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MISSOURI. The name of one of the new states of the United States of America.
This state was admitted into the Union by a resolution of congress, approved
March 2, 1821, 3 Story's L. U. S. 1823, by which it is resolved, that
Missouri shall be admitted into this Union on an equal footing with the
original states, in all respects whatever. To this resolution there is a
condition, which having been fulfilled, it is now useless here to repeat.
2. The convention which formed the constitution of this state assembled at St. Louis, on Monday the 12th of June, 1820, and continued by adjournment, till the 19th day of July, 1820, when the constitution was adopted, establishing "an independent republic by the name of the `state of Missouri.'"
3. The powers of the government are divided into three distinct departments, each of which is confided to a separate magistracy. Art. 2.
4.-1st. The legislative power is vested in a general assembly, which consists of a senate and house of representatives. 1. The senate is to consist of not less than fourteen nor more than thirty-three members. The senators are chosen by tho electors for the term of four years; one-half of the senators are chosen every second year. 2. The house of representatives is never to consist of more than one hundred members. The members are chosen by the qualified electors every second year.
5.-2d. The executive power is vested in a governor and lieutenant- governor. 1. The supreme executive power is vested in a chief magistrate, styled "the governor of the state of Missouri." Art. 4, s. 1, He is elected by the people, and holds his office for four years, and until a successor be duly appointed and qualified. Art. 4, s. 3. He is invested with the veto power. Art. 4, s. 10. The lieutenant-governor is elected at the same time, in the same manner, for the same term, and is required to possess the same qualifications as the governor. Art. 4, s. 14. He is by virtue of his office president of the senate, and when the office of governor becomes vacant by death, resignation, absence from the state, removal from office, refusal to qualify, or otherwise, the lieutenant-governor possesses all the powers and discharges all the duties of governor until such vacancy be filled, or the governor, so absent or impeached, shall return or be acquitted. And in such case there shall be a new election after three months previous notice.
6.-3d. The judicial powers are vested by the 5th article of the constitution as follows:
Sec. 1. The judicial powers, as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in a "supreme court," in a "chancellor," in "Circuit courts," and in such inferior tribunals as the general assembly may, from time to time, ordain and establish.
7.-2. The supreme court, except in cases otherwise directed by this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be coextensive with the state, under the restrictions and limitations in this constitution provided.
8.-3. The supreme court shall have a general superintending control over all inferior courts of law. It shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, and other original remedial writs; and to hear and determine the same.
9.-4. The supreme court shall consist of three judges, any two of whom shall be a quorum, and the said judges shall be conservators of the peace throughout the state.
10.-5. The state shall be divided into convenient districts, not to exceed four; in each of which the supreme court shall hold two sessions annually, at such place as the general assembly shall appoint; and when sitting in either district, it shall exercise jurisdiction over causes originating in that district only: provided, however, that the general assembly may, at any time hereafter, direct by law, that the said court shall be held at one place only.
11.-6. The circuit court shall have jurisdiction over all criminal cases which shall not be otherwise provided for by law; and exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil cases which shall not be cognizable before justices of the peace, until otherwise directed by the general assembly. It shall hold its terms in such place in each county as may be by law directed.
12.-7. The state shall be divided into convenient circuits, for each of which a judge shall be appointed, who, after his appointment, shall reside, and be a conservator of the peace, within the circuit for which he shall be appointed.
13.-8. The circuit courts shall exercise a superintending control over all such inferior tribunals as the general assembly may establish; and over justices of the peace in each county in their respective circuits.
14.-9. The jurisdiction of the court of chancery shall be co-extensive with the state and the times and places of holding its sessions shall be regulated in the same manner as those of the supreme court.
15.-10. The court of chancery shall have original and appellate jurisdiction in all matters of equity, and a general control over executors, administrators, guardians, and minors, subject to appeal, in all cases, to the supreme court, under such limitations as the general assembly may by law provide.
16.-11. Until the general assembly shall deem it expedient to establish inferior courts of chancery, the circuit courts shall have jurisdiction in matters of equity, subject to appeal to the court of chancery, in such manner, and under such restrictions, as shall be prescribed by law.
17.-12. Inferior tribunals shall be established in each county, for the transaction of all county business; for appointing guardians; for granting letters testamentary, and of administration; and for settling the accounts of executors, administrators, and guardians.
18.-13. The governor shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, appoint the judges of the supreme court, the judges of the circuit courts, and the chancellor, each of whom shall hold his office during good behaviour, and shall receive for his services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during his continuance in office, and which shall not be less than two thousand dollars annually.
19.-14. No person shall be appointed a judge in the supreme court, nor of a circuit court, nor chancellor, before he shall have attained to the age of thirty years; nor shall any person continue to exercise the duties of any of said offices after he shall have attained to the age of sixty-five years.
20.-15. The courts respectively shall appoint their clerks, who shall hold their offices during good behaviour. For any misdemeanor in office, they shall be liable to be tried and removed by the Supreme court, in such manner as the general assembly shall by law provide.
21.-16. Any judge of the supreme court, or of the circuit court, or the chancellor, may be removed from office on the address of two-thirds of each house of the general assembly to the governor for that purpose; but each house shall state on its respective journal the cause for which it shall wish the removal of such judge or chancellor, and give him notice thereof; and he shall have the right to be heard in his defence in such manner as the general assembly shall by law direct; but no judge nor chancellor shall be removed in this manner for any cause for which he might have been impeached.
22.-17. In each county there shall be appointed as many justices of the peace as the public good may be thought to require. Their powers and duties, and their duration in office, shall be regulated by law.
23.-18. An attorney general shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate. He shall remain in office four years, and shall perform such duties as shall be required of him by law.
24.-19. All writs and process shall run, and all prosecutions shall be conducted in the name of the "state of Missouri;" all writs shall be tested by the clerk of the court from which they shall be issued, and all indictments shall conclude, "against the peace and dignity of the state."