Constitution

EXCERPTS FROM NEW JERSEY STATE CONSTITUTION 1947
(UPDATED THROUGH AMENDMENTS ADOPTED IN NOVEMBER, 2020)

We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

ARTICLE I
RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES

1. All persons are by nature free and independent and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

2. a. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right at all times to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.

b. The people reserve unto themselves the power to recall, after at least one year of service, any elected official in this State or representing this State in the United States Congress.

3. No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor under any pretense whatever be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his faith and judgment; nor shall any person be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right or has deliberately and voluntarily engaged to perform.

5. No person shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil or military right, nor be discriminated against in the exercise of any civil or military right, nor be segregated in the militia or in the public schools, because of religious principles, race, color, ancestry or national origin.

6. Every person may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.

7. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated….

18. The people have the right freely to assemble together, to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their representatives, and to petition for redress of grievances.

20. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

21. This enumeration of rights and privileges shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.

Article I, paragraph 2 amended effective January 1, 1994; paragraph 9 amended effective December 4, 1973; paragraph 11 amended effective January 1, 2017; paragraph 12 amended effective December 3, 1992; paragraph 22 added effective December 5, 1991; paragraph 23 added effective December 5, 2013.