum shall be levied as a license or tax on each vendor of lottery-tickets and on each gambling-house, and five hundred dollars on each tombola.

Art. 117. The legislature may enact general laws regulating the adoption of children, emancipation of minors, changing of names, and the granting of divorces; but no special laws shall be enacted relating to particular or individual cases.

Art. 118. Every law enacted by the legislature shall embrace but one object, and that shall be expressed in the title.

Art. 119. No law shall be revived or amended by reference to its title; but in such case the act revived or section amended shall be reënacted and published at length.

Art. 120. The legislature shall never adopt any system or code of laws by general reference to such system or code of laws, but in all cases shall specify the several provisions of the laws it may enact.

Art. 121. Corporations shall not be created in this State by special laws except for political or municipal purposes; but the legislature shall provide by general law for the organization of all other corporations, except corporations with banking or discounting privileges, the creation, renewal, or extension of which is hereby prohibited.

Art. 122. In case of the insolvency of any bank or banking association, the bill-holders thereof shall be entitled to preference in payment over all other creditors of such bank or association.

Art. 123. No person shall hold or exercise at the same time more than one civil office of trust or profit, except that of justice of the peace.

Art. 124. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. All property shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law. The general assembly shall have power to exempt from taxation property actually used for church, school, or charitable purposes. The general assembly shall levy an income-tax upon all persons pursuing any occupation, trade, or calling, Edition: current; Page: [1444] and all such persons shall obtain a license, as provided by law. All tax on income shall be pro rata on the amount of income or business done.

Art. 125. The legislature may provide by law in what case officers shall continue to perform the duties of their offices until their successors shall have been inducted into office.

Art. 126. The legislature shall have power to extend this constitution and the jurisdiction of this State over any territory acquired by compact with any State, or with the United States, the same being done by consent of the United States.

Art. 127. None of the lands granted by Congress to the State of Louisiana for aiding in constructing the necessary levees and drains to reclaim the swamp and overflowed lands of the State, shall be diverted from the purposes for which they were granted.

Art. 128. The legislature shall pass no law excluding citizens of this State from office for not being conversant with any language except that in which the Constitution of the United States is written.

Art. 129. No liability, either State, parochial, or municipal, shall exist for any debts contracted for or in the interest of the rebellion against the United States Government.

Art. 130. The seat of government shall be and remain at New Orleans, and shall not be removed without the consent of a majority of both houses of the general assembly.

Art. 131. The legislature may determine the mode of filling vacancies in all offices for which provision is not made in this constitution.

Art. 132. The legislature shall pass no law requiring a property qualification for office.

Title VIII: CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS

Art. 133. The citizens of the city of New Orleans shall have the right of appointing the several public officers necessary for the administration of the police of said city, pursuant to the mode of elections which shall be prescribed by the legislature: Provided, That the mayor and recorders shall be ineligible to a seat in the general assembly; and the mayor and recorders shall be commissioned by the governor as justices of the peace, and the legislature may vest in them such criminal jurisdiction as may be necessary for the punishment of minor offences and as the police and good of said city may require.

The city of New Orleans shall maintain a police which shall be uniformed with distinction of grade, to consist of permanent citizens of the State of Louisiana, to be selected by the mayor of the city, and to hold office during good behavior, and removable only by a police commission composed of five citizens, and the mayor, who shall be president of the board. The commission to be appointed by the governor of the State for the term of two years, at a salary of not less than one thousand dollars per annum; a majority of whom shall remove for delinquencies. Members of the police when removed shall not again be eligible to any position on the police for a term of one year.

Interfering or meddling in elections in any manner will be a sufficient cause for instant dismissal from the police by the board.

The chief of the police shall give a penal bond in the sum of ten thousand dollars; lieutenants of police, five thousand dollars; sergeants Edition: current; Page: [1445] and clerks, each three thousand dollars; corporals, two thousand dollars; and privates one thousand dollars; with good and solvent security, as the law directs, for the faithful performance of their duties.

The various officers shall receive a salary of not less than the following rates:

The chief of police, $250 per month; the lieutenants of police, $150 per month; the sergeants of police, $100 per month; the clerks of police, $100 per month; the corporals of police, $90 per month; the privates, (day and night,) each, $80 per month.

Title IX: LABOR ON PUBLIC WORKS

Art. 134. The legislature may establish the price and pay of foremen, mechanics, laborers, and others employed on the public works of the State or parochial or city governments: Provided, That the compensation to be paid all foremen, mechanics, cartmen, and laborers employed on the public works, under the government of the State of Louisiana, city of New Orleans, and the police-juries of the various parishes of the State, shall not be less than as follows, viz: Foremen, $3.50 per day; mechanics, $3 per day; cartmen, $3.50 per day; laborers, $2 per day.

Art. 135. Nine hours shall constitute a day’s labor for all mechanics, artisans, and laborers employed on public works.

Title X: INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS

Art. 136. There shall be appointed by the governor a State engineer, skilled in the theory and practice of his profession, who shall hold his office at the seat of government for the term of four years. He shall have the superintendence and direction of all public works in which the State may be interested, except those made by joint-stock companies or such as may be under the parochial or city authorities exclusively and not in conflict with the general laws of the State. He shall communicate to the general assembly, through the governor, annually, his views concerning the same, report upon the condition of the public works in progress, recommend such measures as in his opinion the public interest of the State may require, and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law. His salary shall be five thousand dollars per annum, until otherwise provided by law. The mode of appointment, number, and salary of his assistants shall be fixed by law. The State engineer and assistants shall give bonds for the performance of their duties as shall be prescribed by law.

Art. 137. The general assembly may create internal-improvement districts, composed of one or more parishes, and may grant a right to the citizens thereof to tax themselves for their improvements. Said internal-improvement districts, when created, shall have the right to select commissioners, shall have the power to appoint officers, fix their pay, and regulate all matters relative to the improvements of their districts, provided such improvements will not conflict with the general laws of the State.

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Art. 138. The general assembly may grant aid to said districts out of the funds arising from the swamp and overflowed lands granted to the State by the United States for that purpose or otherwise.

Art. 139. The general assembly shall have the right of abolishing the office of State engineer, by a majority vote of all the members elected to each branch, and of substituting a board of public works in lieu thereof, should they deem it necessary.

Title XI: PUBLIC EDUCATION

Art. 140. There shall be elected a superintendent of public education, who shall hold his office for the term of four years. His duties shall be prescribed by law, and he shall receive a salary of four thousand dollars per annum until otherwise provided by law: Provided, That the general assembly shall have power by a vote of a majority of the members elected to both houses to abolish the said office of superintendent of public education whenever, in their opinion, said office shall be no longer necessary.

Art. 141. The legislature shall provide for the education of all children of the State, between the ages of six and eighteen years, by maintenance of free public schools by taxation or otherwise.

Art. 142. The general exercises in the common schools shall be conducted in the English language.

Art. 143. A university shall be established in the city of New Orleans. It shall be composed of four faculties, to wit: One of law, one of medicine, one of the natural sciences, and one of letters. The legislature shall provide by law for its organization and maintenance.

Art. 144. The proceeds of all lands heretofore granted by the United States to this State for the use or purpose of the public schools, and of all lands which may hereafter be granted or bequeathed for that purpose, and the proceeds of the estates of deceased persons to which the State may become entitled by law, shall be and remain a perpetual fund on which the State shall pay an annual interest of 6 per cent., which interest, together with the interest of the trust-funds deposited with the State by the United States, under the act of Congress approved June 23, 1836, and all the rents of the unsold lands, shall be appropriated to the purpose of such schools, and the appropriation shall remain inviolable.

Art. 145. All moneys arising from the sales which have been or may hereafter be made of any lands heretofore granted by the United States to this State for the use of a specific seminary of learning, or from any kind of a donation that may hereafter be made for that purpose, shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, at 6 per cent. per annum, shall be appropriated to the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences, and no law shall ever be made diverting said funds to any other use than to the establishment and improvement of said seminary of learning; and the general assembly shall have power to raise funds for the organization and support of said seminary of learning in such manner as it may deem proper.

Art. 146. No appropriation shall be made by the legislature for the support of any private school or institution of learning whatever, but the highest encouragement shall be granted to public schools throughout the State.

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Title XII: MODE OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION

Art. 147. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in the senate or house of representatives, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each house, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon. Such proposed amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the people at an election to be ordered by said legislature, and held within ninety days after the adjournment of the same, and after thirty days’ publication according to law; and if a majority of the voters at said election shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, the same shall become a part of the constitution. If more than one amendment be submitted at a time, they shall be submitted in such manner and form that the people may vote for or against each amendment separately.

Title XIII: SCHEDULE

Art. 148. The constitution adopted in 1852 is declared to be superseded by this constitution; and in order to carry the same into effect, it is hereby declared and ordained as follows:

Art. 149. All rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well as of individuals as of bodies-corporate, and all laws in force at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and not inconsistent therewith, shall continue as if the same had not been adopted.

Art. 150. In order that no inconvenience may result to the public service from the taking effect of this constitution, no officer shall be superseded thereby; but the laws of this State relative to the duties of the several officers, executive, judicial, and military, except those made void by military authority, and by the ordinance of emancipation, shall remain in full force, though the same be contrary to this constitution, and the several duties shall be performed by the respective officers of the State, according to the existing laws, until the organization of the government under this constitution, and the entering into office of the new officers to be appointed under said government, and no longer.

Art. 151. The legislature shall provide for the removal of all causes now pending in the supreme court or other courts of the State under the constitution of 1852, to courts created by or under this constitution.

Title XIV: ORDINANCE

Art. 152. Immediately after the adjournment of the convention, the governor shall issue his proclamation directing the several officers of this State, authorized by law to hold elections, or, in default thereof, such officers as he shall designate, to open and hold polls in the several Edition: current; Page: [1448] parishes of the State, at the places designated by law, on the first Monday of September, 1864, for the purpose of taking the sense of the good people of this State in regard to the adoption or rejection of this constitution; and it shall be the duty of said officers to receive the suffrages of all qualified voters. Each voter shall express his opinion by depositing in the ballot-box a ticket whereon shall be written “The constitution accepted,” or, “The constitution rejected.” At the conclusion of the said election, the officers and commissioners appointed to preside over the same shall carefully examine and count each ballot as deposited, and shall forthwith make due return thereof to the secretary of state, in conformity to the provisions of law and usages in regard to elections.

Art. 153. Upon the receipt of said returns, or on the third Monday of September, if the returns be not sooner received, it shall be the duty of the governor, the secretary of state, the attorney-general, and the State treasurer, in the presence of all such persons as may choose to attend, to compare the votes at the said election for the ratification or rejection of this constitution, and if it shall appear at the close that a majority of all the votes given is for ratifying this constitution, then it shall be the duty of the governor to make proclamation of the fact, and thenceforth this constitution shall be ordained and established as the constitution of the State of Louisiana. But whether this constitution be accepted or rejected, it shall be the duty of the governor to cause to be published the result of the polls, showing the number of votes cast in each parish for and against this constitution.

Art. 154. As soon as the general election can be held under this constitution in every parish of the State, the governor shall, by proclamation, or, in case of his failure to act, the legislature shall, by resolution, declare the fact, and order an election to be held on a day fixed in said proclamation or resolution, and within sixty days from the date thereof, for governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, attorney-general, and superintendent of education. The officers so chosen shall, on the fourth Monday after their election, be installed into office; and shall hold their offices for the terms prescribed in this constitution, counting from the second Monday in January next preceding their entering into office, in case they do not enter into office on that date. The terms of office of the State officers elected on the 22d day of February, 1864, shall expire on the installation of their successors as herein provided for; but under no state of circumstances shall their term of office be construed as extending beyond the length of the terms fixed for said offices in this constitution; and, if not sooner held, the election of their successors shall take place on the first Monday of November, 1867, in all parishes where the same can be held, the officers elected on that date to enter into office on the second Monday in January, 1868.

Art. 155. This constitution shall be published in three papers to be selected by the president of the convention, whereof two shall publish the same in English and French, and one in German, from the period of the adjournment of the convention until the election for ratification or rejection on the first Monday of September, 1864.

E. H. Durell, President.
Jno. E. Neelis, Secretary.
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CONSTITUTION OF LOUISIANA—1868*a

PREAMBLE

We, the people of Louisiana, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution.

Title I: BILL OF RIGHTS

Article 1. All men are created free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Art. 2. All persons, without regard to race, color, or previous condition, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, and residents of this State for one year, are citizens of this State. The citizens of this State owe allegiance to the United States; and this allegiance is paramount to that which they owe to the State. They shall enjoy the same civil, political, and public rights and privileges, and be subject to the same pains and penalties.

Art. 3. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this State, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

Art. 4. The press shall be free; every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this liberty.

Art. 5. The right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.

Art. 6. Prosecutions shall be by indictment or information. The accused shall be entitled to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the parish in which the offence was committed, unless the venue be changed. He shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself; he shall have the right of being heard by himself or counsel; he shall have the right of meeting the witnesses face to face, and shall have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor. He shall not be tried twice for the same offence.

Art. 7. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient securities, unless for capital offences, where the proof is evident or the presumption great, or unless after conviction for any crime or offence punishable with death or imprisonment at hard labor. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended.

Art. 8. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed; nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.

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Art. 9. 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, or the person or things to be seized.

Art. 10. All courts shall be open; and every person for injury done him in his land, goods, person, or reputation, shall have adequate remedy, by due process of law, and justice administered without denial or unreasonable delay.

Art. 11. No law shall be passed fixing the price of manual labor.

Art. 12. Every person has the natural right to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for office.

Art. 13. All persons shall enjoy equal rights and privileges upon any conveyance of a public character; and all places of business, or of public resort, or for which a license is required by either State, parish, or municipal authority, shall be deemed places of a public character, and shall be opened to the accommodation and patronage of all persons, without distinction or discrimination on account of race or color.

Art. 14. The rights enumerated in this title shall not be construed to limit or abridge other rights of the people not herein expressed.

Title II: LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 15. The legislative power 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. 16. The members of the house of representatives shall continue in office for two years from the day of the closing of the general elections.

Art. 17. 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 annually on the first Monday in January, unless a different day be appointed by law, and their sessions shall be held at the seat of government.

Art. 18. Every elector under this constitution shall be eligible to a seat in the house of representatives; and every elector who has reached the age of twenty-five years shall be eligible to the senate: Provided, That no person shall be a representative or senator unless at the time of his election he be a qualified elector of the representative or senatorial district from which he is elected.

Art. 19. Elections for members of the general assembly shall be held at the several election precincts established by law.

Art. 20. Representation in the house of representatives shall be equal and uniform; and, after the first general assembly elected under this constitution, shall be ascertained and regulated by the total population, each parish in the State being entitled to at least one representative. A census of the State by State authority shall be taken in the year eighteen hundred and seventy-five, and every ten years thereafter. In case of informality, omission, or error in the census-returns Edition: current; Page: [1451] from any parish or election district, the general assembly may order a new census taken in such parish or election district; but, until the State census of eighteen hundred and seventy-five, the apportionment of the State shall be made on the basis of the census of the United States for the year eighteen hundred and seventy.

Art. 21. The general assembly, at the first session after the making of each enumeration, shall apportion the representation amongst the several parishes and representative districts on the basis of the total population, as aforesaid. A representative number shall be fixed, and each parish and representative district shall have as many representatives as the number of its total population will entitle it to have, and an additional representative for any fraction exceeding one-half of the representative number. The number of representatives shall never exceed one hunderd and twenty, nor be less than ninety.

Art. 22. Until an apportionment shall be made in accordance with the provisions of article twenty, the representation in the senate and house of representatives shall be as follows:

For the parish of Orleans: First representative district, two; second representative district, three; third representative district, four; fourth representative district, two; fifth representative district, two; sixth representative district, one; seventh representative district, two; eighth representative district, one; ninth representative district, two; tenth representative district, three; Orleans, right bank, one.

  • For the parish of Ascension, two;
  • For the parish of Assumption, two;
  • For the parish of Avoyelles, two;
  • For the parish of Baton Rouge, East, three;
  • For the parish of Baton Rouge, West, one;
  • For the parish of Bienville, one;
  • For the parish of Bossier, two;
  • For the parish of Caddo, three;
  • For the parish of Calcasieu, one;
  • For the parish of Caldwell, one;
  • For the parish of Carroll, two;
  • For the parish of Catahoula, one;
  • For the parish of Claiborne, two;
  • For the parish of Concordia, two;
  • For the parish of De Soto, two;
  • For the parish of Feliciana, East, two;
  • For the parish of Feliciana, West, one;
  • For the parish of Franklin, one;
  • For the parish of Iberville, two;
  • For the parish of Jackson, one;
  • For the parish of Jefferson, four;
  • For the parish of La Fayette, one;
  • For the parish of La Fourche, two;
  • For the parish of Livingston, one;
  • For the parish of Madison, one;
  • For the parish of Morehouse, one;
  • For the parish of Natchitoches, two;
  • For the parish of Ouachita, two;
  • For the parish of Plaquemines, one;
  • For the parish of Point Coupee, two;
  • For the parish of Rapides, three; Edition: current; Page: [1452]
  • For the parish of Sabine, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Bernard, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Charles, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Helena, one;
  • For the parish of Saint James, two;
  • For the parish of Saint John Baptist, one;
  • For the parish of Saint Landry, four;
  • For the parish of Saint Martin’s, two;
  • For the parish of Saint Mary’s, two;
  • For the parish of Saint Tammany, one;
  • For the parish of Tensas, two;
  • For the parish of Terre Bonne, two;
  • For the parish of Union, one;
  • For the parish of Vermillion, one;
  • For the parish of Washington, one;
  • For the parish of Winn, one;
  • Total, one hundred and one.

