Difference between revisions of "New Jersey Constitution"

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{{NJConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''Constitution of the State of New Jersey''' is a [[state constitution]] and the basic governing document of the State of [[New Jersey]]. In addition to three British Royal Charters issued for East Jersey, West Jersey and united New Jersey while they were still colonies, the state has been governed by three constitutions. The first was issued in 1776 shortly after New Jersey ratified the United States Declaration of Independence; the second was issued in 1844; and the current document was issued in 1947.
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{{NJConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''Constitution of the State of New Jersey''' is the basic governing document of the state of [[New Jersey]].  
  
The state constitution reinforces the basic rights found in the United States Constitution, but also contains several unique provisions, such as regulations governing the operation of casinos. At 26,159 words,<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=Number obtained through ''http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/lawsconstitution/constitution.asp''. The number was determined with the Microsoft Word "Word Count" option.}}</ref> the document is slightly shorter than the average American [[State constitution|state constitution]] (about 28,300 words).<ref>{{cite book |last=Levenson|first=Sanford|title=Responding to Imperfection|publisher=Princeton University Press|id=0691025703|pages=pp.247}}</ref>
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==Features==
 
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The New Jersey Constitution reinforces the basic rights found in the [[United States Constitution]] but also contains several unique provisions, such as regulations governing the operation of casinos. At 26,159 words, the document is slightly shorter than the average American [[State constitution|state constitution]] (about 28,300 words).<ref>[http://en.cyclopaedia.net/wiki/Constitution-of-New-Jersey ''Cyclopaedia'', "Constitution of New Jersey," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref>
==Previous versions==
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Three fundamental documents had governed the territory now known as New Jersey. The first was the Concession and Agreement, which was written in 1665 by the colony's proprietors Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, and included a provision granting religious freedom. After Berkeley and Carteret sold New Jersey to the Quakers, the colony was split into West and East Jersey. Each had its own constitution: the West Jersey Constitution (1681) and the East Jersey Constitution (1683).<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/nj08.htm|title= Province of West New-Jersey, in America, The 25th of the Ninth Month Called November|accessdate = 2006-12-17|author=Avalon Project|publisher=Yale Law School}}<br />{{cite web|url=http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/nj10.htm|title=The Fundamental Constitutions for the Province of East New Jersey in America, Anno Domini 1683|accessdate = 2006-12-17|author=Avalon Project|publisher=Yale Law School}}</ref> The two were reunited in 1702 by Queen Anne.
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New Jersey's first state constitution was adopted on July 2, 1776. The American Revolutionary War was underway and George Washington recently had been defeated in [[New York]], putting the state in danger of invasion. The 1776 New Jersey State Constitution was drafted in five days and ratified within the next two days to establish a temporary government, thereby preventing New Jersey from collapsing and descending into anarchy.<ref>{{cite web|url= http://www.state.nj.us/njfacts/njdoc10.htm|title=The New Jersey Constitution of 1776| accessdate=2006-12-17 }}</ref> Among other provisions, it granted unmarried women and blacks who met property requirements the right to vote. It did not specify an amendment procedure and had to be replaced entirely in a constitutional convention.
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The succeeding constitution, adopted on June 29, 1844, restricted suffrage to white males. It separated the government's powers into judicial, legislative, and executive branches and granted the people (as opposed to the legislature) the ability to elect a governor. It also formally limited state debt, a predecessor of many contemporary "debt ceiling" clauses.<ref>{{cite web|url= http://www.state.nj.us/hangout_nj/government.html|accessdate=2006-11-14|title= State Government - State Constitution}}</ref> The constitution was amended in 1875,<ref>{{cite web| url= http://www.camlaw.rutgers.edu/statecon/njtaxconvpapers/report4.pdf|title= The New Jersey State Constitution and Taxing, Spending, and Borrowing|accessdate=2006-11-14 | author = Williams, Robert F. and Tarr, G. Alan |format= pdf}}</ref> mainly to conform to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Additionally, the state's amendments required that the legislature provide for a free public school system.
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==Current constitution (1947)==
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===Preamble===
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==Preamble==
 
:: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
  
The preamble to the constitutution is:
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The preamble to New Jersey Constitution states:
  
:''We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution.''<ref>{{wikicite |id= | reference = Preamble}}</ref>
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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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| <center>''We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution.''<ref name="nj">[http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/lawsconstitution/constitution.asp ''New Jersey State Legislature'', "New Jersey State Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref></center>
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|}
  
==="Rights and Privileges"===
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==[[Article I, New Jersey Constitution|Article I: Rights and Privileges]]==
  
:: ''See also: [[Article I, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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Article I of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Rights and Privileges" and consists of a single section with 22 paragraphs. It establishes the rights and freedoms inherent people and relevant operation of the government. The rights discussed in this article largely mirror the [[United States Constitution]]. Such rights include freedom of speech, a speedy and public trial and religious freedom. Article I also contains a Victims' Bill of Rights.
  
