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TEXAS. The name of one of the new states of the United, States of America.
Texas was an independent republic. By the joint resolution of congress of
March 1, 1845, congress gave consent that the republic of Texas might be
erected into a new state, to be called the state of Texas, with a republican
form of government to be adopted by the people. And by the joint resolution
of congress of the 29th day of December, 1845, the state of Texas was
admitted into the union on an equal footing with the original states in all
2. The constitution of the state was adopted in convention by the deputies of the people of Texas, at the city of Austin the 27th day of August, 1845.
3. By the second article, it is provided that the powers of the government of the state of Texas shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them be 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; and no person, or collection of persons, being of one of those departments, shall exercise any power properly attached to either of the others, except in the instances herein expressly permitted.
4.-Sec. 1. In considering the legislative power, it will be proper to consider, 1. The qualification of voters. 2. The rights of members of the legislature. 3. The senate. 4. The house of representatives.
5.-1. By sections. 1st and 2d, it is declared that every free male person who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, and who shall be a citizen of the United States, or who is, at the time of the adoption of this constitution by the congress of the United States, a citizen of the republic of Texas, and shall have resided in this state one year next preceding an election, and the last six months within the district, county, city, or town in which he offers to vote, (Indians not taxed, Africans, and the descendants of Africans, excepted,) shall be deemed a qualified elector and should such qualified elector happen to be in any other county situated in the district in which he resides at the time of an election, he shall be permitted to vote for any district officer: Provided, That the qualified electors shall be permitted to vote anywhere in the state for state officers: And provided further, That no soldier, seaman, or marine, in the army or navy of the United States, shall be entitled to vote at any election created by this constitution.
Sect. 2. All free male persons over the age of twenty-one years, (Indians not taxed, Africans, and descendants of Africans, excepted,) who shall have resided six months in Texas, immediately preceding the acceptance of this constitution by the congress, of the United States, shall be deemed qualified electors.
6.-2. The powers of the two houses are defined by the following sections of the third article, namely,
Sec. 12. The house of representatives, when assembled, shall elect a speaker and its other officers; and the senate shall choose a president for the time being, and its other officers. Each house shall judge of the qualifications and elections of its own members; but contested elections shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law. Two-thirds of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
Sec. 13. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings; punish members for disorderly conduct; and with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.
Sec. 14. Each house shall keep a journal of its own proceedings, and publish the same; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house on any question shall, at the desire of any three members present, be entered on the journals.
Sec. 16. Senators and representatives shall, in all cases, except in treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the legislature; 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 legislature is convened.
Sec. 17. Each house may punish, by imprisonment during the session, any person, not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly conduct in its presence, or for obstructing,any of its proceedings, provided such imprisonment shall not, at any one time, exceed forty-eight hours.
Sec. 18. The doors of each house shall be kept open.
7.-3. The senate will be considered by taking a view, 1. Of the qualifications of senators. 2. Of the time of their election. 3. Of the length of their service. 4. By whom chosen.
8.-1st. The 11th section of the 3d article of the constitution directs that no person shall be a senator unless he be a citizen of the United States, or at the time of the acceptance of this constitution by the congress of the United States a citizen of the republic of Texas, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state three years next preceding the election; and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and have attained the age of thirty years.
9.-2d. Elections are to be held at such times and places as are now or may hereafter be designated by law. Art. 3, s. 7.
10.-3d. Senator; are duly elected for four years.
11.-4th. Senators are chosen by the qualified electors.
12.-1. The house of representatives will be considered in the same order which has been observed in speaking of the senate.
13.-1st. By the 6th section of the 3d article of the constitution, it is declared that no person shall be a representative unless he be a citizen of the United States, or at the time of the adoption of this constitution a citizen of the republic of Texas, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state two years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a citizen of the county, city, or town for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years at the time of his election.
14.-2d. Elections are to be held at such times and places as 'are now or may hereafter be designated by law. Art. 3, s. 7.
15.-3d. The members of the house of representatives hold their office for two, years from the day of the general election; and the sessions of the legislature shall be biennial, at such times as shall be prescribed by law. Art. 3, s. 6.
16.-4th. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen by the qualified electors. Art. 3, s. 5.
