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CONSTITUTION OF CONNECTICUT.
The people of Connecticut, acknowledging, with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government, do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights and privileges, which they have derived from their ancestors, hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following Constitution, and form of civil government.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS. That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established,
WE DECLARE, Equality of SECT. 1. That all men, when they form a social comrights.
pact, are equal in rights; and that no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive public emoluments, or privile
ges, from the community. Source of po
SECT. 2. That all political power is inherent in the litical power. people, and all free governments are founded on their
authority, and instituted for their benefit; and that they Right to alter have, at all times, an undeniable and indefeasible right form of gove
to alter their form of government, in such a manner as ernment.
they may think expedient. Religious pro
sect. 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious fession and profession and worship, without discrimination, shall worship forever be free to all persons in this state; provided, that Limitation. the right hereby declared and established, shall not be so
construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify No preference pratices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the to be given by
state. christian sect. SECT. 4. No preference shall be given by law to any Right to freely christain sect or mode of worship. speak, write and publish
SECT. 5. Every citizen may freely speak, write and sentiments.
publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible Liberty of for the abuse of that liberty. speech or of the press not
SECT. 6. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or to be restrain. restrain the liberty of speech or of the press. ed.
SECT. 7. In all prosecutions or indictments for libels. Libels
. Ev. the truth may be given in evidence; and the jury shall idence. Right of the
have the right to determine the law and the facts, under jury.
the direction of the court.
law to any
SECT. 8. The people shall be secure in their persons, Security from houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable search searches and es or seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or Restriction as to seize any person or things, shall issue, without describ- to search waring them as nearly as may be, nor without probable rants. cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
sect. 9. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused Rights of the shall have a right to be heard by himself, and by counsel ; accused in to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to
secutions. be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process to obtain witnesses in his favor; and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, a speedy public trial by an impartial jury. He shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, but by due course of law. And no person shall be holden to answer for any crime, the punishment of which may be death or imprisonment Presentment for life, unless on a presentmentor an indictment of agrand of a grand ju
when nejury; except in the land or naval forces, or in the miltia,
cessary when in actual service, in time of war, or public danger.
SECT. 10. No person shall be arrested, detained or Security from punished, except in cases clearly warranted by law.
arrest, &c. SECT. 11. The property of no person shall be taken Right of prifor public use, without just compensation therefor.
vate property. SECT. 12. All courts shall be open, and every person, Right of refor an injury done him in his person, property or repu- dress for tation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and injuries. righta nd justice administered, without sale, denial or delay. SECT. 13. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor Excessive bail
or fines, not to excessive fines imposed.
be required. SECT. 14. Al prisoners shall, before conviction, be bailable, by sufficient sureties, except forcapital offences, what cases
Prisoners, in where the proof is evident, or the presumption great; bailable. and the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus shall not Writ of habe suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion, beas corpus. the public safety may require it; nor in any case, but by the legislature.
sect. 15. No person shall be attainted of treason or No attainder felony, by the legislature. SECT. 16. The citizens have a right, in a peaceable felony.
Right of the manner, to assemble for their common good, and to ap- citizens to ply to those invested with the powers of government, assemble ; and for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by to petition for
a redress of petition, address or remonstrance.
grievances. SECT. 17. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in Right to bear defence of himself and the state.
SECT. 18. The military shall, in all cases, and at all of the military times, be in strict subordination to the civil power. to the civil
of treason or
Quartering of soldiers.
SECT. 19. 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.
SECT. 20. No hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors, shall ever be granted, or conferred, in this state. SECT. 21. The right of trial by jury shall remain
No hereditary emoluments.
Trial by jury. inviolate.
OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.
Distribution of powers.
The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate magistracy-to wit-those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another.
OF THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.
SECT. 1. The legislative power of this state shall be powers vested vested in two distinct houses or branches; the one to be in two houses. styled The Senate, the other The House of Repre
SENTATIVES, and both together THE GENERAL ASGeneral as
SEMBLY. The style of their laws shall be, Be it sembly.
enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in
General Assembly convened. Stated annual
SECT. 2. There shall be one stated session of the gengession.
eral assembly, to be holden in each year, alternately at Hartford and New Haven, on the first Wednesday of May, and at such other times as the general assembly
shall judge necessary; the first session to be holden at Special session.
