FACTOID # 6: Michigan is ranked 22nd in land area, but since 41.27% of the state is composed of water, it jumps to 11th place in total area.
 
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Encyclopedia > Arkansas Constitution

The Arkansas Constitution is the governing document of the U.S. state of Arkansas. It was first adopted in 1874, shortly after the Brooks-Baxter War; these two events together marked the end of Reconstruction in Arkansas, two years before the disputed 1876 presidential election ended it completely. A U.S. state is any one of the fifty states (four of which officially favor the term commonwealth) which, with the District of Columbia, forms the United States of America. ... Official language(s) English Capital Little Rock Largest city Little Rock Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 29th 137,732 km² 385 km 420 km 2. ... The Brooks-Baxter War was an 1874 political struggle between factions of the Republican Party in the State of Arkansas that turned into an armed conflict. ... It has been suggested that Radical Reconstruction be merged into this article or section. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ...


Controversy

Section one of Article 19 of the Arkansas Constitution effectively establishes a religious test that most constitutional lawyers believe to be unconstitutional under the United States Constitution. This section states: The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


Sec. 1. Atheists disqualified from holding office or testifying as witness.


No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.


It is commonly believed that Article Six of the United States Constitution 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." It has not been challenged, though. Article Six establishes the United States Constitution and the laws and treaties of the United States made in accordance with it as the supreme law of the land, and fulfills other purposes. ...


Unique provisions

Though right to work laws are common in southern states, Arkansas' right-to-work provision is Constitutionally guaranteed. ...


The Constitution also contains several archaic provisions concerning appropriations that have led to absurd results:

  • It takes a three-fourths majority of the legislature to pass almost any appropriations bill; nearly all of the exceptions to this rule have been defeated by time, inflation, or exceedingly narrow judicial interpretation.
  • A "general appropriations bill" for funding constitutional offices must be passed each session before any other appropriations bill.
  • Then, a separate appropriations bill is required for each individual agency; thus hundreds of separate bills are required to pass appropriations for state agencies.

The most extreme example of this was in 1989, when the general appropriations bill failed to gain a three-fourths majority, but was declared passed under an exception for "just debts of the state". The Arkansas Supreme Court disagreed and declared every single appropriations bill of that session unconstitutional; this meant the legislature had to return in special session to reenact them.


Ironically, though, appropriations are not really the state budget in Arkansas; that is enacted near the end of the session, when the Revenue Stabilization Law, which provides the mechanism for distributing the state's revenue (even general revenues), is amended to reflect the actual budget. Any appropriation that isn't funded by the Revenue Stabilization Law is essentially null and void.


External links

  • Arkansas Constitution provided by Arkansas Legislature
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Encyclopedia4U - Arkansas - Encyclopedia Article (483 words)
Arkansas was a slave state that was admitted as a pair with Michigan in 1837.
Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861 during the American Civil War and was later readmitted after Reconstruction.
Arkansas shares its southern border with Louisiana, its northern border with Missouri and Tennessee, and its western border with Texas and Oklahoma.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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