UPDATE: For the whole Indiana Constitution (with what I hope are helpful annotations) see: http://wedeclare.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/indiana-constitution-book1.pdf
Well, so, this is a long one. But here are what I think are some important thoughts on, mostly, the Indiana Constitution. I’ve highlighted some interesting law in red, but all my words are in blue.
First of all, according to:
Oaths; officers and deputies; prosecuting attorneys and deputies
Sec. 1. (a) Except as provided in subsection (c), every officer and every deputy, before entering on the officer’s or deputy’s official duties, shall take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Indiana, and that the officer or deputy will faithfully discharge the duties of such office.
Are we clear on this? Our officers and deputies are arms of the constitution, not of Bart or Mitch or GWB.
The following is from the Indiana Constitution:
ARTICLE 1., Section 1. “…all free governments are, and of right ought to be, founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and well-being. For the advancement of these ends, the People have, at all times, an indefeasible right to alter and reform their government.”
So let’s do that.
Section 3. No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.
Section 11. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.
Clearly both a state and “federal” problem.
Section 12. All courts shall be open; and every person, for injury done to him in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law. Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.
Speedily? …Without purchase? Wouldn’t that be nice…
Section 19. In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.
See? Both law and facts. JUDGES don’t have that power!
Section 21. No person’s particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation. No person’s property shall be taken by law, without just compensation; nor, except in case of the State, without such compensation first assessed and tendered.
Section 22. The privilege of the debtor to enjoy the necessary comforts of life, shall be recognized by wholesome laws, exempting a reasonable amount of property from seizure or sale, for the payment of any debt or liability hereafter contracted: and there shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in case of fraud.
So is a home one of the necessary comforts of life, or not? If not, what is?
Section 23. 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.
Well, millionaire athletes, politicians and campaign contributors aren’t really citizens…
Section 25. No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.
Wow, that’s a plate full. A huge percentage of what government now does was never authorized by the Constitution. These words should be memorized by all citizens and wielded like a sword.
Section 26. The operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by the authority of the General Assembly.
Section 31. No law shall restrain any of the inhabitants of the State from assembling together in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good; nor from instructing their representatives; nor from applying to the General Assembly for redress of grievances.
They are not allowed to stop us from doing what we must do, in other words.
Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.
This right is is pretty unequivocal, isn’t it?
Section 33. The military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power.
I’m worried about who gets to define “civil power.”
ARTICLE 3., Section 1. The powers of the Government are divided into three separate departments; the Legislative, the Executive including the Administrative, and the Judicial: and no person, charged with official duties under one of these departments, shall exercise any of the functions of another, except as in this Constitution expressly provided.
Section 16. Each House shall have all powers, necessary for a branch of the Legislative department of a free and independent State.
…Free and independent State, as opposed to a mere flunky to a unitary power in DC.
Section 20. Every act and joint resolution shall be plainly worded, avoiding, as far as practicable, the use of technical terms.
Plainly worded. No decoder rings. No “interpretation” required.
Section 12. The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and may call out such forces, to execute the laws, or to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion.
Seriously. If we get our state in order and the others do not, this could be helpful. And look elsewhere in the constitutions to see just who the militia really are supposed to be. (you, in case you didn’t know)
ARTICLE 8. Education
Section 1. Common schools system
Section 1. Knowledge and learning, general diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; it should be the duty of the General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual scientific, and agricultural improvement; and provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall without charge, and equally open to all.
…UNIFORM! Do we not know what that means?!?
Section 2. Common school fund
Section 2. The Common School fund shall consist of the Congressional Township fund, and the lands belonging thereto;
The Surplus Revenue fund;
The Saline fund and the lands belonging thereto;
The Bank Tax fund, and the fund arising from the one
hundred and fourteenth section of the charter of the
State Bank of Indiana;
The fund to be derived from the sale of County
Seminaries, and the moneys and property heretofore held
for such Seminaries; from the fines assessed for breaches
of the penal laws of the State; and from all forfeitures
which may accrue;
All lands and other estate which shall escheat to the
State, for want of heirs or kindred entitled to the
All lands that have been, or may hereafter be, granted to
the State, where no special purpose is expressed in the
grant, and the proceeds of the sales thereof; including
the proceeds of the sales of the Swamp Lands, granted to
the State of Indiana by the act of Congress of the twenty
eighth of September, eighteen hundred and fifty, after
deducting the expense of selecting and draining the same;
Taxes on the property of corporations, that may be
assessed by the General Assembly for common school
Section 3. Principal and income of fund
Section 3. The principal of the Common School fund shall remain a perpetual fund, which may be increased, but shall never be diminished; and the income thereof shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of Common Schools, and to no other purpose whatever.
