The Constitution of 1824, the first of the newly independent Republic of Mexico, was the document under which DeWitt Colonists were invited to emigrate to the Republic, was the one under which they assumed they were protected and the one they swore to defend. It evolved out of the acta constitucional authored by northeastern Mexican statesman, Jos� Miguel Ramos Arispe (photo left). Texas Empresario Stephen F. Austin (photo center) drafted a Mexican constitution, wrote a suggested "Plan of Federal Government" and presented it to Ramos Arispe six months prior to the emergence of Arispe's acta constitucional. Because of his bold report of 1811 on the Four Eastern Interior Provinces of the Kingdom of Mexico to the Spanish Cortes for which he later was incarcerated for over four years, and his acta constitucional, which was the framework for the Constitution of 1824, Ramos Arispe is known as the Father of Mexican Federalism. Lorenzo de Zavala (right) was the great Mexican constitutionalist and democrat, President of the Congress that approved the Constitution, first signer and first Vice-President of the Republic of Texas.
FEDERAL CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES.
In the name of GOD, all powerful, author and supreme legislator of society. The general constituent Congress of the Mexican Nation, in the discharge of the duties confided to them by their constituents, in order to establish and fix its political Independence, establish and confirm its Liberty, and promote its prosperity and glory, decree as follows:
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES
TITLE 1---Of the Mexican Nation, its Territory and
2. Its Territory consists of that, which was formerly called the viceroyalty of New Spain, that styled the captain generalship of Tucaton, that of the commandant generalship formerly called the Internal Provinces of East and West, and that of Lower and Upper Caliafornia, with the lands annexed, and adjacent lands in both seas. By a constitutional law, a demarcation of the limits of the Federation will be made as soon as circumstances will permit.
3. The Religion of the Mexican Nation, is, and will be perpetually, the Roman Catholic Apostolic. The Nation will protect it by wise and just laws, and prohibit the exercise of any other whatever.
TITLE 2---Form of Government of the Nation, of its integral parts and division of Supreme Power
4. The Mexican Nation adopts for its Government, the form of Republican representative, popular Federal.
5. The parts of this Federation, are the States and Territories as follows: The State of the Chiapas, Chiuahua, Coahuila and Texas, Durango, Guanajuato, Mexico, Michoacan, New Leon, Oajaca, Puebla de los Angeles, Quetaro, Son Luis Potosi, Sinora and Sinaloa, Tobasco, Tumaulipas, Vera Cruz, Xalisco, Yucatan Tacatecas; the Territory of Upper Caliafomia, Lower Caliafomia, Colima and Santa Fe of New Mexico---a constitutional law shall fix the character of Tlaxcala.
6. The supreme power of the Federation will be divided for its exercises, in Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.
TITLE 3. SECTION 1st--Legislative Power, of its nature and the mode of exercising it
7. The legislative power of the Federation, shall be disposed in a General Congress, this to be divided in two houses, one of Deputies (Representatives) and the other of Senators.
SECTION 2nd---Of the House of Representatives.
8. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Representatives elected totally every two years, by the citizens of the States.
9. The qualifications of the electors shall be constitutionally prescribed by the Legislatures of the States; to whom, likewise, appertains the regulation of the elections, in conformity with the principles established by this Constitution
10. The general basis for the appointment of representatives, shall be the population.
11. For every 80,000 souls, one Representative shall be appointed, or for a fraction which passes 40,000. The State which may not contain this population, shall, notwithstanding, appoint one representative.
12. A census of the whole Federation, which shall be formed in five years and renewed every ten, shall serve to designate the number of Deputies corresponding to each State; and in the mean time, it shall be regulated agreeably to the basis established in the former Article, by the census which governed in the election of Deputies in the present Congress.
13. In the same manner shall be elected in each State, the necessary number of supernumerary representatives, in the ratio of one for every three full representatives, or for a fraction amounting to two; the states which may contain less than three full representatives shall elect one supernumerary.
14. The Territory which may contain more than 40,000 inhabitants shall appoint a full representative and one supernumerary, who shall have a voice and vote in the formation of laws and decrees.
15. The Territory which may not contain the foregoing number of population, shall appoint one full representative and one supernumerary, who shall be entitled to a voice in all matters. The election of Representatives for the Territories shall be regulated by a special law.
16. In every State and Territory of the Federation, the appointment Of Representatives shall be made on the first Sunday in October previous to its renovation. The election to be indirect.
17. The election of Representatives concluded, the electoral college shall remit through their President to the Council of Government, a legal return of the election, and notify the elected of their appointment by an official letter, which shall serve as a credential of election.
18. The President of the Council of Government shall give to the returns, referred to in the preceding Article, the direction prescribed by the regulations of said Council.
19. To be a Representative it is required---First, to be at the time of the election, twenty-five years of age complete. Second, to have been a resident of the State, from which elected, at least two years, or born in the State, although a resident in another.
20. Those not born in the territory of the Mexican Nation, to be Representatives, must have, besides eight years residence in it, 8000 dollars of real estate in any part of the Republic, or an occupation that produces them 1000 per year.
21. Exceptions to the foregoing Article---First, Those born in any other part of America, that in 1810 appertained to Spain, and has not united itself to another nation, nor remains subject to the former, to whom three years residence in the Territory of the Federation is sufficient, in addition to the requisite prescribed in the 19th Article. Second, The military not born in the Territory of the republic, who, with arms, sustained the independence of the country, eight years residence, complete, is sufficient, and the requisites prescribed in the 19th Article.
