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ever be made to restrain the right thereof. The free communications of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and every citizen may freely speak, write, and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
In prosecutions for publications of papers, investigating the official conduct of officers or men in a public capacity, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have a right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.
That the people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and that no warrant to search any place or to seize any person or things, shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.
That in all criminal prosecutions the accused hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel; to demand the nature and cause of accusation against him; to meet the witnesses face to face; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and in prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the vicinage; that he cannot be compelled to give evidence against himself
, nor can he be deprived of his life, liberty, or property, unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.
That no person shall for any indictable offence be proceeded against criminally by information, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger, or by leave of the court for oppression or misdemeanor in office.
No person shall, for the same offence, be twice put in jeopardy of his life or limb, nor shall any man's property be taken or applied to public use without the consent of his representatives, and without just compensation being previously made to him.
That all courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him in his lands, goods, person, or reputation, shall have remedy by the due course of law, and right and justice administered, without sale, denial, or delay.
That no power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the legislature or its authority.
That excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted.
That all prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offences, when the proof is evident or 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.
That the person of a debtor, where there is not strong presumption of fraud, shall not be continued in prison after delivering up his estate for the benefit of his cred. itors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
That no ex post facto law nor any law impairing contracts shall be made. That no persons shall be attainted of treason or felony by the legislature. That no attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor, except during the life of the offender, forfeiture of estate to the commonwealth.
That estates of such persons as shall destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death, and if any person shall be killed by casualty, there shall be no forfeiture by reason thereof.
That the citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address, or remonstrance.
That the right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.
That no standing army shall, in time of peace, be kept up, without the consent of the legislature; and the military shall, in all cases and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.
That no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
That the legislature shall not grant any title of nobility or hereditary distinction,
nor create any office the appointment to which shall be for a longer term than during good behavior.
That emigration from the State shall not be prohibited.
To guard against the high powers which have been delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this constitution, shall be void.
SCHEDULE. That no inconvenience may rise from the establishing the government of this State, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared and ordained, that all rights, actions, prosecutions, claims, and contracts, as well individuals as of bodies-corporate, shall continue as if the said government had not been established.
That all officers, civil and military, now in commission under the State of Virginia, shall continue to hold and exercise their offices until the tenth day of August next, and no longer.
That until the first enumeration shall be made, as directed by the sixth section of the first article of this constitution, the county of Jefferson shall be entitled to elect three representatives; the county of Lincoln, four representatives; the county of Fayette, nine representatives; the county of Nelson, six representatives; the county of Mercer, four representatives; the county of Madison, three representatives; the county of Bourbon, five representatives; the county of Woodford, four representatives; and the county of Mason, two representatives.
The general assembly shall meet at Lexington on the fourth day of June next.
All returns herein directed to be made to the secretary shall, previous to his appointment, be made to the clerk of the supreme court for the district of Kentucky.
Until a seal shall be provided for the State, the governor shall be at liberty to use his private seal.
The oaths of office herein directed to be taken may be administered by any justice of the peace, until the legislature shall otherwise direct.
All bonds given by any officer within the district of Kentucky, payable to the governor of Virginia, may be prosecuted in the name of the governor of Kentucky.
All offences against the laws of Virginia, which have been committed within the present district of Kentucky, or which may be committed within the same before the first day of June next, shall be cognizable in the courts of this State in the same manner that they would be if they were committed within this State, after the said first day of June.
At the elections herein directed to be held in May next, the sheriff of each county, or in case of his absence one of his deputies, shall preside, and if they neglect or refuse to act, the said elections shall be held by any one of the justices of the peace for the county where such neglect or refusal shall happen; each officer holding such election, having first taken an oath before a justice of the peace to conduct the said election with impartiality, shall have power to administer to any person offering to vote at such election the following oath or affirmation: “I do swear (or affirm) that I am qualified to vote for representatives in the county of agreeably to the constitution formed for the State of Kentucky;" and such officers shall have a right to refuse to receive the vote of any person who shall refuse to take the said oath or make affirmation when tendered to him. And the said elections shall be held at the several places appointed for holding courts in the different counties.