And the State shall be divided into the following senatorial districts, to wit:

  • The first, second, and third representative districts of New Orleans shall form one senatorial district, and elect three senators;
  • The fourth, fifth, and six representative districts of New Orleans shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The seventh, eighth, and ninth representative districts of New Orleans and the parish of Saint Bernard shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The tenth representative district of New Orleans shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • Orleans, right bank, and the parish of Plaquemines shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Jefferson, Saint Charles, and Saint John Baptist shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The parishes of Ascension and Saint James shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Assumption, La Fourche, and Terre Bonne shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The parishes of Vermillion and Saint Mary’s shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Calcasieu, La Fayette, and Saint Landry shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The parishes of Livingston, Saint Helena, Washington, and Saint Tammany shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Point Coupee, East Feliciana, and West Feliciana shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The parish of East Baton Rouge shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of West Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Saint Martin’s shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The parishes of Concordia and Avoyelles shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Tensas and Franklin shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Carroll, Madison, and Morehouse shall form one district, and elect two senators; Edition: current; Page: [1453]
  • The parishes of Ouachita and Caldwell shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Jackson and Union shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Bossier, Bienville, and Claiborne shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The parish of Caddo shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of De Soto, Natchitoches, and Sabine shall form one district, and elect two senators;
  • The parish of Rapides shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • The parishes of Catahoula and Winn shall form one district, and elect one senator;
  • Thirty-six senators in all.

Art. 23. The house of representatives shall choose its speaker and other officers.

Art. 24. Electors in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance on, going to, and returning from elections.

Art. 25. At its first session under this constitution, the general assembly shall provide by law that the names and residence of all qualified electors shall be registered, in order to entitle them to vote; but the registry shall be free of cost to the elector.

Art. 26. No person shall be entitled to vote at any election held in this State, except in the parish of his residence, and at the election-precinct in which he is registered: Provided, That no voter, in removing from one parish to another, shall lose the right in the former until he has acquired it in the latter.

Art. 27. The members of the senate shall be elected for the term of four years; and, when assembled, the senate shall have the power to choose its own officers, except as hereinafter provided.

Art. 28. The general assembly shall divide the State into senatorial districts whenever it apportions representation in the house of representatives.

Art. 29. 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 is taken, or to another contiguous district, at the discretion of the general assembly; but shall not be attached to more than one district. The number of senators shall be thirty-six, and they shall be apportioned among the senatorial districts according to the total population of said districts.

Art. 30. In all apportionments of the senate, the total population of the State shall be divided by the number thirty-six, 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 the apportionment to make a parish or district fall short of, or exceed the ratio, 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 twentieth Edition: current; Page: [1454] article, the general assembly shall not pass any law till an apportionment of representation in both houses of the general assembly be made.

Art. 31. At the first session of the general assembly, after this constitution goes into effect, the senators shall be divided equally by lot into two classes; the seats of the senators of the first class to be vacated at the expiration of the term of the first house of representatives; those of the second class at the expiration of the term of the second house of representatives, so that one-half shall be chosen every two years successively. When a district shall have elected two senators, their respective terms of office shall be determined by lot between themselves.

Art. 32. The first election for senators shall be held at the same time with the election for representatives; and thereafter there shall be elections of senators at the same time with each general election of representatives, to fill the places of those senators whose term of office may have expired.

Art. 33. Not less than a majority of the members of each house of the general assembly shall form a quorum to transact business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall have full power to compel the attendance of absent members.

Art. 34. Each house of the general assembly shall judge of the qualifications, election, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Art. 35. Each house of the general assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish a member for disorderly conduct, and, with a concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

Art. 36. Each house of the general assembly shall keep and publish weekly a journal of its proceedings; and the yeas and nays of the members on any question, at the desire of any two of them, shall be entered on the journal.

Art. 37. Each house may punish, by imprisonment, any person, not a member, for disrespect and disorderly behavior in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings. Such imprisonment shall not exceed ten days for any one offence.

Art. 38. Neither house shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which it may be sitting, during the sessions of the general assembly, without the consent of the other.

Art. 39. The members of the general assembly shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for their services, which shall be eight dollars per day during their attendance, going to, and returning from the sessions of their respective houses. This compensation may be increased or diminished by law, but no alteration shall take effect during the period of service of the members of the house of representatives by which such alteration shall have been made. No session shall extend beyond the period of sixty days, to date from its commencement, and any legislative action had after the expiration of said period of sixty days shall be null and void; but the first general assembly that shall convene after the adoption of this constitution may continue in session for one hundred and twenty days.

Art. 40. The members of the general assembly, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from Edition: current; Page: [1455] arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and going to or returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house shall not be questioned in any other place.

Art. 41. No senator or representative, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, shall be appointed to any civil office of profit under this State which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which may have been increased, during the time such senator or representative was in office.

Art. 42. No bill shall have the force of a law until on three several days it be read in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon, unless four-fifths of the house where the bill is pending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.

Art. 43. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives; but the senate may propose amendments, as in other bills: Provided, It shall not introduce any matter under the color of an amendment which does not relate to raising revenue.

Art. 44. The general assembly shall regulate by whom and in what manner writs of election shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may occur in either branch thereof.

Art. 45. On the confirmation or rejection of the officers to be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the senators voting for and against the appointments respectively shall be entered on the journals to be kept for the purpose, and made public on or before the end of each session.

Art. 46. Returns of all elections for members of the general assembly shall be made to the secretary of state.

Art. 47. In the year in which a regular election for a Senator of the United States is to take place, the members of the general assembly shall meet in the hall of the house of representatives, on the second Monday following the meeting of the general assembly, and proceed to said election.

Title III: EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 48. The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the State of Louisiana. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the lieutenant-governor chosen for the same term, be elected as follows: The qualified electors for representatives shall vote for governor and lieutenant-governor at the time and place of voting for representatives. The returns of every election shall be sealed up and transmitted by the proper returning-officer to the secretary of state, who shall deliver them to the speaker of the house of representatives on the second day of the session of the general assembly then to be holden. The members of the general assembly shall meet in the house of representatives to examine and count the votes. The person having the greatest number of votes for governor shall be declared duly elected; but in case of a tie vote between two or more candidates, one of them shall immediately be chosen governor by joint vote of the members of the general assembly. The person having the greatest number of votes polled for lieutenant-governor shall be lieutenant-governor; but in case of a tie vote between two or Edition: current; Page: [1456] more candidates, one of them shall be immediately chosen lieutenant-governor by joint vote of the members of the general assembly.

Art. 49. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor who is not a citizen of the United States and a resident of this State two years next preceding his election.

Art. 50. The governor shall be ineligible for the succeeding four years after the expiration of the time for which he shall have been elected.

Art. 51. The governor shall enter on the discharge of his duties on the second Monday in January next ensuing his election, and shall continue in office until the Monday next succeeding the day that his successor shall be declared duly elected, and shall have taken the oath or affirmation required by the constitution.

Art. 52. No member of Congress, or any person holding office under the United States Government, shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant-governor.

Art. 53. In case of impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, refusal or inability to qualify, or to discharge the powers and duties of his office, resignation, or absence from the State, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor for the residue of the term, or until the governor absent or impeached shall return or be acquitted, or the disability be removed. The general assembly may provide by law for the case of removal, impeachment, death, resignation, disability, or refusal to qualify, of both the governor and the lieutenant-governor, declaring what officer shall act as governor; and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or for the remainder of the term.

Art. 54. The lieutenant-governor, or officer discharging the duties of governor, shall, during his administration, receive the same compensation to which the governor would have been entitled had he continued in office.

Art. 55. The lieutenant-governor shall, by virtue of his office, be president of the senate, but shall only vote when the senate is equally divided. Whenever he shall administer the government, or shall be unable to attend as president of the senate, the senators shall elect one of their own members as president of the senate for the time being.

Art. 56. The governor shall receive a salary of eight thousand dollars per annum, payable quarterly, on his own warrant.

Art. 57. The lieutenant-governor shall receive a salary of three thousand dollars per annum, payable quarterly, upon his own warrant.

Art. 58. The governor shall have power to grant reprieves for all offences against the State; and, except in cases of impeachment, shall, with the consent of the senate, have power to grant pardons, remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction. In cases of treason, he may grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the general assembly, in which the power of pardoning shall be vested. In cases when the punishment is not imprisonment at hard labor, the party upon being reprieved by the governor shall be released, if in actual custody, until final action by the senate.

Art. 59. He shall be commander-in-chief of the militia of this State, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.

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Art. 60. He shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint all officers whose offices are established by the constitution, and whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for: Provided, however, That the general assembly shall have a right to prescribe the mode of appointment to all other offices established by law.

Art. 61. The governor shall have power to fill vacancies that may happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of the next session thereof, unless otherwise provided for in this constitution; but no person who has been nominated for office and rejected by the senate shall be appointed to the same office during the recess of the senate.

Art. 62. He may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.

Art. 63. He shall, from time to time, give the general assembly information respecting the situation of the State, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Art. 64. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly at the seat of government, or at a different place if that should have become dangerous from an enemy or from epidemic; and, in case of disagreement between the two houses as to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he may think proper, not exceeding four months.

Art. 65. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Art. 66. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; if he do not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of all the members present in that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; and if approved by two-thirds of the members present in that house it shall be a law. But in such cases the vote of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of members 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 within five days after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly, by adjournment, prevent its return; in which case the said bill shall be returned on the first day of the meeting of the general assembly after the expiration of said five days, or be a law.

Art. 67. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the governor; and before it shall take effect be approved by him, or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the members present.

Art. 68. There shall be a secretary of state, who shall hold his office during the term for which the governor shall have been elected. The records of the State shall be kept and preserved in the office of the secretary; he shall keep a fair register of the official acts and proceedings of the governor, and, when necessary, shall attest them; he Edition: current; Page: [1458] shall, when required, lay the said register, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relative to his office, before either house of the general assembly, and shall perform such other duties as may be enjoined on him by law.

Art. 69. There shall be a treasurer of the State, and an auditor of public accounts, who shall hold their respective offices during the term of four years. At the first election under this constitution the treasurer shall be elected for two years.

Art. 70. The secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor of public accounts shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State; and in case of any vacancy caused by the resignation, death, or absence of the secretary, treasurer, or auditor, the governor shall order an election to fill said vacancies: Provided, The unexpired term to be filled be more than twelve months. When otherwise, the governor shall appoint a person to perform the duties of the office thus vacant until the ensuing general election.

Art. 71. The treasurer and the auditor shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum each. The secretary of state shall receive a salary of three thousand dollars per annum.

Art. 72. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana; and shall be sealed with the State seal, signed by the governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state.

Title IV: JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Art. 73. The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court, in district courts, in parish courts, and in justices of the peace.

Art. 74. The supreme court, except in cases hereinafter provided, shall have appellate jurisdiction only; which jurisdiction shall extend to all cases when the matter in dispute shall exceed five hundred dollars; and to all cases in which the constitutionality or legality of any tax, toll, or impost of any kind or nature whatsoever, or any fine, forfeiture, or penalty imposed by a municipal corporation, shall be in contestation, whatever may be the amount thereof; and in such cases the appeal shall be direct from the court in which the case originated to the supreme court; and in criminal cases, on questions of law only, whenever the punishment of death or imprisonment at hard labor, or a fine exceeding three hundred dollars, is actually imposed.

Art. 75. The supreme court shall be composed of one chief justice and four associate justices, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum. The chief justice shall receive a salary of seven thousand five hundred dollars, and each of the associate justices a salary of seven thousand dollars annually, payable quarterly on their own warrants. The chief justice and the associate justices shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, for the term of eight years. They shall be citizens of the United States, and shall have practised law for five years, the last three thereof next preceding their appointment in the State. The court shall appoint its own clerks, and may remove them at pleasure.

Art. 76. The supreme court shall hold its sessions in the city of Edition: current; Page: [1459] New Orleans, from the first Monday in the month of November to the end of the month of May. The general assembly shall have power to fix the sessions elsewhere during the rest of the year. Until otherwise provided, the sessions shall be held as heretofore.

Art. 77. The supreme court, and each of the judges thereof, shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, at the instance of persons in actual custody, in cases when they may have appellate jurisdiction.

Art. 78. No judgment shall be rendered by the supreme court without a concurrence of a majority composing the court. Whenever the majority cannot concur, in consequence of the recusation of any member of the court, the judges not recused shall have power to call upon any judge or judges of the district courts, whose duty it shall be, when so called upon, to preside in the place of the judge or judges recused, and to aid in determining the case.

Art. 79. All judges, by virtue of their office, shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be “The State of Louisiana.” All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana, and conclude “against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Art. 80. The judges of all courts, whenever practicable, shall refer to the law in virtue of which every definitive judgment is rendered; but in all cases they shall adduce the reasons on which their judgment is founded.

Art. 81. The judges of all courts shall be liable to impeachment for crimes and misdemeanors. For any reasonable cause the governor shall remove any of them, on the address of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the general assembly. In every such case the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in the address and inserted in the journal of each house.

Art. 82. No duties or functions shall ever be attached by law to the supreme or district courts, or the several judges thereof, but such as are judicial; and the said judges are prohibited from receiving any fees of office, or other compensation than their salaries, for any official duties performed by them.

Art. 83. The general assembly shall divide the State into judicial districts, which shall remain unchanged for four years, and for each district court one judge, learned in the law, shall be elected for each district by a plurality of the qualified electors thereof. For each district there shall be one district court, except in the parish of Orleans, in which the general assembly may establish as many district courts as the public interests may require. Until otherwise provided, there shall be seven district courts for the parish of Orleans, with the following original jurisdiction: The first, exclusive criminal jurisdiction; the second, exclusive probate jurisdiction; the third, exclusive jurisdiction of appeals from justices of the peace; the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh district courts, exclusive jurisdiction in all civil cases, except probate, when the sum in contest is above one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest. These seven courts shall also have such further jurisdiction, not inconsistent herewith, as shall be conferred by law. The number of districts in the State shall not be less than twelve nor more than twenty. The clerks of the district courts shall be elected by the qualified electors of their respective parishes, and shall hold their office for four years.

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Art. 84. Each of said judges shall receive a salary to be fixed by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during his term of office, and shall never be less than five thousand dollars. He must be a citizen of the United States, over the age of twenty-five years, and have resided in the State and practised law therein for the space of two years next preceding his election. The judges of the district courts shall hold their office for the term of four years.

Art. 85. The district courts shall have original jurisdiction in all civil cases when the amount in dispute exceeds five hundred dollars, exclusive of interest. In criminal cases their jurisdiction shall be unlimited. They shall have appellate jurisdiction in civil ordinary suits when the amount in dispute exceeds one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest.

Art. 86. For each parish court one judge shall be elected by the qualified electors of the parish. He shall hold his office for the term of two years. He shall receive a salary and fees to be provided by law. Until otherwise provided, each parish judge shall receive a salary of one thousand two hundred dollars per annum, and such fees as are established by law for clerks of district courts. He shall be a citizen of the United States and of this State.

Art. 87. The parish courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the justices of the peace in all cases when the amount in controversy is more than twenty-five dollars and less than one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest. They shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in ordinary suits in all cases when the amount in dispute exceeds one hundred dollars and does not exceed five hundred dollars, subject to an appeal to the district court in all cases when the amount in contestation exceeds one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest. All successions shall be opened and settled in the parish courts; and all suits in which a succession is either plaintiff or defendant may be brought either in the parish or district court, according to the amount involved. In criminal matters the parish courts shall have jurisdiction in all cases when the penalty is not necessarily imprisonment at hard labor or death, and when the accused shall waive trial by jury. They shall also have the power of committing-magistrates and such other jurisdiction as may be conferred on them by law. There shall be no trial by jury before the parish courts.

Art. 88. In all probate matters when the amount in dispute shall exceed five hundred dollars exclusive of interest, the appeal shall be directly from the parish to the supreme court.

Art. 89. The justices of the peace shall be elected by the electors of each parish, in the manner to be provided by the general assembly. They shall hold office for the term of two years, and their compensation shall be fixed by law. Their jurisdiction in civil cases shall not exceed one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, subject to an appeal to the parish court in all cases when the amount in dispute shall exceed ten dollars, exclusive of interest. They shall have such criminal jurisdiction as shall be provided for by law.

