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CONSTITUTION OF MAINE.
We, the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, ensure tranquillity, provide for our natural defence, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity so favourable to the design; and imploring his aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent state, by the style and title of the State of Maine, and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same:
Declaration of Rights. $1. All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
2. All power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority, and instituted for their benefit: they have, therefore, an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government, and to alter, reform, or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it.
3. All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no one shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, nor for his religious professions or sentiments, provided he does not disturb the public peace, nor obstruct others in their religious worship ;-and all persons demeaning themselves peaceably, as good members of the state, shall be equally under the protection of the laws, and no subordination nor preference, of any one sect or denomination to another, shall ever be established by law, nor shall any religious test be required as a qualification for any office or trust under this state ; and all religious societies in this state, whether incorporate, or unincorporate, shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and contracting with them for their support and maintenance.
4. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentimenta on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of this liberty. No laws shall be passed regulating or restraining the freedom of the press; and, in prosecutions for any publication respecting the official conduct of men in public capacity, or the qualifications of those who are candie dates for the suffrages of the people, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evilence; and in all indictments for libels, the jury, after having received the direction of the court, shall have a right to determine, at their discretion, the law and the fact.
5. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions from unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or seize an person or thing, shall issue without a special designation of the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
:6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have a right to be heard by himself and his counsel, or either, at his election : to demand the nature and cause of the accusation, and have a copy thereof :
To be confronted by the witnesses against him:
To have a speedy, public, and impartial trial; and, except in trials by martial law or impeachment, by a jury of the vicinity. He shall not be compelled to furnish or give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of his life, liberty, property, or privileges, but by judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.
7. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or in such cases of offences as are usually cognizable by a justice of the peace, or in cases arising in the army or navy, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger. The legislature shall provide by law a suitable and impartial mode of selecting juries; and their usual number and unanimity, in indictments and convictions, shall be held indispensable.
8. No person for the same offence shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.
9. Sanguinary laws shall not be passed; all penalties and punish ments shall be proportioned to the offence ; excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted.
10. All persons, before conviction, shall be bailable except for capital offences, where the proof is evident, or the 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.
11. The legislature shall pass no bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts, and no attainder shall work corruption of blood nor forfeiture of estate.
12. Treason against this state shall consist only in levying war against it, 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 oyert act, or confession in open court.
13. The laws shall not be suspended, but by the legislature or its authority,
14. No person shall be subject to corporal punishment under military law, except such as are employed in the army or navy, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war, or public danger.
15. The people have a right, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the common good, to give instructions to their representatives, and to request of either department of the government, by petition or remonstrance, redress of their wrongs and grievances.
16. Every citizen has a right to keep ard bear arms for the common defence; and this right shall never be qu tioned.
17. No standing army shall be kept ut in time of peace, without the consent of the legislature ; and the milit sy shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the c vil power.
18. No soldier shall, in time of pea ne, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner or occupant, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
19. Every person for an injury done him in his person, reputation, property, or immunities, shall have remedy by due course of law; and right and justice shall be administered freely and without sale, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay.
20. In all civil suits, and in al controversies concerning property, the parties shall have a right to a rial by jury, except in cases where it has heretofore been otherwise practised: the party claiming the right may be heard by himself and his counsel, or either, at his election.
21. Private property shall not be taken for public uses without just compensation ; nor unless the public exigencies require it.
22. No tax or duty shall be imposed without the consent of the people or their representatives in the legislature.
23. No title of nobility or hereditary distinction, privilege, honour, or emolument, shall ever be granted or confirmed ; nor shall any office be created, the appointment to which shall be for a longer time than during good behaviour.
24. The enumeration of certain rights shall not impair nor deny others retained by the people.
Electors. $ 1. Fvery male citizen of the United States, of the age of twentyone years and upwards, excepting paupers, persons under guardianship, and Indians not taxed, having his residence established in this state for the term of three months next preceding any election, shall be an elector for guvernor, senators, anil representatives, in the town or plantation viliere his residence is so established, and the elections shall be by writtn ballot. But persons in the militäry, naval, or marine service of the United States, or this sta je, shall not be considered as having obtain. ed anch established resider ce by being stationed in any garrison, barrack, or military place, in any town or plantation: nor shall the residence of a student at any seminary of learning entitle him to the right of suffrage in the town or plantation where such seminary is established.
2. Electors shall, in all a' es except treason, felony, or breach of th
peace, be privileged from arrest on the days of election, during theu attendance at, going to, and returning therefrom.
