The legislative and executive powers of the state
should be separate and distinct from the judicative; the members of the two first should, at fixed periods, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections. Elections of members to serve as representatives of the people in assembly, ought to be free; and all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representative so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented for the public good. There ought to be no arbitrary power of suspending laws, no requirement of excessive bail, no granting of general warrants. No man ought to be deprived of liberty, except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers; and the ancient trial by jury ought to be held sacred. The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state; standing armies in time of peace should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to the civil power. The people have a right to uniform government; and therefore no government separate from or independent
Chap. LXIV.} 1776. May.
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