Art. 90. In any case when the judge may be recused, and when he is not personally interested in the matters in contestation, he shall select a lawyer, having the qualifications required for a judge of his court, to try such cases. And when the judge is personally interested in the suit, he shall call upon the parish or district judge, as the case may be, to try the case.

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Art. 91. The general assembly shall have power to vest in the parish judges the right to grant such orders and to do such acts as may be deemed necessary for the furtherance of the administration of justice, and in all cases the power thus granted shall be specified and determined.

Art. 92. There shall be an attorney-general for the State, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at large. He shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum, payable quarterly, on his own warrant, and shall hold his office for four years. There shall be a district attorney for each judicial district of the State, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the judicial district. He shall receive a salary of fifteen hundred dollars, payable quarterly, on his own warrant, and shall hold his office for four years.

Art. 93. There shall be a sheriff and coroner elected by the qualified electors of each parish, except the parish of Orleans. In the parish of Orleans there shall be elected by the qualified electors of the parish at large one sheriff for the criminal court, who shall be the executive officer of said court, and shall have charge of the parish prison. There shall also be elected by the qualified electors of the parish at large one sheriff, who shall be the executive officer of the civil courts, and who shall perform all other duties heretofore devolving upon the sheriff of the parish of Orleans, except those herein delegated to the sheriff of the criminal court. The qualified electors of the city of New Orleans residing below the middle of Canal street shall elect one coroner for that district, and the qualified electors of the city of New Orleans residing above the middle of Canal street, together with those residing in that part of the parish known as Orleans, right bank, shall elect one coroner for that district. All of said officers shall hold their office for two years, and receive such fees of office as may be prescribed by law.

Art. 94. No judicial powers, except as committing-magistrates in criminal cases, shall be conferred on any officers other than those mentioned in this title, except such as may be necessary in towns and cties; and the judicial powers of such offices shall not extend further than the cognizances of cases arising under the police regulations of towns and cities in the State. In any case where such officers shall assume jurisdiction over other matters than those which may arise under police regulations, or under their jurisdiction as committing-magistrates, they shall be liable to an action of damages in favor of the party injured, or his heirs; and a verdict in favor of the party injured shall, ipso facto, operate a vacation of the office of said officer.

Title V: IMPEACHMENT

Art. 95. The power of impeachment shall be vested in the house of representatives.

Art. 96. Impeachments of the governor, lieutenant-governor, attorney-general, secretary of state, auditor of public accounts, State treasurer, superintendent of public education, and of the judges of the inferior courts, justices of the peace excepted, shall be tried by the senate; the chief-justice of the supreme court, or the senior associate judge thereof, shall preside during the trial of such impeachments. Edition: current; Page: [1462] Impeachments of the judges of the supreme court shall be tried by the senate. When sitting as a court of impeachment, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present.

Art. 97. Judgments in cases of impeachments shall extend only to removal from office, and disqualification from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit in the State; but the convicted parties shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.

Title VI: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 98. Every male person of the age of twenty-one years or upward, born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, and a resident of this State one year next preceding an election, and the last ten days within the parish in which he offers to vote, shall be deemed an elector, except those disfranchised by this constitution, and persons under interdiction.

Art. 99. The following persons shall be prohibited from voting and holding any office: All persons who shall have been convicted of treason, perjury, forgery, bribery, or other crime punishable in the penitentiary, and persons under interdiction. All persons who are estopped from claiming the right of suffrage by abjuring their allegiance to the United States Government, or by notoriously levying war against it, or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid or comfort, but who have not expatriated themselves, nor have been convicted of any of the crimes mentioned in the first paragraph of this article, are hereby restored to the said right, except the following: Those who held office, civil or military, for one year or more, under the organization styled “the Confederate States of America;” those who registered themselves as enemies of the United States; those who acted as leaders of guerrilla bands during the late rebellion; those who, in the advocacy of treason, wrote or published newspaper articles or preached sermons during the late rebellion; and those who voted for and signed an ordinance of secession in any State. No person included in these exceptions shall either vote or hold office until he shall have relieved himself by voluntarily writing and signing a certificate setting forth that he acknowledges the late rebellion to have been morally and politically wrong, and that he regrets any aid and comfort he may have given it; and he shall file the certificate in the office of the secretary of state, and it shall be published in the official journal: Provided, That no person who, prior to the first of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, favored the execution of the laws of the United States popularly known as the reconstruction acts of Congress, and openly and actively assisted the loyal men of the State in their efforts to restore Louisiana to her position in the Union, shall be held to be included among those herein excepted. Registrars of voters shall take the oath of any such person as prima-facie evidence of the fact that he is entitled to the benefit of this proviso.

Art. 100. Members of the general assembly and all other officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I, [A. B.,] do solemnly swear [or affirm] Edition: current; Page: [1463] that I accept the civil and political equality of all men, and agree not to attempt to deprive any person or persons, on account of race, color, or previous condition, of any political or civil right, privilege, or immunity enjoyed by any other class of men; that I will support the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the constitution and laws of this State, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as ———, according to the best of my ability and understanding: So help me God.”

Art. 101. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on his confession in open court.

Art. 102. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offence.

Art. 103. The privilege of free suffrage shall be supported by laws regulating elections and prohibiting under adequate penalties all undue influence thereon from power, bribery, tumult, or other improper practice.

Art. 104. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in pursuance of specific appropriations made by law. A statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be made annually in such manner as shall be prescribed by law; and the first general assembly convening under this constitution shall make a special appropriation to liquidate whatever portion of the debt of this convention may at that time remain unpaid or unprovided for.

Art. 105. All civil officers of the State at large shall be voters of and reside within the State; and all district or parish officers shall reside within their respective districts or parishes, and shall keep their offices at such place therein as may be required by law.

Art. 106. All civil officers shall be removable by an address of two-thirds of the members-elect to each house of the general assembly, except those whose removal is otherwise provided for by this constitution.

Art. 107. In all elections by the people the vote shall be taken by ballot; and in all elections by the senate and house of representatives, jointly or separately, the vote shall be given viva voce.

Art. 108. None but citizens of the United States and of this State shall be appointed to any office of trust or profit in this State.

Art. 109. The laws, public records, and the judicial and legislative proceedings of the State shall be promulgated and preserved in the English language; and no laws shall require judicial process to be issued in any other than the English language.

Art. 110. No ex post facto or retroactive law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be passed, nor vested rights be divested, unless for purposes of public utility and for adequate compensation made.

Art. 111. Whenever the general assembly shall contract a debt exceeding in amount the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, unless, in case of war, to repel invasion or suppress insurrection, it shall, in the law creating the debt, provide adequate ways and means for the payment of the current interest and of the principal when the same shall become due; and the said law shall be irrepealable until principal Edition: current; Page: [1464] and interest be fully paid; or unless the repealing law contain some adequate provision for the payment of the principal and interest of the debt.

Art. 112. The general assembly shall provide by law for all change of venue in civil and criminal cases.

Art. 113. The general assembly may enact general laws regulating the adoption of children, emancipation of minors, and the granting of divorces; but no special law shall be passed relating to particular or individual cases.

Art. 114. Every law shall express its object or objects in its title.

Art. 115. No law shall be revived or amended by reference to it. title; but in such case the revived or amended section shall be re-enacted and published at length.

Art. 116. The general assembly shall never adopt any system or code of laws by general reference to such system or code of laws; but in all cases shall specify the several provisions of the law it may enact.

Art. 117. No person shall hold or exercise at the same time more than one office of trust or profit, except that of justice of the peace or notary public.

Art. 118. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. All property shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law. The general assembly shall have power to exempt from taxation property actually used for church, school, or charitable purposes. The general assembly may levy an income-tax upon all persons pursuing any occupation, trade, or calling. And all such persons shall obtain a license as provided by law. All tax on income shall be pro rata on the amount of income or business done. And all deeds of sale made, or that may be made, by collectors of taxes shall be received by courts in evidence as prima facie valid sales. The general assembly shall levy a poll-tax on all male inhabitants of this State, over twenty-one years old, for school and charitable purposes, which tax shall never exceed one dollar and fifty cents per annum.

Art. 119. No liability, either State, parochial, or municipal, shall exist for any debts contracted for or in the interest of the rebellion against the United States Government.

Art. 120. The general assembly may determine the mode of filling vacancies in all offices for which provision is not made in this constitution.

Art. 121. The general assembly shall pass no law requiring a property qualification for office.

Art. 122. All officers shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices until their successors shall have been inducted into office, except in cases of impeachment or suspension.

Art. 123. The general assembly shall provide for the protection of the rights of married women to their dotal and paraphernal property, and for the registration of the same; but no mortgage or privilege shall hereafter affect third parties, unless recorded in the parish where the property to be affected is situated. The tacit mortgages and privileges now existing in this State shall cease to have effect against third persons after the 1st day of January, 1870, unless duly recorded. The general assembly shall provide by law for the registration of all mortgages and privileges.

Art. 124. The general assembly, at its first session under this constitution, Edition: current; Page: [1465] shall provide an annual pension for the veterans of 1814 and 1815, residing in the State.

Art. 125. The military shall be in subordination to the civil power.

Art. 126. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to make it obligatory upon each parish to support all paupers residing within its limits.

Art. 127. All agreements, the consideration of which was confederate money, notes, or bonds, are null and void, and shall not be enforced by the courts of this State.

Art. 128. Contracts for the sale of persons are null and void, and shall not be enforced by the courts of this State.

Art. 129. The State of Louisiana shall never assume nor pay any debt or obligation contracted or incurred in aid of the rebellion; nor shall this State ever, in any manner, claim from the United States, or make any allowance or compensation for slaves emancipated or liberated in any way whatever.

Art. 130. All contracts made and entered into under the pretended authority of any government heretofore existing in this State, by which children were bound out without the knowledge or consent of their parents, are hereby declared null and void; nor shall any child be bound out to any one for any term of years, while either one of its parents live, without the consent of such parent, except in cases of children legally sent to the house of correction.

Art. 131. The seat of government shall be established at the city of New Orleans, and shall not be removed without the consent of two-thirds of the members of both houses of the general assembly.

Art. 132. All lands sold in pursuance of decrees of courts shall be divided into tracts of from ten to fifty acres.

Art. 133. No judicial powers shall be exercised by clerks of courts.

Art. 134. No soldier, sailor, or marine, in the military or naval service of the United States, shall hereafter acquire a residence in this State by reason of being stationed or doing duty in the same.

Title VII: PUBLIC EDUCATION

Art. 135. The general assembly shall establish at least one free public school in every parish throughout the State, and shall provide for its support by taxation or otherwise. All children of this State between the years of six and twenty-one shall be admitted to the public schools or other institutions of learning sustained or established by the State in common, without distinction of race, color, or previous condition. There shall be no separate schools or institutions of learning established exclusively for any race by the State of Louisiana.

Art. 136. No municipal corporation shall make any rules or regulations contrary to the spirit and intention of article 135.

Art. 137. There shall be elected by the qualified voters of this State a superintendent of public education, who shall hold his office for four years. His duties shall be prescribed by law, and he shall have the supervision and the general control of all public schools throughout the State. He shall receive a salary of five thousand dollars per annum, payable quarterly, on his own warrant.

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Art. 138. The general exercises in the public schools shall be conducted in the English language.

Art. 139. The proceeds of all lands heretofore granted by the United States for the use and support of public schools, and of all lands or other property which may hereafter be bequeathed for that purpose, and of all lands which may be granted or bequeathed to the State, and not granted or bequeathed expressly for any other purpose, which may hereafter be disposed of by the State, and the proceeds of all estates of deceased persons to which the State may be entitled by law, shall be held by the State as a loan, and shall be and remain a perpetual fund, on which the State shall pay an annual interest of 6 per cent., which interest, with the interest of the trust-fund deposited with this State by the United States under the act of Congress approved June the twenty-third, eighteen hundred and thirty-six, and the rent of the unsold land, shall be appropriated to the support of such schools; and this appropriation shall remain inviolable.

Art. 140. No appropriation shall be made by the general assembly for the support of any private school or any private institution of learning whatever.

Art. 141. One-half of the funds derived from the poll-tax herein provided for shall be appropriated exclusively to the support of the free public schools throughout the State and the University of New Orleans.

Art. 142. A university shall be established and maintained in the city of New Orleans. It shall be composed of a law, a medical, and a collegiate department, each with appropriate faculties. The general assembly shall provide by law for its organization and maintenance: Provided, That all departments of this institution of learning shall be open in common to all students capable of matriculating. No rules or regulations shall be made by the trustees, faculties, or other officers of said institution of learning, nor shall any laws be made by the general assembly violating the letter or spirit of the articles under this title.

Art. 143. Institutions for the support of the insane, the education and support of the blind and the deaf and dumb, shall always be fostered by the State, and be subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by the general assembly.

Title VIII: MILITIA

Art. 144. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to organize the militia of the State; and all able-bodied male citizens, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, not disfranchised by the laws of the United States and of this State, shall be subject to military duty.

Art. 145. The governor shall appoint all commissioned officers, subject to confirmation or rejection by the senate, except the staff-officers, who shall be appointed by their respective chiefs, and commissioned by the governor. All militia officers shall take and subscribe to the oath prescribed for officers of the United States Army and the oath prescribed for officers in this State.

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Art. 146. The governor shall have power to call the militia into active service for the preservation of law and order, or when the public safety may require it. The militia, when in active service, shall receive the same pay and allowances, as officers and privates, as is received by officers and privates in the United States Army.

Title IX: MODE OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION

Art. 147. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in the senate or house of representatives, and if the same shall be agreed to by two-thirds of the members elected to each house, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their respective journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon; and the secretary of state shall cause the same to be published three months before the next general election for representatives to the general assembly, in at least one newspaper in every parish of the State in which a newspaper shall be published. And such proposed amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the people at said election; and if a majority of the voters at said election shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, the same shall become a part of this constitution. If more than one amendment shall be submitted at one time, they shall be submitted in such manner and form that the people may vote for or against each amendment separately.

Title X: SCHEDULE

Art. 148. The ordinance of secession of the State of Louisiana, passed 26th of January, 1861, is hereby declared to be null and void. The constitution adopted in 1864, and all previous constitutions in the State of Louisiana, are declared to be superseded by this constitution.

Art. 149. All rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, contracts, and all laws in force at the time of the adoption of this constitution, and not inconsistent therewith, shall continue as if it had not been adopted; all judgments and judicial sales, marriages, and executed contracts, made in good faith and in accordance with existing laws in this State, rendered, made, or entered into, between the 26th day of January, 1861, and the date when this constitution shall be adopted, are hereby declared to be valid, except the following laws:

An act to authorize the widening of the new canal and basin, approved March 14, 1867.

An act to amend and re-enact the 121st section of an act entitled “An act relative to crimes and offences,” approved December 20, 1865.

An act for the punishment of persons for tampering with, persuading, or enticing away, harboring, feeding, or secreting laborers, servants, or apprentices, approved December 21, 1865.

An act to punish, in certain cases, the employers of laborers and apprentices, approved December 21, 1865.

An act in relation to exemption from State, parish, and city taxes, for the years 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1865, in certain cases, certified March 16, 1866.

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An act granting ferry privileges to C. K. Marshall, his heirs or assigns, approved March 10, 1866.

An act to authorize the board of levee commissioners, of the levee district in the parishes of Madison and Carroll, to issue bonds, &c., approved March 28, 1867.

Section third of An act to organize the police of New Orleans, and to create a police-board therein, approved February 12, 1866.

Art. 150. The laws relative to the duties of officers shall remain in force, though contrary to this constitution, and the several duties be performed by the respective officers, until the organization of the government under this constitution.

Art. 151. The general assembly shall provide for the removal of causes now pending in the courts of this State to courts created by or under this constitution.

Title XI: ORDINANCE

Art. 152. Immediately upon the adjournment of this convention this constitution shall be submitted for ratification to the registered voters of the State, in conformity to the act of Congress passed March 2, 1867, entitled “An act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States,” and the acts supplementary thereto.

Art. 153. The election for the ratification of the constitution shall be held on Friday and Saturday, the 17th and 18th days of April, 1868, at the places now prescribed by law; and the polls shall be kept open from 7 o’clock a. m. to 7 o’clock p. m. At that election all those in favor of ratifying the constitution shall have written or printed on their ballots “For the constitution;” and those opposed to ratifying the constitution shall have written or printed on their ballots “Against the constitution.”

Art. 154. In order to establish a civil government, as required by act of Congress passed March 23, 1867, an election shall be held, at the same time and place at which the constitution is submitted for ratification, for all State, judicial, parish, and municipal officers, for members of the general assembly, and for congressional Representatives, at which election the electors who are qualified under the reconstruction acts of Congress shall vote, and none others: Provided, That any elector shall be eligible to any office under any municipal corporation in this State.

Art. 155. At the election for the ratification of the constitution, and for officers of the civil government, as required by Congress, all registered electors may vote in any parish where they have resided for ten days next preceding said election, and at any precinct in the parish, upon presentation of their certificates of registration, affidavit, or other satisfactory evidence that they are entitled to vote as registered electors.

