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Liberty of the press.

and bear arms.

tions for oftice.


to instruct rep.

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. Right to keep

XVII. The people have a right to keep and to bear Standing armies arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, itary power sub armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be ordinate to civil. maintained without the consent of the legislature; and 5 121

the military power shall always be held in an exact subor

dination to the civil authority, and be governed by it. Moral qualifica.

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 atten

tion to all those principles, in the choice of their officers
Moral obliga and representatives : and they have a right to require of
tions of lawgiv.
ers and magis. 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 common-

Right of people XIX. The people have a right, in an orderly and peace-
resentatives and able manner, to assemble to consult upon the common
petition legisla-

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. Power to sus.

XX. The power of suspending the laws, or the executheir execution. tion of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the

legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised
in such particular cases only as the legislature shall ex-
pressly provide for.

XXI. The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, reason thereof. in either house of the legislature, is so essential to the

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.
Frequent ses. XXII. The legislature ought frequently to assemble
jects thereof. for the redress of grievances, for correcting, strengthening,

and confirming the laws, and for making new laws, as the
common good may require.

XXIII. No subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duties 8 Allen, 247. ought to be established, fixed, laid, or levied, under any

pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people or
their representatives in the legislature.


pend the laws or

Freedom of de. bate, etc., and


sions, and ob.

Taxation found. ed on consent.

424, 428, 434.

XXIV. Laws made to punish for actions done before Ec post facts 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.

XXV. No subject ought, in any case, or in any time, Legislature not to be declared guilty of treason or felony by the legisla- treason, etc. ture.

XXVI. No magistrate or court of law shall demand Excessive bailor excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict punishments, cruel or unusual punishments.


5 Gray, 482. 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 goarte red in any in time of war, such quarters ought not to be made but 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.

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, Cick: 471, 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.

XXX. In the government of this commonwealth, the separation of legislative department shall never exercise the executive executive, judi. and judicial powers, or either of them : the executive shall lative depart. never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either 3 Cush. 577. of them : the judicial shall never exercise the legislative & Allen, 247, 253. and executive powers, or either of them : to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.



100 Mass. 282,
114 Mass. 247,
116 Mass, 317.
129 Mass. 539.


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.

Governor'sveto. 99 Mass. 636.

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, not withstanding 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,

Bill may be passed by two. Thirds of each house, not with. standing.

in case of ad.

ments, Art. I. 3 Mass. 567.



may administer

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.

For exception And in order to prevent unnecessary delays, if any bill journment of or resolve shall not be returned by the governor within court within five days after it shall have been presented, the same shall the time days, 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 pudicoofititute courts of record, or other courts, to be held in the

courts of record, of the commonwealth, for the hearing, trying, and deter- & Gray, 1,

12 Gray, 147, mining of all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, 154. 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.

IV. And further, full power and authority are hereby General court given and granted to the said general court, from time to may enact laws, time to make, ordain, and establish, all manner of whole- Gray, 428. some and reasonable orders, laws, statutes, and ordinances, 12 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 was co., cho and ordering thereof, and of the subjects of the same, and repugnant to for the necessary support and defence of the government 6 Alleu, sus. thereof; and to name and settle annually, or provide by may provide fixed laws for the naming and settling, all civil officers or appointment within the said commonwealth, the election and consti- 11:0Mask602. 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



their duties.

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to councillors,
see amend.
ments, Art.

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