Difference between revisions of "Iowa Constitution"

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{{cons update|Month=June 2012}}{{IAConstitution}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Iowa Constitution''' is the [[state constitution]] of [[Iowa]]. It is the state's fundamental governing document, and includes a Preamble and twelve [[Constitutional article|Articles]].
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{{IAConstitution}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Iowa Constitution''' is the basic governing document of the state of [[Iowa]].  
  
==[[Preamble, Iowa Constitution|Preamble]]==
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==Features==
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The Iowa Constitution includes a preamble and twelve articles.<ref name="ia">[http://publications.iowa.gov/135/1/history/7-7.html ''Iowa.gov'', "Iowa Constitution", accessed March 28, 2014]</ref>
  
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It also has a democratic procedure in place to amend or revise the constitution ''([[Article X, Iowa Constitution|Article X, Section 3 was amended in 1964 to provide for the automatic ballot initiative  every 10 years beginning in 1970]])''. The procedure is an automatic ballot initiative which asks voters every 10 years to approve or reject a constitutional convention. The process provides Iowans with the ability to deal with constitutional issues, which lawmakers either refuse or fail to address. Since first appearing on ballot in 1970, Iowa voters have rejected the call to convention every time and by significant margins:<ref name="ia rep">[http://theiowarepublican.com/2010/iowa-constitutional-history/ ''The Iowa Republican'', "Iowa Constitutional History", accessed March 28, 2014]</ref>
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 +
* In 1970, the vote was 204,517 to 214,663 (48.79% to 61.29%).
 +
* In 1980, the vote was 404,249 to 640,130 (38.71% to 61.29%).
 +
* In 1990, the vote was 179,762 to 491,179 (26.79% to 73.21%).
 +
* In 2000, the vote was 300,468 to 626,251 (34.42% to 67.58%)
 +
* In 2010, the vote was 649,316 to 317,577 (67.16% to 32.84%).
 +
 +
Furthermore, the Iowa Constitution has been amended 28 times, most recently in 2010 when Iowa voters approved [[Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund Amendment, Measure 1 (2010)|Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund Amendment, Measure 1]].
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==[[Preamble, Iowa Constitution|Preamble]]==
 
:: ''Main article: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
 
:: ''Main article: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
  
The preamble to the Iowa Constitution says:
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The preamble to the Iowa Constitution states:
 
   
 
   
WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for  the blessings  hitherto enjoyed,  and feeling our  dependence on Him for  a continuance of those blessings, do ordain and establish a  free and independent government,  by    the name of the STATE OF IOWA, the boundaries whereof shall be as follows:
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{| style="width:40%; background:#F2F2F2; margin-top:.1em; border:.5px solid #cccccc; solid;"
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|color:#000"|
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|-
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|
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| <center>''WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for  the blessings  hitherto enjoyed,  and feeling our  dependence on Him for  a continuance of those blessings, do ordain and establish a  free and independent government,  by    the name of the STATE OF IOWA, the boundaries whereof shall be as follows:''<ref name="ia"/></center>
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|}
  
==Summary==
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==[[Article I, Iowa Constitution|Article I]]==
*[[Article I, Iowa Constitution|Article I]] describes the rights of the citizens of Iowa in great detail.
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Article I of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Bill of Rights." It has 25 sections and describes the rights of the citizens of Iowa in great detail.
*[[Article II, Iowa Constitution|Article II]] details the rights of suffrage and the election process.
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*[[Article III, Iowa Constitution|Article III]] divides the government into the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
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*[[Legislative Department, Iowa Constitution|The Legislative]] establishes the legislative department and details its responsibilities.
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*[[Article IV, Iowa Constitution|Article IV]] establishes the executive department and outlines the powers of the governor.
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*[[Article V, Iowa Constitution|Article V]] establishes the court system of the judicial department.
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*[[Article VI, Iowa Constitution|Article VI]] concerns the state militia.
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*[[Article VII, Iowa Constitution|Article VII]] deals with state debts.
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*[[Article VIII, Iowa Constitution|Article VIII]] concerns the formation of corporations, as well as their privileges and limitations.
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*[[Article IX, Iowa Constitution|Article IX]] establishes the public school system.
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*[[Article X, Iowa Constitution|Article X]] describes how constitutional amendments are made.
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*[[Article XI, Iowa Constitution|Article XI]] contains miscellaneous governmental provisions.
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*[[Article XII, Iowa Constitution|Article XII]] is the schedule, which is designed to ease the transition from territory to state.
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==Amending the constitution==
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==[[Article II, Iowa Constitution|Article II]]==
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Article II of the Iowa Constitution is entitled "Rights of Suffrage." It has seven sections and details the rights of suffrage and the election process.
  
