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Article XII, Illinois Constitution

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Illinois Constitution
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Article XII of the Illinois Constitution is entitled Militia and consists of five sections. This article provides for a state militia. It differs only slightly from the 1870 Constitution in that it now includes all able-bodied people in the militia, instead of only ably-bodied men aged 18 to 45. The article was intended to express Illinois' right of self-preservation and to distinguish the state as a separate entity within the federal system, however, the role of a state militia has since been reduced because of the National Defense Act of 1916, which established the National Guard[1].

Section 1

Text of Section 1:


The State militia consists of all able-bodied persons residing in the State except those exempted by law.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Subordination of Military Power

The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Organization, Equipment and Discipline

The General Assembly shall provide by law for the organization, equipment and discipline of the militia in conformity with the laws governing the armed forces of the United States.

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Commander-In-Chief and Officers

(a) The Governor is commander-in-chief of the organized militia, except when they are in the service of the United States. He may call them out to enforce the laws, suppress insurrection or repel invasion.

(b) The Governor shall commission militia officers who shall hold their commissions for such time as may be provided by law.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Privilege from Arrest

Except in cases of treason, felony or breach of peace, persons going to, returning from or on militia duty are privileged from arrest.


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