Art. 156. The same registrars and commissioners who shall be appointed by the commanding general of the fifth military district to superintend the election for the ratification or rejection of the constitution, shall also, at the same time and place, superintend the election for all officers and representatives herein ordered: Provided. They be authorized so to act by the commanding general. And in case the commanding general should not so authorize said registrars Edition: current; Page: [1469] and commissioners, the committee of seven, appointed by this convention to take charge of the whole matter of the ratification of the constitution and the election of civil officers, shall appoint one registrar for each parish in the State, except the parish of Orleans, and one in each district of the parish of Orleans, counting Orleans, right bank, as one district, who shall, each in his parish or district, appoint a sufficient number of commissioners of election to hold the said election for said civil officers and representatives at the same time and place as herein provided for.

Art. 157. Returns shall be made in duplicate, sworn to by the commissioners holding the election, and forwarded within three days thereafter, to the registrars of the parish or district. The registrars shall immediately forward one copy of said returns to the chairman of the committee of seven appointed by this convention, who shall, within ten days after the last return has been received, make proclamation of the result of said election.

Art. 158. All civil officers thus elected shall enter upon the discharge of their duties on the second Monday after the return of their election shall have been officially promulgated, or as soon as qualified according to law, and shall continue in office for the terms of their respective offices herein prescribed, said terms to date from the first Monday in November following the election.

Art. 159. The general assembly elected under this constitution shall hold its first session in the city of New Orleans on the third Monday after the official promulgation aforesaid, and proceed immediately upon its organization to vote upon the adoption of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, proposed by Congress, and passed June 13, 1866. Said general assembly shall not have power to enact any laws relative to the per diem of members, or any other subject, after organization, until said constitutional amendment shall have been acted upon.

Art. 160. All registrars and commissioners appointed under this constitution shall, before entering upon their duties, take and subscribe the oath of office prescribed by Congress, approved July second, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, entitled “An act to prescribe an oath of office;” the said oath of office shall be administered to each registrar by the chairman of the committee of seven and to each commissioner by the registrar appointing him.

Art. 161. All registrars, commissioners, and other officers, necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this ordinance, except as otherwise provided for by the reconstruction acts of Congress, shall be paid out of any funds raised by virtue of the tax ordinance adopted by the convention December twenty-fourth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, not otherwise appropriated.

James G. Taliaferro, President.
Wm. Vigers, Secretary.

AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION OF 1868

(Ratified 1870)

Title II. Art. 17. Strike out the words “first Monday” and insert the words “first Tuesday after the first Monday.”

Title VI. Art. 99. No person shall hold any office, or shall be permitted to vote at any election, or to act as a juror who, in due course Edition: current; Page: [1470] of law, shall have been convicted of treason, perjury, forgery, bribery, or other crime, punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary, or who shall have been under interdiction.

Sec. 1. That no person who, at any time, may have been a collector of taxes, whether State, parish, or municipal, or who may have been otherwise intrusted with public money, shall be eligible to the General Assembly, or to any office of profit or trust under the State government, until he shall have obtained a discharge for the amount of such collections, and for all public moneys with which he may have been intrusted.

Sec. 2. That prior to the first day of January, 1890, the debt of the State shall not be so increased as to exceed twenty-five millions of dollars.

(Ratified 1874)

Art. [162]. Sec. 1. The issue of consolidated bonds authorized by the General Assembly of the State, at its regular session in the year 1874, is hereby declared to create a valid contract between the State and each and every holder of said bonds, which the State shall by no means and in no wise impair. The said bonds shall be a valid obligation of the State in favor of any holder thereof, and no court shall enjoin the payment of the principal or interest thereof, or the levy and collection of the tax therefor; to secure such levy, collection, and payment the judicial power shall be exercised when necessary. The tax required for the payment of the principal and interest of said bonds shall be assessed and collected each and every year until the bonds shall be paid, principal and interest, and the proceeds shall be paid by the treasurer of the State to the holders of said bonds as the principal and interest of the same shall fall due, and no further legislation or appropriation shall be requisite for the said assessment and collection and for such payment from the treasury.

Sec. 2. Whenever the debt of the State shall have been reduced below twenty-five million dollars, the constitutional limit shall remain at the lowest point reached, beyond which the public debt shall not thereafter be increased; and this rule continue in operation until the debt is reduced to fifteen million dollars, beyond which it shall not be increased. Nor shall taxation for all State purposes, excepting the support of public schools, ever exceed twelve and a half mills on the dollar of the assessed valuation of the real and personal property in the State, except in case of war or invasion.

Sec. 3. The revenue of each year derived from taxation upon real, personal, and mixed property, or from licenses, shall be devoted solely to the expenses of the said year for which it shall be raised, excepting any surplus remain, which shall be directed to sinking the public debt. All appropriations and claims in excess of revenue shall be null and void, and the State shall in no manner provide for their payment.

Art. [163]. The city of New Orleans shall not hereafter increase her debt in any manner or form or under any pretext. After the first day of January, 1875, no evidence of indebtedness or warrant for payment of money shall be issued by any officer of said city, except against cash actually in the treasury; but this shall not be so construed as to prevent a renewal of matured bonds at par, or the issue of new bonds in exchange for other bonds, provided the city debt be Edition: current; Page: [1471] not thereby increased, nor to prevent the issue of drainage warrants to the transferee of contract, under act No. 30, of 1871, payable only from drainage taxes, and not otherwise; any person violating the prohibitions [provisions] of this article shall, on conviction, be by imprisonment for not less two nor more than ten years, and by fine of not less than three dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars.

CONSTITUTION OF LOUISIANA—1879*a

PREAMBLE

We, the people of the State of Louisiana, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, acknowledging and invoking the guidance of Almighty God, the author of all good government, do ordain and establish this constitution.

BILL OF RIGHTS

Article 1. All government of right originates with the people, is founded on their will alone, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole, deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed. Its only legitimate end is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property. When it assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression.

Art. 2. 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 except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.

Art. 3. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged. This shall not prevent the passage of laws to punish those who carry weapons concealed.

Art. 4. No laws shall be passed respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Art. 5. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this State otherwise than for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. Prosecutions shall be by indictment or information; provided, that no person shall be held to answer for a capital crime unless on a presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in cases arising in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger, nor shall any person be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty for the same offense, except on his own Edition: current; Page: [1472] application for a new trial, or where there is a mistrial, or a motion in arrest of judgment is sustained.

Art. 6. No person shall be compelled to give evidence against himself in a criminal case or in any proceedings that may subject him to criminal prosecution, except where otherwise provided in this constitution, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Art. 7. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury, except that, in cases where the penalty is not necessarily imprisonment at hard labor or death, the General Assembly may provide for the trial thereof by a jury, less than twelve in number; provided, that the accused in every instance shall be tried in the parish wherein the offense shall have been committed, except in cases of change of venue.

Art. 8. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to defend himself, and to have the assistance of counsel and to have the right to challenge jurors peremptorily, the number of challenges to be fixed by statute.

Art. 9. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines be imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses where the proof is evident or the presumption great; or unless after conviction for any crime or offense punishable with death or imprisonment at hard labor.

Art. 10. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

Art. 11. All courts shall be open, and every person for injury done him in his rights, lands, goods, person or reputation shall have adequate remedy by due process of law and justice administered without denial or unreasonable delay.

Art. 12. The military shall be in subordination to the civil power.

Art. 13. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or impair other rights of the people not herein expressed.

DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS

Art. 14. 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. 15. No one of these departments, nor any person or collection of persons 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.

APPORTIONMENT

Art. 16. Representation in the House of Representatives shall be equal and uniform, and shall be regulated and ascertained by the total population. Each parish shall have at least one Representative. The first enumeration to be made by the State authorities Edition: current; Page: [1473] under this Constitution, shall be made in the year eighteen hundred and ninety, and 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 its first regular session after each enumeration, the General Assembly shall apportion the representation among the several parishes and election districts on the basis of the total population 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 population 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 ninety-eight, nor less than seventy.

Art. 17. The General Assembly, 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. 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 General Assembly, but shall not be attached to more than one district. The number of Senators shall not be more than thirty-six nor less than twenty-four, and they shall be apportioned among the senatorial districts according to the total population contained in the several districts.

Art. 18. Until an enumeration shall be made in accordance with Articles 16 and 17, the State shall be divided into the following senatorial districts, with the number of Senators hereinafter designated to each district:

  • The First Senatorial District shall be composed of the eighth and ninth wards of Orleans, and of the parishes of St. Bernard and Plaquemines, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Second District shall be composed of the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh wards of Orleans, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Third District shall be composed of the third ward of Orleans, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Fourth District shall be composed of the second and fifteenth wards (Orleans, right bank) of Orleans, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Fifth District shall be composed of the first and tenth wards of Orleans, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Sixth District shall be composed of the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth wards of Orleans, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Seventh District shall be composed of the parishes of Jefferson, St. Charles and St. John the Baptist, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Eighth District shall be composed of the parishes of St. James and Ascension, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The ninth District shall be composed of the parishes of Terreborne, Lafourche and Assumption, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Tenth District shall be composed of the parishes of St. Mary, Vermilion, Cameron and Calcasieu and shall elect two Senators. Edition: current; Page: [1474]
  • The Eleventh District shall be composed of the parishes of St. Martin, Iberia and Lafayette, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Twelfth District shall be composed of the parishes of St. Landry, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Thirteenth District shall be composed of the parishes of Avoyelles and Pointe Coupee, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Fourteenth District shall be composed of the parishes of Iberville and West Baton Rouge, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Fifteenth District shall be composed of the parishes of East and West Feliciana, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Sixteenth District shall be composed of the parish of East Baton Rouge, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Seventeenth District shall be composed of the parishes of St. Helena, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Washington and St. Tammany and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Eighteenth District shall be composed of the parishes of Rapides and Vernon, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Nineteenth District shall be composed of the parishes of Nachitoches, Sabine, De Soto and Red River, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Twentieth District shall be composed of the parish of Caddo, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Twenty-First District shall be composed of the parishes of Bossier, Webster, Bienville and Claiborne, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Twenty-Second District shall be composed of the parishes of Union, Morehouse, Lincoln and West Carroll, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Twenty-Third District shall be composed of the parishes of Ouachita, Richland, Caldwell, Franklin and Jackson, and shall elect two Senators.
  • The Twenty-Fourth District shall be composed of the parishes of Catahoula, Winn and Grant, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Twenty-Fifth District shall be composed of the parishes of East Carroll and Madison, and shall elect one Senator.
  • The Twenty-Sixth District shall be composed of the parishes of Tensas and Concordia, and shall elect one Senator.
  • Thirty-Six (36) Senators in all.

And the Representatives shall be apportioned among the parishes and representative districts as follows:

For the parish of Orleans—

  • First Representative District, first ward, one Representative.
  • Second Representative District, second ward, two Representatives.
  • Third Representative District, third ward, three Representatives.
  • Fourth Representative District, fourth ward, one Representative.
  • Fifth Representative District, fifth ward, two Representatives.
  • Sixth Representative District, sixth ward, one Representative.
  • Seventh Representative District, seventh ward, two Representatives.
  • Eighth Representative District, eighth ward, one Representative.
  • Ninth Representative District, ninth ward, two Representatives.
  • Tenth Representative District, tenth ward, two Representatives.
  • Eleventh Representative District, eleventh ward, two Representatives. Edition: current; Page: [1475]
  • Twelfth Representative District, twelfth ward, one Representative.
  • Thirteenth Representative District, thirteenth and fourteenth wards, one Representative.
  • Fourteenth Representative District, sixteenth and seventeenth wards, one Representative.
  • Fifteenth Representative District, fifteenth ward, one Representative.

The parishes of Ascension, West Baton Rouge, Bienville, Bossier, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, East Carroll, West Carroll, Catahoula, Concordia, West Feliciana, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Livingston, Morehouse, Ouachita, Plaquemine, Pointe Coupee, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, Washington, Webster and Winn, each one Representative.

The parishes of Assumption, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, Caddo, Claiborne, De Soto, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafourche, Madison, Natchitoches, Rapides, St. Mary, Tensas and Terrebonne, each two Representatives.

The parish of St. Landry four Representatives.

This apportionment of Senators and Representatives shall not be changed or altered in any manner until after the enumeration shall have been taken by the State in eighteen hundred and ninety, in accordance with the provisions of articles 16 and 17.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Art. 19. The legislative power of the State shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Art. 20. The style of the laws of this State shall be: “Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana.”

Art. 21. The General Assembly shall meet at the seat of government on the second Monday of May, 1882, at 12 o’clock noon, and biennially thereafter. Its first session under this constitution may extend to a period of ninety days, but any subsequent session shall be limited to a period of sixty days. Should a vacancy occur in either house, the Governor shall order an election to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the term.

Art. 22. Every elector under this constitution shall be eligible to a seat in the House of Representatives, and every elector who has reached the age of twenty-five years shall be eligible to the Senate; provided, that no person shall be eligible to the General Assembly unless at the time of his election he has been a citizen of the State for five years and an actual resident of the district or parish from which he may be elected for two years immediately preceding his election. The seat of any member who may change his residence from the district or parish which he represents, shall thereby be vacated, any declaration of a retention of domicile to the contrary notwithstanding; and members of the General Assembly shall be elected for a term of four years.

Art. 23. Each house shall judge of the qualifications, election and returns of its own members, choose its own officers (except President of the Senate), determine the rules of its proceedings and may punish Edition: current; Page: [1476] its members for disorderly conduct and contempt, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its members elected, expel a member.

Art. 24. Either house, during the session, may punish by imprisonment any person not a member, who shall have been guilty of disrespect by disorderly or contemptuous behavior; but such imprisonment shall not exceed ten days for each offense.

Art. 25. No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this State which may have been created, or the emoluments of which may have been increased by the General Assembly during the time such Senator or Representative was a member thereof.

Art. 26. The members of the General Assembly shall in all cases, except treason, felony 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.

Art. 27. The members of the General Assembly shall receive a compensation not to exceed four dollars per day during their attendance, and their actual traveling expenses going to and returning from the seat of government; but in no instance shall more than thirty dollars each way be allowed for traveling expenses.

Art. 28. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and cause the same to be published immediately after the close of the session; when practicable, the minutes of each day’s session shall be printed and placed in the hands of members on the day following. The original journal shall be preserved, after publication, in the office of Secretary of State, but there shall be required no other record thereof.

Art. 29. Every law enacted by the General Assembly shall embrace but one object, and that be expressed in the title.

Art. 30. No law shall be revived or amended by reference to its title, but in such cases the act revived or section as amended shall be re-enacted and published at length.

Art. 31. The general Assembly shall never adopt any system or code of laws by general reference to such system or code of laws, but in all cases shall recite at length the several provisions of the laws it may enact.

Art. 32. Not less than a majority of the members of each House of the General Assembly shall form a quorum to transact business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall have power to compel the attendance of absent members.

Art. 33. Neither House during the session of the General Assembly shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which it may be sitting.

Art. 34. The yeas and nays on any question in either House shall, at the desire of one-fifth of the members elected, be entered on the journal.

Art. 35. All bills for raising revenue or appropriating money shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur in amendments, as in other bills.

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Art. 36. No bill, or ordinance, or resolution intended to have the effect of a law, which shall have been rejected by either House, shall be again proposed in the same House during the same session, under the same or any other title, without the consent of a majority of the House by which the same was rejected.

Art. 37. Every bill shall be read on three different days in each House, and no bill shall be considered for final passage unless it has been read once in full, and the same has been reported on by a committee. Nor shall any bill become a law unless, on its final passage, the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for or against the same be entered on the journal, and a majority of the members elected to each House be recorded thereon as voting in its favor.

Art. 38. No amendment to bills by one House shall be concurred in by the other, except by a vote of a majority of the members elected thereto, taken by yeas and nays, and the names of those voting for or against recorded upon the journal thereof. And reports of committees of conference shall be adopted in either House only by a majority of the members elected thereto, the vote to be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of those voting for or against recorded upon the journal.

Art. 39. Whenever a bill that has been passed by both Houses is enrolled and placed in possession of the House in which it originated the title shall be read, and at the request of any five members, the bill shall be read in full, when the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the President of the Senate, as the case may be, shall act at once, sign it in open House, and the fact of signing shall be noted on the journal; thereupon the Clerk or Secretary shall immediately convey the bill to the other House, whose presiding officer shall cause a suspension of all other business to read and sign the bill in open session and without delay; as soon as bills are signed by the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, they shall be taken at once, and on the same day, to the Governor by the Clerk of the House or Secretary of the Senate.

Art. 40. No law passed by the General Assembly, except the general appropriation act, or act appropriating money for the expenses of the General Assembly, shall take effect until promulgated. A law shall be considered promulgated at the place where the State journal is published the day after the publication of such law in the State journal, and in all other parts of the State, twenty days after such publication.

Art. 41. The clerical officers of the two Houses of Representatives shall be a Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives, with such assistants as may be necessary, but the expenses for clerks and employes shall not exceed sixty dollars daily for the Senate, nor seventy dollars daily for the House.