22. In the election of Representatives, actual residence shall have preference over birth and non-residence.
23. Those cannot be Representatives---First, Those deprived or suspended from the rights of citizenship. Second, the President and Vice-President of the Federation. Third, The members of the Supreme Judicial Court. Fourth, Secretaries of the Cabinet and the officers of their departments. Fifth, Those employed in the Treasury, whose functions extend over the whole Federation. Sixth, Governors of States and Territories, Commandant Generals, Archbishops and Bishops, Governors of Archbishoprics and Bishoprics, Provisors and Vicar Generals, Circuit Judges, Commissary Generals of treasury and war, for the States and Territories over which they exercise their functions.
24. In order that any person enumerated in the foregoing Article may be eligible, it is necessary they should have ceased their functions six months previous to their election.
SECTION 3---Of the Senate.
25. The Senate shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by an absolute majority of the votes of the Legislatures, and renewed by one-half every two years.
26. The seats of the senators appointed in the second place, shall be vacated in two years, and the first appointed in four years, and so on in succession.
27. When a vacancy occurs by the death, resignation, or other cause, it shall be filled by the corresponding Legislature in session, if not as soon as it meets.
28. To be a Senator it is necessary to possess all the qualifications required by the former Section, to be a representative, and moreover, to be at the time of election, thirty years of age.
29. No person can be a Senator, who is disqualified from being a Representative.
30. In the election of Senators, the 22d Article shall also govern.
31. When the same individual is elected for a Senator and Representative, the first election shall have the preference.
32. The periodical election of Senators shall be made in all the States on the same day which shall be on the first day of September previous to the renewal of half the Senators.
33. The election of Senators concluded, the Legislature shall remit a legal return through their President, to the President of the Council of Government; and notify the elected of their appointment, by means of an official letter, which shall serve them as credentials. The President of the Council of Government shall give the direction to these to returns indicated in the 18th Article.
SECTION 4---Of the Individual Functions of both Houses and Prerogatives of its Members
34. Each House in its preparatory meeting, and in everything appertaining to its government, shall follow the rule formed by the present Congress; provided that amendments may be made to them in future, should both Houses consider it necessary.
35. Each House shall judge of the elections of its respective members, and resolve all doubts which may occur in them.
36. The Houses cannot open their sessions without the presence of more than the half of the total number of its members; but those present of one and the other, must unite on the day appointed for the regulation of the internal government of each, and respectively compel the attendance of the absentees, under the penalties prescribed by the law.
37. The Houses will communicate with one another, and with the Supreme Executive Power, by means of their respective Secretaries, or by means of deputations.
38. Either of the two Houses may sit as Grand Jurors, on accusations. First, Against the President of the Federation, for the crime of Treason against the National Independence or the established form of Government, or for insubordination or bribery during the time of his service. Second, also, against the President, for acts manifestly intended to prevent them from entering on the exercise of their duties in the manner prescribed in this Constitution, or to deprive the Chambers of the use of any of the powers constitutionally vested in them. Third, against the members of the Supreme Court and the Secretaries of the departments, for any crime committed during the time of their service. Fourth, against the Governors of the States, for infractions on the Federal Constitution, laws of the Union, or orders of the President of the Federation, which may not be manifestly contrary to the Constitution and general laws of the Union, and likewise by the publication of laws and decrees of the Legislatures of their respective States, contrary to the same constitution and laws.
39. The House of Representatives will exclusively form a Grand Jury, when the President or his ministers may be accused of acts in which the Senate or the Council of Government have concurred by reason of its attributions. The House will, in the same manner, serve as Grand Juror, in cases of accusation against the Vice-President, for any offense committed during the term of his service.
40. The House, before which has been made the accusation of the individual spoken of in the two preceding articles will form itself in a Grand Jury, and if it is declared, by the vote of two-thirds of the members present that there is cause of accusation, the functions of the accused shall be suspended, and he shall be placed at the disposition of the competent tribunal. [sdct]
41. Any Representative or Senator can make any proposition in writing, or present projects of a law or decree in his respective chamber.
42. The Representatives and Senators shall be inviolable for the opinions manifested in the discharge of their duties, and never can be called to account for them.
43. In all criminal prosecutions instituted against Senators or representatives, from the time of their election until two months after the expiration of their term of service, the former shall be accused before Chamber of the latter, and the latter before that of the former; each chamber composing a Grand Jury respectively for this object.
44. If the Chamber sitting as a Grand Jury, in the cases referred to in the last Article, declare by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, that there is cause for accusation, the accused shall be suspended and placed at the disposition of the competent tribunal.
45. The emoluments of the Representatives and Senators shall be determined by law, and paid from the general treasury of the Federation.
46. Each House, and also the meetings spoken of in the 36th Article, shall have power to deliver such orders as they may deem necessary to carry their resolutions into effect, issued by virtue of the functions granted to each by the 35th, 36th, 39th, 40th, 44th, and 45th Articles of the Constitution, and the President of the United States shall cause them to be executed without making any observations upon them.
[Scanned and reprinted by W.L. McKeehan from The History of Texas by David B. Edward]
SECTION 5---Of the faculties of the General Congress.
47. Every resolution of the general Congress shall have the character of a law or decree.
48. The resolutions of the general Congress, to be entitled to the force of law or decree, must be signed by the President, except in cases otherwise provided in this Constitution.
49. The laws and decrees which emanate from the general Congress, shall have for object---First, to sustain the National Independence, provide for the National security and preservation of its exterior relations. Second, to preserve the Federal Union of the States, and the peace and public order of the interior of the Federation. Third, maintain the independence of the States among themselves, in all that relates to their interior government, in conformity to the constitutional Act, and this Constitution. Fourth, sustain the proportional equality of obligations and rights, which the States are entitled to before the law.
