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{{SCConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''South Carolina Constitution''' is the governing document of [[South Carolina]]. It describes the structure and function of the state's government. The current state constitution was adopted in 1895. South Carolina has had six other constitutions, which were adopted in 1776, 1778, 1790, 1861, 1865 and 1868.
+
{{SCConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''South Carolina Constitution''' is the governing document of the state of [[South Carolina]].  
  
==History==
+
==Features==
Unhappy with post-Civil War changes written into the 1868 state constitution, Gov. Ben Tillman called for a convention that passed the 1895 constitution.
+
The South Carolina Constitution describes the structure and function of the state's government. It consists of a preamble followed by 17 sections.<ref name="sc">[http://www.scstatehouse.gov/scconstitution/scconst.php ''South Carolina State House'', "South Carolina Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref>
  
The 1868 constitution was modeled after that of Ohio, according to a 1977 article written by Clemson political scientist Harold E. Albert.<ref>[http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ncr.4100661004/abstract/ Home Rule and a New Constitution, National Civic Review, Harold E. Albert, November 1977]</ref> "It has been described as one of the most progressive, most democratic constitutions South Carolina ever had," Albert wrote. "Certainly this was true as far as counties and municipalities were concerned. Local governments were granted power to govern."
+
===Religious test===
 +
Two sections of the South Carolina Constitution effectively establish a ''religious test''.  This may be in conflict with [[Article VI, United States Constitution|Article Six of the United States Constitution]], which bans such qualifications when it states, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."<ref>[http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html ''Archives.gov'', "United States Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref> These sections are:
  
This disappeared with the 1895 constitution, according to Albert. "The 1895 constitution changed this drastically and made local governments virtually wards of the state. Local governments, and especially county government, became almost totally a function of the General Assembly, and remained so until the reapportionment decisions of the 1960s began to force changes in the legislatures composition which foreshadowed greater home rule for local governments."
+
* [[Article VI, South Carolina Constitution#Section 2|Section 2 of Article VI of the South Carolina Constitution]] states "No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution."<ref name="sc"/>
  
==Notoriety==
+
* [[Article XVII, South Carolina Constitution#Section 4|Section 4 of Article XVII of the South Carolina Constitution]] states, "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution."<ref name="sc"/>
Among other things, the 1895 constitution sought to keep blacks from casting ballots though complicated voting procedures, poll taxes and literacy tests, according to a Dec. 14, 2001, article by ''The Associated Press''.
+
  
Tillman helped craft the 1895 state Constitution to make it unlikely that a black person would become South Carolina's chief executive.<ref>[http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheGoodFight/archives/2010/01/30/voter-id-gop-voting-bill-revives-ghost-of-sc-past/ Matthews: GOP voting bill revives ghost of S.C. past, The State, Jan. 27, 2010]</ref> If by chance a black person did become governor, they would be ineffective because Tillman and others had stripped the position of virtually all power and gave it to the Legislature.<ref>[http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheGoodFight/archives/2010/01/30/voter-id-gop-voting-bill-revives-ghost-of-sc-past/ Matthews: GOP voting bill revives ghost of S.C. past, The State, Jan. 27, 2010]</ref>
+
Similarly, the [[Tennessee Constitution|Tennessee State Constitution]] contains this clause with like minded wording in [[Article IX, Tennessee Constitution#Section 2|Section 2 of Article 9 of the Tennessee Constitution]].
  
The constitution also banned interracial marriages, including a section that read: "The marriage of a white person with a Negro or mulatto, or person who shall have one-eighth or more of Negro blood, shall be unlawful and void." That provision wasn't deleted until 1999, according to an article by the Charleston ''Post & Courier'' in February 1999.
+
===Unusual provisions===
 +
* [[Article IV, South Carolina Constitution|Article IV, Section 2 (Qualifications of Governor)]] states the following: "No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor who denies the existence of the Supreme Being."<ref name="sc"/> This provision is not enforced in modern times as the current precedent holds that the First Amendment's Establishment Clause is binding on the states per the 14th Amendment's liberty clause.
  
The 1895 constitution mandated state control of alcohol traffic.<ref>[http://www.jstor.org/pss/27527896/ The South Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1895, ''Sewanee Review'', 1896]</ref>
+
*A [[constitutional amendment]] must be approved by two-thirds of each house of the legislature. After house approval, it must be approved by the people in an election. After popular approval, it must then be ratified by a majority of each house of the legislature. If the legislature fails to ratify, then the amendment does not take effect, even though it has been approved by the people. ''([[Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution|Section 1, Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution]])''
  
It also provided for each county to elect one senator for a four-year term. The election of senators was staggered so that half of the state Senate was elected every two years. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1964 for the case ''Reynolds v. Sims,'' the state Senate was reapportioned in 1966 as a temporary measure into 27 districts with 50 members for two-year terms. In 1967, the state Senate was again reapportioned, this time into 20 districts with 46 members for four-year terms. The number of districts was reduced to 16 in 1972 and in 1984, they were eliminated with the creation of single-member districts.
+
*[[Article XVII, South Carolina Constitution|Section 3, Article XVII, South Carolina Constitution]] prohibited divorce for any reason. On April 15, 1949, it was revised to permit divorce but only for certain reasons. The South Carolina Constitution is the only state in which the grounds for divorce are written into the constitution. The legislature is thus prohibited from creating additional grounds for divorce except by [[constitutional amendment]].
  
Conversely, the constitution proved a landmark in education in South Carolina. It decentralized education, providing for the local election of a county superintendent of schools and a county board of education charged with conducting examinations for the teachers it hired, the ''Augusta Chronicle'' reported in April 1999. The county board also was empowered to draw school districts no smaller than nine square miles and no larger than 49. However, its provisions did not always result in equal education for black students, the ''Chronicle'' added.
+
===Criticism===
 +
John L.S. Simpkins, an associate professor at the Charleston School of Law, asserts that the [[South Carolina General Assembly]] has "outsized influence" in the state's governmental structure due to its sweeping constitutional authority. When one considers that key decisions such as judicial merit selection are made by the legislative body, which means that there is no balance of powers in South Carolina. "The General Assembly reigns supreme because that is the way the constitution intends it to be," Simpkins said.<ref>[http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20090621/ARCHIVES/306219980 ''The Post and Courier'', "Legislative session shows the need to restructure," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref>
  
==Criticism==
+
==[[Preamble, South Carolina Constitution|Preamble]]==
John L.S. Simpkins, an associate professor at the Charleston School of Law, asserts that the S.C. General Assembly has "outsized influence" in the state's governmental structure due to its sweeping constitutional authority. When one considers that key decisions such as judicial merit selection are made by the legislative body, it means that there is no balance of powers in South Carolina. "The General Assembly reigns supreme because that is the way the constitution intends it to be," Simpkins said.<ref>[http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewnewspaged/articleid/3276640/pageid/1/ S.C. Governmental Powers Out of Balance, Rock Hill Herald, June 21, 2009]</ref>
+
: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
  
==Articles==
+
The preamble to the South Carolina Constitution states:
  
The South Carolina Constitution consists of a preamble followed by 17 sections.
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{| style="width:40%; background:#F2F2F2; margin-top:.1em; border:.5px solid #cccccc; solid;"
 +
|color:#000"|
 +
|-
 +
|
 +
| <center>''We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the preservation and perpetuation of the same.''<ref name="sc"/></center>
 +
|}
  
