Read the The Tuesday Count. New edition available now!

Difference between revisions of "Pennsylvania Constitution"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
m
m
Line 1: Line 1:
{{PAConstitution}}{{TOCnestright}}The current '''Constitution of Pennsylvania''', most recently revised in 1968, forms the law for the [[Pennsylvania|Commonwealth of Pennsylvania]]. Although considered a new document, it is heavily based on the previous Constitution of 1874, and is often considered a revision of the earlier version.  
+
{{PAConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''Constitution of Pennsylvania''' is the basic governing document of the [[Pennsylvania|Commonwealth of Pennsylvania]].  
  
The state constitution may only be amended after a majority vote of two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly and an affirmative vote by the electorate.  Emergency amendments are permitted by a vote of two-thirds of the General Assembly and an affirmative vote by the electorate within one month.
+
==Features==
 +
The Pennsylvania Constitution consists of a preamble followed by 11 articles and two schedules.
  
== History ==
+
==[[Preamble, Pennsylvania Constitution|Preamble]]==
Pennsylvania has had five constitutions during its statehood: 1776, 1790, 1838, 1874, and 1968. Prior to that, the province of Pennsylvania was governed for a century by a Frame of Government, of which there were four versions: 1682, 1683, 1696, and 1701.<ref>[http://www.jenkinslaw.org/collection/researchguides/publications/ann-constitutions.php 23 Pennsylvania Law Weekly 324 (March 27, 2000)]</ref>
+
  
==Articles==
+
: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
  
The Pennsylvania Constitution consists of a preamble followed by 11 articles and two schedules.
+
The preamble to the Pennsylvania Constitution states:
  
# [[Article I, Pennsylvania Constitution|Declaration of Rights]]
+
{| style="width:40%; background:#F2F2F2; margin-top:.1em; border:.5px solid #cccccc; solid;"
# [[Article II, Pennsylvania Constitution|The Legislature]]
+
|color:#000"|  
# [[Article III, Pennsylvania Constitution|Legislation]]
+
|-
# [[Article IV, Pennsylvania Constitution|The Executive]]
+
|  
# [[Article V, Pennsylvania Constitution|The Judiciary]]
+
| <center>''WE, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution.''<ref name="pa">[http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Constitution.html ''PA.gov'', "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref></center>
# [[Article VI, Pennsylvania Constitution|Public Officers]]
+
|}
# [[Article VII, Pennsylvania Constitution|Elections]]
+
# [[Article VIII, Pennsylvania Constitution|Taxation and Finance]]
+
# [[Article IX, Pennsylvania Constitution|Local Government]]
+
# [[Article X, Pennsylvania Constitution|Private Corporations]]
+
# [[Article XI, Pennsylvania Constitution|Amendments]]
+
  
== External links ==
+
==[[Article I, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article I: Declaration of Rights]]==
{{wikipedia}}
+
Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Declaration of Rights" and consists of 28 sections and a preamble.
* [http://www.paconstitution.duq.edu/PAC_C_CURRENT.html Current Pennsylvania Constitution from Duquesne University]
+
 
* [http://www.jenkinslaw.org/collection/researchguides/publications/ann-constitutions.php Pennsylvania's Constitutions and the Amendment Process - Where it Began, Where it is Now]
+
==[[Article II, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article II: The Legislature]]==
 +
Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "The Legislature" and consists of 17 sections.
 +
 
 +
==[[Article III, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article III: Legislation]]==
 +
Article III of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Legislation" and consists of 32 sections.
 +
 
 +
==[[Article IV, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article IV: The Executive]]==
 +
Article IV of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "The Executive" and consists of 19 sections.
 +
 
 +
==[[Article V, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article V: The Judiciary]]==
 +
Article V of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "The Judiciary."
 +
 
 +
==[[Article VI, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article VI: Public Officers]]==
 +
Article VI of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Public Officers" and consists of seven sections.
 +
 
 +
==[[Article VII, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article VII: Elections]]==
 +
Article VII of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Elections" and consists of 14 sections.
 +
 
 +
==[[Article VIII, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article VIII: Taxation and Finance]]==
 +
Article VIII of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Taxation and Finance" and consists of 17 sections.
 +
 
 +
==[[Article IX, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article IX: Local Government]]==
 +
Article IX of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Local Government" and consists of 14 sections.
 +
 
 +
==[[Article X, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article X: Private Corporations]]==
 +
Article X of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Private Corporations" and consists of four sections.
 +
 
