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- 1 Features
- 2 Preamble
- 3 Article 1: Declaration of Rights
- 4 Article 2: Distribution of powers
- 5 Article 3: Legislative Department
- 6 Article 4: Executive Department
- 7 Article 5: Judicial Department
- 8 Article 6: Elections
- 9 Article 7: Education
- 10 Article 8
- 11 Article 9
- 12 Article 10
- 13 Article 11: Boundaries
- 14 Article 12: Counties
- 15 Article 13
- 16 Article 14
- 17 Article 15
- 18 Article 16
- 19 Article 17
- 20 Article 18
- 21 Article 19
- 22 Article 20: Amendments
- 23 Article 21
- 24 History
- 25 See also
- 26 External links
- 27 Additional reading
- 28 References
The constitution contains five types of provisions:
- Provisions for the organization and operation of government
- A “Declaration of Rights”
- The process for amending the document
- Miscellaneous provisions
- The "Schedule"
The Wyoming Constitution contains a preamble and 21 articles.
- See also: Preambles to state constitutions
The Preamble to the Wyoming Constitution states:
Article 1 of the Wyoming Constitution is entitled "Declaration of Rights" and consists of 37 sections. The Wyoming Declaration of Rights sets forth particular political and civil rights. In addition, Wyoming’s Declaration of Rights issues broader limitations on the role of government than the United States Constitution. An example is the first clause of Article I, Section 1: "All power is inherent in the people." On the other hand, several provisions in the Declaration of Rights deal with issues not addressed by the United States Bill of Rights. One example is Section 31, which specifies how water is to be controlled.
Article 2 of the Wyoming Constitution is entitled "Distribution of Powers" and consists of one section. Articles 2 through 5 and 12 through 17 set up the structure of government, including the three distinct branches of legislative, executive and judicial departments.
Article 3 of the Wyoming Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of 53 sections.
Article 4 of the Wyoming Constitution is entitled "Executive Department" and consists of 15 sections.
Article 5 of the Wyoming Constitution is entitled "Judicial Department" and consists of 29 sections.
Article 6 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of 22 sections.
Article 7 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of 23 sections.
Article 8 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of five sections.
Article 9 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of six sections, two of which have been repealed.
Article 10 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of 19 sections.
Article 11 of the Wyoming Constitution entitled "Boundaries" and consists of only one section.
Article 12 of the Wyoming Constitution entitled "Counties" and consists of five sections.
Article 13 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of five sections.
Article 14 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of six sections.
Article 15 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of 20 sections.
Article 16 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of 13 sections.
Article 17 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of five sections.
Article 18 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of six sections.
Article 19 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of 11 sections.
Article 20 of the Wyoming Constitution defines how changes can be made to the Constitution. There are four sections in the Article.
- Section 1 lays out the process of a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. Amendments may be proposed:
- In either branch of the Wyoming State Legislature.
- Regardless of where the amendment originated, two-thirds of all the members of each of the two houses, voting separately, have to agree to put it on the ballot for a vote of the state's electors.
- Any proposed amendments that receive a 2/3rds vote of both chambers are to go on the ballot at the next general election.
- The proposed amendment must be published for at least twelve (12) consecutive weeks, prior to a vote being held on it, "in at least one newspaper of general circulation."
- To succeed, the amendment must be approved by a majority of the electors.
- Section 2 says that if more than one amendment is proposed, they are to be voted on separately.
- Section 3 describes how a constitutional convention can be called.
- It can be called if a 2/3rds supermajority vote in both houses of the legislature agree to put a constitutional convention question on the state's next general election ballot.
- A majority of those voting must approve the call for a convention.
- If they do, the legislature is required in its next session to organize that convention.
- Article 20 does not specify how many delegates that convention must have, except to say that the number of delegates must be "not less than double that of the most numerous branch of the legislature."
- Section 4 says that any constitutional changes recommended by a duly-called constitutional convention don't go into effect unless and until they are approved in a statewide vote of the people.
Article 21 of the Wyoming Constitution consists of 28 sections.
Previously a part of the Dakota Territory, Wyoming became its own territory on July 25, 1868. By the late 1880s, both political parties of the territory were advocating for statehood. However, Wyoming faced one large obstacle. The territory's population had not grown significantly since the establishment of the territory. Historically, Congress used a threshold population of 60,000 inhabitants as a stipulation for statehood; however, it was reported that Wyoming had only 55,000 inhabitants.
In 1888, the Wyoming Territory sent a petition for admission to the Union to the U.S. Congress. Though the petition failed, Wyoming proceeded to elect delegates to a constitutional convention. In September 1889, 49 delegates met in Cheyenne, Wyoming to draft Wyoming's constitution. The Wyoming Constitution was ratified on November 5, 1889, by a vote of 6,272 to 1,923 at the ballot. Wyoming was admitted to the Union on July 10, 1890, by an Act of Congress. It was first amended in 1910 and has been amended a total of 70 times.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Wyoming State Legislature, "Wyoming Constitution"
- Wyoming History.org, "Wyoming Becomes a State: The Constitutional Convention and Statehood Debates of 1889 and 1890 — and Their Aftermath"
- History.com, "September 30, 1889: Wyoming legislators write the first state constitution to grant women the vote"
- Legal Genealogist, "State Constitutions: Wyoming"
- Keiter, Robert B. and Tim Newcomb. (2011). The Wyoming State Constitution, New York, New York: Oxford University Press
- The Green Papers, "Wyoming State and Local Government," accessed April 29, 2014
- Wyoming State Legislature, "Wyoming Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014
- Wyoming History.org, "Wyoming Becomes a State: The Constitutional Convention and Statehood Debates of 1889 and 1890 — and Their Aftermath," accessed March 30, 2014
- Legal Genealogist, "State Constitutions: Wyoming," accessed March 30, 2014