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ARTICLE 16. . That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of them. selves and the state; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
ARTICLE 17. That no person in this state can, in any case, be subjected to law martial, or to any penalties or pains by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army, and the militia in actual service.
ARTICLE 18. The frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty, and keep gom vernment free; the people ought, therefore, to pay particular attention to these points, in the choice of officers and representatives, and have a right, in a legal way, to exact a due and constant regard to them, from their legislators and magistrates, in making and executing such laws as are necessary for the good government of the state.
ARTICLE 19. That all people have a natural and inherent right to emigrate from one state to another that will receive them.
ARTICLE 20. That the people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good : to instruct their representatives: and apply to the legislature for redress of grievances by address, petition, or remonstrance.
That no person shall be liable to be transported out of this state for trial of any offence committed within the same.
Plan or Form of Government. § 1. The commonwealth or state of Vermont shall be governed hereafter by a governor or lieutenant-governor, council, and an assembly of the representatives of the freemen of the same, in manner and form following:
§ 2. The supreme legislative power shall be vested in a house of representatives of the freemen of the commonwealth or state of Vermont.
$ 3. The supreme executive power shall be vested in a governor, or, in his absence, a lieutenant-governor, and council.
$ 4. Courts of justice shall be maintained in every county in this state, and also in new counties, when formed; which courts shall be open for the trial of all causes proper for their cognizance; and justice shall be therein impartially administered, without corruption or unnecessary delay. The judges of the supreme court shall be justices of the peace throughout the state ; and the several judges of the county courts, in
their respective counties, by virtue of their office, except in the trial of such causes as may be appealed to the county court.
$ 5. A future legislature may, when they shall conceive the same to be expedient and necessary, erect a court of chancery, with such powers as are usually exercised by that court, or as shall appear for the interest of the commonwealth : Provided, they do not constitute themselves the judges of the said court.
$ 6. The legislative, exccutive, and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other.
$ 7. In order that the freemen of this state might enjoy the benefit of election, as equally as may be, each town within this state, that consists or may consist of eighty taxable inhabitants within one septenary, or seven years next after the establishing this constitution, may hold elections therein, and choose each two representatives ; and each other inhabited town in this state may, in like manner, choose each one representative to represent them in general assembly, during the said septenary, or seven years; and after that, each inhabited town may, in like manner, hold such election, and choose each one representative, for ever thereafter.
88. The house of representatives of the freemen of this state shall consist of persons most noted for wisdom and virtue, to be chosen by ballot, by the freemen of every town in this state, respectively, on the first Tuesday in September annually for ever.
$ 9. The representatives so chosen, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum for transacting any other business than raising a state tax, for which two-thirds of the members elected shall be present, shall meet on the second Thursday of the succeeding October, and shall be styled The General Assembly of the State of Vermont : they shall have power to choose their speaker, secretary of state, their clerk, and other necessary officers of the house--sit on their own adjournments prepare bills, and enact them into laws-judge of the elections and qualifications of their own members : they may expel members, but not for causes known to their own constituents antecedent to their own elections: they may administer oaths and affirmations in matters depending before them, redress grievances, impeach state criminals, grant charters of incorporation, constitute towns, boroughs, cities, and counties : they may, annually, on their first session after their election, in conjunction with the council, or oftener if need be, elect judges of the supreme and several county and probate courts, sheriffs, and justices of the peace ; and also with the council may elect major-generals and brigadier-generals, from time to time, as often as there shall be occasion ; and they shall have all other powers necessary for the legislature of a free and sovereign state : but they shall have no power to add to, alter, abolish, or infringe any part of this constitution.
§ 10. The supreme executive council of this state shall consist of a governor, lieutenant-governor, and twelve persons, chosen in the following manner, viz. The freemen of each town shall, on the day of the election, for choosing representatives to attend the general assembly, bring in their votes for governor, with his name fairly written, to the constable, who shall seal them up, and write on them, votes for the governor, and deliver them to the representatives chosen to attend the
general assembly; and at the opening of the general assembly there shall be a committee appointed out of the council and assembly, who, after being duly sworn to the faithful discharge of their trust, shall proceed to receive, sort, and count the votes for the governor, and declare the person who has the major part of the votes to be governor for the year ensuing. And if there be no choice made, then the council and general assembly, by their joint ballot, shall make choice of a governor. The lieutenant-governor and treasurer shall be chosen in the manner above directed. And each freeman shall give in twelve votes, for twelve counsellors, in the same manner, and the twelve highest in nomination shall serve for the ensuing year as counsellors.
$11. The governor, and, in his absence, the lieutenant-governor, with the council, a major part of whom, including the governor, or lieutenantgovernor, shall be a quorum to transact business, shall have power to commission all officers, and also to appoint officers, except where provision is, or shall be otherwise made by law, or this frame of government; and shall supply every vacancy in any office, occasioned by death, or otherwise, until the office can be filled in the manner directed by law or this constitution.
