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MICHIGAN. One of the new, states of the United States of America. This state
was admitted into the Union by the Act, of Congress of January 26th, 1837,
Sharsw. cont. of Story's L. U. S. 2531, which enacts "that the state of
Michigan shall be one and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States
of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the
original states, in all respects whatever."
2. The first constitution of this state was adopted by a convention of the people, begun and held at the capital in the city of Detroit, on Monday, the eleventh day of May, 1835. This was superseded by the present constitution, which was adopted 1850. It provides, article 3, Sec. 1; The powers of the government shall be divided into three distinct departments; the legislative, the executive, and the judicial; and one department shall never exercise the powers of another, except in such cases as are expressly provided for in this constitution.
3.-1. Art. 4, relates to the Legislative department, and provides that
Sec. 1. The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and house of representatives.
4.-Sec. 6. No person holding any office under the United States [or this state] or any county office, except notaries public, officers of the militia and officers elected by townships, shall be eligible to, or have a seat in either house of the legislature, and all votes given for any such person shall be void.
5.-Sec. 7. Senators and representatives shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest, nor shall they be subject to any civil process, during the session of the legislature, nor for fifteen days next before the commencement and after the termination of each session. They shall not be questioned in any other place for any speech in either house.
6.-Sec. 8. 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.
7.-Sec. 9. Each house shall choose its own officers, determine the rules of its proceeding, and judge of the qualifications, elections, and return of its own members and may, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member; no member shall be expelled a second time for the same cause, nor for any cause known to his constituents antecedent to his election. The reason for such expulsion shall be entered upon the journal, with the names of the members voting on the question.
8.-Sec. 10. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same, except such parts as may require secrecy; the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall be entered on the journal at the request of one-fifth of the members present. Any member of either house may dissent from and protest against any act, proceeding or resolution which he may deem injurious to any person or the public, and have the reason of his dissent entered on the journal.
9.-Sec. 11. In all elections by either house, or in joint convention, the votes shall be given viva voce. All votes on nominations to the senate shall be taken by yeas and nays, and published with the journal of its proceedings.
10.-Sec. 12. The doors of each house shall be open, unless the public welfare require secrecy; neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than where the legislature may then be in session.
11.-1st. In considering the house of representatives, it will be proper to take a view of the qualifications of members; the qualification of the electors; the number of members; the time for which they are elected.
12.-1. The representatives must be citizens of the United States, and qualified electors in the respective counties which they represent. Art. 4, S. 5. 2. In all elections, every white male citizen, every white male inhabitant residing in the state on the twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five; every white male inhabitant residing in the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty, who has declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States pursuant to the laws thereof six months preceding an election, or who has resided in this state two years and six months and declared his intention as aforesaid and every civilized male inhabitant of Indian descent, a native of the United States, and not a member of any tribe, shall be an elector and entitled to vote; but no citizen or inhabitant shall be an elector or entitled to vote at any election, unless he shall be above the age of twenty-one years, and has resided in this state three months and in the township or ward in which he offers to vote ten days next preceding such election. Art. 7, Sec. 1. 3. The house of representatives shall consist of not less than sixty-five nor more than one hundred members. Art. 4, s. 3. 4. The election of representatives, pursuant to the provisions of this constitution, shall be held on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, and on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November of every second year thereafter. Art. 4, s. 34. Representatives shall be chosen for two years. Art. 4, s. 3.
13.-2d. The senate will be considered in the same order. 1. Senators must be citizens of the United States, and be qualified electors in the district which they represent. Art. 4, s. 5. 2. They are elected by the electors of representatives. Art. 7, s. 1. 3. The senate shall consist of thirty-two members. Art. 4, s. 2. 4. The senators shall be elected for two years, at the same time and in the same manner as the representatives are required to be chosen. Art. 4, section 2, 34.
14.-2. The executive department is regulated by the fifth article of the constitution as follows, namely:
Sec. 1. The executive power is vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for two years; a lieutenant governor shall be chosen for the same term.
15.-Sec. 2 No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant governor, who has not been five years a citizen of the United States, and a resident of this state two years next preceding the election; nor shall any person be eligible to either office who has not attained the age of thirty years.
16.-Sec. 3. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected at the times and places of choosing members of the legislature. The Person having the highest number of votes for governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected; in case two or more persons have an equal and the highest number of votes for governor or lieutenant governor, the legislature shall by joint vote choose one of such persons.
17.-Sec. 4. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces, and may call out such forces to execute the laws, to suppress insurrections and to repel invasions.
18.-Sec. 5. He shall transact all necessary; business with the officers of government; and may require information, in writing, from the officers of the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
19.-Sec. 6. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
20.-Sec. 7. He may convene the legislature on extraordinary occasions.
