Difference between revisions of "Connecticut Constitution"

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{{CTConstitution}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Connecticut Constitution''' is the basic governing document of the state of [[Connecticut]]. It was approved by [[referendum]] on December 14, 1965 and proclaimed by the [[Governor]] as adopted on December 30, 1965. It is the second constitution that the state has had, although many recognize a third.  It consists of 14 articles and has been amended 31 times.
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{{CTConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''Connecticut Constitution''' is the basic governing document of the state of [[Connecticut]]. The state's first constitution was adopted after a [[constitutional convention]] in 1818. Its second and current constitution was adopted in 1965. Most of this constitution reaffirmed the 1818 edition.<ref name=history>[http://www.ctstatelibrary.org/pages/connecticut-constitutional-history/connecticut-constitutional-history-1 ''Connecticut State Library'', "Connecticut Constitutional History 1776-1988 by Wesley W. Horton," accessed May 21, 2014]</ref>
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==Features==
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Connecticut established the first constitution in the American colonies. Named the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut," and established in 1638-1639, it was the first document written in the colonies by a representative body to set up a framework of government. However, after the colonies declared independence, Connecticut did not write a new constitution as other colonies did. Instead, the [[Connecticut General Assembly]] deleted references to the monarchy and then left the Fundamental Orders as they were. It was not until the 1818 [[constitutional convention]] that the state adopted its first constitution as a member of the United States.<ref name=history/>
  
 
==[[Preamble, Connecticut Constitution|Preamble]]==
 
==[[Preamble, Connecticut Constitution|Preamble]]==
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| <center>"The People of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government; do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights and privileges which they have derived from their ancestors; hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following constitution and form of civil government."</center>
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| <center>"The People of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government; do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights and privileges which they have derived from their ancestors; hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following constitution and form of civil government."<ref name="ct">[http://www.cslib.org/constitutionalAmends/constitution.htm ''Connecticut State Library'', "Connecticut Constitution", accessed March 26, 2014]</ref></center>
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
==[[Article I, Connecticut Constitution|Article I: Declaration of Rights]]==
 
==[[Article I, Connecticut Constitution|Article I: Declaration of Rights]]==
Article I is analogous to the United States Bill of Rights, providing rights to speech, assembly, speedy trial, bearing of arms and religion, among others.
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Article I contains the state's Declaration of Rights.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article II, Connecticut Constitution|Article II: Of the Distribution of Powers]]==  
 
==[[Article II, Connecticut Constitution|Article II: Of the Distribution of Powers]]==  
Article II establishes three branches of government in the state: legislative, executive, and judicial.
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Article II establishes three branches of government in the state: legislative, executive, and judicial.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article III, Connecticut Constitution|Article III: Of the Legislative Department]]==
 
==[[Article III, Connecticut Constitution|Article III: Of the Legislative Department]]==
Article III creates a two-house legislature, sets standards for districting, elections and ethics.
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Article III establishes two distinct houses for the legislative branch, the sessions of the legislature and the number of members allowed for each house.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article IV, Connecticut Constitution|Article IV: Of the Executive Department]]==
 
==[[Article IV, Connecticut Constitution|Article IV: Of the Executive Department]]==
Sets terms, requirements, and powers of the [[governor]], lieutenant governor, secretary of the state, treasurer and comptroller.
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Article IV sets the terms, requirements and powers of the executive branch, such as the [[Governor of Connecticut|governor]], [[Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut|lieutenant governor]] and [[Connecticut Secretary of State|Secretary of State]].<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article V, Connecticut Constitution|Article V: Of the Judicial Department]]==
 
==[[Article V, Connecticut Constitution|Article V: Of the Judicial Department]]==
Article V establishes supreme, superior, and lesser courts, and the rules that govern how judges are chosen.
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Article V establishes the supreme, superior and lesser courts as well as the process of selecting judges.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article VI, Connecticut Constitution|Article VI: Of the Qualifications of Electors]]==
 
==[[Article VI, Connecticut Constitution|Article VI: Of the Qualifications of Electors]]==
Article VI lists age and residency requirements for voters.
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Article VI lists voter requirements.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article VII, Connecticut Constitution|Article VII: Of Religion]]==
 
==[[Article VII, Connecticut Constitution|Article VII: Of Religion]]==
Article VII reiterates the right to free practice of religion.
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Article VII establishes the right to practice religion freely.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article VIII, Connecticut Constitution|Article VIII: Of Education]]==
 
