Constitution of 1868

Congress passed a series of laws known as the Reconstruction Acts in 1867. These laws required the former Confederate states to dissolve existing state governments, register all eligible men (white or African-American) to vote, and then hold conventions to create new state constitutions. To be readmitted to the United States, each state’s constitution had to accept the end of slavery and adopt the 14th amendment, which guaranteed equal rights for all men, regardless of race. Florida’s voters selected delegates to a state constitutional convention in November 1867. The convention met on January 20, 1868, and the new constitution was ratified by the voters the following May.

Constitution of 1868


by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons.

Section 13. All grants and commissions shall be in the name, and under the authority of the State of Florida, sealed by the great seal of the State, signed by the Governor, and countersigned by the Secretary of State.

Section 14. A Lieutenant Governor shall be elected at the same time and places, and in the same manner as the Governor, whose term of office and eligibility shall also be the same. He shall be the President of the Senate, but shall only have a casting vote therein. If, during a vacancy of the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall be impeached, displaced, resign, die, or become incapable of performing the duties of his office, or be absent from the State, the President pro tem. of the Senate shall act as Governor until the office be filled or the disability cease.

Section 15. In the case of the impeachment of the Governor, or his removal from office, death, inability to discharge his official duties, or resignation, the power and duties of the office shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor for the residue of the term, or until the disability shall cease; but the Governor shall not, without the consent of the Legislature, be out of the State in time of war.

Section 16. The Governor may at any time require the opinion of the justices of the Supreme Court as to the interpretation of any portion of this Constitution, or upon any point of law, and the Supreme Court shall render such opinion in writing.

Section 17. The Governor shall be assisted by a Cabinet of administrative officers, consisting of a Secretary of State, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, Surveyor General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Adjutant General, and Commissioner of Immigration. Such officers shall be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, and shall hold their offices the same time as the Governor, or until their successors shall be qualified.

Section 18. The Governor shall, by and with the consent of the Senate, appoint all commissioned officers of the State militia.