Article I, Minnesota Constitution

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Minnesota Constitution
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Article I of the Minnesota Constitution is entitled Bill of Rights and consists of 17 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Object of Government

Government is instituted for the security, benefit and protection of the people, in whom all political power is inherent, together with the right to alter, modify or reform government whenever required by the public good.[1]

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Rights and Privileges

No member of this state shall be disfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the state otherwise than as punishment for a crime of which the party has been convicted.[1]

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Liberty of the Press

The liberty of the press shall forever remain inviolate, and all persons may freely speak, write and publish their sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of such right.[1]

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Trial by Jury

The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and shall extend to all cases at law without regard to the amount in controversy. A jury trial may be waived by the parties in all cases in the manner prescribed by law. The legislature may provide that the agreement of five-sixths of a jury in a civil action or proceeding, after not less than six hours' deliberation, is a sufficient verdict. The legislature may provide for the number of jurors in a civil action or proceeding, provided that a jury have at least six members.[1]


  • Amended in November 8, 1988.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

No Excessive Bail or Unusual Punishment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.[1]

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions

In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which county or district shall have been previously ascertained by law. In all prosecutions of crimes defined by law as felonies, the accused has the right to a jury of 12 members. In all other criminal prosecutions, the legislature may provide for the number of jurors, provided that a jury have at least six members. The accused shall enjoy the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and to have the assistance of counsel in his defense.[1]


  • Amended in November 8, 1988.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Due Process; Prosecutions; Double Jeopardy; Self-Incrimination; Bail; Habeas Corpus

No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law, and no person shall be put twice in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense, nor 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. All persons before conviction shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless the public safety requires it in case of rebellion or invasion.[1]

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Redress of Injuries or Wrongs

Every person is entitled to a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries or wrongs which he may receive to his person, property or character, and to obtain justice freely and without purchase, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay, conformable to the laws.[1]

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Treason Defined

Treason against the state consists only in levying war against the state, or in 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 on confession in open court.[1]

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Unreasonable Searches and Seizures Prohibited

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.[1]

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Attainders, Ex Post Facto Laws and Laws Impairing Contracts Prohibited

No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed, and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.[1]

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Imprisonment for Debt; Property Exemption

No person shall be imprisoned for debt in this state, but this shall not prevent the legislature from providing for imprisonment, or holding to bail, persons charged with fraud in contracting said debt. A reasonable amount of property shall be exempt from seizure or sale for the payment of any debt or liability. The amount of such exemption shall be determined by law. Provided, however, that all property so exempted shall be liable to seizure and sale for any debts incurred to any person for work done or materials furnished in the construction, repair or improvement of the same, and provided further, that such liability to seizure and sale shall also extend to all real property for any debt to any laborer or servant for labor or service performed.[1]

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Private Property for Public Use

Private property shall not be taken, destroyed or damaged for public use without just compensation therefore, first paid or secured.[1]

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Military Power Subordinate

The military shall be subordinate to the civil power and no standing army shall be maintained in this state in times of peace.[1]

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Lands Allodial; Void Agricultural Leases

All lands within the state are allodial and feudal tenures of every description with all their incidents are prohibited. Leases and grants of agricultural lands for a longer period than 21 years reserving rent or service of any kind shall be void.[1]

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Freedom of Conscience; No Preference to Be Given to Any Religous Establishment or Mode of Worship

The enumeration of rights in this constitution shall not deny or impair others retained by and inherent in the people. The right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed; nor shall any man be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any religious or ecclesiastical ministry, against his consent; nor shall any control of or interference with the rights of conscience be permitted, or any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state, nor shall any money be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious societies or religious or theological seminaries.[1]

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Religious Tests and Property Qualifications Prohibited

No religious test or amount of property shall be required as a qualification for any office of public trust in the state. No religious test or amount of property shall be required as a qualification of any voter at any election in this state; nor shall any person be rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity in consequence of his opinion upon the subject of religion.[1]

See also

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