|Preamble • I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIII|
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
- See also Article IX, Missouri Constitution
- See also Article X, Missouri Constitution
- See also Article XI, Missouri Constitution
XII: Amending the Constitution
The Missouri Constitution can be amended via three different paths:
- Legislatively-referred constitutional amendments. Either chamber of the Missouri State Legislature is allowed to propose an amendment. A majority of members of both chambers must approve it; if they do, the proposed amendment goes on a statewide ballot for a popular vote of the people where if a simple majority approves it, it becomes part of the constitution.
- Initiated constitutional amendments. These are discussed in Sections 49, 50, 51 and 53 of Article III. The number of signatures required for an initiated constitutional amendment to go on the Missouri ballot is based on how many electors voted for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election, with a very complicated distribution requirement superimposed on the basic requirement. (See Missouri signature requirements.)
- 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. 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
- Missouri Constitution on the Internet
- Missouri Constitution in PDF Form
- The State of Missouri Website
- Historical overview of the Missouri Constitution