Friday, June 07, 2013

"of which they cannot be deprived by any legislative enactment"

"Journal of the Senate of the United States of America,

TUESDAY, July 8, 1856.

"...On the question to agree to the amendment reported by the Committee on Territories, viz: Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the following:

    "That, for the purpose of making an enumeration of the inhabitants, authorized to vote under the provisions of this act, an apportionment and an election of members of a convention to form a State constitution for Kansas, as hereinafter provided, five competent persons shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to be commissioners,a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum, for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this act, each of whom, before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation that he will support the Constitution of the United States, and faithfully and impartially exercise and discharge the duties enjoined on him by this act, according to the best of his skill and judgment, which oath or affirmation shall be administered to them severally, and be duly certified by a judge, clerk, or commissioner of a court of the United States, and filed and recorded in the office of the secretary of the Territory of Kansas...."

"...Sec. 18. And be it further enacted, That inasmuch as the Constitution of the United States and the organic act of said Territory has secured to the inhabitants thereof certain inalienable rights, of which they cannot be deprived by any legislative enactment, therefore no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust; no law shall be in force or enforced in said Territory respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition for the redress of grievances; the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized; nor shall the rights of the people to keep and bear arms be infringed. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. In all criminal prosecution the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process of obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence. The privilege of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. No law shall be made or have force or effect in said Territory which shall require a test oath or oath to support any act of Congress or other legislative act as a qualification for any civil office or public trust, or for any employment or profession, or to serve as a juror or vote at an election, or which shall impose any tax upon or condition to the exercise of the right of suffrage by any qualified voter, or which shall restrain or prohibit the free discussion of any law or subject of legislation in the said Territory, or the free expression of opinion thereon by the people of said Territory...."

"...It was determined in the affirmative,

   "Yeas ... 32

   "Nays ... 13

Just prior to this action by the Senate, the House had the following statement in their Journal of June 28, 1856:
"...And in the just preservation of rights and property, it is understood and declared that no law ought ever to be made or be in force in said Territory that shall in any manner interfere with or affect private contracts or engagements bona fide and without fraud previously proved. And the people of said Territory shall be entitled to the right to keep and bear arms, to the liberty of speech and of the press, as defined in the constitution of the United States, and all other rights of person or property thereby declared and as thereby defined."

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