Fall in Vermont NewEnglandTimes Header
ruleTHE CONNECTICUT CONSTITUTIONrule

Green Line

Connecticut is named The Constitution State because it was the first of the original thirteen colonies to craft and adopt a state constitution.

 

Charter of the Colony
Of Connecticut 1662
The First Constitution
The Fundamental Orders of 1638-1639
Connecticut
Constitution

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT: PREAMBLE, ARTICLES FIRST AND SECOND

PREAMBLE.

The People of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government; do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights and privileges which they have derived from their ancestors; hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following constitution and form of civil government.

ARTICLE FIRST.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

That the great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established,

WE DECLARE:

SEC. 1. All men when they form a social compact, are equal in rights; and no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive public emoluments or privileges from the community.

SEC. 2. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit; and they have at all times an undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of government in such manner as they may think expedient.

SEC. 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in the state; provided, that the right hereby declared and established, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.

SEC. 4. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.

SEC. 5. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press.

SEC. 6. In all prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence, and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court.

SEC. 7. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from unreasonable searches or seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or things, shall issue without describing them as nearly as may be, nor without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation.

SEC. 8. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have a right to be heard by himself and by counsel; to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted by the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process to obtain witnesses in his behalf; to be released on bail upon sufficient security, except in capital offenses, where the proof is evident or the presumption great; and in all prosecutions by indictment or information, to a speedy, public trial by an impartial jury. No person shall be compelled to give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall excessive bail be required nor excessive fines imposed. No person shall be held to answer for any crime, punishable by death or life imprisonment, unless on a presentment or an indictment of a grand jury, except in the armed forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger.

(Sec. 8 amended in 1982. See Art. XVII of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

SEC. 9. No person shall be arrested, detained or punished, except in cases clearly warranted by law.

SEC. 10. All courts shall be open, and every person, for an injury done to him in his person, property or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial or delay.

SEC. 11. The property of no person shall be taken for public use, without just compensation therefor.

SEC. 12. The privileges of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless, when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it; nor in any case, but by the legislature.

SEC. 13. No person shall be attainted of treason or felony, by the legislature.

SEC. 14. The citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.

SEC. 15. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

SEC. 16. The military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

SEC. 17. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

SEC. 18. No hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors, shall ever be granted, or conferred in this state.

SEC. 19. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate.

(Sec. 19 amended in 1972. See Art. IV of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

SEC. 20. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the law nor be subjected to segregation or discrimination in the exercise or enjoyment of his civil or political rights because of religion, race, color, ancestry or national origin.

(Sec. 20 amended in 1974. See Art. V of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

(Sec. 20 amended in 1984. See Art. XXI of the Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

ARTICLE SECOND OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.

The powers of government shall be divided into three distinct departments, and each of them confided to a separate magistracy, to wit, those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive, to another; and those which are judicial, to another.

*(ARTICLE SECOND amended in 1982. See Art. XVIII of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

ARTICLE THIRD OF THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.

SEC. 1. The legislative power of the state shall be vested in two distinct houses or branches; the one to be styled the senate, the other the house of representatives, and both together the general assembly. The style of their laws shall be: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened.

SEC. 2. There shall be a regular session of the general assembly to commence on the Wednesday following the first Monday of the January next succeeding the election of its members, and at such other times as the general assembly shall judge necessary; but the person administering the office of governor may, on special emergencies, convene the general assembly at any other time. All regular and special sessions of the general assembly shall be held at Hartford, but the person administering the office of governor may, in case of special emergency, convene the assembly at any other place in the state. The general assembly shall adjourn each regular session not later than the first Wednesday after the first Monday in June following its organization and shall adjourn each special session upon completion of its business. If any bill passed by any regular or special session or any appropriation item described in Section 16 of Article Fourth has been disapproved by the governor prior to its adjournment, and has not been reconsidered by the assembly, or is so disapproved after such adjournment, the secretary of the state shall reconvene the general assembly on the second Monday after the last day on which the governor is authorized to transmit or has transmitted every bill to the secretary with his objections pursuant to Section 15 of Article Fourth of this constitution, whichever occurs first; provided if such Monday falls on a legal holiday the general assembly shall be reconvened on the next following day. The reconvened session shall be for the sole purpose of reconsidering and, if the assembly so desires, repassing such bills. The general assembly shall adjourn sine die not later than three days following its reconvening.