17.-Sec. 2. The judicial power is vested in one supreme court, in district courts, and in such inferior courts as the legislature may from time to time ordain and establish; and such jurisdiction may be vested in corporation courts. as may be deemed necessary, and be directed by law. Art. 4, s. 1. Each of these will be separately considered.
18.-1. The supreme court will be considered by, 1. Taking a view of the appointment of the judges, and the time during which they hold their office. 2. The organization of the court. 3. Its jurisdiction.
19.-1st. The governor shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the senate, shall appoint the judges of the supreme and district courts, and they shall hold their offices for six years. Art. 4, s. 5.
20.-2d. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and two associates, any two of whom shall form a quorum. 4, s. 2. It appoints its own clerk.
21.-3d. The 3d section of the 4th article of the constitution declares that the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be co-extensive with the limits of the state; but in criminal cases, and in appeals from interlocutory judgments, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the legislature shall make; And the supreme court and judges thereof shall have power to issue the writ of habeas corpus, and, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, may issue Writs of mandamus, and such other writs as, shall be necessary to enforce its own jurisdiction; and also compel a judge of the district court to proceed to trial and judgment in a cause; and the supreme court shall hold its sessions once every year, between the months of October and June inclusive, at not more than three places in the state.
22.-2. The circuit courts will be considered in the same order observed with regard to the supreme court.
23.-1st. Circuit court judges are appointed in the same way as judges of the supreme court, and hold their office for the same time.
24.-2d. By the 6th section of the 4th article of the constitution, if is directed that the state shall be divided into convenient judicial districts. For each district there shall be appointed a Judge, who shall reside in the same, and hold the courts at one place in each county, and at least twice in each year, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. The clerk is elected by the qualified voters of members of the legislature. Art. 4, s. 11.
24.-3d. By the tenth section of the fourth article, jurisdiction is given to the district courts in these words: The district court shall have original jurisdiction of all criminal cases, of all suits in behalf of the state to recover penalties, forfeitures and escheats, and of all cases of divorce, and of all suits, complaints, and pleas whatever, without regard to any distinction between law and equity, when the matter in controversy shall be valued at or amount to one hundred dollars, exclusive of interest; and the said courts, or the judges thereof, shall have power to issue all writs necessary to enforce their own jurisdiction, and give them a general superintendence and control over inferior jurisdictions; and in the trial of all criminal cases, the jury trying the same shall find and assess the amount of punishment to be inflicted, or fine imposed; except in capital cases, and where the. punishment or fine imposed shall be specifically imposed by law.
25.-Sec. 3. The supreme executive power is vested in a governor. We will consider, 1. His qualifications. 2. By whom elected. 3. Duration of his office. 4. His power and duty.
26.-1st. He must be at least thirty years of age, be a citizen of the United States, or a citizen of Texas, at the time of the adoption of the constitution, and shall have resided in the same three years next immediately preceding his election. Art. 5, s. 4.
27.-2d. The governor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state, at the time and places of elections for members of the legislature. Art. 5, s. 2.
28.-3d. He holds his office for two years from the regular time of installation, and until his successor shall have been duly qualified, but shall not be eligible for more than four years in any term of six years. Art. 5, s. 4.
29.-4th. He is commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the state -- may require information from officers of the executive department -- may convene the legislature, or adjourn the same, when the houses cannot agree-- may recommend measures to the legislature -- shall cause the laws to be executed. Art. 5.
30. There shall be a lieutenant governor, who shall be chosen at every election for governor, by the same persons and in the same manner, continue in office for the same time, and, possess the same qualifications. In voting for governor and lieutenant-governor, the electors shall distinguish for whom they vote as governor, and for whom as lieutenant-governor. The lieutenant governor shall, by virtue of his office, be president of the senate, and have, when in committee of the whole, a right to debate and vote on all questions, and when the senate is equally divided, to give the casting vote. In case of the death, resignation, removal from office, inability or refusal of the governor to serve or of his impeachment or absence from the state, the lieutenant governor shall exercise the power and authority appertaining to the office of governor until another be chosen at the periodical election and be duly qualified or until the governor impeached, absent, or disabled, shall be acquitted, return, or his disability be removed. Art. 5, s. 12.