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THE CONSTITUTION OF MARYLAND,
ADOPTED BY THE CONVENTION OF 1850.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
We, the People of the State of Maryland, grate- ( people may, and of right ought to reform the ful to Almighty God for our civil and reli- old or establish a new government. The gious liberty, and taking into our serious con- doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary sideration the best means of establishing a power and oppression is absurd, slavish and good Constitution in this State, for the sure destructive of the good and happiness of manfoundation and more permanent security | kind. thereof, declare :
ART. 5. That the right of the people to parARTICLE 1. That all government of right ticipate in the legislature is the best security originates from the people, is founded in of liberty, and the foundation of all free govcompact only, and instituted solely for the ernment; for this purpose elections ought to good of the whole; and they have at all be free and frequent, and every free white times, according to the mode prescribed in male citizen having the qualifications pretbis Constitution, the unalienable right to scribed by the Constitution, ought to have alter, reform, or abolish their form of govern- the right of suffrage. ment, in such manner as they may deem ex- ART. 6. That the legislative, executive and pedient.
judicial powers of, government ought to be ART. 2. That the people of this State ought forever separate and distinct from each other;' to have the sole and exclusive right of regu- and no person exercising the functions of one lating the internal government and police of said departments, shall assume or discharge thereof,
the duties of any other. ART. 3. That the inhabitants of Maryland ART. 7. That no power of suspending laws, are entitled to the common law of England, or the execution of laws, unless by or derived and the trial by jury according to the course from the legislature, ought to be exercised or of that law, and to the benefit of such of the allowed. English statutes as existed on the fourth day ART. 8. That freedom of speech and debate of July, seventeen hundred and seventy-six, or proceedings in the legislature, onight not to and which, by experience, have been found | be impeached in any court of judicature. applicable to their local and other circum- ART. 9. That Annapolis be the place for stances, and have been introduced, used and the meeting of the legislature; and the legispracticed by the courts of law or equity, and lature ought not to be convened or held at also of all acts of assembly in force on the any other place but from evident necessity. first Monday of November, eighteen hundred Art. 10. That for the redress of grievances, and fifty, except such as may have since ex- and for amending, strengthening and preservpired, or may be altered by this Constitution, ing the laws, the legislature ought to be fresubject, nevertheless, to the revision of, and quently convened. amendment or repeal by the legislature of this ART. 11. That every man hath a right to State; and the inhabitants of Maryland are petition the legislature for the redress of grievalso entitled to all property derived to them ances in a peaceable and orderly manner. from or under the charter granted by his Art. 12. That no aid, charge, tax, burden, Majesty Charles the First, to Cæcilius Calvert, or fees, ought to be rated or levied, under Baron of Baltimore.
'any pretence, without the consent of the legART. 4. That all persons invested with the islature. legislative or execntive powers of government, ÅRT. 13. That the levying of taxes by the are the trustees of the public, and as such ac- poll is grievous and oppressive, and ought to countable for their conduct; wherefore, when- be abolished; that paupers ought not to be ever the ends of government are perverted, assessed for the support of government, but and public liberty manifestly endangered, and every other person in the State, or person all other means of redress are ineffectual, the holding property therein, ought to contribute
his proportion of public taxes, for the support or affirmation, to search suspected places, or of government, according to his actual worth to seize any person or property, are grievous in real or personal property ; yet fines, duties, and oppressive; and all general warrants to or taxes may properly and justly be imposed search suspected places, or to apprehend susor laid, on persons or property, with a politi- pected persons, without naming or describing cal view, for the good government and benefit the place, or the person in special, are illegal, of the community.
and ought not to be granted. ART. 14. That sanguinary laws ought to ART. 24. That no conviction shall work be avoided as far as is consistent with the corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate. safety of the State; and no law to inflict cruel ART. 25. That a well regulated militia is and unusual pains and penalties ought to be the proper and natural defence of a free govmade in any case, or at any time hereafter.
