seven principles banner

castle 2016 header

Welcome to the Constitution Party of Iowa!

 

We are working to raise our fellow Iowan's awareness that there is a choice to Republicans and Democrats to fill our elected representative positions. In stark contrast to the RNC and DNC, we are the only party which is completely Pro-Life, Pro-States’ Rights, Pro-Second Amendment, Pro-Constitutional, and Pro-Limited Government. We are against- illegal immigration and open borders, against- U.S. policy being dictated by the United Nations, against- undeclared unconstitutional wars (such as Iraq and Afghanistan), and against- free trade and all international trade agreements such as NAFTA & GATT.

Our Founding Fathers created a Republic as our form of government and were specific about its authority and limitations. The Democrats and the Republicans have over-stepped those boundaries creating today's conditions of out-of-control debt, Presidents using executive orders to legislate, judges crafting laws from the bench instead of interpreting the laws made by the legislature. and the legislature unconstitutionally spending our money faster then we can earn it.

Pray for God's guidance as we aspire to do our best in keeping this country Free.

 

History of the Constitution Party:

1992 A coalition of independent state parties united to form the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The party’s founder, Howard Phillips, was on the ballot in 21 states as its first presidential candidate.

1995-99 Party recognized by Federal Election Commission as a national party bringing the number of recognized parties to 5. Ballot access achieved in 39 states for the 1996 elections, representing over 80% of the electoral college votes available.

1999 Name changed to “Constitution Party” by delegates at the National Convention to better reflect the party’s primary focus of returning government to the U.S. Constitution’s provisions and limitations.

2000 & 2004 The party achieved ballot access in 41 and 36 states respectively. Though the party was on fewer state ballots in 2004, the vote tally increased by 40% compared to the 2000 elections while other ‘alternative’ parties lost ground or barely matched their 2000 vote totals.

2008 The Constitution Party was on the ballot in 37 states. Presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin and vice-presidential candidate Darrell Castle, endorsed by former GOP presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, polled a higher percentage of the vote than any other Constitution Party presidential ticket in 27 states for a total of 384,722 votes.

2010 The Constitution Party of Iowa's own Jon Tack proudly stood for our seven principles in Iowa's second district during his campaign for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, once again providing a solid choice on the ballot for Iowa constitutionalists.

NUMBERS
The CP is the third largest political party in terms of voter registration. There are 367,000 registered Constitution Party voters. (This number does not take into account the many states which do not tally voter registrations by party. In addition, thousands of voters registered with other parties have chosen to vote for Constitution Party candidates at the national, state and local levels.)

One quarter of all voters nation-wide are registered as independent or as members of a ‘third party’. Over the last 10 years this has been the largest growing segment of voter registrations. Some states’ third party or independent registrations approach 1/3 of all registered voters.

Independent voters are playing a bigger role in national and local politics as disappointment with both the Republican and Democratic parties increases.

A Fox News poll (www.foxnews.com) showed 67% of Americans said they'd consider voting for an independent candidate. An earlier Rasmussen survey showed 58% said it would be good for the United States to have a "truly competitive" third party. Voters are now weighing their options, especially on the issue of immigration. According to Rasmussen, 35% of conservatives said they'd pick a third party candidate over a Republican.

In 2012, the Constitution Party expects to have ballot access in all 50 states.

CANDIDATES
CP candidates were elected to partisan offices for the first time in 2006, including Montana State Representative Rick Jore.

PLATFORM
The Constitution Party is the only party which is completely:
Pro-Life
Pro-States’ Rights
Pro-Second Amendment
Pro-Constitutional, Limited Government
Against- illegal immigration and open borders
Against- U.S. policy being dictated by the United Nations
Against- undeclared unconstitutional wars (such as Iraq and Afghanistan)
Against- free trade and all international trade agreements such as NAFTA & GATT

WHY A THIRD PARTY?

1. To encourage voter participation and citizen involvement in the governing process.

2. Competition yields a Superior Product; i.e. better elected officials and better government.

· 95% of all incumbent candidates win re-election. In recent years, between 50 and 75 of incumbent Congressmen in the U.S. did not face an opponent on the November ballot, allowing them to be reelected without even campaigning.

· Voter choice is even more limited in state legislative races. 35 to 40% of the 6900 seats in state houses across the US (over 2500 seats) typically have no competition.

3. To address issues ignored by the two parties in power.

Past third parties championed…

· A Woman’s Right to Vote -introduced in 1872 by the Prohibition Party. It wasn’t until 1916 that the two political parties in power began to consider the issue.

· Abolition of Slavery-introduced by the Liberty Party (1840/1844) The issue was not fully accepted by the Republican Party even as late as 1860. The Republican Party was itself a third party in 1854 when it was founded. Just a few years later, the Republicans defeated the incumbent conservative party, the Whigs, by running a man named Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, running in a four-way race, won the electoral college and the presidency even though he wasn't on the ballot in nine states and received less that 40% of the popular vote.

· A Balanced Budget- focus of Independent/Reform Party (1992/1996) candidate Ross Perot who campaigned for fiscal restraint. By the time George W. Bush became president the budget was balanced. Today both parties give strong lip service to ending deficit spending though neither party is willing to make the tough political choices needed to balance the budget.

The first step to supporting your Constitution Party candidate at the ballot box is to make sure you're registered to vote in Iowa!  It's an easy two step process:

  1. Fill out, print and sign the voter registration form.
  2. Look up your county auditor's office and return the completed, signed form to them.

If you find yourself with too little time to register to vote in advance, never fear, you can register to vote on election day at your polling place.  There are some additional requirements to fulfill, which you should check out on the Secretary of State's web site, so avoid the extra work and get registered to vote today!

When election day arrives, head to your polling place to support your Constitution Party!

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF IOWA

 

[This version of the Constitution incorporates into the original document all amendments adopted through the 1998 general election and omits certain provisions apparently superseded or obsolete. The footnote following an amended section is the latest action only. The original Constitution and amendments in chronological order, referenced in footnotes following some sections, may be found in the official printed Code of Iowa. References in footnotes to the Code refer to the Iowa Code. This codified version generally adopts the rules for capitalization and punctuation used in drafting legislation.]

 

Preamble. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the State of Iowa, the boundaries whereof shall be as follows:

Boundaries. Beginning in the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River, at a point due East of the middle of the mouth of the main channel of the Des Moines River, thence up the middle of the main channel of the said Des Moines River, to a point on said river where the Northern boundary line of the State of Missouri--as established by the constitution of that State--adopted June 12th, 1820--crosses the said middle of the main channel of the said Des Moines River; thence Westwardly along the said Northern boundary line of the State of Missouri, as established at the time aforesaid, until an extension of said line intersects the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River; thence up the middle of the main channel of the said Missouri River to a point opposite the middle of the main channel of the Big Sioux River, according to Nicollett's Map; thence up the main channel of the said Big Sioux River, according to the said map, until it is intersected by the parallel of forty three degrees and thirty minutes North latitude; thence East along said parallel of forty three degrees and thirty minutes until said parallel intersects the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence down the middle of the main channel of said Mississippi River to the place of beginning.
See boundary compromise agreements at the end of Volume IV of the Code

ARTICLE I.
BILL OF RIGHTS.

Rights of persons. SECTION 1. All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights--among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
Amended 1998, Amendment [45]

Political power. SEC. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.

Religion. SEC. 3. The general assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing places of worship, or the maintenance of any minister, or ministry.

Religious test--witnesses. SEC. 4. No religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office, or public trust, and no person shall be deprived of any of his rights, privileges, or capacities, or disqualified from the performance of any of his public or private duties, or rendered incompetent to give evidence in any court of law or equity, in consequence of his opinions on the subject of religion; and any party to any judicial proceeding shall have the right to use as a witness, or take the testimony of, any other person not disqualified on account of interest, who may be cognizant of any fact material to the case; and parties to suits may be witnesses, as provided by law.
Referred to in §729.1 of the Code

Dueling. SEC. 5.
Repealed 1992, Amendment [43]

Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.

Liberty of speech and press. SEC. 7. Every person may speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech, or of the press. In all prosecutions or indictments for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury, and if it appears to the jury that the matter charged as libellous was true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted.

Personal security--searches and seizures. SEC. 8. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable seizures and searches shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons and things to be seized.

Right of trial by jury--due process of law. SEC. 9. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate; but the general assembly may authorize trial by a jury of a less number than twelve men in inferior courts; but no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
See also R.Cr.P. 2.17, 2.21(2), 2.67; R.C.P. 1.902, 1.903, 1.1108

Rights of persons accused. SEC. 10. In all criminal prosecutions, and in cases involving the life, or liberty of an individual the accused shall have a right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury; to be informed of the accusation against him, to have a copy of the same when demanded; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for his witnesses; and, to have the assistance of counsel.
See §602.1601 of the Code

When indictment necessary--grand jury. SEC. 11. All offenses less than felony and in which the maximum permissible imprisonment does not exceed thirty days shall be tried summarily before an officer authorized by law, on information under oath, without indictment, or the intervention of a grand jury, saving to the defendant the right of appeal; and no person shall be held to answer for any higher criminal offense, unless on presentment or indictment by a grand jury, except in cases arising in the army, or navy, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger.

The grand jury may consist of any number of members not less than five, nor more than fifteen, as the general assembly may by law provide, or the general assembly may provide for holding persons to answer for any criminal offense without the intervention of a grand jury.
Paragraph 2 added 1884, Amendment [9]
Paragraph 1 amended 1998, Amendment [46]
As to indictment and the number of grand jurors, see R.Cr.P. 2.3, 2.4
Magistrate jurisdiction, see §602.6405 of the Code

Twice tried--bail. SEC. 12. No person shall after acquittal, be tried for the same offence. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable, by sufficient sureties, except for capital offences where the proof is evident, or the presumption great.

Habeas corpus. SEC. 13. The writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, or refused when application is made as required by law, unless in case of rebellion, or invasion the public safety may require it.

Military. SEC. 14. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. No standing army shall be kept up by the state in time of peace; and in time of war, no appropriation for a standing army shall be for a longer time than two years.

Quartering soldiers. SEC. 15. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.

Treason. SEC. 16. Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the evidence of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.

Bail--punishments. SEC. 17. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed,

and cruel and unusual punishment shall not be inflicted.

Eminent domain--drainage ditches and levees. SEC. 18. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation first being made, or secured to be made to the owner thereof, as soon as the damages shall be assessed by a jury, who shall not take into consideration any advantages that may result to said owner on account of the improvement for which it is taken.

The general assembly, however, may pass laws permitting the owners of lands to construct drains, ditches, and levees for agricultural, sanitary or mining purposes across the lands of others, and provide for the organization of drainage districts, vest the proper authorities with power to construct and maintain levees, drains and ditches and to keep in repair all drains, ditches, and levees heretofore constructed under the laws of the state, by special assessments upon the property benefited thereby. The general assembly may provide by law for the condemnation of such real estate as shall be necessary for the construction and maintenance of such drains, ditches and levees, and prescribe the method of making such condemnation.
Paragraph 2 added 1908, Amendment [13]

Imprisonment for debt. SEC. 19. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action, on mesne or final process, unless in case of fraud; and no person shall be imprisoned for a militia fine in time of peace.

Right of assemblage--petition. SEC. 20. The people have the right freely to assemble together to counsel for the common good; to make known their opinions to their representatives and to petition for a redress of grievances.

Attainder--ex post facto law--obligation of contract. SEC. 21. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed.
Referred to in §12E.11, 16.2 of the Code

Resident aliens. SEC. 22. Foreigners who are, or may hereafter become residents of this state, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment and descent of property, as native born citizens.

Slavery--penal servitude. SEC. 23. There shall be no slavery in this state; nor shall there be involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime.

Agricultural leases. SEC. 24. No lease or grant of agricultural lands, reserving any rent, or service of any kind, shall be valid for a longer period than twenty years.
Referred to in §461A.25 of the Code

Rights reserved. SEC. 25. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others, retained by the people.

ARTICLE II.
RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE.

Electors. SEC. 1. Every citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of this state for such period of time as shall be provided by law and of the county in which he claims his vote for such period of time as shall be provided by law, shall be entitled to vote at all elections which are now or hereafter may be authorized by law. The general assembly may provide by law for different periods of residence in order to vote for various officers or in order to vote in various elections. The required periods of residence shall not exceed six months in this state and sixty days in the county.
Repealed and rewritten 1970, Amendment [30]
See Amendments 19 and 26 to U. S. Constitution

Privileged from arrest. SEC. 2. Electors shall, in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest on the days of election, during their attendance at such election, going to and returning therefrom.

From military duty. SEC. 3. No elector shall be obliged to perform military duty on the day of election, except in time of war, or public danger.

Persons in military service. SEC. 4. No person in the military, naval, or marine service of the United States shall be considered a resident of this state by being stationed in any garrison, barrack, or military or naval place, or station within this state.

Disqualified persons. SEC. 5. No idiot, or insane person, or person convicted of any infamous crime, shall be entitled to the privilege of an elector.

Ballot. SEC. 6. All elections by the people shall be by ballot.

General election. SEC. 7. The general election for state, district, county and township officers in the year 1916 shall be held in the same month and on the same day as that fixed by the laws of the United States for the election of presidential electors, or of president and vice-president of the United States; and thereafter such election shall be held at such time as the general assembly may by law provide.
Repealed and rewritten 1916, Amendment [14]
For statutory provisions, see §39.1 of the Code

ARTICLE III.
OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS.

Departments of government. SECTION 1. The powers of the government of Iowa shall be divided into three separate departments--the legislative, the executive, and the judicial: and no person charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any function appertaining to either of the others, except in cases hereinafter expressly directed or permitted.

LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.

