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Encyclopedia > North Carolina Constitution

The North Carolina Constitution governs the structure and function of the North Carolina state government. The constitution is the highest legal document for the state of North Carolina and subjugates North Carolina law. Like all state constitutions in the United States, this constitution is subject to federal judicial review. Any provision of the state constitution can be nullified if it conflict with federal law and the United States Constitution. State nickname: Tar Heel State; Old North State Official languages English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Governor Michael Easley (D) Senators Elizabeth Dole (R) Richard Burr (R) Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 28th 139,509 km² 9. ... Law (a loanword from Old Norse lagu), in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, intended to provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide punishments of/for those who... The U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1789 by a constitutional convention, sets down the basic framework of American government in its seven articles. ... Judicial review is the power of a court to review a law or an official act of a government employee or agent for constitutionality or for the violation of basic principles of justice. ... Federal law is the body of law created by the federal government of a nation. ... The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


The first North Carolina Constitution was created in 1776 after the American Declaration of Independence. Since the first state constitution, there have been two major revisions and many amendments. The current form was ratified in 1971 and has 14 articles. This article is about the year 1776. ... U.S. Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence is a document in which the Thirteen Colonies declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained their justifications for doing so. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) is a common year starting on Friday (click for link to calendar). ...

Contents


History

Through its history, North Carolina has had three Constitutions: the Constitution of 1776, the Constitution of 1868, and the Constitution of 1971.


Constitution of 1776

Text of the 1776 Constitution


The Fifth Provincial Congress ratified the first constitution on December, 1776. This draft was not submitted to a vote of the people, but was accompanied by a Declaration of Rights. Although the constitution affirmed the separation of power between the three branches of government, the General Assembly held the true power. Until 1836, the General Assembly officers were the only state officials who were elected by the people until 1836. The General Assembly picked Judges, the Governor and the members in the Council of State. Judges had life terms and the executives had a year term. The Governor had little power and in many cases needed the consent of the Council of State to exercise the power that the office did hold. The Governor was also held to strict term limits; a person could only hold the office three terms in every six years. The constitution established a judicial branch, but did not well define this branches structure. The constitution also lacked a system of local government. Universal Suffrage was not an element of this constitution. Only landowners could vote for Senators until 1857. To hold state office required land ownership until 1868. Look up December in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Template:DecemberCalendar2006 December is the twelfth and last month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... This article is about the year 1776. ... 1836 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A term limit is a provision of a constitution, statute, or bylaw which limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office. ... Universal suffrage (also general suffrage or common suffrage) consists of the extension of suffrage, or the right to vote, to all adults, without distinction as to race, sex, belief, or social status. ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...


Dissatisfied with the central role of the General Assembly, a state constitutional convention was called in 1835. Out of the convention came many amendments. Among those changes was fixing the membership of the Senate and House at their present levels, 50 and 120. Also, the office of Governor became popularly elected. The convention’s proposed changes were adopted by vote of the people on November 9, 1835. 1835 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... November 9 is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 52 days remaining. ... 1835 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


The Convention of 1861-62 was called to revise the constitution to remove North Carolina from the United States. The procedure used to amend the constitution did not need vote of the people, a procedure that was active until removed in 1971. 1971 (MCMLXXI) is a common year starting on Friday (click for link to calendar). ...


Constitution of 1868

After the Civil War, there were several unsuccessful attempts to alter the constitution. In 1868, a second constitution was adopted and it drastically altered North Carolina government. For the first time, all major state and local officers were elected by the people. The governor and other executive officers were elected to four-year terms, while the justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the superior court were elected to eight-year terms. All property qualifications for voting and office holding were abolished. It also called for the creation of free public education and the establishment of charitable state agencies. The ability of the General Assembly to tax was granted and the use of public debt limited. The American Civil War (1861–1865) was fought in North America within the United States of America, between twenty-four mostly northern states of the Union and the Confederate States of America, a coalition of eleven southern states that declared their independence and claimed the right of secession from the... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...


