|Preamble • I • II • III • IV • V • VI • VII • VIIA • VIIB • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII • XIIA • XIII • XIIIA • XIIIB • XIV • XV • XVI • XVII • XVIII • XIX • XX • XXI • XXII • XXIII • XXIV • XXV • XXVI • XXVIII • XXIX • Schedule|
- 1 Features
- 2 Preamble
- 3 Article I: Federal Relations
- 4 Article II: Bill of Rights
- 5 Article III: Suffrage
- 6 Article IV: Separation of Powers
- 7 Article V: Legislative power
- 8 Article VI: Executive power
- 9 Article VII: Judicial power
- 10 Article VIII: Impeachment
- 11 Article VIV: Corporations
- 12 Article X: Taxes and Revenue in General
- 13 Article XI: State and School Lands
- 14 Article XII: Homestead and Exemptions
- 15 Article XIII: Education
- 16 Article XIV: Banks and Banking
- 17 Article XV: Oath of Office
- 18 Article XVI: Public Roads
- 19 Article XVII: Counties
- 20 Article XVIII: Municipal Corporations
- 21 Article XIX: Insurance
- 22 Article XX: Manufacture and Commerce
- 23 Article XXI: Public Institutions
- 24 Article XXII: Alien and Corporate Ownership of Lands
- 25 Article XXIII: Miscellaneous
- 26 Article XXIV: Constitutional Amendments
- 27 Article XXV: Social Security
- 28 Article XXVI: Department of Wildlife Conservation
- 29 Article XXVII: Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
- 30 Article XXVIII: Alcoholic Beverage Laws And Enforcement
- 31 Article XXIX: Ethics Commission
- 32 Section Attestations
- 33 Amending the constitution
- 34 History
- 35 See also
- 36 External links
- 37 Additional reading
- 38 References
The preamble of the Oklahoma Constitution states:
Article I of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Federal Regulations" and consists of seven sections. Article I establishes how the state of Oklahoma is to relate to the United States federal government, stating that the U.S. Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. By this article, religious freedom is established, polygamy is forbidden, the debts of Oklahoma Territory are acquired by the State of Oklahoma, public school are established to be taught only in English and that suffrage shall never be revoked due to “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Bill of Rights" and consists of 38 sections. Article II enumerates the rights of all citizens of the State of Oklahoma. These include that all political power derives from the people, the inherent rights “to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry,” the right to peaceful assembly, a ban on the interference with suffrage, the definition of treason, the right to trial by jury, that marriage in the State of Oklahoma is defined as being between a man and a woman, and many others.
Article III of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Suffrage" and consists of five sections. All peoples of the age of 18 are qualified electors in the state and a State Elector Board is established charged with the supervision of such elections as the Legislature shall direct. No elector in Oklahoma may vote in any election unless previously registered to do so with the state, and all elections must be “free and equal,” as no “power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage,” and “electors shall be privileged from arrest during their attendance on elections and while going to and from the same” except in cases of treason against the state.
Article IV of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Departments of Government - Separation and Distinction" and consists of one section.
Article IV established the Government of Oklahoma under the doctrine of separation of powers and reads:
|“||The powers of the government of the State of Oklahoma shall be divided into three separate departments: The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial; and except as provided in this Constitution, the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial departments of government shall be separate and distinct, and neither shall exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others.||”|
Article V of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of eleven parts. Article V establishes the legislative branch of government, which includes the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate. The Article establishes the manner of election and qualifications of members of each House. In addition, it provides for free debate in congress and limits self-serving behavior of congressmen, outlines legislative procedure and indicates the powers of the legislative branch.
Article VI of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Executive Department" and consists of twelve parts. Article VI describes the governorship: procedures for the selection of the governor, qualifications for office, the oath to be affirmed and the powers and duties of the office. It also provides for the office of Lieutenant Governor, and specifies that the Lieutenant Governor succeeds to the governorship if the Governor is incapacitated, dies, or resigns. Other executive offices and departments created in the article are the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the State Treasurer, the State Auditor and Inspector, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Insurance Commissioner, the Commissioner of Labor, the Department of Mines, the Board of Agriculture, and the Commissioners of the Land Office.
Article VII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Judicial Department" and consists of sixteen sections. Article VII describes the court system, including the Supreme Court. The article requires that there be one court called the Supreme Court; the Legislature, at its discretion, can create lower courts, whose judgments and orders are reviewable by the Supreme Court. However the Article dose created a few lower courts or provides for how such lower courts shall be organized. Article Seven also creates the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary (charged with reviewing Justices and Judges), designates how Justices and Judges are selected, and how and under what circumstances Justices and Judges are removed from office,
Article VIII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Impeachment And Removal From Office" and consists of six sections. Article VIII states that all state elected offices, including Supreme Court Justices, are subject to impeachment for willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, habitual drunkenness, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude committed while in office. The Oklahoma House of Representatives must bring the charges against the individual with the Oklahoma Senate serving as the Court on Impeachment, with the Chief Justice of Oklahoma serving as the court's judge. If charged with impeachment and found guilty, the official’s term is immediately suspended.
