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seven years, if so long they shall behave themselves well; but may be removed by the governor within that time on conviction of misbehavior in office, or on the address of both houses of the legislature.
SEC. 21. The style in all process and public acts shall be, "The State of Delaware." Prosecutions shall be carried on in the name of the State, and shall conclude, “ against the peace and dignity of the State."
SECTION 1. There shall be a court styled “The high court of errors and appeals,” which shall consist of the chancellor and of the judges of the supreme court and court of common pleas. Any four of the judges of this court may proceed on business, but any smaller number may open and adjourn the court. If any of them has rendered judgment or passed a decree in any cause before removal, he shall not sit judicially upon the hearing of the same in this court, but may assign the reasons upon which such judgment was rendered, or such decree passed. The chancellor shall preside, except when he cannot sit judicially; and in such cases, or in his absence, the chief-justice of the supreme court; but if he is so disqualified or absent, then the chief-justice of the court of common pleas shall preside; and if he is so disqualified or absent, then the next eldest judge, according to priority in date of commissions, if present, and not disqualified as a foresaid, shall preside. This court shall have power to issue writs of error to the supreme court, and to the court of common pleas, and to receive and determine appeals from interlocutory or final orders or decrees of the chancellor: Errors shall be assigned and causes of appeal exhibited in writing speedily, and citations duly served on adverse parties.
SEC. 2. Upon the reversal of a judgment of the supreme court or of the court of common pleas, or a decree of the chancellor, this court shall respectively render such judgment or pass such decree as the supreme court, or the court of common pleas, or the chancellor ought to have rendered or passed, except where the reversal is in favor of the plaintiff or petitioner in the original suit, and the damages to be assessed, or the matters to be decreed, are uncertain; in any of which cases the cause shall be remanded, in order to a final decision.
Sec. 3. The judges of this court may issue all process proper for bringing records fully before them, and for carrying their determinations into execution.
SECTION 1. The members of the senate and house of representatives, the chancellor, the judges of the supreme court and the court of common pleas, and the attorney-general, shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators of the peace throughout the State; and the treasurer, secretary, clerks of the supreme court, prothonotaries, registers, recorders, sheriff's, and coroners shall, by virtue of their offices, be conservators thereof within the counties respectively in which they reside.
Sec. 2. The representative, and when there shall be more than one the representatives, of the people of this State in Congress, shall be voted for at the same places where representatives in the State legislature are voted for, and in the same manner.
SEC. 3. The State treasurer shall be appointed annually by the house of representatives, with the concurrence of the Senate. No person who hath served in the office of State treasurer shall be eligible to a seat in either house of the legislature until he shall have made a final settlement of his accounts as treasurer, and discharged the balance, if any, thereon due.
Sec. 4. Two persons for the office of sheriff, and two for the office of coroner, shall be chosen by the citizens residing in each county, and having right to vote for representatives, at the time and places of election of representatives, one of whom for each oflice respectively shall be appointed by the governor. They shall hold their offices for three years, if so long they shall behave themselves well, and until successors be duly qualified; but no person shall be twice appointed sheriff, upon election by the citizens, in any term of six years. The governor shall fill vacancies in these offices by new appointments, to continue unto the next general election, and until successors shall be chosen and duly qualified. The legislature, two-thirds of each branch concurring, may, when it shall be judged expedient, vest the appointment of sheriff's and coroners in the governor; but no person shall be twice appointed sheriff in any term of six years.
Sec. 5. The attorney-general, clerks of the supreme court, prothonotaries, registers, clerks of the orphans' courts and of the peace, shall respectively be commissioned for five years, if so long they shall behave themselves well; but may be removed by the governor within that time, on conviction of misbehavior in office, or on the address of both houses of the legislature. Prothonotaries, clerks of the supreme court, of the orphans' courts, registers, recorders, and sheriff's, shall keep their offices in the town or place in each county in which the supreme court and the court of common pleas are usually held.
