Article II, Colorado Constitution
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- 1 Preamble
- 2 Section I
- 3 Section 2
- 4 Section 3
- 5 Section 4
- 6 Section 5
- 7 Section 6
- 8 Section 7
- 9 Section 8
- 10 Section 9
- 11 Section 10
- 12 Section 11
- 13 Section 12
- 14 Section 13
- 15 Section 14
- 16 Section 15
- 17 Section 16
- 18 Section 16a
- 19 Section 17
- 20 Section 18
- 21 Section 19
- 22 Section 20
- 23 Section 21
- 24 Section 22
- 25 Section 23
- 26 Section 24
- 27 Section 25
- 28 Section 26
- 29 Section 27
- 30 Section 28
- 31 Section 29
- 32 Section 30
- 33 Section 30a
- 34 Section 30b
- 35 Section 31
- 36 See also
- 37 External links
- 38 Additional reading
- 39 References
| Text of Preamble:
In order to assert our rights, acknowledge our duties, and proclaim the principles upon which our government is founded, we declare:
| Text of Section 1:
Vestment of Political Power
All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.
| Text of Section 2:
People May Alter or Abolish Form of Government Proviso
The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves, as a free, sovereign and independent state; and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness, provided, such change be not repugnant to the constitution of the United States.
| Text of Section 3:
All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.
| Text of Section 4:
The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever hereafter be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his opinions concerning religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the good order, peace or safety of the state. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship, religious sect or denomination against his consent. Nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.
| Text of Section 5:
Freedom of Elections
All elections shall be free and open; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.
| Text of Section 6:
Equality of Justice
Courts of justice shall be open to every person, and a speedy remedy afforded for every injury to person, property or character; and right and justice should be administered without sale, denial or delay.
| Text of Section 7:
Security of Person and Property Searches Seizures Warrants
The people shall be secure in their persons, papers, homes and effects, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place or seize any person or things shall issue without describing the place to be searched, or the person or thing to be seized, as near as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation reduced to writing.
| Text of Section 8:
Prosecutions Indictment or Information
Until otherwise provided by law, no person shall, for a felony, be proceeded against criminally otherwise than by indictment, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger. In all other cases, offenses shall be prosecuted criminally by indictment or information.
| Text of Section 9:
Treason Estates of Suicides
Treason against the state can consist only in levying war against it or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort; no person can be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on his confession in open court; no person can be attainted of treason or felony by the general assembly; no conviction can work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate; the estates of such persons as may destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in cases of natural death.
| Text of Section 10:
Freedom of Speech and Press
No law shall be passed impairing the freedom of speech; every person shall be free to speak, write or publish whatever he will on any subject, being responsible for all abuse of that liberty; and in all suits and prosecutions for libel the truth thereof may be given in evidence, and the jury, under the direction of the court, shall determine the law and the fact.
| Text of Section 11:
Ex Post Facto Laws
No ex post facto law, nor law impairing the obligation of contracts, or retrospective in its operation, or making any irrevocable grant of special privileges, franchises or immunities, shall be passed by the general assembly.
| Text of Section 12:
No Imprisonment for Debt
No person shall be imprisoned for debt, unless upon refusal to deliver up his estate for the benefit of his creditors in such manner as shall be prescribed by law, or in cases of tort or where there is a strong presumption of fraud.
| Text of Section 13:
Right to Bear Arms
The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.
| Text of Section 14:
Taking Private Property for Private Use
Private property shall not be taken for private use unless by consent of the owner, except for private ways of necessity, and except for reservoirs, drains, flumes or ditches on or across the lands of others, for agricultural, mining, milling, domestic or sanitary purposes.
| Text of Section 15:
Taking Property for Public Use Compensation, How Ascertained
Private property shall not be taken or damaged, for public or private use, without just compensation. Such compensation shall be ascertained by a board of commissioners, of not less than three freeholders, or by a jury, when required by the owner of the property, in such manner as may be prescribed by law, and until the same shall be paid to the owner, or into court for the owner, the property shall not be needlessly disturbed, or the proprietary rights of the owner therein divested; and whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and determined as such without regard to any legislative assertion that the use is public.
| Text of Section 16:
Criminal Prosecutions Rights of Defendant
In criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.
| Text of Section 16a:
Rights of Crime Victims
Any person who is a victim of a criminal act, or such person's designee, legal guardian, or surviving immediate family members if such person is deceased, shall have the right to be heard when relevant, informed, and present at all critical stages of the criminal justice process. All terminology, including the term "critical stages," shall be defined by the general assembly.