…Principal? …Interest? (see below) …Perpetual fund? Good idea!
Section 4. Investment and distribution of fund interest
Section 4. The General Assembly shall invest, in some safe and profitable manner, all such portions of the Common School fund, as have not heretofore been entrusted to the several counties and shall make provision, by law, for the distribution, among the several counties, of the interest thereof.
Section 5. Reinvestment of unused interest
Section 5. If any county shall fail to demand its proportion of such interest, for Common School purposes, the same shall be reinvested, for the benefit of such county.
Section 6. Preservation of fund by counties; liability
Section 6. The several counties shall be held liable for the preservation of so much of the said fund as may be entrusted to them, and for the payment of the annual interest thereon.
Section 7. State trust funds inviolate
Section 7. All trust funds, held by the State, shall remain inviolate, and be faithfully and exclusively applied to the purposes for which the trust was created.
Is there not a dictionary in Indiana?
ARTICLE 10. Finance
Section 1. Property assessment and taxation
Section 1. (a) The General Assembly shall provide, by law, for a uniform and equal rate of property assessment and taxation and shall prescribe regulations to secure a just valuation for taxation of all property, both real and personal. The General Assembly may exempt from property taxation any property in any of the following classes:
…uniform and equal…assessment!?! This is a problem within the constitution that should, by itself, scotch our application of individual property tax. This screams for repeal.
(1) Property being used for municipal, educational, literary,
scientific, religious or charitable purposes;
(2) Tangible personal property other than property being held
for sale in the ordinary course of a trade or business,
property being held, used or consumed in connection with the
production of income, or property being held as an investment;
(3) Intangible personal property.
(b) The General Assembly may exempt any motor vehicles, mobile homes, airplanes, boats, trailers or similar property, provided that an excise tax in lieu of the property tax is substituted therefore.
This is wide open; and a good reason to kill personal property tax by amendment.
Section 2. Disposition of revenue
Section 2. All the revenues derived from the sale of any of the public works belonging to the State, and from the net annual income thereof, and any surplus that may, at any time, remain in the Treasury, derived from taxation for general State purposes, after the payment of the ordinary expenses of the government, and of the interest on bonds of the State, other than Bank bonds; shall be annually applied, under the direction of the General Assembly, to the payment of the principal of the Public Debt.
I’m not sure…has this ever happened the way it was supposed to?
Section 5. State debt
Section 5. No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casual deficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities be threatened, provide for the public defense.
Deficits in revenue is not really the same as deficits in desired spending.
Section 6. CountiesSection 6. No county shall subscribe for stock in any incorporated company, unless the same be paid for at the time of such subscription; nor shall any county loan its credit to any incorporated company, nor borrow money for the purpose of taking stock in any such company; nor shall the General Assembly ever, on behalf of the State, assume the debts of any county, city, town, or township; nor of any corporation whatever.
Colts, Pacers…lots of corporations would oppose what this clearly says.
Section 12. State as stockholder in banks; prohibition
Section 12. The State shall not be a stockholder in any bank; nor shall the credit of the State ever be given, or loaned, in aid of any person, association or corporation; nor shall the State become a stockholder in any corporation or association.
Read that part in red a few times. Let it roll around in your head. The Colts would be miffed, but is would wipe out an awful lot of our troubles.
ARTICLE 15., Section 4. Every person elected or appointed to any office under this Constitution, shall, before entering on the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and also an oath of office.
So not only are cops under the authority of constitutions, but so are, by oath and law, every constitutional office holder.
They must obey. Simple as that.