ART. 15. That retrospective laws, punish- ART. 26. That standing armies are dangering acts committed before the existence of such ous to liberty, and ought not to be raised or laws, and by them only declared criminal, are kept up without consent of the legislature. oppressive, unjust and incompatible with lib- ART. 27. That in all cases and at all times erty; wherefore, no ex post facto law ought the military ought to be under strict suborto be made.
dination to, and control of, the civil power. ART. 16. That no law to attaint particular ART. 28.' That no soldier ought to be quarpersons of treason or felony, ought to be made tered in any house in time of peace without in any case, or at any time hereafter.
the consent of the owner, and in time of war ART. 17. That every free white man, for any in such manner only as the legislature shall injury done to him in his person or property, direct. ought to have remedy by the course of the ART. 29. That no person, except regular law of the land, and ought to have justice and soldiers, mariners, and marines, in the service right, freely without sale, fully without any of this state, or militia when in actual serdenial, and speedily without delay, according vice, ought in any case to be subject to, or to the law of the land.
punishable by, martial law. ART. 18. That the trial of facts where they ART. 30. That the independency and uparise, is one of the greatest securities of the rightness of judges are essential to the imparlives, liberties, and estate of the people. tial administration of justice, and a great se
ART. 19. That in all criminal prosecutions, curity to the rights and liberties of the peoevery man hath a right to be informed of the ple; wherefore the judges shall not be reaccusation against him; to have a copy of moved, except for misbehavior, on convicthe indictment or charge, in due time (if re- tion in a court of law, or by the Governor, quired) to prepare for his defence; to be upon the address of the general assembly ; allowed counsel; to be confronted with the provided, that two-thirds of all the members witnesses against him; to have process for of each house concur in such address. No his witnesses; to examine the witnesses for judge shall hold any other office, civil or miland against him on oath; and to a speedy itary, or political trust or employment of any trial by an impartial jury, without whose kind whatsoever, under the Constitution or unanimous consent he ought not to be found laws of this State, or of the United States, or guilty.
any of them, or receive fees or perquisites of ART. 20. That no man ought to be com- any kind for the discharge of his official pelled to give evidence against himself in a duties. court of common law, or in any other court, ART. 31. That a long continuance in the but in such cases as have been usually prac- executive departments of power or trust is ticed in this State, or may hereafter be directed dangerous to liberty; a rotation, therefore, in by the legislature.
those departments is one of the best securities ART. 21. That no free man ought to be of permanent freedom. taken or imprisoned, or disseized of his free- ĀRT. 32. That no person ought to hold at hold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed, or the same time more than one office of profit, exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or de- created by the Constitution or laws of this prived of bis life, liberty or property, but by State ; nor ought any person in public trust the judgment of his peers, or by the law of to receive any present from any foreign prince, the land; provided, that nothing in this arti- or State, or from the United States, or any of cle shall be so construed as to prevent the them, without the approbation of this State. legislature from passing all such laws for the ART. 33. That as it is the duty of every government, regulation and disposition of the man to worship God in such manner as he free colored population of this state as they thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are may deem necessary.
equally entitled to protection in their religious ÅRT. 22. That excessive bail ought not to liberty, wherefore, no person ought, by any be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor law, to be molested in his person or estate, on cruel or unusual punishment inflicted by the account of his religious persuasion or profescourts of law.
sion, or for his religious practice, unless under Art. 23. That all warrants, without oath, color of religion any man shall disturb the good order, peace, or safety of the State, or land, not exceeding five acres, for a church, shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure meeting house or other house of worship, or others in their natural, civil, or religious parsonage, or for a burying ground, which rights; nor ought any person to be compelled shall be improved, enjoyed or used only for to frequent or maintain or contribute, unless such purpose ; or such sale, gift, lease or deon contract, to maintain any place of worship vise shall be void. or any ministry ; nor shall any person be ART. 36. That the manner of administering deemed incompetent as a witness or juror who an oath or affirmation to any person, ought believes in the existence of a God, and that to be such as those of the religious persuasion, under his dispensation such person will be profession or denomination of which he is a held morally accountable for his acts, and be member, generally esteem the most effectual rewarded or punished therefor, either in this confirmation by the attestation of the Divine world or the world to come.