Article I, as is usual for constitutions, establishes the rights and freedoms inherent people and relevant operation of the government. The rights discussed in this Article largely mirror the Constitution of the United States. Such rights include freedom of speech, a speedy and public trial, and religious freedom.<ref>{{wikicite |id= | reference= Article I, Section 1; first entry, Paragraph 6; second entry, Paragraph 9; third entry, Paragraphs 3 and 4}}</ref> Article I also contains a Victims' Bill of Rights.<ref>{{wikicite | reference= Article I, Section 1, Paragraph 22}}</ref> The article is a de facto enumeration of the rights of the common man; ''Article I, Section 1, Paragraph 21'' deliberately states:
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==[[Article II, New Jersey Constitution|Article II: Elections and Suffrage]]==
  
''This enumeration of rights and privileges shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.''
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Article II of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Elections and Suffrage" and consists of two sections. It details the dates for elections of the [[Governor]], the [[Lieutenant Governor]] and members of the [[New Jersey Legislature]]. It establishes the qualifications necessary for voting and states that the right of suffrage may be removed from certain convicted criminals.  
  
This Article is similar to the constitution's enumeration of rights. The document still has "holdover" rights, or rights left over from fear of Britain during the Revolutionary War. These passages still do guarantee important rights to New Jerseyans, but violations are not necessarily common. Most of these rights, currently, are  more or less taken for granted by the American people.  Such rights include:
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==[[Article III, New Jersey Constitution|Article III: Distribution of the Powers of Government]]==
  
''No person shall, after acquittal, be tried for the same offense. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses when the proof is evident or presumption great.''
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Article III of the New Jersey Constitution  is entitled "Distribution of the Powers of Government" and consists of one section. It details the policy of separation of powers. The three branches, executive, judicial and legislative, are created and defined.  
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''No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, except in a manner prescribed by law.''
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==="Elections and Suffrage"===
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==[[Article IV, New Jersey Constitution|Article IV: Legislative]]==
  
:: ''See also: [[Article II, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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Article IV of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Legislative" and consists of eight sections. It establishes the [[bicameral]] [[New Jersey Legislature]].
  
Article II lays out dates for elections of the [[Governor]], the Lieutenant Governor, and members of the New Jersey Legislature.<ref>{{wikicite|id= | reference= Article II, Section 1, Paragraphs 1 to 3}}</ref> It establishes the qualifications necessary for voting and states the right of suffrage may be removed from certain convicted criminals. The process of absentee balloting is instituted, as well as the structure of voting by people currently in military service. The New Jersey Redistricting Commission is established, and the distribution of selection of its 13 members is discussed, who are to represent the "geographic, ethnic and racial diversity" of the state.<ref>{{wikicite|id= | reference= Article II, Section 2}}</ref> The method of appointment of New Jersey Redistricting Commission members ensures the minority party which lost the general election prior to the census will have the upper hand in redistricting the state. Along with the other 12 appointed members, there is one "independent" member, who is to not have held office within the past five years. He is chosen by the other twelve members, yet is automatically the chairman of the Commission. On the occasion that the twelve members may not reach a decision, the Commission picks two (which assumes there are two dominant parties which have their favorites) and sends them to the New Jersey Supreme Court. A majority of the court (4 of 7) then picks the one that "by education and occupational experience, by prior public service in government or otherwise, and by demonstrated ability to represent the best interest of the people of this State."
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==[[Article V, New Jersey Constitution|Article V: Executive]]==
  
==="Distribution of the Powers of Government"===
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Article V of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Executive" and consists of four sections. It enacts the executive branch (constitutionally, only the office of [[governor]]). It also creates the layout for terms of office, the succession of future governors and the process of gubernatorial elections. The executive and administrative offices, departments, and instrumentalities of the state government are placed under the supervision of the Governor. The Governor has the ability to appoint the [[Secretary of State]] and the [[Attorney General]] with the consent of the [[New Jersey Senate]], though he also can appoint the Lieutenant Governor to serve as Secretary of State without consent of the Senate.
  
:: ''See also: [[Article III, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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==[[Article VI, New Jersey Constitution|Article VI: Judicial]]==
  
The sole content of Article III is the statement regarding separation of powers. The three branches, executive, judicial, and legislative are created and defined. No individual can be affiliated with more than one unless the Constitution explicitly allows it.<ref>{{wikicite |id= | reference= Article III}}</ref> Before the constitution was amended, a vacancy in the [[Governor]] of [[New Jersey]] would be filled by the president of the New Jersey Senate, who would retain their Senate seat). This Article is nearly direct from the United States Constitution.
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Article VI of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Judicial" and consists of eight sections. It creates the Judicial branch and permits the establishment, alteration and abolishment of any court other than the Supreme Court. The positions in the Supreme Court are described, as well as its ultimate and final authority following the Constitution.  
  