General assembly. SECTION 1. The legislative authority of this state shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives: and the style of every law shall be. "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa."

Annual sessions of general assembly--special sessions. SEC. 2. The general assembly shall meet in session on the second Monday of January of each year. Upon written request to the presiding officer of each house of the general assembly by two-thirds of the members of each house, the general assembly shall convene in special session. The governor of the state may convene the general assembly by proclamation in the interim.
Repealed and rewritten 1974, Amendment [36]
Special sessions, see also Art. IV, §11

Representatives. SEC. 3. The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen every second year, by the qualified electors of their respective districts, [* * *]* and their term of office shall commence on the first day of January next after their election, and continue two years, and until their successors are elected and qualified.
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.
For provisions relative to the time of holding the general election, see Art. II, §7; see also §39.1 of the Code

Qualifications. SEC. 4. No person shall be a member of the house of representatives who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years, be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state one year next preceding his election, and at the time of his election shall have had an actual residence of sixty days in the county, or district he may have been chosen to represent.
Amended 1880, Amendment [6] and 1926, Amendment [15]

Senators--qualifications. SEC. 5. Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, at the same time and place as representatives; they shall be twenty-five years of age, and possess the qualifications of representatives as to residence and citizenship.

Senators--number and classification. SEC. 6. The number of senators shall total not more than one-half the membership of the house of representatives. Senators shall be classified so that as nearly as possible one-half of the members of the senate shall be elected every two years.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]
See also Art. III, §34
Referred to in §42.4 of the Code

Officers--elections determined. SEC. 7. Each house shall choose its own officers, and judge of the qualification, election, and return of its own members. A contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.

Quorum. SEC. 8. A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to transact business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Authority of the houses. SEC. 9. Each house shall sit upon its own adjournments, keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same; determine its rules of proceedings, punish members for disorderly behavior, and, with the consent of two thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the general assembly of a free and independent state.

Protest--record of vote. SEC. 10. Every member of the general assembly shall have the liberty to dissent from, or protest against any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public, or an individual, and have the reasons for his dissent entered on the journals; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of any two members present, be entered on the journals.

Privileged from arrest. SEC. 11. Senators and representatives, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to and returning from the same.

Vacancies. SEC. 12. When vacancies occur in either house, the governor or the person exercising the functions of governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

Doors open. SEC. 13. The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasions, as, in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.

Adjournments. SEC. 14. Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.
Referred to in §2.1 of the Code

Bills. SEC. 15. Bills may originate in either house, and may be amended, altered, or rejected by the other; and every bill having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.

Executive approval--veto--item veto by governor. SEC. 16. Every bill which shall have passed the general assembly, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the same upon their journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, it again pass both houses, by yeas and nays, by a majority of two thirds of the members of each house, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the governor's objections. If any bill shall not be returned within three days after it shall have been presented to him, Sunday excepted, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly, by adjournment, prevent such return. Any bill submitted to the governor for his approval during the last three days of a session of the general assembly, shall be deposited by him in the office of the secretary of state, within thirty days after the adjournment, with his approval, if approved by him, and with his objections, if he disapproves thereof.

The governor may approve appropriation bills in whole or in part, and may disapprove any item of an appropriation bill; and the part approved shall become a law. Any item of an appropriation bill disapproved by the governor shall be returned, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, or shall be deposited by him in the office of the secretary of state in the case of an appropriation bill submitted to the governor for his approval during the last three days of a session of the general assembly, and the procedure in each case shall be the same as provided for other bills. Any such item of an appropriation bill may be enacted into law notwithstanding the governor's objections, in the same manner as provided for other bills.
Paragraph 2 added 1968, Amendment [27]
Statutory provisions, §3.4, 3.5 of the Code
Referred to in §3.7 of the Code

Passage of bills. SEC. 17. No bill shall be passed unless by the assent of a majority of all the members elected to each branch of the general assembly, and the question upon the final passage shall be taken immediately upon its last reading, and the yeas and nays entered on the journal.
Referred to in §3.7 of the Code

Receipts and expenditures. SEC. 18. An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be attached to and published with the laws, at every regular session of the general assembly.
Statutory provisions, §2B.10(5) of the Code

Impeachment. SEC. 19. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, and all impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.
Referred to in Art. V, §19

Officers subject to impeachment--judgment. SEC. 20. The governor, judges of the supreme and district courts, and other state officers, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor or malfeasance in office; but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit, under this state; but the party convicted or acquitted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law. All other civil officers shall be tried for misdemeanors and malfeasance in office, in such manner as the general assembly may provide.
Referred to in Art. V, §19

Members not appointed to office. SEC. 21. No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.

Disqualification. SEC. 22. No person holding any lucrative office under the United States, or this state, or any other power, shall be eligible to hold a seat in the general assembly; but offices in the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, or the office of justice of the peace, or postmaster whose compensation does not exceed one hundred dollars per annum, or notary public, shall not be deemed lucrative.

Failure to account. SEC. 23. No person who may hereafter be a collector or holder of public monies, shall have a seat in either house of the general assembly, or be eligible to hold any office of trust or profit in this state, until he shall have accounted for and paid into the treasury all sums for which he may be liable.

Appropriations. SEC. 24. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.

Compensation and expenses of general assembly. SEC. 25. Each member of the general assembly shall receive such compensation and allowances for expenses as shall be fixed by law but no general assembly shall have the power to increase compensation and allowances effective prior to the convening of the next general assembly following the session in which any increase is adopted.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [28]
Statutory provisions, §2.10 through 2.14 of the Code

Time laws to take effect. SEC. 26. An act of the general assembly passed at a regular session of a general assembly shall take effect on July 1 following its passage unless a different effective date is stated in an act of the general assembly. An act passed at a special session of a general assembly shall take effect ninety days after adjournment of the special session unless a different effective date is stated in an act of the general assembly. The general assembly may establish by law a procedure for giving notice of the contents of acts of immediate importance which become law.
Amended 1966, Amendment [23], and repealed and rewritten 1986, Amendment [40]
Supplementary provisions, §3.7 et seq. of the Code

Divorce. SEC. 27. No divorce shall be granted by the general assembly.

Lotteries. SEC. 28.
Repealed 1972, Amendment [34]

Acts--one subject--expressed in title. SEC. 29. Every act shall embrace but one subject, and matters properly connected therewith; which subject shall be expressed in the title. But if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be expressed in the title.

Local or special laws--general and uniform--boundaries of counties. SEC. 30. The general assembly shall not pass local or special laws in the following cases:
For the assessment and collection of taxes for state, county, or road purposes;
For laying out, opening, and working roads or highways;
For changing the names of persons;
For the incorporation of cities and towns;
For vacating roads, town plats, streets, alleys, or public squares;
For locating or changing county seats.

In all the cases above enumerated, and in all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, all laws shall be general, and of uniform operation throughout the state; and no law changing the boundary lines of any county shall have effect until upon being submitted to the people of the counties affected by the change, at a general election, it shall be approved by a majority of the votes in each county, cast for and against it.
Laws uniform, see Art. I, §6

Extra compensation--payment of claims--appropriations for local or private purposes. SEC. 31. No extra compensation shall be made to any officer, public agent, or contractor, after the service shall have been rendered, or the contract entered into; nor, shall any money be paid on any claim, the subject matter of which shall not have been provided for by preexisting laws, and no public money or property shall be appropriated for local, or private purposes, unless such appropriation, compensation, or claim, be allowed by two thirds of the members elected to each branch of the general assembly.
See §3.14 of the Code

Oath of members. SEC. 32. Members of the general assembly shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear, or affirm, (as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Iowa, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of senator, (or representative, as the case may be,) according to the best of my ability." And members of the general assembly are hereby empowered to administer to each other the said oath or affirmation.

Census. SEC. 33.
Repealed 1936, Amendment [17]

Senate and house of representatives--limitation. SEC. 34. The senate shall be composed of not more than fifty and the house of representatives of not more than one hundred members. Senators and representatives shall be elected from districts established by law. Each district so established shall be of compact and contiguous territory. The state shall be apportioned into senatorial and representative districts on the basis of population. The general assembly may provide by law for factors in addition to population, not in conflict with the Constitution of the United States, which may be considered in the apportioning of senatorial districts. No law so adopted shall permit the establishment of senatorial districts whereby a majority of the members of the senate shall represent less than forty percent of the population of the state as shown by the most recent United States decennial census.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]
See also Art. III, §6, 39

Senators and representatives--number and districts. SEC. 35. The general assembly shall in 1971 and in each year immediately following the United States decennial census determine the number of senators and representatives to be elected to the general assembly and establish senatorial and representative districts. The general assembly shall complete the apportionment prior to September 1 of the year so required. If the apportionment fails to become law prior to September 15 of such year, the supreme court shall cause the state to be apportioned into senatorial and representative districts to comply with the requirements of the constitution prior to December 31 of such year. The reapportioning authority shall, where necessary in establishing senatorial districts, shorten the term of any senator prior to completion of the term. Any senator whose term is so terminated shall not be compensated for the uncompleted part of the term.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]
Referred to in §49.3 of the Code

Review by supreme court. SEC. 36. Upon verified application by any qualified elector, the supreme court shall review an apportionment plan adopted by the general assembly which has been enacted into law. Should the supreme court determine such plan does not comply with the requirements of the constitution, the court shall within ninety days adopt or cause to be adopted an apportionment plan which shall so comply. The supreme court shall have original jurisdiction of all litigation questioning the apportionment of the general assembly or any apportionment plan adopted by the general assembly.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]

Congressional districts. SEC. 37. When a congressional district is composed of two or more counties it shall not be entirely separated by a county belonging to another district and no county shall be divided in forming a congressional district.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment [26]
Referred to in §42.3, 42.4 of the Code

Elections by general assembly. SEC. 38. In all elections by the general assembly, the members thereof shall vote viva voce and the votes shall be entered on the journal.

Municipal home rule. SEC. 38A. Municipal corporations are granted home rule power and authority, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, to determine their local affairs and government, except that they shall not have power to levy any tax unless expressly authorized by the general assembly.

The rule or proposition of law that a municipal corporation possesses and can exercise only those powers granted in express words is not a part of the law of this state.
Added 1968, Amendment [25]

Legislative districts. SEC. 39. In establishing senatorial and representative districts, the state shall be divided into as many senatorial districts as there are members of the senate and into as many representative districts as there are members of the house of representatives. One senator shall be elected from each senatorial district and one representative shall be elected from each representative district.
Added 1970, Amendment [29]

Counties home rule. SEC. 39A. Counties or joint county-municipal corporation governments are granted home rule power and authority, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, to determine their local affairs and government, except that they shall not have power to levy any tax unless expressly authorized by the general assembly. The general assembly may provide for the creation and dissolution of joint county-municipal corporation governments. The general assembly may provide for the establishment of charters in county or joint-municipal corporation governments.

If the power or authority of a county conflicts with the power and authority of a municipal corporation, the power and authority exercised by a municipal corporation shall prevail within its jurisdiction.

The proposition or rule of law that a county or joint county-municipal corporation government possesses and can exercise only those powers granted in express words is not a part of the law of this state.
Added 1978, Amendment [37]

Nullification of administrative rules. SEC. 40. The general assembly may nullify an adopted administrative rule of a state agency by the passage of a resolution by a majority of all of the members of each house of the general assembly.
Added 1984, Amendment [38]
Referred to in §3.6, 17A.6 of the Code

ARTICLE IV.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.

Governor. SECTION 1. The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the state of Iowa.

Election and term. SEC. 2. The governor and the lieutenant governor shall be elected by the qualified electors at the time and place of voting for members of the general assembly. Each of them shall hold office for four years from the time of installation in office and until a successor is elected and qualifies.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [41]

Governor and lieutenant governor elected jointly--returns of elections. SEC. 3. The electors shall designate their selections for governor and lieutenant governor as if these two offices were one and the same. The names of nominees for the governor and the lieutenant governor shall be grouped together in a set on the ballot according to which nominee for governor is seeking office with which nominee for lieutenant governor, as prescribed by law. An elector shall cast only one vote for both a nominee for governor and a nominee for lieutenant governor. The returns of every election for governor and lieutenant governor shall be sealed and transmitted to the seat of government of the state, and directed to the speaker of the house of representatives who shall open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the general assembly.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [41]
For statutory provisions, see §50.35 of the Code

Election by general assembly in case of tie--succession by lieutenant governor. SEC. 4. The nominees for governor and lieutenant governor jointly having the highest number of votes cast for them shall be declared duly elected. If two or more sets of nominees for governor and lieutenant governor have an equal and the highest number of votes for the offices jointly, the general assembly shall by joint vote proceed, as soon as is possible, to elect one set of nominees for governor and lieutenant governor. If, upon the completion by the general assembly of the canvass of votes for governor and lieutenant governor, it appears that the nominee for governor in the set of nominees for governor and lieutenant governor receiving the highest number of votes has since died or resigned, is unable to qualify, fails to qualify, or is for any other reason unable to assume the duties of the office of governor for the ensuing term, the powers and duties shall devolve to the nominee for lieutenant governor of the same set of nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, who shall assume the powers and duties of governor upon inauguration and until the disability is removed. If both nominees for governor and lieutenant governor are unable to assume the duties of the office of governor, the person next in succession shall act as governor.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [41]

Contested elections. SEC. 5. Contested elections for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor shall be determined by the general assembly as prescribed by law.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [41]
For statutory provisions, see §58.1 through 58.7 of the Code

Eligibility. SEC. 6. No person shall be eligible to the office of governor, or lieutenant governor, who shall not have been a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the state, two years next preceding the election, and attained the age of thirty years at the time of said election.

Commander in chief. SEC. 7. The governor shall be commander in chief of the militia, the army, and navy of this state.