Being ART. 34. That no other test or qualification ART. 37. That the city of Annapolis ought ought to be required, on admission to any to have all its rights, privileges and benefits, office of trust or profit, than such oath of office agreeably to its charter, and the acts of assemas may be prescribed by this Constitution, or bly confirming and regulating the same; subby the laws of the State, and a declaration of ject to such alterations as have been or as may belief in the Christian religion; and if the be made by the legislature. party shall profess to be a Jew, the declara- ART. 38. That the liberty of the press tion shall be of his belief in a future state of ought to be inviolably preserved. rewards and punishments.
ART. 39. That monopolies are odious, con. ART. 35. That every gift, sale or devise of trary to the spirit of a free government and land, to any minister, public teacher or the principles of commerce, and ought not to preacher of the gospel, as such, or to any re- be suffered. ligious sect, order or denomination, or to or ART. 40. That no title of nobility or heredifor the support, use or benefit of, or in trust tary honors ought to be granted in this State. for any minister, public teacher, or preacher ART. 41. That the legislature ought to enof the gospel, as such, or any religious sect, courage the diffusion of knowledge and virtue, order or denomination, and every gift or sale the promotion of literature, the arts, sciences, of goods or chattels to go in succession, or to agriculture, commerce and manufactures, and take place after the death of the seller or the general melioration of the condition of donor, to or for such support, use or benefit; the people. and, also, every devise of goods or chattels, ART. 42. This enumeration of rights shall to or for the support, use or benefit of any not be construed to impair or deny others reminister, public teacher or preacher of the gos- tained by the people. pel, as such ; or any religious sect, order or ART. 43. That this Constitution shall not denomination, without the leave of the legis- be altered, changed or abolished, except in lature, shall be void; except always, any the manner therein prescribed and directed. sale, gift, lease or devise of any quantity of
of congressmen, senator, delegate, or other officer or officers, then to entitle a person to
vote for such officer, he must have been a resiSECTION 1. Every free white male person, dent of that part of the county or city which of twenty-one years of age or upwards, who shall form a part of the electoral district in shall have been one year next preceding the which he offers to vote, for six months next election a resident of the State, and for six preceding the election; but a person who shall months a resident of the city of Baltimore, or have acquired a residence in such county or of any county in which he may offer to vote, city entitling him to vote at any such election, and being at the time of the election a citizen shall be entitled to vote in the election district of the United States, shall be entitled to vote from which he removed, until he shall have in the ward or election district in which he acquired a residence in the part of the county resides, in all elections hereafter to be held ; , or city to which he has removed. and at all such elections the vote shall be Sec. 2. That if any person shall give, or taken by ballot. And in case any county offer to give, directly or indirectly, any bribe, or city shall be so divided as to form portions present or reward, or any promise, or any of different electoral districts for the election security for the payment or delivery of money
or any other thing, to induce any voter to re-appointment shall be made as in case of refrain from casting his vote, or forcibly to pre-fusal or resignation, and any person swearing vent him in any way from voting, or to ob- or affirming falsely in the premises, shall, on tain or procure a vote for any candidate or conviction thereof in a court of law, incur the person proposed or voted for, as elector of penalties for wilful and corrupt perjury, and President and Vice-President of the United be thereafter incapable of voting at any elecStates, or representative in Congress, or for tion, and also incapable of holding any office any office of profit or trust created by the of profit or trust in this State. Constitution or laws of this State, or by the Sec. 5. That no person above the age of ordinances or authority of the mayor and twenty-one years, convicted of larceny or city council of Baltimore, the person giving other infamous crime, unless he shall be paror offering to give, and the person receiving doned by the executive, shall ever thereafter the same, and any person who gives or causes be entitled to vote at any election in this to be given an illegal vote, knowing it to be State, and no person under guardianship as a so, at any election to be hereafter held in this lunatic, or as a person non compos mentis, State, shall, on conviction in a court of law, shall be entitled to vote. in addition to the penalties now or hereafter
ARTICLE II. to be imposed by law, be forever disqualified to hold any office of profit or trust, or to vole at any election thereafter.