==="Legislative"===
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==[[Article VII, New Jersey Constitution|Article VII: Public Officers and Employees]]==
  
:: ''See also: [[Article IV, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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Article VII of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Public Officers and Employees" and consists of three sections. It involves public officers and employees, including roles, appointment and nomination, compensation, promotions, affirmations and powers.
  
Article IV establishes the bicameral New Jersey Legislature, composed of 40 in the Senate and 80 in the General Assembly, and their apportionment amongst the state.<ref>{{wikicite|id= | reference= Article IV, Section 2}}</ref> The Apportionment Commission is created within the Legislature to modify the proration of legislative districts on a rolling basis, following every United States Census.  It also creates the requirements for office, and the roles of the Senate and General Assembly. This includes the judging of elections, the selection of officers, a journal of proceedings, and the inability to adjourn for a period of greater than three days without the consent of the other house. This article also allows the Legislature to appoint commissions, committees, and other bodies to help perform the functions of the Legislature. Regulations regarding members of the Legislature, including singularity of employment. This is the law that no senator or member of the General Assembly can hold any other Federal or State position, and also cannot be a judge. Further topics are discussed, including bills, agencies, subdivisions, and emergencies. A negative enumeration of legislative powers is included within the article. Among this list of powers denied are granting divorces, gambling (with obvious exceptions), and passing omnibusacts.<ref>{{wikicite|id= | reference= Article IV, Section 7}}</ref> Although the phrase ''omnibus acts'' is never formally used in this document, the actual wording skirts around the phrase:
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==[[Article VIII, New Jersey Constitution|Article VIII: Taxation and Finance]]==
  
''''...to avoid improper influences which may result from intermixing in one and the same act such things as have no proper relation to each other... ''''
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Article VIII of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Taxation and Finance" and consists of five sections. It establishes the act of taxation.  
  
Finally, an oath/affirmation is included that is required by members and officers of the Legislature before the person enters upon his/her duties.
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==[[Article IX, New Jersey Constitution|Article IX: Amendments]]==
  
==="Executive"===
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Article IX of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Amendments" and details the amendment process to the constitution. A potential amendment is submitted through the [[New Jersey Senate|Senate]] or [[New Jersey General Assembly|General Assembly]]. The amendment is then voted upon by the both houses. If it gathers at least three-fifths of the houses' vote, the amendment can then be submitted to the people of New Jersey to vote. If a majority votes for the amendment, the amendment is passed on the thirtieth day after the vote.
  
:: ''See also: [[Article V, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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==[[Article X, New Jersey Constitution|Article X: General Provisions]]==
  
Article V enacts the executive branch (constitutionally, only the office of [[governor]].)<ref>{{wikicite|id= | reference= Article V, Section 1, Paragraph 1}}</ref> It also creates the layout for terms of office, the succession of future governors, and the process of gubernatorial elections. The Governor is given total authority over clemency except in cases of impeachment. This is to bar him from pardon in his own impeachment, or disturbing cases of treason. His clemency powers extend to the ability to suspend and remit fines and forfeitures. The system of granting parole is provided by law. The "militia" is created, or what is now the National Guard. Regulation regarding nominations and appointments of generals and flag offices is described. The executive and administrative offices, departments, and instrumentalities of the State government are placed under the supervision of the Governor. The Governor has the ability to appoint the [[Secretary of State]] and the [[Attorney General]] with the consent of the New Jersey Senate, though he also can appoint the Lieutenant Governor to serve as Secretary of State without consent of the Senate.<ref>{{wikicite | reference= Article IV, Section 4, Paragraph 3}}</ref> He can also start inquiries into the conduct of officers and employees.
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Article X of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "General Provisions" and contains miscellaneous items of the constitution. For example, this article includes the naming the official seal of the state (The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey). It also states that the constitution go into effect the first day of 1948.
  
==="Judicial"===
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==[[Article XI, New Jersey Constitution|Article XI: Schedule]]==
  
:: ''See also: [[Article VI, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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Article XI of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Schedule" and consists of seven sections. It is an enumerated list of amendments to the constitution in order of their addition. Sections I through IV, were adopted with the rest of the constitution. Essentially, this section of the article records the development of the constitution through amendments.
  
Article VI creates the Judicial branch, and permits the establishment, alteration, and abolishment of any court other than the Supreme.<ref> {{wikicite | reference=Article VI, Sections 1 and 2}}</ref> The positions in the Supreme Court are described, as well as its ultimate and final authority following the Constitution. The Superior Court is also enacted, along with the positions within, and the divisions of the court. The causes in which a case may be transferred to the Supreme Court are stated, as well as the causes a case in the Chancery or Law divisions may be carried to the Appellate division. The governor's right to appoint and nominate the judges of the Supreme Court, with the consent of the Senate and Associate Justices. He may also appoint and nominate, with the consent of the aforementioned authority figures, judges of the Inferior Courts whose jurisdiction is only within one municipality. The term of office of Justices and Judges, including their retirement ages and pensions, is stated. Impeachment of Justices and Judges is also legalized, and their inabiling of powers until acquitted.<ref> {{wikicite | reference=Article VI, Section 5, Paragraph 4}}</ref> During their term, the judges are restricted to one public office and may not practice law outside the federal government. The powers of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are enumerated. Terms specifying costs of the facilities and materials used by the Justice Department are listed.
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==Amending the constitution==
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:: ''See also: [[Article IX, New Jersey Constitution]] and [[Laws governing ballot measures in New Jersey]]''
  
==="Public Officers and Employees"===
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There is only one way to amend the New Jersey Constitution and that is through a {{lrcafull}}.  [[New Jersey]] is one of six states that has no provision for a [[constitutional convention]].
  
