Article XXI, New Mexico Constitution

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New Mexico Constitution
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Article XXI of the New Mexico Constitution is entitled Compact with the United States and consists of 11 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Religious Toleration; Polygamy

Perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and no inhabitant of this state shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship. Polygamous or plural marriages and polygamous cohabitation are forever prohibited.[1]


  • Amended on September 15, 1953.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Control of Unappropriated or Indian Lands; Taxation of Federal Government, Nonresident and Indian Property

The people inhabiting this state do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated and ungranted public lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said boundaries owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes, the right or title to which shall have been acquired through the United States, or any prior sovereignty; and that until the title of such Indian or Indian tribes shall have been extinguished the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition and under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the congress of the United States; and that the lands and other property belonging to citizens of the United States residing without this state shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the lands and other property belonging to residents thereof; that no taxes shall be imposed by this state upon lands or property therein belonging to or which may hereafter be acquired by the United States or reserved for its use; but nothing herein shall preclude this state from taxing as other lands and property are taxed, any lands and other property outside of an Indian reservation, owned or held by any Indian, save and except such lands as have been granted or acquired as aforesaid, or as may be granted or confirmed to any Indian or Indians under any act of congress; but all such lands shall be exempt from taxation by this state so long and to such extent as the congress of the United States has prescribed or may hereafter prescribe.[1]

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Assumption of Territorial Debts

The debts and liabilities of the territory of New Mexico and the debts of the counties thereof, which were valid and subsisting on the twentieth day of June, nineteen hundred and ten, are hereby assumed and shall be paid by this state; and this state shall, as to all such debts and liabilities, be subrogated to all the rights, including rights of indemnity and reimbursement, existing in favor of said territory or of any of the several counties thereof on said date. Nothing in this article shall be construed as validating or in any manner legalizing any territorial, county, municipal or other bonds, warrants, obligations or evidences of indebtedness of, or claims against, said territory or any of the counties or municipalities thereof which now are or may be, at the time this state is admitted, invalid and illegal; nor shall the legislature of this state pass any law in any manner validating or legalizing the same.[1]

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Public Schools

Provision shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of a system of public schools which shall be open to all the children of the state and free from sectarian control, and said schools shall always be conducted in English.[1]

Section 5

Text of Section 5:


This state shall never enact any law restricting or abridging the right of suffrage on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.[1]


  • Amended on November 5, 1912.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:


The capital of this state shall, until changed by the electors voting at an election provided for by the legislature of this state for that purpose, be at the city of Santa Fe, but no such election shall be called or provided for prior to the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred and twenty-five.[1]

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Reclamation Projects

There are hereby reserved to the United States, with full acquiescence of the people of this state, all rights and powers for the carrying out of the provisions by the United States of the act of congress, entitled, "An act appropriating the receipts from the sale and disposal of public lands in certain states and territories to the construction of irrigation works for the reclamation of arid lands," approved June seventeenth, nineteen hundred and two, and acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto, to the same extent as if this state had remained a territory.[1]

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Allotted Indian Lands Subject to Federal Liquor Control

Whenever hereafter any of the lands contained within Indian reservations or allotments in this state shall be allotted, sold, reserved or otherwise disposed of, they shall be subject for a period of twenty-five years after such allotment, sale, reservation or other disposal, to all the laws of the United States prohibiting the introduction of liquor into the Indian country; and the terms "Indian" and "Indian country" shall include the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and the lands owned or occupied by them on the twentieth day of June, nineteen hundred and ten, or which are occupied by them at the time of the admission of New Mexico as a state.[1]

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Consent to Enabling Act Provisions

This state and its people consent to all and singular the provisions of the said act of congress, approved June twentieth, nineteen hundred and ten, concerning the lands by said act granted or confirmed to this state, the terms and conditions upon which said grants and confirmations were made and the means and manner of enforcing such terms and conditions, all in every respect and particular as in said act provided.[1]

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Compact Irrevocable

This ordinance is irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this state, and no change or abrogation of this ordinance, in whole or in part, shall be made by any constitutional amendment without the consent of congress.[1]

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Consent to Exchange of Lands

This state and its people consent to the provisions of the act of congress, approved June 15, 1926, providing for such exchanges and the governor and other state officers mentioned in said act are hereby authorized to execute the necessary instrument or instruments to effect the exchange of lands therein provided for with the government of the United States; provided that in the determination of values of the lands now owned by the state of New Mexico, the value of the lands, the timber thereon and mineral rights pertaining thereto shall control the determination of value. The legislature may enact laws for the carrying out of the provisions hereof in accordance herewith.[1]


  • Added on November 8, 1932.

See also

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