Since the 1868 constitution was created by initiative of Congress and pushed through by Carpet-Baggers, it was highly unpopular with conservative elements in the state. After regaining power, this conservative and native element amended the constitution many times between 1870 and 1875. The principal effect of the amendments was to restore the former power of the General Assembly, particularly with the courts and local government. Other effects were to disenfranchise African-Americans and to establish a system of segregation. Between 1870 and 1971, many proposals for amendments to the constitution were made. The majority of successfully approved amendments were detailed changes, not drastic restructuring. Although often amended, a majority of the provisions of the Constitution of 1868 remained intact until 1971, and the Constitution of 1971 brought forward much of the 1868 language with little or no change. American usage In the United States, the negative term carpetbagger was used to refer to a Northerner who traveled to the South after the American Civil War, through the late 1860s and the 1870s, during Reconstruction. ... 1870 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1875 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Disenfranchising refers to the removal of the ability to vote from a person or group of people. ... African Americans, also known as Afro-Americans or black Americans, are an ethnic group in the United States of America whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Sub-Saharan and West Africa. ... 1870 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) is a common year starting on Friday (click for link to calendar). ...


Constitution of 1971

From 1869 through 1968, there were submitted to the voters of North Carolina a total of 97 propositions for amending the Constitution of the State. All but one of these proposals originated in the General Assembly. Of those 97 amendment proposals, 69 were ratified by the voters and 28 were rejected by them. Due to the many amendments, many provisions in the constitution became antiquated, obsolete and ambiguous. Simply, the document had become thorny to read and interpret. The draft that later became the Constitution of 1971 began with a study into needed changes by the North Carolina State Bar in 1967. The study outlined a vastly improvemed and easily ratifiable document. The draft consitution logicaly orgonized topics and omitted obviously unconstitutional sections. The language and syntax was also updated and standardized. The study separated from the main document several amendments that it felt were nessisary, but were potentially controversial. The main document passed the General Assembly in 1969 with only one negative vote in seven roll-call votes. On November 3, 1970, the proposed Constitution of 1971 was approved by a vote of 393,759 to 251,132. 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday For other uses, see Number 1969. ... November 3 is the 307th day of the year (308th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 58 days remaining. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ...


Since the Constitution of 1971, there have been over twenty amendments. The majority of these amendments extends the rights of citizens and extends the government the ability to issue bond. The following are significant amendments made since the 1971 constitution:

  • Prohibiting all capitation and poll tax.
  • Omitting the limitation of $0.20 of property tax on the $100 valuation
  • Crating a state income tax to be computed on the same basis as the federal income tax
  • Allowing the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to serve two consecutive terms.
  • Requiring the state run a balanced budget.
  • Requiring judges to be lawyers.
  • Adding Victims Rights to the Declaration of Rights.
  • Extending the Governor the veto power.

A poll tax, head tax, soul tax, or capitation is a tax of a uniform, fixed amount per individual (as opposed to a percentage of income). ...

Document Overview

Ratified in 1971, the current North Carolina Constitution contains 14 articles. Each article covers a different topic and the last article covers miscellaneous topics. Each article is divided into sections. This constitution incorporates amendments into the document, unlike the United States Constitution which only appends amendments. 1971 (MCMLXXI) is a common year starting on Friday (click for link to calendar). ... A constitutional amendment is an alteration to the constitution of a nation or a state. ... The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


Preamble

We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity, do, for the more certain security thereof and for the better government of this State, ordain and establish this Constitution.


