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CHAPTER I. A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS
OF THE STATE OF VERMONT. ARTICLE 1st. That all men are born equally free A11 med born and independent, and have certain naturfree; a atural al, inherent, and unalienable rights, rights. No slay
amongst which are the enjoying and deCon. 1777, Ch. fending life and liberty, acquiring, pos1, Art. 1. sessing, and protecting property, and purCon. I786, Ch.
suing and obtaining happiness and safeArt. 1.
ty: therefore no male person born in 2 Tyl. 192. Brayt. 124.
this country, or brought from over the Vt.
sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve 27 Vt. 328.
any person as a servant, slave, or apprent31 Vt. 610
ice, after he arrived to the age of twenty44 Vt. 648. 47 Vt. 493. one years, nor female in like manner, after she arrives to the age of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their own consent, after they arrive to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damag es, fines, costs, or the like.
ARTICLE 2nd. That private property ought to be Private proper- subservient to public uses when necesty, public use of
sity requires it; nevertheless, whenever Con. Ch. 1, Art. 2. any person's property is taken for the use Con. 1986, Ch. of the public, the owner ought to receive I, Art. 2. 15 Vt. 745.
an equivalent in money. 16 Vt. 446. 23 Vt. 361 31. Vt. 226.
44 Vt. 648. 21 Vt. 590 25 Vt. 49. 33 Vi, 271.
52 Vt. 481. ARTICLE 3d. That all men have a natural and unReligious free- alienable right, to worship Almighty dom and wor. God, according to the dictates of their ship.
own consciences and understandings, as
Ch. 1, Art. 3.
in their opinion shall be regulated by the Con. 1986, Ch. Word of God; and that no man ought to, 1, Art. 3.
or of right can be compelled to attend 18 Vt. 358.
any religious worship, or erect or sup
6 Vt. 219
port any place of worship, or maintain
44 Vt. 116. any minister contrary to the dictates of 48 Vt. 444. his conscience, nor can any man he justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen on account of his religious sentiments, or peculia[r.] mode of religious worship; and that no authority can, or ought to be vested in, or assumed by, any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship. Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of Christians ought to observe the Sabbath or Lord's day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God.
ARTICLE 4th. Every person within this state ought to find a certain remedy, by having re- Remedy at law. course to the laws, for all injuries or Con. 1986, Ch. wrongs which he may receive in his per- 1, Art. 4. son, property or character; he ought to 27 Vt. 328. obtain right and justice, freely and with
31 Vt, 610. out being obliged to purchase it; completely and without any denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the laws.
ARTICLE 5th. That the people of this state by their legal representatives, have the sole, Internal police. inherent and exclusive right of governing
Con. I777, Ch. and regulating the internal police of the Con. 1986, Ch.
1, Art. 5. 27 Vt. 318. 27 Vt. 523
31 Vt 610. 27 Vt. 328. 3. Vt 226. ARTICLE 6th. That all power being originally inherent in and co[n]sequently derived officers servants from the people, therefore, all officers of the people.
Con. I777,Ch. of government, whether legislative, or
5. executive, are their trustees and servants; Con. 1986, Ch.
26 Vt. 717
41 Vt. 504.
I, Art. 6
Art. 6. and at all times, in a legal way, accountable to them.
ARTICLE 7th. That government is, or ought to Government for be, instituted for the common benefit, the people; they protection, and security of the people, may change it. nation, or community, and not for the Con. I777, Ch.
particular emolument or advantage of any Con 1786, Ch. single man, family, or set of men, who 1, Art. 7. are a part only of that community; and that the community hath an indubitable, unalienable and indefeasible right, to reform or alter government, in such manner as shall be, by that community, judged most conducive to the public weal.
ARTICLE 8th. That all elections ought to be free Elections. Free- and without corruption, and that all freemen's rights
men, having a sufficient, evident, common therein.
interest with, and attachment to the
community, have a right to elect officers, Con. 1786, Chand be elected into office, agreeably to 1, Art. 9. 32 Vt. 546. the regulations made in this constitution.
