KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


ERA OF PEACE, PART 37

[TOC] [part 38] [part 36] [Cutler's History]

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF KANSAS.

ADOPTED AT WYANDOTTE, JULY 29, 1859.

ORDINANCE.

WHEREAS, The Government of the United States is the proprietor of a large portion of the lands included in the limits of the State of Kansas, as defined by this Constitution; and

WHEREAS, The State of Kansas will possess the right to tax said lands for the purpose of government, and for other purposes; now, therefore,

Be it ordained by the people of Kansas: That the right of the State of Kansas to tax such lands, is relinquished forever, and the State of Kansas will not interfere with the title of the United States to such lands, nor with any regulation of Congress in relation thereto, nor tax non-residents higher than residents: Provided always. That the following conditions be agreed to by Congress:

SECTION 1. Sections numbered sixteen and thirty-six, in each township in the State, including Indian Reservations and Trust Lands, shall be granted to the State for the exclusive use of common schools; and when either of said section, or any part thereof, has been disposed of, other lands of equal value, as nearly contiguous thereto as possible, shall be substituted therefor.

Sec. 2. That seventy-two sections of land shall be granted to the State for the erection and maintenance of a State University.

Sec. 3. That thirty-six sections shall be granted to the State for the erection of public buildings.

Sec. 4. That seventy-two sections shall be granted to the State for the erection and maintenance of charitable and benevolent institutions.

Sec. 5. That all salt springs, not exceeding twelve in number, with six sections of land adjacent to each, together with all mines, with the lands necessary for their full use, shall be granted to the State for works of public improvement.

Sec. 6. That five per centum of the proceeds of the public lands in Kansas, disposed of after the admission of this State into the Union, shall be paid to the State for a fund, the income of which shall be used for the support of the common schools.

Sec. 7. That the five hundred thousand acres of land to which the State is entitled under the act of Congress entitled "An act to appropriate the proceeds of the sales of public lands and grant pre-emption rights," approved September 4, 1841, shall be granted to the State for the support of common schools.

Sec. 8. That the lands hereinbefore mentioned, shall be selected in such manner as shall be prescribed by law; such selections to be subject to the approval of the Commissioner of the General Land Office of the United States.

PREAMBLE.

We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges, in order to insure the full enjoyment of our rights as American citizens, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the State of Kansas, with the following boundaries, to wit: Beginning at a point on the western boundary of the State of Missouri, where the thirty-seventh parallel of north latitude crosses the same; thence running west on said parallel to the twenty-fifth meridian of longitude west from Washington; thence north on said meridian to the fortieth parallel of north latitude; thence east on said parallel to the western boundary of the State of Missouri; thence south with the western boundary of said State of the place of beginning.

BILL OF RIGHTS.

SECTION 1. All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

SEC. 2. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and are instituted for their equal protection and benefit. No special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted by the Legislature, which may not be altered, revoked or repealed by the same body; and this power shall be exercised by no other tribunal or agency.

SEC. 3. The people have the right to assemble, in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives and to petition the government, or any department thereof, for the redress of grievances.

SEC. 4. The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

SEC. 5. The right of trial by jury shall be inviolate.

SEC. 6. There shall be no slavery in this State, and no involuntary servitude, except for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

SEC. 7. The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any person be compelled to attend or support any form of worship; nor shall any control of, or interference with, the rights of conscience be permitted; nor any preference be given by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship. No religious test or property qualification shall be required for any office of public trust, nor for any vote at any election, nor shall any person be incompetent to testify on account of religious belief.

SEC. 8. The right to the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless the public safety requires it in case of invasion or rebellion.

SEC. 9. All person shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, where proof is evident, or the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishment inflicted.

SEC. 10. In all prosecutions, the accused shall be allowed to appear, and defend in person or by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to meet the witness fact to face, and to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed. No person shall be a witness against himself, or be twice pub in jeopardy for the same offense.

SEC. 11. The liberty of the press shall be inviolate; and all persons may freely speak, write or publish their sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of such right; and in all civil or criminal actions for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury, and if it shall appear that the alleged libelous matter was published for justifiable ends, the accused party shall be acquitted.

SEC. 12. No person shall be transported from the State for any offense committed within the same, and no conviction in the State shall work a corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

SEC. 13. Treason shall consist only in levying war against the State, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the evidence of two witnesses to the overt act, or confession in open court.

SEC. 14. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the occupant, nor in time of war, except as prescribed by law.

SEC. 15. The right of the people to be secure in their persons and property against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall be inviolate, and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or property to be seized.

