Missouri Constitution

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Missouri Constitution
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The Missouri Constitution is the fundamental governing document of the state of Missouri.


Altogether, the Missouri Constitution has 13 constitutional articles.[1] The state's current constitution was adopted in 1945 and is the state's fourth constitution.

Since 1962, Missourians have been asked every twenty years if they would like to convene a constitutional convention to revise the constitution; each time, a healthy majority of the state's voters have rejected this proposal.[2]


See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble of the Missouri Constitution states:

We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness, do establish this Constitution for the better government of the state.[1]

Article I: Bill of Rights

Article I of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Bill of Rights" and consists of 35 sections.[1]

Article II: Distribution of Powers

Article II of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Distribution of Powers" and consists of a single section.[1]

Article III: Legislative Department

Article III of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of 75 sections.[1]

Article IV: Executive Department

Article IV of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Executive Department" and consists of 70 sections.[1]

Article V: Judicial Department

Article V of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Judicial Department" and consists of 34 sections.[1]

Article VI:Local Government

Article VI of the Missouri Constitution is entitled Local Government and consists are various sections.[1]

Article VII: Public Officers

Article VII of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Public Officers" and consists of 14 sections.[1]

Article VIII: Suffrage and Elections

Article VIII of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Suffrage and Elections" and consists of 22 sections.[1]

Article IX: Education

Article IX of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Education" and consists of 10 sections.[1]

Article X: Taxation

Article X of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Taxation" and consists of 24 sections.[1]

Article XI: Corporations

Article XII: Amending the Constitution

See also: Article XII, Missouri Constitution and Laws governing the initiative process in Missouri

The Missouri Constitution can be amended via three different paths:

  • Through a constitutional convention as established in Section 3a of Article XII. A question about whether to hold a constitutional convention is to automatically appear on the state's ballot every twenty years. The first of these automatic referrals under the Constitution of 1945 (Missouri's current constitution) was in 1962, 1982 and 2002.[3] The next will be in 2022. In 1942, under an older version of the Missouri Constitution, voters were asked about having a constitutional convention and said "Yes." It was that convention that led to the Missouri Constitution of 1945, the state's current constitution.

Votes on proposed amendments can take place at a general election or a special election.

A unique feature of Missouri's law governing constitutional amendments is a provision in Section 2(b) of Article XII saying that proposed amendments should be published if possible "in two newspapers of different political faith in each county."

Article XIII: Public Employees

Article XIII of the Missouri Constitution is entitled "Public Employees" and consists of 13 sections.


Missouri's first and conservatively short constitution was drafted in 1820 in only 38 days.[4] A constitutional convention resulted in the state's second constitution. The third constitution was drafted 10 years later. Missouri's fourth constitution was drafted in 1942 and ratified in 1945. This constitution provided for three branches of government: legislative (the Missouri General Assembly), executive (the Governor of Missouri) and judicial (the Missouri Supreme Court). The Constitution of 1945 is the current constitution.[5]

See also

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