The North Dakota Constitution
is a state constitution
and the most basic legal document in North Dakota
- See also: Preambles to state constitutions
The preamble of the North Dakota Constitution is:
- We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain and establish this constitution.
The North Dakota Constitution consists of a preamble followed by 13 articles and a schedule.
- Declaration of Rights
- Elective Franchise
- Powers Reserved to the People
- Legislative Branch
- Executive Branch
- Judicial Branch
- Political Subdivisions
- Trust Lands
- Finance and Public Debt
- General Provisions
- Corporations Other than Municipal
- Compact with the United States
Amending the constitution
- See also: Amending state constitutions, Article III, North Dakota Constitution and Section 16 of Article IV
There are three paths to amending the North Dakota Constitution: initiated constitutional amendments, legislatively-referred constitutional amendments, and constitutional conventions.
- Section 1 of Article III explicitly says that the initiative petition process can be used to call a constitutional convention. It is unusual for a constitution to explicitly address this issue. The North Dakota Constitution provides no mechanism under which the state legislature can initiate a call for a convention.
- Section 16 of Article IV is about legislatively-referred constitutional amendments. It very simply says, "Any amendment to this constitution may be proposed in either house of the legislative assembly, and if agreed to upon a roll call by a majority of the members elected to each house, must be submitted to the electors and if a majority of the votes cast thereon are in the affirmative, the amendment is a part of this constitution." Unlike any other state constitution, the North Dakota Constitution defines the process of the legislatively-referred constitutional amendment in the article of the state constitution that, overall, has to do with the rights and perogatives of the state's legislative branch. Nearly every other state constitution has a separate article of the constitution just to do with how that constitution can be amended.
This Constitution article needs to be updated.