Art. 42. All stationery, printing, paper and fuel used in the legislative and other departments of government, shall be furnished, and the printing, binding and distributing of the laws, journals and department reports, and all other printing and binding, and the repairing and furnishing the halls and rooms used for the meetings of the General Assembly and its committees, shall be done under contract, to be given to the lowest responsible bidder below such maximum Edition: current; Page: [1478] price, and under such regulations as shall be prescribed by law; provided, that such contracts shall be awarded only to citizens of the State. No member or officer of any of the departments 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, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, or any two of them.

LIMITATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS

Art. 43. No money shall be drawn from the treasury except in pursuance of specific appropriations made by law; nor shall any appropriation of money be made for a longer term than two years. A regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public moneys shall be published every three months, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.

Art. 44. The General Assembly shall have no power to contract, or to authorize the contracting, of any debt or liability, on behalf of the State, or to issue bonds or other evidence of indebtedness thereof, except for the purpose of repelling invasion or for the suppression of insurrection.

Art. 45. The General Assembly shall have no power to grant, or to authorize any parish or municipal authority to grant, any extra compensation, fee or allowance to a public officer, agent, servant or contractor, nor pay, nor authorize the payment, of any claim against the State, or any parish or municipality of the State, under any agreement or contract made without express authority of law; and all such unauthorized agreements or contracts shall be null and void.

Art. 46. The General Assembly shall not pass any local or special law on the following specified objects:

For the opening and conducting of elections, or fixing or changing the place of voting.

Changing the names of persons.

Changing the venue in civil or criminal cases.

Authorizing the laying out, opening, closing, altering or maintaining roads, highways, streets or alleys, or relating to ferries and bridges, or incorporating bridge or ferry companies, except for the erection of bridges crossing streams which form boundaries between this and any other State.

Authorizing the adoption or legitimation of children or the emancipation of minors.

Granting divorces.

Changing the law of descent or succession.

Affecting the estates of minors or persons under disabilities.

Remitting fines, penalties and forfeitures or refunding moneys legally paid into the treasury.

Authorizing the constructing of street passenger railroads in any incorporated town or city.

Regulating labor, trade, manufacturing or agriculture.

Creating corporations, or amending, renewing, extending or explaining the charter thereof; provided, that this shall not apply to the corporation of the city of New Orleans, or to the organization of levee districts and parishes.

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Granting to any corporation, association or individual any special or exclusive right, privilege or immunity.

Extending the time for the assessment or collection of taxes, or for the relief of any assessor or collector of taxes from the due performance of his official duties, or of his securities from liability; nor shall any such be passed by any political corporation of this State.

Regulating the practice or jurisdiction of any court, or changing the rules of evidence in any judicial proceeding or inquiry before courts, or providing or changing methods for the collection of debts or the enforcement of judgments, or prescribing the effects of judicial sales.

Exemption of property from taxation.

Fixing the rate of interest.

Concerning any civil or criminal actions.

Giving effect to informal or invalid wills or deeds, or to any illegal disposition of property.

Regulating the management of public schools, the building or repairing of school houses, and the raising of money for such purposes.

Legalizing the unauthorized or invalid acts of any officer, servant, agent of the State, or of any parish or municipality thereof.

Art. 47. The General Assembly shall not indirectly enact special or local laws by the partial repeal of a general law; but laws repealing local or special laws may be passed.

Art. 48. No local or special laws shall be passed on any subject not enumerated in Article 46 of this Constitution, unless notice of the intention to apply therefor shall have been published, without cost to the State, in the locality where the matter or thing to be affected may be situated, which notice shall state the substance of the contemplated law, and shall be published at least thirty days prior to the introduction into the General Assembly of such bill, and in the same manner provided by law for the advertisement of judicial sales. The evidence of such notice having been published shall be exhibited in the General Assembly before such act shall be passed, and every such act shall contain a recital that such notice has been given.

Art. 49. No law shall be passed fixing the price of manual labor.

Art. 50. Any member of the General Assembly who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill proposed or pending before the General Assembly shall disclose the fact to the House of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.

Art. 51. No money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion, or in aid of any priest, preacher, minister or teacher thereof, as such, and no preference shall ever be given to nor any discrimination made against, any church, sect or creed of religion, or any form of religious faith or worship, nor shall any appropriations be made for private charitable or benevolent purposes to any person or community; provided, this shall not apply to the State asylums for the insane and deaf, dumb and blind and the charity hospitals and public charitable institutions conducted under State authority.

Art. 52. The General Assembly shall have no power to increase the expenses of any office by appointing assistant officials.

Art. 53. The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but Edition: current; Page: [1480] appropriations for the ordinary expenses of the government, interest on the public debt, public schools and public charities, and such bill shall be so itemized as to show for what account each and every appropriation shall be made. All other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one object.

Art. 54. Each appropriation shall be for a specific purpose, and no appropriation shall be made under the head or title of contingent; nor shall any officer or department of government receive any amount from the treasury for contingencies or for a contingent fund.

Art. 55. No appropriation of money shall be made by the General Assembly in the last five days of the session thereof; all appropriations to be valid, shall be passed and receive the signatures of the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives five full days before the adjournment sine die of the General Assembly.

Art. 56. The funds, credit, property or things of value of the State, or of any political corporation thereof, shall not be loaned, pledged or granted to or for any person or persons, association or corporation, public or private; nor shall the State, or any political corporation, purchase or subscribe to the capital or stock of any corporation or association whatever, or for any private enterprise. Nor shall the State, nor any political corporation thereof assume the liabilities of any political municipal, parochial, private, or other corporation or association whatsoever; nor shall the State undertake to carry on the business of any such corporation or association, or become a part owner therein; provided, the State, through the General Assembly, shall have power to grant the right of way through its public lands to any railroad or canal.

Art. 57. The General Assembly shall have no power to release or extinguish, or to authorize the releasing or extinguishing, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liability or obligation of any corporation or individual to this State, or to any parish or municipal corporation therein; provided, the heirs to confiscated property may be released of all taxes due thereon at the date of its reversion to them.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT

Art. 58. The Executive Department shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State.

Art. 59. The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the Governor of Louisiana. He shall hold his office during four years, and, together with the Lieutenant Governor, chosen for the same term, shall be elected as follows: The qualified electors for Representatives shall vote for a Governor and Lieutenant Governor at the time and place of voting for Representatives.

The returns of every election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be sealed up separately from the returns of election of other officers, and transmitted by the proper officer of every parish to the Secretary of State, who shall deliver them, unopened, to the General Assembly then next to be holden. The members of the General Assembly shall meet on the first Thursday after the day on which they assemble, in the House of Representatives, to examine and count the votes. The person having the greatest number of votes for Governor Edition: current; Page: [1481] shall be declared duly elected; but in case two or more persons shall be equal and highest in the number of votes polled for Governor, one of them shall immediately be chosen Governor by the joint vote of the members of the General Assembly. The person having the greatest number of votes for Lieutenant Governor shall be Lieutenant Governor; but if two or more persons shall be equal and highest in number of votes polled for Lieutenant Governor, one of them shall be immediately chosen Lieutenant Governor, by joint vote of the members of the General Assembly.

Art. 60. No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, been ten years a citizen of the United States, and resident of the State for the same space of time next preceding his election, or who shall be a member of Congress, or shall hold office under the United States at the time of, or within six months immediately preceding the election for such office.

Art. 61. The Governor shall enter on the discharge of his duties the first Monday next ensuing the announcement by the General Assembly of the result of the election for Governor, and shall continue in office until the Monday next succeeding the day that his successor shall have been declared duly elected and shall have taken the oath or affirmation required by this constitution.

Art. 62. In case of the impeachment of the Governor, his removal from office, death, refusal or inability to qualify, disability, resignation or absence from the State, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor for the residue of the term, or until the Governor, absent or impeached, shall return or be acquitted or the disability be removed. In the event of the removal, impeachment, death, resignation, disability or refusal to qualify of both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the President pro tempore of the Senate shall act as Governor until the disability be removed or for the residue of the term.

That in the event of the death, or from whatever cause the office of Lieutenant Governor shall become vacant, then, and in that event, the President pro tempore of the Senate shall fill the office of Lieutenant Governor, performing all the duties incident to the office and receiving its emoluments.

Art. 63. The Lieutenant Governor, or officer discharging the duties of Governor, shall, during his administration, receive the same compensation to which the Governor would have been entitled had he continued in office.

Art. 64. The Lieutenant Governor shall, by virtue of his office, be President of the Senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein. The Senate shall elect one of its members as President pro tempore of the Senate.

Art. 65. The Lieutenant Governor shall receive for his services a salary which shall be double that of a member of the General Assembly, and no more.

Art. 66. The Governor shall have power to grant reprieves for all offenses against the State, and, except in cases of impeachment or treason, shall, upon the recommendation in writing of the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and presiding judge of the court before which conviction was had, or of any two of them, have power to grant pardons, commute sentences, and remit fines and forfeitures after Edition: current; Page: [1482] conviction. In cases of treason he may grant reprieves until the end of the next session of the General Assembly, in which body the power of pardoning is vested.

Art. 67. The Governor shall receive a salary of four thousand dollars per annum, payable monthly on his own warrant.

Art. 68. He shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint all officers whose offices are established by this Constitution, and whose appointments or elections are not herein otherwise provided for; provided, however, that the General Assembly shall have the right to prescribe the mode of appointment or election to all offices created by it.

Art. 69. The Governor shall have the power to fill vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, in cases not otherwise provided for in this Constitution, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session; but no person who has been nominated for office and rejected, shall be appointed to the same office during the recess of the Senate. The failure of the Governor to send into the Senate the name of any person appointed for office, as herein provided, shall be equivalent to a rejection.

Art. 70. He may require information in writing from the officers in the Executive Department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices. He shall be Commander-in-Chief of the militia of the State, except when they shall be called into active service of the United States.

Art. 71. He shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly information respecting the situation of the State, and recommend to its consideration such measures as he may deem expedient.

Art. 72. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat of government, or, if that should have become dangerous from an enemy or from an epidemic, at a different place. The power to legislate shall be limited to the objects enumerated specifically in the proclamation convening such extraordinary session; therein the Governor shall also limit the time such session may continue; provided, it shall not exceed twenty days. Any legislative action had after the time so limited, or as to other objects than those enumerated in said proclamation, shall be null and void.

Art. 73. Every bill which shall have passed both Houses, shall be presented to the Governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House in which it originated, which House shall enter the objections at large upon the journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such consideration, two-thirds of all the members elected to that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the other House, by which likewise it shall be reconsidered, and if passed by two-thirds of the members elected to that House, it shall be a law; but in such cases, the votes of both Houses shall be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within five days 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 adjournment, shall prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Art. 74. The Governor shall have the power to disapprove of Edition: current; Page: [1483] any item or items of any bill making appropriations of money, embracing distinct items, and the part or parts of the bill approved shall be law and the item or items of appropriations disapproved shall be void unless repassed, according to the rules and limitations prescribed for the passage of other bills, over the Executive veto.

Art. 75. Every order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, or on matters of parliamentary proceedings, or an address for removal from office, shall be presented to the Governor, and before it shall take effect, be approved by him, or being disapproved, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the members elected to each House.

Art. 76. The Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State, shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State for the term of four years; and in case of vacancy caused by death, resignation or permanent absence of either of said officers, the Governor shall fill such vacancy by appointment, with the advice and consent of the Senate; provided, however, that notwithstanding such appointment, such vacancy shall be filled by election at the next election after the occurrence of the vacancy.

Art. 77. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall receive a salary of two thousand five hundred dollars per annum; the Treasurer shall receive a salary of two thousand dollars per annum; and the Secretary of State shall receive a salary of one thousand eight hundred dollars per annum. Each of the before named officers shall be paid monthly, and no fees or perquisites or other compensation shall be allowed to said officers; provided, the Secretary of State may be allowed fees as may be provided by law for copies and certificates furnished to private persons.

Art. 78. Appropriations for the clerical expenses of the officers named in the preceding article shall specify each item of such appropriations; and shall not exceed in any one year, for the Treasurer, the sum of two thousand dollars; for the Secretary of State, the sum of one thousand five hundred dollars; and for the Auditor of Public Accounts, the sum of four thousand dollars.

Art. 79. All commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana, and shall be sealed with the State seal, signed by the Governor and countersigned by the Secretary of State.

JUDICIARY DEPARTMENT

Art. 80. The judicial power shall be vested in a Supreme Court, in courts of appeal, in district courts and in justices of the peace.

Art. 81. The Supreme Court, except in cases hereinafter provided, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which jurisdiction shall extend to all cases when the matter in dispute, or the fund to be distributed, whatever may be the amount therein claimed, shall exceed two thousand dollars, exclusive of interest; to suits for divorce and separation from bed and board; to suits for nullity of marriage; to suits involving the rights to homesteads; to suits for interdiction; and to all cases in which the constitutionality or legality of any tax, toll or impost whatever, or of any fine, forfeiture or penalty imposed by a municipal corporation shall be in contestation, whatever may be the amount thereof, and in such cases the appeal on the law and the fact shall be Edition: current; Page: [1484] directly from the court court in which the case originated to the Supreme Court; and to criminal cases, on questions of law alone, whenever the punishment of death or imprisonment at hard labor may be inflicted, or a fine exceeding three hundred dollars ($300) is actually imposed.

Art. 82. The Supreme Court shall be composed of one Chief Justice and four Associate Justices, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum. The Chief Justice and Associate Justices shall each receive a salary of five thousand dollars (5000) per annum, payable monthly on their own warrants. They shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The first Supreme Court to be organized under this constitution shall be appointed as follows: The Chief Justice for the term of twelve years; one Associate Justice for the term of ten years; one for the term of eight years; one for the term of six years; and one for the term of four years, and the Governor shall designate in the commission of each the term for which such judge is appointed. In case of death, resignation or removal from office of any of said judges, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired term of said judge, and upon expiration of the term of any said judges the office shall be filled by appointment for a term of twelve years. They shall be citizens of the United States, and of the State, over thirty-five years of age, learned in the law, and shall have practiced law in this State for ten years preceding their appointment.

Art. 83. The State shall be divided into four Supreme Court Districts, and the Supreme Court shall always be composed of judges appointed from said districts. The parishes of Orleans, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Jefferson shall compose the first district, from which two judges shall be appointed.

The parishes of Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, Claiborne, Union, Lincoln, Jackson, Caldwell, Ouachita, Morehouse, Richland, Franklin, West Carroll, East Carroll, Madison, Tensas and Catahoula shall compose the second district, from which one judge shall be appointed.

The parishes of DeSoto, Red River, Winn, Grant, Natchitoches, Sabine, Vernon, Calcasieu, Cameron, Rapides, Avoyelles, Concordia, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, St. Landry, Lafayette and Vermilion shall compose the third district, from which one judge shall be appointed.

And the parishes of St. Martin, Iberia, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Lafourche, Assumption, St. James, Ascension, East Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, St. Helena, Livingston, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Washington shall compose the fourth district, from which one judge shall be appointed.

Art. 84. The Supreme Court shall hold its sessions in the city of New Orleans from the first Monday in the month of November to the end of the month of May in each and every year. The General Assembly shall have power to fix the sessions elsewhere during the rest of the year. Until otherwise provided, the sessions shall be held as heretofore. They shall appoint their own clerks and remove them at pleasure.

Art. 85. No judgment shall be rendered by the Supreme Court without the concurrence of three judges. Whenever three members cannot concur, in consequence of the recusation of any member or Edition: current; Page: [1485] members of the court, the judges not recused shall have authority to call upon any judge or judges of the district courts, whose duty it shall be, when so called upon, to sit in the place of the judge or judges recused, and to aid in the determination of the case.

Art. 86. All judges, by virtue of their office, shall be conservators of the peace throughout the State. The style of all process shall be, “The State of Louisiana.” All prosecutions shall be carried on “in the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana,” and conclude: “Against the peace and dignity of the same.”

Art. 87. The judges of all courts, whenever practicable, shall refer to the law by virtue of which every definite judgment is rendered; but in all cases they shall adduce the reasons on which their judgment is founded.

Art. 88. There shall be a reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court, who shall report in full all cases which he may be required to report by law or by the court. He shall publish in the reports the title, numbers and head notes of all cases decided, whether reported in full or not.

In all cases reported in full he shall make a brief statement of the principal points presented and authorities cited by counsel.

He shall be appointed by a majority of the court, and hold his office and be removable at their pleasure.

His salary shall be fixed by the court, and shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars per annum, payable monthly on his own warrant.

Art. 89. The Supreme Court and each of the judges thereof shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus at the instance of all persons in actual custody, in cases where it may have appellate jurisdiction.

Art. 90. The Supreme Court shall have control and general supervision over all inferior courts. They shall have power to issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, and other remedial writs.

Art. 91. The General Assembly shall provide for appeals from the district courts to the Supreme Court upon questions of law alone, when the party or parties aggrieved desire only a review of the law.