ARTICLE 9th. That every member of society hath Citizen's rights a right to be protected in the enjoyment and duties in the of life, liberty, and property, and therestate. Bearing
fore is bound to contribute his proporarms, Taxation. Con.
tion towards the expense of that pro1, Art. 9. tection, and yield his personal service, Ch. when
necessary, or an equivalent thereto, Sec.
but no part of any person's property can Con. I786, Ch. 1, Art. 10. be justly taken from him, or applied to 27
public uses without his own consent, or 31 Vt. 610. 43 Vt. 481.
that of the Representative Body of the 43 Vt. 485. freemen, nor can any man who is con50 Vt. 178.
scientiously scrupulous of bearing arms, be justly compelled thereto if he will pay such equivalent; nor are the people bound by any
1, Art. 8.
law but such as they have in like manner assented to, for their common good; and previous to any law being made to raise a tax, the purpose for which it is to be raised ought to appear evident to the Legislature to be of more service to community than the money would be if not collected.
ARTICLE 10th. That all prosecutions for criminal offences, a person hath a right to be Rights of 20. heard by himself and his counsel; to de- cused. Personal
liberty. mand the cause and nature of his accu
Ch. sation; to be confronted with the witnesses; to call for evidence in his favour, ('on. 1786, Ch. and a speedy public trial by an impartial 1, Art. 11.
2 Tyl. 380. jury of the country; without the unani
21 Vt 9. mous consent of which jury, he cannot
25 Vt. 261. be found guilty; nor can he he com- 27 Vt. 318. pelled to give evidence against himself; 27 325 nor can an person be justly deprived of 27 Vt. 328.
27 Vt. 523. his liberty, except by the laws of the
27 Vt. 553 land, or the judgment of his peers.
31 Vt, 610.225 41 Vt. 504.
+8 Vt. 366 52 Vt. 353. ARTICLE 11th. That the people have a right to hold themselves, their houses, papers and pos- Search and selzsessions, free from search or seizure; and ure regulated. therefore warrants, without oath or affirmation first made, affording sufficient
1, Art. II. foundation for them, and whereby any Con. 1786, Ch. officer or messenger may be commanded 1, Art. 12. or required to search suspected places,
25 Vt. 261. or to seize any person or persons, his, her
27 Vt. 328 or their property, not particularly de Vt. 610 scribed, are contrary to that right, and ought not to be granted.
ARTICLE 12th. That when any issue in fact, proper for the cognizance of a jury is joined in Trial by jarg. a court of law, the parties have a right Con 1777, Ch.
1 Tyl. 444
1, Art. 13.
to trial by jury, which ought to be held 1, Art. 14.
52 Vt. 35321 Vt. 426. 31 Vt. 610.
41 Vt. 504. ARTICLE 13th. That the people have a right to Freedom of freedom of speech, and of writing and speech and the publishing their sentiments, concerning press.
the transactions of government, and 1, Art, 14. therefore the freedom of the press ought Con. I786, Ch. 1, Art. 15. not to be restrained.
ARTICLE 14. The freedom of deliberation, speech, Legislator's im- and debate, in the Legislature, is so esmunity in do bato. sential to the rigts of the people, that it Con. 1786, Ci 1, Art. 16.
cannot be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any other court or place whatsoever.
ARTICLE 15th. The power of suspending laws, or Legislatore only the execution of laws, ought never to be may so spond exercised but by the Legislature, or by laws.
authority derived from it, to be exercised Con. Im86, Ch. 1, Art. 17. in such particular cases, as this constitution, or the Legislature shall provide for.
ARTICLE 16th. That the people have a right to Bight to bear bear arms for the defence of themselves arms; standing and the State--and as standing armies in armies; civil powor to govern.
time of peace are dangerous to liberty, Con. 1777, Ch. they ought not to be kept up; and that 1, Art. 15. the military should be kept under strict Con. I786, Ch. 1, Art. 18. subordination to and governed by the civil power.
ARTICLE 17th. That no person in this state can in Martial law re- any case be subjected to law martial, or stricted.
to any penalties or pains by virtue of that Con. I786, Ch. 1, Art. 19 law, except those employed in the army, and the militia in actual service.
ARTICLE 18th. That frequent recurrence to fun