They are to correspond with other states, transact business with officers of government, civil and military, and to prepare such business as may appear to them necessary to lay before the general assembly. They shall sit as judges to hear and determine on impeachments, taking to their assistance, for advice only, the judges of the supreme court. And shall have power to grant pardons, and remit fines, in all cases whatsoever, except in treason and murder ; in which they shall have power to grant reprieves, but not to pardon, until after the end of the next session of the assembly; and except in cases of impeachment, in which there shall be no remission or mitigation of punishment, but by act of legisla
They are also to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. They are to expedite the execution of such measures as may be resolved upon by the general assembly. And they may draw upon the treasury for such sums as may be appropriated by the house of representatives, They may also lay embargoes, or prohibit the exportation of any commodity, for any time not exceeding thirty days, in the recess of the house only. They may grant such licenses as shall be directed by law : and shall have power to call together the general assembly, when necessary, before the day to which they shall stand adjourned. The governor shall be captain-general and commander-in-chief of the forces of the state, but shall not command in person, except advised thereto by the council, and then only so long as they shall approve thereof. And the lieutenantgovernor shall, by virtue of his office, be lieutenant-general of all the forces of the state. The governor, or lieutenant-governor, and the council, shall meet at the time and place with the general assembly ; the lieutenant-governor shall, during the presence of the commander-inchief, vote and act as one of the council : and the governor, and, in his absence, the lieutenant-governor, shall, by virtue of their offices, preside in council, and have a casting, but no other vote. Every member of the council shall be a justice of the peace, for the whole state, by virtue of his office. The governor and council shall have a secretary, and keep fair books of their proceedings, wherein any counsellor may enter his dissent, with his reason to support it; and the governor may appoint a secretary for himself and his council.
$ 12. The representatives, having met and chosen their speaker and clerk, shall, each of them, before they proceed to business, take and subseribe, as well the oath or affirmation of allegiance hereinafter directed, except where they shall produce certificates of their having heretofore taken and subscribed the same, as the following oath or affirmation, viz.
“ You, - , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that, as a member of this Assembly, you will not propose or assent to any bill, vote, or resolution, which shall appear to you injurious to the people, nor do or consent to any act or thing whatsoever that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared by the constitution of this state, but will, in all things, conduct yourself as a faithful, honest representative, and guardian of the people, according to the best of your judgment and abilities : (in case of an oath) so help you God. (And in case of an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury.”
§ 13. The doors of the house in which the general assembly of this commonwealth shall sit, shall be open for the admission of all persons who behave decently, except only when the welfare of the state may require them to be shut.
$ 14. The votes and proceedings of the general assembly shall be printed, when one-third of the members think it necessary, as soon as convenient after the end of each session, with the yeas and nays on any questions, when required by any member, except where the votes shall be taken by ballot, in which case every member shall have a right to insert the reasons of his vote upon the minutes.
§ 15. The style of the laws of this state, in future to be passed, shall he: It is hereby enacted by the general assembly of the state of Ver. mont.
$ 16. To the end that laws, before they are enacted, may be more maturely considered, and the inconvenience of hasty determinations, as much as possible, prevented, all bills which originate in the assembly shall be laid before the governor and council for their revision and concurrence, or proposals of amendment; who shall return the same to the assembly, with their proposals of amendment, if any, in writing; and if the same are not agreed to by the assembly, it shall be in the power of the governor and council to suspend the passing of such bill until the next session of the legislature : Provided, that if the governor and coun. cil shall neglect or refuse to return any such bill to the assembly, with written proposals of amendment, within five days, or before the rising of the legislature, the same shall become a law.
§ 17. No money shall be drawn out of the treasury, unless first appropriated by act of legislation.
$ 18. No person shall be elected a representative until he has resided two years in this state; the last of which shall be in the town for which he is elected.
$ 19. No member of the council or house of representatives shall, directly or indirectly, receive any fee or reward to bring forward or advocate any bill, petition, or other business to be transacted in the legislature; or advocate any cause, as counsel, in either house of legislation, except when employed in behalf of the state.
$ 20. No person ought, in any case, or in any time, to he declared guilty of treason or felony by the legislature.
$21. Every man of the full age of twenty-one years, having resided in this state for the space of one whole year next before the election of representatives, and is of a quiet and peaceable behaviour, and will take the following oath or affirmation, shall be entitled to all the privileges of a freeman of this state.
“ You solemniy swear (or affirm) that whenever you give your vote of suffrage touching any matter that concerns the state of Vermont, you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the constitution, without fear or favour of any man.”
$ 22. The inhabitants of this state shall be trained and armed for its defence, under such regulations, restrictions, and exceptions, as congress, agreeably to the constitution of the United States, and the legislature of this state, shall direct. The several companies of militia shall, as often as vacancies happen, elect their captain and other officers, and the captains and subalterns shall nominate and recommend the field officers of their respective regiments, who shall appoint their staff officers.
§ 23. All commissions shall be in the name of the freemen of the state of Vermont, sealed with the state seal, signed by the governor, and in his absence the lieutenant-governor, and attested by the secretary which seal shall be kept by the governor.
$ 24. Every officer of state, whether judicial or executive, shall be riable to be impeached by the general assembly, either when in office or after his resignation or removal, for maladministration. An impeachments shall be before the governor, or lieutenant-governor, and council, who shall hear and determine the same, and may award costs; and no trial or impeachment shall be a bar to a prosecution at law.
$ 25. As every freeman, to preserve his independence, if without a sufficient estate, ought to have some profession, calling, trade, or farm, whereby he may honestly subsist, there can be no necessity for, nor use in establishing offices of profit, the usual effects of which are depende ence and servility, unbecoming freemen, in the possessors or expectants, and faction, contention and discord among the people. But, if any man is called into public service, to the prejudice of his private affairs, he has a right to a reasonable compensation; and whenever an office, through increase of fees or otherwise, becomes so profitable as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the legislature. And if any officer shall wittingly and wilfully take greater fees than the law allows him, it shall ever after disqualify him from holding any office in this state, until he shall be restored by act of legislation.
§ 26. No person in this state shall be capable of holding or exercising more than one of the following offices at the same time, viz: governor, lieutenant-governor, judge of the supreme court, treasurer of the state, member of the council, member of the general assembly, surveyor-general, or sheriff. Nor shall any person, holding any office of profit or trust under the authority of congress, be eligible to any appointment in the legislature, or of holding any executive or judiciary office under this state.
$ 27. The treasurer of the state shall, before the governor and coun