And in no case shall the legislature have the power to issue treasury warrants, treasury notes, or paper of any description intended to circulate as money. 16. That no inconvenience may arise from a change of separate national government to a State government, it is declared that all process which shall be issued in the name of the republic of Texas prior to the organization of the State government under this constitution shall be as valid as if issued in the name of the State of Texas. They shall have full power to pass laws which will oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity; to provide for their necessary food and clothing; to abstain from all injuries to them, extending to life or limb; and, in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves taken from such owner and sold for the benefit of such owner or owners. 7. 16. XVI (Washington, 1845), 2-22. SEC. published in such manner as the legislature shall direct; and a like revision, digest, SEC. SEC. 22. adoption of this constitution, fight a duel with deadly weapons, either within the State The legislature shall, at the first session thereof, and may at any subsequent session, establish new counties for the convenience of the inhabitants of such new county or counties: Provided, That no new county shall be established which shall reduce the county or counties, or either of them, from which it shall be taken, to a less area than nine hundred square miles, (except the county of Bowie,) unless by consent of two-thirds of the legislature; nor shall any county be laid off of less contents. SEC. thus offending, shall be deprived of holding any office of trust or profit under this 23. 14. The Constitution of Coahuila Y Tejas (1827) • Incorporated features from the Mexican and Spanish heritage of the state. Any person who conscientiously scruples to bear arms shall not be compelled to do so, but shall pay an equivalent for personal service. 8. After a bill or resolution has been rejected by either branch of the legislature, no bill or resolution containing the same substance shall be passed into a law during the same session. The legislature shall prohibit, by law, individuals from issuing bills, checks, promissory notes, or other paper, to circulate as money. article 8. taxation and revenue. Any person who shall maliciously dismember, or deprive a slave of life, shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like offence had been committed upon a free white person, and on the like proof, except in case of insurrection by such slave. SEC. Print versions of the Texas Constitution may be found in A Compilation and Analysis of the 1998 Texas Constitution and the Original 1876 Text, located in the library at call number KFT1601 1876 .A6 A54 1998, and in Vernon's Annotated Constitution of the State of Texas, located at call number KFT 1230 1925 .A4 A1. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defence of himself of the State. The senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors for the term of four years; and shall be divided by lot into two classes, as nearly equal as can be. The duration of all offices not fixed by this 15. SEC. All free male persons over the age of twenty one years, (Indians not taxed, Africans, and descendants of Africans, excepted,) who shall have resided six months in Texas immediately preceding the acceptance of this constitution by the Congress of the United States, shall be deemed qualified electors. The current document took effect on February 15, 1876, and is the seventh (including the Mexican constitution) constitution in Texas history. SEC. The legislature shall have power to protect by ARTICLE I BILL OF RIGHTS That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare: Sec. SEC. reference to its title; but in such case, the act revised, or section amended, shall be There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him officially. 17. Whenever the government shall be administered by the lieutenant governor, or he shall be unable to attend as president of the Senate, the Senate shall elect one of their own members as president for the time being. Austin: Printed at the Office of the ‘New Era’, 1845. The election shall be conducted in the same manner as at the first, and the returns made to the governor; and the place having the highest number of votes shall be the seat of government for the time herein before provided. The legislature shall provide in what cases SEC. 14. 3. venue in civil and criminal cases, and for the erection of a penitentiary, at as early a The style of all writs and process shall be “the State of Texas.” All prosecutions shall be carried on “in the name and by the authority of the State of Texas,” and conclude “against the peace and dignity of the State.”. 5. SEC. 2. In all causes arising out of a contract, before any inferior judicial tribunal, when the amount in controversy shall exceed ten dollars, the plaintiff or defendant shall, upon application to the presiding officer, have the right of trial by jury. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the That no inconvenience may result from the change of government, it is declared that the laws of this republic relative to the duties of officers, both civil and military, of the same, shall remain in full force; and the duties of their several offices shall be performed in conformity with the existing laws, until the organization of the government of the State under this constitution, or until the first day of the meeting of the legislature; that then, the offices of President, Vice President, of the President’s cabinet, foreign ministers, charges, and agents and others repugnant to this constitution, shall be superseded by the same; and that all others shall be holden and exercised until they expire by their own limitation, or be superseded by the authority of this constitution, or laws made in pursuance thereof. United States, shall not forfeit a residence once obtained, so as to deprive any one of unless the bill creating it shall be passed by two-thirds of both houses of the SEC. 22. 