Page images

its own Speaker, appoint its own officers, settle its own rules of proceeding, and direct writs of election for the supplying intermediate vacancies.

All laws mall originate in the House of Delegates, to be approved of or rejected by the Senate, or to be amended with consent of the House of Delegates; except money-bills, which in no instance shall be altered by the Senate, but wholly approved or rejected.

A Governor, or Chief Magistrate, shall be chosen annually, by joint ballot of both Houses, to be taken in each House respectively, deposited in the conference-room, the boxes examined jointly by a Committee of each House, and the numbers severally reported to them, that the appointments may be entered (which shall be the mode of taking the joint ballot of both Houses in all cafes), who mall not continue in that office longer than three years successively, nor be eligible until the expiration of fouryears after he shall have been out of that office. An adequate, but moderate salary mall be settled on him during his continuance in office; and he mall, with the advice of a Council of State, exercise the executive powers of government, according to the laws of this Commonwealth;

and and shall not, under any pretence, exercise any power or prerogative by virtue of any law, statute, or custom of England: but he shall, with the advice of the Council of State, have the power of granting reprieves or pardons, except where the prosecution shall have been carried on by the House of Delegates, or the law shall otherwise particularly direct; in which cases no reprieve or pardon shall be granted, but by resolve of the House of Delegates.

Either House of the General Assembly may adjourn themselves respectively. The Governor shall not prorogue or adjourn the Assembly during their sitting, nor dissolve them at any time; but he shall, if necessary, cither by advice os the Council of State, or on application of a majority of the House of Delegates, call them before the time to which they shall stand prorogued or adjourned.

A Privy-Council, or Council of State, consisting of eight Members, shall be chosen by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly, either from their own Members or the people at large, to assist in the administration of government. They shall annually chuse, out of their own Members, a President, who, in case of death, inability, or absence of the Governor from the

governgovernment, shall act as Lieutenant-Governor. Four Members shall be sufficient to act, and their advice and proceedings shall be entered on record, and signed by the Members present (to any part whereof any Member may enter his dissent), to be laid before the General Assembly, when called for by them. This Council may appoint their own Clerk, who shall have a salary settled by law, and take an oath of secrecy in such matters as he shall be directed by the Board to conceal. A sum of money appropriated to that purpose, shall be divided annually among the Members, in proportion to their attendance; and they shall be incapable, during their continuance in office, of sitting in either House of Assembly. Two Members shall be removed by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly, at the end of every three years, and be ineligible for the three next years. These vacancies, as well as those occasioned by death or incapacity, shall be supplied by new elections in the fame manner.

The Delegates for Virginia to the Continental Congress shall be chosen annually, or superseded in the mean time by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly.

The present militia officers shall be conti

nued, nued, and vacancies supplied by appointment of the Governor, with the advice of the PrivyCouncil, on recommendations from the respective county courts; but the Governor and Council shall have a power of suspending any officer, and ordering a court-martial on complaint of misbehaviour or inability, or to supply vacancies of officers happening when in actual service. t

The Governor may embody the militia, with the advice of the Privy-Council; and, when embodied, shall alone have the direction of the militia under the laws of the country.

The two Houses of Assembly shall, by joint ballot, appoint Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and General Court, Judges in Chancery, Judges of Admiralty, Secretary, and the Attorney-general, to be commissioned by the Governor, and continue in office during good behaviour. In case of death, incapacity, or resignation, the Governor, with the advice of the Privy-Council, shall appoint persons to succeed in office, to be approved or displaced by both Houses. These officers shall have fixed and adequate salaries, and, together with all others holding lucrative offices, and all Ministers sters of the Gospel of every denomination, be incapable of being elected Members of either House of Assembly, or the Privy-Council.

The Governor, with the advice of the PrivyCouncil, shall appoint Justices of the Peace for the counties; and in cafe of vacancies, or a necessity of increasing the number hereafter, such' appointments to be made upon the recommendation of the respective county courts. The present acting Secretary in Virginia, and Clerks of fill the county courts, mall continue in office. In cafe of vacancies, either by death, incapacity, or resignation, a Secretary (hall be appointed, as before directed, and the Clerics by the respective courts. The present and future Clerks mall hold their offices during good behaviour, to be judged of and determined in the General Court. The Sheriffs and Coroners shall be nominated by the respective courts, approved by the Governor, with the advice of the Privy-Council, and commissioned by the Governor. The Justices shall appoint constables; and all fees of the aforesaid officers be regulated by law.

The Governor, when he is out of office, and others offending against the State, either by


« PreviousContinue »