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Five. The powers of a court of ordinary and of probate shall be vested in an ordinary for each county, from whose decision there may be an appeal to the superior court, under regulations prescribed by law. The ordinary shall be ex-officio clerk of said court, and may appoint a deputy clerk. The ordinary, as clerk, or his deputy, may issue citations, and grant temporary letters of administration, to hold until permanent letters are granted; and said ordinary, as clerk, or his deputy, may grant marriage-licenses. The ordinaries in and for the respective counties shall be elected, as other county officers are, on the first Wednesday in January, 1868, and every fourth year thereafter, and shall be commissioned by the governor for the term of four years. In case of any vacancy of said office of ordinary, from any cause, the same shall be filled by election, as is provided in relation to other county officers, and until the same is filled, the clerk of the superior court for the time being shall act as clerk of said court of ordinary.
ARTICLE V. SECTION 1. One. The electors or members of the general assembly shall be free white male citizens of this State, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, and have paid all taxes which may have been required of them, and which they have had an opportunity of paying, agreeable to law, for the year preceding the election; shall be citizens of the United States, and shall have resided six months either in the district or county, and two years within this State, and no person not qualified to vote for members of the general assembly shall hold any office in this State.
Two. All elections by the general assembly shall be viva voce, and the vote shall always appear on the journal of the house of representatives, and where the Senate and house of representatives unite for the purpose of electing, they shall meet in the representative chamber, and the president of the senate shall in such cases preside and declare the person or persons elected.
Three. In all elections by the people the electors shall vote by ballot until the general assembly shall otherwise direct.
Four. All civil officers heretofore commissioned by the governor, or who have been duly appointed, or elected, since the first day of January last, but who have not received their commissions, and who have not resigned, nor been removed from office, and whose terms of office shall not have expired, shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective offices during the periods for which they were duly appointed or duly elected as aforesaid, and commissioned, and until their successors shall be appointed under the provisions of this constitution, unless removed from office as herein provided.
Five Laws of general operation now of force in this State are, ist, as the supreme law, the Constitution of the United States; the laws of the United States in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made under the authority of the United States; 2d, as next in authority thereto, this constitution; 3d, in subordination to the aforegoing, all laws declared of force by an act of the general assembly of this state, assented to December the 19th, A. D. 1860, entitled "An act to approve, adopt, and make of force, in the State of Georgia, a revised code of laws, prepared under the direction and by authority of the general assembly thereof, and for other purposes therewith connected," an act of the general assembly aforesaid, assented to December 16, A. D. 1861, amendatory of the aforegoing, and an act of the general assembly aforesaid, assented to December 13, A. D. 1862, entitled “An act to settle the conflicts between the code and the legislation of this general assembly;" also, all acts of the general assembly aforesaid, passed since the date last written, altering, amending, repealing, or adding to any portion of law hereinbefore mentioned, (the latter enactments having preference in case of conflict,) and also so much of the common and statute law of England, and of the statute laws of this State of force in Georgia in the year eighteen hundred and sixty, as is not expressly superseded by nor inconsistent with said codes, though not embodied therein; except so much of the law aforesaid as may violate the supreme law herein recognized, or may conflict with this constitution, and except so much thereof as refers to persons held in slavery, which excepted laws shall henceforth be inoperative and void, and any future general
assembly of this State shall be competent to alter, amend, or repeal any portion of the law declared to be of force in this third specification of the fifth clause of this fifth article. If in any statute law herein declared of force the word “Confederate" occurs before the word States, such law is hereby amended by substituting the word “United” for the word “Çonfederate.”
Six. Local and private statutes heretofore passed, intended for the benefit of counties, cities, towns, corporations, and private persons, not inconsistent with the supreme law, nor with this constitution, and which have neither expired by their own limitations nor have been repealed, shall have the force of statute law, subject to judicial decision as to their validity when enacted, and to any limitations imposed by their own terms.
Seven. All judgments, decrees, orders, and other proceedings of the several courts of this State, heretofore made within the limits of their several jurisdictions, are hereby ratified and affirmed, subject only to past and future reversal, by motion for new trial, appeal, bill of review, or other proceedings, in conformity with the law of force when they were made,
Eight. All rights, privileges, and immunities which may have vested in or accrued to any person or persons, in his, her, or their own right, or in any fiduciary capacity, under and in virtue of any act of the general assembly, or of any judgment, decree, or order, or other proceeding of any court of competent jurisdiction in this state, since the first day of January, A. D. eighteen hundred and sixty-one, shall be held inviolate by all courts before which they may be brought in question, unless attacked for fraud.