Duties of governor. SEC. 8. He shall transact all executive business with the officers of government, civil and military, and may require information in writing from the officers of the executive department upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
Duty as to state accounts, §70A.8 of the Code

Execution of laws. SEC. 9. He shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed.

Vacancies. SEC. 10. When any office shall, from any cause, become vacant, and no mode is provided by the constitution and laws for filling such vacancy, the governor shall have power to fill such vacancy, by granting a commission, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the general assembly, or at the next election by the people.

Convening general assembly. SEC. 11. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the general assembly by proclamation, and shall state to both houses, when assembled, the purpose for which they shall have been convened.
See also Art. III, §2

Message. SEC. 12. He shall communicate, by message, to the general assembly, at every regular session, the condition of the state, and recommend such matters as he shall deem expedient.

Adjournment. SEC. 13. In case of disagreement between the two houses with respect to the time of adjournment, the governor shall have power to adjourn the general assembly to such time as he may think proper; but no such adjournment shall be beyond the time fixed for the regular meeting of the next general assembly.

Disqualification. SEC. 14. No persons shall, while holding any office under the authority of the United States, or this state, execute the office of governor, or lieutenant governor, except as hereinafter expressly provided.

Terms--compensation. SEC. 15. The official terms of the governor and lieutenant governor shall commence on the Tuesday after the second Monday of January next after their election and shall continue until their successors are elected and qualify. The governor and lieutenant governor shall be paid compensation and expenses as provided by law. The lieutenant governor, while acting as governor, shall be paid the compensation and expenses prescribed for the governor.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [42]

Pardons--reprieves--commutations. SEC. 16. The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offences except treason and cases of impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. Upon conviction for treason, he shall have power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the general assembly at its next meeting, when the general assembly shall either grant a pardon, commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and shall report to the general assembly, at its next meeting, each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, and the reasons therefor; and also all persons in whose favor remission of fines and forfeitures shall have been made, and the several amounts remitted.

Lieutenant governor to act as governor. SEC. 17. In case of the death, impeachment, resignation, removal from office, or other disability of the governor, the powers and duties of the office for the residue of the term, or until he shall be acquitted, or the disability removed, shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor.
Referred to in §7.14 of the Code

Duties of lieutenant governor. SEC. 18. The lieutenant governor shall have the duties provided by law and those duties of the governor assigned to the lieutenant governor by the governor.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [42]

Succession to office of governor and lieutenant governor. SEC. 19. If there be a vacancy in the office of the governor and the lieutenant governor shall by reason of death, impeachment, resignation, removal from office, or other disability become incapable of performing the duties pertaining to the office of governor, the president of the senate shall act as governor until the vacancy is filled or the disability removed; and if the president of the senate, for any of the above causes, shall be incapable of performing the duties pertaining to the office of governor the same shall devolve upon the speaker of the house of representatives; and if the speaker of the house of representatives, for any of the above causes, shall be incapable of performing the duties of the office of governor, the justices of the supreme court shall convene the general assembly by proclamation and the general assembly shall organize by the election of a president by the senate and a speaker by the house of representatives. The general assembly shall thereupon immediately proceed to the election of a governor and lieutenant governor in joint convention.
Repealed and rewritten 1988, Amendment [42]
Referred to in §7.14(2) of the Code

Seal of state. SEC. 20. There shall be a seal of this state, which shall be kept by the governor, and used by him officially, and shall be called the Great Seal of the State of Iowa.
See chapter 1A of the Code for a description of the great seal of Iowa

Grants and commissions. SEC. 21. All grants and commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the people of the state of Iowa, sealed with the great seal of the state, signed by the governor, and countersigned by the secretary of state.

Secretary--auditor--treasurer. SEC. 22. A secretary of state, an auditor of state and a treasurer of state shall be elected by the qualified electors at the same time that the governor is elected and for a four-year term commencing on the first day of January next after their election, and they shall perform such duties as may be provided by law.
Repealed and rewritten 1972, Amendment [32]

ARTICLE V.
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT.

Courts. SECTION 1. The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court, district courts, and such other courts, inferior to the supreme court, as the general assembly may, from time to time, establish.
Court of appeals, §602.5101 of the Code

Supreme court. SEC. 2. The supreme court shall consist of three judges, two of whom shall constitute a quorum to hold court.
But see this Art sec. 10 following; see also §602.4101 of the Code

Election of judges--term. SEC. 3.
Repealed 1962, Amendment [21]

Jurisdiction of supreme court. SEC. 4. The supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction only in cases in chancery, and shall constitute a court for the correction of errors at law, under such restrictions as the general assembly may, by law, prescribe; and shall have power to issue all writs and process necessary to secure justice to parties, and shall exercise a supervisory and administrative control over all inferior judicial tribunals throughout the state.
Amended 1962, Amendment [21]
See §602.4102, 602.4201, 602.4202, 624.2 of the Code

District court and judge. SEC. 5.
Repealed 1962, Amendment [21]

Jurisdiction of district court. SEC. 6. The district court shall be a court of law and equity, which shall be distinct and separate jurisdictions, and have jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters arising in their respective districts, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
Statutory provision, §602.6101 of the Code

Conservators of the peace. SEC. 7. The judges of the supreme and district courts shall be conservators of the peace throughout the state.

Style of process. SEC. 8. The style of all process shall be, "The State of Iowa", and all prosecutions shall be conducted in the name and by the authority of the same.

Salaries. SEC. 9.
Repealed 1962, Amendment [21]

Judicial districts. SEC. 10. [* * *]* The general assembly may reorganize the judicial districts and increase or diminish the number of districts, or the number of judges of the said court, and may increase the number of judges of the supreme court; but such increase or diminution shall not be more than one district, or one judge of either court, at any one session; and no reorganization of the districts, or diminution of the number of judges, shall have the effect of removing a judge from office. Such reorganization of the districts, or any change in the boundaries thereof, or increase or diminution of the number of judges, shall take place every four years thereafter, if necessary, and at no other time.

At any regular session of the general assembly the state may be divided into the necessary judicial districts for district court purposes, or the said districts may be reorganized and the number of the districts and the judges of said courts increased or diminished; but no reorganization of the districts or diminution of the judges shall have the effect of removing a judge from office.
Paragraph 2 added 1884, Amendment [8]. Much of paragraph 1 apparently superseded by paragraph 2
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language

Judges--when chosen. SEC. 11.
Repealed 1962, Amendment [21]

Attorney general. SEC. 12. The general assembly shall provide, by law, for the election of an attorney general by the people, whose term of office shall be four years, and until his successor is elected and qualifies.
Repealed and rewritten 1972, Amendment [32]

District attorney. SEC. 13.
Repealed 1970, Amendment [31]

System of court practice. SEC. 14. It shall be the duty of the general assembly to provide for the carrying into effect of this article, and to provide for a general system of practice in all the courts of this state.
For provisions relative to the grand jury, see Art. I, §11

Vacancies in courts. SEC. 15. Vacancies in the supreme court and district court shall be filled by appointment by the governor from lists of nominees submitted by the appropriate judicial nominating commission. Three nominees shall be submitted for each supreme court vacancy, and two nominees shall be submitted for each district court vacancy. If the governor fails for thirty days to make the appointment, it shall be made from such nominees by the chief justice of the supreme court.
Added 1962, Amendment [21]

State and district nominating commissions. SEC. 16. There shall be a state judicial nominating commission. Such commission shall make nominations to fill vacancies in the supreme court. Until July 4, 1973, and thereafter unless otherwise provided by law, the state judicial nominating commission shall be composed and selected as follows: There shall be not less than three nor more than eight appointive members, as provided by law, and an equal number of elective members on such commission, all of whom shall be electors of the state. The appointive members shall be appointed by the governor subject to confirmation by the senate. The elective members shall be elected by the resident members of the bar of the state. The judge of the supreme court who is senior in length of service on said court, other than the chief justice, shall also be a member of such commission and shall be its chairman.

There shall be a district judicial nominating commission in each judicial district of the state. Such commissions shall make nominations to fill vacancies in the district court within their respective districts. Until July 4, 1973, and thereafter unless otherwise provided by law, district judicial nominating commissions shall be composed and selected as follows: There shall be not less than three nor more than six appointive members, as provided by law, and an equal number of elective members on each such commission, all of whom shall be electors of the district. The appointive members shall be appointed by the governor. The elective members shall be elected by the resident members of the bar of the district. The district judge of such district who is senior in length of service shall also be a member of such commission and shall be its chairman.

Due consideration shall be given to area representation in the appointment and election of judicial nominating commission members. Appointive and elective members of judicial nominating commissions shall serve for six-year terms, shall be ineligible for a second six-year term on the same commission, shall hold no office of profit of the United States or of the state during their terms, shall be chosen without reference to political affiliation, and shall have such other qualifications as may be prescribed by law. As near as may be, the terms of one-third of such members shall expire every two years.
Added 1962, Amendment [21]

Terms--judicial elections. SEC. 17. Members of all courts shall have such tenure in office as may be fixed by law, but terms of supreme court judges shall be not less than eight years and terms of district court judges shall be not less than six years. Judges shall serve for one year after appointment and until the first day of January following the next judicial election after the expiration of such year. They shall at such judicial election stand for retention in office on a separate ballot which shall submit the question of whether such judge shall be retained in office for the tenure prescribed for such office and when such tenure is a term of years, on their request, they shall, at the judicial election next before the end of each term, stand again for retention on such ballot. Present supreme court and district court judges, at the expiration of their respective terms, may be retained in office in like manner for the tenure prescribed for such office. The general assembly shall prescribe the time for holding judicial elections.
Added 1962, Amendment [21]

Salaries--qualifications--retirement. SEC. 18. Judges of the supreme court and district court shall receive salaries from the state, shall be members of the bar of the state and shall have such other qualifications as may be prescribed by law. Judges of the supreme court and district court shall be ineligible to any other office of the state while serving on said court and for two years thereafter, except that district judges shall be eligible to the office of supreme court judge. Other judicial officers shall be selected in such manner and shall have such tenure, compensation and other qualification as may be fixed by law. The general assembly shall prescribe mandatory retirement for judges of the supreme court and district court at a specified age and shall provide for adequate retirement compensation. Retired judges may be subject to special assignment to temporary judicial duties by the supreme court, as provided by law.
Added 1962, Amendment [21]

Retirement and discipline of judges. SEC. 19. In addition to the legislative power of impeachment of judges as set forth in article three (III), sections nineteen (19) and twenty (20) of the constitution, the supreme court shall have power to retire judges for disability and to discipline or remove them for good cause, upon application by a commission on judicial qualifications. The general assembly shall provide by law for the implementation of this section.
Added 1972, Amendment [33]

ARTICLE VI.
MILITIA.

Composition--training. SECTION 1. The militia of this state shall be composed of all able-bodied male citizens, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such as are or may hereafter be exempt by the laws of the United States, or of this state, and shall be armed, equipped, and trained, as the general assembly may provide by law.
Amended 1868, Amendment [5]

Exemption. SEC. 2. No person or persons conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to do military duty in time of peace: Provided, that such person or persons shall pay an equivalent for such exemption in the same manner as other citizens.

Officers. SEC. 3. All commissioned officers of the militia, (staff officers excepted,) shall be elected by the persons liable to perform military duty, and shall be commissioned by the governor.

ARTICLE VII.
STATE DEBTS.

Credit not to be loaned. SECTION 1. The credit of the state shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual, association, or corporation; and the state shall never assume, or become responsible for, the debts or liabilities of any individual, association, or corporation, unless incurred in time of war for the benefit of the state.

Limitation. SEC. 2. The state may contract debts to supply casual deficits or failures in revenues, or to meet expenses not otherwise provided for; but the aggregate amount of such debts, direct and contingent, whether contracted by virtue of one or more acts of the general assembly, or at different periods of time, shall never exceed the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and the money arising from the creation of such debts, shall be applied to the purpose for which it was obtained, or to repay the debts so contracted, and to no other purpose whatever.

Losses to school funds. SEC. 3. All losses to the permanent, school, or university fund of this state, which shall have been occasioned by the defalcation, mismanagement or fraud of the agents or officers controlling and managing the same, shall be audited by the proper authorities of the state. The amount so audited shall be a permanent funded debt against the state, in favor of the respective fund, sustaining the loss, upon which not less than six per cent. annual interest shall be paid. The amount of liability so created shall not be counted as a part of the indebtedness authorized by the second section of this article.

War debts. SEC. 4. In addition to the above limited power to contract debts, the state may contract debts to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or defend the state in war; but the money arising from the debts so contracted shall be applied to the purpose for which it was raised, or to repay such debts, and to no other purpose whatever.

Contracting debt--submission to the people. SEC. 5. Except the debts herein before specified in this article, no debt shall be hereafter contracted by, or on behalf of this state, unless such debt shall be authorized by some law for some single work or object, to be distinctly specified therein; and such law shall impose and provide for the collection of a direct annual tax, sufficient to pay the interest on such debt, as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal of such debt, within twenty years from the time of the contracting thereof; but no such law shall take effect until at a general election it shall have been submitted to the people, and have received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at such election; and all money raised by authority of such law, shall be applied only to the specific object therein stated, or to the payment of the debt created thereby; and such law shall be published in at least one newspaper in each county, if one is published therein, throughout the state, for three months preceding the election at which it is submitted to the people.
For statutory provisions, see §49A.1 to 49A.9 of the Code

Legislature may repeal. SEC. 6. The legislature may, at any time, after the approval of such law by the people, if no debt shall have been contracted in pursuance thereof, repeal the same; and may, at any time, forbid the contracting of any further debt, or liability, under such law; but the tax imposed by such law, in proportion to the debt or liability, which may have been contracted in pursuance thereof, shall remain in force and be irrepealable, and be annually collected, until the principal and interest are fully paid.

Tax imposed distinctly stated. SEC. 7. Every law which imposes, continues, or revives a tax, shall distinctly state the tax, and the object to which it is to be applied; and it shall not be sufficient to refer to any other law to fix such tax or object.

Motor vehicle fees and fuel taxes. SEC. 8. All motor vehicle registration fees and all licenses and excise taxes on motor vehicle fuel, except cost of administration, shall be used exclusively for the construction, maintenance and supervision of the public highways exclusively within the state or for the payment of bonds issued or to be issued for the construction of such public highways and the payment of interest on such bonds.
Added 1942, Amendment [18]

Fish and wildlife protection funds. SEC.9. All revenue derived from state license fees for hunting, fishing, and trapping, and all state funds appropriated for, and federal or private funds received by the state for, the regulation or advancement of hunting , fishing, or trapping, or the protection, propagation, restoration, management, or harvest of fish or wildlife, shall be used exclusively for the performance and administration of activities related to those purposes.
Added 1996, Amendment [44]

ARTICLE VIII.
CORPORATIONS.
Referred to in §12C.13 of the Code

How created. SECTION 1. No corporation shall be created by special laws; but the general assembly shall provide, by general laws, for the organization of all corporations hereafter to be created, except as hereinafter provided.

Taxation of corporations. SEC. 2. The property of all corporations for pecuniary profit, shall be subject to taxation, the same as that of individuals.

State not to be a stockholder. SEC. 3. The state shall not become a stockholder in any corporation, nor shall it assume or pay the debt or liability of any corporation, unless incurred in time of war for the benefit of the state.

Municipal corporations. SEC. 4. No political or municipal corporation shall become a stockholder in any banking corporation, directly or indirectly.

Banking associations. SEC. 5. No act of the general assembly, authorizing or creating corporations or associations with banking powers, nor amendments thereto shall take effect, or in any manner be in force, until the same shall have been submitted, separately, to the people, at a general or special election, as provided by law, to be held not less than three months after the passage of the act, and shall have been approved by a majority of all the electors voting for and against it at such election.

State bank. SEC. 6. Subject to the provisions of the foregoing section, the general assembly may also provide for the establishment of a state bank with branches.*
*Sections 6 to 11, apply to banks of issue only. See 63 Iowa 11, also 220 Iowa 794 and 221 Iowa 102

Specie basis. SEC. 7. If a state bank be established, it shall be founded on an actual specie basis, and the branches shall be mutually responsible for each other's liabilities upon all notes, bills, and other issues intended for circulation as money.

General banking law. SEC. 8. If a general banking law shall be enacted, it shall provide for the registry and countersigning, by an officer of state, of all bills, or paper credit designed to circulate as money, and require security to the full amount thereof, to be deposited with the state treasurer, in United States stocks, or in interest paying stocks of states in good credit and standing, to be rated at ten per cent. below their average value in the city of New York, for the thirty days next preceding their deposit; and in case of a depreciation of any portion of said stocks, to the amount of ten per cent. on the dollar, the bank or banks owning such stock shall be required to make up said deficiency by depositing additional stocks: and said law shall also provide for the recording of the names of all stockholders in such corporations, the amount of stock held by each, the time of any transfer, and to whom.

Stockholders' responsibility. SEC. 9. Every stockholder in a banking corporation or institution shall be individually responsible and liable to its creditors, over and above the amount of stock by him or her held, to an amount equal to his or her respective shares so held for all of its liabilities, accruing while he or she remains such stockholder.

Billholders preferred. SEC. 10. In case of the insolvency of any banking institution, the billholders shall have a preference over its other creditors.

Specie payments--suspension. SEC. 11. The suspension of specie payments by banking institutions shall never be permitted or sanctioned.

Amendment or repeal of laws--exclusive privileges. SEC. 12. Subject to the provisions of this article, the general assembly shall have power to amend or repeal all laws for the organization or creation of corporations, or granting of special or exclusive privileges or immunities, by a vote of two thirds of each branch of the general assembly; and no exclusive privileges, except as in this article provided, shall ever be granted.
Analogous provision, §491.39 of the Code

ARTICLE IX.
EDUCATION AND SCHOOL LANDS.
1ST. EDUCATION.**
**See note at the end of this 1st division.

Board of education. SECTION 1. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language

Eligibility. SEC. 2. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Election of members. SEC. 3. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

First session. SEC. 4. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Limitation of sessions. SEC. 5. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Secretary. SEC. 6. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Rules and regulations. SEC. 7. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Power to legislate. SEC. 8. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Governor ex officio a member. SEC. 9. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Expenses. SEC. 10. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

State university. SEC. 11. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.
See Laws of the Board of Education, Act 10, December 25, 1858, which provides for the management of the state university by a board of trustees appointed by the board of education. See also sec. 2 of 2nd. division of this article.

Common schools. SEC. 12. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Compensation. SEC. 13. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Quorum--style of acts. SEC. 14. [* * *]*
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Board may be abolished. SEC. 15. [* * *]* The general assembly shall have power to abolish or reorganize said board of education, and provide for the educational interest of the state in any other manner that to them shall seem best and proper.**
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.
**The board of education was abolished in 1864 by 1864 Acts, ch 52, §1. For statutory provisions, see chapters 256 and 262 of the Code.

2ND. SCHOOL FUNDS AND SCHOOL LANDS.

Control--management. SECTION 1. The educational and school funds and lands shall be under the control and management of the general assembly of this state.

Permanent fund. SEC. 2. The university lands, and the proceeds thereof, and all monies belonging to said fund shall be a permanent fund for the sole use of the state university. The interest arising from the same shall be annually appropriated for the support and benefit of said university.

Perpetual support fund. SEC. 3. The general assembly shall encourage, by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual, scientific, moral, and agricultural improvement. The proceeds of all lands that have been, or hereafter may be, granted by the United States to this state, for the support of schools, which may have been or shall hereafter be sold, or disposed of, and the five hundred thousand acres of land granted to the new states, under an act of congress, distributing the proceeds of the public lands among the several states of the union, approved in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and all estates of deceased persons who may have died without leaving a will or heir, and also such percent as has been or may hereafter be granted by congress, on the sale of lands in this state, shall be, and remain a perpetual fund, the interest of which, together with all rents of the unsold lands, and such other means as the general assembly may provide, shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of common schools throughout the state.
Referred to in § 175.4 of the Code

Fines--how appropriated. SEC. 4.
Repealed 1974, Amendment [35]

Proceeds of lands. SEC. 5. The general assembly shall take measures for the protection, improvement, or other disposition of such lands as have been, or may hereafter be reserved, or granted by the United States, or any person or persons, to this state, for the use of the university, and the funds accruing from the rents or sale of such lands, or from any other source for the purpose aforesaid, shall be, and remain, a permanent fund, the interest of which shall be applied to the support of said university, for the promotion of literature, the arts and sciences, as may be authorized by the terms of such grant. And it shall be the duty of the general assembly as soon as may be, to provide effectual means for the improvement and permanent security of the funds of said university.

Agents of school funds. SEC. 6. The financial agents of the school funds shall be the same, that by law, receive and control the state and county revenue for other civil purposes, under such regulations as may be provided by law.

Distribution. SEC. 7
Repealed 1984, Amendment [39]

ARTICLE X.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.

How proposed--submission. SECTION 1. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in either house of the general assembly; and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, such proposed amendment shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the legislature to be chosen at the next general election, and shall be published, as provided by law, for three months previous to the time of making such choice; and if, in the general assembly so next chosen as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to, by a majority of all the members elected to each house, then it shall be the duty of the general assembly to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people, in such manner, and at such time as the general assembly shall provide; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of the constitution of this state.
For statutory provisions, see §49.43 to 49.50, and 49A.1 to 49A.11 of the Code

More than one amendment. SEC. 2. If two or more amendments shall be submitted at the same time, they shall be submitted in such manner that the electors shall vote for or against each of such amendments separately.

Constitutional convention. SEC. 3. At the general election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy, and in each tenth year thereafter, and also at such times as the general assembly may, by law, provide, the question, "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution, and propose amendment or amendments to same?" shall be decided by the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly; and in case a majority of the electors so qualified, voting at such election, for and against such proposition, shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the general assembly, at its next session, shall provide by law for the election of delegates to such convention, and for submitting the results of said convention to the people, in such manner and at such time as the general assembly shall provide; and if the people shall approve and ratify such amendment or amendments, by a majority of the electors qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, voting thereon, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of the constitution of this state. If two or more amendments shall be submitted at the same time, they shall be submitted in such a manner that electors may vote for or against each such amendment separately.
Repealed and rewritten 1964, Amendment [22]
Statutory provision, §39.4

ARTICLE XI.
MISCELLANEOUS.

Justice of peace--jurisdiction. SECTION 1. The jurisdiction of justices of the peace shall extend to all civil cases, (except cases in chancery, and cases where the question of title to real estate may arise,) where the amount in controversy does not exceed one hundred dollars, and by the consent of parties may be extended to any amount not exceeding three hundred dollars.
Nonindictable misdemeanors, jurisdiction, Art. I, §11
[The office of justice of peace has been abolished by 72 Acts, ch 1124.]

Counties. SEC. 2. No new county shall be hereafter created containing less than four hundred and thirty two square miles; nor shall the territory of any organized county be reduced below that area; except the county of Worth, and the counties west of it, along the northern boundary of this state, may be organized without additional territory.

Indebtedness of political or municipal corporations. SEC. 3. No county, or other political or municipal corporation shall be allowed to become indebted in any manner, or for any purpose, to an amount, in the aggregate, exceeding five per centum on the value of the taxable property within such county or corporation--to be ascertained by the last state and county tax lists, previous to the incurring of such indebtedness.
Statutory limitation, §346.24 of the Code
See 72 Acts, ch 1088

Boundaries of state. SEC. 4. The boundaries of the state may be enlarged, with the consent of congress and the general assembly.
See boundary compromise agreements at the end of Volume IV of the Code

Oath of office. SEC. 5. Every person elected or appointed to any office, shall, before entering upon the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States, and of this state, and also an oath of office.
See §63.10 of the Code

How vacancies filled. SEC. 6. In all cases of elections to fill vacancies in office occurring before the expiration of a full term, the person so elected shall hold for the residue of the unexpired term; and all persons appointed to fill vacancies in office, shall hold until the next general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Land grants located. SEC. 7. The general assembly shall not locate any of the public lands, which have been, or may be granted by congress to this state, and the location of which may be given to the general assembly, upon lands actually settled, without the consent of the occupant. The extent of the claim of such occupant, so exempted, shall not exceed three hundred and twenty acres.

Seat of government established--state university. SEC. 8. The seat of government is hereby permanently established, as now fixed by law, at the city of Des Moines, in the county of Polk; and the state university, at Iowa City, in the county of Johnson.
See 1855 Acts, ch 72

ARTICLE XII.
SCHEDULE.

Supreme law--constitutionality of acts. SECTION 1. This constitution shall be the supreme law of the state, and any law inconsistent therewith, shall be void. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry this constitution into effect.

Laws in force. SEC. 2. All laws now in force and not inconsistent with this constitution, shall remain in force until they shall expire or be repealed.

Proceedings not affected. SEC. 3. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Fines inure to the state. SEC. 4.
Repealed 1974, Amendment [35]

Bonds in force. SEC. 5. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

First election for governor and lieutenant governor. SEC. 6. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

First election of officers. SEC. 7. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

For judges of supreme court. SEC. 8. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

General assembly--first session. SEC. 9. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Senators. SEC. 10. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Offices not vacated. SEC. 11. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Judicial districts. SEC. 12. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Submission of constitution. SEC. 13. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Proposition to strike out the word "white". SEC. 14. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

Mills county. SEC. 15. [* * *]*
*Certain transitional provisions of Art. XII have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

General election. SEC. 16. [* * *]*
Added 1904, Amendment [11]. Apparently superseded by Art. II, §7.
*Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.

 

Back to top

The Bill Of Rights

 

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their ADOPTING the CONSTITUTION expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the SENATE and HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, That the following articles be proposed to the legislatures of the several states, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

 

ARTICLE THE FIRST

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

ARTICLE THE SECOND

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

ARTICLE THE THIRD

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

ARTICLE THE FOURTH

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

ARTICLE THE FIFTH

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

ARTICLE THE SIXTH

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

ARTICLE THE SEVENTH

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved; and no fact tried by jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

ARTICLE THE EIGHTH

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

ARTICLE THE NINTH

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparge others retained by the people.

ARTICLE THE TENTH

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 

Back to top

The Constitution of the United States

 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

Section. 1.
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section. 2.
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section. 1.
The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States;--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section. 3.
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary

Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from Virginia

Delaware
Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom

Maryland
James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl. Carroll

Virginia
John Blair--
James Madison Jr.

North Carolina
Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Hu Williamson

South Carolina
J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler

Georgia
William Few
Abr Baldwin

New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Massachusetts
Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King

Connecticut
Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman

New York
Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey
Wil: Livingston
David Brearley
Wm. Paterson
Jona: Dayton

Pennsylvania
B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt. Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris

 

Back to top

The Declaration of Independence:


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

 

Back to top

The Seven Principles of the Constitution Party

 

Life Life: For all human beings, from conception to natural death
   
Liberty 2 Liberty: Freedom of conscience and actions for the self-governed individual
   
Family Family: One husband and one wife with their children as divinely instituted
   
Property Property: Each individual's right to own and steward personal property without government burden
   
Constitution Constitution: and Bill of Rights interpreted according to the actual intent of the Founding Fathers
   
Icon State's Rights: Everything not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, nor prohibited by the Constitution to the states, is reserved to the states or to the people
   
Minuteman American Sovereignty: American government committed to the protection of the borders, trade, and common defense of Americans, and not entangled in foreign alliances

Constitution Party of Iowa Platform

 

We declare the platform of the Constitution Party of Iowa to be predicated on the principles of:

 

 

According to the original intent of the Founding Fathers, these founding documents are the foundation of our Liberty and the Supreme Law of the Land.

