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SECTION 1. The court for the trial of impeachments shall be composed of the Senate. The House of Representatives shall have the power of impeaching all civil officers of this State, for corrupt conduct in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors; but a majority of all the members elected shall concur in an impeachment. On the trial of an impeachment against the Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor shall not act as a member of the court. No judicial officer shall exercise his office after he shall have been impeached, until his acquittal. Before the trial of an impeachment, the members of the court shall take an oath or affirmation truly and impartially to try the im. peachment, according to evidence; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, or removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, profit, or trust, under the State; but the party impeached shall be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law.
2. The judicial power of this State, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in a Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, Courts of Probate, and Justices of the Peace. The Legislature may also vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in municipal courts, and shall have power to establish inferior courts in the several counties, with limited civil and criminal jurisdiction. Provided, That the jurisdiction which may be vested in municipal courts shall not exceed, in their respective municipalities, that of Circuit Courts, in their respective circuits, as prescribed in this Constitution: and that the Legislature shall provide as well for the election of judges of the municipal courts as of the judges of inferior courts, by the qualified electors of the respective jurisdictions. The term of office of the judges of the said municipal and inferior courts shall not be longer than that of the judges of the Circuit Court.
3. The Supreme Court, except in cases otherwise provided in this Constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be coextensive with the State; but in no case removed to the Supreme Court, shall a trial by jury be allowed. The Supreme Court shall have a general superintending control over all inferior courts; it shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, and other original and remedial writs, and to hear and determine the same.
4. For the term of five years, and thereafter until the Legislature shall otherwise provide, the judges of the several Circuit Courts shall be judges of the Supreme Court, four of whom shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of the judges present shall be necessary to a decision. The Legislature shall have power, if they should think it expedient and necessary, to provide by law for the organization of a separate Supreme Court, with the jurisdiction and powers prescribed in this Constitution, to consist of one chief justice and two associate justices, to be elected by the qualified electors of the State, at such time and in such manner as the Legislature may provide. The separate Supreme Court, when so organized, shall not be changed or discontinued by the Legislature; the judges thereof shall be so classified that but one of them shall go out of office at the same time; and their term of office shall be the same as is provided for the judges of the Circuit Court. And whenever the Legislature may consider it necessary to establish a separate Supreme Court, they shall have power to reduce the number of Circuit Court
judges to four, and subdivide the judicial circuits; but no such subdivision or reduction shall take effect until after the expiration of the term of some one of the said judges, or till a vacancy occur by some other means.
5. The State shall be divided into five judicial circuits, to be composed as follows: The first circuit shall comprise the counties of Racine, Walworth, Rock, and Green. The second circuit, the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Jefferson, and Dane. The third circuit, the counties of Washington, Dodge, Columbia, Marquette, Sauk, and Portage. The fourth circuit, the counties of Brown, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Winnebago, and Calumet. And the fifth circuit shall comprise the counties of Iowa, La Fayette, Grant, Crawford, and St. Croix; and the county of Richland shall be attached to Iowa, the county of Chippewa to the county of Crawford, and the county of La Pointe to the county of St. Croix, for judicial purposes, until otherwise provided by the Legislature.
6. The Legislature may alter the limits, or increase the number of circuits, making them as compact and convenient as practicable, and bounding them by county lines; but no such alteration or increase shall have the effect to remove a judge from office. In case of an increase of circuits, the judge or judges shall be elected as provided in this Constitution, and receive a salary not less than that herein provided for judges of the Circuit Court.
7. For each circuit there shall be a judge chosen by the qualified electors therein, who shall hold his office as is provided in this Constitution, and until his successor shall be chosen and qualified; and after he shall have been elected, he shall reside in the circuit for which he was elected. One of said judges shall be designated as chief justice, in such manner as the Legislature shall provide. And the Legisla. ture shall, at its first session, provide by law, as well for the election of, as for classifying the judges of the Circuit Court, to be elected under this Constitution, in such manner that one of said judges shall go out of office in two years, one in three years, one in four years, one in five years, and one in six years; and thereafter the judge elected to fill the office shall hold the same for six years.
