Montana Constitution

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Montana Constitution
Flag of Montana.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVSchedule
The Montana Constitution is the primary governing document for the state of Montana.

Features

The Montana Constitution consists of a preamble followed by 15 sections. It also establishes and defines the powers of the three branches of the government of Montana and the rights of its citizens. Its provisions are sovereign within the state, subject only to the limits imposed by federal laws and the constitution of the United States.[1]

The current Montana Constitution was adopted in 1972 and is the second enacted in the state's history.

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble of the Montana Constitution states:

We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.[1]

Article I: Compact with the United States

Article I of the Montana Constitution is entitled "Compact with the United States" and consists of a single section.[1]

Article II: Declaration of Rights

Article II of the Montana Constitution is entitled "Declaration of Rights" and consists of 35 sections.[1]

Article III: General Government

Article III of the Montana Constitution is entitled "General Government" and consists of nine sections.[1]

Article IV: Suffrage and Elections

Article IV of the Montana Constitution is entitled "Suffrage and Elections" and consists of eight sections.[1]

Article V: The Legislature

Article V of the Montana Constitution is entitled "The Legislature" and consists of 14 sections.[1]

Article VI: The Executive

Article VI of the Montana Constitution is entitled "The Executive" and consists of 15 sections.[1]

Article VII: The Judiciary

Article VII of the Montana Constitution is entitled "The Judiciary" and consists of 11 sections.[1]

Article VIII: Revenue and Finance

Article VIII of the Montana Constitution is entitled "Revenue and Finance" and consists of 16 sections.[1]

Article IX: Environment and Natural Resources

Article IX of the Montana Constitution is entitled "Environment and Natural Resources" and consists of seven sections.[1]

Article X: Education and Public Lands

Article X of the Montana Constitution is entitled "Education and Public Lands" and consists of 11 sections.[1]

Article XI: Local Government

Article XI of the Montana Constitution is entitled "Local Government" and consists of nine sections.[1]

Article XII: Departments and Institutions

Article XII of the Montana Constitution is entitled "Departments and Institutions" and consists of four sections.[1]

Article XIII: General Provisions

Article XIII of the Montana Constitution is entitled "General Provisions" and consists of seven sections.[1]

Article XIV: Constitutional Revision

Article XIV or the Montana Constitution is entitled "Constitutional Revision" and consists of 11 sections.[1]

Schedule: Transition Schedule

The "Transition Schedule" of the Montana Constitution follows 14 articles and a preamble and consists of six sections.[1]

Amending the constitution

See also: Article XIV, Montana Constitution and Laws governing the initiative process in Montana

The Montana Constitution can be amended through initiated constitutional amendments, legislatively-referred constitutional amendments and constitutional conventions.

Montana offers three different paths to having a constitutional convention. They are:

  • Section 1, Article XIV says that the Montana State Legislature, "by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the members ... may at any time submit to the qualified electors the question of whether there shall be an unlimited convention to revise, alter, or amend" the constitution.
  • Section 2, Article XIV says that the state's electors can put a question about whether to hold a convention on a statewide ballot if a petition is signed by at least ten percent of the qualified electors of the state, including at least ten percent of the qualified electors in each of two-fifths of the legislative districts.
  • Section 3, Article XIV says that a question about whether to hold a convention shall automatically go on the ballot every twenty years if it has not otherwise appeared on the ballot.

The Montana State Legislature can put a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the ballot, according to Section 8 of Article XIV. Any member of the legislature can propose an amendment. The amendment must then be adopted by an affirmative roll call vote of two-thirds of all members of the legislature.

The electors of the state can qualify an initiated constitutional amendment, according to Section 9 of Article XIV. Proposed initiated amendments go on the ballot if petitions are signed by at least ten percent of the qualified electors of the state, including at least ten percent of the qualified electors in each of at least one-half of the counties.

History

As a result of the Louisiana Purchase, the United States acquired the land that would become Montana in 1803.[2]

The first constitution intended for Montana's statehood was written in 1866, but because it was lost was never put to a vote. A second constitution was written and ratified in 1884, but because Congress did not admit Montana as a state at that time, this constitution never took effect.[3]

In 1889, Congress authorized Montana to be admitted as a state after residents adopted and ratified a constitution. The third constitution was written and ratified in 1889 and took effect that same year when Montana was formally admitted to the Union. [2][3]

A constitutional convention was held in 1972 and a new constitution was adopted by the 100 delegates to the convention on on March 22, 1972. The citizens ratified the document on June 6, 1972.[2][4][5]

See also

StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg

External links

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

Additional reading

References