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be tried by jury, and in all courts whatever witnesses shall give tèfti -mony viva voce in open court, wherever their attendance can be procured : and all parties shall be allowed counsel and compulsory process for their witnesses.
Fines, amercements, and terms of imprisonment lest indefinite by the law, other than for contempts, shall be fixed by the jury, triers of the offence.
The governor; two councillors of state, and a judge from each of the superior courts of chancery, common law, and admiralty, shall be a gouncil to revise all bills which shall have passed both houses of alsembly, in which council the governor, when present; shall preside. Every bill before it becomes a law, shall be presented to this council, who shall have a right to advise its rejection, returning the bill, with their advice and reasons in writing, to the houfe in which it originated, who fhall proceed to reconsider the faid bill. But if after such reconfideration, two thirds of the house shall be of opinion the bill should pafs fmally, they shall pass and send it, with the advice and written reasons of the said council of revision to the other house, wherein, if two thirds alfo-shall be of opinion it should pass finally, it fall thereupon become law : otherwife it shall not.
If any bill, presented to the faid council, be not, within one week (exclusive of the day of presenting it) returned by them, with their advice of rejection and reasons, to the houfe wherein it originated, or to the clerk of the faid house, in cafe of its adjournment over the expiration of the week, it shall be law from the expiration of the week, and shall then be demandáble by the clerk of the house of delegates, to be filed of record in his office.
The bills which they approve shall become law from the time of such approbation, and shall then be returned to, or demandable by, the clerk of the house of delegates, to be filed of record in his office.
A bill rejected on advice of the council of revision, may again be proposed, during the same fesfion of assembly, with such alterations as will render it comformable to their advice.
The members of the faid council of revision shall be appointed
from time to time by the board or court of which they respectively
Two of the executive and two of the judiciary members shall be requisite to do business : and to prevent the evils of non-attendance, the board and courts may, at any time name all, or so many as they will, of their members, in the particular order in which they would choose the duty of attendance to devolve from preceding to subsequent members, the preceding failing to attend. They shall have additionally for their services in this council the same allowance as members of assembly have.
The confederation is made a part of this constitution, subject to such future alterations as shall be agreed to by the legislature of this state, and by all the other confederating itates.
The delegates to congress shall be five in number; any three of whom, and no fewer, may be a representation. They shall be appointed by joint ballot of both houses of assembly for any term not exceeding one year, subject to be recalled, within the term by joint vote of both the faid houses. They may at the fame time be members of the legislative or judiciary departments, but not of the executive.
The benefits of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall be extended, by the legislature, to every person within this state, and without fee, .and shall be so facilitated that no person may be detained in prison more than ten days after he shall have demanded and been refused such writ by the judge appointed by law, or if none be appointed, then by any judge of a superior .court, nar more than ten days after such a writ shall have been served on the person detaining him, and no order given, on due examination, for his remandment or discharge.
The military shall be subordinate to the civil power,
Printing-presses shall be subject to no other restraint than liableness to legal prosecution for false facts printed and published.
Any two of the three branches of government concurring in opinion, each by the voices of two thirds of their whole existing number, that a convention is necessary for altering this constitution, or correcting breaches of it, they shall be authorised to iffue writs to
every county for the election of so many delegates as they are au, thorised to send to the general affembly, which elections shall be held, and writs returned, as the laws shall have provided in the case of elections of delegates to assembly, mutatis, mutandis, and the said delegates, sball meet at the usual place of holding assema blies, three months after date of such writs, and shall be acknowl. edged to have equal powers with this present convention. The faid writs shall be figned by all the members approving the fame.
To introduce this government, the following special and temporary provision is made.
This convention being authorised only to amend those laws which constituted the form of government, no general dissolution of the whole fystem of laws can be supposed to have taken place : but all laws in force at the meeting of this convention, and not inconsiste ent with this constitution, remain in full force, subject to alterations by the ordinary legislature.
The present general assembly shall continue till the 420 day after the last Monday of November in this prefent year. On the said last Monday of November in this present year, the several counties shall by their electors, qualified as provided by this constitution, elect delegates, which for the present shall be, in number, one for every
militia of the said county, according to the latest returns in possession of the governor, and shall also choofe fenatoriał electors in proportion thereto, which fenatorial electors shall meet on the 14th day after the day of their election, at the court-house of that county of their present district, which would stand first in an alphabetical arrangement of their counties, and shall choose fenatora in the proportion fixed by this constitution. The elections and returns shall be conducted, in all circumstances not hereby particularly prescribed, by the same persons and under the fame forms, as prescribed by the present laws in elections of fenators and delegates of assembly. The said senators and delegates shall constitute the first general assembly of the new government, and shall specially apply themselves to the procuring an exact return from every cout
ty of the number of its qualified electors, and to the settlement of the number of delegates to be elected for the ensuing general af fembly.
The present governor shall continue in office to the end of the term for which he was elected.
All other officers of every kind shall continue in office as they would have done had their appointment been under this conftitution, and new ones, where new are hereby called for, shall be appointed by the authority to which such appointment is referred. One of the present judges of the general court, he confenting there. to, shall by joint ballot of both houses of affembly, at their first meeting, be transferred to the high court of chancery,
An ACT for establishing RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, poffed in the Af
sembly of Virginia, in the beginning of the year 1786.
WELL aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free ; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrify and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do ; that the impious presumption of legiflators and rulers, civil as well as ecclefiaftical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained falfe religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of
for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is finful and tyrannical ; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular paftor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labors for the instruction of mankind; that our civil