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those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.
23. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and the state.
24. No standing army shall 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 house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law,
26. That no hereditary emoluments, privileges, or honours, shall ever be granted or conferred in this state.
27. No citizen in this state shall be exiled, or prevented from emigrating, on any pretence whatever.
28. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.
29. No person shall be debarred from prosecuting or defending any civil cause, for or against him or herself, before any tribunal in this state, by him or herself, or counsel, or both.
To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare, that every thing in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.
Distribution of Powers. $1. The powers of the government of the state of Mississippi 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.
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.
Legislative Department. § 1. Every free white male person, of the age of twenty-one years or upwards, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this state one year next preceding an
election, and the last six months within the county, city, or town in which he offers to vote, and shall be enrolled in the militia thereof, except exempted by law from military service; or, having the aforesaid qualifications of citizenship and residence, shall have paid a state or county tax, shall be deemed a qualified elector; no elector shall be entitled to vote, except in the county, city, or town, (entitled to separate representation) in which he may reside at the time of the election.
2. Electors shall, in all cases except in those of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and in going to and returning from the same.
3. The first election shall be by ballot, and all future elections by the people shall be regulated by law,
4. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in two distinct branches: the one to be styled the senate, the other the house of representatives, and both together “the general assembly of the state of Mississippi.” And the style of their laws shall be, “ Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the state of Mississippi in general assembly convened.”
5. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen by the qualified electors, and shall serve for the term of one year, from the day of the commencement of the general election, and no longer.
6. The representatives shall be chosen every year, on the first Monday and the day following in August.
7. No person shall be a representative unless he be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the county, city, or town, for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained to the age of twentytwo years ; and also, unless he shall hold, in his own right within this state, one hundred and fifty acres of land, or an interest in real estate of the value of five hundred dollars, at the time of his election, and for six months previous thereto.
8. Elections for representatives for the several counties shall be held at the places of holding their respective courts, or in the several election districts into which the legislature may divide any county : Provided, that when it shall appear to the legislature that any city or town hath a number of free white inhabitants equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall have a separate representation, according to the number of free white inhabitants therein, which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of free white inhabitants, equal to the existing ratio ; and thereafter and during the existence of the right of separate representation in such city or town, elections for the county in which such city or town entitled to a separate representation is situated, shall not be held in such city or town : And provided,
that, if the residuum or fraction of any city or town entitled to separate representation shall, when added to the residuum in the county in which it may lie, be equal to the ratio fixed by law for one representative, then the aforesaid county, city, or town, having the largest residuum, shall be entitled to such representation : And provided, also, that when there are two or more counties adjoining, which have residuums over and above the ratio then 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.
9. The general assembly shall, at their first meeting, and in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty, and in not less than every three nor more than every five years thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the free white inhabitants of the state ; and the whole number of representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed by the general assembly, and apportioned among the several counties, cities, or towns, entitled to separate representation, according to the number of free white inhabitants in each, and shall not be less than twenty-four, nor greater than thirtysix, until the number of free white inhabitants shall be eighty thousand; and after that event, at such ratio that the whole number of representatives shall never be less than thirty-six, nor more than one hundred : Provided, however, that each county shall always be entitled to at least one representative.
10. The whole number of senators shall, at the several periods of making the enumeration before mentioned, be fixed by the general assembly, and apportioned among the several districts to be established by law, according to the number of free white taxable inhabitants in each, and shall never be less than one-fourth, por more than one-third, of the whole number of representatives.
11. The senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors, for three years, and on their being convened in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided by lot, from their respective districts, into three classes, as nearly equal as can be. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, and of the second class at the expiration of the second year, and of the third class at the expiration of the third year, so that one-third thereof may be annually chosen thereafter.
12. Such mode of classifying new additional senators shall be observed, as will, as nearly as possible, preserve an equality of numbers in each class.
13. When a senatorial district shall be composed of two or more counties, it shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district ; and no county shall be divided in forming a district.
14. No person shall be a senator unless he be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state four years next preceding bis election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained to the age of twenty-six years; and also, unless he shall hold, in his own right, within this state, three hundred acres of land, or an interest in real estate of the value of one thousand dollars, at the time of his election, and for six months previous thereto.
15. The house of representatives, when assembled shall choose a speaker and its other officers; and the senate shall choose its officers, except the president; and each house shall judge of the qualifications and elections of its own members; but a contested election shall be determined 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 compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
16. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the consent of two thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the legislature of a free and independent state.
17. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same, excepting such parts as in its judgment may require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, sball, at the desire of any three members present, be entered on the journals.
18. When vacancies happen in either house, the governor, or the person exercising the powers of the governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
19. Senators and representatives shall, in all cases except of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to and returning from the same, allowing one day for every twenty miles such member may reside from the place at which the ge. neral assembly is convened.
20. Each house may punish, by imprisonment during the session, any person, not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly behaviour in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings: Provided such imprisonment shall not, at any one time, exceed forty-eight hours.
21. The doors of each bouse shall be open, except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.
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 they may be sitting.
23. Bills may originate in either house, and be amended, altered, or rejected by the other ; but no bill shall have the force of a law until, on three several days, it be read in each house,
and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless, in cases of urgency, four-fifths of the house in which the bill shall be depending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule; and every bill, having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.
24. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives, but the senate may amend or reject them as other bills.
25. Each member of the general assembly shall receive from the public treasury a compensation for his services, which may be increased or diminished by law; but no increase of compensation shall take effect during the session at which such increase shall have been made.
26. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been 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 such term; except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people; and no member of either house of the general assembly shall, after the commencement of the first session of the legislature after his election, and during the remainder of the term for which he is elected, be eligible to any office or place, the appointment to which may be made in whole or in part by either branch of the general assembly.
27. No judge of any court of law or equity, secretary of state, attorney general, clerk of any court of record, sheriff, or collec. tor, or any person holding a lucrative office under the United States, (the office of post-master excepted,) or this state, shall be eligible to the general assembly: Provided, that offices in the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, or the office of justice of the peace, or of the quorum, shall not be deemed lucrative.
28. No person who hath heretofore been or hereafter may be a collector or holder of public moneys, shall have a seat in either house of the general assembly, until such person shall have accounted for, and paid into the treasury, all sums for which he may be accountable.
29. The first election for senators and representatives shall be general throughout the state, and shall be held on the first Monday and Tuesday in September next; and thereafter, there shall be an annual election for senators, to fill the places of those whose term of service may have expired.
30. The first session of the general assembly shall commence on the first Monday in October next, and be held at the city of Natchez, and thereafter at such place as may be directed by law; and thereafter the general assembly shall meet on the first Monday in November in every year, and at no other period, unless directed by law, or provided for by this constitution.