(Sec. 2 amended in 1970. See Art. III of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

SEC. 3. The senate shall consist of not less than thirty and not more than fifty members, each of whom shall be an elector residing in the senatorial district from which he is elected. Each senatorial district shall be contiguous as to territory and shall elect no more than one senator.

(Sec. 3 amended in 1970. See Art. II, Sec. 1 of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

SEC. 4. The house of representatives shall consist of not less than one hundred twenty-five and not more than two hundred twenty-five members, each of whom shall be an elector residing in the assembly district from which he is elected. Each assembly district shall be contiguous as to territory and shall elect no more than one representative. For the purpose of forming assembly districts no town shall be divided except for the purpose of forming assembly districts wholly within the town.

(Sec. 4 amended in 1970. See Art. II, Sec. 2 of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

SEC. 5. The establishment of districts in the general assembly shall be consistent with federal constitutional standards.

(Sec. 5 amended in 1980. See Art. XVI, Sec. 1 of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

SEC. 6. a. The assembly and senatorial districts as now established by law shall continue until the regular session of the general assembly next after the completion of the next census of the United States. Such general assembly shall, upon roll call, by a yea vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house, enact such plan of districting as is necessary to preserve a proper apportionment of representation in accordance with the principles recited in this article. Thereafter the general assembly shall decennially at its next regular session following the completion of the census of the United States, upon roll call, by a yea vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house, enact such plan of districting as is necessary in accordance with the provisions of this article.

b. If the general assembly fails to enact a plan of districting by the first day of the April next following the completion of the decennial census of the United States, the governor shall forthwith appoint a commission consisting of the eight members designated by the president pro tempore of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the minority leader of the senate and the minority leader of the house of representatives, each of whom shall designate two members of the commission, provided that there are members of no more than two political parties in either the senate or the house of representatives. In the event that there are members of more than two political parties in a house of the general assembly, all members of that house belonging to the parties other than that of the president pro tempore of the senate or the speaker of the house of representatives, as the case may be, shall select one of their number, who shall designate two members of the commission in lieu of the designation by the minority leader of that house.

c. The commission shall proceed to consider the alteration of districts in accordance with the principles recited in this article and it shall submit a plan of districting to the secretary of the state by the first day of the July next succeeding the appointment of its members. No plan shall be submitted to the secretary unless it is certified by at least six members of the commission. Upon receiving such plan the secretary shall publish the same forthwith, and, upon publication, such plan of districting shall have the full force of law.

d. If by the first day of the July next succeeding the appointment of its members the commission fails to submit a plan of districting, a board of three persons shall forthwith be empaneled. The speaker of the house of representatives and the minority leader of the house of representatives shall each designate, as one member of the board, a judge of the superior court of the state, provided that there are members of no more than two political parties in the house of representatives. In the event that there are members of more than two political parties in the house of representatives, all members belonging to the parties other than that of the speaker shall select one of their number, who shall then designate, as one member of the board, a judge of the superior court of the state, in lieu of the designation by the minority leader of the house of representatives. The two members of the board so designated shall select an elector of the state as the third member.

e. The board shall proceed to consider the alteration of districts in accordance with the principles recited in this article and shall, by the first day of the October next succeeding its selection, submit a plan of districting to the secretary. No plan shall be submitted to the secretary unless it is certified by at least two members of the board. Upon receiving such plan, the secretary shall publish the same forthwith, and, upon publication, such plan of districting shall have full force of law.

