If the measure so amended, signed by a majority of the first ten signers, is filed with the secretary of the commonwealth before the first Wednesday of the following July, together with a certificate signed by the attorney-general to the effect that the amendment made by such proposers is in his opinion perfecting in its nature and does not materially change the substance of the measure, and if such petition is completed by filing with the secretary of the commonwealth, not earlier than the first Wednesday of the following July nor later than the first Wednesday of the following August, not less than five thousand signatures of qualified voters, in addition to those signing such initiative petition, which signatures must have been obtained after the first Wednesday of June aforesaid, then the secretary of the commonwealth shall submit the measure to the people in its amended form.] The general court shall assemble in regular session on the first Wednesday of January in the year following the approval of this article and biennially on said Wednesday thereafter. 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. And the senate and house of representatives may try, and determine, all cases where their rights and privileges are concerned, and which, by the constitution, they have authority to try and determine, by committees of their own members, or in such other way as they may respectively think best. Article LVI of the Articles of Amendments to the Constitution is hereby annulled and the following is adopted in place thereof:--, Section 4. [If any bill or resolve shall be objected to, and not approved by the governor; and if the general court shall adjourn within five days after the same shall have been laid before the governor for his approbation, and thereby prevent his returning it with his objections, as provided by the constitution, such bill or resolve shall not become a law, nor have force as such.] [See Amendments, Article XLVIII, The Initiative, II, sec. Amendment of Proposed Amendments. Any two or more of the several towns and districts may, by consent of a majority of the legal voters present at a legal meeting in each of said towns and districts respectively called for that purpose, and held previous to the first day of July in the year in which the decennial census of polls shall be taken, form themselves into a representative district, to continue until the next decennial census of polls, for the election of a representative or representatives, and such district shall have all the rights, in regard to representation, which would belong to a town containing the same number of ratable polls. Article III of the Amendments to the Constitution, as amended, is hereby further amended by striking out the word "twenty-one" and inserting in place thereof the word: -- nineteen. [See Amendments, Articles. The Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 was adopted by a political society that was schooled in social contract theory, and was explicitly predicated upon a social contract In order to understand that social contract, I found it necessary to reconstruct the theoretical basis of the 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. 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. 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. 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. The general court shall have the power to enact legislation necessary or expedient to protect such rights. Information for Voters. Provided, notwithstanding, That the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies-politic, or religious societies, shall at all times have the exclusive right and electing their public teachers and of contracting with them for their support and maintenance. [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. [See Amendments, Articles. This form of government shall be enrolled on parchment and deposited in the secretary's office, and be a part of the laws of the land -- and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to the book containing the laws of this commonwealth, in all future editions of the said laws. Section 1. ], The general court shall forever have full power and authority to erect and constitute judicatories and courts of record, or other courts, to be held in the name of the commonwealth, for the hearing, trying, and determining of all manner of crimes, offences, pleas, processes, plaints, actions, matters, causes and things, whatsoever, arising or happening within the commonwealth, or between or concerning persons inhabiting, or residing, or brought within the same, whether the same be criminal or civil, or whether the said crimes be capital or not capital, and whether the said pleas be real, personal, or mixed; and for the awarding and making out of execution thereupon. - Within three weeks after the convening of the general court the governor shall recommend to the general court a budget which shall contain a statement of all proposed expenditures of the commonwealth for the fiscal year, including those already authorized by law, and of all taxes, revenues, loans and other means by which such expenditures shall be defrayed. No judge of any court of this commonwealth (except the court of sessions) and no person holding any office under the authority of the United States (postmasters excepted) shall, at the same time, hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, or councillor, or have a seat in the senate or house of representatives of this commonwealth; and no judge of any court in this commonwealth (except the court of sessions) nor the attorney-general, solicitor-general, county attorney, clerk of any court, sheriff, treasurer and receiver-general, register of probate, nor register of deeds, shall continue to hold his said office after being elected a member of Congress of the United States, and accepting that trust; but the acceptance of such trust by any of the officers aforesaid shall be deemed and taken to be a resignation of his said office; and judges of the courts of common