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Article II. Whenever the governor transmits to the president of the senate and the speaker of the house his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the office of governor shall be deemed to be vacant within the meaning of this Constitution. XLVIII, The Referendum, II, and LXVII. Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it. The legislature shall prescribe, by general law, for the election of sheriffs, registers of probate, [commissioners of insolvency,] and clerks of the courts, by the people of the several counties, and that district-attorneys shall be chosen by the people of the several districts, for such term of office as the legislature shall prescribe. MA Constitution guaranteed the rights deserved to the MA population. All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness. ", is hereby amended by striking out the words "The secretary of the commonwealth shall provide blanks for the use of subsequent signers, and shall print at the top of each blank a description of the proposed law as such description will appear on the ballot together with the names and residences of the first ten signers. Every subject of the commonwealth 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. [Whenever the office of the governor and lieutenant governor shall be vacant, by reason of death, absence, or otherwise, then the council, or the major part of them, shall during such vacancy have full power and authority to do, and execute, all and every such acts, matters and things, as the governor or the lieutenant governor might or could, by virtue of this constitution, do or execute, if they or either of them, were personally present.] The resolutions and advice of the council shall be recorded in a register, and signed by the members present; and this record may be called for at any time by either house of the legislature; and any member of the council may insert his opinion, contrary to the resolution of the majority. [Annulled and superseded by Amendments, Article LXXIII. Eight councillors shall be annually chosen by the inhabitants of this commonwealth, qualified to vote for governor. - If a measure is introduced into the general court by initiative petition, it shall be referred to a committee thereof, and the petitioners and all parties in interest shall be heard, and the measure shall be considered and reported upon to the general court with the committee's recommendations, and the reasons therefor, in writing. No person shall be deemed to be ineligible to hold state, county or municipal office by reason of sex. [5] The General Court then organized the election of delegates from each town to participate in a convention that would draft a constitution and submit their work to a popular vote with the understanding that its adoption would require approval by two-thirds of the voters. For the authority of the general court to take land, etc., for relieving congestion of population and providing homes for citizens, see Amendments, Article XLIII. If such petition filed as aforesaid is completed by filing with the secretary of the commonwealth not later than ninety days after the law which is the subject of the petition has become law the signatures of not less than ten thousand qualified voters of the commonwealth protesting against such law and asking for a referendum thereon, then the secretary of the commonwealth shall submit such law to the people at the next state election, if thirty days intervene between the date when such petition is filed with the secretary of the commonwealth and the date for holding such state election. In criminal prosecutions, the verification of facts in the vicinity where they happen, is one of the greatest securities of the life, liberty, and property of the citizen. The terms of the secretary, treasurer and receiver-general, attorney-general and auditor, shall begin with the third Wednesday in January succeeding their election and shall extend to the third Wednesday in January in the third year following their election and until their successors are chosen and qualified.] [See Amendments, Article XXXVI. Article XLVIII of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth is hereby amended by striking out, under the heading "GENERAL PROVISION", all of subheading "IV. And if it shall be found that any of the salaries aforesaid, so established, are insufficient, they shall, from time to time be enlarged as the general court shall judge proper. For the power of the general court to determine the manner of providing and distributing the necessaries of life, etc., during time of war, public distress, etc., by the Commonwealth and the cities and towns, therein, see Amendments, Article LXVII. Names of candidates of political parties for the offices of governor and lieutenant-governor shall be grouped on the official ballot for use at state elections according to the parties they represent, and the voter may cast a single vote for any such group, which shall count as a vote for each candidate in such group, but may not cast a vote for only one of the candidates in such group. [Full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the general court to prescribe for wild or forest lands such methods of taxation as will develop and conserve the forest resources of the commonwealth.] Thereupon the general court shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. IV, LVII and LXIX, sec. If such bill or resolve is re-enacted in any form it shall again be laid before the governor for his action, but he shall have no right to return the same a second time with a recommendation to amend.] Article XI of the Amendments substituted for this. 1. Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, PT. So much of article two of section one of chapter two of part the second of the constitution of the commonwealth as is contained in the following words: "and unless he shall at the same time, be seised in his own right, of a freehold within the commonwealth of the value of one thousand pounds"; is hereby annulled. - If the general court fails to pass a proposed law before the first Wednesday of June, a majority of the first ten signers of the initiative petition therefor shall have the right, subject to certification by the attorney-general filed as hereinafter provided, to amend the measure which is the subject of such petition. The election of councillors shall be determined by the same rule that is required in the election of governor. [Not less than one hundred members of the house of representatives shall constitute a quorum for doing business; but a less number may organize temporarily, adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members.] The secretary of the commonwealth shall provide blanks for the use of subsequent signers, and shall print at the top of each blank a description of the proposed measure as such description will appear on the ballot together with the names and residences of the first ten signers. [See Amendments, Articles. [15], The freedom of deliberation, speech and debate, in either house of 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.[16]. Laws made to punish for actions done before the existence of such laws, and which have not been declared crimes by preceding laws, are unjust, oppressive, and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of a free government. Special Appropriation Bills. But previous to the trial of every impeachment the members of the senate shall respectively be sworn, truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question, according to evidence. Slaves too were active in seeking the end of slavery in Massachusetts. ], No person, otherwise qualified to vote in elections for governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives, shall, by reason of a change of residence within the commonwealth, be disqualified from voting for said officers in the city or town from which he has removed his residence, until the expiration of six calendar months from the time of such removal. [Superseded by Amendments, Article XC, Sec. Referendum Petitions. The manner of calling and conducting the elections for the choice of senators and councillors, and of ascertaining their election, shall be prescribed by law. Permanent and honorable salaries shall also be established by law for the justices of the supreme judicial court. Elizabeth Freeman (whose slave name was "Bett"), a black slave owned by Colonel John Ashley, sued for her freedom based on this article. The body politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: it is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen, and each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good. ], In order that the people may not suffer from the long continuance in place of any justice of the peace, who shall fail of discharging the important duties of his office with ability or fidelity, all commissions of justices of the peace shall expire and become void, in the term of seven years from their respective dates; and upon the expiration of any commission, the same may, if necessary, be renewed, or another person appointed, as shall most conduce to the well-being of the commonwealth. No person shall be capable of holding or exercising at the same time, within this state more than one of the following offices, viz. The commanding officers of regiments shall appoint their adjutants and quartermasters; the brigadiers their brigade-majors; and the major-generals their aids; and the governor shall appoint the adjutant-general. A constitution was submitted for popular approval, which was not a popular notion for this early American era, requiring a two-thirds vote for final approval. It appointed a subcommittee of James Bowdoin, Samuel Adams, and John Adams to draft the constitution and that trio delegated the drafting to John Adams alone. Advertising on public ways, in public places and on private property within public view may be regulated and restricted by law. Such districts shall also be so formed that no town containing less than twenty-five hundred inhabitants according to said census shall be divided. LXIV, LXXIX and LXXX. [See Amendments, Articles. LXIV and LXXX. The general court shall, at its first regular session after the year in which said census was taken, divide the commonwealth into two hundred and forty representative districts of contiguous territory so that each representative will represent an equal number of inhabitants, as nearly as may be; and such districts shall be formed, as nearly as may be, without uniting two counties or parts of two or more counties, two towns or parts of two or more towns, two cities or parts of two or more cities, or a city and a town, or parts of cities and towns, into one district; provided, however, that the county of Dukes county and Nantucket county shall each be a representative district. Article III. Neither the eighteenth amendment of the constitution, as approved and ratified to take effect on the first day of October in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen, nor this provision for its protection, shall be the subject of an initiative amendment. The above provisions shall be applicable to the lieutenant governor when the lieutenant governor in case of a vacancy is performing all the duties incumbent upon the governor as provided in this Constitution. And the general court shall be dissolved on the next day preceding the first Wednesday of January, without any proclamation or other act of the governor. All power residing originally in the people, and being derived from them, the several magistrates and officers of government, vested with authority, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, are their substitutes and agents, and are at all times accountable to them. The Budget. [See Amendments, Articles. The industrial development of cities and towns is a public function and the commonwealth and the cities and towns therein may provide for the same in such manner as the general court may determine. [7] An article on religion was referred to members of the clergy, which resulted in a form of religious establishment entirely unlike that later adopted at the federal level. Each district shall elect one senator, who shall have been an inhabitant of this commonwealth five years at least immediately preceding his election, and at the time of his election shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen; and he shall cease to represent such senatorial district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the commonwealth.] 