SECTION 1. The executive power of the SEC. 3. It shall be the duty of the general State shall be vested in a Governor, whose assembly of Maryland to pass laws to punish term of office shall commence on the second with fine and imprisonment any person who Wednesday of January next ensuing his elecshall remove into any election district or ward tion, and continue for four years, and until of the city of Baltimore, not for the purpose his successor shall have qualified. of acquiring a bona fide residence therein, but Sec. 2. The first election for Governor unfor the purpose of voting therein at an ap- der this Constitution shall be held on the first proaching election, or who shall vote in any Wednesday of November, in the year eighteen election district or ward in which he does not hundred and fifty-three, and on the same day reside, (except in the case provided for in the and month in every fourth year thereafter, at first article of the Constitution,) or shall, at the places of voting for delegates to the general the same election, vote in more than one elec- agsembly, and every person qualified to vote tion district or ward, or shall vote or offer 10 for delegates shall be qualified and entitled to vote, in any name not his own, or in place of vote for Governor; the election to be held in any other person of the same name, or shall the same manner as the election of delegates, vote in any county in which he does not and the returns thereof, under seal, to be adreside.
dressed to the speaker of the house of deleSec. 4. Every person elected or appointed gates, and enclosed and transmitted to the to any office of profit or trust under the Con- Secretary of State, and delivered to the said stitution or laws made pursuant thereto, be- speaker at the commencement of the session of fore he shall enter upon the duties of such the legislature next ensuing said election. office shall take and subscribe the following Sec. 3. The speaker of the house of deleoath or affirmation : I, A. B., do swear (or gates shall then open the said returns in the affirm, as the case may be,) that I will sup- presence of both bouses, and the person havport the Constitution of the United States, ing the highest number of votes, and being and that I will be faithful and bear true alle constitutionally eligible, shall be the Governgiance to the State of Maryland, and support or, and shall quality in the manner herein the Constitution and laws thereof; that I will prescribed, on the second Wednesday of Januto the best of my skill and judgment diligently ary next ensuing his election, or as soon thereand faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, after as may be practicable. execute the office of according to the Sec. 4. If two or more persons shall have Constitution and laws of this state, and that the highest and an equal number of votes, one since the adoption of the present Constitution, of them shall be chosen Governor by the senI have not, in any manner, violated the pro- ate and house of delegates ; and all questions visions thereof in relation to bribery of voters in relation to the eligibility of Governor, and or preventing legal or procuring illegal votes to the returns of said election, and to the to be given; (and if a governor, senator, number and legality of votes therein given, member of the house of delegates, or judge,) shall be determined by the house of delegates. " that I will not directly or indirectly receive And if the person, or persons, having the the profits or any part of the profits of any highest number of votes be ineligible, the other office during the time of my acting as Governor shall be chosen by the senate and
And if any person elected or ap- house of delegates. Every election of Govpointed to office as aforesaid, shall refuse or ernor, by the legislature, shall be determined neglect to take the said oath or affirmation, by a joint majority of the senate and house of 'he shall be considered as having refused to delegates, and the vote shall be taken viva accept the said office, and a new election or But if two or more person's shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, the command in person without the consent then a second vote shall be taken, which shall of the legislature. be confined to the persons having an equal
Sec. 10. He shall take care that the laws number; and if the votes should again be be faithfully executed. equal, then the election of Governor shall be Sec. 11. He shall nominate, and by and determined by lot between those who shall with the advice and consent of the senate, aphave the highest and an equal number on the point all civil and military officers of the State, first vote.