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==[[Article III, Iowa Constitution|Article III]]==
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Article III of the Iowa Constitution is labeled Of the "Distribution of Powers." It only has a single section and divides the government into the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
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==[[Legislative Department, Iowa Constitution|The Legislative]]==
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The "Legislative Department" of the Iowa Constitution appears to be a separate article; however, it has no article number or title. It has 40 sections and establishes the legislative department and details its responsibilities.
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==[[Article IV, Iowa Constitution|Article IV]]==
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Article IV of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Executive Department." It has 22 sections and establishes the executive department and outlines the powers of the governor.
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==[[Article V, Iowa Constitution|Article V]]==
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Article V of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Judicial Department." It has 19 sections and establishes the court system of the judicial department.
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==[[Article VI, Iowa Constitution|Article VI]]==
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Article VI of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Militia." It has three sections and concerns the state militia.
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==[[Article VII, Iowa Constitution|Article VII]]==
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Article VII of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "State Debts." It has nine sections and deals with state debts.
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==[[Article VIII, Iowa Constitution|Article VIII]]==
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Article VIII of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Corporations." It has twelve sections and concerns the formation of corporations, as well as their privileges and limitations.
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==[[Article IX, Iowa Constitution|Article IX]]==
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Article IX of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Education and School Lands." It has two parts: The first part, Education, has included up to fifteen sections, and the second part, School Funds and School Lands, has had up to seven sections. Essentially, this article establishes the public school system of Iowa.
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==[[Article X, Iowa Constitution|Article X]]==
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Article X of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Amendments to the Constitution." It governs the ways in which the state's constitution can be changed over time and describes how constitutional amendments are made.
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==[[Article XI, Iowa Constitution|Article XI]]==
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Article XI of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Miscellaneous." It has eight sections and contains miscellaneous governmental provisions.
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==[[Article XII, Iowa Constitution|Article XII]]==
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Article XII of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Schedule." It includes the text of material that used to be in the constitution, which is designed to ease the transition from territory to state, and has sixteen sections.
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==Amending the constitution==
 
:: ''Main article: [[Amending state constitutions]]''
 
:: ''Main article: [[Amending state constitutions]]''
  
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:*Starting in 1970, a question as to whether to hold a constitutional convention is to [[automatic ballot referral|automatically]] appear on the ballot every ten years.
 
:*Starting in 1970, a question as to whether to hold a constitutional convention is to [[automatic ballot referral|automatically]] appear on the ballot every ten years.
 
:*The [[Iowa General Assembly]] can also vote to put a [[constitutional convention]] question on a statewide ballot at other times.
 
:*The [[Iowa General Assembly]] can also vote to put a [[constitutional convention]] question on a statewide ballot at other times.
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==History==
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The Iowa Constitution is over 150 years old. It was drafted in [[Iowa City, Iowa|Iowa City]] between January 19 and March 5 of 1857, four years before the U.S. Civil War. Iowans narrowly approved the document 40,311 to 38,681 in August of that same year. This was the state’s second constitution and was based in large part on one approved 11 years earlier in 1846, when Iowa first became a U.S. state. An even earlier constitution, written in 1844 prior to statehood, was presented to and approved by the [[United States Senate]] in 1845 but was then rejected twice by residents of the Iowa Territory.<ref name="ia rep"/>
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==See also==
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[[File:StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg|right|175px]]
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* [[State constitution]]
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* [[Constitutional article]]
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* [[Constitutional amendment]]
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* [[Constitutional revision]]
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* [[Constitutional convention]]
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* [[Amendment|Amendments]]
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** [[Initiated constitutional amendment]]
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** [[Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment]]
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** [[Publication requirements for proposed state constitutional amendments]]
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** [[Rules about constitutional conventions in state constitutions]]
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** [[State constitutional articles governing state legislatures]]
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
{{wikipedia}}
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{{submit a link}}
* [http://www.harbornet.com/rights/iowa.txt Text of Iowa Constitution]
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* [http://publications.iowa.gov/135/1/history/7-7.html ''Iowa.gov'', "Iowa Constitution"]
* [http://www.legis.state.ia.us/Constitution.html Constitution of the State of Iowa] as maintained by the [[Iowa General Assembly]]
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* [http://publications.iowa.gov/135/1/history/7-8.html ''Iowa.gov'', "Amendments to the Constitution of Iowa"]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=uycLRXDaEx8C&dq=iowa+constitution&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=3ZWt3DOEic&sig=l19t0AsVu_4f_-FXd3PUAtQQ1cc&hl=en&ei=IEVOSsWMD4WEtwf7veCfBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3 The Constitution of the State Of Iowa], published by the State Historical Society of Iowa, 1902
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==Further reading==
* [http://www.amazon.com/Iowa-State-Constitution-Reference-Constitutions/dp/0313306249/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246643582&sr=1-1 The Iowa State Constitution: A Reference Guide]
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* [http://books.google.com/books?id=uycLRXDaEx8C&dq=iowa+constitution&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=3ZWt3DOEic&sig=l19t0AsVu_4f_-FXd3PUAtQQ1cc&hl=en&ei=IEVOSsWMD4WEtwf7veCfBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3 Iowa, Benjamin Franklin Shambaugh (1902). ''The Constitution of the State Of Iowa'', State Historical Society of Iowa]
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* [http://www.amazon.com/Iowa-State-Constitution-Reference-Constitutions/dp/0313306249/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246643582&sr=1-1 Stark, Jack (1998). ''The Iowa State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press]
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==References==
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{{reflist}}
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{{Iowa Constitution}}
 
