Слике страница

XXIV. Laws made to punish for actions done before Ex post facto laws prohibited. the existence of such laws, and which have not been de- 12 Allen, 421, clared crimes by preceding laws, are unjust, oppressive, 424, 428, 434. and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of a free


to convict of

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.


5 Gray, 482.

or fines, and

ments, prohibited.

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. 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 in time of war, such quarters ought not to be made but by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the legislature.

quartered in any

house, unless,


from law-mar

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 legis



3 Pick. 471.


221, 225.

XXIX. It is essential to the preservation of the rights Judges of suof every individual, his life, liberty, property, and charac- preme judicial ter, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws, 1 Gray, 472. and administration of justice. It is the right of every Allen, 591. citizen to be tried by judges as free, impartial, and inde- 105 Mass. 219, pendent as the lot of humanity will admit. It is, therefore, Tenure of their not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, and of every citizen, that the judges of the supreme judicial court should hold their offices as long as they behave themselves well; and that they should have honorable salaries ascertained and established by standing Salaries. laws.


executive, judi.


XXX. In the government of this commonwealth, the Separation of legislative department shall never exercise the executive cial, and legisand judicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall lative departnever exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either 2 Cush. 577. of them the judicial shall never exercise the legislative 8 Allen, 247, 253. and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it 286. may be a government of laws and not of men.

[blocks in formation]

2 Allen, 361.

100 Mass. 282,

114 Mass. 247, 249.

Title of body politic.


The Frame of Government.

The people, inhabiting the territory formerly called the Province of Massachusetts Bay, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a free, sovereign, and independent body politic, or state, by the name of THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.

Legislative department.

For change of time, etc., see amendments, Art. X.



99 Mass. 636.

Bill may be passed by twothirds of each house, notwith. standing.




The General Court.

ARTICLE I. The department of legislation shall be formed by two branches, a Senate and House of Representatives; each of which shall have a negative on the other.

The legislative body shall assemble every year [on the last Wednesday in May, and at such other times as they shall judge necessary; and shall dissolve and be dissolved on the day next preceding the said last Wednesday in May;] and shall be styled, THE GENERAL COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS.

II. No bill or resolve of the senate or house of representatives shall become a law, and have force as such, until it shall have been laid before the governor for his revisal; and if he, upon such revision, approve thereof, he shall signify his approbation by signing the same. But if he have any objection to the passing of such bill or resolve, he shall return the same, together with his objections thereto, in writing, to the senate or house of representatives, in whichsoever the same shall have originated; who shall enter the objections sent down by the governor, at large, on their records, and proceed to reconsider the said bill or resolve. But if after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the said senate or house of representatives, shall, notwithstanding the said objections, agree to pass the same, it shall, together with the objections, be sent to the other branch of the legislature, where it shall also be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of the members present, shall have the force of a law: but in all such cases,

the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays; and the names of the persons voting for, or against, the said bill or resolve, shall be entered upon the public records of the commonwealth.

3 Mass. 567.

For exception


the five days,

see amendments, Art. I.

judicatories, courts of record, etc.

12 Gray, 147,


And in order to prevent unnecessary delays, if any bill in case of ad. or resolve shall not be returned by the governor within the era of five days after it shall have been presented, the same shall court within have the force of a law. III. The general court shall forever have full power General court and authority to erect and constitute judicatories and may constitute courts of record, or other courts, to be held in the name of the commonwealth, for the hearing, trying, and deter- 8 Gray, 1, mining of all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, plaints, actions, matters, causes, and things, whatsoever, arising or happening within the commonwealth, or between or concerning persons inhabiting, or residing, or brought within the same: whether the same be criminal or civil, or whether the said crimes be capital or not capital, and whether the said pleas be real, personal, or mixed; and for the awarding and making out of execution thereupon. To which courts and judicatories are hereby given and Courts, etc.. granted full power and authority, from time to time, to oaths. administer oaths or affirmations, for the better discovery of truth in any matter in controversy or depending before them.

may administer

may enact laws,

9 Gray, 426.




may enact


6 Allen, 358.

IV. And further, full power and authority are hereby General court given and granted to the said general court, from time to etc. time to make, ordain, and establish, all manner of whole- 4 Allen, 473. some and reasonable orders, laws, statutes, and ordinances, 22-Allen, 223, directions and instructions, either with penalties or with- 100 Mass. 544, out; so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to this 116 Mass. 467, constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of this commonwealth, and for the government laws, etc., not and ordering thereof, and of the subjects of the same, and the constitution. for the necessary support and defence of the government thereof; and to name and settle annually, or provide by may provide fixed laws for the naming and settling, all civil officers for the election within the said commonwealth, the election and consti- 15 Mass. 602. tution of whom are not hereafter in this form of government otherwise provided for; and to set forth the several may prescribe duties, powers, and limits, of the several civil and military officers of this commonwealth, and the forms of such oaths or affirmations as shall be respectively administered unto them for the execution of their several offices and places, so as the same be not repugnant or contrary to

of officers.

their duties.

to councillors,

see amend-

ments, Art.

wealth the limits of each district, and the number of coun-
cillors and senators to be chosen therein; provided, that
the number of such districts shall never be less than thir-

teen; and that no district be so large as to entitle the same to choose more than six senators.

districts, until,

And the several counties in this commonwealth shall, Counties to be until the general court shall determine it necessary to etc. alter the said districts, be districts for the choice of councillors and senators, (except that the counties of Dukes County and Nantucket shall form one district for that purpose) and shall elect the following number for councillors and senators, viz. :- Suffolk, six; Essex, six; Middlesex, five; Hampshire, four; Plymouth, three; Barnstable, one; Bristol, three; York, two; Dukes County and Nantucket, one; Worcester, five; Cumberland, one; Lincoln, one; Berkshire, two.]

time of choosing

councillors. See

Arts. X. and


Provisions as to

voters, super

ments, Arts.

II. The senate shall be the first branch of the legislat- Manner and ure; and the senators shall be chosen in the following man- senators and ner, viz. there shall be a meeting on the [first Monday in amendments, April,] annually, forever, of the inhabitants of each town XV. As in the several counties of this commonwealth; to be called to cities, see by the selectmen, and warned in due course of law, at Art. II. least seven days before the [first Monday in April,] for qualifications of the purpose of electing persons to be senators and coun- seded by amendcillors; [and at such meetings every male inhabitant of III., XX., twenty-one years of age and upwards, having a freehold XXVIII estate within the commonwealth, of the annual income of and XXXII. three pounds, or any estate of the value of sixty pounds, tant" defined shall have a right to give in his vote for the senators for ments, Art. the district of which he is an inhabitant.] And to remove was annulled by all doubts concerning the meaning of the word inhabi- XXVI. tant" in this constitution, every person shall be considered 197 Mass. 595, as an inhabitant, for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office, or place within this state, in that town, district, or plantation where he dwelleth, or hath his home.


Word "inhabi

See also amend.

XXIII., which



preside at town

The selectmen of the several towns shall preside at Selectmen to such meetings impartially; and shall receive the votes of meetings. all the inhabitants of such towns present and qualified to vote for senators, and shall sort and count them in open town meeting, and in presence of the town clerk, Return of votes. who shall make a fair record, in presence of the selectmen, and in open town meeting, of the name of every person voted for, and of the number of votes against his name and a fair copy of this record shall be attested by As to cities, see the selectmen and the town clerk, and shall be sealed up, Art. II. directed to the secretary of the commonwealth for the time being, with a superscription, expressing the purport


« ПретходнаНастави »