The sole purpose of government, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, is to secure our unalienable rights given us by our Creator. When Government grows beyond this scope, it is usurpation, and liberty is compromised.

We believe the major issues we face today are best solved by a renewed allegiance to the original intent of these founding documents.

 

Preamble
Sanctity of Life
Bring Government Back Home
Character and Moral Conduct
Congressional Reform
Conscription
Constitutional Convention
Copyrights and Patents
Cost of Big Government
Crime
Defense
Domestic Federal Aid
Drug Abuse
Education
Election Reform
Electoral College
Energy
Environment
Executive Orders
Family

 

Foreign Policy
Gambling
Government/ Private Partnership
Gun Control
Health Care and Government
Immigration
The Judiciary
Money and Banking
Personal and Private Property Security
Pornography
Religious Freedom
Social Security
Statehood
State Sovereignty
Tariffs and Trade
Taxes
Terrorism and Personal Liberty
Veterans
Wage and Price Control
Welfare

 

Preamble

The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.

This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.

The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.

The Constitution of these United States provides that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." The Constitution Party supports the original intent of this language. Therefore, the Constitution Party calls on all those who love liberty and value their inherent rights to join with us in the pursuit of these goals and in the restoration of these founding principles.

The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law, administered by representatives who are Constitutionally elected by the citizens. In such a Republic all Life, Liberty and Property are protected because law rules.

We affirm the principles of inherent individual rights upon which these United States of America were founded:

  • That each individual is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness;
  • That the freedom to own, use, exchange, control, protect, and freely dispose of property is a natural, necessary and inseparable extension of the individual's unalienable rights;
  • That the legitimate function of government is to secure these rights through the preservation of domestic tranquility, the maintenance of a strong national defense, and the promotion of equal justice for all;
  • That history makes clear that left unchecked, it is the nature of government to usurp the liberty of its citizens and eventually become a major violator of the people's rights; and
  • That, therefore, it is essential to bind government with the chains of the Constitution and carefully divide and jealously limit government powers to those assigned by the consent of the governed.

Back to top

Sanctity of Life

The Declaration of Independence states:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".

 

The Preamble of the Constitution states a purpose of the Constitution to be to:

"secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity".

 

We declare the unalienable right of Life to be secured by our Constitution "to ourselves and our Posterity". Our posterity includes children born and future generations yet unborn. Any legalization of the termination of innocent life of the born or unborn is a direct violation of our unalienable right to life.

The pre-born child, whose life begins at fertilization, is a human being created in God's image. The first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood. It is, therefore, the duty of all civil governments to secure and to safeguard the lives of the pre-born.

To that end, the Constitution of these United States was ordained and established for "ourselves and our posterity." Under no circumstances may the federal government fund or otherwise support any state or local government or any organization or entity, foreign or domestic, which advocates, encourages or participates in the practice of abortion. We also oppose the distribution and use of all abortifacients.

We affirm the God-given legal personhood of all unborn human beings, without exception. As to matters of rape and incest, it is unconscionable to take the life of an innocent child for the crimes of his father.

No government may legalize the taking of the unalienable right to life without justification, including the life of the pre-born; abortion may not be declared lawful by any institution of state or local government - legislative, judicial, or executive. The right to life should not be made dependent upon a vote of a majority of any legislative body.

In addition, Article IV of the Constitution guarantees to each state a republican form of government. Therefore, although a Supreme Court opinion is binding on the parties to the controversy as to the particulars of the case, it is not a political rule for the nation. Roe v. Wade is an illegitimate usurpation of authority, contrary to the law of the nation's Charter and Constitution. It must be resisted by all civil government officials, federal, state, and local, and by all branches of the government - legislative, executive, and judicial.

We affirm both the authority and duty of Congress to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in all cases of abortion in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 2.

In office, we shall only appoint to the federal judiciary, and to other positions of federal authority, qualified individuals who publicly acknowledge and commit themselves to the legal personhood of the pre-born child. In addition, we will do all that is within our power to encourage federal, state, and local government officials to protect the sanctity of the life of the pre-born through legislation, executive action, and judicial enforcement of the law of the land.

Further, we condemn the misuse of federal laws against pro-life demonstrators, and strongly urge the repeal of the FACE Acts as an unconstitutional expansion of federal power into areas reserved to the states or people by the Tenth Amendment.

In addition, we oppose the funding and legalization of bio-research involving human embryonic or pre-embryonic cells.

Finally, we also oppose all government "legalization" of euthanasia, infanticide and suicide.

Back to top

Bring Government Back Home

The closer civil government is to the people, the more responsible, responsive, and accountable it is likely to be. The Constitution, itself, in Articles I through VI, enumerates the powers which may be exercised by the federal government. Of particular importance is Article I, Section 8 which delineates the authority of the Congress.

The federal government was clearly established as a government of limited authority. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution specifically provides that: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Over time, the limitations of federal government power imposed by the Constitution have been substantially eroded. Preservation of constitutional government requires a restoration of the balance of authority between the federal government and the States as provided in the Constitution, itself, and as intended and construed by those who framed and ratified that document.

We pledge to be faithful to this constitutional requirement and to work methodically to restore to the States and to the people their rightful control over legislative, judicial, executive, and regulatory functions which are not Constitutionally delegated to the federal government.

We stand opposed to any regionalization of governments, at any level, which results in removal of decision-making powers from the people or those directly elected by the people.

Back to top

Character and Moral Conduct

John Adams, 2nd President and signer of the Declaration of Independence warned:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

He also counseled:
"The people have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge - I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers." Our very Constitution is threatened when we permit immoral conduct by our leaders.

Public respect and esteem toward public officials has fallen to a shameful level. The Constitution Party finds that a cause of this national state of disgrace is the deterioration of personal character among government leaders, exacerbated by the lack of public outcry against immoral conduct by public office holders. Our party leaders and public officials must display exemplary qualities of honesty, integrity, reliability, moral uprightness, fidelity, prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude, self-restraint, courage, kindness, and compassion. If they cannot be trusted in private life, neither can they be trusted in public life.

It is imperative the members and nominated candidates representing the Constitution Party and its state affiliates recognize the importance of demonstrating good character in their own lives.

Back to top

Congressional Reform

"The Senators and Representatives ... shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution". - US Constitution, Article 6, Clause 3

With the advent of the 17th amendment, a vital check on Congress was removed. Since then, Congress has usurped power relatively unchecked, where today, very few members of Congress make it through a single session, without violating their oath of office to the Constitution.

The Congress of these United States has become an overpaid, overstaffed, self-serving institution. It confiscates taxpayer funds to finance exorbitant and unconstitutionally determined salaries, pensions, and perks. Most members of Congress have become more accountable to the Washington establishment than to the people in their home districts. Both houses of Congress are all too often unresponsive and irresponsible, arrogantly placing themselves above the very laws they enact, and beyond the control of the citizens they have sworn to represent and serve.

We seek to abolish Congressional pensions.

It is time for the American people to renew effective supervision of their public servants, to restore right standards and to take back the government. Congress must once again be accountable to the people and obedient to the Constitution, repealing all laws that delegate legislative powers to regulatory agencies, bureaucracies, private organizations, the Federal Reserve Board, international agencies, the President, and the judiciary.

The U.S. Constitution, as originally framed in Article I, Section 3, provided for U.S. Senators to be elected by state legislators. This provided the states direct representation in the legislative branch so as to deter the usurpation of powers that are Constitutionally reserved to the states or to the people.

The Seventeenth Amendment (providing for direct, popular election of U.S. Senators) took away from state governments their Constitutional role of indirect participation in the federal legislative process.

If we are to see a return to the states those powers, programs, and sources of revenue that the federal government has unconstitutionally taken away, then it is also vital that we repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and return to state legislatures the function of electing the U.S. Senate. In so doing, this would return the U.S. Senate to being a body that represents the legislatures of the several states on the federal level and, thus, a tremendously vital part of the designed checks and balances of power that our Constitution originally provided.

We support legislation to prohibit the attachment of unrelated riders to bills. Any amendments must fit within the scope and object of the original bill.

We support legislation to require that the Congressional Record contain an accurate record of proceedings. Members of Congress are not to be permitted to rewrite the speeches delivered during the course of debates, or other remarks offered from the floors of their respective houses; nor may any additional materials be inserted in the Record, except those referred to in the speaker's presentation and for which space is reserved.

Back to top

Conscription

US Constitution, 5th Amendment:
"No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Conscription deprives a person of liberty without due process of law. This is clearly prohibited by the 5th amendment. Conscription is an involuntary taking of a person's labor-which is a form of property-without just compensation as provided by the eminent domain provisions of the 5th amendment.

Compulsory government service is incompatible with individual liberty.

We oppose imposition of the draft, the registration law, compulsory military training or any other form of compulsory government service.

We support a well-trained and highly organized volunteer state home militia, and voluntary Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) military training in our schools, colleges, and universities.

Back to top

Constitutional Convention

We affirm the original text of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We affirm that the nation's Charter, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution contain the foundational law of the federal union. We condemn, therefore, all legislative, executive, and judicial action that departs from the texts and intent of the Charter and the Constitution and their original meaning.

We oppose any attempt to call for a Constitutional convention, for any purpose whatsoever, because it cannot be limited to any single issue, and such convention could seriously erode our Constitutionally protected unalienable rights.

Back to top

Copyrights and Patents

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states that Congress shall have the power "to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing" copyright and patent protection for authors and inventors.

We oppose the unconstitutional transfer of authority over copyright and patent policy from Congress to other agencies, domestic or foreign. We favor more vigorous efforts in both domestic and foreign markets to protect the interests of owners in their copyrights and patents.

Back to top

Cost of Big Government

James Madison said: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined." (Federalist Papers #45) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people (Amendment X).

A legitimate and primary purpose of civil government is to safeguard the God-given rights of its citizens; namely, life, liberty, and property. Only those duties, functions, and programs specifically assigned to the federal government by the Constitution should be funded. We call upon Congress and the President to stop all federal expenditures which are not specifically authorized by the U. S. Constitution, and to restore to the states those powers, programs, and sources of revenue that the federal government has usurped.

Budget considerations are greatly impacted by the ever rising national debt. Interest on the debt is one of the largest expenses of government, and unless the interest is paid, the debt will continue to grow as interest is added to interest. If we are to get rid of the debt, a time needs to be set within which the debt will be funded, and then pay it off within that period. Whatever the payoff period may be, three things must happen within that time.

  • The annual reductions have to be made without fail.
  • All interest must be paid as it accrues; and
  • The government must not spend more than it takes in during the payoff period.

One of the greatest contributors to deficit spending is war. If the country is to get rid of debt, these United States cannot become gratuitously involved in constant wars. Constitutional government, as the founders envisioned it, was not imperial. It was certainly not contemplated that America would police the world at the taxpayers' expense.

We call for the systematic reduction of the federal debt through, but not limited to, the elimination of further borrowing and the elimination of unconstitutional programs and agencies.

We call upon the President to use his Constitutional veto power to stop irresponsible and unconstitutional appropriations, and use his Constitutional authority to refuse to spend any money appropriated by Congress for unconstitutional programs or in excess of Constitutionally imposed tax revenue.

The debt could be more rapidly eliminated if certain lands and other assets currently held by the federal government were sold, and the proceeds applied to the debt. This policy should be employed, and funds from the sale of all such assets should be specifically applied to debt reduction.

We reject the misleading use of the terms "surplus" and "balanced budget" as long as we have public debt. We oppose dishonest accounting practices such as "off-budget items" used to hide unconstitutional spending practices.

We call for an end to the raiding by the federal government of the Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Medicare funds. We believe that over a protracted period the Social Security system may be privatized without disadvantage to the beneficiaries of the system. However, the program has been in place since the 1930s, and workers and their employers were taxed for the program and paid in good faith. The government promised to deliver the benefits, and must meet this commitment.

We call for the abolition of the Civil Service system, which is perceived to confer on government employees a "property right" regarding their jobs.

Back to top

Crime

St George Tucker was the pre-eminent constitutional scholar of the American founding era. He published View of the Constitution of the United States in 1803 as a comprehensive review of the Constitution of 1787 and the Bill of Rights. Felonies not enumerated within the United States Constitution are, in Tucker's view, left within the jurisdiction of the state.

. . . the very guarded manner in which congress are vested with authority to legislate upon the subject of crimes, and misdemeanors. They are not entrusted with a general power over these subjects, but a few offenses are selected from the great mass of crimes with which society may be infested, upon which, only, congress are authorized to prescribe the punishment, or define the offense. All felonies and offenses committed upon land, in all cases not expressly enumerated, being reserved to the states respectively. (View of the Constitution of the United States, p. 210-211)

US Constitution, Article I, Section 8 Clause 6: "To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;" US Constitution, Article III Section 3 Clause 2: "The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason" Amendment 10: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Crime, in most cases, is to be dealt with by state and local governments. To the degree that the federal government, in its legislation, in its judicial actions, in its regulations, and in its executive branch activities, interferes with the ability of the people in their communities to apprehend, judge, and penalize accused lawbreakers, it bears responsibility for the climate of crime, which has grown more destructive with each passing year.

We favor the right of states and localities to execute criminals convicted of capital crimes and to require restitution for the victims of criminals. Federal involvement in state and local criminal justice processes should be limited to that which is Constitutionally permitted.

All who are accused of crimes, petty to capital, shall have a trial by jury upon request, and the jury shall be fully informed of its right to nullify the law. Furthermore, we oppose defendants being charged and tried by both state and federal jurisdictions under different laws for the same alleged criminal act, thus violating the Constitutionally secured prohibition against double jeopardy.