# [[Article I, South Carolina Constitution|Declaration of Rights]]
+
==[[Article I, South Carolina Constitution|Article I: Declaration of Rights]]==
# [[Article II, South Carolina Constitution|Right of Suffrage]]
+
Article I of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Declaration of Rights" and consists of 24 sections.
# [[Article III, South Carolina Constitution|Legislative Department]]
+
# [[Article IV, South Carolina Constitution|Executive Department]]
+
# [[Article V, South Carolina Constitution|Judicial Department]]
+
# [[Article VI, South Carolina Constitution|Officers]]
+
# [[Article VII, South Carolina Constitution|Counties and County Government]]
+
# [[Article VIII, South Carolina Constitution|Local Government]]
+
# [[Article VIII-A, South Carolina Constitution|Alcohol, Liquor and Beverages]]
+
# [[Article IX, South Carolina Constitution|Corporations]]
+
# [[Article X, South Carolina Constitution|Finance, Taxation and Bonded Debt]]
+
# [[Article XI, South Carolina Constitution|Public Education]]
+
# [[Article XII, South Carolina Constitution|Functions of Government]]
+
# [[Article XIII, South Carolina Constitution|Militia]]
+
# [[Article XIV, South Carolina Constitution|Eminent Domain]]
+
# [[Article XV, South Carolina Constitution|Impeachment]]
+
# [[Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution|Amendment and Revision of the Constitution]]
+
# [[Article XVII, South Carolina Constitution|Miscellaneous Matters]]
+
  
== Religious test ==
+
==[[Article II, South Carolina Constitution|Article II: Right of Suffrage]]==
Two sections of the South Carolina Constitution effectively establish a ''religious test''This may be in conflict with Article Six of the United States Constitution which bans such qualifications when it states, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." These sections are:
+
Article II of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Right of Suffrage" and consists of eleven sections.
 +
   
 +
==[[Article III, South Carolina Constitution|Article III: Legislative Department]]==
 +
Article III of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of 37 sections.
  
* [[Article VI, South Carolina Constitution#Section 2|Section 2 of Article VI]] says "No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.'
+
==[[Article IV, South Carolina Constitution|Article IV: Executive Department]]==
 +
Article IV of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Executive Department" and consists of 21 sections.  
  
* [[Article XVII, South Carolina Constitution#Section 4|Section 4 of Article XVII]] says, "No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution."
+
==[[Article V, South Carolina Constitution|Article V: Judicial Department]]==
 +
Article V of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Judicial Department" and consists of 27 articles.
  
The [[Tennessee Constitution|Tennessee State Constitution]] contains this clause in very similar wording in [[Article IX, Tennessee Constitution#Section 2|Section 2 of Article 9]].
+
==[[Article VI, South Carolina Constitution|Article VI: Officers]]==
 +
Article VI of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Officers" and consists of nine sections.  
  
==Amending the constitution==
+
==[[Article VII, South Carolina Constitution|Article VII: Counties and County Government]]==
 +
Article VII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Counties and County Government" and consists of 15 sections.
  
 +
==[[Article VIII, South Carolina Constitution|Article VIII: Local Government]]==
 +
Article VIII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Local Government" and consists of 18 sections.
 +
 +
==[[Article VIII-A, South Carolina Constitution|Article VIII-A: Alcoholic Liquors and Beverages]]==
 +
Article VIII-A of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Alcoholic Liquors and Beverages" and consists of only one section.
 +
 +
==[[Article IX, South Carolina Constitution|Article IX: Corporations]]==
 +
Article IX of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Corporations" and consists of two sections.
 +
 +
==[[Article X, South Carolina Constitution|Article X: Finance, Taxation and Bonded Debt]]==
 +
Article X of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Finance, Taxation and Bonded Debt" and consists of 16 sections.
 +
 +
==[[Article XI, South Carolina Constitution|Article XI: Public Education]]==
 +
Article XI of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Public Education" and consists of four sections.
 +
 +
==[[Article XII, South Carolina Constitution|Article XII: Functions of Government]]==
 +
Article XII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Functions of Government" and consists of nine sections, five of which are reserved.
 +
 +
==[[Article XIII, South Carolina Constitution|Article XIII: Militia]]==
 +
Article XIII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Militia" and consists of five sections.
 +
 +
==[[Article XIV, South Carolina Constitution|Article XIV: Eminent Domain]]==
 +
Article XIV of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Eminent Domain" and consists of five sections.
 +
 +
==[[Article XV, South Carolina Constitution|Article XV: Impeachment]]==
 +
Article XV of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Impeachment" and consists of three sections.
 +
 +
==[[Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution|Article XVI: Amendment and Revision of the Constitution]]==
 +
Article XVI of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Amendment and Revision of the Constitution" and consists of three sections.
 +
 +
==[[Article XVII, South Carolina Constitution|Article XVII: Miscellaneous Matters]]==
 +
Article XVII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous Matters" and consists of 18 sections.
 +
 +
==Amending the constitution==
 
:: ''See also: [[Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution]], [[Amending state constitutions]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution]], [[Amending state constitutions]]''
  
Line 75: Line 107:
 
* ."..such Convention shall consist of a number of members equal to that of the most numerous branch of the General Assembly."
 
