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have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness. All power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority, and instituted for their benefit: they have, therefore, an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government, and to alter, reform, or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it. All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no one shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, nor for his religious professions or sentiments, provided he does not disturb the public peace, nor obstruct others in their religious worship;—and all persons demeaning themselves peaceably, as good members of the state, shall be equally under the protection of the laws, and no subordination nor preference, of any one sect or denomination to another, shall ever be established by law, nor shall any religious test be required as a qualification for any office or trust under this state; and all religious societies in this state, whether incorporate, or unincorporate, shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and contracting with them for their support and maintenance. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of this liberty. No laws shall be passed regulating or restraining the freedom of the press; and, in prosecutions for any publication respecting the official conduct of men in public capacity, or the qualifications of those who are candidates for the suffrages of the people, or where the matter pulished is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence; and in all indictments for libels, the jury, after having received the direction of the court, shall have a right to determine, at their discretion, the law and the fact. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and possessions from unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or seize any person or thing shall issue without a special designation of the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have a right to be heard by himself and his counsel, or either, at his election: to deinand the nature and cause of the accusation, and have a copy thereof: to be confronted by the witnesses against him: to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor: to have a speedy, public, and impartial trial; and, except in trials by martial law or impeachment, by a jury of the vicinity. He shall not be compelled to furnish or give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of his life, liberty, property, or privileges, but by judgment of his peers, or the law of the land. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or in such cases of offences as are usually cognizable by a justice of the peace, or in cases arising in the army or navy, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger. The legislature shall provide by law a suitable and impartial mode of selecting juries; and their usual number and unanimity, in indictments and convictions, shall be held indispensable. No person for the same offence shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb. Sanguinary laws shall not be passed; all penalties and punishments shall be proportioned to the offence; excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted. All persons, before conviction, shall be bailable except for capital offences, where the proof is evident, or the presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it. The legislature shall pass no bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts, and no attainder shall work corruption of blood nor forfeiture of estate. Treason against this state shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court. The laws shall not be suspended, but by the legislature or its authority. No person shall be subject to corporal punishment under military law, except such as are employed in the army or navy, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war, or public danger. The people have a right, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the common good, to give instructions to their representatives, and to request of either department of the government, by petition or remonstrance, redress of their wrongs and grievances. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms for the common defence; and this right shall never be questioned. No standing army shall be kept up in time of peace, without the consent of the legislature; and the military shall, in all cases, and in all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner or occupant, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. Every person for an injury done him in his person, reputation, property, or immunities, shall have remedy by due course of law; and right and justice shall be administered freely and
without sale, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay. In all civil suits, and in all controversies concerning property, the parties shall have a right to a trial by jury, except in cases where it has heretofore been otherwise practised: the party claiming the right may be heard by himself and his counsel, or either, at his election. Private property shall not be taken for public uses without just compensation; nor unless the public exigencies require it. No tax or duty shall be imposed without the consent of the people or their representatives in the legislature. No title of nobility or hereditary distinction, privilege, honor, or emolument, shall ever be granted or confirmed; nor shall any office be created, the appointment to which shall be for a longer time than during good behavior. The enumeration of certain rights shall not impair nor deny others retained by the people.”
$ 79. By the constitution of this state, all the legislative power is vested in two distinct branches, a House of Representatives, and a Senate, each to have a negative on the other, and both to be styled the Legislature of Maine ; and the style of their acts and laws shall be, “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in Legislature assembled.” The House of Representatives consists of not less than one hundred nor more than two hundred members, elected by qualified electors. The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment. The Senate consists of not less than twenty, nor more than thirty-one members, elected by qualified electors. The Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments ; and when sitting for that purpose, are to be on oath or affirmation. Each body has the right to elect its own officers. Each house is the judge of the election or qualifications of its own members. A majority to constitute a quorum, and a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the absent members to attend, in such
manner and under such penalties as each house provides. Each house may expel or punish a member for disorderly conduct.
The legislature is required to convene on the first Wednesday of January, annually; and has full power to make and establish all reasonable laws and regulations for the defence and benefit of the people of the state, not repugnant to the state constitution or the constitution of the United States. Every bill or resolution having the force of law, to which the concurrence of both houses is necessary, except on questions of adjournment, which shall have passed both houses, must be presented to the governor, and if he approve it, he must sign it; if not, he must return it with his objections to the house in which it shall have originated, which must enter his objections at large on the journals, and proceed to re-consider it. If it shall then be passed by two-thirds of both houses, it becomes a law, and has the same effect as if it had been signed by the governor. But in such cases, the vote must be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill or resolution must be entered on the journal of both houses respectively. If not returned by the governor in five days after it has been presented to him, Sundays excepted, it has the same effect as if signed by him-unless the legislature by an adjournment prevent a return, in which event it has the same force and effect, unless returned within three days after their next session.
§ 80. The preamble to the constitution of Massachusetts declares,
“The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquillity, their natural rights and the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained,