CONSTITUTION OF 1819


ARTICLE II.

DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.

 

SEC. 1. The powers of the government of the State of Alabama shall be divided into three distinct departments; and each of them confided to a separate body of magistracy, to wit: those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another.

SEC. 2. No person, or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power, properly belonging to either of the others, except in the instances herein after expressly directed or permitted.

ARTICLE III.

LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.

SEC. 1. The Legislative power of this State shall be vested in two distinct branches: the one to be styled the Senate, the other the House of Representatives, and both together, "the General Assembly of the State of Alabama;" and the style of their Laws shall be, "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened."

SEC. 2. The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by the qualified electors, and shall serve for the term of one year, from the day of the commencement of the general election, add no longer.

SEC. 3. The Representatives shall be chosen every year, on the first Monday and the day following in August, until otherwise directed by law.

SEC. 4. No person shall be a representative unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the county, city, or town, for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years.

SEC. 5. Every white male person of the age of twenty-one years, or upwards, who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this State one year next preceding an election, and the last three months within the county, city, or town, in which he offers to vote, shall be deemed a qualified elector: Provided, that no soldier, seaman, or marine, in the regular army or navy of the United States, shall be entitled to vote at any election in this State; and provided, also, that no elector shall be entitled to vote except in the county, city, or town, (entitled to separate representation,) in which he may reside at the time of the election.

SEC. 6. Electors shall, in all cases, except in those of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and in going to and returning from the same.

SEC. 7. In all elections by the people, the electors shall vote by ballot until the General Assembly shall otherwise direct.

SEC. 8. Elections for Representatives for the several counties shall be held at the place of holding their respective courts, and at such other places as may be prescribed by law: Provided that, when it shall appear to the General Assembly that any city or town shall have a number of white inhabitants equal to the ratio then fixed, such city or town shall have a separate representation, according to the number of white inhabitants therein; which shall be retained so long as such city or town shall contain a number of white inhabitants equal to the ratio which may from time to time be fixed by law; and thereafter, and during the existence of the right of separate representation, in such city or town, elections for the county in which such city or town (entitled to such separate representation) is situated, shall not be held in such city or town; but it is understood and hereby declared, that no city or town shall be entitled to separate representation unless the number of white inhabitants in the county in which such city or town is situated, residing out of the limits of said city or town, be equal to the existing ratio; or unless the residuum or fraction of such city or town shall, when added to the white inhabitants of the county residing out of the limits of said city or town, he equal to the ratio fixed by law for one representative; and provided, that, if the residuum or fraction of any city or town, entitled to separate representation, shall, when added to the residuum of the county in which it may lie, be equal to the ratio fixed by law for one representative, then the aforesaid county, city, or town, having the largest residuum, shall be entitled to such representation: and provided, also, that when there are two or more counties adjoining, which have residuums or fractions over and above the ratio then fixed by law, if said residuums or fractions, when added together, will amount to such ratio, in that case one representative shall be added to that county having the largest residuum.

SEC. 9. The General Assembly shall, at their first meeting and in the years one thousand eight hundred and twenty, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six, and every six years thereafter, cause an enumeration to be made of all the inhabitants of the State, and the whole number of the representatives shall, at the first session held, after making every such enumeration, be fixed by the General Assembly, and apportioned among the several counties, cities, or towns, entitled to separate representation, according to their respective numbers of white inhabitants; and the said apportionment, when made, shall not be subject to alteration, until after the next census shall be taken. The House of Representatives shall not consist of less than forty-four, nor more than sixty members, until the number of white inhabitants shall be one hundred thousand, and, after that event, the whole number of representatives shall never be less than sixty nor more than one hundred; Provided, however, that each county shall be entitled to at least one representative.

SEC. 10. The General Assembly shall, at the first session after making every such enumeration, fix by law the whole number of senators, and shall divide the state into the same number of districts, as nearly equal in the number of white inhabitants as may be, each of which districts shall be entitled to one senator and no more; provided that the whole number of senators shall never be less than one fourth, nor more than one third of the whole number of representatives.