* ."..such Convention shall consist of a number of members equal to that of the most numerous branch of the General Assembly."
  
==Unusual provisions==
+
==History==
*Article IV, Section 2 (Qualifications of Governor) states the following: "No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor who denies the existence of the Supreme Being." This provision isn't enforced in modern times as the current precedent holds that the First Amendment's Establishment Clause is binding on the states per the 14th Amendment's liberty clause.
+
The current state constitution was adopted in 1895. South Carolina has had six other constitutions, which were adopted in 1776, 1778, 1790, 1861, 1865 and 1868.
  
*A constitutional amendment must be approved by two-thirds of each house of the legislature, then it must be approved by the people in an election, and then ratified by a majority of each house of the legislature. If the legislature fails to ratify then the amendment does not take effect, even though it has been approved by the people. See S.C. Const. art. XVI, s. 1.
+
Unhappy with post-Civil War changes written into the 1868 state constitution, South Carolina Governor Ben Tillman called for a convention that passed the 1895 constitution.
  
*Article XVII, Section 3 of the Constitution prohibited divorce for any reason. On April 15, 1949, it was revised to permit divorce, but only for certain reasons. It is believed that South Carolina is the only state in which the grounds for divorce are written into the constitution. The legislature is thus prohibited from creating additional grounds for divorce except by constitutional amendment.
+
The 1868 constitution was modeled after that of Ohio, according to a 1977 article written by Clemson political scientist Harold E. Albert.<ref name="al">[http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ncr.4100661004/abstract/ Albert, Harold E. "Home Rule and a New Constitution," ''National Civic Review'', November 1977]</ref> "It has been described as one of the most progressive, most democratic constitutions South Carolina ever had," Albert wrote. "Certainly this was true as far as counties and municipalities were concerned. Local governments were granted power to govern."<ref name="al"/>
  
==References==
+
This disappeared with the 1895 constitution, according to Albert. "The 1895 constitution changed this drastically and made local governments virtually wards of the state. Local governments, and especially county government, became almost totally a function of the General Assembly, and remained so until the reapportionment decisions of the 1960s began to force changes in the legislatures composition which foreshadowed greater home rule for local governments."<ref name="al"/> Among other things, the 1895 constitution sought to keep African American from casting ballots through complicated voting procedures, poll taxes and literacy tests.<ref>[http://www.ipspr.sc.edu/grs/SCCEP/Articles/governor.htm ''The South Carolina Governance Project'', "The Governor: Powers, Practices, Roles and the South Carolina Experience," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref> The [http://historyengine.richmond.edu/episodes/view/363 1895 constitution] also banned interracial marriages, including a section that read: "The marriage of a white person with a Negro or mulatto, or person who shall have one-eighth or more of Negro blood, shall be unlawful and void." Moreover, the 1895 constitution mandated state control of alcohol traffic.
{{reflist|2}}
+
  
