New Mexico Constitution

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New Mexico Constitution
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The Constitution of the State of New Mexico is a state constitution and the document governing the political framework of New Mexico. Article II contains a bill of rights. It was adopted in a constitutional convention on November 21, 1910, ratified by vote of the People November 5, 1911, and became effective upon admission to the union on January 6, 1912.


See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble of the New Mexico Constitution is:

"We, the people of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty, in order to secure the advantages of a state government, do ordain and establish this constitution."


The New Mexico Constitution contains a preamble followed by 24 sections:

  1. Name and Boundaries
  2. Bill of Rights
  3. Distribution of Powers
  4. Legislative Department
  5. Executive Department
  6. Judicial Department
  7. Elective Franchise
  8. Taxation and Revenue
  9. State, County and Municipal Indebtedness
  10. County and Municipal Corporations
  11. Corporations Other than Municipal
  12. Education
  13. Public Lands
  14. Public Institutions
  15. Agriculture and Conservation
  16. Irrigation and Water Rights
  17. Mines and Mining
  18. Militia
  19. Amendments
  20. Miscellaneous
  21. Compact with the United States
  22. Schedule
  23. Intoxicating Liquors
  24. Leases on State Land

Amending the constitution

See also: Article XIX, New Mexico Constitution

The New Mexico Constitution can be amended through a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment or through a constitutional convention.

Rules regarding legislatively-referred constitutional amendments are:

  • They can be proposed in either house of the New Mexico State Legislature.
  • If a majority of all members elected to each of the two houses voting separately votes in favor thereof, the proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their respective journals with the yeas and nays thereon.
  • An amendment or amendments may also be proposed by an independent commission established by law for that purpose, and the amendment or amendments shall be submitted to the legislature for its review in accordance with the provisions of this section.
  • Notification that a proposed amendment will be on the ballot must be published in each county in the state and in both English and Spanish when newspapers in both languages are published in a particular county.
  • When the state legislature votes to put a proposed amendment on the ballot, it is allowed to call a special election for that purpose.
  • A simple majority vote of the statewide electorate is required to ratify an amendment.

There is an unusual subject-matter restriction on the right of the state legislature to propose an amendment:

  • Amendments proposed by the legislature cannot "restrict the rights created by Section 1 or Section 3 of Article VII or Section 8 and Section 10 of Article XII "unless it be proposed by vote of three-fourths of the members elected to each house and be ratified by a vote of the people of this state in an election at which at least three-fourths of the electors voting on the amendment vote in favor of that amendment."

The New Mexico State Legislature can put a constitutional convention question on the statewide ballot by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house.

Finally, although the New Mexico Constitution does not allow for initiated constitutional amendments, it contains a provision that pre-emptively limits what such amendments could do, if the citizens of the state ever were accorded that right, saying "If this constitution be in any way so amended as to allow laws to be enacted by direct vote of the electors the laws which may be so enacted shall be only such as might be enacted by the legislature under the provisions of this constitution."

External links


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