8. The Circuit Courts shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, within this State, not excepted in this Constitution, and not hereafter prohibited by law, an appellate jurisdiction from all inferior courts and tribunals, and a supervisory control over the same. They shall also have the power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, and all other writs necessary to carry into effect their orders, judgments, and decrees, and give them a general control over inferior courts and jurisdictions.
9. When a vacanoy shall happen in the office of judge of the Supreme or Circuit Courts, such vacancy shall be filled by an appointment of the Governor, which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified; and when elected, such successor shall hold his office the residue of the unexpired term. There shall be no election for a judge or judges at any general election for State or county officers, nor within thirty days either before or after such election.
10. Each of the judges of the Supreme and Circuit Courts shall receive a salary, payable quarterly, of not less than one thousand five hundred dollars annually; they shall receive no fees of office, or other compensation than their salaries; they shall hold no office of public trust, except a judicial office, during the term for which they are respectively elected; and all votes for either of them, for any office except a judicial office, given by the Legislature or the people, shall be void. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge, who shall not, at the time of his election, be a citizen of the United States, and have attained the age of twenty-five years, and be a qualified elector within the jurisdiction for which he may be chosen.
11. The Supreme Court shall hold at least one term annually, at the seat of gov. ernment of the State, at such time as shall be provided by law; and the Legislature may provide for holding other terms, and at other places, when they may deem it necessary. A Circuit Court shall be held at least twice in each year, in each county of this state, organized for judicial purposes. The judges of the Circuit Court may hold courts for each other, and shall do so when required by law.
12. There shall be a clerk of the Circuit Court chosen in each county organized for judicial purposes, by the qualified electors thereof, who shall hold his office for two years, subject to removal as shall be provided by law. In case of a vacancy, the judge of the Circuit Court shall have the power to appoint a clerk, until the vacancy shall be filled by an election. The clerk thus elected or appointed, shall give such security as the Legislature may require; and when elected, shall hold his office for a full term. The Supreme Court shall appoint its own clerk; and the clerk of a Circuit Court may be appointed clerk of the Supreme Court.
13. Any judge of the Supreme or Circuit Court may be removed from office by address of both Houses of the Legislature, if two-thirds of all the members elected to each House concur therein; but no removal shall be made by virtue of this section, unless the judge complained of shall have been served with a copy of the charges against him, as the ground of address, and shall have had an opportunity of being heard in his defence. On the question of removal, the ayes and noes shall be entered on the journals.
14. There shall be chosen in each county, by the qualified electors thereof, a judge of probate, who shall hold his office for two years, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified, and whose jurisdiction, powers and duties shall be prescribed by law: Provided, however, That the Legislature shall have power to abolish the office of judge of probate in any county, and to confer probate powers upon such inferior courts as may be established in said county.
15. The electors of the several towns, at their annual town meetings, and the electors of cities and villages, at their charter elections, shall, in such manner as the Legislature may direct, elect justices of the peace, whose term of office shall be for two years, and until their successors in office shall be elected and qualified. In case of an election to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of a full term, the justice elected shall hold for the residue of the unexpired term. Their number and classification shall be regulated by law. And the tenure of two years shall in no wise interfere with the classification in the first instance. The justices thus elected shall have such civil and criminal jurisdiction as shall be prescribed by law.
16. The Legislature shall pass laws for the regulation of tribunals of conciliation, defining their powers and duties. Such tribunals may be established in and for any township, and shall have power to render judgment, to be obligatory on the parties, when they shall voluntarily submit their matter in difference to arbitra tion, and agree to abide the judgment, or assent thereto in writing.
17. The style of all writs and process shall be, “The State of Wisconsin." All criminal prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the same; and all indictments shall conclude against the peace and dignity of the State.
18. The Legislature shall impose a tax on all civil suits commenced or prosecuted in the municipal, inferior, or Circuit Courts, which shall constitute a fund to be applied toward the payment of the salary of judges.
19. The testimony in causes in equity shall be taken in like manner as in cases at law; and the office of master in chancery is hereby prohibited.
taken as security, when the sum due thereon shall have been paid. The commissioners shall have power to withhold from sale any portion of such lands when they shall deem it expedient, and shall invest all moneys arising from the sale of such lands, as well as all other university and school funds, in such manner as the Legislature shall provide, and shall give such security for the faithful performance of their duties as may be required by law.
