Idaho Constitution

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Idaho Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIXXXXXI
The Idaho Constitution is the basic governing document of the state of Idaho. The constitution was adopted on August 6, 1889 by a constitutional convention and was then ratified in a statewide vote of the people in November 1889. The United States Congress approved the ratified constitution on July 3, 1890, accepting Idaho as a state.[1]

Features

The constitution includes 21 articles.[2] It has been amended over one hundred times but, unlike the constitutions of many other states, has never undergone a major revision.

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the Idaho constitution states:

We, the people of the state of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.[2]

Article I

Article I of the Idaho Constitution is titled the "Declaration of Rights" and details the unalienable rights granted to everyone.

Article II

Article II of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Distribution of Powers" and divides the government into three distinct branches: the legislative, executive and judicial.

Articles III, IV and V

Article III, Article IV and Article V of the Idaho Constitution establish the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, respectively.

Article VI

Article VI of the Idaho Constitution is title "Suffrage and Elections" and describes the election process as well as the guidelines for suffrage.

Article VII

Article VII of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Finance and Revenue" and deals with the state's power to tax and generate revenue.

Article VIII

Article VIII of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Public Indebtedness and Subsidies" and concerns public indebtedness and subsidies.

Article IX

Article IX of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Education and School Lands." This article establishes the school system and guarantees all children the right to a free public education.

Article X

Article X of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Public Institutions" and deals with public institutions, such as the seat of government and the prison system.

Article XI

Article XI of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Corporations, Public and Private" and concerns all corporations other than municipal.

Article XII

Article XII of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Corporations, Municipal" and establishes the rights and limitations of municipal corporations.

Article XIII

Article XIII of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Immigration and Labor" and concerns immigration and labor laws.

Article XIV

Article XIV of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Militia" and establishes a state militia.

Article XV

Article XV of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Water Rights" and concerns public use of water, including rights, priorities and limitations.

Article XVI

Article XVI of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Livestock" and deals with livestock.

Article XVII

Article XVII of the Idaho Constitution is titled "State Boundaries" and sets the boundaries of the state in great detail.

Article XVIII

Article XVIII of the Idaho Constitution is titled "County Organization" and establishes the individual counties in the state.

Article XIX

Article XIX of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Apportionment."

Article XX

Article XX of the Idaho Constitution is titled "Amendments" and details the amendment process.

Article XXI

Article XXI f the Idaho Constitution is titled "Schedule and Ordinance" and was established here to ease transition from territory to state.

Amending the constitution

Main article: Amending state constitutions

Article XX of the Idaho Constitution establishes two ways in which the constitution can be altered over time, either via legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or constitutional conventions.

Either house of the Idaho State Legislature can propose an amendment. If the amendment is agreed to by two-thirds of the members of both the Idaho State Senate and the Idaho House of Representatives, the proposed amendment goes on the next general election ballot. The amendment becomes part of the constitution if it is approved in a simple majority.

A constitutional convention can be called if:

  • Two-thirds of the members of each house of the legislature vote to place before the people a question as to whether the people want to call a convention.
  • If a majority of all the voters voting at the election vote for a convention, the legislature must arrange to have a convention.

History

American explorers Lewis and Clark arrived in what is now known as the state of Idaho in the summer of 1805. British fur traders and trappers, missionaries and other settlers followed within a few years. However, large-scale settlement began only after gold was discovered. Thousands of miners rushed into the state in September 1860 after word came of a major gold strike.[1]

Idaho's population rose to 32,610 inhabitants by 1880. As Mormon settlers traveled north from Salt Lake City, Utah, Idaho territory became increasingly divided between a Mormon-dominated south and an anti-Mormon north. Anti-Mormon Republicans used public dislike of the Mormon practice of polygamy to pass legislation denying the predominantly Democratic Mormons the vote in the mid 1880's, making Idaho a Republican-dominated territory. In 1889, the Idaho territorial legislature approved a strongly anti-Mormon constitution. The U.S. Congress approved the document in 1890, and Idaho became the 43rd state in the Union.[1]

The constitution was adopted on August 6, 1889 by a constitutional convention and was then ratified in a statewide vote of the people in November 1889. The United States Congress approved the ratified constitution on July 3, 1890, accepting Idaho as a state.[1]

See also

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External links

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