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JUDICIARY. SECTION 1. The court for the trial of impeachments shall be composed of the senate. The house of representatives shall have the power of impeaching all civil officers of this state, for corrupt conduct in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors; but a majority of all the members elected shall concur in an impeachment. On the trial of an impeachment against the governor, the lieutenant governor shall not act as a member of the court. No judicial officer shall exercise his office after he shall have been impeached, until his acquittal. Before the trial of an impeachment, the members of the court shall take an oath or affirmation truly and impartially to try the impeachment, according to evidence; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, or removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of honor, profit, or trust, under the state ; but the party impeached shall be liable to indictment, trial and punishment, according to law
Sec. 2. The judicial power of this state, both as to matters of law and equity, shall be vested in a supreme court, circuit courts, courts of probate, and in justices of the peace. The legislature may also vest such jurisdiction as shall be deemed necessary in municipal courts, and shall have power to establish inferior courts in the several counties, with limited civil and criminal jurisdiction: Provided, That the jurisdiction which may be vested in municipal courts shall not exceed, in their respective municipalities, that of circuit courts in their respective circuits, as prescribed in this constitution; and that the legislature shall provide as well for the election of judges of the municipal courts as of the judges of inferior codrts, by the qualified electors of the respective jurisdictions: The term of office of the judges of the said municipal and inferior courts shall not be longer than that of the judges of the circuit courts.
SEC. 3. The supreme court, except in cases otherwise provided in this constitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be co-extensive with the state ; but in no case removed to the supreme court, shall a trial by jury be allowed. The supreme court shall have a general superintending control over all inferior courts ; it shall have power to issue writs of babeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, and other original and remedial writs, and to hear and determine the same.
SEC. 4. For the term of five years, and thereafter until the legislature shall otherwise provide, the judges of the several circuit courts shall be judges of the supreme court, four of whom shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority of the judges present shall be necessary to a decision. The legislature shall have power, if they should think it expedient and necessary, to provide hy law, for the organization of a separate supreme court, with the jurisdiction and powers prescribed in this constitution, to consist of one chief justice and two associate justices, to be elected by the qualified electors of the state, at such time and in such manner as the legislature may provide. The separate supreme court, when so organized, shall not be changed or discontinued by the legislature; the judges thereof shall be so classified that but one of them shall go out of office at the same time, and their term of office shall be the same as is provided for the judges of the circuit court. And whenever the legislature may consider it necessary to establish a separate supreme court, they shall have power to reduce the number of circuit judges to four, and subdivide the judicial circuits, but no such subdivision or reduction shall take effect until after the expiration of the term of some one of the said judges, or until a vacancy occur by some other means.
Sec. 5. The state shall be divided into five judicial circuits, to be composed as follows: The first circuit shall comprise the counties of Racine, Walworth, Rock and Green. The second circuit, the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Jefferson and Dane. The third circuit, the counties of Washington, Dodge, Columbia, Marquette, Sauk and Portage. The fourth circuit, the counties of Brown, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Winnebago and Calumet. And the fifth circuit shall comprise the counties of Iowa, Lafayette, Grant, Crawford and St. Croix; and the county of Richland shall be attached to Iowa, the county of Chippewa to the county of Crawford, and the county of La Pointe to the county of St. Croix, for judicial purposes, until otherwise provided by the legislature.
SEC. 6. The legislature may alter the limits, or increase the number of circuits, making them as compact and convenient as practicable, and bounding them by county lines, but no such alteration or increase shall have the effect to remove a judge from office. In case of an increase of circuits, the judge or judges shall be elected as provided in this constitution, and receive a salary not less than that herein provided for judges of the circuit court.
Sec. 7. For each circuit there shall be a judge chosen by the qualified electors therein, who shall hold his office as is provided in this constitution, and until his successor shall be chosen and qualified; and after he shall have been elected, he shall reside in the circuit for which he was elected. One of said judges shall be designated as chief justice, in such manner as the legislature shall provide. And the legislature shall, at its first session, provide by law, as well for the election of, as for classifying the judges of the circuit court, to be elected under this constitution in such manner that one of said judges shall go out of office in two years, one in three years, one in four years, one in five years, and one in six years, and thereafter the judge elected to fill the office, shall hold the same for six years.
Sec. 8. The circuit courts shall have original jurisdiction in all matters, civil and criminal, within this state, not excepted in this constitution, and not hereafter prohibited by law, and appellate jurisdiction from all inferior courts and tribunals, and a supervisory control over the same. They shall also have power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari, and all other writs necessary to carry into effect their orders, judgments and decrees, and give them a general control over inferior courts and jurisdictions.
Sec. 9. When a vacancy shall happen in the office of judge of the supreme or circuit courts, such vacancy shall be filled by an appointment of the Governor, which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified; and when elected, such successor shall hold his office the residue of the unexpired term. There shall be no election for a judge or judges at any general election for state or county officers, nor within thirty days either before or after such election.
Sec. 10 Each of the judges of the supreme and circuit courts shall receive a salary, payable quarterly, of not less than one thousand five hundred dollars annually; they shall receive no fees of office, or other compensation than their salaries; they shall hold no office of public trust, except a judicial office, during the term for which they are respectively elected, and all votes for either of them, for any office except a judicial office, given by the legislature or the people, shall be void. No person shall be eligible to the office of judge, who shall not, at the time of his election, be a citizen of the United States, and have attained the age of twentyfive years, and be a qualified elector within the jurisdiction for which he may be chosen.
Sec. 11. The supreme court shall hold at least one term annually, at the seat of government of the state, at such time as shall be provided by law, and the legislature may provide for holding other terms, and at other places, when they may deem it necessary. A circuit court shall be held at least twice in each year, in each county of this state, organized for judicial purposes. The judges of the circuit court may hold courts for each other, and shall do so when required by law.
SEC. 12. There shall be a clerk of the circuit court chosen in each county organized for judicial purposes, by the qualified electors thereof, who shall hold his office for two years, subject to removal, as shall be provided by law. In case of a vacancy, the judge of the circuit court shall have the power to appoint a clerk, uutil the vacancy shall be filled by an election. The clerk thus elected or appointed, shall give such security as the legislature may require; and when elected, shall hold his office for a full term. The supreme court shall appoint its own clerk, and the clerk of a circuit court may be appointed clerk of the supreme court.
SEC. 13. Any judge of the supreme or circuit court may be removed from office by address of both houses of the legislature, if two-thirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein, but no removal shall be made by virtue of this section, unless the judge complained of shall have been served with a copy of the charges against him, as the ground of address, and shall have had an opportunity of being heard in his defence. On the question of removal, the ayes and noes shall be entered on the journals.
Sec. 14. There shall be chosen in each county, by the qualified electors thereof, a judge of probate, who shall hold his office for two years, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified, and whose jurisdiction, powers and duties, shall be prescribed by law : Provided, however, That the legislature shall have power to abolish the office of judge of probate in any county, and to confer probate powers upon such inferior courts as may be established in said county.
SEC. 15. The electors of the several towns, at their annual town meetings, and the electors of cities and villages, at their charter elections, shall in such manner as the legislature may direct, elect justices of the peace, whose term of office shall be for two years, and until their successors in office shall be elected and qualified.. In case of an election to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of a full term, the justice elected shall hold for the residue. of the unexpired term. Their number and classification shall be regulated by law. And the tenure of two years shall in no wise interfere with the classification in the first instance. The justices thus elected shall have such civil and criminal jurisdiction as shal) be prescribed by law.
Sec. 16. The legislature shall pass laws for the regulation of