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people called Quakers, and shall decline taking the said oath[s], he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, and subscribe the same, omitting the words, [" I do swear," and abjure," oath or," and abjuration," in the first oath, and in the second oath, the words] "swear and," and [in each of them] the words "So help me, GOD;" subjoining instead thereof," This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury."



And the said oaths or affirmations shall be taken and Oaths and subscribed by the governor, lieutenant-governor, and coun- how adminis cillors, before the president of the senate, in the presence of the two houses of assembly; and by the senators and representatives first elected under this constitution, before the president and five of the council of the former constitution; and forever afterwards before the governor and council for the time being; and by the residue of the officers aforesaid, before such persons and in such manner as from time to time shall be prescribed by the legislature.

ernor, etc.,

II. No governor, lieutenant-governor, or judge of the Plurality of supreme judicial court, shall hold any other office or place, hibited to govunder the authority of this commonwealth, except such as except, etc. by this constitution they are admitted to hold, saving that See amendthe judges of the said court may hold the offices of justices VIII. of the peace through the state; nor shall they hold any other place or office, or receive any pension or salary from any other state or government or power whatever.

ments, Art.

1 Allen, 553.

No person shall be capable of holding or exercising at Same subject. the same time, within this state, more than one of the following offices, viz.: judge of probate― sheriff register of probate or register of deeds; and never more than any two offices, which are to be held by appointment of the governor, or the governor and council, or the senate, or the house of representatives, or by the election of the people of the state at large, or of the people of any county, military offices, and the offices of justices of the peace excepted, shall be held by one person.

visions as


No person holding the office of judge of the supreme Incompatible judicial court secretary-attorney-general-solicitor- For further progeneral treasurer or receiver-general-judge of probate incompatible -commissary-general-[president, professor, or instruc- offices, see tor of Harvard College]· sheriff- clerk of the house of Art. VIII. representatives-register of probate-register of deeds vard College -clerk of the supreme judicial court — clerk of the infe- amendments, rior court of common pleas—or officer of the customs, including in this description naval officers-shall at the

Officers of Har



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Incompatible offices.

Bribery, etc., disqualify.

Value of money ascertained.

Provisions respecting commissions.

III. In all cases where sums of money are mentioned in this constitution, the value thereof shall be computed Property quali in silver, at six shillings and eight pence per ounce; and

may be increased. See amendments, Arts. XIII. and XXXIV.

it shall be in the power of the legislature, from time to time, to increase such qualifications, as to property, of the persons to be elected to offices, as the circumstances of the commonwealth shall require.

Provisions re-
specting writs.
2 Pick. 592.
3 Met. 58.
13 Gray, 74.

same time have a seat in the senate or house of representatives; but their being chosen or appointed to, and accepting the same, shall operate as a resignation of their seat in the senate or house of representatives; and the place so vacated shall be filled up.

And the same rule shall take place in case any judge of the said supreme judicial court, or judge of probate, shall accept a seat in council; or any councillor shall accept of either of those offices or places.

And no person shall ever be admitted to hold a seat in the legislature, or any office of trust or importance under the government of this commonwealth, who shall, in the due course of law, have been convicted of bribery or corruption in obtaining an election or appointment.

Continuation of former laws, except, etc.

1 Mass. 59.

2 Mass. 534.

IV. All commissions shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed by the governor and attested by the secretary or his deputy, and have the great seal of the commonwealth affixed thereto.

V. All writs, issuing out of the clerk's office in any of the courts of law, shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; they shall be under the seal of the court from whence they issue; they shall bear test of the first justice of the court to which they shall be returnable, who is not a party, and be signed by the clerk of such court.

VI. All the laws which have heretofore been adopted, used, and approved in the Province, Colony, or State of Massachusetts Bay, and usually practised on in the courts

8 Pick. 309, 316.

16 Pick. 107, 115. of law, shall still remain and be in full force, until altered

2 Met. 118.

or repealed by the legislature; such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and liberties contained in this constitution.

VII. The privilege and benefit of the writ of habeas secured, except, corpus shall be enjoyed in this commonwealth, in the most

Benefit of habeas corpus


free, easy, cheap, expeditious, and ample manner; and shall not be suspended by the legislature, except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited. time, not exceeding twelve months.

VIII. The enacting style, in making and passing all The enacting acts, statutes, and laws, shall be-"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same."

former govern

IX. To the end there may be no failure of justice, or Officers of danger arise to the commonwealth from a change of the ment continued form of government, all officers, civil and military, hold- until, etc. ing commissions under the government and people of Massachusetts Bay in New England, and all other officers of the said government and people, at the time this constitution shall take effect, shall have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy, all the powers and authority to them granted or committed, until other persons shall be appointed in their stead; and all courts of law shall proceed in the execution of the business of their respective departments; and all the executive and legislative officers, bodies, and powers shall continue in full force, in the enjoyment and exercise of all their trusts, employments and authority; until the general court, and the supreme and executive officers under this constitution, are designated and invested with their respective trusts, powers, and authority.

revising con

provision as to

see amend

X. [In order the more effectually to adhere to the Provision for principles of the constitution, and to correct those viola- stitution. tions which by any means may be made therein, as well For existing as to form such alterations as from experience shall be amendments, found necessary, the general court which shall be in the ments, Art. IX. year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninetyfive, shall issue precepts to the selectmen of the several towns, and to the assessors of the unincorporated plantations, directing them to convene the qualified voters of their respective towns and plantations, for the purpose of collecting their sentiments on the necessity or expediency of revising the constitution, in order to amendments.


And if it shall appear, by the returns made, that two- Provision for thirds of the qualified voters throughout the state, who revising conshall assemble and vote in consequence of the said precepts, are in favor of such revision or amendment, the general court shall issue precepts, or direct them to be issued from the secretary's office, to the several towns to elect delegates to meet in convention for the purpose aforesaid.

The said delegates to be chosen in the same manner and proportion as their representatives in the second branch of the legislature are by this constitution to be chosen.]

Provision for preserving and

XI. This form of government shall be enrolled on publishing this parchment, and deposited in the secretary's office, and be


Bill, etc., not approved within

ARTICLE I. If any bill or resolve shall be objected to,

five days, not to and not approved by the governor; and if the general

become a law,
if legislature
adjourn in the
mean time.
3 Mass. 567.

See Const., Ch. and thereby prevent his returning it with his objections,

I., § 1, Art. II.

as provided by the constitution, such bill or resolve shall

not become a law, nor have force as such.

General court empowered to

ART. II. The general court shall have full power and charter cities. authority to erect and constitute municipal or city gov

122 Mass. 354.

ernments, in any corporate town or towns in this commonwealth, and to grant to the inhabitants thereof such powers, privileges, and immunities, not repugnant to the constitution, as the general court shall deem necessary or expedient for the regulation and government thereof, and to prescribe the manner of calling and holding public meetings of the inhabitants, in wards or otherwise, for the election of officers under the constitution, and the manner of returning the votes given at such meetings. Provided, that no such government shall be erected or constituted in any town not containing twelve thousand inhabitants, nor unless it be with the consent, and on the application of a majority of the inhabitants of such town, present and voting thereon, pursuant to a vote at a meeting duly warned and holden for that purpose. And provided, also, that all by-laws, made by such municipal or city government, shall be subject, at all times, to be annulled by the general court.

ART. III. Every male citizen of twenty-one years of

112 Mass. 200.

a part of the laws of the land; and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to the book containing the laws of this commonwealth, in all future editions of the said laws.

14 Mass. 367.

5 Met. 162, 298,

591, 594.

court shall adjourn within five days after the same shall have been laid before the governor for his approbation,

Qualifications of voters for gov.

ernor, lieuten age and upwards, excepting paupers and persons under

ant-governor, senators and representatives. See amend

ments, Arts. XXX. and XXXII.

11 Pick. 538, 540,

guardianship, who shall have resided within the commonwealth one year, and within the town or district in which he may claim a right to vote, six calendar months next preceding any election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, or representatives, [and who shall have paid, by himself, or his parent, master, or guardian, any state

14 Pick, 341.

122 Mass. 595, 124 Mass, 596. qualification,

For provision

have served in

navy in time

or county tax, which shall, within two years next preced- 7 Gray, 299. ing such election, have been assessed upon him, in any 597. town or district of this commonwealth; and also every For educational citizen who shall be, by law, exempted from taxation, see amend and who shall be, in all other respects, qualified as above pets, A.XX. mentioned,] shall have a right to vote in such election of as to those who governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representa- the army or tives; and no other person shall be entitled to vote in of war, see such election. See also amendments, Art. XXIII., which was annulled by amendments, Art. XXVI. and XXXI. ART. IV. Notaries public shall be appointed by the Notaries public, governor in the same manner as judicial officers are ap- and removed. pointed, and shall hold their offices during seven years, unless sooner removed by the governor, with the consent of the council, upon the address of both houses of the legislature.

amendments, Arts. XXVII.

how appointed

offices of secre

This clause

[In case the office of secretary or treasurer of the com- Vacancies in the monwealth shall become vacant from any cause, during tary and treas the recess of the general court, the governor, with the rer, how filled. advice and consent of the council, shall nominate and superseded by appoint, under such regulations as may be prescribed Art. XVII. by law, a competent and suitable person to such vacant office, who shall hold the same until a successor shall be appointed by the general court.]


general may be

Whenever the exigencies of the commonwealth shall Commissary. require the appointment of a commissary-general, he shall appointed, in be nominated, appointed, and commissioned, in such manner as the legislature may, by law, prescribe.

case, etc.

how removed.

All officers commissioned to command in the militia Militia officers, may be removed from office in such manner as the legislature may, by law, prescribe.

for captains and

ART. V. In the elections of captains and subalterns who may vote of the militia, all the members of their respective compa- subalterns. nies, as well those under as those above the age of twentyone years, shall have a right to vote.

ART. VI. Instead of the oath of allegiance prescribed by the constitution, the following oath shall be taken and subscribed by every person chosen or appointed to any office, civil or military, under the government of this commonwealth, before he shall enter on the duties of his office, to wit:

"I, A. B., do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the constitution thereof. me, GOD."

So help

Oath to be taken
See Const.,

by all officers.

Ch. VI., Art. I.

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