pleas shall hold no other office under the government of this commonwealth, the office of justice of the peace and militia offices excepted. ], Every [male] citizen of [twenty-one] years of age and upwards, excepting [paupers and] persons under guardianship who shall have resided [within the commonwealth one year, and] within the town or district in which he may claim a right to vote, six calendar months next preceding any election of governor, lieutenant governor, senators, or representatives, [and who shall have paid, by himself or his parent, master or guardian, any state or county tax, which shall, within two years next preceding such election, have been assessed upon him in any town or district of this commonwealth; and also, every citizen who shall be, by law, exempted from taxation, and who shall be, in all other respects, qualified as above mentioned,] shall have a right to vote in such election of governor, lieutenant governor, senators and representatives; and no other person shall be entitled to vote in such election. Their judgment, however shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold or enjoy any place of honor, trust, or profit, under this commonwealth: but the party so convicted, shall be, nevertheless, liable to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to the laws of the land. 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. [Not more than two councillors shall be chosen out of any one district of this commonwealth.] Section 2. No person can in any case be subject to law-martial, or to any penalties or pains, by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the legislature. Article LXIV of the Amendments to the Constitution, as amended by Article LXXX of said Amendments, is hereby annulled, and the following is adopted in place thereof:-. II. The General Court shall, at its first regular session after the year in which said census was taken, divide the Commonwealth into one hundred and sixty 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. Every subject has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his possessions. Article IV of the articles of amendment of the constitution of the commonwealth, as amended by Article LVII of said amendments, is hereby further amended by striking out the words "Change of name shall render the commission void, but shall not prevent reappointment under the new name", and inserting in place thereof the following words: -- Upon the change of name of any woman, she shall re-register under her new name and shall pay such fee therefor as shall be established by the general court. - A proposal for amendment to the constitution introduced into the general court by initiative petition shall be designated an initiative amendment, and an amendment introduced by a member of either house shall be designated a legislative substitute or a legislative amendment. 6--7. Male voters 21 years or older ratified the constitution and declaration of rights at the convention on June 15, 1780, and it became effective on October 25, 1780. It is the duty of the people, therefore, in framing a constitution of government, to provide for an equitable mode of making laws, as well as for an impartial interpretation, and a faithful execution of them; that every man may, at all times, find his security in them. Every representative, for one year at least immediately preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen and shall cease to represent such district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the Commonwealth. The privilege and benefit of the writ of habeas corpus shall be enjoyed in this commonwealth in the most free, easy, cheap, expeditious and ample manner; and shall not be suspended by the legislature, except upon the most urgent and pressing occasions, and for a limited time not exceeding twelve months. Said census shall be the basis for determining the representative districts for the ten year period beginning with the first Wednesday in the fourth January following the taking of said census; provided that such districts as established based on the census in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-one shall terminate on the first Wednesday in January in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-nine.] To which courts and judicatories are hereby given and granted full power and authority, from time to time, to administer oaths or affirmations, for the better discovery of truth in any matter in controversy or depending before them. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, ratified in 1780, is the oldest active written constitution in the world. [Annulled by Amendments, Article CIV.]. 2, XLIX, L, LI and XCVII. [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]. The credit of the commonwealth shall not in any manner be given or loaned to or in aid of any individual, or of any private association, or of any corporation which is privately owned and managed.] LXXII and LXXV. The Massachusetts Constitution ended the command of the Provincial Congress and the legislative centered government since the Coercive Acts in 1774 and has been functioning continuously since its ratification in 1780 making it the oldest functioning constitution in the world. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, 12 industry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government. The second, James Bowdoin, was president of the Constitutional Convention and would later become governor of Massachusetts. The governor, with advice of council, shall appoint all officers of the continental army, whom by the confederation of the United States it is provided that this commonwealth shall appoint, as also all officers of forts and garrisons. Lands and easements taken or acquired for such purposes shall not be used for other purposes or otherwise disposed of except by laws enacted by a two thirds vote, taken by yeas and nays, of each branch of the general court. 2.]