Article VI, South Dakota Constitution

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South Dakota Constitution
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Article VI of the South Dakota Constitution is entitled Bill of Rights and consists of 28 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Inherent Rights

All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting property and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed[1]

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Due Process-Right to Work

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union, or labor organization

History: Amendment proposed by SL 1945, ch 315, approved Nov., 1946.[2]

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Freedom of Religion--Support of Religion Prohibited

The right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience shall never be infringed. No person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or position on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse licentiousness, the invasion of the rights of others, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state.

No person shall be compelled to attend or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious establishment or mode of worship. No money or property of the state shall be given or appropriated for the benefit of any sectarian or religious society or institution[3]

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Right of Petition and Peaceable Assembly

The right of petition, and of the people peaceably to assemble to consult for the common good and make known their opinions, shall never be abridged.[4]

Section 5

Text of Section5:

Freedom of Speech--Truth as Defense--Jury Trial

Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. In all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth, when published with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense. The jury shall have the right to determine the fact and the law under the direction of the court[5]

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Jury Trial--Reduced Jury--Three-Fourths Vote

The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate and shall extend to all cases at law without regard to the amount in controversy, but the Legislature may provide for a jury of less than twelve in any court not a court of record and for the decision of civil cases by three-fourths of the jury in any court[6]

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Rights of Accused

In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him; to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses against him face to face; to have compulsory process served for obtaining witnesses in his behalf, and to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.

History: Amendment proposed by initiated measure, rejected Nov. 5, 2002.[7]

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Right to Bail--Habeas Corpus

All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when proof is evident or presumption great. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it[8]

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Self-Incrimination--Double Jeopardy

No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to give evidence against himself or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense[9]

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Indictment or Information--Modification or Abolishment of Grand Jury

No person shall be held for a criminal offense unless on the presentment or indictment of a grand jury, or information of the public prosecutor, except in cases of impeachment, in cases cognizable by county courts, by justices of the peace, and in cases arising in the army and navy, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger: provided, that the grand jury may be modified or abolished by law[10]

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Search and Seizure

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 affidavit, particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized[11]

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Ex Post Facto Laws--Impairment of Contract Obligations--Privilege or Immunity

No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts or making any irrevocable grant of privilege, franchise or immunity, shall be passed[12]

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Private Property Not Taken without Just Compensation--Benefit to Owner--Fee in Highways

Private property shall not be taken for public use, or damaged, without just compensation, which will be determined according to legal procedure established by the Legislature and according to § 6 of this article. No benefit which may accrue to the owner as the result of an improvement made by any private corporation shall be considered in fixing the compensation for property taken or damaged. The fee of land taken for railroad tracks or other highways shall remain in such owners, subject to the use for which it is taken.

History: Amendment proposed by SL 1961, ch 297, approved Nov. 6, 1962; amendment proposed by SL 1989, ch 3, rejected November 6, 1990.[13]

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Resident Aliens' Property Rights

No distinction shall ever be made by law between resident aliens and citizens, in reference to the possession, enjoyment or descent of property[14]

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Imprisonment for Debt

No person shall be imprisoned for debt arising out of or founded upon a contract[15]

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Military Subordinate to Civil Power--Quartering of Soldiers

The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power. No soldier in time of peace shall be quartered in any house without consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law[16]

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Taxation without Consent--Uniformity

No tax or duty shall be imposed without the consent of the people or their representatives in the Legislature, and all taxation shall be equal and uniform[17]

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Equal Privileges or Immunities

No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens or corporation, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations[18]

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

Free and Equal Elections--Right of Suffrage--Soldier Voting

Elections shall be free and equal, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage. Soldiers in time of war may vote at their post of duty in or out of the state, under regulations to be prescribed by the Legislature[19]

Section 20

Text of Section 20:

Courts Open--Remedy for Injury

All courts shall be open, and every man for an injury done him in his property, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law, and right and justice, administered without denial or delay[20]

Section 21

Text of Section 21:

Suspension of Laws Prohibited

No power of suspending laws shall be exercised, unless by the Legislature or its authority[21]

Section 22

Text of Section 22:

Attainder by Legislature Prohibited

No person shall be attainted of treason or felony by the Legislature[22]

Section 23

Text of Section 23:

Excessive Bail or Fines--Cruel Punishments

Excessive bail shall not be required, excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted[23]

Section 24

Text of Section 24:

Right to Bear Arms

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied[24]

Section 25

Text of Section 25:

Treason

Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, or in 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[25]

Section 26

Text of Section 26:

Power Inherent in People--Alteration in Form of Government--Inseparable Part of Union

All political power is inherent in the people, and all free government is founded on their authority, and is instituted for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right in lawful and constituted methods to alter or reform their forms of government in such manner as they may think proper. And the state of South Dakota is an inseparable part of the American Union and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land[26]

Section 27

Text of Section 27:

Maintenance of Free Government--Fundamental Principles

The blessings of a free government can only be maintained by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles[27]

Section 28

Text of Section 28:

Right to a Secret Ballot The rights of individuals to vote by secret ballot is fundamental. If any state or federal law requires or permits an election for public office, for any initiative or referendum, or for any designation or authorization of employee representation, the right of any individual to vote by secret ballot shall be guaranteed.

Ratified on November 2, 2010.

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