== External links ==
+
==See also==
{{wikipedia}}
+
[[File:StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg|right|175px]]
* [http://www.scstatehouse.net/scconstitution/scconst.htm/ Full Text of the South Carolina Constitution.]
+
* [[State constitution]]
* [http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheGoodFight/archives/2010/01/30/voter-id-gop-voting-bill-revives-ghost-of-sc-past/ Matthews: GOP voting bill revives ghost of S.C. past, ''The State,'' Jan. 27, 2010]
+
* [[Constitutional article]]
* [http://www.jstor.org/pss/27527896/ The South Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1895, Sewanee Review, 1896]
+
* [[Constitutional amendment]]
* [http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewnewspaged/articleid/3276640/pageid/1/ S.C. Governmental Powers Out of Balance, ''Rock Hill Herald,'' June 21, 2009]
+
* [[Constitutional revision]]
* With Race and Politics, ''The Associated Press,'' Dec. 14, 2001
+
* [[Constitutional convention]]
* State Slow to Embrace Free Public Education, ''Augusta Chronicle,'' April 28, 1999
+
* [[Amendment|Amendments]]
* Marriage Bill's Obsolete Language Struck, Charleston ''Post & Courier,'' Feb. 5, 1999
+
** [[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://www.scstatehouse.gov/scconstitution/scconst.php ''South Carolina State House'', "South Carolina Constitution"]
 +
* [http://www.sciway.net/hist/documents.html ''Sciway'', "South Carolina – Historical Documents'']
 +
* [http://www.ipspr.sc.edu/grs/SCCEP/Articles/governor.htm ''The South Carolina Governance Project'', "The Governor: Powers, Practices, Roles and the South Carolina Experience"]
 +
* [http://historyengine.richmond.edu/episodes/view/363 ''History Engine'', "The South Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1895"]
 +
* [http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/twiki/pub/AmLegalHist/TheEstablishedChurchInSouthCarolina/S.C._Constitution_of_1790.pdf Constitution of South Carolina 1790]
 +
* [http://www.teachingushistory.org/ttrove/1868Constitution.htm Constitution of South Carolina 1868]
 +
* [http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/south-carolina-approves-new-constitution ''History.com'', "March 26, 1776: South Carolina approves new constitution"]
 +
 
 +
==Additional reading==
 +
* [http://www.amazon.com/Carolina-Constitution-Oxford-Commentaries-Constitutions/dp/0199778302 Graham, Cole Blease. (2011). ''The South Carolina State Constitution'', New York, New York: Oxford University Press]
 +
 
 +
==References==
 +
{{reflist}}
  
 
{{South Carolina Constitution}}
 
{{South Carolina Constitution}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{South Carolina}}
 
{{South Carolina}}

Revision as of 18:14, 4 April 2014

South Carolina Constitution
Flag of South Carolina.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIVIII-AIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVII
The South Carolina Constitution is the governing document of the state of South Carolina.

Features

The South Carolina Constitution describes the structure and function of the state's government. It consists of a preamble followed by 17 sections.[1]

Religious test

Two sections of the South Carolina Constitution effectively establish a religious test. This may be in conflict with Article Six of the United States Constitution, which bans such qualifications when it states, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."[2] These sections are:

Similarly, the Tennessee State Constitution contains this clause with like minded wording in Section 2 of Article 9 of the Tennessee Constitution.

Unusual provisions

  • Article IV, Section 2 (Qualifications of Governor) states the following: "No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor who denies the existence of the Supreme Being."[1] This provision is not enforced in modern times as the current precedent holds that the First Amendment's Establishment Clause is binding on the states per the 14th Amendment's liberty clause.
  • A constitutional amendment must be approved by two-thirds of each house of the legislature. After house approval, it must be approved by the people in an election. After popular approval, it must then be ratified by a majority of each house of the legislature. If the legislature fails to ratify, then the amendment does not take effect, even though it has been approved by the people. (Section 1, Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution)
  • Section 3, Article XVII, South Carolina Constitution prohibited divorce for any reason. On April 15, 1949, it was revised to permit divorce but only for certain reasons. The South Carolina Constitution is the only state in which the grounds for divorce are written into the constitution. The legislature is thus prohibited from creating additional grounds for divorce except by constitutional amendment.

Criticism

John L.S. Simpkins, an associate professor at the Charleston School of Law, asserts that the South Carolina General Assembly has "outsized influence" in the state's governmental structure due to its sweeping constitutional authority. When one considers that key decisions such as judicial merit selection are made by the legislative body, which means that there is no balance of powers in South Carolina. "The General Assembly reigns supreme because that is the way the constitution intends it to be," Simpkins said.[3]

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble to the South Carolina Constitution states:

We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the preservation and perpetuation of the same.[1]

Article I: Declaration of Rights

Article I of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Declaration of Rights" and consists of 24 sections.