:: ''See also: [[Article VII, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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New Jersey has several unusual requirements for proposed amendments:
  
Article VII involves the public officers and employees, including appointment/nomination, compensation, promotions, affirmations, and powers. The role of officers in the state government is discussed. Before the officer enters the duties of office, the officer must subscribe an oath.<ref>{{wikicite | reference=Article VII, Section 1, Paragraph 1}}</ref> Appointments for officers are based upon merit, fitness, and examinations. Fees are paid to the New Jersey State Treasury. The term of office for an officer commences on the day of the date of their commissions. The Auditor, who has a term of five years, is to be appointed by the New Jersey Senate and New Jersey General Assembly. The rest of the section details the duties of the State Auditor and the nomination/appointment of county prosecutors, county clerks, surrogates, and sheriffs. County prosecutors are nominated and appointed by the Governor. The term of office for county clerks and surrogates is five years, and for sheriffs three years. Impeachment and the process by which impeachment occurs are discussed:<ref>{{wikicite | reference=Article VII, Section 3}}</ref>
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* It has an [[Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment#Either/or|either/or system]] for qualifying a proposed amendment for the ballot. A proposed amendment can be passed by simple majority in two separate legislative sessions, or by a 60% [[supermajority vote]] of one session. Connecticut and Hawaii have a similar "either/or" requirement, except that Connecticut requires a 75% supermajority and Hawaii requires a 2/3rds supermajority.
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* If a proposed amendment fails, it (or a similar but not identical amendment) can't go back on the ballot "before the third general election thereafter."
  
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New Jersey has several common requirements as well:
  
No state employee may be impeached until he/she has served in office for two years. Following that, the impeachment process is similar to that of the Federal level: an absolute majority in the [[lower house]] (the General Assembly) against the employee causes a trial to take place in the upper house (the State Senate) with the Chief Justice presiding. Unlike the Federal process, the oath necessary to participate in the impeachment sessions is specified and requires the senators to "truly and impartially" address the charge as a reminder that they are exercising more judicial functions. ⅔ of the votes, or 27 votes, are needed to convict, but the President of the Senate is excluded from the trial, so the required percentage is slightly higher than ⅔ of 40.<ref>{{wikicite | reference=Article VII, Section 3, Paragraph 2}}</ref> The maximum penalty is removal from office with disqualification to hold further state office. However, the impeachment doesn't count towards the restriction on double jeopardy; after being convicted by the senate, a person could then be tried by the judiciary and punished further.<ref>{{wikicite| reference=Article VII, Section 3, Paragraph 3}}</ref> If this crime was listed according to Article II, Section I, Item 7, the offender can be disenfranchised.
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* Proposed amendments must adhere to the [[single-subject rule]].
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* Once on the ballot, a simple majority of voters must approve a measure for it to go in the constitution.
  
==="Taxation and Finance"===
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==History==
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==Previous versions==
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Today, the New Jersey Constitution is revered and serves as a model for other states to follow.<ref>[http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2841&context=wmlr Bebout, John E., and Joseph Harrison. "The Working of the New Jersey Constitution of 1947" in the ''William and Mary Law Review'' Volume 10, Issue 2: Article 4]</ref> However, this was not always the case. It would take New Jersey three times to get its constitution just right: New Jersey's first constitution was written in 1776, that document was revised in 1844 and then finally rewritten in 1947.
  
:: ''See also: [[Article VIII, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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According to Robert F. Williams, author of ''The New Jersey State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', among other books, New Jersey’s first constitution was written hastily and adopted on July 2, 1776 during the Revolutionary War. While the document would last 68 years, it was highly criticized by those in and out of New Jersey. In 1844, the New Jersey Legislature called for a constitutional convention to address the criticism and revise the state’s constitution. In an article for ''New Jersey Lawyer Magazine'', Williams states that among the changes made in New Jersey’s 1844 constitution were the addition of a separate Bill of Rights and the elimination of property requirements for white males to vote. In addition, changes were made to the office of governor. The governor would now be elected directly by the people of the state. The governor would also have more power and a longer term but still could not succeed himself in office.<ref name="nj pdf"/>
  