Art. 92. Except as herein provided no duties or functions shall ever be attached by law to the Supreme Court, courts of appeal or district courts, or the several judges thereof, but such as are judicial; and the said judges are prohibited from receiving any fees of office or other compensation than their salaries for any official duties performed by them. No judicial powers, except as committing magistrates in criminal cases, shall be conferred on any officers other than those mentioned in this title, except such as may be necessary in towns and cities, and the judicial powers of such officers shall not extend further than the cognizance of cases arising under the police regulations of towns and cities in the State.

Art. 93. The judges of all courts shall be liable to impeachment for crimes and misdemeanors. For any reasonable cause the Governor shall remove any of them on the address of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly. In every case the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in the address, and inserted in the journal of each house.

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ATTORNEY GENERAL

Art. 94. There shall be an Attorney General for the State, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at large every four years. He shall be learned in the law, and shall have actually resided and practiced law, as a licensed attorney in the State five years next preceding his election. He shall receive a salary of three thousand dollars per annum; payable monthly on his own warrant.

COURTS OF APPEAL

Art. 95. The courts of appeal, except in cases hereinafter provided, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which jurisdiction shall extend to all cases, civil or probate, when the matter in dispute or the funds to be distributed shall exceed one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, and shall not exceed two thousand dollars, exclusive of interest.

Art. 96. The courts of appeal shall be composed of two circuit judges, shall be elected by the two houses of the General Assembly in joint session. The first judges of the courts of appeal under this constitution shall be elected for the following terms: One judge for each court for the term of four years and one judge for the term of eight years.

They shall be learned in the law and shall have resided and practiced law in this State for six years, and shall have been actual residents of the circuit from which they shall be elected for at least two years next preceding their election.

Art. 97. The State, with the exception of the parish of Orleans, shall be divided into five circuits, from each of which two judges shall be elected. Until otherwise provided by law, the parishes of Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, DeSoto, Red River, Claiborne, Union, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Sabine, Jackson, Winn and Caldwell shall compose the First Circuit.

The parishes of Ouachita, Richland, Morehouse, West Carroll, Catahoula, Franklin, Madison, East Carroll, Concordia and Tensas shall compose the Second Circuit.

The parishes of Rapides, Grant, Avoyelles, St. Landry, Vernon, Calcasieu, Cameron, Lafayette, Vermilion, St. Martin and Iberia shall compose the Third Circuit.

The parishes of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, East Feliciana, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Tammany, Washington, Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana shall compose the Fourth Circuit.

And the parishes of St. Mary, Terrebonne, Ascension, Lafourche, Assumption, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Jefferson, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James shall compose the Fifth Circuit.

Art. 98. The judges of the courts of appeal, until otherwise provided by law, shall hold two terms annually in each parish composing their respective circuits.

Art. 99. Until otherwise provided by law, the terms of the circuit courts of appeal shall be as follows:

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  • First Circuit

  • Caddo—First Mondays in January and June.
  • Bossier—Third Mondays in January and June.
  • Webster—First Mondays in February and July.
  • Bienville—Second Mondays in February and July.
  • Claiborne—Third Mondays in February and July.
  • Union—First Mondays in March and October.
  • Lincoln—Second Mondays in March and October.
  • Jackson—Third Mondays in March and October.
  • Caldwell, Fourth Mondays in March and October.
  • Winn—First Mondays in April and November.
  • Natchitoches—Second Mondays in April and November.
  • Sabine—Fourth Mondays in April and November.
  • DeSoto—First Mondays in May and December.
  • Red River—Third Mondays in May and December.
  • Second Circuit

  • Ouachita—First Mondays in January and June.
  • Richland—Fourth Mondays in January and June.
  • Franklin—First Mondays in February and July.
  • Catahoula—Second Mondays in February and July.
  • Concordia—Fourth Mondays in February and July.
  • Tensas—Second Mondays in March and October.
  • Madison—Fourth Mondays in March and October.
  • East Carroll—Second Mondays in April and November.
  • West Carroll—Fourth Mondays in April and November.
  • Morehouse—First Mondays in May and December.
  • Third Circuit

  • St. Landry—First Mondays in January and June.
  • Avoyelles—Fourth Mondays in January and June.
  • Rapides—Second Mondays in February and July.
  • Grant—Fourth Mondays in February and July.
  • Vernon—First Mondays in March and October.
  • Calcasieu—Second Mondays in March and October.
  • Cameron—Fourth Mondays in March and October.
  • Vermilion—First Mondays in April and November.
  • Lafayette—Second Mondays in April and November.
  • Iberia—Fourth Mondays in April and November.
  • St. Martin—Second Mondays in May and December.
  • Fourth Circuit

  • East Baton Rouge—First Mondays in January and June.
  • West Baton Rouge—Fourth Mondays in January and June.
  • Livingston—First Mondays in February and July.
  • Tangipahoa—Second Mondays in February and July.
  • St. Tammany—Fourth Mondays in February and July.
  • Washington—First Mondays in March and October.
  • St. Helena—Second Mondays in March and October.
  • East Feliciana—Fourth Mondays in March and October.
  • West Feliciana—Second Mondays in April and November.
  • Pointe Coupee—Fourth Mondays in April and November.
  • Iberville—Second Mondays in May and December.
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  • Fifth Circuit

  • St. Mary—First Mondays in January and June.
  • Terrebonne—Third Mondays in January and June.
  • Assumption—First Mondays in February and July.
  • Lafourche—Third Mondays in February and July.
  • St. Charles—First Mondays in March and October.
  • Jefferson—Second Mondays in March and October.
  • St. Bernard—Fourth Mondays in March and October.
  • Plaquemines—First Mondays in April and November.
  • St. John the Baptist—Second Mondays in April and November.
  • St. James—Third Mondays in April and November.
  • Ascension—Second Mondays in May and December.

Art. 100. Whenever the first day of the term shall fall on a legal holiday, the court shall begin its sessions on the first legal day thereafter.

Art. 101. Whenever the judges composing the courts of appeal shall concur, their judgment shall be final. Whenever there shall be a disagreement, the two judges shall appoint a lawyer having the qualifications for a judge of the Court of Appeals of their circuit, who shall aid in the determination of the case; a judgment concurred in by any two of them shall be final.

Art. 102. All causes on appeal to the courts of appeal shall be tried on the original record, pleadings and evidence in the district court.

Art. 103. The rules of practice regulating appeals to, and proceedings in the Supreme Court, shall apply to appeals and proceedings in the courts of appeal, so far as they may be applicable, until otherwise provided by law.

Art. 104. The judges of the courts of appeal shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus at the instance of all persons in actual custody within their respective circuits. They shall also have authority to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition and certiorari, in aid of their appellate jurisdiction.

Art. 105. The judges of courts of appeal shall each receive a salary of four thousand dollars per annum, payable monthly on their respective warrants.

The General Assembly shall provide by law for the trial of recused cases in the courts of appeal.

Art. 106. The sheriff of the parish in which the sessions of the court are held, shall attend in person, or by deputy, to execute the orders of the court.

DISTRICT COURTS

Art. 107. The State shall be divided into not less than twenty, nor more than thirty, judicial districts, the parish of Orleans excepted.

Art. 108. Until otherwise provided by law, there shall be twenty-six districts.

  • The Parish of Caddo shall compose the First district.a
  • The parishes of Bossier, Webster and Bienville shall compose the Second District. Edition: current; Page: [1489]
  • The parishes of Claiborne, Union and Lincoln shall compose the Third District.
  • The parishes of Jackson, Winn and Caldwell shall compose the Fourth District.
  • The parishes of Ouachita and Richlanda shall compose the Fifth District.
  • The parishes of Morehouse and West Carrollb shall compose the Sixth District.
  • The parishes of Catahoula and Franklin shall compose the Seventh District.
  • The parishes of Madison and East Carroll shall compose the Eighth District.
  • The parishes of Concordia and Tensas shall compose the Ninth District.
  • The parishes of DeSoto and Red River shall compose the Tenth District.
  • The parishes of Natchitoches and Sabine shall compose the Eleventh District.
  • The parishes of Rapides, Grant and Avoyelles shall compose the Twelfth District.c
  • The parish of St. Landry shall compose the Thirteenth District.
  • The parishes of Vernon, Calcasieu and Cameron shall compose the Fourteenth District.
  • The parishes of Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana shall compose the Fifteenth District.
  • The parishes of East Feliciana and St. Helena shall compose the Sixteenth District.
  • The parish of East Baton Rouge shall compose the Seventeenth District.
  • The parishes of Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Tammany and Washington shall compose the Eighteenth District.
  • The parishes of St. Mary and Terrebonne shall compose the Nineteenth District.
  • The parishes of Lafourche and Assumption shall compose the Twentieth District.
  • The parishes of St. Martin and Iberia shall compose the Twenty-first District.
  • The parishes of Ascension and St. James shall compose the Twenty-second District.
  • The parishes of West Baton Rouge and Iberville shall compose the Twenty-third District.
  • The parishes of Plaquemines and St. Bernard shall compose the Twenty-fourth District.
  • The parishes of Lafayette and Vermilion shall compose the Twenty-fifth District.
  • The parishes of Jefferson, St. Charles and St. John the Baptist shall compose the Twenty-sixth District. Edition: current; Page: [1490]
  • The parishes of West Carroll and Richland shall compose the Twenty-seventh District.a

Art. 109. District courts shall have original jurisdiction in all civil matters where the amount in dispute shall exceed fifty dollars, exclusive of interest.

They shall have unlimited original jurisdiction in all criminal, probate and succession matters, and when a succession is a party defendant.

The district judges shall be elected by a plurality of the qualified voters of their respective districts, in which they shall have been actual residents for two years next preceding their election.

They shall be learned in the law, and shall have practiced law in the State for five years previous to their election.

They shall be elected for the term of four years. All elections to fill vacancies occasioned by death, resignation or removal, shall be for the unexpired term, and the Governor shall fill the vacancy until an election can be held.

The judges of the district court shall each receive a salary of three thousand dollars per annum, payable monthly on their respective warrants.

Art. 110. The General Assembly shall have power to increase the number of district judges in any district whenever the public business may require.

Art. 111. The district court shall have jurisdiction of appeals from justices of the peace in all matters where the amount in controversy shall exceed ten dollars, exclusive of interest.

Art. 112. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the trial of recused cases in the district courts, by the selection of licensed attorneys at law, by an interchange of judges, or otherwise.

Art. 113. Wherever in this Constitution the qualification of any justice or judge shall be the previous practice of the law for a term of years, there shall be included in such term the time such justice or judge shall have occupied the bench of any court of record in this State; provided, he shall have been a licensed attorney for five years before his election or appointment.

Art. 114. No judge of any court of the State shall be affected in his term of office, salary or jurisdiction as to territory or amount during the term or period for which he was elected or appointed. Any legislation so affecting any judge or court shall take effect only at the end of the term of office of the judge or judges, incumbents of the court or courts to which such legislation may apply at the time of its enactment. This article shall not affect the provisions of this constitution relative to impeachment or removal from office.

Art. 115. The district judges shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus at the instance of all persons in actual custody in their respective districts.

Art. 116. The General Assembly at its first session under this constitution shall provide by general law for the selection of competent and intelligent jurors, who shall have capacity to serve as grand jurors and try and determine both civil and criminal cases, and may provide, in civil cases, that a verdict be rendered by the concurrence of a less number than the whole.

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Art. 117. In those districts composed of one parish, there shall not be less than six terms of the district court each year.

In all other districts there shall be in each parish not less than four terms of the district court each year, except in the parishes of Cameron, Franklin and Vernon, in which there shall not be less than two terms of the district court each year.

Until provided by law, the terms of the district court in each parish be fixed by a rule of said court, which shall not be changed without notice by publication at least thirty days prior to such change.

There shall be in each parish not less than two jury terms each year, at which a grand jury shall be impaneled, except in the parishes of Cameron, Franklin and Vernon, in which there shall not be less than one jury term each year at which a grand jury shall be impaneled.

At other jury terms the General Assembly shall provide for special juries, when necessary for the trial of criminal cases.

SHERIFFS AND CORONERS

Art. 118. There shall be a sheriff and coroner elected by the qualified voters of each parish in the State, except the parish of Orleans, who shall be elected at the general elections and hold office for four years.

The coroner shall act for and in place of the cheriff whenever the sheriff shall be party interested and whenever there shall be a vacancy in the office of sheriff, until such vacancy shall be filled; but he shall not during such vacancy discharge the duties of tax collector.

The sheriff, except in the parish of Orleans, shall be ex-officio collector of State and parish taxes.

He shall give separate bonds for the faithful performance of his duty in each capacity. Until otherwise provided, the bonds shall be given according to existing laws.

The General Assembly, after the adoption of this constitution, shall pass a general law regulating the amount, form, condition and mode of approval of such bonds, so as to fully secure the State and parish, and all parties in interest.

Sheriffs elected at the first election under this constitution shall comply with the provisions of such law, within thirty days after its promulgation, in default of which the office shall be declared vacant, and the Governor shall appoint for the remainder of the time.

Art. 119. Sheriffs shall receive compensation from the parish for their services in criminal matters (the keeping of prisoners, conveying convicts to the Penitentiary, insane persons to the Insane Asylum, and service of process from another parish, and service of process or the performance of any duty beyond the limits of his own parish excepted), not to exceed five hundred dollars per annum for each Representative the parish may have in the House of Representatives.

The compensation of sheriffs as tax collectors shall not exceed five per cent on the amount collected and paid over; provided, that he shall not be discharged as tax collector until he makes proof that he has exhausted the legal remedies to collect the taxes.

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Art. 120. The coroner in each parish shall be a doctor of medicine, regularly licensed to practice, and ex-officio parish physician; provided, this article shall not apply to any parish in which there is no regurlarly licensed physician who will accept the office.

CLERKS

Art. 121. There shall be a clerk of the district court in each parish, the parish of Orleans excepted, who shall be ex-officio clerk of the court of appeals.

He shall be elected by the qualified electors of the parish every four years; and shall be ex-officio parish recorder of conveyances, mortgages and other acts, and notary public.

He shall receive no compensation for his services from the State, or the parish, in criminal matters.

He shall give bond and security for the faithful performance of his duties, in such amount as shall be fixed by the General Assembly.

Art. 122. The General Assembly shall have power to vest in clerks of courts authority to grant such orders, and to do such acts as may be deemed necessary for the furtherance of the administration of justice; and in all cases, powers thus vested shall be specified and determined.

Art. 123. Clerks of district courts may appoint, with the approval of the district judge, deputies, with such powers as shall be prescribed by law; and the General Assembly shall have power to provide for continuing one or more of them in office, in the event of the death of the clerk, until his successor shall have been appointed and duly qualified.

DISTRICT ATTORNEYS

Art. 124. There shall be a district attorney for each judicial district in the State, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of the judicial district. He shall receive a salary of one thousand dollars per annum, payable monthly on his own warrant, and shall hold his office for four years. He shall be an actual resident of the district, and a licensed attorney at law in this State.

He shall also receive fees; but no fees shall be allowed in criminal cases, except on conviction.

Any vacancy in the office of district attorney shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the unexpired term. There shall be no parish attorney, or district attorney, pro tempore. (This article shall not apply to the parish of Orleans.)

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

Art. 125. In each parish, the parish of Orleans excepted, there shall be as many justices of the peace as may be provided by law.

The present number of justices of the peace shall remain as now fixed until otherwise provided. They shall be elected for the term of four years by the qualified voters within the territorial limits of their jurisdiction.

They shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil matters when the amount in dispute shall not exceed fifty dollars, exclusive of Edition: current; Page: [1493] interest, and original jurisdiction concurrent with the district court, when the amount in dispute shall exceed fifty dollars, exclusive of interest, and shall not exceed one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest.

They shall have no jurisdiction in succession or probate matters, or when a succession is a defendant. They shall receive such fees or salary as may be fixed by law.

Art. 126. They shall have criminal jurisdiction as committing magistrates, and shall have power to bail or discharge in cases not capital or necessarily punishable at hard labor.

CONSTABLES

Art. 127. There shall be a constable for the court of each justice of the peace in the several parishes of the State, the parish of Orleans excepted, who shall be elected for the term of four years by the qualified voters within the territorial limits of the jurisdiction of the several justices of the peace.

The compensation, salaries, or fees of constables and the amount of their bonds, shall be fixed by the General Assembly.

COURTS OF THE PARISH AND CITY OF NEW ORLEANS

Art. 128. There shall be in the parish of Orleans a court of appeals for said parish, with exclusive appellate jurisdiction in all matters, civil or probate, arising in said parish, when the amount in dispute or fund to be distributed exceeds one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, and does not exceed two thousand dollars, exclusive of interest; said court shall be presided over by two judges who shall be elected by the General Assembly in joint session; they shall be residents and voters of the city of New Orleans, possessing all the qualifications necessary for judges of circuit courts of appeals throughout the State; they shall each receive an annual salary of four thousand dollars, payable monthly upon their respective warrants.

Said appeals shall be upon questions of law alone, in all cases, involving less than five hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, and upon the law and facts in other cases.

It shall sit in the city of New Orleans, from the first Monday of November to the last Monday of June of each year.

It shall have authority to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and habeas corpus in aid of its appellate jurisdiction.

