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


and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members present, expel a member.

Section 7. Either house, during the session, may punish by imprisonment any person not a member, who shall have been guilty of disorderly or contemptuous conduct in its presence; but such imprisonment shall not extend beyond the final adjournment of the session.

Section 8. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the presence of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may prescribe.

Section 9. Any person who shall be convicted of embezzlement or defalcation of the funds of the State, or of having given or offered a bribe to secure his election or appointment to office, or of having received a bribe to aid in the procurement of office for any other person, shall be disqualified from holding any office of honor, profit, or trust in the State; and the Legislature shall, as soon as practicable, provide by law for the punishment of such embezzlement, defalcation, or bribery as a felony.

Section 10. Each house shall keep a journal of its own proceedings, which shall be published, and the yeas and nays of the members of either house on any question shall, at the desire of any three members present, be entered on the journal.

Section 11. The doors of each house shall be kept open during its session, except the Senate while sitting in executive session; and neither shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, or to any other town than that in which they may be holding their session.

Section 12. Any bill may originate in either house of the Legislature, and after being passed in one house may be amended in the other.

Section 13. The enacting clause of every law shall be as follows: "The people of the State of Florida, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows.