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WE the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defence, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with greatful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring his aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent state, by the style and title of the STATE OF MAINE, and do ordain and establish the following constitution for the government of the same.



SECTION 1. All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

SECT. 2. All power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority and instituted for their benefit; they have therefore an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government, and to alter, reform, or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it.

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SEC. 3. All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no one shall be hurt, molested or restrained in his person, liberty or estate for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, nor for his religious professions or sentiments, provided he does not disturb the public peace, nor obstruct others in their religious worship—and all persons demeaning themselves peaceably, as good members of the state, shall be equally under the protection of the laws, and no subordination or preference of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law, nor shall any religious test be required as a qualification for any office or trust, under this state; and all religious societies in this state, whether incorporate or unincorporate, shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers and contracting with them for their support and mainte


SEC. 4. Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of this liberty: no laws shall be passed regulating or restraining the freedom of the press; and in prosecutions for any publications respecting the official conduct of men in public capacity, or the qualifications of those who are candidates for the suffrages of the people, or where the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence, and in all indictments for libels, the jury, after having received the direction of the court, shall have a right to determine, at their discretion, the law and the fact.

SEC. 5. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions from all unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or seize any person or thing, shall issue without a special designation of the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized, nor without probable cause -supported by oath or affirmation.

SEC. 6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have a right to be heard by himself and his counsel, or either, at his election ;

To demand the nature and cause of the accusation, and have a copy thereof;

To be confronted by the witnesses against him;

To have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor;

To have a speedy, public and impartial trial, and, except in trials by martial law or impeachment, by a jury of the vicinity. He shall not be compelled to furnish or give evidence against himself, nor be deprived of his life, liberty, property or privileges, but by judgment of his peers or the law of the land.

SEC. 7. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or in such cases of offences, as are usually cognizable by a justice of the peace, or in cases arising in the army or navy, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger. The legislature shall provide by law a suitable and impartial mode of selecting juries, and their usual number and unanimity, in indictments and convictions, shall be held indispensable.

SEC. 8. No person, for the same offence, shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.

SEC. 9. Sanguinary laws shall not be passed; all penalties and punishments shall be proportioned to the offence: excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel nor unusual punishments inflicted.

SEC. 10. All persons, before conviction, shall be bailable, excep. for capital offence, where the proof is evident or the presumption great. And the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in. cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

SEC. 11. The legislature shall pass no bill of attain> der, ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts, and no attainder shall work corruption of blood nor forfeiture of estate.

SEC. 12. Treason against this state shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.

SEC. 13. The laws shall not be suspended but by the legislature or its authority.

SEC. 14. No person shall be subject to corporal punishment under military law, except such as are employed in the army or navy, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger.

SEC. 15. The people have a right at all times in an orderly and peaceable manner to assemble to consult upon the common good, to give instructions to their representatives, and to request, of either department of the government by petition or remonstrance, redress of their wrongs and grievances.

SEC. 16. Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms for the common defence; and this right shall never be questioned.

SEC. 17. No standing army shall be kept up in time of peace without the consent of the legislature, and the military shall, in all cases, and at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power.

SEC. 18. No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner or occupant, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Sec. 19. Every person, for an injury done him in his person, reputation, property or immunities, shall have medy by due course of law and right and justice shall *administered freely and without sale, completely and hout denial, promptly and without delay.

SEC. 20. In all civil suits, and in all controversies concerning property, the parties shall have a right to a trial by jury, except in cases where it has heretofore been otherwise practised; the party claiming the right may be heard by himself and his counsel, or either, at his election. SEC. 21. Private property shall not be taken for public uses without just compensation; nor unless the public exigencies require it.

SEC. 22. No tax or duty shall be imposed without the consent of the people or of their representatives in the legislature.

SEC. 23. No title of nobility or hereditary distinction, privilege, honor or emolument, shall ever be granted or confirmed, nor shall any office be created, the appointment to which shall be for a longer time than during good behavior.

SEC. 24. The enumeration of certain rights shall not impair nor deny others retained by the people.



SEC. 1. Every male citizen of the United States of the age of twenty one years and upwards, excepting paupers, persons under guardianship, and Indians not taxed, having his residence established in this State for the term of three months next preceding any election, shall be an elector for governor, senators and representatives, in the town or plantation where his residence is so established; and the election shall be by written ballot. But persons in the military, naval or marine service of the United States, or this state, shall not be considered as having obtained such established residence by being stationed in any garrison, barrack or military place in any town or plantation; nor shall the residence of a student at any seminary of learning entitle him to the right of suffrage in the town or plantation where such seminary is established.

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