 +
==[[Article XI, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article XI: Amendments]]==
 +
Article XI of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled Amendments and consists of a single section.
 +
 
 +
==Amending the constitution==
 +
 
 +
:: ''See also: [[Article XI, Pennsylvania Constitution]] and [[Laws governing ballot measures in Pennsylvania]]''
 +
 
 +
The [[Pennsylvania Constitution]] is only explicit about one way to change it; namely, the process of a {{lrcafull}}.  The constitution does not lay out the rules for how a [[constitutional convention]] can be called but, nevertheless, the state has held five such conventions, mostly recently in 1968 when the current constitution was adopted.<ref name=livak>[http://www.jenkinslaw.org/collection/researchguides/publications/ann-constitutions.php 23 Pennsylvania Law Weekly 324 (March 27, 2000)]</ref>
 +
 
 +
The rules governing {{lrcafull}}s are in [[Article XI, Pennsylvania Constitution|Article XI]], which has only one section.  Features of Article XI are:
 +
 
 +
* Either chamber of the [[Pennsylvania General Assembly]] can propose amendments.
 +
* If a simple majority of both chambers approves of a proposed amendment, that amendment must be "published three months before the next general election, in at least two newspapers in every county in which such newspapers shall be published."
 +
* In the next session of the legislature, the amendment must be considered again.  If it is approved a second time by a simple majority of both houses, the amendment goes on a statewide ballot.  This can be at any election date as determined by the state legislature.
 +
* ."..no amendment or amendments shall be submitted oftener than once in five years."
 +
* Separate amendments must be voted on separately.
 +
 
 +
Pennsylvania also has a unique requirement for those times when the state legislature believes that a "major emergency threatens or is about to threaten the Commonwealth."  If this happens, the proposed emergency amendment can be approved to go on a statewide ballot by 2/3rds of the members of each legislature.  Election officials must promptly publish a notice of an election on the amendment "in at least two newspapers in every county" and the election can occur quickly but "at least one month after being agreed to by both Houses."
 +
 
 +
Also, ."..when two or more emergency amendments are submitted they shall be voted on separately."
 +
 
 +
Regarding [[constitutional convention]]s, the state legislature appears to take as a matter of tradition, rather than explicit constitutional direction, that it can vote to put a constitutional convention question on the ballot.  For example, Ann Livak writes in "Pennsylvania's Constitutions and the Amendment Process - Where it Began, Where it is Now" that ."..in 1961, the Committee for State Constitutional Revision led by Milton J. Shapp got underway and in 1963 forced the legislature to call for a referendum on a constitutional convention....The 1967 legislature gave priority to constitutional revision and passed a convention enabling bill as well as the amendments awaiting second passage."  (This suggests that the legislature voted only once to put the convention question on the ballot.)<ref name=livak/>
 +
 
 +
==History==
 +
 
 +
Pennsylvania has had five constitutions during its statehood: 1776, 1790, 1838, 1874, and 1968.<ref name="jenk">[http://www.jenkinslaw.org/collection/researchguides/publications/ann-constitutions.php ''Jenkins Law.org'', "Pennsylvania Historical Constitutions and the Amendment Process," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref> Prior to that, the province of Pennsylvania was governed for a century by a Frame of Government, of which there were four versions: 1682, 1683, 1696, and 1701.<ref name="jenk"/>
 +
 
 +
Although the 1968 Constitution is the most recent version and considered a new document, it is heavily based on the previous Constitution of 1874 and is often considered a revision of the earlier version.<ref name="jenk"/>
 +
 
 +
==See also==
 +
[[File:StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg|right|175px]]
 +
* [[State constitution]]
 +
* [[Constitutional article]]
 +
* [[Constitutional amendment]]
 +
* [[Constitutional revision]]
 +
* [[Constitutional convention]]
 +
* [[Amendment|Amendments]]
 +
** [[Initiated constitutional amendment]]
 +
** [[Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment]]
 +
** [[Publication requirements for proposed state constitutional amendments]]
 +
** [[Rules about constitutional conventions in state constitutions]]
 +
** [[State constitutional articles governing state legislatures]]
 +
 
 +
==External links==
 +
{{submit a link}}
 +
* [http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Constitution.html ''PA.go'', "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania"]
 +
* [http://www.jenkinslaw.org/collection/researchguides/publications/ann-constitutions.php ''Jenkins Law.org'', "Pennsylvania Historical Constitutions and the Amendment Process"]
 +
* [http://explorepahistory.com/story.php?storyId=1-9-16&chapter=1 ''Explore PA History.com'', "Pennsylvania and the New Nation"
 +
* [http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pennsylvania-ratifies-the-constitution ''History.com'', " Dec 12, 1787: Pennsylvania ratifies the Constitution"]
 +
 