Article IX of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Corporations" and consists of six parts.
Article X of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Revenue And Taxation" and consists of two parts.
Article XI of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "State And School Lands" and consists of seven sections.
Article XII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Homestead and Exemptions" and consists of three sections.
Article XIII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Education" and consists of nine sections.
Article XIV of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Banks and Banking" and consists of three sections.
Article XV of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Oath of Office" and consists of two sections.
Article XVI of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Public Roads, Highways, and Internal Improvements" and consists of three sections.
Article XVII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Counties" and consists of eight sections.
Article XVIII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Municipal Corporations" and consists of 13 sections.
Article XIX of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Insurance" and consists of four sections.
Article XX of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Manufacture and Commerce" and consists of two sections.
Article XXI of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Public Institutions" and consists of one section.
Article XXII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Alien and Corporate Ownership of Lands" and consists of two sections.
Article XXIII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of 11 sections.
Article XXIV of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Constitutional Amendments" and consists of three sections.
Article XXV of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Social Security" and consists of five sections.
Article XXVI of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Department of Wildlife Constitution" and consists of four sections.
Article XXVII: Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
Article XXVIII of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Alcoholic Beverage Laws and Enforcement" and consists of 12 sections.
Article XXIX of the Oklahoma Constitution is entitled "Ethics Commission" and consists of seven sections. This final section of the Oklahoma Constitution deals with laws and other ordinances in place in the Territory of Oklahoma before its admission to the Union in 1907.
The Oklahoma Constitution ends with the officers and delegates to the Constitutional Convention signing the documents. It reads:
|“|| Done in open Convention at the City of Guthrie, in the Territory of Oklahoma, on this, the sixteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seven, and the Independence of the United States of America one hundred and thirty-first.
Territory of Oklahoma, Logan County:
Amending the constitution
The Oklahoma Constitution lays out three different paths, in two different articles, for how to go about changing the state's constitution.
- Signatures equalling 15% of "legal voters" must sign a petition to put a proposed amendment on the ballot. The number of "legal voters" is defined as based on "the total number of votes cast at the last general election for the State office receiving the highest number of votes at such election."
- Petitions that are circulated for this purpose must include "the full text of the measure so proposed."
- By a simple majority vote.
- If the legislature wants the proposed amendment to go on a special election ballot, it has to approve the amendment by a 2/3rds vote.
- Proposed amendments must observe the single-subject rule.
Section 2 of Article XXIV says that constitutional conventions can only be held if approved by a statewide vote. Section 2 also says a question about whether to hold a convention shall automatically appear on the state's ballot every 20 years. The section does not specify any way other than the every-20-years automatic referral, but is worded in such a way as to suggest that there could be other ways for a constitutional convention question to go on the ballot. Other ways could include the state legislature voting to put it there or citizens petitioning to put such a question on the ballot.
The land that today makes up Oklahoma was added to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Throughout the 19th century, the U.S. government relocated Native American tribes from the southeastern United States to this area, and by 1900, over 30 Indian tribes had been moved to what was originally called the Indian Territories. At the same time, ranchers in Texas began to move into the area in search of new pasture lands, and the government eventually opened the land to settlement, creating “land runs” in which settlers were allowed to cross the border at a particular hour to claim homesteads.
A constitutional convention drafted a constitution, drew up a plan of organization for the government, put together a map showing the counties to be established, and elected delegates to go to the United States Congress to petition for statehood. The convention's proposals were then put to a referendum in Indian Territory, in which they were overwhelmingly endorsed. Oklahoma became the 47th state on November 17, 1907, following several acts that incorporated more and more Indian tribal land into U.S. territory. After its inclusion in the union, Oklahoma became a center for oil production, with much of the state’s early growth coming from that industry. During the 1930s, Oklahoma suffered from droughts and high winds, destroying many farms and creating the infamous Dust Bowl of the Great Depression era.
At its ratification, the Oklahoma Constitution was the longest governing document of any government in the world. The constitution has been regularly amended, beginning with an amendment approved in the same election in which it was ratified. More than 150 constitutional amendments have been approved by Oklahoma voters.
- State constitution
- Constitutional article
- Constitutional amendment
- Constitutional revision
- Constitutional convention
- Oklahoma State Legislature, "Oklahoma Constitution"
- Oklahoma Historical Society, "Oklahoma Resources"
- Archives.org, "Oklahoma Statehood"
- Tulsa City-County Library, "Chronology of Oklahoma Events"
- Adkison, Danny M. (2011). The Oklahoma State Constitution, New York, New York: Oxford University Press
- Thoburn, Joseph Bradfield. (1916). A Standard History of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: American Historical Society
- Hill, Luther B. (1910). A History of the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Lewis Publishing Company
- Roberts, Charles Henry. (1914). The Essential Facts of Oklahoma History and Civics, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: B.H. Sanborn & Company
- Oklahoma State Legislature, "Oklahoma Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- History.com, "Oklahoma," accessed March 30, 2014
- Patriot Action Network, "Oklahoma," accessed March 30, 2014