. Such bill or resolve shall thereupon be before the general court and subject to amendment and re-enactment. All elections ought to be free; and all the inhabitants of this commonwealth, having such qualifications as they shall establish by their frame of government, have an equal right to elect officers, and to be elected, for public employments. If it is a legislative amendment proposed by a legislator, the threshold is 50% of the members. Amendment by Petitioners. (a) Every such reorganization plan shall be referred to an appropriate committee, to be determined by the Clerks of the Senate and the House of Representatives, with the approval of the President and Speaker, which committee shall not later than thirty days after the date of the Governor's presentation of said plan hold a public hearing thereon and shall not later than ten days after such hearing report that it approves or disapproves such plan and such reorganization plan shall have the force of law upon expiration of the sixty calendar days next following its presentation by the governor to the general court, unless disapproved by a majority vote of the members of either of the two branches of the general court present and voting, the general court not having been prorogued within such sixty days. And the people of this commonwealth have also a right to and do, invest their legislature with authority to enjoin upon all the subject an attendance upon the instructions of the public teachers aforesaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend. As a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1779, John Adamswas the document's principal author. The house of representatives shall be the grand inquest of this commonwealth; and all impeachments made by them, shall be heard and tried by the senate. 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]. It is also the first produced by a special constitutional [For provision as to appointment of notaries public and the commisary-general, see Amendments, Articles. Not more than one-fourth of the certified signatures on any petition shall be those of registered voters of any one county. The base compensation as of January first, nineteen hundred and ninety-six, of members of the general court shall not be changed except as provided in this article. The general court may by law limit the time within which judicial proceedings may be instituted calling in question any such division. [Superseded by Amendments, Articles. No person shall be eligible to election to the office of treasurer and receiver-general for more than three successive terms. [See Amendments, Article LXV. 1. Article three of the amendments to the constitution is hereby amended by inserting after the word "guardianship", in line two, the following: -- and persons temporarily or permanently disqualified by law because of corrupt practices in respect to elections. Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. Annulled and superseded by Amendments, Article LXXVII. Full power and authority are hereby given and granted to the general court to impose and levy a tax on income in the manner hereinafter provided. The house of representatives shall have power to adjourn themselves; provided such adjournment shall not exceed two days at a time. No person elected to the general court shall during the term for which he was elected be appointed to any office created or the emoluments whereof are increased during such term, nor receive additional salary or compensation for service upon any recess committee or commission except a committee appointed to examine a general revision of the statutes of the commonwealth when submitted to the general court for adoption. He is obliged, consequently, to contribute his share to the expense of this protection; to give his personal service, or an equivalent, when necessary: but no part of the property of any individual can, with justice, be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. The oldest democratic constitution in use today, it has served as the pattern for our Federal Constitution, for those of Document 4. Articles XXI and XXII of the Amendments to the Constitution, as appearing in Article LXXI of said Amendments, are hereby annulled.] All commissions shall be in the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, signed by the governor and attested by the secretary or his deputy, and have the great seal of the commonwealth affixed thereto. I.--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 … And no officer, duly commissioned to command in the militia, shall be removed from his office, but by the address of both houses to the governor, or by fair trial in court-martial pursuant to the laws of the commonwealth for the time being. Said census shall be the basis for determining the representative districts for the ten year period beginning with the first Wednesday in the fourth January following the taking of said census; provided that such districts as established in the year nineteen hundred and sixty-eight shall continue until the first Wednesday in January in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-five. No possession of a freehold or of any other estate shall be required as a qualification for holding a seat in either branch of the general court, or in the executive council. 2, and The Referendum, III, sec. ], Article I of Chapter III of Part the Second of the constitution is hereby amended by the addition of the following words: -- and provided also that the governor, with the consent of the council, may after due notice and hearing retire them because of advanced age or mental or physical disability. And while the public charges of government, or any part thereof, shall be assessed on polls and estates, in the manner that has hitherto been practiced, in order that such assessments may be made with equality, there shall be a valuation of estates within the commonwealth taken anew once in every ten years at least, and as much oftener as the general court shall order. Preceding the last Wednesday in may. ] 1 ] only the Constitution is hereby by. 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