California Constitution

PREAMBLE: We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.


SECTION1. Allpeoplearebynaturefreeandindependentandhaveinalienablerights.Amongtheseareenjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

(Sec. 1 added Nov. 5, 1974, by Proposition 7. Resolution Chapter 90, 1974.)

SEC.2. (a)Everypersonmayfreelyspeak,writeandpublishhisorhersentimentsonallsubjects,being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.

SEC.3. (a)Thepeoplehavetherighttoinstructtheirrepresentatives,petitiongovernmentforredressof grievances, and assemble freely to consult for the common good.

(b) (1) The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.

(2) A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people’s right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access. A statute, court rule, or other authority adopted after the effective date of this subdivision that limits the right of access shall be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.

(3) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies the right of privacy guaranteed by Section 1 or affects the construction of any statute, court rule, or other authority to the extent that it protects that right to privacy, including any statutory procedures governing discovery or disclosure of information concerning the officialpage1image23510400

performance or professional qualifications of a peace officer.

(4) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies any provision of this Constitution, including the guarantees that a person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denied equal protection of the laws, as provided in Section 7.

(7) In order to ensure public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, as specified in paragraph (1), each local agency is hereby required to comply with the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code) and the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), and with any subsequent statutory enactment amending either act, enacting a successor act, or amending any successor act that contains findings demonstrating that the statutory enactment furthers the purposes of this section.

(Sec. 3 amended June 3, 2014, by Prop. 42. Res.Ch. 123, 2013.)

SEC.4. Freeexerciseandenjoymentofreligionwithoutdiscriminationorpreferenceareguaranteed.Thisliberty of conscience does not excuse acts that are licentious or inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State. The Legislature shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

SEC.6. Slaveryisprohibited.Involuntaryservitudeisprohibitedexcepttopunishcrime. (Sec. 6 added Nov. 5, 1974, by Prop. 7. Res.Ch. 90, 1974.)

SEC.7. (a)Apersonmaynotbedeprivedoflife,liberty,orpropertywithoutdueprocessoflawordeniedequal protection of the laws; 

SEC.8. Apersonmaynotbedisqualifiedfromenteringorpursuingabusiness,profession,vocation,or employment because of sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin.

creed: a set of fundamental beliefs

SEC.11. Habeascorpusmaynotbesuspendedunlessrequiredbypublicsafetyincasesofrebellionorinvasion.

habeas corpus hā′bē-əs►
A writ that a person may seek from a court to obtain immediate release from an unlawful confinement, as when the confinement has occurred through a means that violated the person's constitutional rights.
The right of a person to obtain such a writ.
In law, a writ issued by a judge or court, requiring the body of a person to be brought before the judge or into the court; specifically, such a writ (entitled in full habeas corpus subjiciendum) requiring the body of a person restrained of liberty to be brought before the judge or into court, that the lawfulness of the restraint may be investigated and determined.

SEC.13. Therightofthepeopletobesecureintheirpersons,houses,papers,andeffectsagainstunreasonable seizures and searches may not be violated;