We are opposed to "hate crime" legislation and to enhanced penalties for so called hate crimes. We recognize that a real result of the designation of "hate crime" is to extend federal jurisdiction to crimes which would otherwise be in the province of the states.

Back to top

Defense

The very purpose of Government, as defined in the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, is "to secure these [unalienable] rights, Governments are instituted among Men", "that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

To fulfill this obligation, the Preamble of the Constitution states one of the duties specifically delegated to the Federal Government is to "Provide for the common defense".

US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 11 - 16 give Congress further direction and authority in this area, including the power "To raise and support Armies" and "To provide and maintain a Navy".

It is a primary obligation of the federal government to provide for the common defense, and to be vigilant regarding potential threats, prospective capabilities, and perceived intentions of potential enemies.

We oppose unilateral disarmament and dismemberment of America's defense infrastructure. That which is hastily torn down will not be easily rebuilt.

We condemn the presidential assumption of authority to deploy American troops into combat without a declaration of war by Congress, pursuant to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

Under no circumstances would we commit U.S. forces to serve under any foreign flag or command. We are opposed to any New World Order, and we reject U.S. participation in or a relinquishing of command to any foreign authority.

The goal of U.S. security policy is to defend the national security interests of these United States. Therefore, except in time of declared war, for the purposes of state security, no state national guard or reserve troops shall be called upon to support or conduct operations in foreign theatres.

We should be the friend of liberty everywhere, but the guarantor and provisioner of ours alone.

We call for the maintenance of a strong, state-of-the-art military on land, sea, in the air, and in space. We urge the executive and legislative branches to continue to provide for the modernization of our armed forces, in keeping with advancing technologies and a constantly changing world situation. We call for the deployment of a fully-operational strategic defense system as soon as possible.

We believe that all defense expenditures should be directly related to the protection of our nation, and that every item of expenditure must be carefully reviewed to eliminate foreign aid, waste, fraud, theft, inefficiency, and excess profits from all defense contracts and military expenditures.

We reject the policies and practices that permit women to train for or participate in combat. Because of the radical feminization of the military over the past two decades, it must be recognized that these "advances" undermine the integrity, morale, and performance of our military organizations by dual qualification standards and forced integration.

We fully support well regulated militias organized at the state level. Further, we fully support and encourage the restoration of unorganized militia at the county and community level in compliance with our patriotic and legal responsibilities as free citizens of these United States.

Under no circumstances should we have unilaterally surrendered our military base rights in Panama. The sovereign right of these United States to the United States territory of the Canal Zone has been jeopardized by treaties between these United States and Panama. Inasmuch as these United States bought both the sovereignty and the grant ownership of the ten-mile-wide Canal Zone, we propose that the government of these United States restore and protect its sovereign right and exclusive jurisdiction of the Canal Zone in perpetuity, and renegotiate the treaties with Panama by which the ownership of the canal was surrendered to Panama.

It should be a priority goal of the President and Congress to insist on enforcement of that portion of the 1978 Panama Canal Neutrality Treaty which prohibits control of the entrances to the Panama Canal by any entity not part of the Republic of Panama or these United States of America. By this standard, the award of port facilities at the entrances to the Panama Canal to Hutchison Whampoa, a Hong Kong company closely linked to the Chinese Communist People's Liberation Army, must be overturned. Similarly, Congress and the President should take advantage of Panama Canal treaty provisions to negotiate the return of a U.S. military presence at the Isthmus of Panama. At a time when the U.S. Navy is one-third its former size, it is essential that rapid transit of U.S. military vessels between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans be assured.

Back to top

 

Domestic Federal Aid

The 10th Amendment states:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The Constitution assigns all powers not delegated to the federal government to the states or the people.

Domestic federal "aid" not authorized by the Constitution is not only illegal, it is immoral.

We call upon the states, therefore, to decline to accept all monies from the federal government for any purpose not specifically and clearly articulated in the Constitution, and reject all federal mandates and regulations which are unconstitutional, thus restoring the intended balance of power between the states and their creation, the U.S. Government.

Back to top

Drug Abuse

The 10th Amendment states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The 4th Amendment states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The Constitution Party will uphold the right of states and localities to restrict access to drugs and to enforce such restrictions. We support legislation to stop the flow of illegal drugs into these United States from foreign sources. As a matter of self-defense, retaliatory policies including embargoes, sanctions, and tariffs, should be considered.

At the same time, we will take care to prevent violations of the Constitutional and civil rights of American citizens. Searches without probable cause and seizures without due process must be prohibited, and the presumption of innocence must be preserved.

Back to top

 

Education

Since the Constitution grants the Federal Government no authority over Education, the 10th Amendment applies:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

All teaching is related to basic assumptions about God and man. Education as a whole, therefore, cannot be separated from religious faith. The law of our Creator assigns the authority and responsibility of educating children to their parents. Education should be free from all federal government subsidies, including vouchers, tax incentives, and loans, except with respect to veterans.

Because the federal government has absolutely no jurisdiction concerning the education of our children, the United States Department of Education should be abolished; all federal legislation related to education should be repealed. No federal laws subsidizing or regulating the education of children should be enacted. Under no circumstances should the federal government be involved in national teacher certification, educational curricula, textbook selection, learning standards, comprehensive sex education, psychological and psychiatric research testing programs, and personnel.

Because control over education is now being relegated to departments other than the Department of Education, we clarify that no federal agency, department, board, or other entity may exercise jurisdiction over any aspect of children's upbringing. Education, training, and discipline of children are properly placed in the domain of their parents.

We support the unimpeded right of parents to provide for the education of their children in the manner they deem best, including home, private or religious. We oppose all legislation from any level of government that would interfere with or restrict that liberty. We support equitable tax relief for families whose children do not attend government schools.

So that parents need not defy the law by refusing to send their children to schools of which they disapprove, compulsory attendance laws should be repealed.

Back to top

Election Reform

US Constitution, Article 1, Section 4, Clause 1:
"The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing* Senators." (*original spelling from Constitution) The Constitutional balance of power on this matter has been destroyed by the 17th amendment. The States no longer have a representative at the Federal level. (See "Congressional Reform" plank.)

The Constitution Party seeks the restoration of an electoral process which is controlled at the state and local level and is beyond manipulation by federal judges and bureaucrats. The federal government has unconstitutionally and unwisely preempted control in matters of district boundaries, electoral procedures, and campaign activities.

The Voting Rights Act should be repealed. The Federal Election Campaign Act, including its 1974 amendments, and the Federal Election Commission should be abolished.

Each citizen should have the right to seek public office in accordance with the qualifications set forth in federal and state constitutions. Additional restrictions and obligations governing candidate eligibility and campaign procedures burden unconstitutionally the fairness and accountability of our political system.

To encourage free and fair elections, all candidates must be treated equally. We call for an end to designated "Major Party" status that gives an unfair advantage to some candidates by providing ballot access and taxpayer dollars, while requiring others for the same office to gather petition signatures or meet other, more stringent criteria.

We call for a repeal of all federal campaign finance laws (i.e. McCain-Feingold) due to their violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In order to avoid election fraud, we urge an end to electronic or mechanical voting processes and a return to the manual counting process overseen by, and accountable to, voters resident in each precinct where the votes are cast.

Back to top

Electoral College

Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution states, in part: "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress: but no senator or representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector." This established our Electoral College.

Although the Constitution does not require the states to adhere to any specific manner in electing these electors or how they cast their votes, it suggests, by its wording, that prominent individuals from each congressional district, and from the state at large, would be elected or appointed as electors that represent that district. Under this arrangement, a voter would vote for three individuals, one to represent his district and two "at large" representatives to represent his state. These electors, in turn, would then carefully and deliberately select the candidate for president. Under this system each congressional district could, in essence, select a different candidate. The candidate with the most electors nationwide would become the next president.

This was the general procedure used until the 1830's, at which time all the states, except for South Carolina, changed to a "general ticket."

The "general ticket" system is still in use today. Inherently, it causes corruption by the inequitable transfer of power from congressional districts to the states and large cities at the expense of rural communities.

The Constitution Party encourages states to eliminate the "general ticket" system and return to the procedure intended by the Framers.

Back to top

Energy

James Madison said: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined." (Federalist Papers #45) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution , nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people (Amendment X).

We call attention to the continuing need of these United States for a sufficient supply of energy for national security and for the immediate adoption of a policy of free market solutions to achieve energy independence for these United States. We call for abolishing the Department of Energy.

Private property rights should be respected, and the federal government should not interfere with the development of potential energy sources, including natural gas, hydroelectric power, solar energy, wind generators, and nuclear energy.

Back to top

 

Environment

James Madison said: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined." (Federalist Papers #45) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people (Amendment X).

It is our responsibility to be prudent, productive, and efficient stewards of God's natural resources. In that role, we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply, and to replenish the earth and develop it (e.g., to turn deserts into farms and wastelands into groves). This requires a proper and continuing dynamic balance between development and conservation, between use and preservation.

In keeping with this requirement, we wholeheartedly support realistic efforts to preserve the environment and reduce pollution - air, water, and land. We reject, however, the argument of the perceived threat of man-made global warming which has been refuted by a large number of scientists. The globalists are using the global warming threat to gain more control via worldwide sustainable development.

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution limits the federal power of eminent domain solely to the purchase of private property with just compensation for public use, such as military reservations and government office buildings - not for public ownership, such as urban renewal, environmental protection, or historic preservation. Under no circumstances may the federal government take private property, by means of rules and regulations which preclude or substantially reduce the productive use of the property, even with just compensation.

We call for a return to the states and to the people all lands which are held by the federal government without authorization by the Constitution.

We also call for repeal of federal wetlands legislation and the federal Endangered Species Act. Moreover, we oppose any attempt to designate private or public property as United Nations World Heritage sites or Biosphere reserves. We call for an end to this United States participation in UN programs such as UNESCO, Man and the Biosphere, and the UN Council on Sustainable Development. We oppose environmental treaties and conventions such as the Biodiversity Treaty, the Convention on Climate Control, and Agenda 21, which destroy our sovereignty and right to private property.

Back to top

Executive Orders

Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution clearly restricts the power to make laws: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States".

Presidential Executive Orders are clearly "legislative powers".

We oppose the use of Presidential executive orders that make law or otherwise usurp the Constitutional authority and responsibilities of the legislative and judicial branches. This Constitutionally subversive practice must be stopped by Congress. All unconstitutional executive orders must be repealed.

Back to top

Family

No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations, as affirmed by the 10th amendment, delegating to the people as our founders understood the family as necessary to the general welfare. We affirm the importance of Biblical scripture in the founders' intent as eloquently stated by Noah Webster: "The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitution and laws… All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts in the Bible."

The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family, and the family is fundamental in the maintenance of a stable, healthy and prosperous social order. No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted. We are opposed to amending the U.S. Constitution for the purpose of defining marriage.

We reject the notion that sexual offenders are deserving of legal favor or special protection, and affirm the rights of states and localities to proscribe offensive sexual behavior. We oppose all efforts to impose a new sexual legal order through the federal court system. We stand against so-called "sexual orientation" and "hate crime" statutes that attempt to legitimize inappropriate sexual behavior and to stifle public resistance to its expression. We oppose government funding of "partner" benefits for unmarried individuals. Finally, we oppose any legal recognition of homosexual unions.

We recognize that parents have the fundamental right and responsibility to nurture, educate, and discipline their children. We oppose the assumption of any of these responsibilities by any governmental agency without the express delegation of the parents or legal due process. We affirm the value of the father and the mother in the home, and we oppose efforts to legalize adoption of children by homosexual singles or couples.

Back to top

Foreign Policy

"Europe has a set of primary interests, which have to us none, or very remote relation. Hence, she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collusions of her friendships or enmities. "Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?" (George Washington's Farewell Address)

"I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Thomas Jefferson-First Inaugural Address. Bergh 3:321. (1801.)

"America has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings....She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." (John Quincy Adams, Speech Delivered in Washington DC 04 July 1821)

"In the wars of European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy so to do....Our policy in regard to Europe...is, not to interfere in the internal concerns of any of its powers..." (James Monroe, Monroe Doctrine)

Back to top

 

National Sovereignty

These United States is properly a free and sovereign republic which should strive to live in peace with all nations, without interfering in their internal affairs, and without permitting their interference in ours. We are, therefore, unalterably opposed to entangling alliances - via treaties, or any other form of commitment - which compromise our national sovereignty, or commit us to intervention in foreign wars. We are opposed to the negotiation or ratification of any treaty, agreement, or partnership that would deprive United States citizens of their rights protected by the United States Constitution. We are also opposed to any union whether political or economic, of these United States, Mexico, and Canada (NAU).

To this end, we shall:

  • steadfastly oppose American participation in any form of world government organization, including any world court under United Nations auspices;
  • call upon the President, and Congress, to terminate United States membership in the United Nations, and its subsidiary organizations, and terminate U.S. participation in all so-called U.N. peace keeping operations;
  • bar the United Nations, and its subsidiaries, from further operation, including raising of funds, on United States territory; and
  • propose that the Constitution be obeyed to prohibit the United States government from entering any treaty, or other agreement, which makes any commitment of American military forces or tax money, compromises the sovereignty of the United States, or accomplishes a purpose properly the subject of domestic law. In this connection we specifically denounce the agreement establishing the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and any other such trade agreements, either bi-lateral or regional in nature. All treaties must be subordinate to the Constitution, since the Constitution is the only instrument which empowers and limits the federal government.

American troops must serve only under American commanders, not those of the United Nations or foreign countries.

