This brick church was erected in Washington, Mississippi in 1816. Mississippi's first constitution was written and adopted here, and the state's first legislature convened here in 1817. The preliminary trial of U.S. Vice-President Aaron Burr occured under some nearby oak trees.
The Mississippi Constitution gives the state legislature the authority to determine rules of its own proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and expel a member with a two-thirds vote of the membership of his or her chamber. Bills may originate in either house, and be amended or rejected in the other, and must be read by its title on three different days in each house, unless two-thirds of the house dispenses with the rules. The Mississippi Constitution prohibits amending a bill to change its original purpose. Bills amended in the second house, must return for a vote to accept amendments.
The governor has the power to veto legislation, but legislators can override the veto with a two-thirds decision.