Art. 129. The provisions of this constitution, relating to the term of office, qualifications and salary of the judges of the circuit courts of appeal throughout the State, and the manner of proceeding and determining causes as applicable to such circuit courts of appeal, shall apply to this court and its judges, in so far as such provisions are not in conflict with the provisions specially relating to said court and its judges.

Said Court of Appeals shall have jurisdiction of all causes now pending on appeal from the parish of Orleans before the Supreme Court of the State where the amount in dispute or fund to be distributed is less than one thousand dollars, exclusive of interest, and the Supreme Court shall at once transfer said causes to the Court of Appeals.

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Art. 130. For the parish of Orleans there shall be two district courts and no more. One of said courts shall be known as the Civil District Court for the parish of Orleans; and the other as the Criminal District Court for the parish of Orleans. The former shall consist of not less than five judges, and the latter not less than two judges having the qualifications prescribed for district judges throughout the State. The said judges shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for the term of eight years. The first appointment shall be made as follows: Three judges of the Civil District Court for four years and two judges for eight years. One judge of the Criminal District Court for four years and one for eight years, the terms to be designated in their commissions.

The said judges shall receive each four thousand dollars per annum. Said Civil District Court shall have exclusive and general probate, and exclusive civil jurisdiction in all cases when the amount in dispute or to be distributed exceeds one hundred ($100) dollars exclusive of interest, and exclusive appellate jurisdiction from the city courts of the parish of Orleans, when the amount in dispute exceeds twenty-five dollars exclusive of interest. All causes filed in said court shall be equally allotted and assigned among said judges, in accordance with rules of court to be adopted for the purpose. In case of recusation of any judge in any cause, such cause shall be reassigned, or in case of absence from the parish, sickness or the disability of the judge to whom said cause may have been assigned, any judge of said court may issue or grant conservatory writs or orders. In other respects each judge shall have exclusive control over every cause assigned to him from its inception to its final determination in said court. The Criminal District Court shall have criminal jurisdiction only. All prosecutions instituted in said court shall be equally apportioned between said judges by lot. Each judge, or his successor, shall have exclusive control over every cause falling to him from its inception to its final determination in said court. In case of vacancy or recusation causes assigned shall be reassigned under order of court.

Art. 131. The General Assembly may increase the number of judges of the Civil District Court, not, however, to exceed nine judges, and the number of the criminal judges not to exceed three.

Art. 132. The Court of Appeals and the Civil and Criminal District Courts for the parish of Orleans shall respectively regulate the order of preference and trial of causes pending, and adopt other rules to govern the proceedings therein, not in conflict with the provisions of law.

Art. 133. The Civil District Court for the parish of Orleans shall select a solvent incorporated bank of the city of New Orleans as a judicial depository. Therein shall be deposited all moneys, notes, bonds and securities (except such notes or documents as may be filed with suits or in evidence, which shall be kept by the clerk of court), so soon as the same shall come into the hands of any sheriff or clerk of court; such deposits shall be removable, in whole or in part, only upon order of court. The officer making such deposits shall make immediate and written return to the court of the date and particulars thereof, to be filed in the cause in which the matter is pending, under penalties to be prescribed by law.

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Art. 134. There shall be a district attorney for the parish of Orleans, who shall possess the same qualifications and be elected in the same manner and for the same period of time as the district attorneys for other parishes, as provided by this constitution.

He shall receive a salary of one thousand dollars per annum and such fees as may be allowed by law; but no fee shall be allowed in criminal cases except on conviction.

He may appoint an assistant at a salary not to exceed fifteen hundred dollars per annum.

Art. 135. There shall be in the city of New Orleans four city courts, one of which shall be located in that portion of the city on the right bank of the Mississippi river, presided over by judges having all the qualifications required for a district judge, and shall be elected by the qualified voters for the term of four years; they shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all sums not exceeding one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest, subject to an appeal to the Civil District Court when the amount claimed exceeds twenty-five dollars, exclusive of interest. The General Assembly shall regulate the salaries, territorial division of jurisdiction, the manner of executing their process, the fee bill, and proceedings which shall govern them; they shall have authority to execute commissions, to take testimony and receive therefor such fees as may be allowed by law.

The General Assembly may increase the number of city courts for the said parish, not to exceed eight in all, until otherwise provided by law. Each of said courts shall have one clerk, to be elected for the term of four years by the qualified voters of the parish, who shall receive a salary of twelve hundred dollars per annum, and no more, and whose qualifications, bond and duties shall be regulated by law.

Art. 136. The General Assembly may provide for police or magistrates’ courts, but such courts shall not be vested with jurisdiction beyond the enforcement of municipal ordinances or as committing magistrates.

Art. 137. There shall be one clerk for the Civil District Court and one for the Criminal District Court of the parish of Orleans. The former shall be ex-officio clerk of the Court of Appeals of said parish. Said clerks shall be removable in the manner provided for the removal of the sheriffs of said parish. The Clerk of said Civil District Court shall receive an annual salary of three thousand six hundred dollars, and no more; and the clerk of the Criminal Court an annual salary of three thousand dollars, and no more, both payable on their warrants. They shall be elected by the qualified voters of the parish for the term of four years.

The amount and character of the bonds and qualification of the sureties to be furnished by said clerks shall be prescribed by law.

Art. 138. The Court of Appeals and each judge of the Civil and Criminal District Court of the parish of Orleans shall appoint a minute clerk at an annual salary of not more than eighteen hundred dollars, whose duties shall be regulated by law. Each clerk of court shall appoint, by and with the consent of the district court of which he is clerk, such deputies as may be necessary to perform officially the duties of said office, at salaries to be fixed by law. He shall be responsible for the said deputies, and may require from each such security as he may deem sufficient to secure himself, and said deputies shall be removable at his pleasure.

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Art. 139. There shall be a civil and a criminal sheriff for the parish of Orleans. The civil sheriff shall be the executive officer of all the civil courts, (except city courts;) and the criminal sheriff shall be the executive officer of the Criminal District Court.

They shall attend the sittings, execute the writs and mandates of their respective courts. They shall be elected by the voters of the parish of Orleans every four years. They shall be citizens of the State, residents and voters of the city of New Orleans, at least twenty-five years of age, and shall be removable each by the district court of which he is the executive officer, upon proof after trial, without jury, of gross or continued neglect, incompetency or unlawful conduct, operating injury to the court or any individual. The two district courts for the parish of Orleans shall immediately upon organization under this constitution, in joint session, adopt rules governing the lodging of complaints against and the trial of such officers; and such rules once adopted, shall not be changed, except by the unanimous consent of all the judges composing the said courts.

Art. 140. The civil sheriff of the parish of Orleans shall receive such fees as the General Assembly may fix. He shall render monthly accounts, giving amounts and dates, number and title of causes wherein received or paid out, of all sums collected and disbursed by him, which shall be filed in the Civil District Court of said parish and form a part of its public records.

He shall be responsible to the State for all profits of said office over ten thousand dollars per annum, and shall settle with the State at least once a year in such manner as the General Assembly may provide.

The criminal sheriff shall receive an annual salary of thirty-six hundred dollars and no more. He shall receive no other compensation. He shall charge and collect for the State from parties convicted such fees and charges as may be fixed by law and shall render monthly accounts of the same.

Art. 141. Said sheriffs shall appoint, each with the consent and approval of the district court which he serves, such a number of deputies as the said court may find necessary for the proper expedition of the public business, at such salaries as may be fixed by law. Each sheriff shall be responsible for his deputies, and may remove them at pleasure and fill vacancies with the approval of the court, and may exact from all deputies security in such manner and amount as such sheriff may deem necessary.

Art. 142. The civil sheriff for said parish shall execute a bond with sureties, residents of said parish, conditioned for the lawful and faithful performance of the duties of his office, in the sum of fifty thousand dollars. The sureties shall be examined in open court by the judges of the Civil District Court for the parish of Orleans, and the questions and answers shall be reduced to writing and form a portion of the records of said court.

A similar bond shall be executed by the criminal sheriff of said parish in the sum of ten thousand dollars, with sureties to be examined and approved as to solvency by the Criminal District Court of said parish, as herein directed for the Civil District Court of said parish in the case of the civil sheriff.

Art. 143. There shall be one constable for each city court of the parish of Orleans, who shall be the executive officer of such court. Edition: current; Page: [1497] He shall be elected by the qualified voters of the parish of Orleans for the term of four years. The General Assembly shall define his qualifications and fix his compensation and duties, and shall assimilate the same so far as practicable to the provisions of this constitution relating to the civil sheriff of said parish. The judges of the city courts shall sit in bane to examine such bonds, try and remove constables and adopt rules regulating such trial and removal. They shall in such proceedings, be governed so far as practicable by the provisions of this constitution regulating the proceedings of the district courts of the parish of Orleans in the case of the sheriffs of said parish.

Art. 144. There shall be a register of conveyances and a recorder of mortgages for the parish of Orleans, who shall be elected by the qualified electors of said parish every four years. The register of conveyances shall receive an annual salary of twenty-five hundred dollars and no more, and said recorder of mortgages an annual salary of four thousand dollars and no more. The General Assembly shall regulate the qualifications and duties of said officers and the number of employees they shall appoint, and fix the salaries of such employees, not to exceed eighteen hundred dollars per annum for each.

Art. 145. The General Assembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall enact a fee bill for the clerks of the various courts, including the city courts, sitting in New Orleans, and for the civil and criminal sheriffs, constables, register of conveyances and recorder of mortgages of said parish. In the same act provision shall be made for a system of stamps or stamped paper for the collection by the State, and not by said officers, of such fees and charges, so far as clerks of courts, register of conveyances and recorder of mortgages are concerned.

Art. 146. All fees and charges fixed by law for the various civil courts of the parish of Orleans, and for the register of conveyances and recorder of mortgages of said parish shall enure to the State, and all sums realized therefrom shall be set aside and held as a special fund, out of which shall be paid by preference the expenses of the clerk of the civil district court, the clerks of the city courts, the register of conveyances and the recorder of mortgages of the parish of Orleans: Provided, That the State shall never make any payment to any sheriff, clerk, register of conveyances or recorder of mortgages of the parish of Orleans, or any of their deputies for salary or other expenses of their respective offices, except from the special fund provided for by this article, and any appropriation made contrary to this provision shall be null and void.

Art. 147. There shall be one coroner for the parish of Orleans, who shall be elected every four years by the qualified electors of said parish, and whose duties shall be regulated by law. He shall be ex-officio city physician of the city of New Orleans and receive an annual salary of five thousand dollars, and no more. He shall be a practicing physician of said city, and a graduate of the medical department of some university of respectable standing. He may appoint an assistant having the same qualifications as himself, at an annual salary not exceeding three thousand dollars. The salaries of both coroner and assistant to be paid by the parish of Orleans.

The maintenance and support of prisoners confined in the parish of Orleans, upon charges or conviction for criminal offenses, shall be under the control of the city of New Orleans.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 148. No person shall hold any office, State, parochial or municipal, or shall be permitted to vote at any election or act as a juror, who, in due course of law, shall have been convicted of treason, perjury, forgery, bribery or other crime punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary, or who shall be under interdiction.

Art. 149. Members of the General Assembly and all officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following oath or affirmation:

“I (A. B.) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution and laws of the United States, and the constitution and laws of this State; and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ——— according to the best of my ability and understanding. So help me God.”

Art. 150. The seat of government shall be and remain at the city of Baton Rouge.

The General Asembly, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, shall make the necessary appropriation for the repair of the State House and for the transfer of the archives of the State to Baton Rouge; and the city council of Baton Rouge is hereby authorized to issue certificates of indebtedness, in such manner and form as to cover the subscription of thirty-five thousand dollars, tendered by the citizens and the city council in said city to aid in repairing the Capitol in said city; provided, the city of Baton Rouge shall pay into the State treasury said amount of thirty-five thousand dollars before the contract for the repairs of the State House be finally closed.

Art. 151. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on his confession in open court.

Art. 152. All civil officers shall be removable by an address of two thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly, except those whose removal is otherwise provided for by this constitution.

Art. 153. No member of congress nor person holding or exercising any office of trust or profit under the United States, or either of them, or under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the General Assembly, or hold or exercise any office of trust or profit under the State.

Art. 154. The laws, public records and the judicial and legislative written proceedings of the State shall be promulgated, preserved and conducted in the English language; but the General Assembly may provide for the publication of the laws in the French language, and prescribe that judicial advertisements in certain designated cities and parishes shall also be made in that language.

Art. 155. No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligations of contracts, shall be passed; nor vested rights be divested, unless for purposes of public utility and for adequate compensation previously made.

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Art. 156. Private property shall not be taken nor damaged, for public purposes without just and adequate compensation being first paid.

Art. 157. No power of suspending the laws of this State shall be exercised, unless by the General Assembly or its authority.

Art. 158. The General Assembly shall provide by law for change of venue in civil and criminal cases.

Art. 159. No person shall hold or exercise, at the same time, more than one office of trust or profit, except that of justice of the peace or notary public.

Art. 160. The General Assembly may determine the mode of filling vacancies in all offices for which provisions is not made in this constitution.

Art. 161. All officers shall continue to discharge the duties of their offices until their successors shall have been inducted into office, except in case of impeachment or suspension.

Art. 162. The military shall be in subordination to the civil power, and no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without consent of the owner.

Art. 163. The General Assembly shall make it obligatory upon each parish to support all infirm, sick and disabled paupers residing within its limits; provided, that in every municipal corporation in a parish where the powers of the police jury do not extend, the said corporation shall support its own infirm, sick and disabled paupers.

Art. 164. No soldier, sailor or marine in military or naval service of the United States shall hereafter acquire a domicile in this State by reason of being stationed or doing duty in the same.

Art. 165. It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass such laws as may be proper and necessary to decide differences by arbitration.

Art. 166. The power of the courts to punish for contempt shall be limited by law.

Art. 167. The General Assembly shall have authority to grant lottery charters or privileges; provided, each charter or privilege shall not pay less than forty thousand dollars per annum in money into the treasury of the State; and provided further, that all charters shall cease and expire on the first of January, 1895, from which time all lotteries are prohibited in the State.

The forty thousand dollars per annum now provided by law to be paid by the Louisiana State Lottery Company, according to the provisions of its charter, granted in the year 1868, shall belong to the Charity Hospital of New Orleans, and the charter of said company is recognized as a contract binding on the State for the period therein specified, except its monopoly clause, which is hereby abrogated, and all laws contrary to the provisions of this article are hereby declared null and void; provided, said company shall file a written renunciation of all its monopoly features, in the office of the Secretary of State, within sixty days after the ratification of this constitution.

Of the additional sums raised by license on lotteries, the hospital at Shreveport shall receive ten thousand dollars annually, and the remaining sum shall be divided each year among the several parishes in the State for the benefit of their schools.

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Art. 168. In all proceedings of indictments for libel, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. The jury in all criminal cases shall be judges of the law and of the facts on the question of guilt or innocence, having been charged as to the law applicable to the case by the presiding judge.

Art. 169. No officer whose salary is fixed by the Constitution shall be allowed any fees or perquisites of office, except where otherwise provided for by this Constitution.

Art. 170. The regulation of the sale of alcoholic or spirituous liquor is declared a police regulation, and the General Assembly may enact laws regulating their sale and use.

Art. 171. No person who, at any time, may have been a collector of taxes, whether State, parish or municipal, or who may have been otherwise intrusted with public money, or any portion thereof, shall be eligible to the General Assembly, or to any office of honor, profit or trust under the State government, or any parish or municipality thereof, until he shall have obtained a discharge for the amount of such collections, and for all public moneys with which he may have been intrusted.

Art. 172. Gambling is declared to be a vice, and the General Assembly shall enact laws for its suppression.

Art. 173. Any person who shall directly or indirectly offer or give any sum or sums of money, bribe, present, reward, promise, or any other thing, to any officer, State, parochial or municipal, or to any member or officer of the General Assembly, with the intent to induce or influence such officer or member of the General Assembly to appoint any person to office, to vote or exercise any power in him vested, or to perform any duty of him required, with partiality or favor, the person giving, or offering to give, and the officer or member of the General Assembly so receiving any money, bribe, present, reward, promise, contract, obligation or security, with the intent or for the purpose or consideration aforesaid, shall be guilty of bribery, and on being found guilty thereof by any court of competent jurisdiction, or by either House of the General Assembly of which he may be a member or officer, shall be forever disqualified from holding any office, State, parochial or municipal, and shall be forever ineligible to a seat in the General Assembly; provided, that this shall not be so construed as to prevent the General Assembly from enacting additional penalties.

Art. 174. Any person may be compelled to testify in any lawful proceeding against any one who may be charged with having committed the offense of bribery, and shall not be permitted to withhold his testimony upon the ground that it may criminate him or subject him to public infamy; but such testimony shall not afterwards be used against him in any judicial proceedings, except for perjury in giving such testimony.

Art. 175. The General Assembly shall, at its first session, pass laws to protect laborers on buildings, streets, roads, railroads, canals and other similar works, against the failure of contractors and subcontractors to pay their current wages when due, and to make the corporation, company or individual for whose benefit the work is done responsible for their ultimate payment.