50. The exclusive faculties of the general Congress are the following---First, promote illustration, assuring for a limited time, exclusive rights to authors for their respective works; establishing Colleges for marine, artillery, and engineers; erecting one or more establishments in which are to be taught, natural, political, and moral sciences, noble arts, and the languages, without prejudice to the power which the Legislatures have to regulate public education in their respective states. Second, promote the general prosperity, by opening and improving roads and canals, without impeding the States in the improvement of theirs; establishing mails and post offices, and securing for a limited time, exclusive right to the inventors, practitioners or introducers of any branch of industry, for their respective inventions, perfections or new introductions. Third, protect and regulate the political liberty of the press, in order that its exercises may never be suspended, and much less abolished in any of the States and Territories of the Federation. Fourth, admit new States to the Federal Union or Territories, incorporating them in the Nation. Fifth, regulate definitively, the Limits of the States, when they cannot agree among themselves about the demarcation of their respective districts. Sixth, form States out of Territories, or unite them to those already existing. Seventh, unite two or more States, by a petition of their Legislatures, to form one only, or form a new one form the limits of those already exist, with the approbation of three-fourths of the members present of both houses, and a ratification of an equal number of the Legislatures of the other States of the Union. Eight, fix the general expenses, establish the necessary contributions to cover them, regulated their collection, determine the inversion, and take annually accounts thereof from the government. Ninth, contract debts upon the credit of the Federation, and designate guarantees to cover them. Tenth, acknowledge the National debt, and designate means for its consolidation and payment. Eleventh, regulate the commerce with foreign nations, and among the different States and Tribes of Indians. Twelfth, give instructions to celebrate covenants with the Apostolic Chair, approve them for ratification, and regulate the exercise of the patronage in all parts of the Nation. Thirteenth, approve treaties of peace, alliance, friendship, federation and armed neutrality, and whatsoever other which the President of the United States may celebrate with foreign powers. Fourteenth, to establish all kinds of ports, customhouses, and designate their locations. Fifteenth, determine and regulate the weight, standard, value, three and denomination of money in all the States of the Federation, and adopt a general system of weights and measures. Sixteenth, declare war after examining the data prescribed by the President of the United States. Seventeenth, form regulations relative to granting letters of marque and reprisal, and to declare good or bad captures by sea and land. Eighteenth, designate the armed force of sea and land, fix the respective quota of men to each State, and give orders and regulations for their organization and service. Nineteenth, form regulations to organize, arm, and discipline the local militia of the State, reserving to each one the appointment of their respective officers, and the faculty of training them conformably to the discipline prescribed by said regulations. Twentieth, to grant or deny the entrance of foreign troops in the Territory of the Federation. Twenty-first, permit or not, the station of squadrons of any other power, for more than one month, in the Mexican ports. Twenty-second, permit or not, the departure of National troops without the limits of the Federation. Twenty-third, create or suppress public offices of the Federation, designate, augment or diminish their emoluments and pensions. Twenty-fourth, grant premiums and recompenses to corporations or persons who have rendered important service to the Republic, and decree public honors to the posthumous memory of great men. Twenty-fifth, grant amnesty or pardon for crimes, the cognizance of which appertains to the tribunal of the Federation, in the cases, and with the previous requirements prescribed by law. Twenty-sixth, to establish a general law of naturalization. Twenty-seventh, to give uniform laws in every State, on the subject of bankruptcies.. Twenty-eighth, to select a place to serve as a residence of t he supreme powers of the Federation, and exercise within its limits the attributions of the legislative powers of the State. Twenty-ninth, to change such residence when them may deem necessary. Thirtieth, give laws and decrees for the regulation of the interior administration of the Territories. Thirty-first, dictate all the laws and decrees that may be conducive to fulfill the object spoken of in the 49th Article, without interfering with the interior administration of the State.
SECTION 6---Formation of the Laws
51. The formation of laws and decrees can proceed indiscriminately from either of the two Houses with the exception of those which arise from contributions or imposts, which cannot have origin except in the House of Representatives.
52. There shall be considered as, incipients of law or decree -First, the propositions which the President of the United Mexican States may deem conducive to the general good of society, and as such, particularly recommend them to the House of Representatives. Second, the propositions or plans of Jaws or decrees which the Legislatures may direct to either House.
53. All projects of a law or decree) without any exception, shall be successively discussed in both Houses, observing in each with exactitude the rules relative to the form of debates, interval and mode, of proceeding in discussing and voting.
54. The projects of a law or decree rejected in the House where it originated, before being sent to the other House, shall not be renewed in the same House by its members in the sessions of that year, but must remain until the following
55. If the project of a law or decree, after having been debated, should be approved by the absolute majority of the members present of both Houses, it shall be passed to the President of the United States, who also, if he approve it, shall sign and publish it, and if not, return it, with his observations, within the term of ten days (Sundays and solemn festivals excepted), to the House of its origin.
56. The project of a law or decree, returned by the President in conformity with the preceding Article, shall be a second time discussed in the two Houses. If in both of these it should be approved by two-thirds of the members present, it shall be again returned to the President, who, without excuse, must sign and publish it; but if it was not approved by the vote of two-thirds of both Houses, it cannot be renewed in either of them until the next year.
57. If the President does not return any project of a law or decree within the time prescribed in the 55th Article, it shall, from that circumstance, be considered as sanctioned, and as such shall be promulgated, unless in the mean time the session of Congress should be closed or suspended, in which case the return must be made on the first day in which Congress shall be re-assembled.
58. The project of a law or decree, totally rejected for the first time by the House to which it has been sent, shall be returned With their observations to the one in which it originated: if after a re-examination the said House shall again approve of it by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, it shall be sent a second time to the House that rejected it, who cannot a second time reject it without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.
59. The projects of a law or decree, approved of after a second revision by two-thirds of the members of the I-louse where it originated, and not rejected by two-thirds of the members of the other House, shall be sent to the President) who shall sign and publish it, or return it within ten days (Sundays, &c. excepted) to the House where it originated, with his observations.
60. The project of a law or decree, which, according to the foregoing Article, the President returned to the House of its origin, shall be again taken into consideration, and if this approve it by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, and the revising body does not reject, by an equal number of its members, it shall be returned to the President, who must publish it. But if it was not approved by the vote of two-thirds of the House, of its origin, or was rejected by an equal number of the revising body, it cannot be renewed until the ordinary subsequent sessions.
61. In the event of the rejection a second time of the revising body, in conformity with the 58th Article, the project shall be considered rejected, and cannot be reconsidered until the following year.
62. In the amendments which the revising body make to any project of a law or decree, there shall be observed the same formalities required before the project of a law can be sent to the President.
63. The parts of a project of a law or decree rejected for the first time by the revising body, shall take the same course as those totally rejected by it for the first time.
64. In the interpretation, modification, or revocation of the laws or decrees, the same requisites shall be observed which are prescribed for their formation.
65. All resolutions of the general Congress communicated to the President of the Republic, must be signed by the President of both Houses and by a Secretary of each of them.
66. For the formation of every law or decree, it is necessary that an absolute majority of all the members of each House should be present in their respective Houses.
SECTION 7th-Of the time, duration, and place of the Sessions of the General Congress.
67. The General Congress shall meet every year on the first day of January at the place designated by law; its internal rules shall prescribe the previous forms necessary at the opening 6i its sessions, and the formalities which are to be observed at its installation.
68. The President of the Federation shall assist at the installation, and pronounce a discourse analogous to this important act, and the person who presides in Congress shall answer it in general terms.
69. The ordinary sessions of Congress shall be daily, without any other interruption than that of the days of solemn festival; and in order to adjourn for more than three days, the consent of both Houses shall be necessary.
70. Both Houses shall reside in the same place, and cannot move to another, without first agreeing on the removal, the time and manner of effecting it, designating the same point, for the reunion of one and the other. But if they agree on a removal, and differ as to the time, mode, and place, the President of the States shall determine the difference, electing one of those in question.
71. The Congress shall close its sessions annually on the 15th day of April, with the same formalities as are prescribed for its opening, proroguing the session thirty days (Sundays and solemn festivals excepted) when they may deem it necessary, or when the President of the Federation requires it.
72. When the General Congress is assembled for extraordinary sessions, it shall be formed of the same Representatives and Senators as the ordinary sessions of that year and shall occupy itself exclusively on the object or objects for which it was convened; but 1i these should not be completed on the day in which the ordinary sessions are to commence, the extraordinary sessions shall cease, and the subject pending shall be determined by Congress in said ordinary sessions.
73. The resolutions that the Congress takes relative to the removal, suspension, or prorogation of their sessions, agreeably to the three preceding Articles, shall be communicated to the President, who shall cause them to be executed without making any observations upon them.
TITLE 4th. SECTION 1st.-Of the Supreme Executive Power of the Nation.
74. The supreme executive power of the Federation shall be deposited in one individual, who shall be styled President of the United Mexican States.
75. There shall likewise be a Vice-President, on whom will devolve the faculties and prerogatives of the President in case of his physical or moral inability to serve.
76. To be President or Vice-President, it is required to be a Mexican citizen by birth, thirty-five years of age at the time of the election, and to be a resident in the country.
77. The President cannot be re-elected for this office until after four years are passed from the time of his retirement.
78. He that is elected President or Vice President of the Republic, shall accept these offices in preference to any others.
79. The first day of September, anterior to the year in which the new President must enter on the exercise of his duties, the Legislatures of each, state shall elect by an absolute majority of votes two individuals, one of which, at least, must not be a native of the State that elects.
80. The voting concluded, the Legislatures shall remit to the President of the Council of Government, a legal return of the election, in order that he may give it the course designated by the rules of the Council.
81. The sixth of January afterwards, the said returns shall be read in presence of both Houses united, provided those of three-fourths of the. Legislatures of the States have been received.
82. The reading of the said returns concluded, the Senators shall retire, and a committee appointed by the House of Representatives, and composed of one for each State of those that have representatives present, shall revise them and render an account of the result. [sdct]
83. The House shall then proceed to class the elections and enumerate the votes.
84. He who has an absolute majority of the votes of all the Legislatures shall be the President.
85. If two should have said majority, he shall be President who has the most votes, and the other the Vice President. In case of a tie with said majority, the House of Representatives shall elect one of the two for President and the other shall be Vice President.
86. If no one should have the absolute majority of the votes of the Legislatures, the House of Representatives shall elect the President and Vice President, choosing in each election, one of the two who had the greatest number of suffrages.
87. When more than two individuals have a respective majority and equal number of votes, the House shall choose from them the President or Vice President as the case may be.
88. If one has received the respective majority, and two or more have an equal number of suffrages, but greater than the others, the House shall elect from among those who have the greatest number of votes.
89. If all have an equal number of votes, the House shall elect from among them all the President and Vice President, doing the same when one has a number of suffrages and the others an equal number.
90. If there should be a tie upon the voting of the classing of the elections made by the Legislatures, the vote shall be repeated once, and if it should result in a tie, shall decide it by lot.
91. In the competitions between three or more that have an equal number of votes, the voting shall be directed to the reduction of the competitors to two or one, in order that in the election he may contend with the other, that may have obtained a relative majority over all the others.
92. For a general rule in voting relative to the election of President and Vice President, they shall not refer to lots before having made a second vote.
