Constitution of New Mexico
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The Constitution of the State of New Mexico (Spanish: Constitución del Estado de Nuevo México) is the document governing the political framework of the U.S. state of New Mexico. Article II contains a bill of rights. It was adopted by Constitutional Convention on November 21, 1910, ratified by vote of the people on November 5, 1911, and became effective upon admission to the union on January 6, 1912.
As originally drafted and sent to the United States Congress, the New Mexico Constitution contained a number of limitations on the process for making amendments. These included
- a requirement of a two-thirds vote of the legislature in order to propose amendments,
- that in addition to a bare majority, all amendments must be ratified by at least 40% of those voting in the election, with a 40%+ vote in at least half of the counties, and
- a limitation on the total number of amendments that could be submitted to the people per election.
Congress was not sympathetic to these anti-populist provisions, and as a prerequisite to admission as a state required that the people ratify an amendment that would provide for a simple majority vote in the legislature, for ratification by simple majority vote of the people, and do away with the limitation on the total number of amendments. This prerequisite came to be known as the "Flood amendment" as it was proposed by Henry de la Warr Flood, a Democrat from Virginia, at the instigation of Summers Burkhart secretary of the New Mexico State Central Committee of the Democratic Party. The Flood amendment did permit two restrictions on the majority ratification, one for amendments to the elective franchise and the other for amendments to the protection of educational access of Spanish speakers or those of Spanish descent.
- United States Congress "Sec. 3. Constitutional amendment to be adopted" Joint Resolution of August 21, 1911, No. 8, (37 Statutes at Large 39)
- Marquis Who's Who (1943) "Summers Burkhart: 1859-1932" Who Was Who in America: A component volume of Who's Who in American History Volume 1, 1897-1942; Who's Who in American History Marquis, online version accessed 19 December 2008
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