Art. 176. No mortgage or privilege on immovable property shall affect third persons, unless recorded or registered in the parish where the property is situated, in the manner and within the time as is Edition: current; Page: [1501] now or may be prescribed by law, except privileges for expenses of last illness, and privileges for taxes, State, parish or municipal; provided, such privileges shall lapse in three years.

Art. 177. Privileges on movable property shall exist without registration for the same, except in such cases as the general assembly may prescribe by law, after the adoption of this constitution.

Art. 178. The General Assembly shall provide for the interest of State medicine in all its departments, for the protection of the people from unqualified practitioners of medicine; for protecting confidential communications to medical men by their patients while under professional treatment, and for the purpose of such treatment; and for the establishment and maintenance of a State Board of Health.

Art. 179. The General Assembly shall create a Bureau of Agriculture, define its objects, designate its officers and fix their salaries, at such time as the financial condition of the State may warrant them, in their judgment, in making such expenditures; provided, that such expenditures never exceed ten thousand dollars per annum.

THE NEW CANAL AND SHELL ROAD

Art. 180. The New Basin Canal and Shell Road, and their appurtenances shall not be leased or alienated.

MILITIA

Art. 181. The general assembly shall have authority to provide by law how the militia of this State shall be organized, officered, trained, armed and equipped, and of whom it shall consist.

Art. 182. The officers and men of the militia and volunteer forces shall receive no pay, rations or emoluments when not in active service by authority of the State.

Art. 183. The General Assembly may exempt from military service those who belong to religious societies, whose tenets forbid them to bear arms; provided, a money equivalent for these services shall be exacted. The Governor shall have power to call the militia into active service for the preservation of law and order, or when the public service may require it; provided, that the police force of any city, town or parish shall not be organized or used as a part of the State militia.

SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS

Art. 184. In all elections by the people the electors shall vote by ballot; and in all elections by persons in a representative capacity, the vote shall be viva voce.

Art. 185. Every male citizen of the United States, and every male person of foreign birth who has been naturalized, or who may have legally declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States before he offers to vote, who is twenty-one years old or upwards, possessing the following qualifications, shall be an elector, and shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people, except as hereinafter provided:

  • 1. He shall be an actual resident of the State at least one year next preceding the election at which he offers to vote. Edition: current; Page: [1502]
  • 2. He shall be an actual resident of the parish in which he offers to vote at least six months next preceding the election.
  • 3. He shall be an actual resident of the ward or precinct in which he offers to vote at least thirty days next preceding the election.

Art. 186. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the proper enforcement of the provisions of the foregoing article; provided, that in the parish of Orleans there shall be a supervisor of registration, who shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, whose term of office shall be for the period of four years, and whose salary, qualifications and duties shall be prescribed by law. And the General Assembly may provide for the registration of voters in the other parishes.

Art. 187. The following persons shall not be permitted to register, vote or hold any office or appointment of honor, profit or trust in this State, to-wit:

Those who shall have been convicted of treason, embezzlement of public funds, malfeasance in office, larceny, bribery, illegal voting or other crime punishable by hard labor or imprisonment in the penitentiary, idiots and insane persons.

Art. 188. No qualification of any kind for suffrage or office, nor any restraint upon the same, on account of race, color or previous condition shall be made by law.

Art. 189. Electors shall in all cases except for treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance on elections, and in going to and returning from the same.

Art. 190. The general assembly shall by law forbid the giving or selling of intoxicating drinks, on the day of election, within one mile of precincts, at any election held within this State.

Art. 191. Until otherwise provided by law, the general State election shall be held once every four years on the Tuesday next following the third Monday in April.

Presidential electors and member of Congress shall be chosen or elected in the manner at the time prescribed by law.

Art. 192. Parochial and the municipal elections in the cities of New Orleans and Shreveport shall be held on the same day as the general State election and not oftener than once in four years.

Art. 193. For the purpose of voting, no person shall be deemed to have gained a residence, by reason of his presence, or lost it by reason of his absence, while employed in the service, either civil or military, of this State or of the United States; nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of the State or the United States, or of the high seas, nor while a student of any institution of learning.

Art. 194. The general assembly shall provide by law for the trial and determination of contested elections of all public officers, whether State, judicial, parochial or municipal.

Art. 195. No person shall be eligible to any office, State, or judicial, parochial, municipal or ward; who is not a citizen of this State and a duly qualified elector of the State, judicial district, parish, municipality or ward, wherein the functions of said office are to be exercised. And, whenever any officer, State, judicial, parochial, municipal or ward, may change his residence from this State, or from the district, parish, municipality or ward in which he holds such office, the same shall thereby be vacated, any declarations of retention of domicile to the contrary notwithstanding.

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IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVALS FROM OFFICE

Art. 196. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Education and the judges of all the courts of record in this State shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanor, for nonfeasance or malfeasance in office, for incompetency, for corruption, favoritism, extortion or oppression in office, or for gross misconduct or habitual drunkenness.

Art. 197. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; when sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present. When the Governor of the State is on trial, the Chief Justice or the Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside.

Judgment in cases of impeachment shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification from holding any office of honor, trust or profit under the State, but the party, whether convicted or acquitted, shall nevertheless be liable to prosecution, trial and punishment according to law.

Art. 198. All officers against whom articles of impeachment may be preferred shall be suspended from the exercise of the functions of their office during the pendency of such impeachment and, except in case of the impeachment of the Governor, the appointing power shall make a provisional appointment to replace any suspended officer until the decision of the impeachment.

Art. 199. For any reasonable cause, the Governor shall remove any officer on the address of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly. In every such case, the cause or causes for which such removal may be required shall be stated at length in the address and inserted in the journal of each house.

Art. 200. For any of the causes specified in article 196, judges of the courts of appeal, of the district courts throughout the State, and of the city courts of the parish of Orleans may be removed from office by judgment of the Supreme Court of this State in a suit instituted by the Attorney General or a district attorney in the name of the State, on his relation. The Supreme Court is hereby vested with original jurisdiction to try such causes; and it is hereby made the duty of the Attorney General or of any district attorney to institute such suit on the written request and information of fifty citizens and taxpayers residing within the territorial limits of the district or circuit over which the judge against whom the suit is brought exercises the functions of his office. Such suits shall be tried, after citation and ten days’ delay for answering, in preference to all other suits, and wherever the court may be sitting; but the pendency of such suit shall not operate a suspension from office. In all cases where the officer sued; as above directed, shall be acquitted, judgment shall be rendered jointly and in solido against the citizens signing the request, for all costs of the suit.

Art. 201. For any of the causes enumerated in article 196, district attorneys, clerks of courts, sheriffs, coroners, recorders, justices of the peace and all other parish, municipal and ward officers shall be removed by judgment of the district court of the domicile of such Edition: current; Page: [1504] officer (in the parish of Orleans the Civil District Court;) and it shall be the duty of the district attorney, except when the suit is to be brought against himself, to institute suit in the manner directed in article 200, on the written request and information of twenty-five resident citizens and taxpayers in the case of district, parish or municipal officers, and of ten resident citizens and taxpayers in the case of ward officers. Such suit shall be brought against a district attorney by the district attorney of an adjoining district, or by counsel appointed by the judge for that purpose. In all such cases the defendant, the State and the citizens and taxpayers on whose information and at whose request such suit was brought, or any one of them, shall have the right to appeal both on the law and the facts, from the judgment of the court. In all cases where the officer sued, as above directed, shall be acquitted, judgment shall be rendered jointly and in solido against the citizens signing the request, for all costs of the suit.

In cases against district attorneys, clerks, sheriffs and recorders the appeal shall be to the supreme court, and in cases against all other officers the appeal shall be to the court of appeals of the proper circuit.

Such appeals shall be returnable within ten days to the appellate court, wherever it may be sitting or wherever it may hold its next session, and may be transferred by order of the judges of said court to another parish within their circuit; and such appeals shall be tried by preference over all others. In case of the refusal or neglect of the district attorney or Attorney General to institute and prosecute any suit provided for in this and the preceding article, the citizens and taxpayers making the request, or any one of them, shall have the right by mandamus to compel him to perform such duty.

REVENUE AND TAXATION

Art. 202. The taxing power may be exercised by the General Assembly for State purposes, and by parishes and municipal corporations, under authority granted to them by the General Assembly, for parish and municipal purposes.

Art. 203. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, and all property shall be taxed in proportion to its value, to be ascertained as directed by law; provided, the assessment of all property shall never exceed the actual cash value thereof; and provided further, that the taxpayers shall have the right of testing the correctness of their assessments before the courts of justice. In order to arrive at this equality and uniformity the General Assembly shall, at its first session after the adoption of this constitution, provide a system of equality and uniformity in assessments, based upon the relative value of property in the different portions of the State. The valuation put upon property for the purposes of State taxation shall be taken as the proper valuation for purposes of local taxation in every sub-division of the State.

Art. 204. The taxing power shall be exercised only to carry on and maintain the government of the State and the public institutions Edition: current; Page: [1505] thereof, to educate the children of the State, to pay the principal and interest of the public debt, to suppress insurrection, repeal invasion or defend the State in time of war, to supply the citizens of the State who lost a limb or limbs in the military service of the Confederate States with substantial artificial limbs during life, and for levee purposes, as hereinafter provided.

Art. 205. The power to tax corporations and corporate property shall never be surrendered nor suspended by act of the General Assembly.

Art. 206. The General Assembly may levy a license tax, and in such case shall graduate the amount of such tax to be collected from the persons pursuing the several trades, professions, vocations and callings. All persons, association of persons and corporations pursuing any trade, profession, business or calling may be rendered liable to such tax, except clerks, laborers, clergymen, school teachers, those engaged in mechanical, agricultural, horticultural and mining pursuits, and manufacturers other than those of distilled alcoholic or malt liquors, tobacco and cigars, and cotton seed oil. No political corporation shall impose a greater license tax than is imposed by the General Assembly for State purposes.

Art. 207. The following property shall be exempt from taxation, and no other, viz: All public property, places of religious worship or burial, all charitable institutions, all buildings and property used exclusively for colleges or other school purposes, the real and personal estate of any public library and that of any other literary association, used by or connected with such library; all books and philosophical apparatus, and all paintings and statuary of any company or association kept in a public hall; provided, the property so exempted be not used or leased for purposes of private or corporate profit or income. There shall also be exempt from taxation household property to the value of five hundred dollars; there shall also be exempt from taxation and license for a period of twenty years from the adoption of the constitution of 1879, the capital, machinery and other property employed in the manufacture of textile fabrics, leather, shoes, harness, saddlery, hats, flour, machinery, agricultural implements, manufacturer of ice, fertilizers and chemicals, and furniture and other articles of wood, marble or stone, soap, stationery, ink and paper, boat-building and chocolate; provided, that not less than five hands are employed in any one factory.

Art. 208. The General Assembly shall levy an annual poll tax, for the maintenance of public schools, upon every male inhabitant in the State over the age of twenty-one years, which shall never be less than one dollar nor exceed one dollar and a half per capita, and the General Assembly shall pass laws to enforce payment of said tax.

Art. 209. The State tax on property for all purposes whatever, including expenses of government, schools, levees and interest, shall not exceed in any one year six mills on the dollar of its assessed valuation, if the ordinance regarding the bonded debt of the State is adopted and ratified by the people; and if said ordinance is not adopted and ratified by the people, said State tax for all purposes aforesaid shall not exceed, in any one year, five mills on the dollar of the assessed valuation of the property; and no parish or municipal Edition: current; Page: [1506] tax for all purposes whatsoever shall exceed ten mills on the dollar of valuation; provided, that for the purpose of erecting and constructing public buildings, bridges and works of public improvement in parishes and municipalities, the rates of taxation herein limited may be increased when the rate of such increase and the purpose for which it is intended shall have been submitted to a vote of the property taxpayers of such parish or municipality entitled to a vote under the election laws of the State, and a majority of same voting at such election shall have voted therefor.

Art. 210. There shall be no forfeiture of property for the non-payment of taxes, State, levee district, parochial or municipal, but at the expiration of the year in which they are due the collector shall, without suit, and after giving notice to the delinquent in the manner to be provided by law (which shall not be by publication except in case of unknown owner) advertise for sale the property on which the taxes are due in the manner provided for judicial sales, and on the day of sale he shall sell such portion of the property as the debtor shall point out, and in case the debtor shall not point out sufficient property, the collector shall at once and without further delay sell the least quantity of property which any bidder will buy for the amount of the taxes, interest and costs. The sale shall be without appraisement, and the property sold shall be redeemable at any time for the space of one year, by paying the price given, with twenty per cent and costs added. No sale of property for taxes shall be annulled for any informality in the proceedings until the price paid, with ten per cent interest be tendered to the purchaser. All deeds of sale made, or that may be made, by collectors of taxes, shall be received by courts in evidence as prima facie valid sales.

Art. 211. The tax shall be designated by the year in which it is collectable, and the tax on movable property shall be collected in the year in which the assessment is made.

Art. 212. The Legislature shall pass no law postponing the payment of taxes, except in case of overflow, general conflagration, general destruction of the crops, or other public calamity.

Art. 213. A levee system shall be maintained in the State, and a tax not to exceed one mill may be levied annually on all property subject to taxation, and shall be applied exclusively to the maintenance and repairs of levees.

Art. 214. The General Assembly may divide the State into levee districts and provide for the appointment or election of levee commissioners in said districts, who shall in the method and manner to be provided by law, have supervision of the erection, repair and maintenance of the levees in said districts; to that effect the Levee Commissioners may levy a tax not to exceed ten mills on the taxable property situated within alluvial portions of said district subject to overflow; provided, that in case of necessity to raise additional funds for the purpose of constructing, preserving or repairing any levees protecting the lands of a district, the rate of taxation herein limited, may be increased when the rate of such increase and the necessity and purpose for which it is intended shall have been submitted to a vote of the property taxpayers of such district, paying taxes for himself, or in any representative capacity, whether resident or non-resident, Edition: current; Page: [1507] on property situated within the alluvial portion of said district subject to overflow, and a majority of those in number and value, voting at such election, shall have voted therefor.

Art. 215. The provisions of the above two articles shall cease to have effect whenever the Federal government shall assume permanent control and provide ways and means for the maintenance of levees in this State. The Federal government is authorized to make such geological, topographical, hydrographical and hydrometrical surveys and investigations within the State as may be necessary to carry into effect the act of Congress, to provide for the appointment of a Mississippi River Commission for the improvement of said river, from the head of the Passes near its mouth to the headwaters, and to construct and protect such public works and improvements as may be ordered by Congress, under the provisions of said act.

Art. 216. The General Assembly shall have power, with the concurrence of an adjacent State or States, to create levee districts composed of territory partly in this State and partly in such adjacent State or States, and the levee commissioners for such district or districts shall possess all the powers provided by article 214 of this constitution.

Art. 217. Corporations, companies or associations organized or domiciled out of this State, but doing business herein, may be licensed by a mode different from that provided for home corporations or companies; provided, said different mode of license shall be uniform, upon a graduated system, as to all such corporations, companies or associations that transact the same kind of business.

Art. 218. All the articles and provisions of this constitution regulating and relating to the collection of State taxes and tax sales shall also apply to and regulate the collection of parish, district and municipal taxes.

HOMESTEADS AND OTHER EXEMPTIONS

Art. 219. There shall be exempt from seizure and sale by any process whatever, except as herein provided, the “homesteads” bona fide owned by the debtor and occupied by him consisting of lands, buildings and appurtenances, whether rural or urbane; of every head of a family, or person having a mother or father, a person or persons dependent on him or her for support; also one work horse, one wagon or cart, one yoke of oxen, two cows and calves, twenty-five head of hogs, or one thousand pounds of bacon or its equivalent in pork, whether these exempted objects be attached to a homestead or not, and on a farm the necessary quantity of corn and fodder for the current year, and the necessary farming implements to the value of two thousand dollars; provided, that in case the homestead exceeds two thousand dollars in value, the beneficiary shall be entitled to that amount in case a sale of the homestead under any legal process realizes more than that sum.

No husband shall have the benefit of a homestead whose wife owns and is in the actual enjoyment of property or means to the amount of two thousand dollars.

Such exemptions to be valid, shall be set apart and registered as shall be provided by law. The benefit of this provision may be Edition: current; Page: [1508] claimed by the surviving spouse, or minor child or children of a deceased beneficiary, if in indigent circumstances.

Art. 220. Laws shall be passed as early as practicable, for the setting apart, valuation and registration of property claimed as a homestead. Rights to homesteads, or exemptions under laws or contracts, or for debts existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall not be impaired, repealed or affected by any provision of this Constitution, or any laws passed in pursuance thereof. No court or ministerial officer of this State shall ever have jurisdiction or authority to enforce any judgment, execution or decree against the property set apart for a homestead, including such improvements as may be made thereon from time to time; provided, the property herein declared to be exempt shall not exceed in value two thousand dollars. This exemption shall not apply to the following cases, to-wit:

  • 1. For the purchase price of said property, or any part thereof.
  • 2. For labor and material furnished for building, repairing or improving homesteads.
  • 3. For liabilities incurred by any publi