Sec. 6. Attorneys at law, all inferior officers in the treasury department, election officers, officers relating to taxes, to the poor, and to highways, constables and hundred officers, shall be appointed in such manner as is or may be directed by law.
Sec. 7. All salaries and fees annexed to offices shall be moderate; and no officer shall receive any fees whatever, without giving to the person who pays a receipt for them, if required, therein specifying every particular, and the charge for it.
SEC. 8. No costs shall be paid by a person accused, on a bill being returned ignoramus; nor on acquittal by a jury, unless a majority of the judges present at the trial certify that there was probable cause for the prosecution.
Sec. 9. The rights, privileges, immunities, and estates of religious societies and corporate bodies shall remain as if the constitution of this State had not been altered. No clergyman or preacher of the gospel, of any denomination, shall be capable of holding any civil office in this state, or of being a member of either branch of the legislature, while he continues in the exercise of the pastoral or clerical functions.
Sec. 10. All the laws of this State, existing at the time of making this constitution, and not inconsistent with it, shall remain in force. unless they shall be altered by future laws; and all actions and prosecutions now pending shall proceed as if this constitution had not been made.
SEC. 11. This constitution shall be prefixed to every edition of the laws made by direction of the legislature.
SEC. 12. The legislature shall, as soon as conveniently may be, provide by law for ascertaining what statutes and parts of statutes shall continue to be in force within this State; for reducing them, and all acts of the general assembly, into such order, and publishing them in such manner, that thereby the knowledge of them may be generally diffused; for choosing inspectors and judges of elections, and regulating the same, in such manner as shall most effectually guard the rights of the citizens entitled to vote; for better securing personal liberty, and easily and speedily, redressing all wrongful restraints thereof; for more certainly obtaining returns of impartial juries; for dividing lands and tenements in sales by sheriffs, where they will bear a division, into as many parcels as may be, without spoiling the whole, and for advertising and making the sales, in such manner and at such times and places as may render them most beneficial to all persons concerned, and for establishing schools, and promoting arts and sciences.
Members of the general assembly, and all officers, executive and judicial, shall be bound, by oath or affirmation, to support the constitution of this State, and to perform the duties of their respective offices with fidelity.
The general assembly, whenever two-thirds of each house shall deem it necessary, may, with the approbation of the governor, propose amendments to this constitution, and at least three, and not more than six months, before the next general election of representatives, duly publish them in print, for the consideration of the people; and, if three-fourths of each branch of the legislature shall, after such an election, and before another, ratify the said amendments, they shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as parts of this constitution. No convention shall be called but by the authority of the people; and an unexceptionable mode of making their sense known, will be for them, at a general election of representatives, to vote also, by ballot, for or against a convention, as they shall severally choose to do; and if, thereupon, it shall appear that a majority of all the citizens in the State, having right to vote for representatives, have voted for a convention, the general assembly shall, accordingly, at their next sessions, call a convention, to consist of at least as many members as there are in both houses of the legislature, to be chosen in the same manner, at the same places, and at the same time that representatives are by the citizens entitled to vote for representatives, on due notice given for one month, and to meet within three months after they shall be elected.
SCHEDULE That no inconveniences may arise from the alterations of the constitution of this State, and in order to carry the same into complete operation, it is hereby declared and ordained
I. That the president, or, in case of his death, inability, or absence from the State, the speaker of the legislative council, at that time, and in case of his death, inability, or absence from the State, the speaker of the house of assembly, at that time, shall respectively, with the privy council, exercise the executive authority of this State, until the third Tuesday in January next. If the death, inability, or absence of the president shall happen after the first Tuesday of next October, and before the first Tuesday in next January, then the executive authority shall devolve upon the person who was speaker of the council at the next preceding session of the general assembly; and in case of his death, inability, or absence, upon the person who was speaker of the house of assembly at the said next preceding session.
