Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

tute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide. And each house shall choose its own speaker, appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for supplying intermediate vacancies. But if vacancies shall occur by death or resignation, during the recess of the general assembly, such writs may be issued by the governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Each house shall judge of the election, qualification, and returns of its members; may punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.

10. All laws shall originate in the house of delegates, to be approved or rejected by the senate, or to be amended with the consent of the house of delegates.

11. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not in any case be suspended. The legislature shall not pass any bill of attainder; or any ex post facto law; or any law impairing the obligation of contracts; or any law, whereby private property shall be taken for public uses, without just compensation; or any law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever; nor shall any man be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, or otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise affect, diminish, or enlarge their civil capacities. And the legislature shall not prescribe any religious test whatever; nor confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any one sect or denomination; nor pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others, any tax for the erection or repair of any house for public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry; but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructer, and to make for his support such private contract as he shall please.

12. The legislature may provide by law that no person shall be capable of holding or being elected to any post or profit, trust or emolument, civil or military, legislative, executive, or judicial, under the government of this commonwealth, who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which may be the death of the challenger or challenged, or who shall be a second to either party, or shall in any manner aid or assist in such duel, or shall be knowingly the bearer of such challenge or accept

ance; but no person shall be so disqualified by reason of his having heretofore fought such duel, or sent or accepted such challenge, or been second in such duel, or bearer of such challenge or acceptance.

13. The governor, the judges of the court of appeals and superior courts, and all others offending against the state, either by maleadministration, corruption, neglect of duty, or any other high crime or misdemeanor, shall be impeachable by the house of delegates; such impeachment to be prosecuted before the senate, which shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, the senate shall be on oath or affirmation: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust, or profit, under the commonwealth; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to law.

14. Every white male citizen of the commonwealth, resident therein, aged twenty-one years and upwards, being qualified to exercise the right of suffrage according to the former constitution and laws; and every such citizen, being possessed, or whosc tenant for years, at will or at sufferance, is possessed, of an estate of freehold in land of the value of twenty-five dollars, and so assessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law; and every such citizen, being possessed, as tenant in common, joint tenant or parcener, of an interest in or share of land, and having an estate of freehold therein, such interest or share being of the value of twenty-five dollars, and so assessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law; and every such citizen being entitled to a reversion or vested remainder in fee, expectant on an estate for life or lives, in land of the value of fifty dollars, and so assessed to be if any assessment thereof be required by law; (each and every such citi. zen, unless his title shall have come to him by descent, devise, marriage, or marriage settlement, having been so possessed or entitled for six months): and every such citizen, who shall own and be himself in actual occupation of a leasehold estate, with the evidence of title recorded two months before he shall offer to vote, of a term originally not less than five years, of the annual value or rent of twenty dollars; and every such citizen, who for twelve months next preceding has been a housekeeper and head of a family within the county, city, town, borough, or election district, where he may offer to vote, and shall have been assessed with a part of the revenue of the commonwealth within the preceding year, and actually paid the same-and no other persons-shall be qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, in the county, city,

town, or borough, respectively, wherein such land shall lie, or such house-keeper and head of a family shall live. And in case of two or more tenants in common, joint tenants, or parceners, in possession, reversion, or remainder, having interest in land, the value whereof shall be insufficient to entitle them all to vote, they shall together have as many votes as the value of the land shall entitle them to; and the legislature shall by law provide the mode in which their vote or votes shall in such case be given: Provided, nevertheless, that the right of suffrage shall not be exercised by any person of unsound mind, or who shall be a pauper, or a non-commissioned officer, sol. dier, seaman, or marine, in the service of the United States, or by any person convicted of any infamous offence.

15. In all elections in this commonwealth, to any office or place of trust, honour, or profit, the votes shall be given openly, or viva voce, and not by ballot.

ARTICLE 4. 1. The chief executive power of this commonwealth, shall be vested in a governor, to be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly. He shall hold his office, during the term of three years, to commence on the first day of January next succeeding his election, or on such other day, as may from time to time be prescribed by law; and he shall be ineligible to that office, for three years next after his term of service shall have expired.

2. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor, unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, shall be a native citizen of the United States, or shall have been a citizen thereof at the adoption of the federal constitution, and shall have been a citizen of this commonwealth for five years next preceding his election...

