Bill of rights.
A declaration of rights, made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia assembled in full and free Convention; which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the Basis mid Foundation of Government.
Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity, namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Sec. 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.
Sec. 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best, which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and, whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter or abolsh it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.
Sec. 4. That no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services, which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge to be hereditary.
Sec 5 That the legislative executive, and judicial departments of the State should be separate and distinct, and that the members thereof may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by regular elections, in which all or any part of the former members shall be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws may direct
Sec 6 That all elections should be free, and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and can not be taxed, or deprived of, or damaged in, their property for public uses without their own consent, or that of their representatives duly elected, or bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented for the public good
Sec 7 That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised