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Introduction, called the Preamble, and the Postscript, or Appendix, called the Ordinances. A Preamble is used as an introductory clause, reciting the reasons for passing the document.
Preamble of the NATIONAL
Constitution. 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 of The United States of America.
Preamble of the WYOMING
Constitution. We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political and religious liberties, and desiring to secure them to ourselves and perpetuate them to our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
The National Constitution established rights and liberties as set forth in the Preamble; these privileges the State Constitution acknowledges as being in force, and expresses a wish to have them continued and handed down from generation to generation. The one Constitution was made pos. sible only through war. The powder used in obtaining the other was the celebration after the people at the polls had ratified the action of the Constitutional Convention.
(1) The Declaration of Rights contains a recital of the fundamental rights of citizens and the principles which protect their life, liberty and property, as given to the people by the Magna Charta and kindred charters. This statement of rights acts as a guide for the different Departments of State in the execution of their duties. The decisions of the Judiciary are often based upon the principles contained therein and they are a valuable guide for the limitation of or exercise of Constitutional power.
(2) The Frame of Government divides the power of the State into departments and delegates to officers representing the divisions of Government their duties, their power and authority. This part of the Constitution designates how these officers shall be elected. It contains regulations for suffrage, for education, for public health and morals, for institutions for the unfortunate, for the industries to be carried on in the State, for the operation of corporations; it defines the boundaries of our State, and provides for county organizations; it establishes a method of uniform taxation and revenues; also accepts the grants of land donated by the Government. The miscellaneous provisions include education, arbitration and labor, amendments, constitutional conventions and new constitutions.
(3) The Schedule directs the action to be taken in order to pass from Territorial to State Government. It makes the territorial laws become the laws of the State. It transfers the property owned by the Territory to the State, and gives information as to the method by which the Constitution shall be submitted for acceptance or rejection, and finally makes provision for the election of the first State officers and Legislature. The Schedule also contains directions by which the new government may be put into operation.
The Ordinances declare Wyoming to be one of the States of the Union and the Federal Constitution the supreme law of the land, recognize religious liberty, disclaim any title to the public lands within our boundaries, assume the debts contracted by the Territory, and empower the Legislature to regulate the common-school education.
The Declaration of Rights is a restraint on any legislative action that might result in destroying any of the political freedom of the people. It is the safeguard against arbitrary power which might at some time be used by a majority in the Legislature to deprive the citizens of their fundamental rights rights that have been gradually acquired during the past centuries. As we examine the different Departments of State in this book these rights will be included in their proper divisions of administration.
That there may be no conflict of control or authority, the powers of the State Government are divided into three distinct and separate divisions: the Legislative, the Executive and Judicial departments. The members of the Legislature, the Governor and the officers of the courts, representing these three departments, are all elected by a direct vote of the people.
1. What is a Constitutional Convention?
4. Explain the relations to one another of the Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, the Habeas Corpus Act, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution. Which is the most important? Why?
5. Why was there no Bill of Rights in the original Constitution?
6. What is the Supreme Law of the United States? 7. Can there be unwritten Constitutions?
8. What is an unconstitutional act? What is its power? Can you decide whether an act is unconstitutional? Why?
9. State the relation of the Judicial Department to the Legislative in law making.
10. How are Constitutions amended?
11. What are the different divisions of our State Constitution? Explain the purposes of these divisions.
12. In what particulars do the State and the Federal Constitutions differ in the preamble? REFERENCES.
Jameson, Constitutional Conventions, Ch. I.
Cooley, Principles of Constitutional Law, Ch. I, and Con
stitutional Limitations, Ch. XVI. Hart, Actual Government, Sec. 28. Ashley, The American Federal Government, pp. 10, 317-319,
Ch. XVIII. Hill, Liberty Documents, Ch. II, VI, VII, IX, XIV, XV,
XVII (particularly helpful for copies of original docuTHE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT.
ments). Examine carefully the Constitution of Wyoming and the Pro
ceedings of the Constitutional Convention.
Our Constitution, in common with most of the State Constitutions, legislates and contains administrative regulations. This is done to restrict the powers of the departments and put limitation upon their authority.
The Legislature has power to enact the ordinary statute law, deriving always its power from the people through the Constitution.
Except as the Constitution directs, no department can exercise the powers of the other departments. (Art. II, Sec. 1.) The regular sessions of the Legislature are limited to forty days. (Art. III, Sec. 6, C1. 2.) Bills can only be passed in the manner as the people through the Constitution have directed. (Art. III, Sec. 20–28.)
The Legislative Department is composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives, and is called “The Legislature of the State of Wyoming." The Senators are elected for a term of four (4) years and the Representatives are elected for two (2) years. At present our Legislature is composed of twenty-three (23) Senators and fifty (50) Representatives. (S. L. 1901, Ch. 91, Sec. 5.)
The number of Senators and Representatives that the State may have in the Legislature is regulated by the inhabitants contained in the respective districts. For convenience each county is called a senatorial and representative district. There are thirteen of these districts, sending to the Legislature as many members as are designated in the following list :
Senators. Representatives. 3