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Objects of government; right of people to institute and change it.
Right of people to secure rotation in office.
All, having the qualifications prescribed, equally eligible
to office. For
the definition of
see Part the
Second, Ch. 1.
Sect. 2, Art. II.
Right of protec
tion and duty
or descendants, or relations by blood, the idea of a man born a magistrate, lawgiver, or judge, is absurd and unnatural. VII. Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
VIII. In order to prevent those who are vested with authority from becoming oppressors, the people have a right, at such periods and in such manner as they shall establish by their frame of government, to cause their public officers to return to private life; and to fill up vacant places by certain and regular elections and appointments.
IX. All elections ought to be free; and all the inhabitants of this commonwealth, having such qualifications as they shall establish by their frame of government, have an equal right to elect officers, and to be elected, for public employments.
See amendments, Art. XLV.
122 Mass. 595, 596.
Freedom of elections, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition.
X. Each individual of the society has a right to be of contribution protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; to give his personal service, or an equivalent,
correlative. Taxation founded on consent.
16 Mass. 326.
1 Pick. 418.
7 Pick. 344.
12 Pick. 184, 467. when necessary: but no part of the property of any indi
16 Pick. 87.
23 Pick. 360.
4 Allen, 474.
vidual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to 'public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. In fine, the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative erty not to be body have given their consent. And whenever the public exigencies require that the property of any individual should be appropriated to public uses, he shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor.
taken for public
Right to receive compensation for private property appropriated to public use, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
recourse to the
XI. Every subject of the commonwealth ought to find Remedies, by a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all law, to be free, injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, prompt. property, or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it; completely, and without any denial; promptly, and without delay; conformably to the laws.
10 Pick. 9.
21 Pick. 542.
1 Gray, 1.
8 Gray, 329.
XII. No subject shall be held to answer for any crimes Prosecutions or offence, until the same is fully and plainly, substantially 8 Pick. 211. and formally, described to him; or be compelled to accuse, 18 Pick. 434. or furnish evidence against himself. And every subject 2 Met. 329. shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favor- 12 Cush. 246. able to him; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, 5 Gray, 160. and to be fully heard in his defence by himself, or his 10 Gray, 11. counsel, at his election. And no subject shall be arrested, 2 Allen, 361. imprisoned, despoiled, or deprived of his property, immu- 240, 264, 439. nities, or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, 12 Allen, 170. exiled, or deprived of his life, liberty, or estate, but by the 97 Mass. 570, judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.
100 Mass. 287, 295. 103 Mass. 418.
108 Mass. 5, 6.
122 Mass. 332. 118 Mass. 443, 451. 124 Mass. 464. 120 Mass. 118, 120.
127 Mass. 550, 554.
107 Mass. 172, 180. Right of access to and protection in courts of justice, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
11 Gray, 438.
11 Allen, 238
Right to trial criminal cases,
by jury in
And the legislature shall not make any law that shall subject any person to a capital or infamous punishment, excepting for the government of the army and navy, with- 8 Gray, 329, out trial by jury.
Right of trial by jury, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition." See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
103 Mass. 418.
proved in the
XIII. In criminal prosecutions, the verification of facts, Crimes to be in the vicinity where they happen, is one of the greatest vicinity. securities of the life, liberty, and property of the citizen.
2 Pick. 550.
Const. of U. S.,
5 Cush. 369.
XIV. Every subject has a right to be secure from all Right of search unreasonable searches, and seizures, of his person, his regulated. houses, his papers, and all his possessions. All warrants, Amend't IV. therefore, are contrary to this right, if the cause or founda- 2 Met. 329. tion of them be not previously supported by oath or affir- 1 Gray, 1. 13 Gray, 454. mation, and if the order in the warrant to a civil officer, 10 Allen, 403. 100 Mass. 136, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or 139. more suspected persons, or to seize their property, be not 273. accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure: and no warrant ought to be issued but in cases, and with the formalities prescribed by the laws.
Protection from unreasonable search, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
126 Mass. 269,
Right to trial
by jury sacred,
Const. of U. S.,
XV. In all controversies concerning property, and in all suits between two or more persons, except in cases in which it has heretofore been otherways used and practised, the parties have a right to a trial by jury; and this method of procedure shall be held sacred, unless, in causes arising on the high seas, and such as relate to mariners' wages, 102 Mass. 45, 47. the legislature shall hereafter find it necessary to alter it.
5 Gray, 144. 8 Gray, 373.
11 Allen, 574, 577.
Liberty of the
Right to keep and bear arms.
subordinate to civil.
5 Gray, 121.
Moral qualifications for office.
Moral obligations of lawgivers and magistrates.
Right of people
to instruct representatives and petition legislature.
pend the laws
114 Mass. 388, 390.
122 Mass. 505, 516.
125 Mass. 182, 188.
120 Mass. 320, 321. Right of trial by jury, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
XVI. The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth.
Freedom of the press, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.
XVIII. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government. The people ought, consequently, to have a particular attention to all those principles, in the choice of their officers and representatives: and they have a right to require of their lawgivers and magistrates an exact and constant observance of them, in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of the commonwealth.
XIX. The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble to consult upon the common good; give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by the way of addresses, petitions, or remonstrances, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.
Right of peaceable assembly, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
Power to sus- XX. The power of suspending the laws, or the execuor their execution of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exer
cised in such particular cases only as the legislature shall expressly provide for.
Modified by the popular initiative and referendum. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, I, Definition.
bate, etc., and
XXI. The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, Freedom of dein either house of the legislature, is so essential to the reason thereof. rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any other court or place whatsoever.
Freedom of speech, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
sions, and ob
XXII. The legislature ought frequently to assemble Frequent sesfor the redress of grievances, for correcting, strengthening, jects thereof. and confirming the laws, and for making new laws, as the common good may require.
XXIII. No subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duties Taxation ought to be established, fixed, laid, or levied, under any consent. pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people or their representatives in the legislature.
8 Allen, 247.
XXIV. Laws made to punish for actions done before Ex post facto the existence of such laws, and which have not been de- 12 Allen, 421, clared crimes by preceding laws, are unjust, oppressive, and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of a free government.
424, 428, 434.
XXV. No subject ought, in any case, or in any time, Legislature not to be declared guilty of. treason or felony by the legis- treason, etc.
to convict of
or fines, and
XXVI. No magistrate or court of law shall demand Excessive bail excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel punishcruel or unusual punishments.
5 Gray, 482.
Protection from unreasonable bail, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
XXVII. In time of peace, no soldier ought to be quar- No soldier to be tered in any house without the consent of the owner; and quartered in in time of war, such quarters ought not to be made but unless, etc. by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the legislature.
XXVIII. No person can in any case be subject to law- Citizens exempt martial, or to any penalties or pains, by virtue of that law, tial, unless, etc. except those employed in the army or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the legislature.
Protection from law-martial, not to be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition. See amendments, Art. XLVIII, The initiative, II, sect. 2.
Article I. The department of legislation shall be