|Jurisdiction||Nebraska, United States|
|Created||1875 June 12|
|Ratified||1875 October 12|
|Date effective||1875 November 1|
The Nebraska Constitution is the basic governing document of the State of Nebraska. All acts of the Nebraska Legislature, the governor, and each governmental agency are subordinate to it. The constitution has been amended 228 times since it was first adopted in 1875, most notably to include the creation of a unicameral legislature.
The constitution is also known as the Grasshopper Constitution due to the occurrence of Albert's swarm, an immense concentration of grasshoppers that scourged the Western United States during the constitutional convention which drafted the constitution in 1875.
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On February 8, 1867, the United States Congress voted to admit Nebraska as a state, provided that suffrage was not denied to non-white voters. The bill admitting Nebraska as a state was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, but the veto was overridden by a supermajority in both Houses of Congress, and Nebraska was admitted to the Union.
After a failed attempt to ratify a constitution in 1870, in 1874, the Nebraska Legislature proposed a constitutional convention to meet to draft a new constitution. This proposal was overwhelmingly approved by a popular vote of 18,067 to 3,880, and the convention, consisting of sixty-nine members, began meeting May 11, 1875.
The Nebraska Constitution, based partly upon the 1870 Constitution of Illinois, was adopted by the constitutional convention on June 12, 1875. This constitution became known as the Grasshopper Constitution, due to the occurrence of Albert's swarm, an immense concentration of grasshoppers that invaded the Western United States, at the same time as the constitutional convention. The constitution was ratified on October 12, 1875 after it was approved by a popular vote of 30,322 to 5,474, and entered into force on November 1, 1875.
With the addition of 228 amendments since its adoption, including the creation of a unicameral legislature, the 1875 Nebraska Constitution remains the basic law of the state to this day. The current constitution consists of the following Preamble and Articles:
The Nebraska Constitution Preamble reads:
- We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, do ordain and establish the following declaration of rights and frame of government, as the Constitution of the State of Nebraska.
The constitution consists of eighteen articles, excluding the Preamble.
- Article I - Bill of Rights
- Article II - Distribution of Powers
- Article III - Legislative
- Article IV - Executive
- Article V - Judicial
- Article VI - Suffrage
- Article VII - Education
- Article VIII - Revenue
- Article IX - Counties
- Article X - Public Service Corporations
- Article XI - Municipal Corporations
- Article XII - Miscellaneous Corporations
- Article XIII - State, County, and Municipal Indebtedness
- Article XIV - Militia
- Article XV - Miscellaneous Provisions
- Article XVI - Amendments
- Article XVII - Schedule
- Article XVIII - Term Limits on Congress
- Miewald, Robert D.; Longo, Peter Joseph (1993). The Nebraska state constitution: a reference guide. Greenwood Press. pp. 1–22. ISBN 9780313279478.
- Sheldon, Addison E. (1921). "The Nebraska Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920". The American Political Science Review. 15 (3): 391–400. doi:10.2307/1946699. ISSN 0003-0554. JSTOR 1946699.
- "Nebraska as a State". Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska - Nebraska as a State - Part 6.
- "Nebraska Constitution". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "Nebraska State Constitution Article Preamble". nebraskalegislature.gov. Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved 5 April 2019.