(Sec. 6, subsections a through e, amended in 1976. See Art. XII of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut; amended in 1980. See Art. XVI, Sec. 2 of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

SEC. 7. The treasurer, secretary of the state, and comptroller shall canvass publicly the votes for senators and representatives. The person in each senatorial district having the greatest number of votes for senator shall be declared to be duly elected for such district, and the person in each assembly district having the greatest number of votes for representative shall be declared to be duly elected for such district. The general assembly shall provide by law the manner in which an equal and the greatest number of votes for two or more persons so voted for for senator or representative shall be resolved. The return of votes, and the result of the canvass, shall be submitted to the house of representatives and to the senate on the first day of the session of the general assembly. Each house shall be the final judge of the election returns and qualifications of its own members.

SEC. 8. A general election for members of the general assembly shall be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, biennially, in the even-numbered years. The general assembly shall have power to enact laws regulating and prescribing the order and manner of voting for such members, for filling vacancies in either the house of representatives or the senate, and providing for the election of representatives or senators at some time subsequent to the Tuesday after the first Monday of November in all cases when it shall so happen that the electors in any district shall fail on that day to elect a representative or senator.

SEC. 9. At all elections for members of the general assembly the presiding officers in the several towns shall receive the votes of the electors, and count and declare them in open meeting. The presiding officers shall make and certify duplicate lists of the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each. One list shall be delivered within three days to the town clerk, and within ten days after such meeting, the other shall be delivered under seal to the secretary of the state.

SEC. 10. The members of the general assembly shall hold their offices from the Wednesday following the first Monday of the January next succeeding their election until the Wednesday after the first Monday of the third January next succeeding their election, and until their successors are duly qualified.

SEC. 11. No member of the general assembly shall, during the term for which he is elected, hold or accept any appointive position or office in the judicial or executive department of the state government, or in the courts of the political subdivisions of the state, or in the government of any county. No member of congress, no person holding any office under the authority of the United States and no person holding any office in the judicial or executive department of the state government or in the government of any county shall be a member of the general assembly during his continuance in such office.

SEC. 12. The house of representatives, when assembled, shall choose a speaker, clerk and other officers. The senate shall choose a president pro tempore, clerk and other officers, except the president. A majority 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 prescribe.

SEC. 13. Each house shall determine the rules of its own proceedings, and punish members for disorderly conduct, and, with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same cause; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the legislature of a free and independent state.

SEC. 14. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same when required by one-fifth of its members, except such parts as in the judgment of a majority require secrecy. The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journals.

SEC. 15. The senators and representatives shall, in all cases of civil process, be privileged from arrest, during any session of the general assembly, and for four days before the commencement and after the termination of any session thereof. And for any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

SEC. 16. The debates of each house shall be public, except on such occasions as in the opinion of the house may require secrecy.

SEC. 17. The salary of the members of the general assembly and the transportation expenses of its members in the performance of their legislative duties shall be determined by law.

(Sec. 18 added in 1992. See Art. XXVIII of Amendments to the Constitution of the State of Connecticut.)

Page 1 of 5 | Next | 1 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

OUR FRIENDS

Stoweflake Resort & Spa

Located in one of America's most sensational, natural paradises, the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont offers the ultimate, year-round vacation experience. With its celebrated world-class spa, luxurious accommodations, award-winning restaurants and friendly, attentive staff, the Stoweflake is unrivaled as New England's premier spa/resort destination.


Since 1865, Mountain View has offered visitors a memorable experience. Following a $20 million restoration in 2002, the Mountain View once again welcomes guests in grand style with all the state of the art amenities that today's travelers expect from a Four-Diamond destination resort.


INSIDE

QuickStart Guide

Four Simple Steps to Planning the Perfect New England Getaway or Vacation.

{ Home Page | Grow Your Business on NewEnglandTimes.Com | Contact NewEnglandTimes.Com | About NewEnglandTimes.Com | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service }
NewEnglandTimes.Com, your Web guide to vacations, getaways and life in New England
All pages on www.newenglandtimes.com 2003-2014 Jim & Terry Hyde. All rights Reserved.
Return to top