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WISCONSIN. The name of one of the new states of the United States, of
2. The constitution of Wisconsin was adopted by a convention, at Madison, on the first day of February, 1848.
3. The right of suffrage is vested by the third article of the constitution, as follows: Sect. 1. Every male person of the age of twenty- one years or upwards, belonging to either of the following classes, who shall have resided in this state for one year next preceding any election, shall be deemed a qualified elector at such election. 1st. White citizens of the United States. 2d. White persons of foreign birth who shall have declared their intention to become citizens, conformably to the laws of the United States on the subject of naturalization. 3d. Persons of Indian blood who have once been declared by law of congress to be citizens of the United States, any subsequent act of congress to the contrary notwithstanding.
4th. Civilized persons of Indian descent, not members of any tribe; Provided, that the legislature may at any time extend by law the right of suffrage to persons not herein enumerated, but no such law shall be in force until the same shall have been submitted to a vote of the people at a general election, and approved by a majority of all the votes cast at such election.
Sect. 2. No person under guardianship, non compos mentis, or insane shall be qualified to vote at any election; nor shall any person, convicted of treason or felony, be qualified to vote at any election, unless restored to civil rights.
Sect. 3. All votes shall be given by ballot, except for such township officers as may by law be directed or allowed to be otherwise chosen.
Sect. 4. No person shall be deemed to have lost his residence in this state by reason of absence on business of the United States or of this state.
Sect. 5. No soldier, seaman or marine, in the army or navy of the United States, shall be deemed a resident in this state, in consequence of being stationed within the same.
Sect. 6. Laws may be passed excluding from the right of suffrage all persons who have been, or may be convicted of bribery, or larceny, or any infamous crime, and depriving every person who shall make or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of any election, of the right to vote at such election. 4, The fourth article vests the legislative power in a senate and assembly. These will be separately considered, by taking a view, 1. Of the senate. 2. Of the assembly.
5.-Sec. 1. The senate. It will be proper to examine, first, the qualification of the senators; secondly, the time of their election; third, the duration of their office fourth, the number of senators.
6.-1. The senators must have resided one year within the state, and be qualified electors in the district which they may be chosen to represent. Sect. 6.
7.-2. Senators are elected on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November by the qualified electors of the several districts. One half every year.
8.-3. They hold their office for two years.
9.-4. The senate shall consist of a number of members not more than one-third, nor less than one-fourth of the number of the members of the assembly. Sect. 2.
10.-Sec. 2. The assembly will be, considered in the same order.
11.-1. Members of the assembly must have resided one year in the state, and be qualified electors for the district for which they may be chosen.
12.-2. Members of the assembly are elected at the same time senators are elected.
13.-3. They are elected annually.
14.-4. The number of members of the assembly shall never be less than fifty-four nor more than one hundred.
15. The two houses are invested severally with the following powers:
Sect. 7. 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 compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
Sect. 8. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish for contempts and disorderly behaviour; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member; but no member shall be expelled a second time for the same cause.
Sect. 9. Each house shall choose its own officers, and the senate shall choose a temporary president when the lieutenant-governor shall not attend as president, or shall act as governor.
Sect. 10. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish the same, except such parts as require secrecy. The doors of each house shall be kept open, except when the public welfare shall require secrecy. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days.
16. By the fifth article, the executive power is vested in a governor.
17.-Sect. 1. The executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall hold his office for two years; a lieutenant governor shall be elected at the same time, and for the same term.
18.-Sect. 2. No person, except a citizen of the United States, and a qualified elector of the state, shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant governor.
19.-Sect. 3. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state, at the times and places of choosing members of the legislature. The persons respectively having the highest, number of votes for governor and lieutenant-governor shall be elected, but in case two or more shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for governor or lieutenant-governor, the two houses of the legislature, at its next annual session, shall forthwith, by joint ballot, choose one of the persons so having an equal and the highest number of votes, for governor or lieutenant governor. The returns of election for governor or lieutenant governor shall be made in such manner as shall be provided by law.
20.-Sect. 4. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military. and naval forces of the state. He shall have power to convene the legislature on extraordinary occasions; and in case of invasion, or danger from the prevalence of contagious disease at the seat of government, he may convene them at any other suitable place within the state. He shall communicate to the legislature at every session, the condition of the state; and recommend such matters to them for their consideration as he may deem expedient. He shall transact all necessary business with the officers of the government, civil and military. He shall expedite all such measures as may be resolved upon by the legislature, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
21.-Sect. 5. The governor shall receive during his continuance in office an annual compensation of one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars.
22.-Sect. 6. The governor shall have the power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons after conviction 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 such regulations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons. Upon conviction for treason he shall have the power to suspend the execution of the sentence, until the case shall be reported to the legislature at its next meeting, when the legislature shall either pardon, or commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall annually communicate to the legislature each case of reprieve, commutation or pardon granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of which he was convicted, the sentence and its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon or reprieve, with his reasons for granting the same.
23.-Sect. 7. In case of the impeachment of the governor, or his removal from office, death, inability from mental or physical disease, resignation or absence from the state, the powers and the duties of the office shall devolve upon the lieutenant-governor for the residue of the term, until the governor, absent or impeached, shall have returned, or the disability shall cease. But when the governor shall, with the consent of the legislature, be out of the state in time of war, at the head of the military force thereof, he shall continue commander-in-chief of the military force of the state.