The government of the commonwealth of Kentucky shall commence on the first day of June next.
Done in convention, at Danville, the nineteenth day of April, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the sixteenth. By order of the convention.
SAMUEL MCDOWELL, President. Attest: Tho. Todd, Clerk.
CONSTITUTION OF KENTUCKY—1799.* We, the representatives of the people of the State of Kentucky, in convention assembled,
to secure to all the citizens thereof the enjoyment of the right of life, liberty, and property, and of pursuing happiness, do ordain and establish this constitution for its government :
CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.
SECTION 1. The powers of the government of the State of Kentucky shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them be confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judiciary, to another.
SEC. 2. No person or collection of persons, being one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others; except in the instances hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.
CONCERNING THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POWERS OF THE GOVERNMENT.
SECTION 1. The legislative power of this commonwealth shall be vested in two distinct branches; the one to be styled “the house of representatives," the other “the senate,” and both together "the general assembly of the commonwealth of Kentucky."
Sec. 2. The members of the house of representatives shall continue in service for the term of one year from the day of the commencement of the general election, and no longer.
Sec. 3. Representatives shall be chosen on the first Monday in the month of August in every year; but the presiding officers of the several elections shall continue the same for three days, at the request of any one of the candidates.
Sec. 4. No person shall be a representative who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, and hath not attained to the age of twenty-four years, and resided in this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the county or town for which he may be chosen.
SEC. 5. Elections for representatives for the several counties entitled to representation shall be held at the places of holding their respective courts, or in the several election precincts into which the legislature may think proper, from time to time, to divide any or all of those counties: Provided, That when it shall appear to the legislature that any town hath a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio then fixed, such town shall be invested with the privilege of a separate representation, which shall be retained so long as such town shall contain a number of qualified voters equal to the ratio which may, from time to time, be fixed by law, and thereafter elections, for the county in which such town is situated, shall not be held therein.
Sec. 6. Representation shall be equal and uniform in this commonwealth; and shall be forever regulated and ascertained by the number of qualified electors therein. In the year eighteen hundred and three, and every fourth year thereafter, an enumeration of all the free male inhabitants of the State, above twenty-one years of age, shall be made, in such manner as shall be directed by law. The number of representatives shall, in the several years of making these enumerations, be so fixed as not to be less than fifty-eight, nor more than one hundred, and they shall be apportioned for the four years next following, as near as may be, among the several counties and
This constitution was framed by a convention, called in accordance with the eleventh article of the constitution of 1792, which met at Frankfort July 22, 1799, and completed its labors August 7, 1799. It was not submitted to the people, and it took effect January 1, 1800.
towns, in proportion to the number of qualified electors; but, when a county may not have a sufficient number of qualified electors to entitle it to one representative, and when the adjacent county or counties may not have a residuum or residuums, which, when added to the small county, would entitle it to a separate representation, it shall then be in the power of the legislature to join two or more together, for the purpose of sending a representative: Provided, That when there are two or more counties adjoining, which have residuums over and above the ratio when fixed by law, if said residuums when added together will amount to such ratio, in that case one representative shall be added to that county having the largest residuum.
SEC. 7. The house of representatives shall choose its speaker and other officers.
Sec. 8. In all elections for representatives, every free male citizen (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted) who, at the time being, hath attained to the age of twenty-one years, and resided in the State two years, or the county or town in which he offers to vote one year next preceding the election, shall enjoy the right of an elector; but no person shall be entitled to vote, except in the county or town in which he may actually reside at the time of the election, except as is herein otherwise provided. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at, going to, and returning from elections.
Sec. 9. The members of the senate shall be chosen for the term of four years; and, when assembled, shall have the power to choose its officers annually.
