The constitution of the state of Arkansas online

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of any court of record, sheriff, coroner, member of Congress,
nor any other person holding any lucrative office under the
United States or this State, (militia officers, Justices of the
peace, postmasters, officers of public schools and notaries
excepted), shall be eligible to a seat in either house of the
General Assembly.

Sec. 8. No person who now is, or shall be hereafter, Holders of public

^ ' ' moneys disquali-

11 , 111 f 1 1- ' J , tied for office, un-

a collector or holder of public money, nor any assistant til settlement,
or deputy of such holder or collector of public money, shall
be eligible to a seat in either house of the General Assembly,
nor to any office of trust or profit, until he shall have
accounted for and paid over, all sums for which he may have
been liable.

Sec. 9. No person hereafter convicted of embezzle- 9**"^^^*'°" "''*?'

^ famous crime to

ment of public money, bribery, forgery, or other infamous fiLe!"*^ ' ^
crime, shall be eligible to the General Assembly or capable
of holding any office of trust or profit in this State.

Sec. 10. No Senator or Kepresentativ.e shall, during f^^^^^^^^^^l ^dis-
the term for which he shall have been elected, be ap- office. *^
pointed or elected to any civil office under this State.

Sec. 11. Each house shall appoint its own officers. Each house to

appoint its offi-

and shall be sole judge of the qualifications, returns and elec- S '"Siaimcll

tions, etc., of its

tions of its own members. A majority of all the members Qui^Jum!"
elected to each house shall constitute a quorum to do busi-
ness ; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day,
and compel the attendance of absent members, in such man-
ner and under such penalties as each house shall provide.

Sec. 12. Each house shall have the power to de- iiuies.
termine the rules of its proceedings: and punish its mem- Punishment for

'- ^ ' ^ contempts.

bers or other persons, for contempt or disorderly behavior in

its presence ; enforce obedience to its process ; to protect its Enforcement of


Protection of niciubcrs ii":ain8t violence or offers of bribes, or private solic-

inciiibers. o ? r ^

Expulsion of itutioiis ; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a


member ; but not a second time for the same cause. A mem-
ber expelled for corruption shall not, thereafter, be eligible
"^ to either house; and punishment for contempt, or disorderly

behavior, shall not bar an indictment for the same offense.

Journal. Each housc shall keep a journal of its proceedings ; and, from

time to time, publish the same, except such parts as require

Yeas and nays, sccrccy ; and the yeas and nays, on any question, shall, at
the desire of any five members, be entered on the jour-

Proeedings to be Sec. 13. The scssious of cach liousc, and of com-

public. '

mittees of the whole, shall be open, unless when the
business is such as Ought to be kept secret.
Elections by Sec. 14. Whenever an officer, civil or militarv,

joint or concur- "^ '

lent vote. shall be appointed by the joint or concurrent vote of both

houses or by the separate vote of either house of the General
Assembly, the vote shall be taken viva voce and entered on
the journals.

Privileges of Sec. 15. The mcmbcrs of the General Assembly

Senators and

Representatives. ^^vdW, in all cascs cxcept trcason, felony, and breach, or
surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their at-
tendance at the sessions 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.

Pay and mileage. Sec. 16. The members of the General Assembly shall
receive such per diem pay and mileage for their services, as
shall be fixed by law. No member of either housc shall, dur-
^ ing the term for wjiich he has been elected, receive any in-

crease of pay for his services, under any law passed during

Term to begin sucli term. The tcmi of all members of the General Assem-

with election.

bly shall begin on the day of their election.
Duration of ses- Sec. 17. The regular biennial sessions shall not exceed

sions. °

sixty days in duration; unless by a vote of two-thirds of


the members elected to each house of said General

Assembly. Provided, that this section shall not apply to the

first session of the General Assembly under this Constitution,

or when impeadiments are pending.

Sec. 18. Each house, at the beginning of every regular Presiding officers.

session of the General Assembly, and whenever a vacancy

may occur; shall elect from its members a presiding

officer, to be styled, respectively, the President of the Senate, President of Sen-
ate to succeed to

and the Speaker of the House of Representatives ; and when- cl^ro? va^iney'."
ever, at the close of any session, it may appear that the term
of the member elected President of the Senate will expire
before the next regular session, the Senate shall elect another '
President from those members whose terms of oflice continue
over, who shall qualify and remain President of the Senate
until his successor maybe elected and qualified; and who,
in the case of a vacancy in the office of Governor, shall per-
form the duties and exercise the powers of Governor, as else-
where herein provided.

Sec. 19. The style of the lawc^ of the State of Arkansas style of laws,
shall be: "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the
State of Arkansas."

Sec. 20. The State of Arkansas shall never be made state not to be

sued in her courts.

defendant in any of her courts.

Sec. 21. No law shall be passed except by [by] bill, and Laws to be by bin.
no bill shall be so altered or amended on its passage through Amendment of


cither house, as to change its original purpose.

Sec. 22. Every bill shall be read at length, on three Passage of biUs.
different days, in each house; unless the rules be
suspended by two-thirds of the house, when the same may
be read a second or third time on the same day; and no bill
shall become a law unless, on its final passage, the vote be
taken by yeas and nays ; the names of the persons voting
for and against the same be entered on the journal; and a
majority of each house be recorded thereon as" voting in its


Revival, amend- Sec. 23. No law shull be revivcd, amended, or the

ment, and exten-
sion, o aws. provisions thereof extended or conferred, by referenec

to its title only ; but [but] so much thereof as is revived,
amended, extended or conferred, shall be ree^acted and pub-
lished at length. •
Classes of special Sec. 24. The General Assembly shall not pass any

legislation pro-
hibited, local or special law changing the venue in criminal

cases ; changing the names of persons, or adopting or legiti-
mating children; granting divorces; vacating roads, streets
or alleys.
Restriction on Sec. 25. In 3,11 cases whcrc a general law can be made

special legisla-

*'**°' applicable, no special law shall be enacted; nor shall

the operation of any general law be suspended by the
legislature for the beuelit of any particular individual, cor-
poration, or association; nor where the courts have jurisdic-
tion to grant the powers, or the privileges, or the relief asked

Publication of Sec. 26. No local or sDCcial bill shall be passed, unless

nonce of local ^ f ■>

s. jjQ^^^g ^^^ ^|-^g intention to apply therefor, shall have
been published, in the locality where the matter or the
thing to be affected may be situated; which notice shall be,
at least, thirty days prior to the introduction into the Gen-
eral Assembly of such bill, and in the manner to be provided
by law. The evidence of such notice having been published,
' shall be exhibited in the General Assembly before such act

shall be passed.

Extra compensa- Sec. 27. No cxtra Compensation shall be made to

tion to officers,

Xyis.' and eon- '^^^Y officer, agent, employe or contractor, after the ser-


AppropriaUons vicc shall liavc been rendered, or the contract made; nor

for claims, in

vided for°by pre- ^hall any money be appropriated or paid on any claim, the

existing laws.

subject matter of which shall not have been provided for by
preexisting laws; unless such compensation or claim, be
allowed by bil,l passed by two-thirds of the members elected
to each branch of the General Assembly.


Sec. 28. Neither house shall, without the consent of Adjournment,
the other, adjourn for more than three days; nor to any
other place than that in which the two houses shall be

Sec. 29. No money shall be drawn from the treasury Appropriations

to be specific, and

except in pursuance of specific appropriation made by yV^rg^'' ^^ ^"^^
law, the purpose of which shall be distinctly stated
in the bill, and the maximum amount which may be drawn
shall be specified in dollars and cents ; and no appropriations
shall be for a longer period than two years.

Sec. 30. The general appropriation bill shall embrace General and

'-' J. i J. special appropri-

nothing but appropriations for the ordinary expense
of the executive, legislative and judicial departments of
the State; all other appropriations shall be made by sepa-
rate bills each embracing but one subject.

Sec. 31. No State tax shall be allowed, or appropria- Requisites to al-
lowance? of State

tion of money made, except to raise means for the p*fations of mon-
payment of the just debts of the State, for defraying the nec-
essary expenses of government, to sustain common schools,
to repel invasion and suppress insurrection, except by a
majority of two-thirds of both bouses of the General Assem-
bly. .