24.-Sect. 8. The lieutenant-governor shall be president of the senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein. If during a vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall be impeached, displaced, resign, die, or from mental or physical disease, become incapable of performing the duties of his office, or be absent from the state the secretary of state shall act as governor until the vacancy shall be filled, or the disability shall cease.
25.-Sect. 9. The lieutenant governor shall receive double the per them allowance of members of the senate, for every day's attendance as president of the senate, and the same mileage as shall be allowed to members of the legislature.
26.-Sect. 10. Every bill which shall have passed the legislature, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor; if he approve, he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it with his objections to that house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections It large upon the journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration, two-thirds. of the members present 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 by two-thirds of the members present, it shall become a law. But in all such cases, the votes of both houses shall be determined by, yeas and nays, and the names of the members, voting for or against the bill, shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within three days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, unless the legislature shall by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
27. The seventh article establishes the judiciary as follows:
Sect. 1. The court for the trial of impeachments shall be composed of the senate. The house of representatives shall have the power of impeaching all civil officers of this state, for corrupt conduct in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors; but a majority of all the members elected shall concur in an impeachment. On the trial of an impeachment against the governor, the lieutenant governor shall not act as a member of the court. No judicial officer shall exercise his office after he shall have been impeached until his acquittal. Before the trial of an impeachment, the members, of the court shall take an oath or affirmation truly and impartially to try the impeachment according to the evidence; and no person shall be convicted without a concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in case of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, or removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, profit or trust under the state; but the party impeached shall be liable to indictment, trial and punishment according to law.
28.-Sect. 2. The judicial power of this state, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in a supreme court, circuit courts, courts of probate, and in justices of the peace. The legislature may also vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in municipal courts and shall have power to establish inferior courts in the several counties with limited civil and criminal jurisdiction: Provided, that the jurisdiction which may be vested in municipal courts shall not exceed, in their respective municipalities, that of circuit courts, in their respective circuits, as prescribed in this constitution: And that the legislature shall provide as well for the election of judges of the municipal courts, as of the judges of inferior courts, by the qualified electors of the respective jurisdictions. The term of office of the judges of the said municipal and inferior courts shall not be longer than that of the judges of the circuit court.
29.-Sect, 3. The supreme court, except in cases otherwise provided in this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be coextensive with the state; but in no case removed to the supreme court shall a trial by jury be allowed. The supreme court shall have a general superintending control over all inferior courts; it shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto certiorari, and other original and remedial writs, and to hear and determine the same.
30.-Sect. 4. For the term of five years and thereafter until the legislature shall otherwise provide, the judges of the several courts shall be judges of the supreme court, four of whom shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of the judges present shall be necessary to a decision. The legislature shall have power, if they should think it expedient and necessary to provide by law for the organization of a separate supreme court, with the jurisdiction and powers prescribed in this constitution, to consist of one chief justice and two associate justices, to be elected by the qualified electors of the state, at such time and in such manner as the legislature may provide. The separate supreme court, when so organized, shall not be changed or discontinued by the legislature; the judges thereof shall be so classified that but one of them shall go out of office at the same time, and the term of office shall be the same as provided for the judges of the circuit court. And whenever the legislature may consider it necessary to establish a separate supreme court, they shall have power to reduce the number of circuit court judges to four, and subdivide the judicial circuits, but no such subdivision or reduction shall take effect till after the expiration of the term of some one of the said judges, or till a vacancy occur by some other means.
31. Circuits are established, and they may be changed by the legislature.
Sec. 7. For each circuit there shall be a judge chosen by the qualified electors therein, who shall hold his office as is provided in this constitution until his successor shall be chosen and qualified, and after he shall have been elected, he shall reside in the circuit for which he was elected. One of said judges shall be designated as chief justice, in such manner as the legislature shall provide. And the legislature shall, at its first session, provide by law as well for the election of, as for classifying, the judges of the circuit court to be elected under this constitution, in such manner, that one of the said judges shall go out of office in two years, one in three years, one in four years, one in five years and one in six years, and thereafter the judge elected to fill the office, shall bold the same for six years.
32.-8. The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal within this state, not excepted in this constitution, and not hereafter prohibited by law, and appellate jurisdiction from all inferior courts and tribunals, and a supervisory control over the same. They shall also have the power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, and all other writs necessary to carry into effect their orders, judgments and decrees, and give them a general control over inferior courts and jurisdictions.
33.-Sect. 9. When a vacancy shall happen in the office of a judge of the supreme or circuit court, such vacancy shall be filled by an appointment of the governor, which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified; and when elected, such successor shall hold his office the residue of the unexpired term. There shall be no election for a judge or judges at any general election for state or county officers, nor within thirty days either before or after such election.
34.-Sect. 10. Each of the judges of the supreme and circuit courts shall receive a salary, payable quarterly, of not less than one thousand five hundred dollars annually; they shall receive no fees of office or other compensation than their salaries; they shall hold no office of public trust, except a judicial office, during the term for which they are respectively elected, and all votes for either of them for any office except a judicial office, given by the legislature or the people, shall be void. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge who shall not at the time of his election be a citizen of the United States, and have attained the age of twenty-five years, and be a qualified elector within the jurisdiction for which he may be chosen.
35.-Sect. 11. The supreme court shall hold at least one term annually at the seat of government of the state at such times as shall be provided by law, and the legislature may provide for holding other terms, and at other places when they may deem it necessary. A circuit court shall be held at least twice a year, in each county of this state, organized for judicial purposes. The judges of the circuit court may hold courts for each other, and shall do so when required by law.