Sec. 10. At the first session of the general assembly after this constitution takes effect, the senators shall be divided by lot, as equally as may be, into four classes : the seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; of the second class at the expiration of the second year; of the third class at the expiration of the third year; and of the fourth class at the expiration of the fourth year; so that one-fourth shall be chosen every year, and a rotation thereby kept up perpetually.
Sec. 11. The senate shall consist of twenty-four members at least, and for every three members above fifty-eight, which shall be added to the house of representatives, one member shall be added to the senate.
Sec. 12. The same number of senatorial districts shall, from time to time, be established by the legislature, as there may then be senators allotted to the State; which shall be so formed as to contain, as near as may be, an equal number of free male inhabitants in each, above the age of twenty-one years, and so that no county shall be divided, or form more than one district; and where two or more counties compose a district, they shall be adjoining.
Sec. 13. When an additional senator may be added to the senate, he shall be annexed by lot to one of the four classes, so as to keep them as nearly equal in number as possible.
SEC. 14. One senator for each district shall be elected by those qualified to vote for representatives therein, who shall give their votes at the several places in the counties or towns where elections are by law directed to be held.
SEC. 15. No person shall be a senator who, at the time of his election, is not a citizen of the United States, and who hath not attained to the age of thirty-five years, and resided in this State six years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof in the district from which he may be chosen.
SEC. 16. The first election for senators shall be general throughout the State, and at the same time that the general election for representatives is held; and thereafter there shall, in like manner, be an annual election for senators to fill the places of those whose time of service may have expired.
Sec. 17. The general assembly shall convene on the first Monday in the month of November in every year, unless a different day be appointed by law; and their session shall be held at the seat of government.
SEC. 18. Not less than a majority of the members of each house of the general assembly shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall be authorized by law to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as may be prescribed thereby.
Sec. 19. Each house of the general assembly shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its members; but a contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.
SEC. 20. Each house of the general assembly may determine the rules of its proceedings; punish a member for disorderly behavior; and, with the concurrence of iwo-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause.
SEC. 21. Each house of the general assembly shall keep and publish, weekly, a journal of its proceedings; and the years and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on their journal.
SEC. 22. Neither house, during the session of the general assembly, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.
SEC. 23. The members of the general assembly shall severally receive from the public treasury a compensation for their services, which shall be one dollar and a half a day, during their attendance on, going to, and returning from the session of their respective houses : Provided, That the same may be increased or diminished by law; but no alteration shall take effect during the session at which such alteration shall be made.
SEC. 24. The members of the general assembly shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sessions of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
Sec. 25. No senator or representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, nor for one year thereafter, be appointed or elected to any civil office of profit under this commonwealth, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during the time such senator or representative was in office, except to such offices or appointments as may be made or filled by the elections of the people.
Sec. 26. No person, while he continues to exercise the functions of a clergyman, priest, or teacher of any religious persuasion, society, or sect; nor whilst he holds or exercises any office of profit under this commonwealth, shall be eligible to the general assembly; except attorneys at law, justices of the peace, and militia officers : Frovided, That justices of the courts of quarter-sessions shall be ineligible so long as any compensation may be allowed them for their services: Provided also, That attorneys for the commonwealth, who receive a fixed annual salary from the public treasury, shall be ineligible.
Sec. 27. No person who at any time may have been a collector of taxes for the State, or the assistant or deputy of such collector, shall be eligible to the general assembly until he shall have obtained a quietus for the amount of such collection, and for all public moneys for which he may be responsible.
SEC. 28. No bih shall have the force of a law until on three several days it be read over in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion allowed thereon; unless, in cases of urgency, four-fifths of the house where the bill shall be depending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.
Sec. 29. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives; but the senate may propose amendments, as in other bills : Provided, That they shall not introduce any new matter, under the color of an amendment, which does not relate to raising a revenue.
Sec. 30. The general assembly shall regulate by law by whom and in what manner writs of election shall be issued to fill the vacancies which may happen in either branch thereof.
CONCERNING THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT. SECTION 1. The supreme executive power of the commonwealth shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled “the governor of the commonwealth of Kentucky.”