Difference between revisions of "Article 2, Arkansas Constitution"

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* [http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/Summary/ArkansasConstitution1874.pdf Full text of Arkansas Constitution] (See PDF page 26)
* [http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/Summary/ArkansasConstitution1874.pdf Full text of Arkansas Constitution] (See PDF page 26)
{{Arkansas Constitution}}
{{Arkansas Constitution}}
{{State constitutions}}

Revision as of 16:55, 18 July 2013

Arkansas Constitution
Seal of Arkansas.svg.png
Article 2 of the Arkansas Constitution is entitled Declaration of Rights. It has 29 sections detailing the rights of its citizens. It has only been amended one time.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Source of Power

All political power is inherent in the people and government is instituted for their protection, security and benefit; and they have the right to alter, reform or abolish the same, in such manner as they may think proper.[1]

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Freedom and Independence

All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; amongst which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and reputation; and of pursuing their own happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.[2]

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Equality Before the Law

The equality of all persons before the law is recognized, and shall ever remain inviolate; nor shall any citizen ever be deprived of any right, privilege or immunity; nor exempted from any burden or duty, on account of race, color or previous condition.[3]

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Right of Assembly and of Petition

The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good; and to petition, by address or remonstrance, the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.[4]

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Right to Bear Arms

The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms, for their common defense.[5]

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Liberty of the Press and of Speech - Libel

The liberty of the press shall forever remain inviolate. The free communication of thoughts and opinions, is one of the invaluable rights of man; and all persons may freely write and publish their sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of such right. In all criminal prosecutions for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and, if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party charged shall be acquitted.[6]

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Jury Trial - Right to - Waiver - Civil Cases - Nine Jurors Agreeing

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 a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all cases in the manner prescribed by law; and in all jury trials in civil cases, where as many as nine of the jurors agree upon a verdict, the verdict so agreed upon shall be returned as the verdict of such jury, provided, however, that where a verdict is returned by less than twelve jurors all the jurors consenting to such verdict shall sign the same.[7]


Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Criminal Charges - Self-Incrimination - Due Process - Double Jeopardy - Bail

No person shall be held to answer a criminal charge unless on the presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment or cases such as the General Assembly shall make cognizable by justices of the peace, and courts of similar jurisdiction; or cases arising in the army and navy of the United States; or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; and no person, for the same offense, shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty; but if, in any criminal prosecution, the jury be divided in opinion, the court before which the trial shall be had, may, in its discretion, discharge the jury, and commit or bail the accused for trial, at the same or the next term of said court; nor shall any person 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 shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, when the proof is evident or the presumption great.[9]

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Excessive Bail or Punishment Prohibited - Witnesses - Detention

Excessive bail shall not be required; nor shall excessive fines be imposed; nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted; nor witnesses be unreasonably detained.[10]

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Right of Accused Enumerated - Change of Venue

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the crime shall have been committed; provided, that the venue may be changed to any other county of the judicial district in which the indictment is found, upon the application of the accused, in such manner as now is, or may be prescribed by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and to have a copy thereof; and to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to be heard by himself and his counsel.[11]

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Habeas Corpus

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended; except by the General Assembly, in case of rebellion, insurrection or invasion, when the public safety may require it.[12]

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Suspension of Laws

No power of suspending or setting aside the law or laws of the State, shall ever be exercised, except by the General Assembly.[13]

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Redress of Wrongs

Every person is entitled to a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries or wrongs he may receive in his person, property or character; he ought to obtain justice freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the laws.[14]

Section 14

Text of Section 14:


Treason against the State shall only consist in levying and making war against the same, 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.[15]

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

The right of the people of this State to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.[16]

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Imprisonment for Debt

No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action, on mesne or final process, unless in cases of fraud. [17]

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Attainder - Ex Post Facto Laws

No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts shall ever be passed; and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.[18]

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Privileges and Immunities - Equality

The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.[19]

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

Perpetuities and Monopolies

Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a republic, and shall not be allowed; nor shall any hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors ever be granted or conferred in this State.[20]

Section 20

Text of Section 20:

Resident Aliens - Descent of Property

No distinction shall ever be made by law, between resident aliens and citizens, in regard to the possession, enjoyment or descent of property.[21]

Section 21

Text of Section 21:

Life, Liberty and Property - Banishment Prohibited

No person shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized of his estate, freehold, liberties or privileges; or outlawed, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty or property; except by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land; nor shall any person, under any circumstances, be exiled from the State.[22]

Section 22

Text of Section 22:

Life, Liberty and Property - Property Rights - Taking Without Just Compensation Prohibited

The right of property is before and higher than any constitutional sanction; and private property shall not be taken, appropriated or damaged for public use, without just compensation therefore.[23]

Section 23

Text of Section 23:

Eminent Domain and Taxation

The State's ancient right of eminent domain and of taxation, is herein fully and expressly conceded; and the General Assembly may delegate the taxing power, with the necessary restriction, to the State's subordinate political and municipal corporations, to the extent of providing for their existence, maintenance and well being, but no further.[24]

Section 24

Text of Section 24:

Religious Liberty

All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can, of right, be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship; or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority can, in any case or manner whatsoever, control or interfere with the right of conscience; and no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment, denomination or mode of worship, above any other.[25]

Section 25

Text of Section 25:

Protection of Religion

Religion, morality and knowledge being essential to good government, the General Assembly shall enact suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.[26]

Section 26

Text of Section 26:

Religious Tests

No religious test shall ever be required of any person as a qualification to vote or hold office; nor shall any person be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his religious belief; but nothing herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations.[27]

Section 27

Text of Section 27:

Slavery - Standing Armies - Military Subordinate to Civil Power

There shall be no slavery in this State, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime. No standing army shall be kept in time of peace; the military shall, at all times, be in strict subordination to the civil power; and no soldier shall be quartered in any house, or on any premises, without the consent of the owner, in time of peace; nor in time of war, except in a manner prescribed by law.[28]

Section 28

Text of Section 28:

Tenure of Lands

All lands in this State are declared to be allodial; and feudal tenures of every description, with all their incidents, are prohibited.[29]

Section 29

Text of Section 29:

Enumeration of Rights of People Not Exclusive of Other Rights - Protection Against Encroachment

This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people; and to guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, or any transgression of any of the higher powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of the government; and shall forever remain inviolate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the other provisions herein contained, shall be void.[30]


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