93. The voting on classifications of elections made by the Legislatures, and on those made by the House of Representatives f or President and Vice President, shall be made by States, the representation of each one having a single vote and in order that there may be a decision in the House, it must contain an absolute majority of the votes.
94. In order to deliberate on the objects contained in the foregoing Article, there must be united in the House more than the half of that total number of its members, and be present representatives from three-fourths of the States.
SECTION 2nd---Duration of the office of President and Vice President, manner of filling the vacancies of both, and their oath
95. The President and Vice President of the Federation shall enter upon the discharge of their duties on the first of April, and shall be replaced precisely on the same day ever, four years by a new constitutional election.
96. If for any motive, the elections of President and Vice-President are not made and published by the first of April, when they ought to take their seats, or those elected should not immediately enter upon the discharge of their duties, nevertheless, the former ones shall go out of office the same day, and the supreme executive power shall be deposited, provisionally, in a President, that shall be elected by the House of Representatives, voting by States.
97. In case the President should be indisposed, then the provisions in the preceding Article shall have effect, and if both should be at the same time, and Congress not being in session, the supreme Executive Power shall be deposited in the hands of the Chief justice of the Supreme Court, and two individuals that shall be elected by an absolute plurality of votes by the Council of Government; these are not to be members of the general Congress, and are to have the qualities requisite to be a President of the Federation.
98. Until the elections are made to which the preceding Articles allude, the Chief justice of the Supreme Court shall be charged with the Supreme Executive Power.
99. In case of the perpetual inability of the President and Vice President to serve, Congress, or in its recess, the Council of Government, will respectively provide according to Articles 96 and 97, and so dispose that the Legislatures proceed to the election of President and Vice-President, according to the forms prescribed by the Constitution.
100. The elections of President and Vice President made by the Legislatures in consequence of the perpetual inability of those to serve who had been elected for these offices, shall not impede the ordinary elections the first of September every four years.
101. The President and vice President newly elected, must be on the first day of April, in the place where the supreme powers of the Federation reside and before both Houses assembled, swear to observe the duties imposed on them under the following form: I, N---, Elected President (or Vice President) of the United Mexican States, swear before God and the Holy Evangelists, that I will exercise faithfully, the charge the same US have confided in me, and that I will keep, and cause to be kept exactly, the Constitution and general laws of the Federation.
102. If neither the President or Vice President present themselves to swear as the preceding Article provides, and the sessions of Congress being open, they shall swear before the Council of Government as soon as each one presents himself.
103. If the Vice President takes the oath prescribed in Article 101, before the President, he shall enter immediately on the discharge of the duties of President until he shall have sworn.
104. The President and Vice President constitutionally appointed according to Article 99, and those individuals provisionally appointed to exercise the charge of President, according to Articles 96 an 97, shall be sworn as prescribed in Article 101, before both Houses, if assembled, if not, before the Council of Government.
SECTION 3rd---Of the prerogatives of the President and Vice President
105. The President has the power to lay before Congress such propositions or amendments of laws as he may deem conducive of the general good, directing them to the house of Representatives.
106. The President has the power once in the space of ten days (Sundays and solemn festivals excepted) to make observations upon the laws and decrees passed to him by Congress, suspending their publication until the resolution of Congress, except in the cases mentioned in this Constitution.
107. The President, during the time of his administration cannot be accused, except before either of the Houses, and only in crimes alluded to in Article 38, committed in the time therein expressed.
108. Within one year from the day on which the President ceases his functions, he cannot be accused except before one of the Houses for crimes alluded to in Article 38, or any others committed during the term of his administration, after this he cannot be accused for those crimes.
109. The Vice President, during the four, years of his administration, cannot be accused except before the House of Representatives, for whatever crime he commits during the time of his administration.
SECTION 4th---Attributions of the President and the restrictions of his faculties
110. The attributions of the President are the following: First, to publish, circulate, and cause to be kept the laws and decrees of the general Congress. Second, to give rules and decrees, and orders for the better observance of the Constitution, constitutional act and general laws. Third, to put into execution the laws and decrees directed to preserve the integrity of the Federation, and to sustain its independence in its exterior, together with its union and liberty in its interior. Fourth, to name and remove freely, Secretaries of the departments. Fifth, to direct the collection of and decree the inversion of general contributions agreeably to the laws. Sixth, to name the officers of the Treasury department, and those of the commissary generals, diplomatic ministers, and consuls, colonels and other superior officers of the permanent army, active militia and navy, with the approbation of the Senate, and should it not be in session, with the Council of Government. Seventh, to name all other officers of the permanent army, navy, and active militia, and officers of the Federation conformably to the laws. Eighth, to appoint, after previous recommendation from the Supreme Court judges and Attorney Generals of the circuit and district. Ninth, to grant discharges and licenses, and regulate military pensions according to law. Tenth, to dispose of the permanent armed force by sea and land, and the active militia for the security of the interior and defense of the exterior of the Federation. Eleventh, to dispose of the local militia for the same purposes, but to take them out of their respective States or Territories, it will require the previous consent of Congress, who will also designate the force necessary. Should Congress not be assembled, the consent of the Council of Government will be necessary, and who will also designate the number. Twelfth, to declare war in the name of the United Mexican States, after a previous decree of Congress to that effect, and to grant commissions to privateers in conformity with the laws. Thirteenth, to celebrate covenants with the Apostolic Chair, as designated in clause 12th of Article 50. Fourteenth, to direct diplomatic negotiations, and to celebrate treaties of peace, amity, alliance, truce, federation, armed neutrality, commerce, and all others, but to give or deny the ratification of any of them, requires the approbation of the general Congress. Fifteenth, to receive ministers and other envoys from foreign nations. Sixteenth, to request Congress to prorogue their sessions for thirty days, (Sundays, &c. excepted.) Seventeenth, to assemble Congress for extraordinary sessions, as he may deem the case necessary, by the consent of two-thirds of the Council of Government present. Eighteenth, also to assemble an extraordinary session of Congress, when the Council of Government shall deem it necessary and the vote of two-thirds of the members present is given to that effect. Nineteenth, to see that justice is promptly and impartially administered by the Supreme Courts, Tribunals, and inferior courts of the Federation, and that their sentences be executed according to law. Twentieth, to suspend from their employment, for the space of three months, and deprive one-half of their pay for the same time, all officers belonging to the Federation, violators of its orders and decrees; and should there be cause for a prosecution against such officers, he shall place the subject before its proper tribunal. Twenty-first, to grant the passage, or retain the decrees of the Ecclesiastical Councils, Pontificate Bulls, Briefs and Rescripts, with the consent of the general Congress, if they contain general dispositions to be laid before the Senate, or in its recess, before the Council of Government, if containing governmental business, and before the Supreme Court of justice, if it is a subject of litigation.
