Nebraska as a State | First State Officers|
Legislative | Political | Removal of the Capital
Impeachment of Gov. Butler: Article I | Article II | Article III|
Article IV | Article V | Article VI | Article VII | Article VIII | Article IX
Article X | Article XI
Impeachment of Gov. Butler (cont.): Answer|
Constitution of 1871 | The James Regime | Proclamation|
The James Regime(cont.) | Supplementary Resolutions|
Constitution of 1875: |
Preamble | Article I--Bill of Rights | Article II--Distribution of Powers
Article III--Legislative | Article IV--Legislative Apportionment
Constitution of 1875 (cont.): |
Article V--Executive Department | Article VI--The Judicial Department
Article VII--Rights of Suffrage | Article VIII--Education
Article IX--Revenue and Finance | Article X--Counties
Article XI--Corporations: Railroad Corporations
Municipal Corporations | Miscellaneous Corporations
Article XII--State, County and Municipal Indebtedness
Article XIII--Militia | Article XIV--Miscellaneous Provisions
Constitution of 1875 (cont.): |
Article XV--Amendments | Article XVI--Schedule
Propositions Separately Submitted | Legislative and Political
Legislative and Political (cont.) | Popular Votes | State Roster|
Senatorial Succession | The Political Status of Nebraska|
The Population of Counties | Omaha in 1858|
Per Cent of Increase in Population | Prof. Wilber's Address
Hon. J. M. Woolworth's Address | Public Lands|
Educational Lands in Nebraska | Educational|
Slavery in Nebraska|
The Woman Suffrage Question|
In 1875, the State Constitution now in force was presented to the people for ratification or rejection. At the same time, two separate propositions were submitted--one allowing electors to express their preference for United States Senators, and one regulating the manner in which action must be taken to effect a change in the location of the State Capital, should any such question arise in the future. The former was adopted by a vote of 25,059 ayes to 6,270 noes, the latter was adopted by a vote of 20,042 ayes to 12,517 noes. The vote on this Constitution was taken October 12, with the following result:
We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, do ordain and establish the following declaration of rights and frame of government as the Constitution of the State of Nebraska.
SECTION 1. All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights and the protection of property, governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
SEC. 2. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude to this State, otherwise than for punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
SEC. 3. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. (Turner v. Althaus, 6 Neb., 54.)
SEC. 4. All persons have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No person shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship against his consent, and no preference shall be given by law to any religious society, nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience be permitted. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for office, nor shall any person be incompetent to be a witness on account of his religious belief; but nothing herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths and affirmations. Religion morality and knowledge, however, being essential to good government, it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship, and to encourage schools and the means of instruction.
SEC. 5. Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, when published with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense.
SEC. 6. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, but the Legislature may authorize trial by a jury of less number than twelve men in courts inferior to the District Court. (Lamaster v. Schofield, 5 Neb., 148.)
SEC. 7. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.
SEC. 8. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety requires it, and then only in such manner as shall he prescribed by law.
SEC. 9. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for treason and murder, where the proof is evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be required. nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments indicted.
SEC. 10. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense, except in cases in which the punishment is by fine or imprisonment, otherwise than in the penitentiary, in case of impeachment and in cases arising in the army and navy or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; Provided, That the Legislature may, by law, provide for holding persons to answer for criminal offenses on information of a public prosecutor, and may, by law, abolish, limit, change, amend, or otherwise regulate the grand jury system.
SEC. 11. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person or by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of accusation and to have a copy thereof, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, to have 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.
SEC. 12. No person shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to give evidence against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.
SEC. 13. All courts shall be open, and every person, for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have a remedy by due course of law, and justice administered without denial or delay.
SEC. 14. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against the State, or in adhering against its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or on confession in open court.
SEC. 15. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offense, and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate, nor shall any person be transported out of the State for any offense committed within the State.
SEC. 16. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts or making any irrevocable grant of special privileges or immunities shall be passed (Jones v. Davis, 6 Neb., 33.)
SEC. 17. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
SEC. 18. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.
SEC. 19. The right of the people, peaceably to assemble to consult for the common good, and to petition the government or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.
SEC. 20. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action on mesne or final process, unless in cases of fraud.
SEC. 21. The property of no person shall be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation therefor.
SEC. 22. All elections shall be free; and there shall be no hindrance or impediment to the right of a qualified voter to examine the elective franchise.
SEC. 23. The writ of error shall be a writ of right in all cases of felony; and in capital cases shall operate as a supersedeas to stay the execution of the sentence of death until the further order of the Supreme Court in the premises.