Back to top

Pacts and Agreements

Since World War II, these United States has increasingly played the undesirable role of an international policeman. Through our involvements abroad our country is being changed from a republic to a world empire in which our freedoms are being sacrificed on an altar of international involvement. These United States is now committed by treaty to defend foreign nations in all parts of the world, and by agreements other than treaties to defend more. Therefore, we call upon the President, and Congress, to immediately commence a systematic withdrawal from these treaties and agreements, each of which holds the potential to plunge America into war in some far-flung corner of the earth.

NATO, for instance, serves no defensive purpose for these United States, and this country should withdraw from it.

Unconstitutional, Undeclared Wars:

Since World War II, these United States has been involved in tragic, unconstitutional, undeclared wars which cost our country the lives of many thousands of young Americans. These wars were the direct and foreseeable result of the bi-partisan interventionist policy of both Democrat and Republican administrations.

The Constitution Party is opposed to the continuation of the same interventionist policy, with that policy's capacity to involve our country in repeated wars.

We demand that:

  • never again shall United States troops be employed on any foreign field of battle without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by the United States Constitution;
  • Congress refuse to fund unconstitutional, undeclared wars pursuant to presidential whim or international obligations under which American sovereignty has been transferred to multi-national agencies.

Back to top

Foreign Involvement

The Constitution Party has consistently opposed American involvement in conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central and South America. These United States has no interest in these areas which would justify the sacrifice of Americans on foreign battlefields - nor is our country properly cast as a merchant of death in international arms races.

We propose that these United States:

  • repudiate any commitment, express or implied, to send U.S. troops to participate in foreign conflicts, whether unilaterally, under NATO auspices, or as a part of the United Nations "peace-keeping" operations; and
  • cease financing, or arming of belligerents in the world's troubled areas.

We support the principle of the Monroe Doctrine, which expresses U.S. opposition to European adventurism in the Western Hemisphere.

We call upon the Congress to immediately terminate American military presence in all foreign countries where such U.S. presence constitutes an invitation for this nation to become involved in, or further participate in, foreign wars.

Back to top

 

Foreign Aid

Since World War II, these United States has engaged in the greatest international giveaway program ever conceived by man, and is now spending billions of dollars each year to aid foreign nations. There is no constitutional basis for foreign aid. These expenditures have won us no friends, and constitute a major drain on the resources of our taxpayers. Therefore, we demand that:

  • no further funds be appropriated for any kind of foreign aid program;
  • United States participation in international lending institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, be ended;
  • the Export-Import Bank be abolished;
  • all government subsidies, tax preferences, and investment guarantees to encourage U.S. businesses to invest in foreign lands be immediately terminated; and
  • all debts owed to the United States by foreign countries, or foreign entities, be collected.

Back to top

 

Gambling

James Madison said: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined." (Federalist Papers #45) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people (Amendment X).

Gambling promotes an increase in crime, destruction of family values, and a decline in the moral fiber of our country. We are opposed to government sponsorship, involvement in, or promotion of gambling, such as lotteries, or subsidization of Native American casinos in the name of economic development. We call for the repeal of federal legislation that usurps state and local authority regarding authorization and regulation of tribal casinos in the states.

Back to top

Government/ Private Partnership

"…what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? …a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." - Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address - Wednesday, March 1, 1801

America was founded on the economic principles of the "free enterprise" system. An individual was free to operate his business under the law without government intervention and regulation. This economic system is being replaced by public (government) - private partnerships. This system is called fascism. The Constitution Party is opposed to public-private partnerships and is for a return to the true "free enterprise" system that once made our nation great and economically prosperous.

Back to top

Gun Control

The 2nd Amendment strictly limits any interference with gun ownership by saying: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The right to bear arms is inherent in the right of self defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny, conferred on the individual and the community by our Creator to safeguard life, liberty, and property, as well as to help preserve the independence of the nation.

The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution; it may not properly be infringed upon or denied.

The Constitution Party upholds the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. We oppose attempts to prohibit ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, and stand against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition.

We emphasize that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. In such circumstances, the peaceful citizen's protection against the criminal would be seriously jeopardized.

We call for the repeal of all federal firearms legislation, beginning with Federal Firearms Act of 1968.

We call for the rescinding of all executive orders, the prohibition of any future executive orders, and the prohibition of treaty ratification which would in any way limit the right to keep and bear arms.

Back to top

Health Care and Government

James Madison said: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined." (Federalist Papers #45) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people (Amendment X).

The Constitution Party opposes the governmentalization and bureaucratization of American medicine. Government regulation and subsidy constitutes a threat to both the quality and availability of patient-oriented health care and treatment.

Hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers should be accountable to patients - not to politicians, insurance bureaucrats, or HMO Administrators.

If the supply of medical care is controlled by the federal government, then officers of that government will determine which demand is satisfied. The result will be the rationing of services, higher costs, poorer results - and the power of life and death transferred from caring physicians to unaccountable political overseers.

We denounce any civil government entity using age or any other personal characteristic to: preclude people and insurance firms from freely contracting for medical coverage; conscript such people into socialized medicine, e.g., Medicare; or prohibit these people from using insurance payments and/or their own money to obtain medical services in addition to, or to augment the quality of, those services prescribed by the program.

We applaud proposals for employee-controlled "family coverage" health insurance plans based on cash value life insurance principles.

The federal government has no Constitutional provision to regulate or restrict the freedom of the people to have access to medical care, supplies or treatments. We advocate, therefore, the elimination of the federal Food and Drug Administration, as it has been the federal agency primarily responsible for prohibiting beneficial products, treatments, and technologies here in the United States that are freely available in much of the rest of the civilized world.

We affirm freedom of choice of practitioner and treatment for all citizens for their health care.

We support the right of patients to seek redress of their grievances through the courts against insurers and/or HMO's.

We condemn the misrepresentations made by the Federal Administration in securing passage of the recently enacted Medicare prescription drug bill, and the use of such legislation to secure government subsidies to special interests, such as the HMOs, and to protect the artificially high cost to consumers of prescription drugs.

Back to top

Immigration

US Constitution, Article 4, Section 4: The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; James Madison: "When we are considering the advantages that may result from an easy mode of naturalization, we ought also to consider the cautions necessary to guard against abuses … aliens might acquire the right of citizenship, and return to the country from which they came, and evade the laws intended to encourage the commerce and industry of the real citizens and inhabitants of America, enjoying at the same time all the advantages of citizens…"

We affirm the integrity of the international borders of these United States and the Constitutional authority and duty of the federal government to guard and to protect those borders, including the regulation of the numbers and of the qualifications of immigrants into the country.

Each year approximately one million legal immigrants and almost as many illegal aliens enter these United States. These immigrants - including illegal aliens - have been made eligible for various kinds of public assistance, including housing, education, Social Security, and legal services. This unconstitutional drain on the federal Treasury is having a severe and adverse impact on our economy, increasing the cost of government at federal, state, and local levels, adding to the tax burden, and stressing the fabric of society. The mass importation of people with low standards of living threatens the wage structure of the American worker and the labor balance in our country.

We oppose the abuse of the H-1B and L-1 visa provisions of the immigration act which are displacing American workers with foreign.

We favor a moratorium on immigration to these United States, except in extreme hardship cases or in other individual special circumstances, until the availability of all federal subsidies and assistance be discontinued, and proper security procedures have been instituted to protect against terrorist infiltration.

We also insist that every individual group and/or private agency which requests the admission of an immigrant to the U.S, on whatever basis, be required to commit legally to provide housing and sustenance for such immigrants, bear full responsibility for the economic independence of the immigrants, and post appropriate bonds to seal such covenants.

The Constitution Party demands that the federal government restore immigration policies based on the practice that potential immigrants will be disqualified from admission to the U.S. if, on the grounds of health, criminality, morals, or financial dependence, they would impose an improper burden on these United States, any state, or any citizen of these United States.

We oppose the provision of welfare subsidies and other taxpayer-supported benefits to illegal aliens, and reject the practice of bestowing U.S. citizenship on children born to illegal alien parents while in this country.

We oppose any extension of amnesty to illegal aliens. We call for the use of U.S. troops to protect the states against invasion.

We oppose bilingual ballots. We insist that those who wish to take part in the electoral process and governance of this nation be required to read and comprehend basic English as a precondition of citizenship. We support English as the official language for all governmental business by these United States.

Back to top

The Judiciary

We call attention to the following provisions of the Constitution:
Article 3, Section 1:
"The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour". Note that the tenure of Federal Judges is not for life, but merely "during good behaviour".

Also, Article 2, Section 4:
"all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
"All civil officers" clearly includes Judges.

And the Constitution says regarding jurisdiction:
(Article 3, Section 2, Clause 2) "the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction … with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."
Note that the Constitution gives Congress the power to make exceptions to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

And regarding the duty of Judges:
(Article 6, Section 1, Clause 3) "all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution".
Which Constitution must they swear to support?

The United States Constitution does not provide for lifetime appointment of federal judges, but only for a term of office during good behavior. We support Congressional enforcement of the Constitutional rule of good behavior and to restrain judicial activism by properly removing offending judges through the process of impeachment provided for in Article I, § 2 and 3 of the Constitution. Furthermore, Congress must exert the power it possesses to prohibit all federal courts from hearing cases which Congress deems to be outside federal jurisdiction pursuant to Article III, § 2 of the Constitution.

We particularly support all the legislation which would remove from Federal appellate review jurisdiction matters involving acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

We commend Former Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court for his defense of the display of the Ten Commandments, and condemn those who persecuted him and removed him from office for his morally and legally just stand.

We deny the validity of judicial rulings that use foreign court rulings to overturn U.S. precedent.

Back to top

 

Money and Banking

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 grants only to Congress the power "To coin Money [and] regulate the Value thereof", with no provision for such power to be delegated to any other group.

Congress began immediately to fulfill this obligation with the Mint Act of 1792, establishing a US Mint for producing Gold and Silver based coin, prescribing the value and content of each coin, and affixing the penalty of death to those who debase such currency.

Article 1, Section 10: "No State shall ... coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts".

Thus, the Constitution forbade the States from accepting or using anything other than a Gold and Silver based currency.

Money functions as both a medium of exchange and a symbol of a nation's morality.

The Founding Fathers established a system of "coin" money that was designed to prohibit the "improper and wicked" manipulation of the nation's medium of exchange while guaranteeing the power of the citizens' earnings.

The federal government has departed from the principle of "coin" money as defined by the U.S. Constitution and the Mint Act of 1792 and has granted unconstitutional control of the nation's monetary and banking system to the private Federal Reserve System.

The Constitution Party recommends a substantive reform of the system of Federal taxation. In order for such reform to be effective, it is necessary that these United States:

  • Return to the money system set forth in the Constitution;
  • Repeal the Federal Reserve Act, and reform the current Federal Reserve banks to become clearing houses only; and
  • Prohibit fractional reserve banking.

It is our intention that no system of "debt money" shall be imposed on the people of these United States. We support a debt free, interest free money system.

Back to top

Personal and Private Property Security

The 4th Amendment states:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The Fifth Amendment further protects property, by stating:
"No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

We affirm the Fourth Amendment right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, including arbitrary or de facto registration, general and unwarranted electronic surveillance, national computer databases, and national identification cards. We also reaffirm that civil governments must be strictly limited in their powers to intrude upon the persons and private property of individual citizens, in particular, that no place be searched and no thing be seized, except upon proof of probable cause that a crime has been committed and the proper judicial warrant issued.

We further reaffirm the common-law rule that protects the people from any search or seizure whatsoever when that search or seizure violates the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

We deplore and oppose vigorously legislation and executive action that deprive the people of their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights under claims of necessity to "combat terrorism" or to "protect national security."

We oppose legislation and administrative action utilizing asset forfeiture laws which enable the confiscation of the private property of persons not involved in the crime. Forfeiture of assets can only be enforced after conviction of the property owner as a penalty for the crime. Such forfeitures must follow full due process of law under criminal prosecution standards.

We oppose the monitoring and controlling of the financial transactions of the people through such proposed laws as "Know Your Customer." Banks should be repositories of treasure and fiduciaries for the people, not enforcers for the State. Any information regarding customer transactions the State obtains from banks must be subject to the traditional Fourth Amendment safeguards.

We support privacy legislation that prohibits private parties from discriminating against individuals who refuse to disclose or obtain a Social Security number. We also call for legislation prohibiting all governmental entities from requiring the use of the Social Security number except for Social Security transactions. Additionally, we call for the repeal of all laws, regulations, and statutes that require the use of the Social Security number for any purpose other than Social Security transactions.

Back to top

 

Pornography

Samuel Adams said: "While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."

Pornography, at best, is a distortion of the true nature of sex created by God for the procreative union between one man and one woman in the holy bonds of matrimony, and at worst, is a destructive element of society resulting in significant and real emotional, physical, spiritual and financial costs to individuals, families and communities. We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity to maintain a degree of separation between that which is truly speech and that which only seeks to distort and destroy.

With the advent of the Internet and the benevolent neglect of the previous administrations, the pornography industry enjoyed uninhibited growth and expansion until the point today that we live in a sex-saturated society where almost nothing remains untainted by its perversion. While we believe in the responsibility of the individual and corporate entities to regulate themselves, we also believe that our collective representative body we call government plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining the highest level of decency in our community standards.

Back to top

Religious Freedom

Article I of the Bill of Rights reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Our Constitution grants no authority to the federal government either to grant or deny the religious expressions of the people in any place. Both the First and Tenth Amendments forbid such tyranny.

We call upon all branches of government to cease their attacks on the religious liberties of the people and the states, regardless of the forum in which these liberties are exercised.

We assert that any form of taxation on churches and other religious organizations is a direct and dangerous step toward state control of the church. Such intrusion is prohibited by the Constitution and must be halted.

We assert that private organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, can determine their own membership, volunteers, and employment based on their oaths and creeds.