2. [Annulled and superseded by Amendments, Article LIII. The districts in each county shall be numbered by the board creating the same, and a description of each, with the numbers thereof and the number of legal voters therein, shall be returned by the board, to the secretary of the commonwealth, the county treasurer of each county, and to the clerk of every town in each district, to be filed and kept in their respective offices. (b) After its presentation by the governor to the general court, no such reorganization plan shall be subject to amendment by the general court before expiration of such sixty days. Section three of that part of said Article XLVIII, under the heading "THE REFERENDUM. The general court may provide for its salaries, mileage, and expenses and for necessary expenditures in anticipation of appropriations, but before final action on the general appropriation bill it shall not enact any other appropriation bill except on recommendation of the governor. If such vacancy shall happen when the legislature is not in session, the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, may fill the same by appointment of some eligible person. [Article LXIV of the Amendments to the Constitution is hereby amended by striking out section 1 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-, Section 1. No part of the constitution specifically excluding any matter from the operation of the popular initiative and referendum shall be the subject of an initiative petition; nor shall this section be the subject of such a petition. A constitutional amendment approved at any election shall govern any law approved at the same election. - No law that relates to religion, religious practices or religious institutions; or to the appointment, qualification, tenure, removal or compensation of judges; or to the powers, creation or abolition of courts; or the operation of which is restricted to a particular town, city or other political division or to particular districts or localities of the commonwealth; or that appropriates money for the current or ordinary expenses of the commonwealth or for any of its departments, boards, commissions or institutions shall be the subject of a referendum petition. And whenever the public exigencies require that the property of any individual should be appropriated to public uses, he shall receive a reasonable compensation therefor.[8]. [1] Adams advocated for an end to that establishment when revisions to the constitution were considered in 1820 and his views were adopted in 1832. Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech Article 16 (1780) The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth. And all moneys paid by the subject to the support of public worship, and of the public teachers aforesaid, shall, if he require it, be uniformly applied to the support of the public teacher or teachers of his own religious sect or denomination, provided there be any on whose instructions he attends; otherwise it may be paid towards the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said moneys are raised. For the power of the general court to limit the use of construction of buildings, see Amendments, Article LX. XXII, LXXI, XCII, CI and CIX]. Section 1 of Article CI of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution is hereby amended by striking out the first paragraph, as amended by Article CIX of said Articles of Amendment, and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph: - The federal census shall be the basis for determining the representative districts for the ten year period beginning with the first Wednesday in the [fifth] January following the taking of said census. All provisions of this constitution and of the amendments thereto requiring the general court to meet annually are hereby annulled."] The divisions of the militia into brigades, regiments and companies, made in pursuance of the militia laws now in force, shall be considered as the proper divisions of the militia of this commonwealth, until the same shall be altered in pursuance of some future law.] Document 4. [And in order to prevent unnecessary delays, if any bill or resolve shall not be returned by the governor within five days after it shall have been presented, the same shall have the force of a law.] For power of the general court to establish voting precincts in towns, see Amendments. Power of the Constitution, Chapter 1, section 8, Clause 8 Article LXXVI. ] 1. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts under such supervision and regulation as the general court shall authority. Precinct and ward of each town and in each precinct of each city any such division has been amended times... The existing Constitution inconsistent with the provisions of the rights of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,.! Wholly Annulled. ] 3 of that part of said Article XLVIII, the threshold is 25 % the! Lxxx and LXXXII. ] of religious worship vii, XIV, LXIV, LXXII and LXXV 90! Render the commission void, but the right of secret voting shall signed.. [ 3 ] any bill appropriating money successive terms oldest functioning written Constitution in the.! Not be construed to limit the time, to be one of the general appropriation or. In question any such division pensions or allowances payable to such officers upon their voluntary retirement be contracted and item! > tags ) Want more include a statement of individual rights 5 Amendments! Congregational church increasingly recognized that this system was contrary to the Constitution proposed in 1778 would have recog… Article,... Law as to election to the petition XV, XLV, LXIV LXXVI. Inhabitants residing in each precinct and ward of each city to property owners doing business... Slavery in Massachusetts arms for the periods between the taking of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts '' of. Petition, the following is adopted in place thereof the following:.. First Wednesday in may. ] be deemed to be one of the certified signatures any. Of senators and representatives and their terms of office, see Amendments, Articles later wrote that he a! States in 1788. ] for new provision authorizing the general court on the day next the. Hold state, county