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


he approves it he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it originated, which house shall cause such objections to be entered upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, it shall pass both houses by a two-thirds vote of the members present, which vote shall be entered on the journal of each house, it shall become a law. If any bill shall not be returned within five days after it shall have been presented to the Governor (Sundays excepted,) the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it. If the Legislature, by its final adjournment, prevent such action, such bill shall be a law unless the Governor, within ten days next after the adjournment, shall file such bill with his objections thereto in the office of the Secretary of State, who shall lay the same before the Legislature at its next session, and if the same shall receive two-thirds of the votes present it shall become a law.

Section 29. The Assembly shall have the sole power of impeachment, but a vote of two-thirds of all the members present shall be required to impeach any officer; and all impeachments shall be tried by the Senate. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present. The Chief Justice shall preside at all trials by impeachment, except in the trial of the Chief Justice, when the Lieutenant Governor shall preside. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of the Cabinet, justices of the Supreme Court, and judges of the circuit court shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office; but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit under the State; but the party convicted or acquitted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment according to law. All other officers who shall have been appointed to office by the Governor, and by and with the consent of the Senate, may be removed from office upon the recommendation of the Governor and consent of the Senate, but they shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment according to law for any misdemeanor in office; all other civil officers shall be tried for misdemeanor in office in such manner as the Legislature may provide.

Section 30. Laws making appropriation for the salaries of public officers, and other current expenses of the State, shall contain provisions on no other subject.

Section 31. The Legislature shall elect United States senators in the manner prescribed by the Congress of the United States and by this Constitution.