Sunday, April 19, 2015

Constitution of the Republic of Texas

This was the final project for my senior AP U.S. Government and Politics class. I decided to take a hypothetical succession of Texas to create a new country with a Constitution similar to the United States' but with some important updates.

The Republic of Texas

The state divisions in the Republic of Texas, which, hypothetically, has succeeded from the United States and again has become an independent nation
          In The Republic of Texas, once a territory of Mexico then having gained its sovereignty through its own merits and with the aid of the United States of America, then quickly having become a state under the United States of America, following having succeeded to the Confederate States of America and upon having lost the War between the States, having rejoined the United States of America and having served as a state for many years, before again succeeding and now again becoming a sovereign nation (which from this point shall be called Texas for short), power is shared equally between the federal and state governments. Ultimate, supreme power rests with the federal government. Questions of public policy and issues affecting the entire nation are decided by the federal government, while issues involving citizens (i.e. social programs, entitlements, etc.) are left to the states.
          The federal government is made up of a unicameral legislature, elected every four years, based on population. This legislature is proportional. There is a Supreme Court as well. The president is elected by popular vote after the top four parties in the legislature choose a candidate to run. The president is also elected every four years, alternating with the legislature. The citizens have initiative, referendum, and limited recall powers of federal and state elected officials. This was conceived to be the best way to represent and protect the interests of all interests and factions, as well as maintain democratic principles. The government’s ultimate purpose is to protect the natural rights, as well as numerous other rights, of its people, and to ensure their prosperity. Hence its powers, as well as the people’s rights, are outlined on these principles more fully in the constitution.

The Constitution of the Republic of Texas
once a territory of Mexico then having gained its sovereignty through its own merits and with the aid of the United States of America, then quickly having become a state under the United States of America, following having succeeded to the Confederate States of America and upon having lost the War between the States, having rejoined the United States of America and having served as a state for many years, before again succeeding and now again becoming a sovereign nation

We the people of the Republic of Texas, in order to create and form a sovereign nation, do write this document to ensure the rights and prosperity of the citizens of this nation. And this government shall and will always be operated to this end.

Article I

Section 1
The Texas Assembly, the national representative body, shall have all legislative powers.

Section 2
The Assembly shall be elected every four years, by popular election in each state. Each state shall have representatives in proportion to their population, at one representative per 100,000 citizens. This number shall be altered every election, and population shall be kept by a running census. A representative must be 26 years of age, have been a citizen for 13 years, and be a resident of the state in which they are elected.

Section 3
Members of the Assembly must be present for all roll calls, unless previously cleared circumstances shall arise. The Assembly shall assemble when inaugurated on the first Tuesday of January (not on a holiday), and will assemble on Tuesday through Friday of each week. Saturday through Monday, as well as holidays may be spent in constituencies. Three weeks in July and November and December may also be sabbaticals.

Section 4
Representatives shall be paid at 20% more than the median income, and may also be allowed certain privileges to help fulfill their duties.

Section 5
The Assembly shall create its own rules for its workings and passing of laws. The president has the power to veto a bill from the Assembly, and the Assembly may override a veto with a ⅔ supermajority. The Assembly must also approve any presidential nominees to the court, cabinet, or ambassadors, with a simple majority.

Section 6
The Assembly shall be elected in a proportional manner. Each state’s delegation shall be seated based on percentage of votes received by each political party.

Section 7
The Assembly has the power to collect and impose duties, imposts, and excises, as well as a flat income and sales tax equal to each other and not exceeding 10% more than those taxes imposed by the state with the second-lowest level;

The Assembly also has the power to declare war, coin money, create a uniform law of naturalization, and to ensure the safety of its people.

Government entities in the Republic of Texas have the power of eminent domain, so long as the property seized does not include a place of current residence, place of main employment, or historical site. The former two places may be seized with the owner’s permission. Just compensation must be given for seized properties.

Any powers relating to foreign nations or those of a national scope shall be delegated to The Assembly.

Section 8
No earmarking or pork-barreling shall be permitted by members of the Assembly.

Section 9
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 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.
The Assembly must pass and keep at all times a balanced budget, and may at no time default into debt.
No title of nobility shall be granted by the Republic of Texas: And no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any royalty 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; default into debt; 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 Assembly, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws.
No state shall, without the consent of The Assembly, 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, and a vice president elected on the same ballot chosen as a running mate by the president. The president shall be elected every four years, two years apart from The Assembly. The nominees for president shall be chosen by the four parties in the majority in the Assembly during the month of January. The election for president shall take place on the third Saturday in October. The ticket with the plurality of votes shall be inaugurated on January 10 of the following year.

The president must be thirty years old and a citizen for twenty years at the time of his electing.

A president is limited to serving two consecutive terms. If a vice president takes office within the first two years of a president’s term, he is limited to one term.

The president shall receive a compensation at 30% above the median income.

Section 2
The president is the Commander in Chief of the military; he may utilize executive departments and staff to carry out his duty that the laws of the land be faithfully executed; he may grant reprieves and pardons for all crimes but impeachments; he may appoint ambassadors, ministers, federal judges, executive officers, and other officers as established by law, as well as make treaties, with ⅔ of The Assembly’s approval, as well as appoint his staff without needed approval; he shall receive ambassadors and foreign dignitaries; he shall deliver a State of the Union address annually.

Section 3
If the president is removed from office, dies, or resigns, the vice president shall become president.

If the vice president is removed from office, dies, or resigns, the president shall appoint a new vice president, who shall take office if approved by a majority of The Assembly.

If the president believes he cannot fulfill his duties, he shall submit a document in writing to the head of The Assembly. The vice president shall become acting president. The president may regain his position with a written document.

When the vice president and a majority of the executive officers believe the president is no longer capable of performing his duties, the vice president shall become acting president. The president may resume his duties by a written document to the head of The Assembly. If the vice president and majority of executive officers still believe the president is incapable of fulfilling his duties, they must within three days file with the head of The Assembly, in which case The Assembly will decide the issue. If ⅔ vote that the president cannot fulfill his duties, the vice president will resume his position as acting president.

If the president-elect has died at the time of inauguration, the vice president shall be inaugurated as president, and shall choose a vice president, to be confirmed by a majority of The Assembly.

The Assembly shall create an order of succession past the president and vice president.

Section 4
The president or any other civil officer may be impeached with a ⅝ supermajority, and shall have a trial held in the chamber held by the Chief Justice, and can be removed with a ¾ supermajority.

Article III

Section 1
The judicial power of the Republic of Texas shall be invested in a Supreme Court of nine members, appointed by the president and confirmed by The Assembly. All lower courts shall be determined by The Assembly. Judges shall serve during good behavior, and the Supreme Court shall be compensated at 25% above the median income, and all other judges at 20% above the median income.

Section 2
In cases affecting citizens of different nations or those involving a state, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all other cases, it shall have appellate jurisdiction.

The trial of all crimes committed within a state shall be tried within that state.

Section 3
No citizen shall be convicted of treason unless two witnesses are testimony to the same crime, and proper evidence is offered for a conviction. The punishment of treason shall be execution.

Section 4
Any person receiving a second conviction for driving under the influence shall have their driver’s license suspended for life. Any person who kills another while driving under the influence of alcohol shall be subjected to capital punishment. Capital punishment is also the punishment for murder of the first degree, homicide by any weapon, and rape.

Article IV

Section 1
Full faith and credit shall be given to all public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.

Section 2
The citizens of each state shall be entitled to the privileges and immunities of the other states.
Any person in the country legally is entitled to the same rights as a citizen of this nation.

Any person charged with a crime who escapes to another state must be returned to the state in which the crime was committed.

Section 3
No new state may be admitted into the union without the consent of ¾ of the states, and, if applicable, the permission of any state’s legislature whose land is taken by the creation of the new state.

The Assembly has the power to make dealings and maintain any territories of The Republic of Texas.

A secure border, at all times, must be kept, to ensure the flow of only legal immigration, migrant workers, and passport travelers.

Section 4
The Republic of Texas shall ensure a republican form of government for its states, and protect each of them against invasion and domestic violence.

Section 5
All servants of the people will be bound by an oath of affirmation to defend this Constitution.

Article V

Section 1
Certain rights are natural to the people, and shall be protected by this government, and all regional governments:

No national religion may be established. The free exercise of religion may not be prohibited, so long as the religion does not interfere with the physical safety of others;

The freedom of speech, that does not compromise the physical safety of others;

Freedom of the press is given in gaining information and publishing, but is not limited to these devices;

To assemble together;

To petition the government for a redress of grievances;

To keep and bear arms;

To be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures without a proper warrant being supplied, whether the search be physical or virtual;

To be informed of the cause of arrest, and receive an indictment for a crime before a Grand Jury, and to be put through a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, being confronted with witnesses against him and being supplied with witnesses in his favor;

To have counsel in a criminal case;

To be protected from double jeopardy;

To be protected from being a witness against himself in a criminal case;

To receive due process of law;

To be protected against excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishment unfitting to the crime committed: any punishment copying the crime of the committed individual is not cruel and unusual.

Section 2
The citizens of this nation are not limited to the rights enumerated in this Constitution.

Section 3
Any citizen age 18 or older is eligible to vote, as long as that citizen passes a basic understanding test of the issues in the election, created by a committee formed by one member from each of the parties in The Assembly.

Section 4
The term “personhood” is granted to all humans in The Republic of Texas. Thus any performer or willing receiver of an abortion will be charged with murder of the first degree. If the only witness to the crime is the mother of the aborted child, a plea bargain may be brought to wholly prosecute the individual who performed the abortion.

No person may marry anything other than one person at any time. Regulation of homosexual marriage will be left to the individual states. If territories are acquired by this nation, homosexual marriage will be illegal.

For as long as a person is incarcerated in prison, the prisoner will donate his hair and blood regularly to local hospitals or charitable organizations as decided by the prison. If the prisoner dies in prison or is executed, the prisoner’s organs will be donated.

Slavery shall not exist in The Republic of Texas, nor involuntary servitude of any kind.

The smoking of tobacco is limited to private residences.

The use or making of illicit drugs is prohibited. The trafficking of drugs or persons is prohibited. Trafficking drugs may bring a life sentence; traffickers of persons will be subject to capital punishment.

Segregation based on race or ethnicity in public places is prohibited. The tailoring of admissions into college or employment as to give advantage to certain races, minorities, or genders is prohibited.

Groups cannot be created with the purpose of donating to political campaigns, nor can any membership fees for groups be used to donate to political campaigns.

Section 5
The laws of the federal government, though limited in their scope, supercede the laws of the states. Any powers not granted to the states or the people, nor denied to them, are given to the people, and to the states.

Article VI

The Assembly may, when it deems it necessary, propose amendments to this Constitution, with a ⅔ supermajority vote. The amendment shall become a part of this Constitution when ¾ of the state legislatures vote to ratify it.

Article VII

This Constitution, and the boundaries of the Republic of Texas, shall become law upon ratification of the state legislature and governor of the state of Texas, and the approval of this convention.

Signed in the year of our Lord on the twenty-fifth of May, two thousand and thirteen:

President  Dylan Shonkwiler

Vice President  Joe Trammell

Knower of All  Mr. James McFarland

Octron Defense Specialist  Mr. Steve Peters

Founder  Sam Houston

Protector  Davy Crockett

Incorporator  James K. Polk

Left-Front Table Delegation  Hailey Karrick, Claire Brownfield

Left-Front-Middle Table Delegation  Kelsie Short, Taylor Wilmes (Head of Drug Task Force)

Left-Back-Middle Table Delegation  Josh Young (Flyer of Planes and Stuff, VP Counsel)

Left-Back Table Delegation  Zack Schneider, Prithvi Patel (Head of Border Security)

Middle Table Delegation  Nate Woods (Attorney General), Connor Stickelman (Head of the Bureau of Somnolence), Jon Dillon (Press Secretary), Trevor Credit (Federal Bureau of Profanity)

Back-Middle Table Delegation  David Lee (Department of Agriculture), Logan Shannon (Head of Internet Security), Kayla Fry, Sidney Wolf

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