Nine. The marriage relation between white persons and persons of African descent is forever prohibited, and such marriage shall be null and void; and it shall be the duty of the general assembly to enact laws for the punishment of any officer who shall knowingly issue a license for the celebration of such marriage, or any officer or minister of the gospel who shall marry such persons together.
Ten. All militia and county officers shall be elected by the people, under such regulations as have been or may be prescribed by law.
Eleven. This constitution shall be altered or amended only by a convention of the people, called for that purpose by act of the general assembly. Signed November 7, 1865.
HERSCHEL V. JOHNSON, President. Attest: J. D. WADDELL, Secretary.
CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA-1868.*
We, the people of Georgia, in order to form a permanent government, establish justice,
insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, acknowledging and invoking the guidance of Almighty God, the author of all good government, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Georgia :
DECLARATION OF FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES.
SECTION 1. Protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government, and shall be impartial and complete.
SEC. 2. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and resident in this State, are hereby declared citizens of this State, and no laws shall be made or enforced which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, or of
* A convention, called by order of Major-General Meade, met at Atlanta December 8, 1867, and submitted this constitution to the people March 11, 1868.' It was ratified, receiving 89,007 votes against 71,309 votes,
this State, or deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws. And it shall be the duty of the general assembly, by appropriate legislation, to protect every person in the due enjoyment of the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed in this section.
Sec. 3. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, except by due process of law.
SEC. 4. There shall be within the State of Georgia neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, save as a punishment for crime after legal conviction thereof.
Sec. 5. The right of the people to appeal to the courts, to petition government on all matters, and peaceably to assemble for the consideration of any matter, shall never be impaired.
SEC. 6. Perfect freedom of religious sentiment shall be, and the same is hereby, secured, and no inhabitant of this State shall ever be molested in person or property, or prohibited from holding any public office or trust, on account of his religious opinion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the people.
SEC. 7. Every person charged with an offence against the laws shall have the privilege and benefit of counsel, shall be furnished, on demand, with a copy of the accusation and a list of the witnesses on whose testimony the charge against him is founded, shall have compulsory process to obtain the attendance of his own witnesses, shall be confronted with the witnesses testifying against him, and shall have a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury.
Sec. 8. No person shall be put in jeopardy of life or liberty more than once for the same offence, save on his or her own motion for a new trial after conviction, or in case of mistrial.
SEC. 9. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are inherent elements of political liberty. But while every citizen may freely speak, or write, or print on any subject, he shall be responsible for the abuse of the liberty.
Sec. 10. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.
SEC. 11. The social status of the citizen shall never be the subject of legislation.
Sec. 12. No person shall be molested for his opinions, or be subject to any civil or political incapacity, or acquire any civil or political advantage in consequence of such opinions.
Sec. 13. The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
SEC. 14. A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free people, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but the general assembly shall have power to prescribe by law the manner in which arms may be borne.
Sec. 15. The punishment of all frauds shall be provided by law.
SEC. 16. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted, nor shall any person be abused in being arrested, whilst under arrest, or in prison.
Sec. 17. The power of the courts to punish for contempt shall be limited by legislative acts.
SEC. 18. There shall be no imprisonment for debt.
Sec. 19. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel the truth may be given in evidence, and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.
Sec. 20. Private ways may be granted upon just compensation being paid by the applicant.
SEC. 21. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offence.
Sec. 23. No lottery shall be authorized, or sale of lottery-tickets allowed, in this State, and adequate penalties for such sale shall be provided by law.
SEC. 24. No conviction shall work corruption of blood, and no conviction of treason shall work a general forfeiture of estate longer than during the life of the person attainted
SEC. 25. Treason against the State of Georgia shall consist only in levying war against the State, or the United States, or adhering to the enemies thereof, giving them aid and comfort; and no person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or his own confession in open court.
SEC. 26. Laws shall have a general operation, and no general law, affecting private rights, shall be varied, in any particular case, by special legislation, except with the free consent, in writing, of all persons to be affected thereby; and no person under legal disability to contract is capable of such free consent.
SEC. 27. The power of taxation over the whole State shall be exercised by the general assembly only to raise revenue for the support of government, to pay the public debt, to provide a general school-fund, for common defence and for public improvement; and taxation on property shall be ad valorem only, and uniform on all species of property taxed.
SEC. 28. The general assembly may grant the power of taxation to county authorities and municipal corporations, to be exercised within their several territorial limits.
Sec. 29. No poll-tax shall be levied except for educational purposes, and such tax shall not exceed one dollar annually on each poll.