whose appointment or election is not otherSec. 5. The State shall be divided into wise herein provided for, unless a different three districts; St. Mary's, Charles, Calvert, mode of appointment be prescribed by the law Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, creating the office. and Howard counties, and the city of Balti- Sec. 12. In case of any vacancy during the more, to be the first; the eight counties of recess of the senate, in any office which the the Eastern Shore to be the second ; and Bal- Governor bas power to fill, he shall appoint timore, Harford, Frederick, Washington, Al- some suitable person to said office, whose legany' and Carroll counties, to be the third. commission shall continue in force till the The Governor, elected from the third district end of the next session of the legislature, or in October last, shall continue in office during till some other person is appointed to the the term for which he was e ected. The Gov- same office, which ever shall first occur, and ernor shall be taken from the first district, at the nomination of the person thus appointed the first election of Governor under this Con- during the recess, or of some other person in stitution; from the second district at the sec- his place, shall be made to the senate within ond election, and from the third district at thirty days after the next meeting of the legthe third election, and in like manner, after- islature, wards, from each district; in regular. suc- Sec. 13. No person, after being rejected by cession.
the senate, shall be again nominated for the Sec. 6. A person to be eligible to the office same office at the same session, unless at the of Governor, must have attained the age of request of the senate; or be appointed to the thirty years, and been for five years a citizen same office during the recess of the legislature. of the United States, and for five years next Sec. 14. All civil officers appointed by the preceding his election a resident of the State, Governor and senate, shall be nominated to and for three years a resident of the district the senate within fifty days from the comfrom which he was elected.
mencement of each regular session of the legSec. 7. In case of the death or resignation islature; and their term of office shall comof the Governor, or of his removal from the mence on the first Monday of May next ensuState, the general assembly, if in session, oring their appointment, and continue for two if not, at their next session, shall elect some ye.rs (unless sooner removed from office) and other qualified resident of the same district, until their successors, respectively, qualify to be the Governor for the residue of tbe term accor.iing to law. for which the said Governor had been elected. Sec. 15. The Governor may suspend or
Sec. 8. In case of any vacancy in the office arrest any military officer of the State, for of Governor during the recess of the legisla- disubedience of orders, or other military ture, the president of the senate shall dis- offence, and may remove him in pursuance of charge the duties of said office till a Governor the sintence of a court-martial; ard may reis elected as herein provided for; and in case move for incompetency or misconduct, all of the death or resignation of said President, civil officers who receive appointments from or of his removal from the State, or of his the executive for a term not exceeding two refusal to serve, then the duties of said office years. shall, in 1 ke manner, and for the same inter- Sec. 16. The Governor may convene the val, devolve upon the speaker of the house of legislature, or the senate alone, on extraordidelegates, and the legislature may provide by nary occasions; and whenever, froin the law for the case of impeachment or inability presence of an enemy or from any other cause, of the Governor, and declare what person the seat of government shall become an unsafe shall perform the executive duties during such place for the meeting of the legislature, he impeachment or inability; and for any va- may direct their sessions to be held at some cancy in said office, not herein provided for, other convenient place. provision may be made by law, and if such Suc. 17. It shall be the duty of the Govvacancy should occur without such provision ernor semi-annually, and oftener if he deem being made, the legislature shall be convened it expedient, to examine the bank-book, acby the Secretary of State for the purpose of count books, and official proceedings of the filling said vacancy.
treasurer and comptroller of the State. SEC. 9. The Governor shall be commander- Sec. 18. He shall, from time to time, in-chief of the land and naval forces of the inform the legislature of the condition of the State, and may call out the militia to repel State, and recommend to their consideration invasions, suppress insurrections, and enforce such measures as he may julge necessary and the execution of the laws; but shall not take expedient.