SEC. 11. When a senatorial district shall be composed of two or more counties, the counties of which such district consists shall not be entirely separated by any county belonging to another district; and no county shall be divided in forming a district.

SEC. 12. Senators shall be chosen by the qualified electors, for the term of three years, at the same time, in the same manner, and at the same places, where they may vote for Members of the House of Representatives; and no person shall be a Senator unless he be a white man, a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this State two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained to the age of twenty-seven years.

SEC. 13. The Senators chosen according to the apportionment under the census ordered to be taken in one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six, when convened, shall be divided by lot into three classes, as nearly equal as may be. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, those of the second class at the expiration of the second year, and those of the third class at the expiration of the third year, so that one third may be annually chosen thereafter, and a rotation thereby kept up perpetually. Such mode of classifying new additional Senators shall be observed as will, as nearly as possible, preserve an equality of members in each class.

SEC. 14. The House of Representatives, when assembled, shall choose a Speaker, and its other officers; and the Senate shall annually choose a President and its other officers. Each house shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns, of its own members; but a contested election shall be determined in such a manner as shall be directed by law.

SEC. 15. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as each House may provide.

SEC. 16. Each House may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly behavior, and, with the consent of two thirds, expel a member; but not a second time for the same cause; and shall have all other powers necessary for branch of the legislature of a free and independent State.

SEC. 17. Each House, during the session, may punish, by imprisonment, any person, not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly behavior in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings: provided, that such imprisonment shall not, at any one time, exceed forty-eight hours.

SEC. 18. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and cause the same to be published immediately after its adjournment, excepting such parts as, in its judgment, may require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of any two members present, be entered on the journals. And any member of either house shall have liberty to dissent from or protest against any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public or an individual, and have the reasons of his dissent entered on the Journals.

SEC. 19. Senators and Representatives shall, in a11 cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the General Assembly, and in going to and returning from the same; allowing one day for every twenty miles such member may reside from the place at which the General Assembly is convened; nor shall any member be liable to answer for any thing spoken in debate in either House, in any court or place elsewhere.

SEC. 20. When vacancies happen in either House, the Governor, or the person exercising the powers of the Governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

SEC. 21. The doors of each House shall be open, except on such occasions as, in the opinion of the House, may require secrecy.

SEC. 22. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.

SEC. 23. Bills may originate in either House, and be amended, altered, or rejected, by the other; but no bill shall have the force of a law until on three several days it be read in each House, and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless, in cases of urgency, four-fifths of the House in which the bill shall be depending may deem it expedient to dispense with this rule; and every bill, having passed both Houses, shall be signed by the Speaker and President of their respective Houses: provided, that all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may amend or reject them as other bills.

SEC 24. Each member or the General Assembly shall receive from the public treasury such compensation for his services as may be fixed by law; but no increase of compensation shall take effect during the session at which such increase shall have been made.

SEC. 25. No Senator or representative shall, during the term for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during said term; except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

SEC. 26. No person holding any lucrative office under the United States, (the office of postmaster excepted,) this state, or any other power, shall be eligible to the General Assembly: provided, that offices in the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, or the office of justice of the peace, or that of the quorum or county court, while it has no salary, shall not be deemed lucrative.

SEC. 27. No person who may hereafter be a collector or holder of public moneys, shall have a seat in either house of the General Assembly, or be eligible to any office of trust or profit under this State, until he shall have accounted for, and paid into the treasury, all sums for which he may be accountable.

SEC. 28. The first election for Senators and Representatives shall be general throughout the State; and shall be held on the third Monday and Tuesday in September next.

SEC. 29. The first session of the General Assembly shall commence on the fourth Monday in October next, and be held at the town of Huntsville, and all subsequent sessions at the town of Cahawba, until the end of the first session of the General Assembly, to be held in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five: during that session the General Assembly shall have power to designate by law (to which the Executive concurrence shall not be required) the permanent seat of Government, which shall not thereafter be changed; Provided, however, that, unless such designation be then made by law, the government shall continue permanently at the town of Cahawba; and provided, also, that the General Assembly shall make no appropriations previous to the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, for the building of any other State House than that now provided for by law.


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