An excerpt from a copy of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, transcribed by Henry S. Kimble, March 1836.
REPUBLIC OF TEXAS.
We, the People of Texas, in order to form a Government, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence and general welfare; and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves, and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
SECTION 1. The powers of this Government shall be divided into three departments, viz: Legislative, Executive and Judicial, which shall remain forever separate and distinct.
SEC. 2. The Legislative power shall be vested in a Senate and House of Representatives, to be styled the Congress of the Republic of Texas.
SEC. 3. The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen annually, on the first Monday of September each year, until Congress shall otherwise provide by law, and shall hold their offices one year from the date of their election.
SEC. 4. No person shall be eligible to a seat in the House of Representatives until he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, shall be a citizen of the Republic, and shall have resided in the county or district six months next preceding his election.
SEC. 5. The House of Representatives shall not consist of less than twenty-four, nor more than forty members, until the population shall amount to one hundred thousand souls, after which time the whole number of Representatives shall not be less than forty, nor more than one hundred: Provided, however, that each county shall be entitled to at least one Representative.
SEC. 6. The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
SEC. 7. The Senators shall be chosen by districts, as nearly equal in free population (free negroes and Indians excepted,) as practicable; and the number of Senators shall never be less than one third nor more than one half the number of Representatives, and each district shall be entitled to one member and no more.
SEC. 8. The Senators shall be chosen for the term of three years, on the first Monday in September; shall be citizens of the Republic, reside in the district for which they are respectively chosen at least one year before the election; and shall have attained the age of thirty years.
SEC. 9. At the first session of Congress after the adoption of this Constitution, the Senators shall be divided by lot into three classes, as nearly equal as practicable; the seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the end of the first year; of the second class, at the end of the second year; the third class, at the end of the third year, in such a manner that one third shall be chosen each year thereafter.
SEC. 10. The Vice President of the Republic shall be President of the Senate, but shall not vote on any question, unless the Senate be equally divided.
SEC. 11. The Senate shall choose all other officers of their body, and a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or whenever he shall exercise the office of President; shall have the sole power to try impeachments, and when sitting as a court of impeachment, shall be under oath; but no conviction shall take place without the concurrence of two thirds of all the members present.
SEC. 12. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall only extend to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit under this Government; but the party shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.
SEC. 13. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, qualifications and returns of its own members. Two thirds of each House 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.
SEC. 14. Each House may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two thirds, may expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence.
SEC. 15. Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be fixed by law, but no increase of compensation, or diminution, shall take effect during the session at which such increase or diminution shall have been made. They shall, except in case of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of Congress, and in going to and returning from same; and for any speech or debate in either House they shall not be questioned in any other place.