111. The President, in publishing laws and decrees, shalt use the following form: "The President of the United Mexican States, to the inhabitants of the Republic. Knowing, that the general Congress have decreed the following: (here the subject:) Therefore, I command that it be printed, published, and circulated, and that due compliance be given it."
112. The restrictions of the faculties of the President are the following: First, the President cannot take command of the forces by sea or land in person, without the consent of the general Congress, or should it not be in session, without the Council of Government, by a vote of two-thirds of the members present. When he takes command of these requisites, the Vice President shall administer the government. Second, the President has not the right to deprive any one of his liberty nor inflict punishment on any individual but when the safety of the Federation requires it, he can arrest any person provided he places the person, arrested, within 48 hours, at the disposition of the competent judge or tribunal. Third, the President cannot occupy the property of any individual or corporation, or disturb the possession, use or benefit of it; and should it be necessary for the public good, to take the property of any individual or corporation, it will require the approbation of the Senate, or in its recess, the approbation of the Council of government, indemnifying the party interested, by the decision of men chosen by the party and the Government. Fourth, the President cannot impede the elections and other acts expressed in the last clause of the 38th article.
[Scanned and reprinted by W.L. McKeehan from The History of Texas by David B. Edward]
SECTION 5th---Of the Council of the Government
113. During the recess of Congress there shall be a Council of Government, composed of one-half of the members of the Senate, one for each State.
114. For the first two years, this Council of Government shall be composed of the first members elected by their respective legislatures and the succeeding year by the oldest members.
115. This Council shall have for President, the Vice-President of the United States, and also have the power to elect a President pro tem to fill the vacancy occasioned by the absence of the other.
116. The attributions of this Council are the following: First, to see that the Constitution is strictly observed, and the constitutional act, and general laws, and to give their advice in any incident relative to these objects. Second, to lay before the President any observations conducive to the better enforcement of the Constitution and laws of the Union. Third, to determine of themselves only, the advice of the President, and the calling of extraordinary sessions of Congress; but in either, it shall require the vote of two-thirds of the counselors present, as stated in attributions 17 and 18 of Article 110. Fourth, to grant their consent to the calling out of the local militia, in the manner stated in Article 110, attribution 11. Fifth, to approve the appointment of officers designated in attribution six of Article 110. Sixth, their consent in the case referred to in Article 112, restriction first. Seventh, to name two individuals who shall, in conjunction with the Chief justice of the Supreme Court, provisionally exercise the Supreme executive power as prescribed in Article 97. Eighth, to administer the oath stated in Article 101, to those individuals of the Supreme executive power, in the terms provided in this Constitution. Ninth, to give their opinion on subjects referred to them by the President by virtue of the 21st faculty of Article 110, and all business wherein he may consult them.
SECTION 6th---Of the despatch of Government business
117. For the despatch of government business of the Republic, there shall be the number of Secretaries of State which Congress by a law may establish.
118. All the regulations, decrees, and orders of the President, must be signed by the Secretary of State of the departments to which the subject belongs, and without this prerequisite they shall not be obeyed.
119. The Secretaries of State shall give to each House, as soon as their annual sessions are opened, an account of the state of their respective departments.
120. The Secretaries of State shall be responsible for the acts of the President, unauthorized by their signatures, contrary to the Constitution, constitutional act, and general laws and constitutions of the States. [sdct]
121. To be a Secretary of State it is necessary to be a Mexican citizen by birth.
122. The Secretaries of State shall form a regulation for the better distribution and direction of their duties, which shall be passed by the Government to the Congress for their approbation.
TITLE 5 SECTION 1st-Of the Judicial Power of the Confederation.
123. The judicial power of the Federation shall reside in one Supreme Court of justice, and in the Circuit and District Courts.
SECTION 2nd-Of the Supreme Court of Justice, the Election, Term of Service, and Oath of its Members.
124. The Supreme Court of justice shall be composed of eleven members divided into three halls, and one Attorney General. Congress may augment or diminish its number as it may deem necessary.
125. To be elected a Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice, it is necessary to have been instructed in the science of public rights, according to the judgments of the Legislatures of the States, to be 35 years of age, to be a native born citizen of the Republic, or born in any part of America, which in 1810, was dependent on Spain, and has separated from her, provided they have been five years resident within the territory of the Republic.
126. The Judges of the Supreme Court of Justice shall bold their offices during good behavior, and can only he removed in the mode prescribed by the laws.
127. The election of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Justice shall he made on the same day by the Legislatures oft he States, by an absolute majority of votes.
128. The elections concluded, each Legislature shall remit to the Council of Government a certified list of the twelve persons elected, designating which one of them was elected the Attorney General.
