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STATE OF NEW YORK,
IN FORCE JANUARY 1, 1895, EXCEPT ART. VI, IN FORCE JANUARY 1, 1896; BEING THE CONSTITUTION OF 1846, WITH AMENDMENTS,
AND AS REVISED AND AMENDED BY THE CON
STITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1894.
WE, THE PEOPLE of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, DO ESTABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION.
Preamble. The origin of the State government was the 20th April, 1777. Jackson v. White, 20 Johns. 313.
The rule against statutory interference with vested rights does not apply to a Constitution. In re Bank, 21 N. Y. 9.
The Constitution should be so construed as best to promote the objects for which it was made, avoiding the two extremes of a liberal or a strict construction. North River Steamboat Co. v. Livingston, 3 Cow. 713.
The courts, in construing the Constitution, have nothing to do with the argument ab inconvenienti. People v. Morrell, 21 Wend. 563; Newell v. Peopie, 7 ̊N. Y. 9, 109.
Statutes are presumed constitutional. Roosevelt v. Godard, 52 Barb. 533.
An act must be constitutional in substance as well as form. People v. Allen, 42 N. Y. 404.
The constitutionality of statutes ought not to be passed upon unless necessary, Frees v. Ford, 6 N. Y. 176; People, ex rel. Wetmore, v. Supervisors of New York, 2 Keyes, 288.
Nor should a statute be pronounced unconstitutional except in a case where there is no rational doubt. Ex parte McCollum, 1 Cow. 450; Clarke v. City of Rochester, 24 Barb. 446.
A conflict between the Constitution and a statute should not be implied. Cochran v. Van Surlay, 20 Wend. 365; Newell v. People, 7 N. Y. 9, 109; People V. Fisher, 24 Wend. 215.
There must be a clear conflict. Roosevelt v. Godard, 52 Barb. 533; People v. Bennett, 54 id. 480.
A statute is not unconstitutional unless in direct and necessary conflict with the Constitution. Grant v. Courter, 24 Barb. 232; Morris v People, 3 Den. 381. Nor unless it cannot be supported by any reasonable intendment or allowable presumption. People v. Supervisors of Orange, 17 N. Y. 235.
Nor because it merely conflicts with the spirit of the Constitution. People v. N. Y. Cen. R. R. Co., 24 N. Y. 485.
A law unconstitutional in part may be enforced as to its constitutional proMatter of De Vancene, 31 How. Pr. 289, 343.
Material and actual injury must be shown to warrant the court in pronouncing a statute unconstitutional. People v. Canal Board, 55 N. Y. 390.
A statute cannot be held unconstitutional when it may be constitutionally exeented. People v. Rochester, 50 N. Y. 525.
Art. 1, § 1-2.
A statute evading the terms and frustrating the general and clearly expressed or necessarily implied purposes of the Constitution is as clearly void as if expressly forbidden. People v. Albertson, 55 N. Y. 50.
A constitutional prohibition should not be extended by construction from motives of convenience or policy. Settle v. Van Evrea, 49 N. Y. 280.
The long continued and undisputed practical construction of a constitutional provision by the Legislature has almost the force of judicial exposition in its interpretation. People, ex rel. Williams, v. Dayton, 55 N. Y. 367.
SECTION 1. No member of this State shall be disfranchised, or defranchised. prived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
Law of the Land.-These words do not mean a statute passed by the Legislature for the purpose of working the wrong. The meaning is, that no member of the State shall be disfranchised, or deprived of any right or privilege, unless the matter shall be adjudged against him upon trial had according to the course of the common law. It must be ascertained judicially that he has forfeited his privileges, or that some one else has a superior title to the property he possesses, before either of them can be taken from him. It cannot be done by mere legislation. Taylor v. Porter, 4 Hill, 140; White v. White, 5 Barb. 474; People v. Toynbee, 20 Barb. 198.
Separate schools for colored children are permissible. People v. Gallagher, 93 N. Y. 438; s. c., 45 Amer. Rep. 232.
§ 2. The trial by jury in all cases in which it has been heretofore used shall remain inviolate forever; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all civil cases in the manner to be prescribed by law.
TRIAL BY JURY.-The jury intended is a common-law jury of twelve men. Wynehamer v. People, 13 N. Y. 378. But not in eminent domain proceedings. Astor v. Mayor, 62 id. 580.
But a statute increasing the civil jurisdiction of justices' courts is not unconstitutional merely because it transfers a class of cases from courts of record, where juries are composed of twelve men, to justices' courts, where they consist of six. Dawson v. Horan, 51 Barb. 459; People, ex rel. Metropolitan Board of Health, 6 Abb. Pr. (N. S.) 105.