Article I - Declaration of Rights

Like most modern democracies, North Carolina guarantees the rights of its inhabitance. There are 30 sections to this article, each outlining a separate recognized right. Many of these sections broaden the rights covered by the Bill of Rights. The state constitution also secures additional rights, for example the right to a public education and to open courts. Also of note, this section specifically denies the state the ability to succeed from the United States and declares that each citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States. Section 37, added in 1995, is the newest addition to this article. This section declares the rights of victims of crime. The Bill of Rights is the name given to the ten amendments to the United States Constitution (1-10). ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Victims Rights Amendment is a provision which has been included in some state constitutions, proposed for others, and additionally has been proposed for inclusion in the United States Constitution. ...


Article II - Legislative

Article II declares that all legislative powers in North Carolina reside in the General Assembly. The General Assembly consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Those groups consist of 50 and 120 members respectively. Guidelines for the formation of voting districts and qualification for office are also covered. Each house has a term of two years. This article also gives the governor the power to veto legislation in some circumstances. Veto power was denied the governor until 1995 when the constitution was amended. North Carolina was the last state to extend this power to its governor. The state has long been jealous of executive power and has often place extreme limits on it. 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A governor is also a device that regulates the speed of a machine. ...


Article III - Executive

The governor is vested with all executive authority in Article III. The duties of the governor are defined as is the process of succession, should the governor die or become incapacitated. Holders of the governor office are limited to two consecutive terms. The Council of State, a cabinet like body, is filled with eight popularly elected officials. This article also defines and mandates a balance budget. Succession is the act or process of following in order or sequence. ... A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ...


Article IV - Judical

Article IV defines the make up the judicial branch of the state and prohibit the legislature from inhibiting its function. Similar to the federal government, the power to impeach state officials and judges is given to the state House of Representatives. The Senate can remove a person from office with a 2/3 majority vote after an impeachment. This article also deals with the necessary qualifications of a judge and confers the power of judicial review with the state’s Supreme Court. Depiction of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, then President of the United States, in 1868. ... Judicial review is the power of a court to review a law or an official act of a government employee or agent for constitutionality or for the violation of basic principles of justice. ... The Supreme Court of North Carolina is the states highest appellate court. ...


Article V - Finance

Article V gives the state government the right to tax and puts limits on that right. It authorizes a income tax and also limits the ability to issue public bonds. Government debt (public debt, national debt) is money owed by government, at any level (central government, federal government, national government, municipal government, local government, regional government). ...


Article VI - Suffrage and Eligibility to Office

Article VI provides every person who is at least 18 years, an American Citizen, and living within North Carolina the right to vote. This right is denied to felons and people illiterate in English. This article also sets the eligibility to hold office. To hold state office a person cannot fall any of the following categories: // Possession of Citizenship U.S. citizens have the right to participate in the political system of the United States (with most U.S. states having restrictions for felons, and federal restrictions on naturalized persons), are represented and protected abroad by the United States (through U.S. embassies and consulates), and... Literacy is the ability to read and write. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... An office is a room or other area in which people work, but may also denote a position within an organisation with specific duties attached to it (see officer, office-holder, official); the latter is in fact an earlier usage, office as place originally referring to the location of one...

  1. Younger than 21 years of age
  2. Denies the existence of God (see Infeasible Provisions)
  3. A person who is not qualified to vote in an election for that office
  4. Felon
  5. Already holds a state or federal office.

For information about the band, see Atheist (band). ... A felony, in many common law legal systems, is the term for a very serious crime; misdemeanors are considered to be less serious. ...

Article VII - Local Government

Article VII give the general assembly the power to define the boundaries of governmental subdivisions (counties, towns, cities). It limits the distance of newly incorporated town or cities from established cities based on the established city's population. The office of sheriff is provided for each county. Sheriff is both a political and a legal office held under English common law, Scots law or U.S. common law, or the person who holds such office. ...


Article VIII - Corporations

Article VIII defines corporations. It also gives the General Assembly the right to create and regulate corporations.


Article IX - Education

Article IX make public education compulsorily for all able bodied children, unless educated by other means. The State Board of Education is defined here and given the power to regulate all free public education in the state. This article demands that the General Assembly establish a system of higher education and states that higher education should be free, as far as practicable.