2. homestead of a family, not to exceed two hundred acres of land, (not included in a town 19. The legislature, whenever two-thirds of each house shall deem it necessary, may proposed amendments to this constitution; which proposed amendments shall be duly published in the public prints of the State, at least three months before the next general election of representatives, for the consideration of the people; and it shall be the duty of the several returning officers, at the next election which shall be thus holden, to open a p/oll for, and make a return to the Secretary of State, of the names of all those voting for representatives, who have voted on such proposed amendments; and if, thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens of this State, voting for representatives, have voted in favor of such proposed amendments, and two-thirds of each house of the next legislature shall, after such election and before another, ratify the same amendments by yeas and nays, they shall be valid to all intents and purposes as parts of this constitution: Provided, That the said proposed amendments shall, at each of the said sessions, have been read on three several days in each house. under any foreign power, shall be eligible as a member of the legislature, or hold or Laws shall be made to exclude from office, serving on juries, and from the right of suffrage, those who shall hereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forger, or other high crimes. 11. on such proposed amendments; and if, thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all Nine years later, Texas was able to take more care when drafting its first state constitution. except in case of war, to repel invasions, or suppress insurrections; and in no case 1. Constitutional scholars consider it to have been one of the best-drafted state constitutions. The legislature shall, at their first meeting, and in the years one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight and fifty, and every eight years thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the free inhabitants (Indians not taxed, Africans, and descendants of Africans, excepted) of the State, designating, particularly, the number of qualified electors; and the whole number of representatives shall, at the several periods of making such enumeration, be fixed by the legislature, and apportioned among the several counties, cities or towns, according to the number of free population in each, and shall not be less than forty-five, nor more than ninety. No person shall be a representative unless he be a citizen of the United States, or at the time of the adoption of this constitution a citizen of the republic of Texas, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a citizen of the county, city, or town for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty one years at the time of his election. 12. In the midst of the Texas Revolution, Texan settlers elected delegates to the Convention of 1836, which issued the Texas Declaration of Independence and elected David G. Burnet as interim president of the new country. SEC. SEC. When vacancies happen in either house, the governor, or the person exercising the power of the governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies. embrace but one object, and that shall be expressed in the title. The legislature shall, at the first session SEC. SEC. All judges of the supreme and district courts shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the State. Taxation shall be equal and uniform throughout the State. He may, by proclamation, on extraordinary occasions, convene the legislature at the seat of government, or at a different place, if that should be in the actual possession of a public enemy. We, the people of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging with gratitude the grace and beneficence of God, in permitting us to make [a] choice of our formof government, do in accordance with the provisions of the Joint Resolution for annexing Texas to the United States, approved March 1st, one thousand eighthundred and forty-five, ordain and establish this … In cases of treason, he shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to grant reprieves and pardons; and he may, in the recess of the Senate, respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the legislature. The Constitution of 1845, which provided for the government of Texas as a state in the United States, was almost twice as long as the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. SEC. this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State, nor out of it; The State shall be divided into convenient judicial districts. And should the governor fail to make nominations to fill any vacancy during the session of the Senate, such vacancy shall not be filled by the governor until the next meeting of the Senate. And if, during the vacancy of the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall die, resign, refuse to serve, or be removed from office, or be unable to serve, or he shall be impeached, or absent from the State, the president of the Senate for the time being shall in like manner administer the government until he be superseded by a governor or lieutenant governor; the lieutenant governor shall, whilst he acts as president of the Senate, receive for his services the same compensation which shall be allowed to the speaker of the House of Representatives, and no more; and during the time he administers the government as governor, shall receive the same compensation which the governor would have received had he been employed in the duties of his office, and no more. 2. 10. Adopted just before annexation, the Constitution of 1845 set forth Texas law in a simple and straightforward manner. SEC. 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