==[[Article VIII, Connecticut Constitution|Article VIII: Of Education]]==
Article VIII charters a free elementary school school system, the University of Connecticut and Yale College.
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Article VIII establishes a free elementary and secondary school system in the state, sets up the University of Connecticut and confirms the charter of Yale College.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article IX, Connecticut Constitution|Article IX: Of Impeachments]]==
 
==[[Article IX, Connecticut Constitution|Article IX: Of Impeachments]]==
Article IX sets rules for impeachment and treason trials.
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Article IX sets up the process of impeachment and the rules for trials of treason.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article X, Connecticut Constitution|Article X: Of Home Rule]]==
 
==[[Article X, Connecticut Constitution|Article X: Of Home Rule]]==
Article X gives the general assembly the right to delegate authority to cities and towns.
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Article X allows the [[Connecticut General Assembly]] to delegate authority to cities, towns and boroughs.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article XI, Connecticut Constitution|Article XI: General Provisions]]==
 
==[[Article XI, Connecticut Constitution|Article XI: General Provisions]]==
Article XI addresses the oath of office, restrictions on salary raises and other miscellaneous rules.
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Article XI addresses the oath of office and restrictions on salary raises.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article XII, Connecticut Constitution|Article XII: Of Amendments to the Constitution]]==
 
==[[Article XII, Connecticut Constitution|Article XII: Of Amendments to the Constitution]]==
Article XII establishes the method of amending the state constitution.
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Article XII sets up how to amend the state constitution.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article XIII, Connecticut Constitution|Article XIII: Of Constitutional Conventions]]==
 
==[[Article XIII, Connecticut Constitution|Article XIII: Of Constitutional Conventions]]==
Article XIII creates the method of calling for a special convention to amend or revise the constitution.
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Article XIII sets up the method of calling a [[constitutional convention]].<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==[[Article XIV, Connecticut Constitution|Article XIV: Of the Effective Date of This Constitution]]==
 
==[[Article XIV, Connecticut Constitution|Article XIV: Of the Effective Date of This Constitution]]==
Article XIV how the constitution became effective after approval by a popular vote and proclamation by the governor.
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Article XIV established that the constitution would become effective after approval by a popular vote and proclamation by the governor.<ref name="ct"/>
  
 
==Amending the constitution==
 
==Amending the constitution==
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* As established in [[Article XII, Connecticut Constitution|Article XII]], via {{lrcafull}}s.
 
* As established in [[Article XII, Connecticut Constitution|Article XII]], via {{lrcafull}}s.
:* If an amendment is approved by a majority (but less than 75%) of the total membership of each chamber, it is then continued to the next session of the legislature. If the amendment is again approved by a majority, it is then put to a statewide vote of the people. If they approve it by a simple majority vote, it becomes part of the state's constitution.
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:* If an amendment is approved by a majority (but less than 75 percent) of the total membership of each chamber, it is then continued to the next session of the legislature. If the amendment is again approved by a majority, it is then put to a statewide vote of the people. If they approve it by a simple majority vote, it becomes part of the state's constitution.
:* However, if the proposed amendment is approved by a 75% or more vote of both chambers of the legislature, it doesn't have to be considered in two consecutive legislative sessions and can instead be put to a vote of the people at the next November general election.
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:* However, if the proposed amendment is approved by a 75 percent or more vote of both chambers of the legislature, it doesn't have to be considered in two consecutive legislative sessions and can instead be put to a vote of the people at the next November general election.
 
:* Elections on proposed amendments are to take place in Novembers of even-numbered years.
 
:* Elections on proposed amendments are to take place in Novembers of even-numbered years.
 
* As established in [[Article XIII, Connecticut Constitution|Article XIII]], via [[constitutional convention]].
 