Article X - Homesteads and Exemptions

Article X prevents the forced sale of a person primary residence to pay for a debt, unless the house was specifically used as collateral for a loan. Females are also able to maintain full ownership of all property they own when they marry, under this article. Also, life insurance policies that are paid to a spouse or child are exempt from claims of debt from the estate of the deceased.


Article XI - Punishments, Corrections, and Charities

Article XI describes the only punishment methods to be used by the state. It specifically only allows the death penalty in cases of murder, arson, burglary, and rape. This article gives the responsibility of the public welfare to the General Assembly.


Article XII - Military Forces

This short article states: The Governor shall be Commander in Chief of the military forces of the State and may call out those forces to execute the law, suppress riots and insurrections, and repel invasion.


Article XIII - Conventions; Constitutional Amendment and Revision

Article XII describes the two ways the constitution may be amended: by popular convention or through legislation. The later is the most common way to amend the constitution as the last time the constitution was amended by convention was 1875. In a legislative action, an amendment must pass by three-fifths in both house of the General Assembly and also obtain a majority of a popular vote. 1875 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...


Article XIV - Miscellaneous

The final article of the constitution covers topics not under other articles. Topics of sections in this article include:

  • Setting Raleigh as the capitol.
  • Makes permanent the current state border.
  • Demanding the General Assembly uniformly apply laws to the state.
  • Gives any law that was legally enacted before this constitution the ability to remain in effect unless the law conflicts with the constitution.
  • Proves the General Assembly the ability to conserve natural resource by the creation of parks and the enactment of laws.

Downtown Raleigh Skyline Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, a state of the United States of America. ... Border has several different, but related meanings: // Generic borders A border can consist of a margin around the edge of something, such as a lawn, garden, photograph, or sheet of paper. ...

Infeasible Provisions

Federal law and the US Constitution rein supreme to the North Carolina Constitution. There are several provisions in the current North Carolina Constitution that may conflict with federal law and/or the US Constitution. The following are known to be void or, if challenged, would most likely be voided:

  • Article 6, section 8 disqualifies from office, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God. 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. This article has never been enforced.
  • Article 2, sections 3 & 5, sub-section two states that No county shall be divided in the formation of a representative district. To comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, these provisions in the North Carolina Constitution have been routinely ignored. There are ongoing legal challenges to this precedent. These challenges argue that it is possible to comply with the Voting Rights Act without ignoring the whole county requirement.
  • Article 6, section 4 requires that a person be literate in the English language before registering to vote. Several attempts to remove this provision have failed. It is widely held that this section violates the Voting Rights Act and is not enforced.

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. ... The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-10) outlawed the requirement that would-be voters in the United States take literacy tests to qualify to register to vote, and it provided for federal registration of voters in areas that had less than 50% of eligible voters registered. ... The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-10) outlawed the requirement that would-be voters in the United States take literacy tests to qualify to register to vote, and it provided for federal registration of voters in areas that had less than 50% of eligible voters registered. ...

External links

  • Offical history of the North Carolina Constitution
  • Full text of the North Carolina State Constitution
 
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  Results from FactBites:
 
North Carolina Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2334 words)
The constitution is the highest legal document for the state of North Carolina and subjugates North Carolina law.
North Carolina was the last state to extend this power to its governor.
That year, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution's equal protection clause presumed single-member districts and was thus a limitation on the Whole County Provision.
North Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6426 words)
North Carolina is bordered by South Carolina on the south, Georgia on the southwest, Tennessee on the west, Virginia on the north, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east.
North Carolinians of Scots-Irish, Scottish and English ancestry are concentrated in the western mountains, coastal areas, and rural areas of the central Piedmont.
North Carolina is home to 41 private and 74 public colleges and universities, including such well-known schools as Duke University, Wake Forest University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina as well as several well-known historically fl colleges and universities.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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