Article II: Right of Suffrage

Article II of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Right of Suffrage" and consists of eleven sections.

Article III: Legislative Department

Article III of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Legislative Department" and consists of 37 sections.

Article IV: Executive Department

Article IV of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Executive Department" and consists of 21 sections.

Article V: Judicial Department

Article V of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Judicial Department" and consists of 27 articles.

Article VI: Officers

Article VI of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Officers" and consists of nine sections.

Article VII: Counties and County Government

Article VII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Counties and County Government" and consists of 15 sections.

Article VIII: Local Government

Article VIII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Local Government" and consists of 18 sections.

Article VIII-A: Alcoholic Liquors and Beverages

Article VIII-A of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Alcoholic Liquors and Beverages" and consists of only one section.

Article IX: Corporations

Article IX of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Corporations" and consists of two sections.

Article X: Finance, Taxation and Bonded Debt

Article X of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Finance, Taxation and Bonded Debt" and consists of 16 sections.

Article XI: Public Education

Article XI of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Public Education" and consists of four sections.

Article XII: Functions of Government

Article XII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Functions of Government" and consists of nine sections, five of which are reserved.

Article XIII: Militia

Article XIII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Militia" and consists of five sections.

Article XIV: Eminent Domain

Article XIV of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Eminent Domain" and consists of five sections.

Article XV: Impeachment

Article XV of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Impeachment" and consists of three sections.

Article XVI: Amendment and Revision of the Constitution

Article XVI of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Amendment and Revision of the Constitution" and consists of three sections.

Article XVII: Miscellaneous Matters

Article XVII of the South Carolina Constitution is entitled "Miscellaneous Matters" and consists of 18 sections.

Amending the constitution

See also: Article XVI, South Carolina Constitution, Amending state constitutions

There are two paths to amending the South Carolina Constitution: legislatively-referred constitutional amendments and constitutional conventions.

The rules governing legislatively-referred constitutional amendments are:

  • Amendments can be proposed in either chamber of the South Carolina State Legislature.
  • If "two-thirds of the members elected to each House" vote in favor, the amendment goes on the next general election ballot.
  • If a simple majority of those voting on the amendment approve it, the amendment then goes back to the state legislature.
  • "A majority of each branch of the next General Assembly, after the election and before another" must ratify the amendment.
  • If there is more than one proposed amendment on a ballot, the amendments must be separated so voters can vote on them separately.

The rules governing constitutional conventions are:

  • "Two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the General Assembly" must vote in favor of putting a question about whether to hold a convention on a statewide ballot.
  • A simple majority vote of the state's electors is sufficient to bring about a convention.
  • ."..such Convention shall consist of a number of members equal to that of the most numerous branch of the General Assembly."

History

The current state constitution was adopted in 1895. South Carolina has had six other constitutions, which were adopted in 1776, 1778, 1790, 1861, 1865 and 1868.

Unhappy with post-Civil War changes written into the 1868 state constitution, South Carolina Governor Ben Tillman called for a convention that passed the 1895 constitution.

The 1868 constitution was modeled after that of Ohio, according to a 1977 article written by Clemson political scientist Harold E. Albert.[4] "It has been described as one of the most progressive, most democratic constitutions South Carolina ever had," Albert wrote. "Certainly this was true as far as counties and municipalities were concerned. Local governments were granted power to govern."[4]

This disappeared with the 1895 constitution, according to Albert. "The 1895 constitution changed this drastically and made local governments virtually wards of the state. Local governments, and especially county government, became almost totally a function of the General Assembly, and remained so until the reapportionment decisions of the 1960s began to force changes in the legislatures composition which foreshadowed greater home rule for local governments."[4] Among other things, the 1895 constitution sought to keep African American from casting ballots through complicated voting procedures, poll taxes and literacy tests.[5] The 1895 constitution also banned interracial marriages, including a section that read: "The marriage of a white person with a Negro or mulatto, or person who shall have one-eighth or more of Negro blood, shall be unlawful and void." Moreover, the 1895 constitution mandated state control of alcohol traffic.

See also

StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg

External links

BP-Initials-UPDATED.png
Suggest a link

Additional reading

References