Back to top

Social Security

The Declaration of Independence declares "all men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men ..."

The Preamble of the US Constitution shows how these rights are to be secured including "provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare".

Two clear distinctions should be made here:

  1. Provide implies actively and financially supporting, promote implies a more passive approach.
    • For example, I'll promote that we put on a grand feast, but I want you to provide it!
  2. General Welfare is not the same as individual Welfare. General Welfare would benefit the people generally; individual Welfare targets a certain segment of society to benefit, such as the poor.

Social Security is a form of individual welfare not authorized in the Constitution.

The Constitution grants no authority to the federal government to administrate a Social Security system. The Constitution Party advocates phasing out the entire Social Security program, while continuing to meet the obligations already incurred under the system. Until the current Social Security system can be responsibly phased out, we propose that:

  • The Social Security tax not be a "rainy day" fund which politicians can pirate, or from which they can borrow to cover their errors and pay for their excesses.
  • Individuals who have contributed to Social Security be allowed to withdraw those funds and transfer them into an IRA or similar investments under the control of the individual contributor.
  • Any sort of merger between the U.S. Social Security System and that of any foreign country be banned, so the distribution of benefits will not go to persons who have not qualified for payments under American law as legal residents.
  • Earning limitations on persons aged 62 and over be removed, so that they may earn any amount of additional income without placing their benefits at risk.
  • Those provisions of the Social Security system which penalize those born during the "notch years" between 1917 and 1926 be repealed, and that such persons be placed on the same benefit schedules as all other beneficiaries.

We support the right of individuals to choose between private retirement and pension programs, either at their place of employment or independently.

Back to top

State Sovereignty

The 10th Amendment states:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The Constitution delegated few, enumerated powers to the Federal Government, reserving all remaining powers to the States and the people. Thus, powers of the Federal were the exception.

Our federal republic was created by joint action of the several states. It has been gradually perverted into a socialist machine for federal control in the domestic affairs of the states.

The federal government has no authority to mandate policies relating to state education, natural resources, transportation, private business, housing, and health care, ad infinitum.

We call upon the states to reclaim their legitimate role in federal affairs and legislation (See Amendment 10 United States Constitution) and thus cause the federal government to divest itself of operations not authorized by the Constitution and extract the federal government from such enterprises, whether or not they compete with private enterprise.

Back to top

Statehood

US Constitution, Article I Section 8 Clause 17:
"Congress shall have power …To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings…"

Article IV Section 4:
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government."

Article IV Section 4 Clause 3
"New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union." Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (re-enacted under Constitutional authority 1789) defined that all new states appropriately admitted will enter the nation on an equal footing with the original 13 states.

We oppose any effort to confer statehood on the District of Columbia or any representation in Congress comparable to that of an independent state in the federal union.

We oppose efforts to confer statehood upon the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or expand statehood beyond the current fifty states.

We acknowledge that each state's membership in the Union is voluntary.

We support the equal footing doctrine co-equal with the original thirteen states for all states coming into and having entered the Union as states.

Back to top

Tariffs and Trade

Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution states that Congress shall have the power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations."

Congress may not abdicate or transfer to others these Constitutional powers. We oppose, therefore, the unconstitutional transfer of authority over U.S. trade policy from Congress to agencies, domestic or foreign, which improperly exercise policy-setting functions with respect to U.S. trade policy.

We favor the abolition of the Office of Special Trade Representative, and insist on the withdrawal of these United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and all other agreements wherein agencies other than the Congress of these United States improperly assume responsibility for establishing American trade policies.

Article I, Section 8 provides that duties, imposts, and excises are legitimate revenue-raising measures on which the United States government may properly rely. We support a tariff based revenue system, as did the Founding Fathers, which was the policy of these United States during most of the nation's history. In no event will the U.S. tariff on any foreign import be less than the difference between the foreign item's cost of production and the cost of production of a similar item produced in these United States. The cost of production of a U.S. product shall include, but not be limited to, all compensation, including fringe benefits, paid to American workers, and environmental costs of doing business imposed on business by federal, state, and local governments.

Tariffs are not only a constitutional source of revenue, but, wisely administered, are an aid to preservation of the national economy. Since the adoption of the 1934 Trade Agreements Act, the United States government has engaged in a free trade policy which has destroyed or endangered important segments of our domestic agriculture and industry, undercut the wages of our working men and women, and totally destroyed or shipped abroad the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers. This free trade policy is being used to foster socialism in America through welfare and subsidy programs.

We oppose all international trade agreements which have the effect of diminishing America's economic self-sufficiency and of exporting jobs, the loss of which impoverishes American families, undermines American communities, and diminishes America's capacity for economic self-reliance, and the provision of national defense.

We see our country and its workers as more than bargaining chips for multinational corporations and international banks in their ill-conceived and evil New World Order.

We reject the trade concept of normal trade relations (Most Favored Nation status), used to curry favor with regimes whose domestic and international policies are abhorrent to decent people everywhere, and which are in fundamental conflict with the vital interests of these United States of America.

We strongly oppose unconstitutional "Trade Promotion Authority," which transfers the establishment of trade policy from Congress to the Executive branch of government.

In the name of free trade, multi-national corporations have been given tax breaks by the U.S. government which are not available to American businesses, and the money extracted from U.S. taxpayers has been used by the government to subsidize exports and encourage businesses to move abroad. Such improprieties must cease.

The United States government should establish the firm policy that U.S. or multinational businesses investing abroad do so at their own risk. There is no obligation by our Government to protect those businesses with the lives of our service personnel, or the taxes of our citizens.

In the area of national security, foreign interests have been abetted in gaining access to America's high-tech secrets under the guise of commercial enterprise. We propose that technology transfers which compromise national security be made illegal, and urge that all violators be prosecuted. We demand that all weapons systems, military uniforms and equipment purchased for the American military be domestically produced in their entirety along with all their component parts.

We oppose the practice of any officer of the United States government, or spouse thereof, who, subsequent to Federal government employment is employed to represent a foreign government or other foreign entity, public or private, for purposes of influencing public opinion or policy on matters affecting U.S. trade with such foreign government or entity.

Back to top

Taxes

The Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, gives Congress the power "to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States."

In Article I, Section 9, the original document made clear that "no Capitation, or other direct Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration herein before directed to be taken." It is moreover established that "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State."

Since 1913, our Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property have been abridged and diminished by the imposition on each of us of Federal income, payroll, and estate taxes. This is an unconstitutional Federal assumption of direct taxing authority.

The Internal Revenue Service is the enforcement arm of the Federal government's present unjust tax system. Citizens, both in groups and as individuals, have repeatedly sought responses from the IRS bureaucracy as to the basis for the agency's tax policies and procedures. No answers have been forthcoming although a responsible government must be answerable to the people and has a duty to those it is supposed to serve.

We propose legislation to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, and will veto any authorization, appropriation, or continuing resolution which contains any funding whatsoever for that illicit and unconstitutional agency. We are opposed to the flat-rate tax, national sales tax, and value added tax proposals that are being promoted as an improvement to the current tax system. The Sixteenth Amendment does not provide authority for an un-apportioned direct tax.

Moreover, it is our intention to replace, with a tariff based revenue system supplemented by excise taxes, the current tax system of the U.S. government (including income taxes, payroll taxes, and estate taxes.)

To the degree that tariffs on foreign products, and excises, are insufficient to cover the legitimate Constitutional costs of the federal government, we will offer an apportioned "state-rate tax" in which the responsibility for covering the cost of unmet obligations will be divided among the several states in accordance with their proportion of the total population of these United States, excluding the District of Columbia. Thus, if a state contains 10 percent of the nation's citizens, it will be responsible for assuming payment of 10 percent of the annual deficit.

The effect of this "state-rate tax" will be to encourage politicians to argue for less, rather than more, federal spending, and less state spending as well.

To the extent permitted by the Constitution, we believe that the taxation of corporations is an appropriate source of government revenue. The Supreme Court has defined "income" as a "gain or increase arising from corporate activity or privilege." People are not corporations, and corporations need not be treated as "people" for the purposes of taxation.

There is substantial evidence that the 16th Amendment was never legally ratified. When elected, we will act to cease collection of direct Federal personal income taxes. We also support ratification of the Liberty Amendment which would repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, and provide that "Congress shall not levy taxes on personal incomes, estates, and/or gifts."

We support the use of motor fuel excise taxes, at rates not in excess of those currently imposed, to be used exclusively for the erection, maintenance, and administration of Federal highways. These taxes should never be used for "demonstration projects", mass transit, or for other non-highway purposes.

We support the use of excise taxes to curb the use of tax dollars for media advertising, and to provide so-called "tax abatements," "tax incentives," and "economic development grants," which are pretexts to raid the public treasury and rob the workingman for the benefit of wealthy interests favored by the politicians.

Back to top

Terrorism and Personal Liberty

The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.
Because we will refer to the fourth and fifth amendments, let's read them in their entirety:

Amendment IV:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Amendment V:
"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
Note there is no exception to these rights provided for war or public danger.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 2: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."
The threat of Terrorism has not been claimed to be a rebellion or an invasion.

America is engaged in an undeclared war with an ill-defined enemy (terrorism), a war which threatens to be never ending, and which is being used to vastly expand government power, particularly that of the executive branch, at the expense of the individual liberties of the American people.

The "war on terrorism" is serving as an excuse for the government to spend beyond its income, expand the Federal bureaucracy, and socialize the nation through taxpayer bailouts of the airlines, subsidies to the giant insurance corporations, and other Federal programs.

We deplore and vigorously oppose legislation and executive action that deprive the people of their rights secured under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments under the guise of "combating terrorism" or "protecting national security." Examples of such legislation are the National Security Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the proposed Domestic Securities Enhancement Act (colloquially known as "Patriot II"), and the Military Commissions Act.

The National Security Act is used by the federal government as a shroud to prevent the American people and our elected officials from knowing how much and where our tax dollars are spent from covert operations around the world. The National Security Act prevents the release of Executive Orders and Presidential Decision Directives, e.g., PDD 25, to the American people and our elected representatives. Not only are many of these used to thwart justice in the name of national security, but some of the operations under this act may threaten our very national sovereignty.

The USA PATRIOT Act permits arrests without warrants and secret detention without counsel, wiretaps without court supervision, searches and seizures without notification to the individual whose property is invaded, and a host of other violations of the legal safeguards our nation has historically developed according to principles descending from the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Since we will no longer have a free nation while the federal government (or the governments of the several states, as the federal government may authorize) can violate our historic rights under such laws, we call for the rejection of all such laws and the ceasing of any such further proposals including the aforementioned Domestic Securities Enhancement Act.

The Constitution Party is unalterably opposed to the criminal acts of terrorists, and their organizations, as well as the governments which condone them. Individuals responsible for acts of terrorism must be punished for their crimes, including the infliction of capital punishment where appropriate. In responding to terrorism, however, these United States must avoid acts of retaliation abroad which destroy innocent human lives, creating enmity toward these United States and its people; and

In accord with the views of our Founding Fathers, we must disengage this nation from the international entanglements which generate foreign hatred of these United States, and are used as the excuse for terrorist attacks on America and its people. The 'war on terrorism" is not a proper excuse for perpetual U.S. occupation of foreign lands, military assaults on countries which have not injured us, or perpetual commitment of taxpayer dollars to finance foreign governments.

Back to top

Veterans

President George Washington stated: "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportionate to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country".

The Constitution Party appreciates the contributions of our servicemen and veterans to the preservation of American freedom. We shall continue to recognize their contributions to the national welfare by providing equitable pay and benefits to our military personnel, and generous health, education, and other benefits to veterans.

We vigorously resist the attempt by any government agency to nullify or reduce earned benefits to veterans and their survivors, including but not limited to, compensation, pensions, education, and health care.

Back to top

Wage and Price Control

The Declaration of Independence declares the purpose of Government is "to secure these Rights", these unalienable rights such as Liberty.

Nothing in the Constitution, writings of the Founders, or in logic, can imagine a God-given right to earn a specific wage or buy at a specific price.

We deny that civil government has the authority to set wages and prices; so doing is inconsistent with principles of individual liberty and the free market.

Back to top

Welfare

The Declaration of Independence declares "all men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men ..."

The Preamble of the US Constitution shows how these rights are to be secured including "provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare".

Two clear distinctions should be made here:

  1. Provide implies actively and financially supporting, promote implies a more passive approach.
    • For example, I'll promote that we put on a grand feast, but I want you to provide it!
  2. General Welfare is not the same as individual Welfare. General Welfare would benefit the people generally; individual Welfare targets a certain segment of society to benefit, such as the poor.

Providing Individual Welfare is not authorized in the Constitution.

God, who endows us with life, liberty, property, and the right to pursue happiness, also exhorts individuals to care for the needy, the sick, the homeless, the aged, and those who are otherwise unable to care for themselves.

America's welfare crisis is a government-induced crisis. Government social and cultural policies have undermined the work ethic, even as the government's economic and regulatory policies have undermined the ability of our citizens to obtain work.

Charity, and provision of welfare to those in need, is not a Constitutional responsibility of the federal government. Under no circumstances should the taxpayers of these United States be obligated, under penalty of law through forced taxation, to assume the cost of providing welfare for other citizens. Neither should taxpayers be indentured to subsidize welfare for persons who enter these United States illegally.

The message of Christian charity is fundamentally at odds with the concept of welfare maintenance as a right. In many cases, welfare provisions by the Federal government are not only misdirected, but morally destructive. It is the intended purpose of civil government to safeguard life, liberty and property - not to redistribute wealth. Such redistribution is contrary to the Biblical command against theft.

We encourage individuals, families, churches, civic groups and other private organizations, to fulfill their personal responsibility to help those in need.

Back to top

Principles Over Politics


Share


Newsletter


cp logo

Go to top