* As established in [[Article XIII, Connecticut Constitution|Article XIII]], via [[constitutional convention]].
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==History==
 
==History==
The ''Fundamental Orders of Connecticut'' (1638) is considered by many to be the state's first constitution, although it was adopted while the state was still an English colony. The document recognized no allegiance to England but instead an independent government. ''The Charter of the Colony of Connecticut'' (1662) officially superseded the Fundamental Orders, but the local government continued operating under the previous rules. Even after the American Revolutionary War, the state retained its same constitution for another 40 years.
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Connecticut is known as the "Constitution State," and while the origin of this nickname is unknown, many believe it is rooted in the '''Fundamental Orders of Connecticut'''. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1638) is considered by many to be the state's first constitution, although it was adopted while the state was still an English colony. The document recognized no allegiance to England, instead it recognized an independent government. '''The Charter of the Colony of Connecticut''' (1662) officially superseded the Fundamental Orders, but the local government continued operating under the previous rules. Even after the American Revolutionary War, the state retained its same constitution for another 40 years.<ref name="book"/>
  
It was not until the passage of the first state constitution in 1818 that the colonial charter was abolished and political ties to England were officially broken. The constitution is also notable for having reversed the earlier Orders and provided the freedom of religion.
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It was not until the passage of the first state constitution in 1818 that the colonial charter was abolished and political ties to England were officially broken. The constitution is also notable for having reversed the earlier Orders and provided the freedom of religion.<ref name="book"/>
  
On October 1, 1901, Connecticut residents voted nearly 2-to-1 in favor of calling of a constitutional convention to revise the constitution. A convention was held, and a revised constitution was proposed. On June 16, 1902, residents rejected the revised constitution more than 2-to-1.<ref> [http://www.amazon.com/The-Connecticut-State-Constitution-Constitutions/dp/0313285659 Horton, Wesley W. (1993). ''The Connecticut State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. OCLC 27066290.]</ref>
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The Charter Oak became a symbol of the independence of the people of this state, when King James II revoked the Connecticut Charter in 1687. Preventing Royal Governor Sir Edmund Andros from getting his hands on it, Joseph Wadsworth stole the document and is said to have hidden it in the hollow of an oak tree on Samuel Wylly's property.<ref>[http://www.netstate.com/states/intro/ct_intro.htm ''Netstate.com'', "The state of Connecticut", accessed March 26, 2014]</ref>
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On October 1, 1901, Connecticut residents voted nearly two-to-one in favor of calling of a constitutional convention to revise the constitution. A convention was held, and a revised constitution was proposed. On June 16, 1902, residents rejected the revised constitution more than two-to-one.<ref name="book">[http://www.worldcat.org/title/connecticut-state-constitution-a-reference-guide/oclc/27066290&referer=brief_results Horton, W. (1993). ''The Connecticut State Constitution: A Reference Guide''. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.]</ref>
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
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==External links==
 
==External links==
 
{{submit a link}}
 
{{submit a link}}
* [http://www.cslib.org/constitutionalAmends/constitution.htm Text of the state of Connecticut Constitution]
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* [http://www.cslib.org/constitutionalAmends/constitution.htm Connecticut Constitution]
* [http://www.constitution.org/bcp/fo_1639.htm Roland, Jon. ''The Constitution Society'', "The Fundamental Orders", accessed January 14, 2007.]
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* [http://www.constitution.org/bcp/fo_1639.htm Roland, Jon. ''The Constitution Society'', "The Fundamental Orders," accessed January 14, 2007.]
* [http://archive.is/vuzub ''The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition'', "Fundamental Orders", Columbia University Press (2005), accessed February 27, 2014.]
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* [http://archive.is/vuzub ''The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition'', "Fundamental Orders," Columbia University Press (2005), accessed February 27, 2014.]
 +
 
 +
==Additional reading==
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* [http://www.amazon.com/Connecticut-Constitution-Oxford-Commentaries-Constitutions/dp/0199890749 Horton, Wesley W. (2012). ''The Connecticut State Constitution'', New York, New York: Oxford University Press]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==

Latest revision as of 14:27, 21 May 2014

Connecticut Constitution
Seal of Connecticut.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIV
The Connecticut Constitution is the basic governing document of the state of Connecticut. The state's first constitution was adopted after a constitutional convention in 1818. Its second and current constitution was adopted in 1965. Most of this constitution reaffirmed the 1818 edition.[1]

Features

Connecticut established the first constitution in the American colonies. Named the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut," and established in 1638-1639, it was the first document written in the colonies by a representative body to set up a framework of government. However, after the colonies declared independence, Connecticut did not write a new constitution as other colonies did. Instead, the Connecticut General Assembly deleted references to the monarchy and then left the Fundamental Orders as they were. It was not until the 1818 constitutional convention that the state adopted its first constitution as a member of the United States.[1]

