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Utah Constitution

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Utah Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXXXXIIXXIIIXXIV
The Utah Constitution is the basic governing document of the state of Utah.

Features

The Utah Constitution defines the basic form and operation of government of the state of Utah. It consists of a preamble followed by 22 articles.

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the Utah Constitution states:

Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we, the people of Utah, in order to secure and perpetuate the principles of free government, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION.[1]

Article I: Declaration of Rights

Article I of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Declaration of Rights" and consists of 29 sections.

Article II: State Boundaries

Article II of the Utah Constitution is entitled "State Boundaries" and consists of only one section.

Article III: Ordinance

Article III of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Ordinance" and consists of four sections.

Article IV: Elections and Right of Suffrage

Article IV of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Elections and Right of Suffrage" and consists of ten sections.

Article V: Distribution of Powers

Article V of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Distribution of Powers" and consists of a single section.

Article VI: Legislative Department

Article VI of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of 32 sections.

Article VII: Executive Department

Article VII of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Executive Department" and consists of 19 sections.

Article VIII: Judicial Department

Article VIII of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Judicial Department" and consists of 16 sections.

Article IX: Congressional and Legislative Apportionment

Article IX of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Congressional and Legislative Apportionment" and consists of two sections.

Article X: Education

Article X of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Education" and consists of eight sections.

Article XI: Counties, Cities and Towns

Article XI of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Counties, Cities and Towns" and consists of nine sections.

Article XII: Corporations

Article XII of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Corporations" and consists of five sections.

Article XIII: Revenue and Taxation

Article XIII of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Revenue and Taxation" and consists of 8 sections.

Article XIV: Public Debt

Article XIV of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Public Debt" and consists of seven sections.

Article XV: Militia

Article XV of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Militia" and consists of two sections.

Article XVI: Labor

Article XVI of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Labor" and consists of eight sections.

Article XVII: Water Rights

Article XVII of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Water Rights" and consists of one section.

Article XVIII: Forestry

Article XVIII of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Forestry" and consists of one section.

Article XX: Public Lands

Article XX of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Public Lands" and consists of two sections.

Article XXII: Miscellaneous

Article XXII of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of four sections.

Article XXIII: Amendment and Revision

Article XXIII of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Amendment and Revision" and consists of three sections

Article XXIV: Schedule

Article XXIV of the Utah Constitution is entitled "Schedule" and consists of 16 sections.

Amending the constitution

Delegates to the 1895 convention
See also: Amending state constitutions and Article XXIII, Utah Constitution

The Utah Constitution can be amended in these two ways:

Via the legislatively-referred constitutional amendment process:

  • An amendment can be proposed in either chamber of the Utah State Legislature.
  • A two-thirds vote is necessary in the state legislature to place a proposed amendment before the state's voters.
  • Votes on proposed amendments must take place at general elections.
  • If more than one proposed amendment is on a ballot, the amendments must be placed on the ballot in such a way that voters can register their opinion on them separately.

Via a constitutional convention:

  • A ballot question about whether to hold a convention can go on the ballot if two-thirds of the members of the state legislature vote to put it on the ballot.
  • Votes on whether to hold conventions must go on a general election ballot.

Whether a proposed amendment is offered by the state legislature or comes out of a convention, Section 3 of Article XXIII requires a vote of at least a "majority of the electors of the State voting at the next general election." This means that more voters can vote "yes" on a particular amendment than "no" and it still might lose, depending on how many voters altogether vote in that election.

History

Utah's passage to statehood was long and eventful. Because of the Mormon's early belief in polygamous marriage and their self-exile from the rest of country, eastern politicians were wary of those "unpredictable" citizens. Early Mormon pioneers formed a political government which functioned as the State of Deseret between 1849-70, but their petitions for statehood were denied. In 1850, an "outside" form of government was imposed on the area by federal officials. A governor was sent to the new territory, called Utah, to oversee law and order.[2]

It took almost fifty years for lawmakers to admit Utah as an official member of the union. During that time Mormon leaders officially outlawed polygamy. On July 1894, the U.S. Congress enacted a law to enable the territory of Utah to be admitted into the Union as a state. A constitutional convention consisting of 95 delegates met from March 4, 1895 to May 7, 1895 to develop the state's original constitution, which is still largely in force.[2][3] The Utah Constitution was drafted at a convention that opened on March 4, 1895 in Salt Lake City. The constitution was later approved by the citizens of Utah.[4][2]

In the autumn of 1895 a constitution was approved, which included granting women the right to vote (one of the first such concessions in the nation). Several months later, on January 4, 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th state in the union. Utahns had drafted seven previous constitutions starting in 1849 as part of repeated attempts to become a state. However, Congress refused to admit Utah, or Deseret as the territory originally wanted to be called, until the Mormon settlers of Utah renounced polygamy.[4]

See also

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External links

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