SEC. 24. The right to be heard in all civil cases in the court of last resort, by appeal, error, or otherwise, shall not be denied.
SEC. 25. No distinction shall ever be made by law between resident aliens and citizens in reference to the possession, enjoyment, or descent of property.
SEC. 26. 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.
SECTION1. The powers of the Government of this State are divided into three distinct departments, the legislative, executive and judicial; and no person, or collection of persons, being one of these departments, shall exercise any power properly belonging to either of the others, except as hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.
SECTION 1. The legislative authority is vested in a Senate and House of Representatives.
SEC. 2. The Legislature shall provide by law for an enumeration of the inhabitants of the State in the year 1885, and every ten years thereafter; and at its first regular session after each enumeration, and also after each enumeration made by the authority of the United States, but at no other time, the Legislators shall apportion the Senators and Representatives according to the number of inhabitants, excluding Indians not taxed, and soldiers and officers of the United States Army and Navy.
SEC. 3. The House of Representatives shall consist of eighty-four members, and, the Senate shall consist of thirty members, until the year 1880, after which time the number of members of each House shall be regulated by law; but the number of Representatives shall never exceed one hundred, nor that of Senators thirty-three. The sessions of the Legislature shall be biennial, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.
SEC. 4. The term of office of members of the Legislature shall be two years, and they shall each receive for their Services $3 for each day's attendance during the session and 10 cents for every mile they shall travel in going to and returning from the place of meeting of the Legislature on the most usual route; Provided however, That they shall not receive pay for more than forty days at any one session; and neither members of the Legislature nor employes shall receive any pay or perquisites other than their per diem and mileage.
SEC. 5. No person shall be eligible to the office of Senator or member of the House of Representatives, who shall not be an elector, and have resided within the district from which he is elected for the term of one year next before his election, unless he shall have been absent on the public business of the United States, or of this State. And no person elected as aforesaid shall hold his office after he shall have removed from such district.
SEC. 6. No person holding office under the authority of the United States, or any lucrative office under the authority of the State, shall be eligible to have a seat in the Legislature; but this provision shall not extend to precinct or township officers, Justices of the Peace, Notaries Public or officers of the militia; nor shall any person interested in a contract with, or an unadjusted claim against the State, hold a seat in the Legislature.
SEC. 7. The session of the Legislature shall commence at 12 o'clock (noon) on the final Tuesday in January, in the year next ensuing the election of members thereof, and at no other time, unless as provided by this Constitution. A majority of the members elected to each house shall constitute a quorum. Each House shall determine the rules of its proceedings, and be the judge of the election returns, and qualifications of its members; shall choose its own officers; and the Senate shall choose a temporary President to preside when the Lieutenant Governor shall not attend as President, or shall act as Governor. The Secretary of State shall call the House of Representatives to order at the opening of each new Legislature, and preside over it until a temporary presiding officer thereof shall have been chosen and shall have taken his seat. No member shall be expelled by either House, except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to that House, and no member shall be twice expelled for the same offense. Each House may punish by imprisonment any person, not a member thereof, who shall be guilty of disrespect to the House, by disorderly or contemptuous behavior in its presence, but no such imprisonment shall extend beyond twenty-four hours at one time, unless the person shall persist in such disorderly or contemptuous behavior.
SEC. 8. Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish them (except such parts as may require secrecy), and the yeas and nays of the members on any question shall, at the desire of any two of them, be entered on the journal. All votes in either House shall be viva voce. The doors of each House and of the Committee of the Whole shall be open, unless when the business shall be such as ought to be kept secret. Neither House shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days.
SEC. 9. Any bill may originate to either House of the Legislature, except bills appropriating money, which shall originate only in the House of Representatives, and all bills passed by one House may be amended by the other.
SEC. 10. The enacting clause of a law shall be, "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska," and no law shall be enacted except by bill. No bill shall be passed unless by assent of a majority of all the members elected to each House of the Legislature. And the question upon the final passage shall be taken immediately upon its last reading, and the yeas and nays shall be entered upon the journal.
SEC. 11. Every bill and concurrent resolution shall be read at large on three different days to each House, and the bill and all amendments thereto shall be printed before the vote is taken upon its final passage. No bill shall contain more than one subject, and the same shall be clearly expressed in its title; and no law shall be amended, unless the new act contains the section or sections so amended, and the section or sections so amended shall be repeated. The presiding officer of each House shall sign, in the presence of the House over which he presides, while the same is in session and capable of transacting business, all bills and concurrent resolutions passed by the Legislature. (Smails v. White, 4 Neb., 353). (Ryan v. The State, 5 Neb., 276), (White v. City of Lincoln, 5 Neb, 505), (Jones v. Davis, 6 Neb., 33). (State v. Lancaster Co., 6 Neb., 474. Sovereign v. State, 7 Neb.,. 409).