SEC. 30. Mechanics and laborers shall have liens upon the property of their employers for labor performed or material furnished, and the legislature shall provide for the summary enforcement of the same.
Sec. 31. The legislative, executive, and judicial departments shall be distinct; and each department shall be confided to a separate body of magistracy. No person, or collection of persons, being of one department, shall exercise any power properly attached to either of the others, except in cases herein expressly provided.
Sec. 32. Legislative acts in violation of this constitution, or the Constitution of the United States, are void, and the judiciary shall so declare them.
Sec. 33. The State of Georgia shall ever remain a member of the American Union: the people thereof are a part of the American nation; every citizen thereof owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and Government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of this State, in contravention or subversion thereof, shall ever have any binding force.
FRANCHISE AND ELECTIONS.
SEC. 2. Every male person born in the United States, and every male person who has been naturalized, or who has legally declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, twenty-one years old or upward, who shall have resided in this State six months next preceding the election, and shall have resided thirty days in the county in which he offers to vote, and shall have paid all taxes which may have been required of him, and which he may have had an opportunity of paying, agreeably to law, for the year preceding the election, (except as hereinafter provided,) shall be deemed an elector; and every male citizen of the United States, of the age aforesaid, (except as hereinafter provided,) who may be a resident of the State at the time of the adoption of this constitution, shall be deemed an elector, and shall have all the rights of an elector, as aforesaid: Provided, That no soldier, sailor, or marine in the military or naval service of the United States shall acquire the rights of an elector by reason of being stationed on duty in this State; and no person shall vote who, if challenged, shall refuse to take the following oath:
“I do swear that I have not given or received, nor do I expect to give or receive, any money, treat, or other thing of value, by which my vote, or any vote, is affected, or expected to be affected, at this election, nor have I given or promised any reward, or made any threat, by which to prevent any person from voting at this election.”
SEC. 3. No person convicted of felony or larceny before any court of this State, or
of or in the United States, shall be eligible to any office or appointment of honor or trust within this State, unless he shall have been pardoned.
SEC: 4. No person who is the holder of any public moneys shall be eligible to any office in this state until the same is accounted for and paid into the treasury.
SEC. 5. No person who, after the adoption of this constitution, being a resident of this State, shall engage in a duel in this State, or elsewhere, or shall send or accept a challenge, or be aider or abettor to such duel, shall vote or hold office in this State; and every such person shall also be subject to such punishment as the law may prescribe.
Sec. 6. The general assembly may provide, from time to time, for the registration of all electors, but the following classes of persons shall not be permitted to register, vote, or hold office: ist. Those who shall have been convicted of treason, embezzlement of public funds, malfeasance in office, crime punishable by law with imprisonment in the penitentiary, or bribery; 2d. Idiots or insane persons.
Sec. 7. Electors shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest for five days before an election, during the election, and two days subsequent thereto.
Sec. 8. The sale of intoxicating liquors on days of election is prohibited.
Sec. 9. Returns of election for all civil officers elected by the people, who are to be commissioned by the governor, and also for the members of the general assembly, shall be made to the secretary of state, unless otherwise provided by law.
Sec. 10. The general assembly shall enact laws giving adequate protection to electors before, during, and subsequent to elections.
SEC. 11. The election of governor, members of Congress, and of the general assembly, after the year 1868, shall commence on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, unless otherwise provided by law.
LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT. SECTION 1. One. The legislative power shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives, and, until otherwise directed, the members thereof, after the first election, shall be elected, and the returns of the election made, as now prescribed by law.
Two. The members of the senate shall be elected for four years, except that the members elected at the first election from the twenty-two senatorial districts numbered in this constitution with odd numbers, shall only hold their office for two years. The members of the house of representatives shall be elected for two years. The election for members of the general assembly shall begin on Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every second year, except the first election, which shall be within sixty days after the adjournment of this convention; but the general assembly may by law change the time of election, and the members shall hold until their successors are elected and qualified.
Three. The first meeting of the general assembly shall be within ninety days after the adjournment of this convention, after which it shall meet annually on the second Wednesday in January, or on such other day as the general assembly may prescribe. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to transact business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the presence of its absent members as each house may provide. No session of the general assembly, after the second under this constitution, shall continue longer than forty days, unless prolonged by a vote of two-thirds of each branch thereof.
Four. No person holding a military commission, or other appointment or offices, having any emolument or compensation annexed thereto, under this State or the United States, or either of them, except justices of the peace and officers of the militia, nor any defaulter for public money, or for any legal taxes required of him, shall have a seat in either house; nor shall any senator or representative, after his qualification as such, be elected by the general assembly, or appointed by the governor, either with