Imagens da página

institute and change it.

to secure rotation in oflice.

or descendants, or relations by blood, the idea of a man born a magistrate, lawgiver, or judge, is absurd and

unnatural. Objects of gov. VII. Government is instituted for the common good; ernment; right of people to for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the

people ; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men : Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection,

safety, prosperity, and happiness require it. Right of people

VIII. In order to prevent those who are vested with authority from becoming oppressors, the people have a right, at such periods and in such manner as they shall establish by their frame of government, to cause their public officers to return to private life ; and to fill up vacant places by certain and regular elections and appoint

ments. All, having the

IX. All elections ought to be free; and all the inhabprescribed, itants of this commonwealth, having such qualifications as to office. For they shall establish by their frame of government, have an " inhabitant," equal right to elect officers, and to be elected, for public employments.

122 Mass. 595, 596. X. Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary : but no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws

than those to which their constitutional representative Private prop

body have given their consent. And whenever the pubtaken for public lic exigencies require that the property of any individual

should be appropriated to public uses, he shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor.


equally eligible

see Ch. 1, Sect,
2, Art. II.
Right of protec.
tion and duty of
founded on
16 Mass. 326.
1 Pick. 418.
7 Pick. 344.
12 Pick. 184, 467.
16 Pick. 87.
23 Pick, 360.
7 Met. 388.
4 Gray, 474,
7 Gray, 363.
14 Gray, 154.
1 Allen, 150.
4 Allen, 474.

erty not to be

6 Cush. 327.
14 Gray, 155.
16 Gray, 417,

1 Allen, 150. 103 Mass. 120, 624. 11 Allen, 530. 106 Mass. 358, 362. 12 Allen, 223, 230. 108 Mass. 202, 213. 100 Mass. 544, 560. 111 Mass. 130.

113 Mase, 45,
116 Mass. 463.
126 Mass. 428, 441.

127 Mass. 50, 52,

358, 363, 410, 413. 129 Mass, 559.

Remedies, by recourse to the

XI. Every subject of the commonwealth ought to find law, to be free, a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all

injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, property, or character. He ought to obtain right and


100 Mass. 287,
103 Mass, 418.

118 Mass. 443, 451.
120 Mass, 118, 120.

122 Mass, 332,
124 Mass. 464.

127 Mass. 550, 554.
129 Mass. 559.

103 Mass. 418.

justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it; completely, and without any denial ; promptly, and without delay; conformably to the laws.

XII. No subject shall be held to answer for any crimes Prosecutions or offence, until the same is fully and plainly, substantially & Pick. 211. and formally, described to him ; or be compelled to accuse, 18 Pick. 434. or furnish evidence against himself. And every subject 2 Mete. 13.2.2. shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favor- 12 Cush, 246. able to him ; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, 5 Gray, 160. and to be fully heard in his defence by himself, or his 10 Gray, 11. counsel, at his election. And no subject shall be arrested, 2 Allen, 361. imprisoned, despoiled, or deprived of his property, immu- 240, 264, 430, nities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, 12. llen, 170. exiled, or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the 97 Mass. 570, judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.

107 Mass. 172, 180. 108 Mass. 5, 6.

And the legislature shall not make any law that shall Right to trial subject any person to a capital or infamous punishment, criminal cases, excepting for the government of the army and navy, with- & Gray, 329, 373. out trial by jury.

XIII. In criminal prosecutions, the verification of facts, Crimes to be in the vicinity where they happen, is one of the great- vicinity: est securities of the life, liberty, and property of the 121 Mass. 61, 62. citizen.

XIV. Every subject has a right to be secure from all Right of search unreasonable searches, and seizures, of his person, his regulated. houses, his papers, and all his possessions. All warrants, Amend'r iv. therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or founda- 3 Cush. 369. tion of them be not previously supported by oath or affir- 13Gigy 1 mation, and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, to 100 Allen, 403 make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more 138 suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not accom- 273. panied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure: and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities prescribed by the laws.

XV. In all controversies concerning property, and in Right to trial all suits between two or more persons, except in cases in beeldepry eacred, which it has heretofore been otherways used and practised, Amend'i Vir the parties have a right to a trial by jury; and this method Pick. 382. of procedure shall be held sacred, unless, in causes arising 6 Gray, 144 on the high seas, and such as relate to mariners' wages, 11 Allen, 574, the legislature shall hereafter find it necessary to alter it. 102 Mass. 45, 47.

. ,

126 Mass. 269,


114 Mass. 388, 390.
120 Mass. 320, 321.

122 Mass. 505, 516.
123 Mass, 590, 593.

125 Mass, 182, 188.
128 Mass. 600.

Right to keep and bear arms.