 +
==Additional reading==
 +
*[http://books.google.com/books/about/An_Historical_Review_of_the_Constitution.html?id=uTAmAAAAMAAJ Franklin, Benjamin, and Richard Jackson. (1759). ''An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania'', London, England: Paternofter-Row]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
 +
 
{{Pennsylvania Constitution}}
 
{{Pennsylvania Constitution}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{Pennsylvania}}
 
{{Pennsylvania}}

Revision as of 17:30, 4 April 2014

Pennsylvania Constitution
Seal of Pennsylvania.svg.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXISchedule 1Schedule 2
The Constitution of Pennsylvania is the basic governing document of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Features

The Pennsylvania Constitution consists of a preamble followed by 11 articles and two schedules.

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the Pennsylvania Constitution states:

WE, the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance, do ordain and establish this Constitution.[1]

Article I: Declaration of Rights

Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Declaration of Rights" and consists of 28 sections and a preamble.

Article II: The Legislature

Article II of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "The Legislature" and consists of 17 sections.

Article III: Legislation

Article III of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Legislation" and consists of 32 sections.

Article IV: The Executive

Article IV of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "The Executive" and consists of 19 sections.

Article V: The Judiciary

Article V of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "The Judiciary."

Article VI: Public Officers

Article VI of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Public Officers" and consists of seven sections.

Article VII: Elections

Article VII of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Elections" and consists of 14 sections.

Article VIII: Taxation and Finance

Article VIII of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Taxation and Finance" and consists of 17 sections.

Article IX: Local Government

Article IX of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Local Government" and consists of 14 sections.

Article X: Private Corporations

Article X of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled "Private Corporations" and consists of four sections.

Article XI: Amendments

Article XI of the Pennsylvania Constitution is entitled Amendments and consists of a single section.

Amending the constitution

See also: Article XI, Pennsylvania Constitution and Laws governing ballot measures in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Constitution is only explicit about one way to change it; namely, the process of a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The constitution does not lay out the rules for how a constitutional convention can be called but, nevertheless, the state has held five such conventions, mostly recently in 1968 when the current constitution was adopted.[2]

The rules governing legislatively-referred constitutional amendments are in Article XI, which has only one section. Features of Article XI are:

  • Either chamber of the Pennsylvania General Assembly can propose amendments.
  • If a simple majority of both chambers approves of a proposed amendment, that amendment must be "published three months before the next general election, in at least two newspapers in every county in which such newspapers shall be published."
  • In the next session of the legislature, the amendment must be considered again. If it is approved a second time by a simple majority of both houses, the amendment goes on a statewide ballot. This can be at any election date as determined by the state legislature.
  • ."..no amendment or amendments shall be submitted oftener than once in five years."
  • Separate amendments must be voted on separately.

Pennsylvania also has a unique requirement for those times when the state legislature believes that a "major emergency threatens or is about to threaten the Commonwealth." If this happens, the proposed emergency amendment can be approved to go on a statewide ballot by 2/3rds of the members of each legislature. Election officials must promptly publish a notice of an election on the amendment "in at least two newspapers in every county" and the election can occur quickly but "at least one month after being agreed to by both Houses."

Also, ."..when two or more emergency amendments are submitted they shall be voted on separately."

Regarding constitutional conventions, the state legislature appears to take as a matter of tradition, rather than explicit constitutional direction, that it can vote to put a constitutional convention question on the ballot. For example, Ann Livak writes in "Pennsylvania's Constitutions and the Amendment Process - Where it Began, Where it is Now" that ."..in 1961, the Committee for State Constitutional Revision led by Milton J. Shapp got underway and in 1963 forced the legislature to call for a referendum on a constitutional convention....The 1967 legislature gave priority to constitutional revision and passed a convention enabling bill as well as the amendments awaiting second passage." (This suggests that the legislature voted only once to put the convention question on the ballot.)[2]

History

Pennsylvania has had five constitutions during its statehood: 1776, 1790, 1838, 1874, and 1968.[3] Prior to that, the province of Pennsylvania was governed for a century by a Frame of Government, of which there were four versions: 1682, 1683, 1696, and 1701.[3]

Although the 1968 Constitution is the most recent version and considered a new document, it is heavily based on the previous Constitution of 1874 and is often considered a revision of the earlier version.[3]

See also

StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg

External links

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

Additional reading

References