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Equality of rights.

Source of political power.

Right to alter form of government.

Religious profession and worship.


No preference to be given by law to any christian sect. Right to freely speak, write and publish sentiments. Liberty of

speech or of .

the press not to be restrain

ext. Libels. Evidence. Right of the jury.


The people of Connecticut, acknowledging, with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government, do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights and privileges, which they have derived from their ancestors, hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following Constitution, and form of civil government.



That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established,


sect. 1. That all men, when they form a social compact, are equal in rights; and that no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive public emoluments, or privileges, from the community. sect. 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit; and that they have, at all times, an undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of government, in such a manner as they may think expedient. sect. 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in this state; provided, that the right hereby declared and established, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify pratices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. sect. 4. No preference shall be given by law to any christain sect or mode of worship. sect. 5. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty. sect. 6. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press. sect. 7. In all prosecutions or indictments for libels. the truth may be given in evidence; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court.

sect. 8. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches or seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or things, shall issue, without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation. sect. 9. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have a right to beheard by himself, and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process to obtain witnesses in his favor; and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury. He shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, but by due course of law. And no person shall be holden to answer for any crime, the punishment of which may be death or imprisonment for life, unlesson a presentmentoran indictment of agrand jury; except in the land or naval forces, or in the miltia, when in actual service, in time of war, or public danger. sect. 10. No person shall be arrested, detained or punished, except in cases clearly warranted by law. sect. 11. The property of no person shall be taken for public use, without just compensation therefor. sect. 12. All courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done him in his person, property or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and rightand justice administered, without sale, denial or delaw. occo. 13. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. sect. 14. All prisoners shall, before conviction, be bailable, by sufficient sureties, except forcapital offences, where the proof is evident, or the presumption great; and the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it; nor in any case, but by the legislature. sect. 15. No person shall be attainted of treason or felony, by the legislature. sect. 16. The citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance. sect. 17. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defence of himself and the state. sect. 18. The military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Security from searches and seizures. Restriction as to search warrants.

Rights of the accused in criminal prosecutions.

Presentment of a grand jury, when necessary.

Security from arrest, &c.

Right of private property.

Right of redress for injuries.

Excessive hail or fines, not to be required.

Prisoners, in what cases bailable.

Writ of habeas corpus.

No attainder
of treason or
Right of the
citizens to
assemble; and
to petition for
a redress of
Right to bear
of the military
to the civil

Quartering of soldiers.

No hereditary emoluments.

Trial by jury.

Distribution of powers.

Legislative powers vested in two houses.

General assembly.

Stated annual session.

Special session.

A different place of ineeting, when, and how, to be designated.

House of Representatives. Number of representatives.

Restriction as to new towns.

sect. 19. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; to: in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by aw.

sect. 20. No hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors, shall ever be granted, or conferred, in this state.

sect. 21. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.


The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate magistracy—to wit—those which are legislative, to one ; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another.


sect. 1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in two distinct houses or branches; the one to be styled THE SENATE, the other The House of REPREsentatives, and both together THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. The style of their laws shall be, Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Assembly convened.

sect. 2. There shall be one stated session of the general assembly, to be holden in each year, alternately at Hartford and New-Haven, on the first Wednesday of May, and at such other times as the general assembly shall judge necessary; the first session to be holden at Hartford: but the person administering the office of governor, may, on special emergencies, convene the general assembly at either of said places, at any other time. And in case of danger from the prevalence of contagious diseases, in either of said places, or other circumstances, the person administering the office of governor may, by proclamation, convene said assembly at any other place in this state.

sect. 3. The house of representatives shall consist of electors residing in towns from which they are elected. The number of representatives from each town shall be the same as at present practised and allowed. In case a new town shall hereafter be incorporated, such new town shall be entitled to one representative

only; and if such new town shall be made from one or
more towns, the town or towns from which the same
shall be made, shall be entitled to the same number of
representatives as at present allowed, unless the num-
ber shall be reduced by the consent of such town or
sect. 4. The senate shall consist of twelve mem-
bers, to be chosen annually by the electors.
sect. 5. At the meetings of electors, held in the
several towns in this state, in April annually, after the
election of representatives, the electors present shall
be called upon to bring in their written ballots for sena-
tors. The presiding officer shall receive the votes of
the electors, and count and declare them in open meet-
ing. The presiding officer shall also make duplicate
lists of the persons voted for, and of the number of votes
for each, which shall be certified by the presiding of.
ficer; one of which lists shall be delivered to the town
clerk, and the other, within ten days after said meeting,
shall be delivered, under seal, either to the secretary,
or to the sheriff of the county in which said town is
situated; which list shall be directed to the secretary,
with a superscription expressing the purport of the con-
tents thereof. And each sheriff, who shall receive such
votes, shall, within fifteen days after said meeting, de-
liver them, or cause them to be delivered, to the secretary.
sect. 6. The treasurer, secretary, and controller,
for the time being, shall canvass the votes publicly. The
twelve persons having the greatest number of votes for
senators, shall be declared to be elected. But in cases
where no choice is made by the electors, in consequence
of an equality of votes, the house of representatives
shall designate, by ballot, which of the candidates having
such equal number of votes, shall be declared to be
elected. The return of votes, and the result of the can-
vass, shall be submitted to the house of representatives,
and also to the senate, on the first day of the session of
the general assembly; and each house shall be the
final judge of the election returns and qualifications of its
own members.
sect. 7. The house of representatives, when as-
sembled, shall choose a speaker, clerk, and other offi-
cers. The senate shall choose its clerk, and other
officers, except the president. A majority of each
house shall constitute a quorum to do business ; but a
smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and com-
pel the attendance of absent members, in such manner,
and under such penalties, as each house may prescribe.

Right of the towns from which new ones are made.


Election of senators.

Duplicate ists.

Return of votes.

Canvass of votes.


Equality of votes.

Return of votes, and result to be submitted to both houses.



Powers of a smaller number.

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sect. 8. Each house shall determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly conduct, and, with the consent of two thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause ; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the legislature of a |. and independent state. sect. 9. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same, when required by one fifth of its members, except such parts as, in the judgment of a majority, require secrecy. The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journals. sect. 10. The senators and representatives shall, in all cases of civil process, be privileged from arrest, during the session of the general assembly, and for four days before the commencement, and after the termination, of any session thereof. And for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place. sect. 11. The debates of each house shall be public, except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.


sect. 1. The supreme executive power of the state shall be vested in a governor, who shall be chosen by the electors of the state, and shall hold his office for one year from the first Wednesday of May next succeeding his election, and until his successor be duly qualified. No person who is not an elector of this state, and who has not arrived at the age of thirty years, shall be eligible.

sect. 2. At the meetings of the electors in the respective towns, in the month of April in each year, immediately after the election of senators, the presiding officers shall call upon the electors to bring in their ballots for him whom they would elect to be governor, with his name fairly written. When such ballots shall have been received and counted, in the presence of the electors, duplicate lists of the persons voted for, and of the number of votes given for each, shall be made and certified, by the presiding officer; one of which lists shall be deposited in the office of the town clerk, within three days, and the other, within ten days, after said election, shall be transmitted to the secretary, or to the sheriff of the county, in which such election shall have been held. The sheriff receiving said votes shall deliver, or

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