In Article VIII, taxation is created. It states the Legislature's duty to create laws "to provide the value of land" and the uniformity of these rules.<ref>{{wikicite|reference=Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 1, (b)}}</ref> Taxing of lands of agriculture is discussed, as well as taxation regulations regarding the re-use of agricultural land for different purposes. Tax exemption is legalized,<ref>{{wikicite|reference=Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 2}}</ref> including the continued tax exemptions carried over from the previous constitution. Alteration or repeal of tax exemption is allowed, provided that the real or personal property is not used for "religious, educational, charitable or cemetery purposes, as defined by law, and owned by any corporation or association organized and conducted exclusively for one or more of such purposes and not operating for profit." Tax exemptions regarding the honorably discharged and exemptions for senior citizens who live in apartments and may/may not be disabled are discussed. Pensions, disability, and retirement programs for federal railroad workers, or any state employees are described. Surviving spouses of deceased citizens, besides exceptions, are entitled to tax deductions. This article also restricts any citizen from receiving more than one tax deduction. The Legislature's right to instantiating a homestead statue is discussed.<ref>{{wikicite|reference=Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 5}}</ref> General laws enacted by legislature which permit municipalities to grant tax exemptions on buildings in blighted urban areas are legalized, with exceptions relating to the deduction's permanence. Income taxes are banned<ref>{{wikicite|reference=Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 7}}</ref> unless the revenue is placed into a specific perpetual fund, or if the taxer is receiving payments from the Federal Railroad Retirement Act, or similar.
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Eighty-one delegates convened at the Rutgers University Gym in New Brunswick on June 12, 1947, with a deadline of September 12, 1947, to come up with a new constitution for New Jersey. Then Governor Driscoll reportedly gave the delegates a short speech on their first day, advising them to “write a constitution that would be brief, that would stick to general principles and not repeat the mistakes of the 1844 constitution.” Among other things, the 1947 constitution  expanded the Bill of Rights to
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include equal rights for women and  also included an anti-discrimination provision. In addition, the new constitution strengthened the office of the governor, putting all executive agencies under its control and permitting the governor to be re-elected. Previously, the governor could only serve one four-year term.<ref name="nj pdf">[https://www.njsbf.org/images/content/1/1/11068/Constitutionally%20NJ.pdf ''NJSBF.org'', "Constitutionally New Jersey," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref>
  
The credit of the state is barred from being publicly or privately loaned.<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 1}}</ref> Any fiscal year plan which creates more than one percent debt and/or liabilities is banned.<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 2}}</ref> The voting on such plans in public elections is banned, as well as the creation of debt or liabilities "for purposes of war, or to repel invasion, or to suppress insurrection or to meet an emergency caused by disaster or act of God." Taxation of motor vehicle fuel, and the funds the moneys are deposited in are discussed; the appropriation of moneys from the Sales and Use Tax Act]are defined. A council of local mandates is created, and regulation regarding the appointment of the members for this body. Some moneys from the Corporate Business Tax Act  are directed to the General Fund. The appropriation of moneys to the remediation of hazardous discharges and buildings that hold hazardous substances or public water supplies are discussed. A General Fund is created, as well as the distribution of moneys into and from it. The "clearance, replanning, development or redevelopment of blighted areas" is made a public and state duty.<ref>{{wikicite|id= |reference=Article VIII, Section 3, Paragraph 1}}</ref> The redevelopment of any of these properties is permitted to be completed by municipal, public, or private corporations. The continuing of appropriation of moneys to the corporation that completes the redevelopment after its completion is banned. A free public school system is created, as well as a busing system.<ref>{{wikicite|reference=Article VIII, Section IV}}</ref> The appropriation of moneys into the public school system fund is legalized. The lands that are tidal or were within forty years ago are protected from riparian claims.
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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]]
  
==="Amendments"===
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==External links==
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{{submit a link}}
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* [http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/lawsconstitution/constitution.asp ''New Jersey State Legislature'', "New Jersey State Constitution"]
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* [http://www.nj.gov/state/archives/docconst47.html ''The State of New Jersey'', "New Jersey Constitution of 1947']
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* [http://www.nj.gov/state/archives/docconst44.html ''The State of New Jersey'', "New Jersey Constitution of 1844"]
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* [http://www.state.nj.us/njfacts/njdoc10.htm  ''The State of New Jersey'', "New Jersey Constitution of 1776"]
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* [http://law.njstatelib.org/new_jersey_legal_resources/constitutions ''New Jersey State Library'', "New Jersey Constitutions"]
  
:: ''See also: [[Article IX, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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==Additional reading==
 
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* [http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2841&context=wmlr Bebout, John E., and Joseph Harrison. "The Working of the New Jersey Constitution of 1947" in the ''William and Mary Law Review'' Volume 10, Issue 2: Article 4]
Article IX involves amendments to the New Jersey state constitution. A potential amendment is submitted through the Senate or General Assembly.<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=Article IX, Section 1, Paragraphs 1 and 2}}</ref> The amendment is voted upon by the houses. If it gathers at least three-fifths of the house's vote, the amendment is to be submitted to be voted upon by the people of New Jersey. If a majority votes for the amendment, the amendment is passed on the thirtieth day after the vote.
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* [http://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-new-jersey-state-constitution-9780199778270?cc=us&lang=en& Williams, Robert F. (2012). ''The New Jersey State Constitution'', New York, New York: Oxford University Press]
 