Hartford: but the person administering the office of governor, may, on special emergencies, convene the general assembly at either of said places, at any other
time. And in case of danger from the prevalence of A different place of meet- contagious diseases, in either of said places, or other ing, when, and circumstances, the person administering the office of bow, to be designated.
governor may, by proclamation, convene said assembly
at any other place in this state. House of Re
SECT. 3. The house of representatives shall consist presentatives. Number of of electors residing in towns from which they are electrepresenta ed. The number of representatives from each town tives.
shall be the same as at present practised and allowed. Restriction as In case a new town shall hereafter be incorporated, to new towns. such new town shall be entitled to one representative
only; and if such new town shall be made from one or Right of the more towns, the town or towns from which the same towns from shall be made, shall be entitled to the same number of which new representatives as at present allowed, unless the num- ones are made. ber shall be reduced by the consent of such town on towns.
sect. 4. The senate shall consist of twelve mem- Senate. bers, to be chosen annually by the electors. SECT. 5. At the meetings of electors, held in the Election of
senators. several towns in this state, in April annually, after the election of representatives, the electors present shall be called upon to bring in their written ballots for senators. The presiding officer shall receive the votes of the electors, and count and declare them in open meeting. The presiding officer shall also make duplicate
Duplicate lists of the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each, which shall be certified by the presiding officer; one of which lists shall be delivered to the town clerk, and the other, within ten days after said meeting, potes.
Return of shall be delivered, under seal, either to the secretary, or to the sheriff of the county in which said town is situated; which list shall be directed to the secretary, with a superscription expressing the purport of the contents thereof. And each sheriff, who shall receive such votes, shall, within fifteen days after said meeting, deliver them, or cause them to be delivered, to the secretary.
sect. 6. The treasurer, secretary, and controller, Canvass of for the time being, shall canvass the votes publicly. The votes. twelve persons having the greatest number of votes for Declaration. senators, shall be declared to be elected. But in cases Equality of where no choice is made by the electors, in consequence votes. of an equality of votes, the house of representatives shall designate, by ballot, which of the candidates having such equal number of votes, shall be declared to be elected. The return of votes, and the result of the can- Return of vass, shall be submitted to the house of representatives, votes, and reand also to the senate, on the first day of the session of sult to be sub
mitted to both the general assembly; and each house shall be the houses. final judge of the election returns and qualifications of its own members.
SECT. 7. The house of representatives, when as- Officers. sembled, shall choose a speaker, clerk, and other offcers. The senate shall choose its clerk, and other officers, except the president. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business ; but a Quorum. smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and com
Powers of pel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, smaller numand under such penalties, as each house may prescribe. ber.
Powers of SECT. 8. Each house shall determine the rules of its each house.
own proceedings, punish members for disorderly con
duct, and, with the consent of two thirds, expel a memPower of ex
ber, but not a second time for the same cause; and shall pulsion limit. ed.
have all other powers necessary for a branch of the
legislature of a free and independent state. Journal. SECT. 9. Each house shall keep a journal of its pro
ceedings, and publish the same, when required by one
fifth of its members, except such parts as, in the judgment Yeas and of a majority, require secrecy. The yeas and nays of nays.
the members of either house shall, at the desire of one
fifth of those present, be entered on the journals. Privilege from SECT. 10. The senators and representatives shall, in
all cases of civil process, be privileged from arrest,
during the session of the general assembly, and for four Privilege as to days before the commencement, and after the terminaspeech or de- tion, of any session thereof. And for any speech or de. bate. bate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any
other place. Debates, to be SECT. 11. The debates of each house shall be pubpublic.
lic, except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the ception.
house, may require secrecy.
OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.
of the state shall be vested in a governor, who shall be chosen by
the electors of the state, and shall hold his office for one Term of office. year from the first Wednesday of May next succeeding
his election, and until his successor be duly qualified. Qualifications. No person who is not an elector of this state, and who
has not arrived at the age of thirty years, shall be eligible.
SECT. 2. At the meetings of the electors in the respective towns, in the month of April in each year, immediately after the election of senators, the presiding officers shall call upon the electors to bring in their bal
lots for him whom they would elect to be governor, with Election of governor.
his name fairly written. When such ballots shall have
been received and counted, in the presence of the elecDuplicate tors, duplicate lists of the persons voted for, and of the lists.
number of votes given for each, shall be made and certifi
ed, by the presiding officer; one of which lists shall be Return of
deposited in the office of the town clerk, within three days, and the other, within ten days, after said election, shall be transmitted to the secretary, or to the sheriff of the county, in which such election shall have been held. The sheriff receiving said votes shall deliver, or