[syn: Wisconsin, Badger State, WI]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a tributary of the Mississippi River in Wisconsin [syn:
Wisconsin, Wisconsin River]
2: a midwestern state in north central United States [syn:
Wisconsin, Badger State, WI]
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
WISCONSIN. The name of one of the new states of the United States, of
2. The constitution of Wisconsin was adopted by a convention, at
Madison, on the first day of February, 1848.
3. The right of suffrage is vested by the third article of the
constitution, as follows: Sect. 1. Every male person of the age of twenty-
one years or upwards, belonging to either of the following classes, who
shall have resided in this state for one year next preceding any election,
shall be deemed a qualified elector at such election. 1st. White citizens of
the United States. 2d. White persons of foreign birth who shall have
declared their intention to become citizens, conformably to the laws of the
United States on the subject of naturalization. 3d. Persons of Indian blood
who have once been declared by law of congress to be citizens of the United
States, any subsequent act of congress to the contrary notwithstanding.
4th. Civilized persons of Indian descent, not members of any tribe;
Provided, that the legislature may at any time extend by law the right of
suffrage to persons not herein enumerated, but no such law shall be in force
until the same shall have been submitted to a vote of the people at a
general election, and approved by a majority of all the votes cast at such
Sect. 2. No person under guardianship, non compos mentis, or insane
shall be qualified to vote at any election; nor shall any person, convicted
of treason or felony, be qualified to vote at any election, unless restored
to civil rights.
Sect. 3. All votes shall be given by ballot, except for such township
officers as may by law be directed or allowed to be otherwise chosen.
Sect. 4. No person shall be deemed to have lost his residence in this
state by reason of absence on business of the United States or of this
Sect. 5. No soldier, seaman or marine, in the army or navy of the
United States, shall be deemed a resident in this state, in consequence of
being stationed within the same.
Sect. 6. Laws may be passed excluding from the right of suffrage all
persons who have been, or may be convicted of bribery, or larceny, or any
infamous crime, and depriving every person who shall make or become directly
or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of
any election, of the right to vote at such election. 4, The fourth article
vests the legislative power in a senate and assembly. These will be
separately considered, by taking a view, 1. Of the senate. 2. Of the
5.-Sec. 1. The senate. It will be proper to examine, first, the
qualification of the senators; secondly, the time of their election; third,
the duration of their office fourth, the number of senators.
6.-1. The senators must have resided one year within the state, and be
qualified electors in the district which they may be chosen to represent.
7.-2. Senators are elected on the Tuesday following the first Monday of
November by the qualified electors of the several districts. One half every
8.-3. They hold their office for two years.
9.-4. The senate shall consist of a number of members not more than
one-third, nor less than one-fourth of the number of the members of the
assembly. Sect. 2.
10.-Sec. 2. The assembly will be, considered in the same order.
11.-1. Members of the assembly must have resided one year in the state,
and be qualified electors for the district for which they may be chosen.
12.-2. Members of the assembly are elected at the same time senators
13.-3. They are elected annually.
14.-4. The number of members of the assembly shall never be less than
fifty-four nor more than one hundred.
15. The two houses are invested severally with the following powers:
Sect. 7. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and
qualifications of its own members; and a majority of each shall constitute a
quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and
may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such
penalties as each house may provide.
Sect. 8. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings,
punish for contempts and disorderly behaviour; and, with the concurrence of
two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member; but no member shall
be expelled a second time for the same cause.
Sect. 9. Each house shall choose its own officers, and the senate shall
choose a temporary president when the lieutenant-governor shall not attend
as president, or shall act as governor.
Sect. 10. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and
publish the same, except such parts as require secrecy. The doors of each
house shall be kept open, except when the public welfare shall require
secrecy. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for
more than three days.
16. By the fifth article, the executive power is vested in a governor.
17.-Sect. 1. The executive power shall be vested in a governor, who
shall hold his office for two years; a lieutenant governor shall be elected
at the same time, and for the same term.
18.-Sect. 2. No person, except a citizen of the United States, and a
qualified elector of the state, shall be eligible to the office of governor
or lieutenant governor.