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* [http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Jersey-State-Constitution/dp/0813524997 Williams, Robert F. (1997). ''The New Jersey State Constitution'', New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press]
It also explains how the amendments are submitted to the people, i.e., all amendments are to be voted upon separately.<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=Article IX, Section 1, Paragraphs 4 and 5}}</ref>
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==="General Provisions"===
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:: ''See also: [[Article X, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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Article X contains involves miscellaneous final addenda, termed as "General Provisions." Mainly, the giving of the name of the official seal of the state (The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey) and its custodian (The Governor) are discussed, but it doesn't specify its design or mention the flag. The article continues about the salutation and protocol in creating letters of grants and commissions,<ref>{{wikicite|reference=Article X (no existing section, as it is missing)}}</ref> the requirement that criminal indictments be "against the peace of this State, the government and dignity of the same, technicality notice that generic words derived from "person" and pronouns be construed to mean females as well,<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=Article X, Section 1, Paragraph 4}}</ref> and finally states that the constitution goes into effect the first day of 1948.
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==="Schedule"===
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:: ''See also: [[Article XI, New Jersey Constitution]]''
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Article XI, the schedule, is the list of amendments to the Constitution in order of their addition. Sections I through IV, were adopted with the rest of the constitution. They lay out the process of supersession. The others were adopted as individual amendments.<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=See references (1).}}</ref> The Article orders the Legislature to pass all laws necessary for the activation of the new constitution.<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=Article X, Section 1, Paragraph 2}}</ref> Existing instruments of government, contracts, officers, and judgments are continued unless they are expired, superseded, altered, or repealed. This is to prevent application as an ''ex post facto'' law or violation of the Contract Clause, both prohibited by the United States Constitution. The new legislature members are elected, and the process of election, term, and rotation are created.  The members may be appointed to offices of government, likely new ones created at the behest of Article XI, Section I, Paragraph 2.
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The remaining sections are the amendments. For reasons unknown, this constitution has never been directly updated since its adoption. The amendments are enumerated in this Article. Essentially, this section of the article records the development of the constitution through amendments. Such amendments include the abolishment of the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals and Chancery,<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=Article X, Section 4, Paragraph 3}}</ref> transferring the cases before them and offices under the other courts, such as the New Jersey Supreme Court.
+
 
+
The requirement of the Federal Supreme Court that the apportionment of all state legislatures be by population is stated. It mainly consists of an interim list of districts and the number of Senators they can elect until the next United States Census comes around and is received by the Governor. It also contains provisions for apportioning ten districts of the [[lower house]]. If it is deadlocked, the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court will appoint an 11th and then the vote is by absolute majority. It was passed on election day, 1966, but was first applied on January 17, 2006. This was superseded in 1995 by Article II, Section II.  It took effect on December 7, 1978. Section 7, the final section of this constitution, was passed in a referendum on November 8, 2005, and takes full effect at noon, January 19, 2010, following the transfer of power to the next executive.
+
 
+
==Criticisms==
+
The New Jersey State Constitution has been criticized, mainly for its succession plan.  As seen during the time following Jim McGreevey's resignation, New Jersey has an unclear executive succession plan. Senate President Richard Codey assumed command, and since he legally held both positions, he had the most power of any governor in the country. The problem lays in the state constitution and an amendment passed to removed the possibility of Executive and Legislative conflation.<ref>{{cite web| title=New Jersey succession plan concentrates power| url=http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=136&languageId=1&contentId=15746|last = Murphy|first = Kathleen|date=23|month=August|year=2004|accessdate=2006-11-14}}</ref> The New Jersey constitution has also been criticized for allowing for a very powerful executive branch.<ref name="ahc">{{cite web|title=Alaska's Heralded Constitution|url= http://www.alaska.edu/creatingalaska/StatehoodFiles/articles/hellenthalarticle.xml|last=Hellenthal|first=John S.|accessdate = 2006-11-14|year=1958}}</ref> It has also been critiqued for the way it is structured.  Paragraphs traditionally in Article I, e.g., the banning of ex post facto laws, are in Article IV "Legislative."<ref>{{wikicite|id=|reference=See notes (2).}}</ref>
+
 
+
==External links==
+
{{wikipedia}}
+
* [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/New_Jersey_Constitution_of_1776  New Jersey Constitution of 1776]
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* [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/New_Jersey_Constitution_of_1844 New Jersey Constitution of 1844]
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* [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/New_Jersey_Constitution_of_1947 New Jersey Constitution of 1947]
+
* [http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/lawsconstitution/constitution.asp Current Constitution on the State Legislature's site]
+
* [http://law-library.rutgers.edu/ilg/njlaw.php Historical versions of the NJ Constitution, and Proceedings of the 1947 NJ Constitutional Convention]
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* [http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/ New Jersey State Treasury]
+
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
'''(1)''' ''Article XI, Section V, paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4 added effective December 8, 1966. This section is a complete add-on. Article XI, Section VI, added effective December 7, 1978. The constitution states that they are adding a whole section more clearly here. Article XI, Section VII added effective January 17, 2006. Again, this one is clearly written so the reader knows the amendment was for a whole section.''
 
