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rights do pertain to them and their posterity as the basis and foundation of government.
1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or direst their posterity - namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
2. That this State shall ever remain a member of the United States of America, and that the people thereof are a part of the American nation, and that all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve said union or to sever said nation are unauthorized, and ought to be resisted with the whole power of the State.
3. That the Constitution of the United States and the laws of Congress passed in pursuance thereof, constitute the supreme law of the land, to which paramount allegiance and obedience are due from every citizen, anything in the Constitution, ordinances or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
4. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.
5. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration, and that when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.
6. That no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which, not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge to be hereditary.
7. That the legislative, executive and judicial powers should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain and regular elections, in which all or any part of the former members to be again eligible or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.
8. That all elections ought to be free, and that all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not in like manner assented for the public good.
9. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exer. cised.
10. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions, a man hath & right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against him. self; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.
11. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.
12. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.
13. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.
14. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic govern. ments, and any citizen may speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
15. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty, and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
16. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from or independent of the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.
17. That no free government or the blessings of liberty can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance and virtue, and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles
18. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other.
19. That neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as lawful imprisonment may corstitute such, shall exist within this State.
20. That all citizens of the State are hereby declared to pog. sess equal civil and political rights.
21. The rights enumerated in this bill of rights shall not be construed to limit other rights of the people not therein expressed.
The declaration of the political rights and privileges of the inhabitants of this State is hereby declared to be a part of the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and shall not be violated on any pretense whatever.
Division of Powers. The legislative, executive and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others; nor shall any person exercise the power of more than one of them at the same time, except as hereinafter provided.
ARTICLE III. Elective Franchise and Qualifications for Office. Section 1. Every male citizen of the United States, twentyone years old, who shall have been a resident of the State twelve months and of the county, city or town in which he shall offer to vote, three months next preceding any election, shall be entitled to vote for members of the General Assembly and all officers elected by the people: Provided, that no officer, soldier, seaman or marine of the United States army or navy shall be considered a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein: And provided, also, that the following persons shall be excluded from voting:
First — Idiots and lunatics.
Second -- Persons convicted of bribery in any election, embezzlement of public funds, treason, felony or petit larceny.
Third — No person who, while a citizen of this State, has since the adoption of this Constitution, fought a duel with a deadly weapon, sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with a deadly weapon, either within or beyond the boundaries of this State, or knowingly conveyed a challenge, or aided or assisted in any manner in fighting a duel, shall be allowed to vote or hold any office of honor, profit or trust under this Constitution.
Sec. 2. All elections shall be by ballot, and all persons entitled to vote shall be eligible to any office within the gift of the people, except as restricted in this Constitution.
Sec. 3. All persons entitled to vote and hold office, and none others, shall be eligible to sit as jurors.
Sec. 4. No voter, during the time of holding any election at which he is entitled to vote, shall be compelled to perform mili. tary service, except in time of war or public danger, to work upon public roads or to attend any court as suitor, juror or witness; and no voter shall be subject to arrest under any civil process during his attendance at elections, or in going to or returning from them.
Oath of Office. Sec. 5. All persons, before entering upon the discharge of any function as officers of this State, must take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation:
do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United
States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Virginia; that I recognize and accept the civil and political equality of all men before the law, and that I will faithfully perform the duty of to the best of my ability. So help me God.”
Erecutive Department - Governor. Section 1. The chief executive power of this Commonwealth shall be vested in a Governor. He shall hold office for a term of four years, to commence on the first day of January next succeeding his election, and be ineligible to the same office for the term next succeeding that for which he was elected, and to any other office during his term of service.
Sec. 2. The Governor shall be elected by the voters at the times and places of choosing members of the General Assembly. Returns of elections shall be transmitted, under seal, by the proper officers to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, who shall · deliver them to the Speaker of the House of Delegates on the first day of the next session of the General Assembly. The Speaker of the House of Delegates shall, within one week thereafter, in the presence of a majority of the Senate and House of Delegates, open the said returns, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the highest number of votes shall be declared elected; but if two or more shall have the highest and an equal number of votes, one of them shall be chosen Governor by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. Contested elections for Governor shall be decided by a like vote, and the mode of proceeding in such cases shall be prescribed by law.
Sec. 3. No person except a citizen of the United States shall be eligible to the office of Governor; and if such person be of foreign birth, he must have been a citizen of the United States for ten years next preceding his election; nor shall any person be eligible to that office unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years, and have been a resident of this State for three years next preceding his election.
Sec. 4. The Governor shall reside at the seat of government; shall receive five thousand dollars for each year of his service, and while in office shall receive no other emolument from this or any other government.
Sec. 5. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed; communicate to the General Assembly at every session