Oregon Constitution

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Oregon Constitution
Flag of Oregon.png
Articles
PreambleIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXX-AXIXI-AXI-BXI-CXI-DXI-EXI-F(1)XI-F(2)XI-GXI-HXI-I(1)XI-I(2)XI-JXI-KXI-LXI-MXI-NXI-OXI-PXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIII
The Oregon Constitution is the basic governing document of the state of Oregon. It was ratified on November 9, 1857, and took effect when Oregon achieved statehood on February 14, 1859.

Features

The Oregon Constitution contains fundamental laws outlining principles by which Oregon is governed. It consists of a preamble and 18 articles.[1]

The right to free speech in Oregon is broader than that enjoyed at the federal level. Article I, Section 8 states:

No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be responsible for the abuse of this right.[1][2]

The Oregon Supreme Court has cited this right against parts of Oregon's disorderly conduct statute, against content-based restrictions on billboards and murals and against laws restricting the sale of pornography.

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the Oregon Constitution states:

We the people of the State of Oregon to the end that Justice be established, order maintained, and liberty perpetuated, do ordain this Constitution.[1]

Article I: Bill of Rights

Article I of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Bill of Rights" and consists of 46 sections.

Article II: Suffrage and Elections

Article II of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Suffrage and Elections" and consists of 22 sections.

Article III: Distribution of Powers

Article III of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Distribution of Powers" and consists of four sections.

Article IV: Legislative Department

Article IV of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of 33 sections.

Article V: Executive Department

Article V of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Executive Department" and consists of 18 sections.

Article VI: Administrative Department

Article VI of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Administrative Department" and consists of 11 sections.

Article VII: Judicial Department

Article VII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Judicial Department" and consists of 13 sections.

Article VIII: Education and School Lands

Article VIII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Education and School Lands" and consists of eight sections.

Article IX: Finance

Article IX of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Finance" and consists of 20 sections.

Article X: The Militia

Article X of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "The Militia" and consists of three sections.

Article XI: Corporations and Internal Improvements

Article XI of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Corporations and Internal Improvements" and consists of 20 sections.

Article XII: State Printing

Article XII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "State Printing" and consists of one sections.

Article XIII: Salaries

Article XIII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Salaries" and consists of one section, which was repealed.

Repealed in 1956.

Article XIV: Seat of Government

Article XIV of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Seat of Government" and consists of two sections.

Article XV: Miscellaneous

Article XV of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous" and consists of sixteen sections.

Article XVI: Boundaries

Article XVI of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Boundaries" and consists of one section.

Article XVII: Amendments and Revisions

Article XVII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Amendments and Revisions" and consists of two sections.

Article XVIII: Schedule

Article XVIII of the Oregon Constitution is entitled "Schedule" and consists of eleven sections.

Amending the constitution

See also: Section 1, Article IV, Oregon Constitution and Article XVII, Oregon Constitution

The Oregon Constitution lays out four different paths, in two different articles, for how to go about changing the state's constitution. The Oregon Constitution is explicit--unlike virtually any other state constitution--on the process for a constitutional revision, which is established in Section 2 of Article XVII.

The constitution also lays out three paths by which it may be amended.

1. Section 1, Article IV says that the people of the state can use the initiated constitutional amendment.

  • An initiated amendment must be proposed "only by a petition signed by a number of qualified voters equal to eight percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition."
  • The petition must include the full text of the proposed amendment.
  • The signatures must be filed "not less than four months before the election at which the proposed...amendment to the Constitution is to be voted upon."
  • Article IV contains several restrictions on the process such as Section 1b, which prohibits pay-per-signature.

2. Section 1 of Article XVIII creates the procedures by which the Oregon State Legislature can use the process of a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.

  • Amendments can be proposed in either house of the state legislature.
  • To earn a spot on the ballot, a "majority of all the members elected to each of the two houses" must vote in favor of a proposed amendment.
  • The legislature can, if it wishes, put any such referred amendments on a special election ballot.
  • "When two or more amendments shall be submitted in the manner aforesaid to the voters of this state at the same election, they shall be so submitted that each amendment shall be voted on separately."

3. Section 1 of Article XVIII also addresses how a constitutional convention can be held but only in the negative by saying "No convention shall be called to amend or propose amendments to this Constitution, or to propose a new Constitution, unless the law providing for such convention shall first be approved by the people on a referendum vote at a regular general election." What is left undefined is how the question of whether to hold a convention can come before the people in the first place: Can citizens petition under Article IV to put it on the ballot? Can the state legislature vote to put it on the ballot?

History

The Oregon Constitution was framed by a constitutional convention of 60 delegates chosen by the people. The convention met on the third Monday in August 1857 and adjourned on September 18 of the same year. On November 9, 1857, the constitution was approved by the vote of the people of Oregon Territory. The Act of Congress admitting Oregon into the Union was approved February 14, 1859, and on that date, the Oregon Constitution went into effect.[1]

See also

StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg

External links

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

Additional reading

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Oregon State Legislature, "Constitution of Oregon," accessed March 30, 2014
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.