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the Connecticut Constitution states:

"The People of Connecticut acknowledging with gratitude, the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government; do, in order more effectually to define, secure, and perpetuate the liberties, rights and privileges which they have derived from their ancestors; hereby, after a careful consideration and revision, ordain and establish the following constitution and form of civil government."[2]

Article I: Declaration of Rights

Article I contains the state's Declaration of Rights.[2]

Article II: Of the Distribution of Powers

Article II establishes three branches of government in the state: legislative, executive, and judicial.[2]

Article III: Of the Legislative Department

Article III establishes two distinct houses for the legislative branch, the sessions of the legislature and the number of members allowed for each house.[2]

Article IV: Of the Executive Department

Article IV sets the terms, requirements and powers of the executive branch, such as the governor, lieutenant governor and Secretary of State.[2]

Article V: Of the Judicial Department

Article V establishes the supreme, superior and lesser courts as well as the process of selecting judges.[2]

Article VI: Of the Qualifications of Electors

Article VI lists voter requirements.[2]

Article VII: Of Religion

Article VII establishes the right to practice religion freely.[2]

Article VIII: Of Education

Article VIII establishes a free elementary and secondary school system in the state, sets up the University of Connecticut and confirms the charter of Yale College.[2]

Article IX: Of Impeachments

Article IX sets up the process of impeachment and the rules for trials of treason.[2]

Article X: Of Home Rule

Article X allows the Connecticut General Assembly to delegate authority to cities, towns and boroughs.[2]

Article XI: General Provisions

Article XI addresses the oath of office and restrictions on salary raises.[2]

Article XII: Of Amendments to the Constitution

Article XII sets up how to amend the state constitution.[2]

Article XIII: Of Constitutional Conventions

Article XIII sets up the method of calling a constitutional convention.[2]

Article XIV: Of the Effective Date of This Constitution

Article XIV established that the constitution would become effective after approval by a popular vote and proclamation by the governor.[2]

Amending the constitution

See also: Amending state constitutions

The Connecticut Constitution can be amended in these ways:

  • If an amendment is approved by a majority (but less than 75 percent) of the total membership of each chamber, it is then continued to the next session of the legislature. If the amendment is again approved by a majority, it is then put to a statewide vote of the people. If they approve it by a simple majority vote, it becomes part of the state's constitution.
  • However, if the proposed amendment is approved by a 75 percent or more vote of both chambers of the legislature, it doesn't have to be considered in two consecutive legislative sessions and can instead be put to a vote of the people at the next November general election.
  • Elections on proposed amendments are to take place in Novembers of even-numbered years.
  • Two-thirds of each legislative chamber must vote for a convention.
  • The legislature is not allowed to do this less than ten years after a prior convention.
  • Any proposed amendments that arise out of a convention are to be put to a statewide vote where, if they are approved by a simple majority of those voting, become part of the state's constitution.
  • Article XIII provides for an automatic ballot referral to the state's electors of whether to hold a constitutional convention; these questions are to be put before the people at intervals not exceeding every twenty years.

History

Connecticut is known as the "Constitution State," and while the origin of this nickname is unknown, many believe it is rooted in the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (1638) is considered by many to be the state's first constitution, although it was adopted while the state was still an English colony. The document recognized no allegiance to England, instead it recognized an independent government. The Charter of the Colony of Connecticut (1662) officially superseded the Fundamental Orders, but the local government continued operating under the previous rules. Even after the American Revolutionary War, the state retained its same constitution for another 40 years.[3]

It was not until the passage of the first state constitution in 1818 that the colonial charter was abolished and political ties to England were officially broken. The constitution is also notable for having reversed the earlier Orders and provided the freedom of religion.[3]

The Charter Oak became a symbol of the independence of the people of this state, when King James II revoked the Connecticut Charter in 1687. Preventing Royal Governor Sir Edmund Andros from getting his hands on it, Joseph Wadsworth stole the document and is said to have hidden it in the hollow of an oak tree on Samuel Wylly's property.[4]

On October 1, 1901, Connecticut residents voted nearly two-to-one in favor of calling of a constitutional convention to revise the constitution. A convention was held, and a revised constitution was proposed. On June 16, 1902, residents rejected the revised constitution more than two-to-one.[3]

See also

StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg

External links

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

Additional reading

References