The right to a jury trial extends only to cases in which it has been exercised before the adoption of the original Constitution. Duffy v. People, 6 Hill, 75. The word heretofore," in this clause of the Constitution of 1846, means before 1846, and not simply before 1777. People v. Wynehamer, 13 N. Y. 378. A statute providing that the act of a person seen drinking liquor on the defendant's premises shall be presumptive evidence of the illegal sale, is unconstitutional. People v. Lyon, 27 Hun, 180.
Habitual criminals act valid. People v. McCarthy. 45 How. Pr. 97.
When a jury may be demanded. On a criminal accusation for assault and battery; People v. Carroll, 3 Park. 22; for misdemeanors; People v. Johnson, 2 id. 322, under the prohibitory liquor law; Wynehamer v. People, 13 N. Y. 378; under law against bawdy-houses; Warren v. People, 3 Park. 544; in suits for penalties; Wood v. City of Brooklyn, 14 Barb. 425; for public intoxication; Hill v. People, 20 N. Y. 363; on a claim for breach of contract by a municipal corporation; Baldwin v. New York, 2 Keyes, 387; on question of damages in action for specific performance; Stevenson v. Burton, 37 Barb. 13; in an action in nature of a quo warranto; People v. Albany and Susquehanna R. Co., 57 N. Y. 161; in an action to abate a nuisance, Hudson v. Caryl, 44 id. 553. See, also, Sands v. Kimbark, 27 id. 147; Metropolitan Board of Health v. Heister, 37 id. 661.
When a jury cannot be demanded.-On proceedings by a corporation to expel a member; People, ex rel. Thacher, v. N. Y. Com'l Assn., 18 Abb. 271; on inquiry by board of excise whether an applicant is a fit person to license; People, ex rel. Presmeyer,v. Com'rs of Police, etc., of Brooklyn, 59 N. Y. 92; on question of fact arising on motions; Porter v. Parmly, 39 N. Y. Supr. 219: on proceedings against disorderly persons; Duffy v. People, 6 Hill, 75: Plato v. People, 3 Park. 386; on proceedings on recognizances; Gildersleeve v. People, 10 Barb. 35; in equity cases; Rathbun v. Rathbun, 3 How. Pr. 139; Coleman v. Dixon, 50 N. Y. 592; on pro
Art 1, §§ 3-5.
ceedings to enforce personal liability of shareholder in corporation; Matter of
A jury trial is not guaranteed by the constitutional provision for "due process
Corporation is entitled to a jury whenever an individual is. People, ex rel. Bald ro, v. Hawes, 37 Barb. 440.
A trial by twelve jurors cannot legally be waived by the prisoner in a criminal
In civil cases a jury may be waived. Embury v. Connor, 3 N. Y. 511. It is waived by taking part in an assessment of damages for land taken for public improvement. People v. Murray, 5 Hill, 468; by receiving the damages awarded; Heywood v. Mayor of N. Y., 8 Barb. 486; 7 N. Y. 486; by consenting to a reference; Zee v. Tillotson, 24 Wend. 337. See People v. Quigg, 59 N. Y. 83.
The Legislature may constitutionally change the law as to the mode of procuring and impaneling a jury; Stokes v. People, 53 N. Y. 164; for example, as to the territory from which they may be summoned; Gardiner v. People, 6 Park. 155; as to challenges to the people; Walter v. People, 32 N. Y. 147. Courts-martial are recognized by the Constitution; People, ex rel. v. Daniell, . 274; and their fines may be enforced by legislative provision; People v.
50 N. Daniell, id.
3_ The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and Religious Worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State to all mankind; and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not Construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify pracinconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.
be so tices
This provision does not shield a witness from cross-examination as to his rebelief. Stanbro v. Hopkins, 28 Barb. 265.
against theatrical representations on Sunday is valid. Lindenmuller v. People, 33 Barb. 548; Neuendorff v. Duryea, 69 N. Y. 557; s. c., 25 Am. Rep. 235.
§ 4. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be sus- Writ of pended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public corpus. safety may require its suspension.
§ 5. Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines im- Bail, fines posed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted, nor shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.
act of 1888, chap. 489, prescribing the use of electricity as the means of executing the death penalty, is constitutional. People, ex rel. Kremmler, v. Durston, 27 St. Rep. 966.
Although there is a general maximum, Legislature may change or increase the
as to particular localities. Matter of Bayard, 25 Hun, 546. provision as to excessive bail applies only to criminal proceedings. People 1. Tweed, 13 Abb. (N. S.) 148.
Disqualification for office is not an unconstitutional punishment for crime.