129. The President of the Council, as soon as be shall have received the lists from at least three-fourths of the Legislatures of the States, shall give them direction indicated by the rules of the Council.
130. On the day designated, the Congress shall open and read the said lists in presence of both Houses united, after which the Senate shall retire.
131. In continuation, the House of Representatives shall appoint, by an absolute majority of votes, a committee, which shall he composed of one member from each State, from which there was any member present, to which committee the said lists shall be passed, who will revise and examine them, and render an account of the result; and the House shall then proceed to class the election and count the votes.
132. The individual or individuals who may have received more than half the votes of the whole number of the Legislatures, without regard to the number of votes given by their respective members, shall be considered elected; and the declaration of the House to that effect shall immediately entitle them to their seats.
133. Should those who may have received the necessary majority of votes agreeably to the last article, not amount to 12, the House shall elect the balance from those who had the highest number of votes before the Legislatures observing in every thing relative to these elections the provisions of the first section of the 4th title, which treats of the election of President and Vice President.
134. Should a Senator or Representative be elected a Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice, his election to that office shall be preferred over the other.
135. When a vacancy occurs in a Supreme Court of Justice by perpetual inability, it shall be filled agreeably to this section, after a previous notification given by the Governor to the Legislature of the state of said vacancy.
136. The members of the Supreme Court of Justice or entering upon the exercise of the office shall take an oath in the presence of the President of the Republic, in the following form:--"You swear to GOD our LORD, faithfully to discharge the duties and obligations confided to you by the nation-if you do this GOD will reward you, if otherwise he will punish you."
SECTION 3d-Of the attributions of the Supreme Court of Justice.
137. The attributions of the Supreme Court are the following: First, to take cognizance of the difference which may arise between one and another state of the Federation, whenever it embraces a subject of litigation in which there must be a formal sentence, and those that arise between one state and one or more inhabitants of another, or between individuals about pretensions to lands under concession from states, without depriving the party of the right of reclaiming the concession from the authority which granted it. Second, to terminate all disputes which arise, or contracts or negotiations made by the Supreme Government or its agents. Third, consult relative to publishing or retaining of Pontifical Bulls, Briefs, and Prescripts issued in matters litigant. Fourth, adjust any dispute that may exist among the tribunals of the Federation, and between these and those of the states, and these which may arise between the tribunals of one state and those of another. Fifth, to take cognizance; First, of the prosecution moved against the President and Vice President according to articles 38 and 39, after the previous declaration in article 40. Second, of the criminal prosecutions of the Representatives and Senators, indicated in article 43, after the previous declaration required in article 44. Third, of those against Governors of the states in the cases spoken of in article 38, in its third part, after the previous declaration required in article. 40. Fourth, of those of Secretaries of State in conformity with articles 38 and 40. Fifth, of the civil and criminal affairs of the Diplomatic Ministers and Consuls of the Republic. Sixth, of the Admiralty cases, captures by sea, land, and contraband, of crimes committed on the high sea, of the offences against the United Mexican States, of those employed in the Treasury and Judiciary of the Federation, and of the infractions of the Constitution and general laws, as may be provided for by law.
138. A law shall regulate the mode and grade by which the Supreme Court of Justice shall take cognizance of the cases comprehended in this section.
SECTION 4th-Of the mode of judging the members of the Supreme Court.
139. In order to Judge the members of the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives shall elect, voting by States, in the first month of the ordinary sessions of each biennial, twenty-four individuals not appertaining to the general Congress, and who shall possess the qualifications required for Judges of the Supreme Court, from these there shall be elected by lot an Attorney General, and an equal number of Judges equal to that which composes the first Hall of the Court, and whenever it may be necessary the same House shall proceed, and in its recess, the Council of Government, draw in the same manner Judges of the other Halls.
SECTION 5th-Of the Circuit Courts.
140. The Circuit Court shall he Composed of a Judge of the law and a prosecuting Attorney, both appointed by the Supreme Executive Power, proposed by the Supreme Court, and two Associate Judges, as the law may prescribe.
141. In order to be a Circuit Judge it is necessary to us a citizen of the Federation, and thirty years of age.
142. To those tribunals, corresponds the cognizance of admiralty cases, captures by sea and land, contraband, crimes committed on the high sea, offences against the United Mexican States, cases of consuls, and civil cases whose value exceeds $500, and in which the Federation are interested. By a law, shall be designated the number of these Tribunals, their respective jurisdictions, the mode, form, and grade, in which they must exercise their powers in these and other matters which come under the cognizance of the Supreme Court of Justice.
SECTION 6th-Of the District Courts.
143. The United Mexican States shall be divided into a certain number of districts, and in each one of which, there shall be a tribunal presided by a judge of the law, which shall take cognizance without appeal, of all civil cases in w4ich the Federation is interested, the amount of which does not exceed $500, and shall have original jurisdiction in all cases in which the Circuit Courts have appellate jurisdiction.
144. In order to be a District Judge, it is necessary to be a citizen of the United Mexican States, and twenty-five years of age. The Judges shall be appointed by the President, proposed by the Supreme Court.
SECTION 7th-General Rules to which all the States and Territories in the Federation shall conform in the administration of Justice.
145. In each one of the States of the Federation, full faith and credit shall be given to the acts, registers, and proceedings; of the judges and other authorities of the other States. The general Congress shall regulate the laws by which said acts, registers, and proceedings shall be authenticated.
146. The sentence of infamy shall not extend beyond the criminal that may have merited it according to law.
147. There is forever prohibited the penalty of confiscation of estates
148. There is forever prohibited all judgements by commission and all retroactive laws.
149. No authority shall apply any form of torture, whatever may be the nature or state of the prosecution.
150. No one shall be imprisoned, unless there is reasonable ground to suppose him criminal.
151. No one shall be imprisoned on suspicion for more than seventy hours.
152. No authority shall give an order for the search of any houses, papers, and other effects of the inhabitants of the Republic, except in the cases expressly provided for by law, and in the form which it designates.