SEC. 16. No person shall be imprisoned for debt except in cases of fraud.

SEC. 17. No distinction shall ever be made between citizens and aliens in reference to the purchase, enjoyment or descent of property.

SEC. 18. All persons, for injuries suffered in person, reputation or property, shall have remedy by due course of law, and justice administered without delay.

SEC. 19. No hereditary emoluments, honors or privileges, shall ever be granted or conferred by the State.

SEC. 20. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people; and all powers not herein delegated remain with the people.

ARTICLE I. - EXECUTIVE.

SECTION 1. The executive department shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General and Superintendent of Public Instruction; who shall be chosen by the electors of the State at the time and place of voting for members of the Legislature, and shall hold their offices for the term of two years, from the second Monday in January, next after their election, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

SEC. 2. Until otherwise provided by law, an abstract of the returns of every election, for the offices named in the foregoing section, shall be sealed up and transmitted by the Clerk of the board of canvassers of the several counties, to the Secretary of State, who, with the Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, shall constitute a Board of State Canvassers, whose duty it shall be to meet at the State Capital on the second Tuesday of December succeeding each election for State officers, and canvass the vote for such officers, and proclaim the result; but in case any two or more than an equal and the highest number of votes, the Legislature shall, by joint ballot, choose one of said persons so having an equal and the highest number of votes for said office.

SEC. 3, The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor, who shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

SEC. 4. He may require information in writing from the officers of the executive department, upon any subject relating to their respective duties.

SEC. 5. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislature by proclamation, and shall, at the commencement of every session, communicate, in writing, such information as he may possess in reference to the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he may deem expedient.

SEC. 6. In case of disagreement between the two Houses in respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn the Legislature to such time as he may think proper, not beyond its regular meeting.

SEC. 7. The pardoning power shall be vested in the Governor, under regulations and restrictions prescribed by law.

SEC. 8. There shall be a seal of the State, which shall be kept by the Governor and used by him officially, and which shall be the great seal of Kansas.

SEC. 9. All commissions shall be issued in the name of the State of Kansas, signed by the Governor, countersigned by the Secretary of State, and sealed with the great seal.

SEC. 10. No member of Congress, or officer of the State, or of the United States, shall hold the office of Governor, except as herein provided.

SEC. 11. In case of the death, impeachment, resignation, removal, or other disability of the Governor, the power and duties of the office for the residue of the term, or until the disability shall be removed, shall devolve upon the President of the Senate.

SEC. 12. The Lieutenant Governor shall be President of the Senate, and shall vote only when the Senate is equally divided. The Senate shall choose a President pro tempore to preside in case of his absence or impeachment, or when he shall hold the office of Governor.

SEC. 13. If the Lieutenant Governor, while holding the office of Governor, shall be impeached or displaced, or shall resign or die, or otherwise became incapable of performing the duties of the office, the President of the Senate shall act as Governor until the vacancy is filled or the disability removed; and if the President of the Senate, for any of the above causes, shall be rendered incapable of performing the duties pertaining to the office of Governor, the same shall devolve upon the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 14. Should either the Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, or Superintendent of Public Instruction become incapable of performing the duties of his office for any of the causes specified in the thirteenth section of this article, the Governor shall fill the vacancy until the disability is removed, or a successor is elected and qualified. Every such vacancy shall be filled by election at the first general election that occurs more than thirty days after it shall have happened; and the person chosen shall hold the office for the unexpired term.

SEC. 15. The officers mentioned in this article shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation to be established by law, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which they shall have been elected.

SEC. 16. The officers of the executive department and of all public State institutions shall, at least ten days preceding each regular session of the Legislature, severally report to the Governor, who shall transmit such reports to the Legislature.

ARTICLE II. - LEGISLATIVE.

SECTION 1. The legislative power of this State shall be vested in a House of Representatives and a Senate.

SEC. 2. The first House of Representatives under this constitution shall consist of seventy-five members, who shall be chosen for one year. The first Senate shall consist of twenty-five members, who shall be chosen for two years. After the first election, the number of Senators and members of the House of Representatives shall be regulated by law; but shall never exceed one hundred Representatives and thirty-three Senators.

SEC. 3. The Members of the Legislature shall receive as compensation for their services the sum of three dollars for each day's actual service at any regular or special session, and fifteen cents for each mile traveled by the usual route in going to and returning from the place of meeting; but such compensation shall not in the aggregate exceed the sum of two hundred and forty dollars for each member, as per diem allowance for the first session held under this constitution, nor more than one hundred and fifty dollars for each session thereafter, nor more than ninety dollars for any special session.

