Massachusetts Law Updates

Official Blog of the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries

Category Archives: Legal History

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 26 Posted on Jan 26

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 26

Cruel or Unusual Punishment Article 26 (1780) No magistrate or court of law, shall demand excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel or unusual punishments. Article of Amendment, Article 116 (1982) Article 26 of part 1 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth is   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 26

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 25 Posted on Jan 25

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 25

Treason and Limitations on the Legislative Branch Article 25 (1780) No subject ought, in any case, or in any time, to be declared guilty of treason or felony by the legislature. Precedents, Following Law, and Quotations Article 3, Section 3, , U.S. Constitution (1789): “Treason   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 25

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 24 Posted on Jan 24

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 24

Ex Post Facto laws Article 24 (1780) Laws made to punish for actions done before the existence of such laws, and which have not been declared crimes by preceding laws, are unjust, oppressive, and inconsistent with the fundamental principles of a free government. Precedents, Following   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 24

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 23 Posted on Jan 23

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 23

No Taxation without Representation Article 23 (1780) No subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duties, ought to be established, fixed, laid, or levied, under any pretext whatsoever, without the consent of the people or their representatives in the legislature. Precedents, Following Law, and Quotations English Bill   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 23

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 22 Posted on Jan 22

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 22

Legislative Body to Meet Frequently The legislature ought frequently to assemble for the redress of grievances, for correcting, strengthening and confirming the laws, and for making new laws, as the common good may require. Precedents English Bill of Rights (1689): [T]hat for redress of all   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 22

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 21 Posted on Jan 21

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 21

Freedom of Speech without Consequence in the Legislature Article 21 (1780) The freedom of deliberation, speech and debate, in either house of the legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 21

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 20 Posted on Jan 20

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 20

Legislative functions should be restricted to the Legislature Article 20 (1780) The power of suspending the laws, or the execution of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 20

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 19 Posted on Jan 19

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 19

Right to Assemble and to Petition the Legislature Article 19 (1780) The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble to consult upon the common good; give instructions to their representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by the way   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 19

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 18 Posted on Jan 18

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 18

Responsibility of Maintaining a Free Government Article 18 (1780) A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 18

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 17 Posted on Jan 17

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 17

Right to Keep and Bear Arms Article 17 (1780) The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 17