3. The governor shall receive for his services a compensation to be fixed by law, which shall be neither increased nor diminished, during his continuance in office.

4. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; shall communicate to the legislature, at every session, the condition of the commonwealth, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient. He shall be commander in chief of the land and nayal forces of the state. He shall have power to embody the militia, when, in bis opinion, the public safety shall require it; to convene the legislature, on application of a majority of the members of the house of delegates, or when, in his opinion, the interest of the commonwealth may require it; to grant reprieves and pardons, except where the prosecution shall have been carried on by the house of delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly direct; to conduct, either in person, or in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, all intercourse with other and foreign states; and during the recess of the legislature, to fill, pro tempore, all vacancies in those offices, which it may be the duty of the legislature to fill permanently : Provided, that his an. pointments to such vacancies shall be by commissions to expire at the end of the next succeeding session of the general as. sembly.

5. There shall be a council of state, to consist of three members, any one or more of whom may act. They shall be elected by joint vote of both houses of the general assembly, and remain in office three years. But of those first elected, one, to be designated by lot, shall remain in office one year only, and one other, to be designated in like manner, shall remain in office for two years only. Vacancies occurring by expiration of the term of service, or otherwise, shall be supplied by elections made in like manner. The governor shall, before he exercises any discretionary power conferred on him by the constitution and laws, require the advice of the council of state, which advice shall be registered in books kept for that purpose, signed by the members present and consenting thereto, and laid before the general assembly when called for by them. The council shall appoint their own clerk, who shall take an oath to keep secret such matters as he shall be ordered by the board to conceal. The senior councillor shall be lieutenantgovernor, and in case of the death, resignation, inability or absence of the governor from the seat of government, shall act as governor.

7. The manner of appointing militia officers shall be provided for by law; but no officer below the rank of a brigadier general, shall be appointed by the general assembly

7. Commissions and grants shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear teste by the governor, with the seal of the commonwealth annexed.

ARTICLE 5. 1. The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court of appeals, in such superior courts as the legislature may from time to time ordain and establish, and the judges thereof, in the county courts, and in justices of the peace. The legislature may also vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in corporation courts, and in the magistrates who may belong to the corporate body. The jurisdiction of these tribu. nals, and of the judges thereof, shall be regulated by law. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, or until removed in the manner prescribed in this constitution ; and shall, at the same time, hold no other office, appointment, or public trust; and the acceptance thereof by either of them shall vacate his judicial office.

2. No law abolishing any court shall be construed to deprive a judge thereof of his office, unless two-thirds of the members of each house present concur in the passing thereof; but the legislature may assign other judicial duties to the judges of courts abolished by any law enacted by less than two-thirds of the members of each house present.

3. The present judges of the supreme court of appeals, of the general court, and of the supreme courts of chancery, shall remain in office until the termination of the session of the first legislature elected under this constitution, and no longer.

4. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts shall be elected by the joint vote of both houses of the general assembly.

5. The judges of the supreme court of appeals and of the superior courts shall receive fixed and adequate salaries, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

6. Judges may be removed from office by a concurrent vote of both houses of the general assembly ; but two-thirds of the members present must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal shall be entered on the journals of each. The judge against whom the legislature may be about to proceed, shall receive notice thereof, accompanied with a copy of the causes alleged for his removal, at least twenty days before the day on which either house of the general assembly shall act thereupon.

7. On the creation of any new county, justices of the peace shall be appointed, in the first instance, in such manner as may be prescribed by law, When vacancies shall occur in any county, or it shall, for any cause, be deemed necessary to increase the number, appointments shall be made by the governor, on the recommendation of the respective county courts.

8. The attorney general shall be appointed by joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, and commissioned by the governor, and shall hold his office, during the pleasure of the general assembly. The clerks of the several courts, when vacancies shall occur, shall be appointed by their respective courts, and the tenure of office, as well of those now in office as of those who may be hereafter appointed, shall be prescribed by law. The sheriffs and coroners shall be nominated by the respective county courts, and when approved by the governor, shall be commissioned by him. The judges shall appoint constables. And all fees of the aforesaid officers, shall be regulated by law.

9. Writs shall run in the name of the commonwealth of Virginia, and bear teste by the clerks of the several courts. — Indictments shall conclude, against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth.

ARTICLE 6. A treasurer shall be appointed annually by joint vote of both houses.

« ZurückWeiter »