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Biennial elections. - Sec. 3.
of county officers.
tution.-Sec. 2. General assem-
ing on amendments. Sec. 3. House of Representatives may order impeachments. — Sec. 4.
Council of censors abolished.. 26. Term of office of judges of the
Supreme Court. 27. Additional oath to representa
tives. Construction of words
in oath. 28. Election of Secretary of State
and auditor of accounts.
ARTICLE I. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the State of
Vermont. That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. Therefore, no male person born in this country, or brought from over the sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after he arrived to the age of twenty-one years, nor female in like manner, after she arrives to the age of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their own consent, after they arrive to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like.
ARTICLE II. That private property ought to be subservient to public uses when necessity requires it; nevertheless, whenever any person's property is taken for the use of the public, the owner ought to receive an equivalent in money.
ARTICLE III. That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understandings, as in their opinion shall be regulated by the word of God; and that no man ought to, or of right can be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister contrary to the dictates of his conscience, nor can any man be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen on account of his religious sentiments or peculiar mode of religious worship; and that no authority can or ought to be vested in, or assumed by, any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship. Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of Christians ought to observe the Sabbath or Lord's day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.
ARTICLE IV. Every person within this State ought to find a certain remedy, by having recourse to the laws, for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive in his person, 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 with. out delay, conformably to the laws.
ARTICLE V. That the people of this State, by their legal representatives, have the sole, inherent and exclusive right of governing and regulating the internal police of the same.
ARTICLE VI. That all power, being originally inherent in and consequently derived from the people, therefore, all officers of government, whether legislative or executive, are their trustees and servants, and at all times, in a legal way, accountable to them.
ARTICLE VII. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community, and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single man, family, or set of men, who are a part only of that community; and that the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right to reform or alter government in such manner as shall be, by that community, judged most conducive to the public weal.
ARTICLE VIII. That all elections ought to be free and without corruption, and that all freemen, having a sufficient, evident, common interest
with, and attachment to the community, have a right to elect officers, and be elected into office, agreeably to the regulations made in this Constitution.
ARTICLE IX. That every member of society hath a right to be protected in the enjoyment of life, liberty and property, and therefore is bound to contribute his proportion towards the expense of that protection, and yield his personal service, when necessary, or an equivalent thereto, but no part of any person's property can be justly taken from him, or applied to public uses without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the freemen, nor can any man who is conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto if he will pay such equivalent; nor are the people bound by any law but such as they have in like man. ner assented to, for their common good; and previous to any law being made to raise a tax, the purpose for which it is to be raised ought to appear evident to the Legislature to be of more service to community than the money would be if not collected.
ARTICLE X. That in all prosecutions for criminal offenses, a person hath a right to be heard by himself and his counsel; to demand the cause and nature of his accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses; to call for evidence in his favor, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the country; without the unanimous consent of which jury, he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; nor can any person be justly deprived of his liberty, except by the laws of the land, or the judgment of his peers.
ARTICLE XI. That the people have a right to hold themselves, their houses, papers and possessions, free from search or seizure; and there fore warrants, without oath or affirmation first made, affording sufficient foundation for them, and whereby any officer or messenger may be commanded or required to search suspected places, or to seize any person or persons, his, her or their property, not particularly described, are contrary to that right, and ought not to be granted.
ARTICLE XII. That when any issue in fact, proper for the cognizance of a jury is joined in a court of law, the parties have a right to trial by jury, which ought to be held sacred.
ARTICLE XIII. That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their sentiments concerning the transactions of government, and therefore the freedom of the press ought not to be restrained.
ARTICLE XIV. The freedom of deliberation, speech and debate in 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.
ARTICLE XV. The power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, ought never to be exercised but by the Legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases, as this Constitution or the Legislature shall provide for.
ARTICLE XVI. That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State - and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.
That no person in this State can in any case be subjected to law martial, or to any penalties or pains by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army, and the militia in actual service.
ARTICLE XVIII. That frequent recurrence to fundamental principles, and a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry and frugality are absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of lib. erty, and keep government free; the people ought, therefore, to pay particular attention to these points, in the choice of officers and representatives, and have a right, in a legal way, to exact a due and constant regard to them, from their legislators and magistrates, in making and executing such laws as are necessary for the good government of the State.
ARTICLE XIX. That all people have a natural and inherent right to emigrate from one State to another that will receive them.
That the people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good -- to instruct their representatives - and to apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances, by address, petition or remonstrance.
That no person shall be liable to be transported out of this State for trial for any offense committed within the same.
Plan or Frame of Government. Section 1. The Commonwealth or State of Vermont shall be governed hereafter by a Governor (or Lieutenant-Governor), Council, and an Assembly of the Representatives of the freemen of the same, in manner and form following:
Sec. 2. The supreme legislative power shall be vested in a House of Representatives of the freemen of the Commonwealth or State of Vermont.
Sec. 3. The supreme executive power shall be vested in a Governor, or, in his absence, a Lieutenant-Governor, and Council.
Sec. 4. Courts of justice shall be maintained in every county in this State, and also in new counties when formed; which courts shall be open for the trial of all causes proper for their cognizance; and justice shall be therein impartially administered without corruption or unnecessary delay. The judges of the Supreme Court shall be justices of the peace throughout the State; and the several judges of the County Courts, in their respective counties, by virtue of their office, except in the trial of such causes as may be appealed to the County Court.
Sec. 5. A future Legislature may, when they shall conceive the same to be expedient and necessary, erect a Court of Chan