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We, the people of the State of Illinois-grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations—in order to form a more perfect government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of Illinois.
Boundaries. The boundaries and jurisdiction of the State shall be as follows, to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Wabash river, thence up the same, and with the line of Indiana, to the north-west corner of said State, thence east with the line of the same State, to the middle of Lake Michigan; thence north along the middle of said lake, to north latitude forty-two degrees and thirty minutes; thence west to the middle of the Mississippi river, and thence down along the middle of that river to its confluence with the Ohio river, and thence up the latter river, along its north-western shore to the place of beginning: Provided, That this State shall exercise such jurisdiction upon the Ohio river as she is now entitled to, or such as may hereafter be agreed upon by this State and the State of Kentucky.
Bill of Rights. SECTION 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights-among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happi
To secure these rights and the protection of property, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
§ 2. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.
§ 3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or
place of worship against his consent, nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.
§ 4. 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.
8 5. The right of trial by jury, as heretofore enjoyed, shall remain inviolate; but the trial of civil cases before Justices of the Peace by a jury of less than twelve men, may be authorized by law.
§ 6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against urreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue without probable cause, supported by affidavit, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
§ 7. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, where the proof is evident or the presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
§ 8. No person shall be heid to answer for a criminal offense, unless on indictment of a grand jury, except in cases in which the punishment is by fine, or imprisonment otherwise than the penitentiary, in cases 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: Provided, That the grand jury may be abolished by law in all cases.
§ 9. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses face to face, and 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. § 1o.
No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to give evidence against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.
§ 11. 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 same.
$ 12. No person shall be imprisoned for debt, unless upon refusal to deliver up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, or in cases where there is strong presumption of fraud.
§ 13. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation. Such compensation, when not made by the State, shall be ascertained by a jury, as shall be prescribed by law. The fee of land taken for railroad tracks, without consent of the owners thereof, shall remain in such owners, subject to the use for which it is taken.
§ 14. No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or making any irrevocable grant of special privileges or immunities, shall be passed.
§ 15. The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
$ 16. 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.
§ 17. The people have the right to assemble in a peaceable manner to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their Representatives, and to apply for redress of grievances.
§ 18. All elections shall be free and equal.
§ 19. Every person ought to find a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries and wrongs which he may receive in his person, property or reputation; he ought to obtain, by law, right and justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay.
§ 20. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of civil government is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.
Distribution of Powers.
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.
Legislative Department. SECTION 1. The legislative power shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives, both to be elected by the people.
Election. § 2. An election for members of the General Assembly shall be held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy, and every two years thereafter, in each county, at such places therein as may be provided by law. When vacancies occur in either House, the Governor, or person exercising the powers of Governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
Eligibility and Oath, 8 3. No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained the age of twentyfive years, or a Representative who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years. No person shall be a Senator or a Representative who shall not be a citizen of the United States, and who shall not have been for five years a resident of this State, and for two years next preceding his election a resident within the territory forming the district from which he is elected. No Judge or Clerk of any Court, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State's Attorney, Recorder, Sheriff, or Collector of Public Revenue, member of either House of Congress, or person holding any lucrative office under the United States or this State, or any foreign government, shall have a seat in the General Assembly: Provided, That appointments in the militia and the offices of Notary Public and Justice of the Peace shall not be considered lucrative. Nor shall any person holding any office of honor or profit under any foreign government, or under the gove ernment of the United States (except Postmasters whose annual compensation does not exceed the sum of three hundred dollars), hold any office of honor or profit under the authority of this State.
§ 4. No person who has been, or hereafter shall be, convicted of bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime, nor any person who has been or may be a collector or holder of public moneys, who shall not have accounted for and paid over, according to law, all such moneys due from him, shall be eligible to the General Assembly, or to any office of profit or trust in this State.
8 5. Members of the General Asseinbly, before they enter upon their official duties, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and will faithfully discharge the duties of Senator (or Representative) according to the best of my ability; and that I have not, knowingly or intentionally, paid or contributed anything, or made any promise in the nature of a bribe, to directly or indirectly influence any vote at the election at which I was chosen to fill the said office, and have not accepted, nor will I accept or receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing, from any corporation, company or per. son, for any vote or influence I may give or withhold on any bill, resolution or appropriation, or for any other official act.” This oath shall be administered by a Judge of the Supreme or Circuit Court in the Hall of the House to which the member is elected, and the Secretary of State shall record and file the oath subscribed by each member. Any member who shall refuse to take the oath herein prescribed shall forfeit his office, and every member who shall be convicted of having sworn falsely to, or of violating his said oath, shall forfeit his office, and be disqualified thereafter from holding any office of profit or trust in this State.
§ 6. The General Assembly shall apportion the State every ten years, beginning with the year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-one, by dividing the population of the State, as ascertained by the federal census, by the number fifty-one, and the quotient shall be the ratio of representation in the Senate. The State shall be divided into fifty-one Senatorial Districts, each of which shall elect one Senator, whose term of office shall be four years. The Senators elected in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two in districts bearing odd numbers, shall vacate their offices at the end of two years, and those elected in districts bearing even numbers at the end of four years; and vacancies occurring by the expiration of term shall be filled by the election of Senators for the full term. Senatorial Districts shall be formed of contiguous and compact territory, bounded by county lines, and contain as nearly as practicable an equal number of inhabitants; but no district shall contain less than four-fifths of the Senatorial ratio. Counties containing not less than the ratio and three-fourths, may be divided into separate districts, and shall be entitled to two Senators, and to one additional Senator for each number of inhabitants equal to the ratio contained by such counties in excess of twice the number of said ratio.
$ 7. The population of the State, as ascertained by the federal census, shall be divided by the number one hundred and fifty-three, and the quotient shall be the ratio of representation in the House of Representatives. Every county or district shall be entitled to one Representative, when its population is three-fifths of the ratio; if any county has less than three-fifths of the ratio it shall be attached to the adjoining county having the least population, to which no other county has for the same reason been attached, and the two shall constitute a separate district. Every county or district having a population not less than the ratio and three-fifths shall be entitled to two Representatives, and for each additional number of inhabitants equal to the ratio, one Representative. Counties having over two hundred thousand inhabitants may be divided into districts, each entitled to not less than thrée nor more