6 Gray, 121.

Moral qualifications for office.

tions of law. givers and magistrates.

Liberty of the

XVI. The liberty of the press is essential to the secupress.

rity of freedom in a state : it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth.

XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear Standing armies arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, Military power armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be

maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.

XVIII. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government. The people ought, consequently, to have a particular atten

tion to all those principles, in the choice of their officers Moral obliga- and representatives : and they have a right to require of

their lawgivers and magistrates an exact and constant observance of them, in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of the common

wealth. Right of people XIX. The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceto instruct representatives able manner, to assemble to consult upon the common and petition legislature. good; give instructions to their representatives, and to

request of the legislative body, by the way of addresses, petitions, or remonstrances, redress of the wrongs done

them, and of the grievances they suffer. Power to sus. XX. The power of suspending the laws, or the execupend the laws or their execu. tion of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the

legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the legislature shall expressly provide for.

XXI. The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, bate, etc., and reason thereof. in either house of the legislature, is so essential to the

rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any

other court or place whatsoever. Frequent ses.

XXII. The legislature ought frequently to assemble for the redress of grievances, for correcting, strengthening, and confirming the laws, and for making new laws, as the common good may require.

XXIII. No subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duties

ought to be established, fixed, laid, or levied, under any 8 Allen, 247.

pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people or their representatives in the legislature.


Freedom of de.

sions, and ob. jects thereof.

Taxation founded on consent.

mente, pro-

[ocr errors]

XXIV. Laws made to punish for actions done before Ex post facto the existence of such laws, and which have not been de- 12 Allen, 421, clared crimes by preceding laws, are unjust, oppressive, 424, 428, 434. and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of a free government.

XXV. No subject ought, in any case, or in any time, Legislature pot to be declared guilty of treason or felony by the legis- treason, etc. lature.

XXVI. No magistrate or court of law shall demand Excessive bail excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel punishcruel or unusual punishments.

5 Gray, 482. XXVII. In time of peace, no soldier ought to be quar- No soldier to be tered in any house without the consent of the owner; and quartered in any in time of war, such quarters ought not to be made but etc. by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the legislature. XXVIII. No

person can in any case be subject to law- Citizens exempt martial, or to any penalties or pains, by virtue of that law, tial, unless, etc. except those employed in the army or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the legislature.

XXIX. It is essential to the preservation of the rights Judges of su. of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and charac- premo judicial ter, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws, i Gray, 472. and administration of justice. It is the right of every Allen, 581 citizen to be tried by judges as free, impartial, and inde- 105 Mass. 219, pendent as the lot of humanity will admit. It is, therefore, Tenure of their not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, and of every citizen, that the judges of the supreme judicial court should hold their offices as long as they behave themselves well; and that they should have honorable salaries ascertained and established by standing Salaries. laws.

XXX. In the government of this commonwealth, the sepnration of legislative department shall never exercise the executive cial, and legis. and judicial powers, or either of them : the executive shall Intire departnever exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either 2 Cuch. 57 of them : the judicial shall never exercise the legislative Allen 247,253, and executive powers, or either of them : to the end it 286. may be a government of laws and not of men.


114 Mass. 247, 249.

116 Mass. 317.

129 Mass. 559.


Title of body politic.

The Frame of Government.
The people, inhabiting the territory formerly called the
Province of Massachusetts Bay, do hereby solemnly and
mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a
free, sovereign, and independent body politic, or state, by



Legislative department.

For change of time, etc., see amendments, Art. X.

99 Mass. 636.


The General Court.
ARTICLE I. The department of legislation shall be
formed by two branches, a Senate and House of Represent-
atives ; each of which shall have a negative on the other.

The legislative body shall assemble every year (on the
last Wednesday in May, and at such other times as they
shall judge necessary; and shall dissolve and be dissolved
on the day next preceding the said last Wednesday in
May;] and shall be styled, THE GENERAL COURT OF

II. No bill or resolve of the senate or house of representatives shall become a law, and have force as such, until it shall have been laid before the governor for his revisal ; and if he, upon such revision, approve thereof, he shall signify his approbation by signing the same. But if he have any objection to the passing of such bill or resolve, he shall return the same, together with his objections thereto, in writing, to the senate or house of representatives, in whichsoever the same shall have originated; who shall enter the objections sent down by the governor, at large, on their records, and proceed to reconsider the said bill or resolve. But if after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the said senate or house of representatives, shall, notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present, shall have the force of a law : but in all such cases,

Bill may be passed by two. thirds of each house, notwith standing.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »