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NEW JERSEY. The name of one of the original states of the United States of
America. This state, when it was first settled, was divided into, two
provinces, which bore the names of East Jersey and West Jersey. They were
granted to different proprietaries. Serious dissensions having arisen
between them, and between them and New York, induced the proprietaries of
both provinces to make a formal surrender of all their powers of government,
but not of their lands, to Queen Anne, in April, 1702; they were immediately
reunited in one province, and governed by a governor appointed by the crown,
assisted by a council, and an assembly of the representatives of the people,
chosen by the freeholders. This form of government continued till the
2. A constitution was adopted for New Jersey on the second day of July, 1776, which continued in force till the first day of September, 1844, inclusive. A convention was assembled at Trenton on the 14th of May, 1844; it continued in, session till the 29th day of Tune, 1844, when the new constitution was adopted, and it is provided by art. 8, s. 4, that this constitution shall take effect and go into operation on the second day of September, 1844.
3. By art. 3, the powers of the government are divided into three distinct department, the legislative, executive and judicial. It further provided that no person or persons belonging to, or constituting one of these departments, shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except therein expressed.
4.-Sec. 1. The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and general assembly. Art. 4, s. 1, n. 1.
5.-1st. In treating of the senate, it will be proper to consider, 1. The of senators. 2. Of the electors of senators. 3. Of the number of senators. 4. Of the time for which they are elected.
6.-1. No person shall be a member of the senate, who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the state for four years, and of the county for which he shall be chosen one year, next before his election. And he must be entitled to suffrage at the time of his election. Art. 4, s. 1, n. 2.
7.-2. Every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of this state one year, and of the county in which he claims his vote five months next before the election, shall be entitled to vote for all officers that now are, or hereafter may be elective by the people; provided, that no person in the military, naval, or marine service of the United States, shall be considered a resident in this state, by, being stationed in any garrison, barrack, or military or naval place or station within this state; and no pauper, idiot, insane person, or person convicted of a crime which now excludes him from being a witness, unless pardoned or restored by law to the right of suffrage, shall enjoy the right of an elector.
8.-3. The senate shall be composed of one senator from each county in the state. Art. 4, s. 2, n. 1.
9.-4. The senators are elected on the second Tuesday of October, for three years. Art. 4, s. 2, n. 1. As soon as the senate shall meet after the first election to be held in pursuance of this constitution, they shall be divided, as equally as may be, into three classes. The seats of the, senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year; of the second class at the expiration of the second year; and of the third class at the expiration of the third year; so that one class may be elected every year; and if vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, the person elected to supply such vacancies shall be elected for the unexpired terms only. Art. 4, s. 2, n. 2.
10.-2d. The general assembly will be considered in the same order that has been observed in speaking of the senate.
11.-1. No person shall be a member, of the general assembly, who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the state for two years, and of the county for which he shall be chosen one year next before his election. He must be entitled to this right of suffrage. Art. 4, s. 1, n. 2.
12.-2. The same persons who elect senators elect members of the general assembly.
13.-3. The general assembly shall be composed of members annually elected by the legal voters of the counties, respectively, who shall be apportioned among the said counties as nearly as may be according to the number of their inhabitants. The present apportionment shall continue until the next census of the United States shall have been taken, and an apportionment of members of the general assembly shall be made by the legislature, at its first session after the next and every subsequent enumeration or census, and when made shall remain unaltered until another enumeration shall have been taken; provided, that each county shall at all times be entitled to one member: and the whole number of members shall never exceed sixty.
14.-4. Members of the legislature are elected yearly on the second Tuesday of October.
15.-3d. The powers of the respective houses are as follows:
16.-1. Each house shall direct writs of election for supplying vacancies, occasioned by death, resignation, or:otherwise; but if vacancies occur during the recess of the legislature, the writs may be issued by the governor, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law.
17.-2. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be. authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
18.-3. Each house shall choose its own officers, determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, may expel a member.
19.-4. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.
20.-5. Neither house, during the session of the legislature, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.
21.-6. All bills and joint resolutions shall be read three time; in each house, before the final passage thereof; and no bill or joint resolution shall pass, unless there be a majority of all the members of each house personally present and agreeing thereto: and the yeas and nays of members voting on such final passage shall be entered on the journal.
22.-7. Members of the senate and general assembly shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the state; which compensation shall not exceed the sum of three dollars per day for the period of forty days from the commencement of the session; and shall not exceed the sum of one dollar and fifty cents per day for the remainder of the session. When convened in extra session by the governor, they shall receive such sum as shall be fixed for the first forty days of the ordinary session. They shall also receive the sum of one dollar for every ten miles they shall travel, in going to and returning from their place of meeting, on the most usual route. The president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of assembly shall, in virtue of their offices, receive an additional compensation equal to one-third of their per diem allowance as members.
23.-8. Members of the senate and of the general assembly shall, in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the sitting of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same: and for any speech or debate, in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
24.-Sec. 2. By the fifth article of the constitution, the executive power is vested in a governor. It will be convenient to consider, 1. The qualifications of the governor. 2. By whom he is elected. 3. The duration of his office. 4. His powers: and 5. His salary.
25.-1. The governor shall be not less than thirty years of age, and shall have been for twenty years, at least, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of this state seven years next before his election, unless be shall have been absent during that time on the public business of the United States or of this state.
26.-2. He is chosen by the legal voters of the state.
27.-3. The governor holds his office for three years, to commence on the third Tuesday of January next ensuing the election of governor by the people, and to end on the Monday preceding the third Tuesday of January, three years thereafter; and he cannot nominate nor appoint to office during the last week of his term. He is not reeligible without an intermission of three years. Art. 5, n. 3.
28.-4. His powers are as follows: He shall be the commander-in-chief of all the military and naval forces of the state; he shall have power to convene the legislature, whenever, in his opinion, public necessity requires it; he shall communicate, by message, to the legislature, at the opening of each session, and at such other times as he may deem necessary, the condition of the state, and recommend such measures as he may deem expedient; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and grant, under the great seal of the state, commissions to all such officers as shall be required to be commissioned.
29. Every bill which shall have passed both houses shall be presented to the governor: if he approve, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, a majority of the whole number of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved of by a majority of the whole number of that house, it shall become a law; but in neither house shall the vote be taken on the same day on which the bill shall be returned to it; and in all such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor, within five days (Sunday excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
30. The governor, or person administering the government, shall have power to suspend the collection of fines and forfeitures, and to grant reprieves, to extend until the expiration of a time not exceeding ninety days after conviction but this power shall not extend to cases of impeachment.
31. The governor, or person administering the government, the chancellor, and the six judges of the court of errors and appeals, or a major part of them, of whom the governor or person administering the government shall be one, may remit fines and forfeitures, and grant pardons after conviction, in all cages except impeachment.
32.-5. The governor shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation which shall be neither increased nor diminished during 'the period for which be shall have been elected.
33.-Sec. 3. The judicial power shall be vested in a court of errors and appeals in the last resort in all causes, as heretofore; a court for the trial of impeachments; a court of chancery; a prerogative court; a supreme court; circuit courts, and such inferior courts as now exist, and as may be hereafter ordained and established by law; which inferior courts the legislature may alter or abolish, as the public good shall require.
34.-1. The court of errors and appeals shall consist of the chancellor, the justices of the supreme court, and six judges, or a major part of them; which judges are to be appointed for six years.
35.-2. Immediately after the court shall first assemble, the six judges shall arrange themselves; in such manner that the seat of one of them shall be vacated every year, in order that thereafter one judge may be annually appointed.
36.-3. Such of the six judges as shall attend the court shall receive, respectively, a per diem compensation, to be provided by law.
37.-4. The secretary of state shall be the clerk of this court.
38.-5. When an appeal from an order or decree shall be heard, the chancellor shall inform the court, in writing, of the reasons for his order or decree but he shall not sit as a member, or have a voice in the hearing or final sentence.
39.-6. When a writ of error shall be brought, no justice who has given a judicial opinion in the cause, in favor of or against any error complained of, shall sit as a member, or have a voice on the hearing, or for its affirmance or reversal; but the reasons for such opinion shall be assigned to the court in writing.
40.-1. The house of assembly shall have the sole power of impeaching, by a vote of a majority of all the members; and all impeachments shall be tried by the senate: the members, when sitting for that purpose, to be on oath or affirmation "truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question according to evidence:" and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of the senate.
41.-2. Any individual officer impeached shall be suspended from exercising his office until his acquittal.
42.-3. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend farther than. to removal from, office and to disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, profit, or trust under this state; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.
43.-4. The secretary of state shall be the clerk of this court.
44.-1. The court of chancery shall consist of a chancellor.
45.-2. The chancellor shall be the ordinary, or surrogate-general, and judge of the prerogative court.
46.-3. All persons aggrieved by any order, sentence, or decree of the orphans' court may appeal from the same, or from any part thereof, to the prerogative court; but such order, sentence, or decree shall not be removed into the supreme court, or circuit court if the subject matter thereof be within the jurisdiction of the orphans' court.
47.-4. The secretary of state shall be the register of the prerogative court, and shall perform the duties required of him by law in that respect.
48.-1. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and four associate justices. The number of associate justices may be increased or decreased by law, but shall never be less than two.
49.-2. The circuit courts shall be held in every county of this state, by one or more of the justices of the supreme court, or a judge appointed for that purpose; and shall in all cases within the county, except in those of a criminal nature, have common law jurisdiction concurrent with the supreme court; and any final judgment of a circuit court may be docketed in the supreme court, and shall operate as a judgment obtained in the supreme court, from the time of such docketing.
50.-3. Final judgments in any circuit court may be brought by writ of error into the supreme court, or directly into the court of errors and appeals.
51.-1. There shall be no more than five judges of the inferior court of common pleas in each of the counties in this state after the terms of the judges of said court now in office shall terminate. One judge for each county shall be appointed every year, and no more, except to fill vacancies, which shall be for the unexpired term only.
52.-2. The commissions for the first appointments of judges of said court shall bear date and take effect on the first day of April next; and an subsequent commissions for judges of said court shall bear date and take effect on the first day of April in every successive year, except commissions to fill vacancies, which shall hear date and take effect when issued.
53.-1. There may be elected under this constitution two, and not more than five, justices of the peace in each of the townships of the several counties of this state, and in each of the wards, in cities that may vote in wards. When a township or ward contains two thousand inhabitants or less, it may have two justices; when it contains more than two thousand inhabitants, and not more than four thousand, it may have four justices; and when it contains more than four thousand inhabitants, it may have, five justices; provided, that whenever any township, not voting in wards, contains more than seven thousand inhabitants, such township) may have an additional justice for each additional three thousand inhabitants above four thousand.
54.-2. The population of the townships in the several counties of the state and of the several wards shall be ascertained by the lost preceding census of the United States, until the legislature shall provide by law some other mode of ascertaining it.