Missouri Constitution

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Missouri Constitution
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The Missouri Constitution is a state constitution and the fundamental governing document of Missouri. The state's current constitution was adopted in 1945 and is the state's fourth constitution. Since 1962, Missourians have been asked every twenty years if they would like to convene a constitutional convention to revise the constitution; each time, a healthy majority of the state's voters have rejected this proposal.

The Missouri Constitution has 13 constitutional articles.



See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble of the Missouri Constitution is:

We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness, do establish this Constitution for the better government of the state.

I: Bill of Rights

See also Article I, Missouri Constitution

Source of political power--origin, basis and aim of government:

Section 1. That all political power is vested in and derived from the people; that all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.

Promotion of general welfare--natural rights of persons--equality under the law--purpose of government.

Section 2. That all constitutional government is intended to promote the general welfare of the people; that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry; that all persons are created equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunity under the law; that to give security to these things is the principal office of government, and that when government does not confer this security, it fails in its chief design.

Powers of the people over internal affairs, constitution and form of government.

Section 3. That the people of this state have the inherent, sole and exclusive right to regulate the internal government and police thereof, and to alter and abolish their constitution and form of government whenever they may deem it necessary to their safety and happiness, provided such change be not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.

II: Distribution of Powers

See also Article II, Missouri Constitution

III: Legislative Department

See also Article III, Missouri Constitution

IV: Executive Department

See also Article IV, Missouri Constitution

V: Judicial Department

See also Article V, Missouri Constitution

VI: Local Government

See also Article VI, Missouri Constitution

VII: Public Officers

See also Article VII, Missouri Constitution

VIII: Suffrage and Elections

See also Article VIII, Missouri Constitution

IX: Education

See also Article IX, Missouri Constitution

X: Taxation

See also Article X, Missouri Constitution

XI: Corporations

See also Article XI, Missouri Constitution

XII: Amending the Constitution

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See also Article XII, Missouri Constitution, Laws governing the initiative process in Missouri

The Missouri Constitution can be amended via three different paths:

  • Through a constitutional convention as established in Section 3a of Article XII. A question about whether to hold a constitutional convention is to automatically appear on the state's ballot every twenty years. The first of these automatic referrals under the Constitution of 1945 (Missouri's current constitution) was in 1962, 1982 and 2002.[1] The next will be in 2022. In 1942, under an older version of the Missouri Constitution, voters were asked about having a constitutional convention and said "Yes." It was that convention that led to the Missouri Constitution of 1945, the state's current constitution.

Votes on proposed amendments can take place at a general election or a special election.

A unique feature of Missouri's law governing constitutional amendments is a provision in Section 2(b) of Article XII saying that proposed amendments should be published if possible "in two newspapers of different political faith in each county."

XIII: Public Employees

See also Article XIII, Missouri Constitution

External links