| Text of Section 17:
Imprisonment of Witnesses Depositions Form
No person shall be imprisoned for the purpose of securing his testimony in any case longer than may be necessary in order to take his deposition. If he can give security he shall be discharged; if he cannot give security his deposition shall be taken by some judge of the supreme, district or county court, at the earliest time he can attend, at some convenient place by him appointed for that purpose, of which time and place the accused and the attorney prosecuting for the people shall have reasonable notice. The accused shall have the right to appear in person and by counsel. If he has no counsel, the judge shall assign him one in his behalf only. On the completion of such examination the witness shall be discharged on his own recognizance, entered into before said judge, but such deposition shall not be used if in the opinion of the court the personal attendance of the witness might be procured by the prosecution, or is procured by the accused. No exception shall be taken to such deposition as to matters of form.
| Text of Section 18:
Crimes Evidence Against One's Self Jeopardy
No person shall be compelled to testify against himself in a criminal case nor shall any person be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense. If the jury disagree, or if the judgment be arrested after the verdict, or if the judgment be reversed for error in law, the accused shall not be deemed to have been in jeopardy.
| Text of Section 19:
Right to Bail Exceptions
(1) All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties pending disposition of charges except:
(2) Except in the case of a capital offense, if a person is denied bail under this section, the trial of the person shall be commenced not more than ninety days after the date on which bail is denied. If the trial is not commenced within ninety days and the delay is not attributable to the defense, the court shall immediately schedule a bail hearing and shall set the amount of the bail for the person.
(3) This section shall take effect January 1, 1995, and shall apply to offenses committed on or after said date.
- Colorado Amendment 2 (1982), which was approved on November 2, 1982.
- Colorado Referendum C (1994), which was approved on November 8, 1994.
| Text of Section 20:
Excessive Bail, Fines or Punishment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
| Text of Section 21:
Suspension of Habeas Corpus
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall never be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
| Text of Section 22:
Military Subject to Civil Power Quartering of Troops
The military shall always be in strict subordination to the civil power; no soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.
| Text of Section 23:
Trial by Jury Grand Jury
The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate in criminal cases; but a jury in civil cases in all courts, or in criminal cases in courts not of record, may consist of less than twelve persons, as may be prescribed by law. Hereafter a grand jury shall consist of twelve persons, any nine of whom concurring may find an indictment; provided, the general assembly may change, regulate or abolish the grand jury system; and provided, further, the right of any person to serve on any jury shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex, and the general assembly may provide by law for the exemption from jury service of persons or classes of persons.
| Text of Section 24:
Right to Assemble and Petition
The people have the right peaceably to assemble for the common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, by petition or remonstrance.
| Text of Section 25:
Due Process of Law
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.
| Text of Section 26:
There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
| Text of Section 27:
Property Rights of Aliens
Aliens, who are or may hereafter become bona fide residents of this state, may acquire, inherit, possess, enjoy and dispose of property, real and personal, as native born citizens.
| Text of Section 28:
Rights Reserved Not Disparaged
The enumeration in this constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny, impair or disparage others retained by the people.
| Text of Section 29:
Equality of the Sexes
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the state of Colorado or any of its political subdivisions on account of sex.
| Text of Section 30:
Right to Vote or Petition on Annexation Enclaves
(1) No unincorporated area may be annexed to a municipality unless one of the following conditions first has been met:
(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to annexations to the city and county of Denver, to the extent that such annexations are governed by other provisions of the constitution.
(3) The general assembly may provide by law for procedures necessary to implement this section. This section shall take effect upon completion of the canvass of votes taken thereon.
| Text of Section 30a:
The English language is the official language of the State of Colorado.
This section is self executing; however, the General Assembly may enact laws to implement this section.
- Colorado Issue 1, English as the Official Language of the State (1988), which was approved on November 8, 1988.
[Declared to violate the United States Constitution by the United States Supreme Court in 1996. Not in force.]
| Text of Section 30b:
No Protected Status Based on Homosexual, Lesbian or Bisexual Orientation
Neither the State of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self executing.
| Text of Section 31:
Marriages: Valid or recognized:
Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.
- [Colorado Definition of Marriage, Initiative 43 (2006)|Initiative 43 (2006)]], which was approve on November 7, 2006.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Lexis Nexis, "Colorado Constitution"
- Constitution of the State of Colorado, as currently amended
- Colorado Experience: Colorado Constitution on Youtube
- List of constitutional amendments since 1912 (timed out)
- Huffington Post, "Colorado Constitution"
- Oesterle, Dale A., and Richard B. Collins (2002). The Colorado State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing.