All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.
No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
The right of petition and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good shall never be abridged.
Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.
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.
No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.
No law granting irrevocably any privilege, franchise or immunity, shall be passed by the Legislature.
No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to give evidence against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.
Justice in all cases shall be administered openly, and without unnecessary delay.
Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment, belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise or instruction, or the support of any religious establishment: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That this article shall not be so construed as to forbid the employment by the state of a chaplain for such of the state custodial, correctional, and mental institutions, or by a county's or public hospital district's hospital, health care facility, or hospice, as in the discretion of the legislature may seem justified. No religious qualification shall be required for any public office or employment, nor shall any person be incompetent as a witness or juror, in consequence of his opinion on matters of religion, nor be questioned in any court of justice touching his religious belief to affect the weight of his testimony. [AMENDMENT 88, 1993 House Joint Resolution No. 4200, p 3062. Approved November 2, 1993.]
No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety requires it.
Excessive bail shall not be required, excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishment inflicted.
No conviction shall work corruption of blood, nor forfeiture of estate.
Private property shall not be taken for private use, except for private ways of necessity, and for drains, flumes, or ditches on or across the lands of others for agricultural, domestic, or sanitary purposes. No private property shall be taken or damaged for public or private use without just compensation having been first made, or paid into court for the owner, and no right-of-way shall be appropriated to the use of any corporation other than municipal until full compensation therefor be first made in money, or ascertained and paid into court for the owner, irrespective of any benefit from any improvement proposed by such corporation, which compensation shall be ascertained by a jury, unless a jury be waived, as in other civil cases in courts of record, in the manner prescribed by law. Whenever an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and determined as such, without regard to any Legislative assertion that the use is public: Provided, That the taking of private property by the state for land reclamation and settlement purposes is hereby declared to be for public use.
There shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in cases of absconding debtors.
The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
All elections shall be free and equal, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.
All persons charged with crime shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident, or the presumption great.
The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, but the legislature may provide for a jury of any number less than twelve in courts not of record, and for a verdict by nine or more jurors in civil cases in any court of record, and for waiving of the jury in civil cases where the consent of the parties interested is given thereto.
In criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person, or by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a copy thereof, to testify in his own behalf, to meet the witnesses against him face to face, to have compulsory process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his own behalf, to have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the offense is charged to have been committed and the right to appeal in all cases: Provided, the route traversed by any railroad coach, train or public conveyance, and the water traversed by any boat shall be criminal districts; and the jurisdiction of all public offenses committed on any such railroad car, coach, train, boat or other public conveyance, or at any station or depot upon such route, shall be in any county through which the said car, coach, train, boat or other public conveyance may pass during the trip or voyage, or in which the trip or voyage may begin or terminate. In no instance shall any accused person before final judgement be compelled to advance money or fees to secure the rights herein guaranteed.
No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contracts shall ever be passed.
The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.
Offenses heretofore required to be prosecuted by indictment may be prosecuted by information, or by indictment, as shall be prescribed by law.
No grand jury shall be drawn or summoned in any county, except the superior judge thereof shall so order.
Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against the state, or adhering to its enemies, or in giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.
No hereditary emoluments, privileges, or powers, shall be granted or conferred in this state.
The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.
The enumeration in this Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny others retained by the people.
No standing army shall be kept up by this state in time of peace, and no soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.
A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual right and the perpetuity of free government.
Every elective public officer of the state of Washington except judges of courts of record is subject to recall and discharge by the legal voters of the state, or of the political subdivision of the state, from which he was elected whenever a petition demanding his recall, reciting that such officer has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office, stating the matters complained of, signed by the percentages of the qualified electors thereof, hereinafter provided, the percentage required to be computed from the total number of votes cast for all candidates for his said office to which he was elected at the preceding election, is filed with the officer with whom a petition for nomination, or certificate for nomination, to such office must be filed under the laws of this state, and the same officer shall call a special election as provided by the general election laws of this state, and the result determined as therein provided.
The Legislature shall pass the necessary laws to carry out the provisions of section thirty-three (33) of this article, and to facilitate its operation and effect without delay: Provided, That the authority hereby conferred upon the Legislature shall not be construed to grant to the Legislature any exclusive power of law making nor in any way limit the initiative and referendum powers reserved by the people. The percentages required shall be, state officers of cities of the first class, school district boards in cities of the first class; county officers of counties of the first, second and third classes, twenty-five percent. Officers of all other political subdivisions, cities, towns, townships, precincts and school districts not herein mentioned, and state senators and Representatives, thirty-five percent.
Effective law enforcement depends on cooperation from victims of crime. To ensure victims a meaningful role in the criminal justice system and to accord them due dignity and respect, victims of crime are hereby granted the following basic and fundamental rights.
Upon notifying the prosecuting attorney, a victim of a crime charged as a felony shall have the right to be informed of and, subject to the discretion of the individual presiding over the trial or court proceedings, attend trial and all other court proceedings the defendant has the right to attend, and to make a statement at sentencing and at any proceeding where the defendant's release is considered, subject to the same rules of procedure which govern the defendant's rights. In the event the victim is deceased, incompetent, a minor, or otherwise unavailable, the prosecuting attorney may identify a representative to appear to exercise the victim's rights. This provision shall not constitute a basis for error in favor of a defendant in a criminal proceeding nor a basis for providing a victim or the victim's representative with court appointed counsel.[AMENDMENT 84, 1989 Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200, p 2999. Approved November 7, 1989.]