Sec. 32. No act of the General Assembly shall limit Redress forinju-

ries to person or

the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death ^ property,
or for injuries to persons or property; and, in case
of death from such injuries, the right of action shall survive,
and the General Assembly shall prescribe for whose benefit
such action shall be prosecuted.

Sec. 33. No obligation or liability of any railroad, Liabilities of cor-

I)orations to the

or other corporation held or owned by this State shall ^^^''^
ever be exchanged, transferred, remitted, postponed, or
in any way diminished by the General Assembly ; nor shall
such liability or obligation be released, except by payment
thereof into the State treasury.


Bills not to be ^^.c. 34. No new bill shall be introduced into either

introduced dur-

days of session, house during the last three daj^s of the session.


Bribery of offi- Sec. 35. Any person who shall, directly or indirectly,


offer, give or promise any mone}^ or thing of value, tes-
timonial, privilege or personal advantage to any execu-
tive or judicial officer, or member of the General
Assembly; and any such executive or judicial officer, or
member of the General Assembly, who shall receive or con-
sent to receive any such consideration, either directly -or
indirectly, to influence his action in the performance or non-
performance of his public or official duty, shall be guilty of
a felony, and be punished accordingly.
Expulsion of Sec. 36. Proceedings to expel a member for a crimi-

uember no bar to o i

nal offense, whether successful or not, shall not bar an
indictment and punishment, under the criminal laws, for the
same offense.


Executive Department.
Executive offi- SECTION 1. The (ex)ecutive department of this State shall

cers. ^ ' '■

consist of a Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer. of State,
?eat^of*%vlrn- ^^^it<^^ of State, and Attorney General; all of whom shall


Terms of office, keep their offices in person at the seat of government and

hold their offices for the term of two years, and until their

Commissioner of succcssors are elected and qualified; and the General Assem-

State Lands. ^

bly may provide by law for the establishment of the office of

Commissioner of State Lands.
Governor. Sec. 2. The Supreme executive power of this State

shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled

" the Governor of the State of Arkansas."
nliveomclrs^^''' ^^^- ^' "^^^ Govcmor, Secretary of State, Treasurer

of State, Auditor of State, and Attorney General shall

be elected by the qualified electors of the State at large, at


the time and places of voting for members of the General
Assembly; the returns of each election therefor shall be Returns,
sealed up separately and transmitted to the seat of govern-
ment by the returning oflicers, and directed to the Speaker
of the House of Representatives ; who shall, during the first DociariiUou of

^ cluction.

week of the session, open and publish the votes cast and
given for each of the respective officers hereinbefore men-
tioned, in the presence of both houses of the General Assem-
bly. The person having the highest number of votes, for
each of the respective offices, shall be declared duly elected
thereto; but if two or more shall be equal, and highest in Case ot tie."
votes for the same office, one of them shall be chosen by the
joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly, and a
majority of all the members elected shall be necessary to a

Sec. 4. Contested elections for Governor, Secretary contested eiec-

i.'ciiim n r^ .1. ^ ^ tions for execu-

ot State, ireasurer of State, Auditor of State, and At- tive officers,
torney General shall be determined by the members of both
houses of the General Assembly, in joint session; who shall
have exclusive jurisdiction in trying and determining the
same, except as hereinafter provided in the case of special
elections; and all such contests shall be tried and determined
at the first session of the General Assembly after the election
in which the same shall have arisen.
Sec. 5. No person shall be eligible to the office of Qualifications of


Governor except a citizen of the United States, who shall
have attained the age of thirty years, and shall have been
seven years a resident of this State.

Sec. 6. The Governor shall be Commander-in-chief of g
the military and naval forces of this State except when c^"i'*''f"
they shall be called into the actual service of the United


Sec. 7. He may require information, in writing, May require in-

'-' formation from

from the officers of the Executive Department, on any sub- tw eDeiSment

overuor to be
C o ni mander-in-

18 C0NSTITUTI0:N^ of the [Art. 6.

Execution of the ject relating .to the duties of their respective offices; and

shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.
Messages to Gen- Sec. 8. Hc shall (jiYQ to the General Assembly, from

eral Assembly.

time to time, and at the close of his official term, to the
next General Assembly, information, by message, concerning
the condition and government of the State ; and recommend
for their consideration such measures as he may deem expe-
Great Seal of the Sec. 9. A scal of the State shall be kept by the

State. ^ '^

Governor, used by him officially and called the " Great Seal
of the State of Arkansas."
Grants and com- Sec. 10. All iifrauts and commissious shall be issued in

missions. '-'

the name, and by the authority of the State of Arkansas ;
sealed with the great seal of the State ; signed by the Gover-
nor, and attested by the Secretary of State.
Persons ineiigi- Sec. 11. No member of ConeTess, or other person hold-

ble to office of o ? r

Governor. ^^^^ officc under the authority of this State, or of the United

States, shall exercise the office of Governor, except as herein

Death.conviction . Sec. 12. In case of the death, convictiou ou impeachment,

on impeachment,

fty.'^of Govirnw' f^il^^^e to qualify, resignation, absence from the State, or
other disability of the Governor, the powers, duties, and
emoluments of the office for the remainder of the term, or
until the disability be removed, or a Governor elected and
qualified, shall devolve upon, and accrue, to the President of
the Senate.

Impeachment or Sec. 13. If, durinff tlic vacaucy of the officc of Govcmor,

other disability ^ n ^ i

Senate! acting aS the President of the Senate shall be impeached, removed from


office, refuse to qualify, resign, die, or be absent from the
State ; the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, in
like manner, administer the government.
Election to fill Sec. 14. Whenever the office of Governor shall have be-

vacancy in office

of Governor. come vacaut by death, resignation, removal from office or
otherwise, provided such vacancy shall not happen
within twelve months next before the expiration of the term


of office for which the late Governor shall have been elected,
the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Rep-
resentatives, as the case may be, exercising the powers of
Governor for the time being, shall immediately cause an elec-
tion to be held to fill such vacancy, giving, by proclamation,
sixty days previous notice thereof, which election shall be
governed by the same rules prescribed for general elections
of Governor as far as applicable ; the returns shall be made Returns,
to the Secretary of State, and the acting Governor, Secretary
of State and Attorney General, shall constitute a board of
canvassers, a majority of whom shall compare said returns,

and declare who is elected ; and if there be- a contested elec- contested elec-

tion, it shall be decided as may be provided by law.

Sec. 15. Every bill which shall have passed both BiUs to be pre-
sented to Gov-

houses of the General Assembly, shall be presented to the ^[""'■^"'■'''••^'■°^-
Governor ; .if he approve it, he shall sign it ; but if he shall Proceedini?s in

case of veto.

not approve it, he shall return it, with his objections, to the
house in which it originated ; which house shall enter the
objections at large upon their journal, and proceed to recon-
sider it. If, after such reconsideration, a majority of the
whole number elected to that house, shall agree to pass the
bill, it shall be sent^ with the objections, to the other house ;
by which, likewise, it shall be reconsidered; and, if approved
by a majority of the whole number elected to that house, it
shall be a law; but in 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 journals. If any bill shall not be returned b}^ the bhi not returned

within five days.

Governor within five days, sunday excepted, after it shalP° ^*'*'""'* ^ ''''^•

have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like

manner as if he had signed it; unless the General Assembly, pnis passed dur-
ing last five days

by their adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it "f ^^^^'OQ-
shall l»ecome a law, unless he shall tile the same, with his
objections, in the office of the Secretary of State, and give


notice thereof, by public proclamation, within twenty days
after such adjournment.
Concurrent or- ^EC. 16. Evcry Order or resolution in which the con-

ders and resolu-

slnted to Govern- ^^^'''^"^® ^^ ^^^^^ houscs of the General Assembly may be
necessary, except on questions of adjournment, shall be pre-
sented to the Governor, and, before it shall take effect, be

Proceedings- in approved by him; or, being disapproved, shall be repassed

case of veto.

