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(The Oregon Constitution was framed by a convention of sixty delegates chosen by the people at the general election on the first Monday of June, 1857. The convention met on the third Monday of August of the same year, and adjourned on the eighteenth of September. On the second Monday of November, 1857, the Constitution was ratified by a majority vote of the electors of the Territory, as provided by Article XVIII, and the Act of Congress admitting Oregon into the Union was approved February 14, 1859, on which date the Constitution went into effect. The Constitution is here published as it is in effect at this time; but the original operation of many provisions has been annulled, altered or enlarged as will be shown by the annotations in the general code and in laws of subsequent legislative sessions. The original text is omitted where it has been superseded by amendments in operation, but is given in full following amendments where it is not yet set aside by them.)


We, the people of the State of Oregon, to the end that justice be established, order maintained, and liberty perpetuated, do ordain this Constitution.



§ 1. Principles of Social Compact.

We declare that all men, when they form a social compact, are equal in right; that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.

§ 2. Freedom of Worship.

All men shall be secured in their natural right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

§ 3. Freedom of Religious Opinion.

No law shall in any case whatever control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.

§ 4. No Religious Qualification for Office.

No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office of trust or profit.

§ 5. No Money to Be Appropriated for Religion.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution, nor shall any money be appropriated for the payment of any religious services in either house of the Legislative Assembly.

§ 6. No Religious Test of Witnesses.

No person shall be rendered incompetent as a witness or juror in consequence of his opinions on matters of religion, nor be questioned in any court of justice touching his religious belief, to affect the weight of his testimony.

§ 7. Manner of Swearing Witnesses.

The mode of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as may be most consistent with, and binding upon, the conscience of the person to whom such oath or affirmation may be administered.

§ 8. Freedom of Speech.

No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right.

§ 9. Searches, Seizures and Warrants.

No law shall violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable search or seizure; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.

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No court shall be secret, but justice shall be administered openly and without purchase, completely and without delay, and every man shall have remedy by due course of law for injury done him in his person, property or reputation.



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