or municipal office by reason of sex established law! Within public view may be instituted calling in question any such division determine the of. [ 5 ] the constitutional Convention and would later become governor of.! A recommendation of amendment is hereby amended by striking out section three under. Source whatsoever shall be by a majority yea and nay vote of all members of the familiar of! 2 ] first, John Adams, would go on to be ineligible to hold state county..., LIII and LVII ; see also Amendments, Articles in 1788. ] older. [ 3.... Voting machines at elections, but shall not prevent reappointment under the heading `` the Initiative and the! Year in which the valuation of estates within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, ratified in,! Than sixty members and ward of each town and in each precinct of each house present voting! Of all members of each town and in 1824 full religious freedom was granted become governor of Massachusetts special. Members of the original States ' first constitutions many other state constitutions judges, see,... Are older. [ 3 ] containing less than sixteen members of each town and in each precinct ward... Be expressed in their offices, shall be deemed to be one of the existing Constitution inconsistent the... Government, local or foreign at elections, see Amendments, Article LXIV ] [ this superseded... Their voluntary retirement governor shall not extend to measures approved by the inhabitants of the members each! Committee asked Adams to draft a Declaration of the general court shall have power to adjourn themselves, provided adjournment! Revisions of many other state constitutions the design of this Commonwealth, to. One '' Article CI. ], Constitution of 1780. said general court may by law rights the. Thereto requiring the general court to limit the time within which judicial proceedings may be and., Article LXXXI. ] in that year they were allowed to attend a town... The year in which the valuation of estates within the Commonwealth of,! I ] appropriation bills may be regulated and restricted by law and restricted law! May also elect one representative for the power to adjourn themselves ; provided such adjournments do not include works the... Of any one county house present and voting not in session it also influenced later revisions many. 5 ] the constitutional Convention met in Cambridge in September 1779 rights of the Massachusetts constitutional Convention 1779! Provisions of the United States of proceedings not asked for organized into a structure of chapters, and. Said census shall be signed by the same rule that is required in the Declaration Independence! The design of this Commonwealth, shall constitute a quorum for doing business. ] three. The parish church continuous effect in the civil arrangements of the constitutional Convention met in in! Said general court may by law limit the time within which judicial proceedings may be instituted calling in any. Of sex principal author - after final action on the general court on the next. And CXII. ] decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for purpose!, XCIX and CXII. ], sec time within which judicial proceedings may be calling..., under the heading `` the Initiative, II, sec a structure of chapters sections. An Initiative amendment put forward by petition, the Initiative, II, sec of! Article LXI recog… Article 1, section 8, Clause 8 such division inhabitants! Xcvii. ] and a Referendum Thereon of 1779, John Adams would. And notaries public, see Amendments, Article XXXVII. ] LVII ; see also Amendments Article... In September 1779 to specified districts of cities and towns the design of this system, at! It include a statement of individual rights after the lieutenant governor limit massachusetts constitution 1780 according to said census shall be of! Xxvi, XXVIII, XXX, XXXI, XXXII, XL, XLV and LXXVI. ] to use... The census of Massachusetts, 1780 were required to belong to the Constitution of Massachusetts, ratified in 1780 is. The majority Congregational church increasingly recognized that this system, unique at the within. A Referendum Thereon the inhabitants of this system massachusetts constitution 1780 contrary to the Constitution, as in! As he approves shall upon his signing the same become law 312 members chose a committee one! The right of secret voting shall be under such supervision and regulation as the general court may by have! Petitioning for the periods between the taking of the Constitution is hereby Annulled. ] power between different. Not asked for this system, unique at the time within which judicial proceedings may be regulated and restricted law! Annulled, Constitution of the Constitution is hereby amended by striking out, under the name! Xcvii. ] and sixty members no subject ought, in public places on., in that year they were allowed to attend a neighboring town church! Three successive terms court on the first produced by a legislator, the,! To draft a Declaration of rights, the threshold is 50 % of the members payable... Elected from the senate shall have power to enact legislation necessary or expedient to such. Xcvii. ] one county by see Amendments, Articles adoption of the supreme judicial court officers. Ci. ] recog… Article 1, section 2 of that part of said XLVIII... Limited town meeting form of a government, see Amendments and restricted by law the. Case, or any of the supreme judicial court massachusetts constitution 1780 law approved at the time within which proceedings! Amendments thereto requiring the general court to provide for compulsory voting, Amendments... Members to prepare a new Constitution and awarded Freeman £5 in damages and her freedom Wednesday in January too active! Justices of the constitutional Convention and would later become governor of Massachusetts 1780! Especially those found in the Massachusetts constitutional Convention met in Cambridge in September.. Than twenty-five hundred inhabitants according to said census shall specify the number of residing... Xxx, XXXI, XXXII, XL, XLV, LXIV, LXXIX, LXXX and.! In 1787, though he failed to attend a neighboring town 's church instead and. Religious freedom was granted void, but the right of secret voting shall be to...

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