Section 1. Corporations without banking powers or privileges may be formed under general laws, but shall not be created by special act, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where, in the judgment of the Legislature, the objects of the corporation cannot be attained under general laws. All general laws or special acts enacted under the provisions of this section may be altered or repealed by the Legis. lature at any time after their passage.
2. No municipal corporation shall take private property for public use against the consent of the owner, without the necessity thereof being first established by the verdict of a jury.
3. It shall be the duty of the Legislature, and they are hereby empowered to provide for the organization of cities and incorporated villages, and to restrict their power of taxation, assessment, borrowing money, contracting debts, and loading their credit, so as to prevent abuses in assessments and taxation, and in contract. ing debts by such municipal corporations.
4. The Legislature shall not have power to create, authorize, or incorporate, by any general or special law, any bank or banking power or privilege, or any institution or corporation, having any banking power or privilege whatever, except as provided in this article.
5. The Legislature may submit to the voters, at any general election, the question of “ bank or no bank;" and if, at any such election, a number of votes equal to a majority of all the votes cast at such election on that subject shall be in favor of banks, then the Legislature shall have power to grant bank charters, or to pass a general banking law, with such restrictions, and under such regulations, as they may deem expedient and proper for the security of the bill-holders: Provided, That no such grant or law shall have any force or effect until the same shall have been submitted to a vote of the electors of the State at some general election, and been approved by a majority of the votes cast on that subject at such election.
SECTION 1. Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either House of the Legislature, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two Houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the Legislature to be chosen at the next general election, and shall be published for three months previous to the time of holding such eleotion. And if, in the Legislature so next chosen, such proposed amendment or
penal laws, and all moneys arising from any grant to the State, where the purposes of such grant are not specified, and the five hundred thousand acres of land to which the State is entitled by the provisions of an Act of Congress entitled “An Act to appropriate the proceeds of the sales of the public lands, and to grant pre-emption rights,” approved the fourth day of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and also the five per centum of the nett proceeds of the public lands to which the State shall become entitled on her admission into the Union (if Congress shall consent to such appropriation of the two grants last mentioned), shall be set apart as a separate fund, to be called the school fund, the interest of which, and all other revenues derived from the school lands, shall be exclusively applied to the following objects, to wit:
First. To the support and maintenance of common sehools, in each school district, and the purchase of suitable libraries and apparatus therefor.
Second. The residue shall be appropriated to the support and maintenance of academies and normal schools, and suitable libraries and apparatus therefor.
3. The Legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of district schools, which shall be as nearly uniform as practicable; and such schools shall be free and without charge for tuition to all children between the ages of four, and twenty years, and no sectarian instruction shall be allowed therein.
4. Each town and city shall be required to raise by tax, annually, for the support of common schools therein, a sum not less than one-half the amount received by such town or city respectively for school purposes, from the income of the school fund.
5. Provision shall be made by law for the distribution of the income of the school fund among the several towns and cities of the State, for the support of common schools therein, in some just proportion to the number of children and youth resident therein, between the ages of four and twenty years; and no appropriation shall be made from the school fund to any city or town, for the year in which said city or town shall fail to raise such tax, nor to any school district for the year in which a school shall not be maintained at least three months.
6. Provision shall be made by law for the establishment of a State university, at or near the seat of State Government, and for connecting with the same, from time to time, such colleges, in different parts of the State, as the interests of education may require. The proceeds of all lands that have been or may hereafter be granted by the United States to the State for the support of a university shall be and remain a perpetual fund, to be called the “university fund,” the interest of wbich shall be appropriated to the support of the State university, and no sectarian instruction shall be allowed in such university.
7. The Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney-General shall constitute a board of commissioners for the sale of the school and university lands, and for the investment of the funds arising therefrom. Any two of said commissioners shall be a quorum for the transaction of all business pertaining to the duties of their office.
8. Provision shall be made by law for the sale of all school and university lands, after they shall have been appraised; and when any portion of such lands shall be sold, and the purchase-money shall not be paid at the time of the sale, the commissioners shall take security by mortgage upon the land sold for the sum remaining unpaid, with seven per cent. interest thereon, payable annually at the office of the Treasurer. The commissioners shall be authorized to execute a good and suffi. cient conveyance to all purchasers of such lands, and to discharge any mortgages