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New Jersey

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New Jersey

Provincial congress, which had been elected to serve as an ordinary legislature, adopted constitution on July 2, 1776. It did not contain a separate declarations of rights, but did protect the right to trial by jury, grant religious toleration, and forbid the establishment of any particular religious sect, although officeholders were required to be Protestants. The constitution established a general assembly and a legislative council, both elected annually. Council members were required to own £1,000 property and members of the assembly £500, while ownership of £50 property was needed to vote. The council could accept or reject, but not alter, money bills passed by the general assembly. A governor was elected annually by a joint ballot of the legislature and had no veto power. All significant appointments were made by the legislature, with judges serving for fixed terms. Some articles of the constitution were declared unannulable, leaving the remainder capable of being changed by ordinary legislation.