3. No elector shall be obliged to do duty in the militia on any day of election, except in time of war or public danger.
4. The election of governor, senators, and representatives shall be on the second Monday of September, annually, for ever.
Distribution of Powers. 91. The powers of this government shall be divided into three distinct departments, the legislative, executive, and judicial.
2. No person or persons, belonging to one of these departments, shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except in the cases herein expressly directed or permitted.
ARTICLE 4.-PART THE FIRST. Legislative Power-House of Representatives. § 1. The legislative power shall be vested in two distinct branches ; a house of representatives and a senate, each to have a negative on the other : and both to be styled, the Legislature of Maine : and the style of their acts and laws shall be, “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in Legislature assembled.”
2. The house of representatives shall consist of not less than one hundred, nor more than two hundred members, to be elected by the qualified electors for one year from the next day preceding the annual meeting of the legislature-which shall first be convened under this constitution, shall, on or before the fifteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, and the legislature within every subsequent period of at most ten years, and at least five, cause the number of the inhabitants of the state to be ascertained, exclusive of foreigners not naturalized, and Indians not taxed. The number of representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed and apportioned among the several counties, as near as may be, according to the number of inhabitants, having regard to the relative increase of population. The number of representatives shall, on said first apportionment, be not less than one hundred nor more than one hundred and fifty; and whenever the number of representatives shall be two hundred, at the next annual meetings of elections, which shall thereafter be had, and at every subsequent period of ten years, the people shall give in their votes whether the number of representatives shall be increased or diminished; and if a majority of votes are in favour thereof, it shall be the duty of the next legislature thereafter to increase or diminish the number by the rule hereinafter prescribed.
3. Each town having fifteen hundred inhabitants may elect one representative; each town having three thousand seven hundred and fifty may elect two; each town having six thousand seven hundred and fifty may elect three ; each town having ten thousand five hundred may elect four ; each town having fifteen thousand may elect five ; each town having twenty thousand two hundred and fifty may elect six ;
each town having twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty inhabitants may eleet seven; but no town shall ever be entitled to more than seven representatives; and towns and plantations, duly organized, not having fifteen hundred inhabitants, shall be classed, as conveniently as may be, into districts, containing that number, and so as not to divide towns; and each such district may elect one representative ; and wher: on this apportionment, the number of representatives shall be two hundred, a different apportionment shall take place upon the above principle; and, in case the fifteen hundred shall be too large or too small to apportion all the representatives to any county, it shall be so increased or diminished as to give the number of representatives according to the above rule and proportion; and whenever any town or towns, plantation or plantations, not entitled to elect a representative, shall determine against a classification with any other town or plantation, the legislature may, at each apportionment of representatives, on the application of such town or plantation, authorize it to elect a representative for such portion of time, and such periods, as shall be equal to its portion of representation, and the right of representation, so established, shall not be altered until the next general apportionment.
4. No person shall be a member of the house of representatives, unless he shall, at the commencement of the period for which he is elected, have been five years a citizen of the United States; having arrived at the age of twenty-one years; have been a resident in this state one year, or from the adoption of this constitution; and, for the three months next preceding the time of his election, shall have been, and during the period for which he is elected, shall continue to be, a resident in the town or district which he represents.
5. The meetings for the choice of representatives shall be warned, in due course of law, by the selectmen of the several towns, seven days, at least, before the election; and the selectmen thereof shall preside impartially at such meetings, receive the votes of all the qualified electors present, sort, count, and declare them, in open town meeting, and in the presence of the town clerk, who shall form a list of the persons voted for, with the number of votes for each person against his name, shall make a fair record thereof in the presence of the selectmen, and in open town meeting ; and a fair copy of this list shall be attested by the selectmen and town clerk, and delivered by said selectmen to each representative within ten days next after such election. And the towns and plantations, organized by law, belonging to any class herein provided, shall hold their meetings at the same time in the respective towns and plan. tations; and the town and plantation meetings in such towns and plantations, shall be notified, held, and regulated, the votes received, sorted, counted, and declared, in the same manner. And the assessors and clerks of plantations shall have all the powers, and be subject to all the duties, which selectmen and town clerks have, and are subject to, by this constitution. And the selectmen of such towns, and the assessors of such plantations so classed, shall, within four days next after such meeting, meet at some place, to be prescribed and notified by the selectmen or assessors of the eldest town or plantation in such class, and the copies of said lists shall be then examined and compared ; and, in case any person shall be elected by a majority of all the votes, the selectmen or assessors shall deliver the certified copies of such lists to the person ·