II. That all persons holding offices to which, under this constitution, appointments are to be made by the governor, shall continue in the exercise of the duties of their respective offices, until the first Tuesday of October, 1793, unless their commissions shall sooner expire by their own limitations, or the said offices shall become vacant by death or resignation, and no longer, unless reappointed and commissioned by the governor.
III. That justice shall be administered in the several counties of this State, until the period last mentioned, by the same justices, in the same courts, and in the same manner as heretofore.
IV. That the sheriff's elected at October next shall hold their respective commissions two years, and no longer, from that time, or until new sheriffs are elected and appointed; and such persons shall not be again eligible until the expiration of three years after their commissions cease.
V. That the elections of governor, senators, and representatives shall be conducted by the same persons and in the same manner as is prescribed by the election laws of this State concerning the election of members of the council and of the house of assembly; and the returns thereof shall be made respectively to the person exercising the executive authority, to the senate, and to the house of representatives.
VI. The first meeting of the legislature under this constitution shall be at the town of Dover.
Done in convention the twelfth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the sixteenth. In testimony whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names.
THOMAS MONTGOMERY, President. Attest: JAMES BOOTH, Secretary.
AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF 1792.
The chancellor shall compose the orphans' court of each county, and exercise the equity jurisdiction heretofore exercised by the orphans' court, except as to the adjusting and settling executors, administrators, and guardians accounts, in which case he shall have an appellate jurisdiction from the sentence and decree of the register. This court may issue process throughout the State to compel the attendance of witnesses. Appeals may be made from the orphans' court, in cases where that court has original jurisdiction, to the supreme court, whose decision shall be final.
CONSTITUTION OF DELAWARE-1831 * a
We, the people, hereby ordain and establish this constitution of government for the State of Delaware.
Through divine goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences; of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting reputation and property, and, in general, of attaining objects suitable to their condition, without injury by one to another; and as these rights are essential to their welfare, for the due exercise thereof, power is inherent in them; and therefore all just authority in the institutions of political society is derived from the people, and established with their consent, to advance their happiness. And they may for this end, as circumstances require, from time to time, alter their constitution of government.
SECTION 1. Although it is the duty of all men frequently to assemble together for the public worship of the Author of the universe, and piety and morality, on which the prosperity of communities depends, are thereby promoted, yet no man shall, or ought to be compelled to attend any religious worship, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of worship, or to the maintenance of any ministry, against his own free will and consent; and no power shall or ought to be vested in or assumed by any magistrate that shall, in any case, interfere with, or in any manner control, the rights of conscience in the free exercise of religious worship; nor shall a preference be given by law to any religious societies, denomination, or modes of worship
SEC. 2. No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State.
Sec. 3. All elections shall be free and equal.
Sec. 5. The press shall be free to every citizen who undertakes to examine the official conduct of men acting in a public capacity, and any citizen may print on any such subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty. In prosecutions for publications investing the proceedings of oflicers, or where the matter published is proper for
* Journal of the Convention of the People of the State of Deleware which assembled at Dover in the year of Lord, One thousand eight hundred and thirty one, and the Independence of the United States, the fifty-sixth. Wilmington: Da; R. & J. B. Porter, l'rinters.
" Journal in Committee of the Whole of the Convention of the People of the State of Deleware, which assembled at Dover, in the year 1831, and of the Independence of the United States the fifty-sixth. Wilmington, Del: R. & J. B. Porter, Printers.” pp. 44.
“ Debates of the Deleware Convention for Revising the Constitution of the State, or adopting a new one. Held at Dover, November. 1831. (Reported for the Deleware Gazette and American Watchman) by William M. Gonge, Wilmington, Del. Printed and Published by Samuel Harker, No. 4 Market Street," pp. 261.
Index. a This constitution, which is that originally adopted in 1792, with important amendments, was framed by a convention which met November 8, 1831, and adjourned December 2, 1831. It was not submitted to the peoples.