SEC. 4. No person shall be a member of the Legislature who is not, at the time of his election, a qualified voter of, and resident in, the county or district for which he is elected.

SEC. 5. No Member of Congress or officer of the United States shall be eligible to a seat in the Legislature. If any person, after his election to the Legislature, be elected to Congress, or elected or appointed to any office under the United States, his acceptance thereof shall vacate his seat.

SEC. 6. No person convicted of embezzlement or misuse of the public funds shall have a seat in the Legislature.

SEC. 7. All State officers, before entering upon their respective duties, shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices.

SEC. 8. A majority of each House shall constitute a quorum. Each House shall establish its own rules, and shall be judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members.

SEC. 9. All vacancies occurring in either House shall be filled for the unexpired term by election.

SEC. 10. Each House shall keep and publish a journal of its proceedings. The yeas and nays shall be taken and entered immediately on the journal, upon the final passage of every bill or joint resolution. Neither House, without the consent of the other, shall adjourn for more than two days, Sundays excepted.

SEC. 11. Any member of either House shall have the right to protest against any act or resolution; and such protest shall, without delay or alteration, be entered on the journal.

SEC. 12. All bills shall originate in the House of Representatives, and be subject to amendment or rejection by the Senate.

SEC. 13. A majority of all the members elected to each House, voting in the affirmative, shall be necessary to pass any bill or joint resolution.

SEC. 14. Every bill and joint resolution passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate shall, within two days thereafter, be signed by the presiding officers, and presented to the Governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it to the House of Representatives, which shall enter his objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider the same. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members elected shall agree to pass the bill or resolution, it shall be sent, with the objections, to the Senate, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered and if approved by two-thirds of all the members elected, it shall become a law. But in all such cases, the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and entered upon the journals of each House. If any bill shall not be returned within three days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to the Governor, it shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Legislature, by its adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not become a law.

SEC. 15. Every bill shall be read on three separate days in each House, unless in case of emergency. Two-thirds of the House, where such bill is pending, may, if deemed expedient, suspend the rules; but the reading of the bill by section, on its final passage, shall in no case be dispensed with.

SEC. 16. No bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title; and no law shall be revived or amended, unless the new act contain the entire act revived, or the section or sections amended, and the section or sections so amended shall be repealed.

SEC. 17. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation throughout the State; and in all cases where a general law can be made applicable, no special law shall be enacted.

SEC. 18. All power to grant divorces is vested in the District courts, subject to regulation by law.

SEC. 19. The Legislature shall prescribe the time when its acts shall be in force, and shall provide for the speedy publication of the same; and no law of a general nature shall be in force until the same be published. It shall have the power to provide for the election or appointment of all officers, and the filling of all vacancies not otherwise provided for in this constitution.

SEC. 20. The enacting clause of all laws shall be, "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas;" and no law shall be enacted except by bill.

SEC. 21. The Legislature may confer upon tribunals transacting the county business of the several counties such powers of local legislation and administration as it shall deem expedient.

SEC. 22. For any speech or debate in either House, the members shall not be questioned elsewhere. No member of the Legislature shall be subject to arrest, except for felony or breach of the peace, in going to or returning from the place of meeting, or during the continuance of the sessions; neither shall he be subject to the service of any civil process during the session, nor for fifteen days, previous to its commencement.

SEC. 23. The Legislature, in providing for the formation and regulation of schools, shall make no distinction between the rights of males and females.

SEC. 24. No money shall be drawn from the treasury except in pursuance of a specific appropriation made by law; and no appropriation shall be for a longer term than one year.

SEC. 25. All sessions of the Legislature shall be held at the State Capital, and all regular sessions shall commence annually, on the second Tuesday in January.

SEC. 26. The Legislature shall provide for taking an enumeration of the inhabitants of the State, at least once in ten years. The first enumeration shall be taken in A. D. 1865.

SEC. 27. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power to impeach. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; and when sitting for that purpose the Senators shall take an oath to do justice according to the law and the evidence. No person shall be convicted with the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators elected.

SEC. 28. The Governor, and all other officers under this Constitution, shall be subject to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office, but judgment in all such cases shall not be extended further than to removal from office, or disqualification to hold any office of profit, honor or trust, under this Constitution; but the party, whether convicted or acquitted, shall be liable to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

[TOC] [part 38] [part 36] [Cutler's History]