153. No inhabitant of the Republic shall be compelled to take an oath relative to his own acts in criminal affairs.
154. The military and ecclesiastics will remain subject to the authority under which they actually are, according to the existing laws.
155. No suit can be instituted, neither in civil or criminal cases, for injuries, without being able to prove, having legally attempted, the means of conciliation.
156. None can be deprived of the right of terminating his differences by means of arbitrators appointed by each party, whatever may be the situation of the controversy.
TITLE 6th. SECTION 1st-Of the individual government of the States.
157. The government of each State shall be divided for its exercise in three powers, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, and never can be united two or more of these in one corporation or person, nor the Legislative deposited in one individual.
158. The legislative power of each State shall reside in one Legislature, composed of the number of individuals which their respective constitutions may determine, to be elected popularly, and removable in the time and manner which said constitutions may designate.
159. The person or persons to whom the States confide their executive power, cannot exercise it except for a definite time, which shall be fixed by their respective constitutions.
160. The judicial power of each state shall be exercised by the Tribunals that the Constitution may establish or designate, and all cases, civil or criminal, which appertain to the cognizance of those Tribunals, shall be conducted in them to final judgment and execution.
SECTION 2nd-Of the obligations of the States.
161. Each one of the States is obliged-First, to organize its interior government and administration, without opposing this Constitution nor the constitutional act. Second, to publish by means of their Governors, their respective Constitutions, laws and decrees. Third, to obey, and cause to be obeyed, the Constitution and general laws of the Union, and treaties made and those that henceforward may be made, by the supreme authority of the Federation with any foreign Power. Fourth, to protect its inhabitants in the free use and liberty which they have to write, print, and publish their political ideas, without the necessity of license, revision, or approbation previous to publication, always taking care to observe the general laws on the subject. Fifth, to deliver immediately, the criminals of other states, to the authority which reclaims them. Sixth, to deliver the fugitives of other states, to the person that justly reclaims them, or compel them in some other mode to satisfy the interested party. Seventh, to contribute for the consolidation and extinguishment of the debts acknowledged by the general Congress. Eighth, to remit annually to each one of the Houses of Congress, a general, circumstantial, and comprehensive note, of the ingress and egress in all the treasuries they may have in their respective districts, with a relation of the origin of one and the other, of the situation in which are found the branches of industry, agriculture, commerce and manufactures, of the new branches of industry which they can introduce and extend, designating the means by which it can be obtained, and of their respective population and means of protecting and augmenting it. Ninth, to remit to both Houses, and in their recess, to the Council of Government, and likewise to the Supreme Executive Power, authorized copies of the constitutions, laws and decrees.
SECTION 3rd.-Restrictions of the Powers of the State.
162. None of the States can-First, establish, without the consent of the General Congress, any tonnage duty, nor other port duty. Second, impose, without the consent of the general Congress, contributions or duties on importations or exportations, whilst the law does not regulate it as it must do. Third, hold, at no time, a permanent troop nor vessels of war, without the consent of the general Congress. Fourth, enter into no agreement or compact with any foreign power, nor declare war against them, resisting in case of actual invasion, or in such danger as will not admit of delay, giving immediate notice thereof to the President of the Republic. Fifth, enter into no agreement or compact with other States of the Federation, without the previous consent of the general Congress or its posterior approbation, if the transaction were upon the regulation of limits.
TITLE 7th. ONLY SECTION.-Of the Observance, Interpretation, and Amendment of the Constitution and Constitutional Act.
163. Every public functionary, without exception to the class, previous to entering on the discharge of his duties, must take the oath to obey the Constitution and Constitutional Act.
164. The Congress shall dictate all laws and decrees, which they may deem necessary to render effective the responsibility of those who violate this Constitution or the Constitutional Act.
165. The general Congress alone can resolve doubts, which may occur about the meaning or understanding of the Articles of this Constitution and of the Constitutional Act.
166. The Legislatures of the States can make such observations as they may deem proper about particular Articles of this Constitution and the Constitutional Act, but the general Congress will not take them into consideration until the year 1830.
167. The Congress in that year shall confine itself to examining the observations that merit the deliberation of the next Congress, and this declaration they shall communicate to the President, who shall publish and circulate them without any observations.
168. The following Congress in the first year of its ordinary sessions, shall occupy itself in examining these observations submitted to their deliberation, in order to make such amendments as may be deemed necessary, but the same Congress which makes the examination provided in the last Article, cannot decree the amendments.
169. The amendments and additions that are proposed in the year following the 30th, shall be taken into consideration by the Congress in the second year of each biennial, and if rendered necessary, in conformity with the provisions made in the preceding Article, they shall publish this resolution in order that the next Congress may notice them.
170. In order to reform or amend this Constitution or the Constitutional Act, shall be observed, besides the rules prescribed in the foregoing Articles, all the requisites provided for the formation of laws, excepting the right to make observations granted to the President in Article 106.
171. The Articles of this Constitution and the Constitutional Act which establishes the Liberty and Independence of the Mexican Nation, its Religion, form of Government, Liberty of the Press, and division of the Supreme Powers of the Federation, and of the States, can never be reformed.
Given in Mexico, 4th October, 1824, fourth year of Independence, third of Liberty, and second of the Federation. Signed by the members of Congress, and the Supreme Executive Power.
[Scanned and reprinted by W.L. McKeehan from The History of Texas by David B. Edward. Parts of the document was also reprinted in Texas by William Kennedy]