|Preamble • I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • X-A • XI • XI-A • XI-B • XI-C • XI-D • XI-E • XI-F(1) • XI-F(2) • XI-G • XI-H • XI-I(1) • XI-I(2) • XI-J • XI-K • XI-L • XI-M • XI-N • XI-O • XI-P • XII • XIII • XIV • XV • XVI • XVII • XVIII|
- 1 Features
- 2 Preamble
- 3 Article I: Bill of Rights
- 4 Article II: Suffrage and Elections
- 5 Article III: Distribution of Powers
- 6 Article IV: Legislative Department
- 7 Article V: Executive Department
- 8 Article VI: Administrative Department
- 9 Article VII: Judicial Department
- 10 Article VIII: Education and School Lands
- 11 Article IX: Finance
- 12 Article X: The Militia
- 13 Article XI: Corporations and Internal Improvements
- 14 Article XII: State Printing
- 15 Article XIII: Salaries
- 16 Article XIV: Seat of Government
- 17 Article XV: Miscellaneous
- 18 Article XVI: Boundaries
- 19 Article XVII: Amendments and Revisions
- 20 Article XVIII: Schedule
- 21 Amending the constitution
- 22 History
- 23 See also
- 24 External links
- 25 Additional reading
- 26 References
The Oregon Constitution contains fundamental laws outlining principles by which Oregon is governed. It consists of a preamble and 18 articles.
The right to free speech in Oregon is broader than that enjoyed at the federal level. Article I, Section 8 states:
|“||No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right.||”|
The Oregon Supreme Court has cited this right against parts of Oregon's disorderly conduct statute, against content-based restrictions on billboards and murals and against laws restricting the sale of pornography.
- See also: Preambles to state constitutions
The preamble to the Oregon Constitution states:
Article I of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Bill of Rights" and consists of 46 sections.
Article II of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Suffrage and Elections" and consists of 22 sections.
Article III of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Distribution of Powers" and consists of four sections.
Article IV of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of 33 sections.
Article V of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Executive Department" and consists of 18 sections.
Article VI of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Administrative Department" and consists of 11 sections.
Article VII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Judicial Department" and consists of 13 sections.
Article VIII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Education and School Lands" and consists of eight sections.
Article IX of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Finance" and consists of 20 sections.
Article X of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "The Militia" and consists of three sections.
Article XI of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Corporations and Internal Improvements" and consists of 20 sections.
Article XII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "State Printing" and consists of one sections.
Article XIII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Salaries" and consists of one section, which was repealed.
Repealed in 1956.
Article XIV of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Seat of Government" and consists of two sections.
Article XV of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of sixteen sections.
Article XVI of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Boundaries" and consists of one section.
Article XVII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Amendments and Revisions" and consists of two sections.
Article XVIII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Schedule" and consists of eleven sections.
Amending the constitution
The Oregon Constitution lays out four different paths, in two different articles, for how to go about changing the state's constitution. The Oregon Constitution is explicit--unlike virtually any other state constitution--on the process for a constitutional revision, which is established in Section 2 of Article XVII.
The constitution also lays out three paths by which it may be amended.
- An initiated amendment must be proposed "only by a petition signed by a number of qualified voters equal to eight percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition."
- The petition must include the full text of the proposed amendment.
- The signatures must be filed "not less than four months before the election at which the proposed...amendment to the Constitution is to be voted upon."
- Article IV contains several restrictions on the process such as Section 1b, which prohibits pay-per-signature.
- Amendments can be proposed in either house of the state legislature.
- To earn a spot on the ballot, a "majority of all the members elected to each of the two houses" must vote in favor of a proposed amendment.
- The legislature can, if it wishes, put any such referred amendments on a special election ballot.
- "When two or more amendments shall be submitted in the manner aforesaid to the voters of this state at the same election, they shall be so submitted that each amendment shall be voted on separately."
3. Section 1 of Article XVIII also addresses how a constitutional convention can be held but only in the negative by saying "No convention shall be called to amend or propose amendments to this Constitution, or to propose a new Constitution, unless the law providing for such convention shall first be approved by the people on a referendum vote at a regular general election." What is left undefined is how the question of whether to hold a convention can come before the people in the first place: Can citizens petition under Article IV to put it on the ballot? Can the state legislature vote to put it on the ballot?
In 1857, the territory of Oregon choose 60 delegates to form a constitutional convention. The convention met from August 17, 1857 to September 18, 1857. The resulting constitution was approved by the territory's citizens before it went on to Congress. Oregon was admitted into the Union on February 14, 1859.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Oregon State Legislature, "Constitution of Oregon"
- State of Oregon Blue Book, "Constitution of Oregon: 2011 Version"
- Johnson, David Alan. (1992). Founding the Far West: California, Oregon, and Nevada, 1840-1890, Berkley, California: University of California Press
- Carey, Charles Henry. (1922). History of Oregon, Portland, Oregon: The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
- Oregon State Legislature, "Constitution of Oregon," accessed March 30, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.