 
'''(2)''' ''The law banning the passage of ex post facto laws is listed in Article IV, Section VII, Paragraph 2.''
 
 
* 1. Number obtained through http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/lawsconstitution/constitution.asp. The number was determined with the Microsoft Word "Word Count" option.
 
* 2. Levenson, Sanford. Responding to Imperfection. Princeton University Press, pp.247. 0691025703.
 
* 3. Avalon Project. [http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/nj08.htm Province of West New-Jersey, in America, The 25th of the Ninth Month Called November]. Yale Law School. Retrieved on 2006-12-17.
 
* 4. Avalon Project. [http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/states/nj10.htm The Fundamental Constitutions for the Province of East New Jersey in America, Anno Domini 1683]. Yale Law School. Retrieved on 2006-12-17.
 
* 5.  [http://www.state.nj.us/njfacts/njdoc10.htm The New Jersey Constitution of 1776]. Retrieved on 2006-12-17.
 
* 6.  [http://www.state.nj.us/hangout_nj/government.html State Government - State Constitution]. Retrieved on 2006-11-14.
 
* 7.  Williams, Robert F. and Tarr, G. Alan. [http://www.camlaw.rutgers.edu/statecon/njtaxconvpapers/report4.pdf The New Jersey State Constitution and Taxing, Spending, and Borrowing (pdf)]. Retrieved on 2006-11-14.
 
* 8. Preamble
 
* 9. Article I, Section 1; first entry, Paragraph 6; second entry, Paragraph 9; third entry, Paragraphs 3 and 4
 
* 10. Article I, Section 1, Paragraph 22
 
* 11. Article II, Section 1, Paragraphs 1 to 3
 
* 12. Article II, Section 2
 
* 13. Article III
 
* 14. Article IV, Section 2
 
* 15. Article IV, Section 7
 
* 16. Article V, Section 1, Paragraph 1
 
* 17. Article IV, Section 4, Paragraph 3
 
* 18. Article VI, Sections 1 and 2
 
* 19. Article VI, Section 5, Paragraph 4
 
* 20. Article VII, Section 1, Paragraph 1
 
* 21. Article VII, Section 3
 
* 22. Article VII, Section 3, Paragraph 2
 
* 23. Article VII, Section 3, Paragraph 3
 
* 24. Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 1, (b)
 
* 25. Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 2
 
* 26. Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 5
 
* 27. Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 7
 
* 28. Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 1
 
* 29. Article VIII, Section 1, Paragraph 2
 
* 30. Article VIII, Section 3, Paragraph 1
 
* 31. Article VIII, Section IV
 
* 32. Article IX, Section 1, Paragraphs 1 and 2
 
* 33. Article IX, Section 1, Paragraphs 4 and 5
 
* 34. Article X (no existing section, as it is missing)
 
* 35. Article X, Section 1, Paragraph 4
 
* 36. See references (1).
 
* 37. Article X, Section 1, Paragraph 2
 
* 38. Article X, Section 4, Paragraph 3
 
* 39.  Murphy, Kathleen (23). [http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=136&languageId=1&contentId=15746 New Jersey succession plan concentrates power]. Retrieved on 2006-11-14.
 
* 40. a b Hellenthal, John S. (1958). [http://www.alaska.edu/creatingalaska/StatehoodFiles/articles/hellenthalarticle.xml Alaska's Heralded Constitution]. Retrieved on 2006-11-14.
 
* 41. See notes (2).
 
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
  

Revision as of 09:16, 4 April 2014

New Jersey Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXI
The Constitution of the State of New Jersey is the basic governing document of the state of New Jersey.

Features

The New Jersey Constitution reinforces the basic rights found in the United States Constitution but also contains several unique provisions, such as regulations governing the operation of casinos. At 26,159 words, the document is slightly shorter than the average American state constitution (about 28,300 words).[1]

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to New Jersey Constitution states:

We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution.[2]

Article I: Rights and Privileges

Article I of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Rights and Privileges" and consists of a single section with 22 paragraphs. It establishes the rights and freedoms inherent people and relevant operation of the government. The rights discussed in this article largely mirror the United States Constitution. Such rights include freedom of speech, a speedy and public trial and religious freedom. Article I also contains a Victims' Bill of Rights.

Article II: Elections and Suffrage

Article II of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Elections and Suffrage" and consists of two sections. It details the dates for elections of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and members of the New Jersey Legislature. It establishes the qualifications necessary for voting and states that the right of suffrage may be removed from certain convicted criminals.