21.-Sec. 8. He shall give to the legislature, and at the close of his official term to the next legislature, information by message of the condition of the state, and recommend such measures to them as he shall deem expedient.
22.-Sec. 9. He may convene the legislature at some other place, when the seat of government becomes dangerous from disease or a common enemy.
23.-Sec. 10. He shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as occur in the senate or house of representatives.
24.-Sec. 11. He may grant reprieves, commutations and pardons after convictions, for all offences except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions, and with such restrictions and limitations, as he may think proper, subject to regulations provided by law, relative to the manner of applying for pardons. Upon conviction for treason, he may suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the legislature at its next session, when the legislature shall either pardon, or commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall communicate to the legislature at each session information of each case of reprieve, commutation or pardon granted, and the reasons therefor.
25.-Sec. 12. In case of the impeachment of the governor, his removal from office, death, inability, resignation, or absence from the state, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor for the residue of the term, or until the disability ceases. When the governor shall be out of the state in time of war, at the head of a military force thereof, he shall continue commander-in-chief of all the military force of the state.
26.-Sec. 13. During a vacancy in the office of governor, if the lieutenant governor die, resign, be impeached, displaced, be incapable of performing the duties of his office, or absent from the state, the president pro tempore of the senate shall act as governor until the vacancy be filled, or the disability cease.
27.-Sec. 14. The lieutenant governor shall, by virtue of his office, be president of the senate. In committee of the whole he may debate all questions; and when there is an equal division, he shall give the casting vote.
28.-Sec. 15. No member of congress, nor any person holding office under the United States, or this state, shall execute the office of governor.
29.-Sec. 16. No person elected governor or lieutenant governor shall be eligible to any office or appointment from the legislature, or either house thereof, during the time for which he was elected. All votes for either of them, for any such office, shall be void.
30.-Sec. 17. The lieutenant governor and president of the senate pro tempore, when performing the duties of governor, shall receive the same compensation as the governor.
31.-Sec. 18. All official acts of the governor, his approval of the laws excepted, shall be authenticated by the great seal of the state, which shall be kept by the secretary of state.
32.-Sec. 19. All commissions issued to persons holding office under the provisions of this constitution, shall be in the name and by the authority of the people of the state of Michigan, sealed with the great seal of the state, signed by the governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state.
32.-3. The judicial department is regulated by the sixth article as follows, namely:
33.-Sec. 1. The judicial power is vested in one supreme court, in circuit courts, in probate courts, and in justices of the peace. Municipal courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction may be established by the legislature in cities.
34.-Sec. 2. For the term of six years, and thereafter, until the legislature otherwise provide, the judges of the several circuit courts shall be judges of the supreme court, four of whom shall constitute a quorum. A concurrence of three shall be necessary to a final decision. After six years the legislature may provide by law for the organization of a supreme court, with the jurisdiction and powers prescribed in this constitution, to consist of one chief justice and three associate justices, to be chosen by the electors of the state. Such supreme court, when so organized, shall not be changed or discontinued by the legislature for eight years thereafter. The judges thereof shall be so classified that but one of them shall go out of office at the same time. Their term of office, shall be eight years.
35.-Sec. 3. The supreme court shall have a general superintending control over all inferior courts, and shall have power to issue writs of error, habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warrants, procedendo, and other original and remedial writs, and to hear and determine the same. In all other cases it shall have appellate jurisdiction only.
36.-Sec. 4. Four terms of the supreme court shall be held annually, at such times and places, as may be designated by law.
37.-Sec. 5. The supreme court shall, by general rules, establish, modify and amend the practice in such court and in the circuit courts, and, simplify the same. The legislature shall, as far as practicable, abolish distinctions between law and equity proceedings. The office of master in chancery is prohibited.
38.-Sec. 6. The state shall be divided, into eight judicial circuits; in each of which the electors thereof shall elect one circuit judge, who shall hold his office for the term of six years, and until his successor is elected and qualified.
39.-Sec. 7. The legislature may alter the limits of circuits, or increase the number of the same. No alteration or increase shall have the effect to remove a judge from office. In every additional circuit established the judge shall be elected by the electors of such circuit, and his term of office shall continue as provided in this constitution for judges of the circuit court.
40.-Sec. 8. The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal, not excepted in this constitution, and not prohibited by law; and, appellate jurisdiction from all inferior courts and tribunals, and a supervisory control of the same. They shall also have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, and other writs necessary to carry into effect their orders, judgments and decrees, and give there a general control over inferior courts and tribunals within their respective jurisdictions.
41.-Sec. 9. Each of the judges of the circuit courts shall receive a salary payable quarterly. They shall be ineligible to any other than a judicial office during the term for which they are elected, and for one year thereafter. All votes for any person elected such judge for any office other than judicial, given either by the legislature or the people, shall be void.
42.-Sec. 10. The supreme court may appoint a reporter of its decisions. The decisions of the supreme court shall be in writing, and signed by the judges concurring therein. Any judge dissenting there from, shall give the reasons of such dissent in writing, under his signature. All such opinions shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court. The judges of the circuit court, within their respective jurisdictions, may fill vacancies in the office of county clerk and of prosecuting, attorney; but no judge of the supreme court, or, circuit court, shall exercise any other power of appointment to public office.
43.-Sec. 11. A circuit court shall be held at least twice in each year, in every county organized for judicial purposes, and four times in each year in counties containing ten thousand inhabitants. Judges of the circuit court may hold courts for each other, and shall do so when required by law.
44.-Sec. 12. The clerk of each county organized for judicial purposes shall be the clerk of the circuit court of such county, and of the supreme court when held within the same.
45.-Sec. 13. In each of the counties organized for judicial purposes, there shall be a court of probate. The judge of such court shall be elected by the electors of the county in which he resides, and shall hold his office for four years, and until his successor is elected and qualified. The jurisdiction, powers, and duties of such court, shall be prescribed by law.
46.-Sec. 14. When a vacancy occurs in the office of judge of the supreme, circuit or probate court, it shall be filled by appointment of the governor, which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified. When elected, such successor shall hold his office the residue of the unexpired term.
47.-Sec. 15. The supreme court, the circuit and probate court of each county, shall be courts of record, and shall each have a common seal.
48.-Sec. 16. The legislature may provide by law for the election of one or more persons in each organized county, who may be vested with judicial powers, not exceeding those of a judge of the circuit court at chambers.
49.-Sec. 17. There shall be not exceeding four justices of the peace in each organized township. They shall be elected by the electors of the townships, and shall hold their offices for four years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. At the first election in any township, they shall be classified as shall be prescribed by law. A justice elected to fill a vacancy shall hold his office for the residue of the unexpired term. The legislature may increase the number of justices in cities.
50.-Sec. 18. In civil cases justices of the peace shall have exclusive jurisdiction to the amount of one hundred dollars, and concurrent jurisdiction to the amount of three hundred dollars, which may be increased to five hundred dollars, with such exceptions and restrictions as may be provided by law. They shall also have such criminal jurisdiction and perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the legislature.
51.-Sec. 19. Judges of the supreme court, circuit judges, and justices of the peace, shall be conservators of the peace within their respective jurisdictions.
52.-Sec. 20. The first election of judges of the circuit courts shall be held on the first Monday in April, one thousand eight hundred and fifty- one, and every sixth year thereafter. Whenever an additional circuit is created, provision. shall be made to hold the subsequent election of such additional judges at the regular elections herein provided.
53.-Sec. 21. The first election of judges of the probate courts shall be held on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of November, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, and every fourth year thereafter.
54.-Sec. 22. Whenever a judge shall remove beyond the limits of the jurisdiction for which he was elected or a justice of the peace from the township in which he was elected, or by a change in the boundaries of such township shall be placed without the same, they shall be deemed to have vacated their respective offices.
55.-Sec. 23. The legislature may establish courts of conciliation, with such powers and duties as shall be prescribed by law.
56.-Sec. 24. Any suitor in any court of this state shall have the right to prosecute or defend his suit, either in his own proper person, or by an attorney or agent, of his choice.
57.-Sec. 25. In all prosecutions for libels, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted. The jury shall have the right to determine the law and the fact.
58.-Sec. 26. The person, houses, papers, and possessions of every person shall be secure from unreasonable searches and seizure. No warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or things shall issue without describing them, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.
59.-Sec. 27. The right of trial by jury shall remain, but shall be deemed to be waived in all civil cases unless demanded by one of the parties, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
60.-Sec. 28. In every criminal prosecution, the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, which may consist of less than twelve, men in all courts not of record; to be informed of the nature of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and have the assistance of counsel for his defence.
61.-Sec. 29. No person, after acquittal upon the merits, shall be tried for the same offence; all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for murder and treason, when the proof is evident or the presumption great.
62.-Sec. 30. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless upon the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
63.-Sec. 31. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed; cruel or unusual punishment shall not be inflicted, nor, shall witnesses be unreasonably detained.
64.-Sec. 32. No person shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
65.-Sec. 33. No person shall be imprisoned for debt arising out of, or founded on a contract, express or implied, except in cases of fraud or breach of trust, or of moneys collected by public officers, or in any professional employment. No person shall be imprisoned for a militia fine in time of peace.
66.-Sec. 34. No person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness, on account of his opinions on matters of religious belief.
67.-Sec. 35. The style of all process shall be, "In the name of the people of the State of Michigan."