19.-Sect. 3. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected by
the qualified electors of the state, at the times and places of choosing
members of the legislature. The persons respectively having the highest,
number of votes for governor and lieutenant-governor shall be elected, but
in case two or more shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for
governor or lieutenant-governor, the two houses of the legislature, at its
next annual session, shall forthwith, by joint ballot, choose one of the
persons so having an equal and the highest number of votes, for governor or
lieutenant governor. The returns of election for governor or lieutenant
governor shall be made in such manner as shall be provided by law.
20.-Sect. 4. The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military.
and naval forces of the state. He shall have power to convene the
legislature on extraordinary occasions; and in case of invasion, or danger
from the prevalence of contagious disease at the seat of government, he may
convene them at any other suitable place within the state. He shall
communicate to the legislature at every session, the condition of the state;
and recommend such matters to them for their consideration as he may deem
expedient. He shall transact all necessary business with the officers of the
government, civil and military. He shall expedite all such measures as may
be resolved upon by the legislature, and shall take care that the laws be
21.-Sect. 5. The governor shall receive during his continuance in
office an annual compensation of one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars.
22.-Sect. 6. The governor shall have the power to grant reprieves,
commutations and pardons after conviction for all offences, except treason,
and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions
and limitations as he may think proper, subject to such regulations as may
be provided by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons. Upon
conviction for treason he shall have the power to suspend the execution of
the sentence, until the case shall be reported to the legislature at its
next meeting, when the legislature shall either pardon, or commute the
sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve.
He shall annually communicate to the legislature each case of reprieve,
commutation or pardon granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of
which he was convicted, the sentence and its date, and the date of the
commutation, pardon or reprieve, with his reasons for granting the same.
23.-Sect. 7. In case of the impeachment of the governor, or his removal
from office, death, inability from mental or physical disease, resignation
or absence from the state, the powers and the duties of the office shall
devolve upon the lieutenant-governor for the residue of the term, until the
governor, absent or impeached, shall have returned, or the disability shall
cease. But when the governor shall, with the consent of the legislature, be
out of the state in time of war, at the head of the military force thereof,
he shall continue commander-in-chief of the military force of the state.
24.-Sect. 8. The lieutenant-governor shall be president of the senate,
but shall have only a casting vote therein. If during a vacancy in the
office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall be impeached, displaced,
resign, die, or from mental or physical disease, become incapable of
performing the duties of his office, or be absent from the state the
secretary of state shall act as governor until the vacancy shall be filled,
or the disability shall cease.
25.-Sect. 9. The lieutenant governor shall receive double the per them
allowance of members of the senate, for every day's attendance as president
of the senate, and the same mileage as shall be allowed to members of the
26.-Sect. 10. Every bill which shall have passed the legislature,
shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor; if he approve,
he shall sign it, but if not, he shall return it with his objections to that
house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections It
large upon the journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such
reconsideration, two-thirds. of the members present shall agree to pass the
bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by
which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of
the members present, it shall become a law. But in all such cases, the votes
of both houses shall be determined by, yeas and nays, and the names of the
members, voting for or against the bill, shall be entered on the journal of
each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor
within three days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to
him, the same shall be a law, unless the legislature shall by their
adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.
27. The seventh article establishes the judiciary as follows:
Sect. 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 impeachment according to the evidence; and no person
shall be convicted without a concurrence of two-thirds of the members
present. Judgment in case 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.
28.-Sect. 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 in 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.
29.-Sect, 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.
30.-Sect. 4. For the term of five years and thereafter until the
legislature shall otherwise provide, the judges of the several 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 the term of office shall be the same as
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 till after the expiration of the term of some one of the said
judges, or till a vacancy occur by some other means.
31. Circuits are established, and they may be changed by the
Sec. 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 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 legislature 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 the 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 bold the same for six years.
32.-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, and 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.
33.-Sect. 9. When a vacancy shall happen in the office of a judge of
the supreme or circuit court, 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.
34.-Sect. 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.
35.-Sect. 11. The supreme court shall hold at least one term annually
at the seat of government of the state at such times 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 a 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.