Article III: Distribution of the Powers of Government

Article III of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Distribution of the Powers of Government" and consists of one section. It details the policy of separation of powers. The three branches, executive, judicial and legislative, are created and defined.

Article IV: Legislative

Article IV of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Legislative" and consists of eight sections. It establishes the bicameral New Jersey Legislature.

Article V: Executive

Article V of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Executive" and consists of four sections. It enacts the executive branch (constitutionally, only the office of governor). It also creates the layout for terms of office, the succession of future governors and the process of gubernatorial elections. The executive and administrative offices, departments, and instrumentalities of the state government are placed under the supervision of the Governor. The Governor has the ability to appoint the Secretary of State and the Attorney General with the consent of the New Jersey Senate, though he also can appoint the Lieutenant Governor to serve as Secretary of State without consent of the Senate.

Article VI: Judicial

Article VI of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Judicial" and consists of eight sections. It creates the Judicial branch and permits the establishment, alteration and abolishment of any court other than the Supreme Court. The positions in the Supreme Court are described, as well as its ultimate and final authority following the Constitution.

Article VII: Public Officers and Employees

Article VII of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Public Officers and Employees" and consists of three sections. It involves public officers and employees, including roles, appointment and nomination, compensation, promotions, affirmations and powers.

Article VIII: Taxation and Finance

Article VIII of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Taxation and Finance" and consists of five sections. It establishes the act of taxation.

Article IX: Amendments

Article IX of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Amendments" and details the amendment process to the constitution. A potential amendment is submitted through the Senate or General Assembly. The amendment is then voted upon by the both houses. If it gathers at least three-fifths of the houses' vote, the amendment can then be submitted to the people of New Jersey to vote. If a majority votes for the amendment, the amendment is passed on the thirtieth day after the vote.

Article X: General Provisions

Article X of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "General Provisions" and contains miscellaneous items of the constitution. For example, this article includes the naming the official seal of the state (The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey). It also states that the constitution go into effect the first day of 1948.

Article XI: Schedule

Article XI of the New Jersey Constitution is entitled "Schedule" and consists of seven sections. It is an enumerated list of amendments to the constitution in order of their addition. Sections I through IV, were adopted with the rest of the constitution. Essentially, this section of the article records the development of the constitution through amendments.

Amending the constitution

See also: Article IX, New Jersey Constitution and Laws governing ballot measures in New Jersey

There is only one way to amend the New Jersey Constitution and that is through a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. New Jersey is one of six states that has no provision for a constitutional convention.

New Jersey has several unusual requirements for proposed amendments:

  • It has an either/or system for qualifying a proposed amendment for the ballot. A proposed amendment can be passed by simple majority in two separate legislative sessions, or by a 60% supermajority vote of one session. Connecticut and Hawaii have a similar "either/or" requirement, except that Connecticut requires a 75% supermajority and Hawaii requires a 2/3rds supermajority.
  • If a proposed amendment fails, it (or a similar but not identical amendment) can't go back on the ballot "before the third general election thereafter."

New Jersey has several common requirements as well:

  • Proposed amendments must adhere to the single-subject rule.
  • Once on the ballot, a simple majority of voters must approve a measure for it to go in the constitution.

History

Previous versions

Today, the New Jersey Constitution is revered and serves as a model for other states to follow.[3] However, this was not always the case. It would take New Jersey three times to get its constitution just right: New Jersey's first constitution was written in 1776, that document was revised in 1844 and then finally rewritten in 1947.

According to Robert F. Williams, author of The New Jersey State Constitution: A Reference Guide, among other books, New Jersey’s first constitution was written hastily and adopted on July 2, 1776 during the Revolutionary War. While the document would last 68 years, it was highly criticized by those in and out of New Jersey. In 1844, the New Jersey Legislature called for a constitutional convention to address the criticism and revise the state’s constitution. In an article for New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, Williams states that among the changes made in New Jersey’s 1844 constitution were the addition of a separate Bill of Rights and the elimination of property requirements for white males to vote. In addition, changes were made to the office of governor. The governor would now be elected directly by the people of the state. The governor would also have more power and a longer term but still could not succeed himself in office.[4]

Eighty-one delegates convened at the Rutgers University Gym in New Brunswick on June 12, 1947, with a deadline of September 12, 1947, to come up with a new constitution for New Jersey. Then Governor Driscoll reportedly gave the delegates a short speech on their first day, advising them to “write a constitution that would be brief, that would stick to general principles and not repeat the mistakes of the 1844 constitution.” Among other things, the 1947 constitution expanded the Bill of Rights to include equal rights for women and also included an anti-discrimination provision. In addition, the new constitution strengthened the office of the governor, putting all executive agencies under its control and permitting the governor to be re-elected. Previously, the governor could only serve one four-year term.[4]

See also

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External links

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Suggest a link

Additional reading

References