SEC. 12. Members of the Legislature, in all cases except treason, felony or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature, and for fifteen days before the commencement and after the termination thereof.
SEC. 13. No person elected to the Legislature shall receive any civil appointment within this State, from the Governor and Senate, during the term for which he has been elected. And all such appointments, and all votes given for any such member for any such office or appointment, shall be void. Nor shall any member of the Legislature, or, any State officer, be interested, either directly or indirectly, in any contract with the State, county or city, authorized by any law passed during the term for which he shall have been elected, or within one year after the expiration thereof.
SEC. 14. The Senate and House of Representatives, in joint convention, shall have the sole power of impeachment, but a majority of the members elected must concur therein. Upon the entertainment of a resolution to Impeach by either House, the other House shall at once be notified thereof, and the two Houses shall meet in joint convention for the purpose of acting upon such resolution within three days of such notification. A notice of an impeachment of any officer other than a justice of the Supreme Court, shall be forthwith served upon the Chief Justice by the Secretary of the Senate, who shall thereupon call a session of the Supreme Court to meet at the capital within ten days after such notice to try the impeachment. A notice of an impeachment of a Justice of the Supreme Court shall be served by the Secretary of the Senate upon the Judge of the Judicial District within which the capital is located, and he thereupon shall notify all the judges of the District Court in the State to meet with him within thirty days at the capital, to sit as a court to try such impeachment, which court shall organize by electing one of its number to preside. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the court of impeachment, but judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, profit or trust in this State, but the party impeached whether convicted or acquitted, shall nevertheless be liable to prosecution and punishment according to law. No officer shall exercise his official duties after he shall have been impeached and notified thereof, until he shall have been acquitted.
SEC. 15. The Legislature shall not pass local or special laws in any of the following cases, that is to say:
For granting divorces.
SEC. 16. The Legislature shall never grant any extra compensation to any public officer, agent servant or contractor, after the services shall have been rendered, or then contract entered into. Nor shall the compensation of any public officer be increased or diminished during his term of office.
SEC. 17. The Legislature shall never alienate the salt springs belonging to this State.
SEC. 18 Lands under control of the State shall never be donated to railroad companies, private corporations or individuals.
SEC. 19. Each Legislature shall make appropriations for the expenses of the government until the expiration of the first fiscal quarter after the adjournment of the next regular session, and all appropriations shall end with such fiscal quarter. And whenever it is deemed necessary to make further appropriations for deficiencies, the same shall require a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each House, and shall not exceed the amount of revenue authorized by law to be raised in such time. Bills making appropriations for the pay of members and officers of the Legislature, and for the salaries of the officers of the government, shall contain no provision on any other subject. (Opinion of the Judges, 5 Neb., 566.)
SEC. 20. All offices created by this constitution shall become vacant by the death of the incumbent, by removal from the State, resignation, conviction of a felony, impeachment, or becoming of unsound mind. And the Legislature shall provide by general law for the filling of such vacancy when no provision is made for that purpose in this constitution.
SEC. 21. The Legislature shall not authorize any games of chance, lottery or gift enterprise, under any pretense, or for any purpose whatever.
SEC. 22. No allowance shall be made for the incidental expenses of any State officer except the same be made by general appropriation, and upon an account specifying each item. No money shall be drawn from the treasury, except in pursuance of a specific appropriation made by law, and on the presentation of a warrant issued by the Auditor thereon, and no money shall be diverted from any appropriation made for any purpose, or taken from any fund whatever, either by joint or separate resolution. The Auditor shall, within sixty days after the adjournment of each session of the Legislature, prepare and publish a full statement of all moneys expended at such session, specifying the amount of each item, and to whom and for what paid. (State v. McBride, 6 Neb., 506).
SEC. 23. No member of the Legislature shall be liable in any civil or criminal action whatever for words spoken in debate.
SEC. 24. No act shall take effect until three calendar months after the adjournment of the session at which it passed, unless in case of emergency (to be expressed in the preamble or body of the act) the Legislature shall, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each House, otherwise direct. All laws shall be published in book form within sixty days after the adjournment of each session. and distributed among the several counties in such manner as the Legislature may provide.
Until otherwise provided by law, Senatorial and Representative Districts shall be formed, and Senators and Representatives apportioned, as follows:
District No. 1. Shall consist of the county of Richardson, and be entitled to two Senators.
District No. 1. Shall consist of the county of Richardson, and be entitled to four Representatives.