Article 5

Document 1

Vermont Constitution of 1786, CH. 2, ART. 40

Thorpe 6:3760--61

XL. In order that the freedom of this Commonwealth may be preserved inviolate forever, there shall be chosen by ballot, by the freemen of this State, on the last Wednesday in March, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, and on the last Wednesday in March in every seven years thereafter, thirteen persons, who shall be chosen in the same manner the Council is chosen, except that they shall not be out of the Council or General Assembly, to be called the Council of Censors; who shall meet together on the first Wednesday of June next ensuing their election, the majority of whom shall be a quorum in every case, except as to calling a convention, in which two-thirds of the whole number elected shall agree: and whose duty it shall be to inquire whether the Constitution has been preserved inviolate in every part, during the last septenary (including the year of their service;) and whether the legislative and executive branches of government have performed their duty, as guardians of the people, or assumed to themselves, or exercised other or greater powers than they are entitled to by the Constitution: they are also to inquire, whether the public taxes have been justly laid and collected in all parts of this Commonwealth--in what manner the public monies have been disposed of--and whether the laws have been duly executed. For these purposes, they shall have power to send for persons, papers, and records; they shall have authority to pass public censures--to order impeachments--and to recommend to the Legislature the repealing such laws as appear to them to have been enacted contrary to the principles of the Constitution; these powers they shall continue to have, for, and during the space of one year from the day of their election, and no longer. The said Council of Censors shall also have power to call a Convention, to meet within two years after their sitting, if there appears to them an absolute necessity of amending any article of this Constitution which may be defective--explaining such as may be thought not clearly expressed--and of adding such as are necessary for the preservation of the rights and happiness of the people; but the articles to be amended, and the amendments proposed and such articles as are proposed to be added or abolished, shall be promulgated at least six months before the day appointed for the election of such Convention, for the previous consideration of the people, that they may have an opportunity of instructing their delegates on the subject.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 5, Document 1
The University of Chicago Press

Thorpe, Francis Newton, ed. The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories, and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America. 7 vols. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1909.

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