by both houses, according to the rules and limitations pre-
scribed in the case of a bill.
Veto of items of Sec. 17. The Govcmor shall have power to disapprove

a p p r o p r i ation

^'"®' any item or items, of any bill making appropriation of

money, embracing distinct items ; and the part or parts of

Proceedings in the bill approved shall ])e the law; and the item or items of

such case. ^ ^

appropriations disapproved, shall be void unless repassed
according to the rules and limitations prescribed for the pas-
sage of other bills over the executive veto.
General pardon- Src. 18. In all cHminil and penal cases, except in those

ing power •

of treasoji and impeachment, the Governor shall have power

to grant reprieves, commutations of sentence, and pardons,

after conviction ; and to remit lines and forfeitures, under such

Pardoning power rulcs ajid regulations as shall be prescribed by law. In cases

in cases of trea-

^"°' of treason, he shall have power, by and with the advice and

consent of the Senate, to grant reprieves and pardons; and he
may, in the recess of the Senate, respite the sentence until
the adjournment of the next regular session of the General

Information con- Assembly. Hc shall communicate to the General Assembly

cerning. pardons,

^linicate'^d'to at cvcry regular session each case of reprieve, commutation

General Assem-

^'y- or pardon, with his reasons therefor; stating the name and

crime of the convict, the sentence, its date, and the date of
the commutation, pardon or reprieve.

Extra sessions of Sec. 19. The Govcmor may, by proclamation on extra-

General Assem-

cition'"eLsewhIre Ordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat

than at seat of

government. of government, or at a different place, if that shall have
become, since their last adjournment, dangerous from an


enemy or contagious disease; and he shall specify in his
proclamation the purpose for which they are convened ; and
no other business than that set forth therein shall be trans-
acted until the same shall have been disposed of; after which
they may, by a vote of two thirds of all the members elected
to both houses, entered upon their journals, remain in session
not exceeding fifteen days.

Sec. 20. In cases of disagreement between the two houses Case of disagree-

" ment. in General

of the General Assembly, at a regular or special session, with time™of adjSuru-


respect to the time of adjournment, the Governor may, if

the facts be certified to him by the presiding, officers of the

two houses, adjourn them to a time not beyond the day of

tlieir next meeting; and on account of danger from an enemy

or disease, to such other place of safety as he may think


Sec. 21. The Secretary of State shall keep a full and Duties of Secre-
tary of State.

accurate record of all the official acts and proceedings of the
Governor; and, when required, lay the same with all papers,
minutes and vouchers relating thereto, before either branch
of the General Assembly. He shall also discharge the duties Superintendent

of Public Instruc-

of Superintendent of Public Instruction, until otherwise ^'°""
provided by law.

Sec. 22. The Treasurer of State, Secretary of State, Audi- Duties of other

oflBcers of Execu-

tor of State, and Attorney General shall perform such duties tive Department.

as may be prescribed by law; they shall not hold any other Their disqualifica-
tion to hold other

ofiice or commission, civil or military, in this State or under ^^^^'

any State, or the United States, or any other power, at one

and the same time; and in case of vacancy occurring in any vaca'ncies in

their offices.

ot said offices, by death, resignation or otherwise, the Gov-
ernor shall fill said office by appointment for the unexpired

Sec. 23. When any office, from any cause, may become v a e a n c i e s in

. office, not else-

vacant, and no mode is provided by the constitution and laws J^^ere provided

for filling such vacancy, the Governor shall have the power

to fill the same by granting a commission, which shall


expire when the person elected to till said office, at the next
general election, shall be duly qualified.


Judicial Department.
Judicial power. SECTION 1. The judicial powcr of the State shall bc vcstcd

where vested.

in one Supreme Court; in circuit courts; in County and Pro-
Estabiishment of bate Court8;and in Justices of the Peace. The General

additional courts.

Assembly may also vest such jurisdiction as may be deemed
necessary in municipal corporation Courts, Courts of Com-
mon Pleas, where established ; and, when deemed expedient,
may establish separate courts of chancer}^
Supreme Court. Sec. 2. The Supreme Court shall be composed of three

Online LibraryArkansasThe constitution of the state of Arkansas → online text (page 4 of 25)