{{Iowa Constitution}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{iowa}}
 
{{iowa}}

Revision as of 06:16, 31 March 2014

Iowa Constitution
Flag of Iowa.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIILegislativeIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXII
The Iowa Constitution is the basic governing document of the state of Iowa.

Features

The Iowa Constitution includes a preamble and twelve articles.[1]

It also has a democratic procedure in place to amend or revise the constitution (Article X, Section 3 was amended in 1964 to provide for the automatic ballot initiative every 10 years beginning in 1970). The procedure is an automatic ballot initiative which asks voters every 10 years to approve or reject a constitutional convention. The process provides Iowans with the ability to deal with constitutional issues, which lawmakers either refuse or fail to address. Since first appearing on ballot in 1970, Iowa voters have rejected the call to convention every time and by significant margins:[2]

  • In 1970, the vote was 204,517 to 214,663 (48.79% to 61.29%).
  • In 1980, the vote was 404,249 to 640,130 (38.71% to 61.29%).
  • In 1990, the vote was 179,762 to 491,179 (26.79% to 73.21%).
  • In 2000, the vote was 300,468 to 626,251 (34.42% to 67.58%)
  • In 2010, the vote was 649,316 to 317,577 (67.16% to 32.84%).

Furthermore, the Iowa Constitution has been amended 28 times, most recently in 2010 when Iowa voters approved Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund Amendment, Measure 1.

Preamble

Main article: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the Iowa Constitution states:

WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuance of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the STATE OF IOWA, the boundaries whereof shall be as follows:[1]

Article I

Article I of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Bill of Rights." It has 25 sections and describes the rights of the citizens of Iowa in great detail.

Article II

Article II of the Iowa Constitution is entitled "Rights of Suffrage." It has seven sections and details the rights of suffrage and the election process.

Article III

Article III of the Iowa Constitution is labeled Of the "Distribution of Powers." It only has a single section and divides the government into the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

The Legislative

The "Legislative Department" of the Iowa Constitution appears to be a separate article; however, it has no article number or title. It has 40 sections and establishes the legislative department and details its responsibilities.

Article IV

Article IV of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Executive Department." It has 22 sections and establishes the executive department and outlines the powers of the governor.

Article V

Article V of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Judicial Department." It has 19 sections and establishes the court system of the judicial department.

Article VI

Article VI of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Militia." It has three sections and concerns the state militia.

Article VII

Article VII of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "State Debts." It has nine sections and deals with state debts.

Article VIII

Article VIII of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Corporations." It has twelve sections and concerns the formation of corporations, as well as their privileges and limitations.

Article IX

Article IX of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Education and School Lands." It has two parts: The first part, Education, has included up to fifteen sections, and the second part, School Funds and School Lands, has had up to seven sections. Essentially, this article establishes the public school system of Iowa.

Article X

Article X of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Amendments to the Constitution." It governs the ways in which the state's constitution can be changed over time and describes how constitutional amendments are made.

Article XI

Article XI of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Miscellaneous." It has eight sections and contains miscellaneous governmental provisions.

Article XII

Article XII of the Iowa Constitution is labeled "Schedule." It includes the text of material that used to be in the constitution, which is designed to ease the transition from territory to state, and has sixteen sections.

Amending the constitution

Main article: Amending state constitutions

Article X governs the ways in which the state's constitution can be changed over time.

Article X allows:

  • Two successive general assemblies must vote to put the proposed amendment on a statewide ballot, by majority votes.
  • Amendments can be proposed in either chamber.
  • Once an amendment is on the ballot, in order to become part of the constitution, it must be approved by "a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, voting thereon."

History

The Iowa Constitution is over 150 years old. It was drafted in Iowa City between January 19 and March 5 of 1857, four years before the U.S. Civil War. Iowans narrowly approved the document 40,311 to 38,681 in August of that same year. This was the state’s second constitution and was based in large part on one approved 11 years earlier in 1846, when Iowa first became a U.S. state. An even earlier constitution, written in 1844 prior to statehood, was presented to and approved by the United States Senate in 1845 but was then rejected twice by residents of the Iowa Territory.[2]

See also

StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg

External links

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

Further reading

References