Constitution of West Virginia

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The Great Seal of the State of West Virginia Reverse

The Constitution of the State of West Virginia[1] is the supreme law of the U.S. State of West Virginia. It expresses the rights of the State's citizens and provides the framework for the organization of law and government. In its first Article, the clause states that "The state of West Virginia is, and shall remain, one of the United States of America. The constitution of the United States of America, and the laws and treaties made in pursuance thereof, shall be the supreme law of the land." West Virginia is governed under its second and current Constitution which dates from 1872.[2] In November 1960 a Preamble was added.[2] The document includes fourteen articles and several amendments.

Current constitution (1872)[edit]


Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia, in and through the provisions of this Constitution, reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God and seek diligently to promote, preserve and perpetuate good government in the State of West Virginia for the common welfare, freedom and security of ourselves and our posterity.[3]

  • Article I. Relations to the US Government
  • Article II. The State
  • Article III. Bill of Rights
  • Article IV. Election & Officers
  • Article V. Division of Powers
  • Article VI. The Legislature
  • Article VII. Executive Department
  • Article VIII. Judicial Power
  • Article IX. County Organization
  • Article X. Taxation & Finance
  • Article XI. Corporations
  • Article XII. Education
  • Article XIII. Land Titles
  • Article XIV. Amendments
  • Amendments

Examples of Constitutional Provisions[edit]

  • Article III Bill of Rights: Section 15 prohibits any law that may promote or prohibit a religious practice
  • Article IV Election and officers: Section 10 prohibits dueling for persons wanting to hold public office.
  • Article VI The Legislature: Section 20 places the Seat of Government in the City of Charleston.
  • Article IX County organization: Section 8 prohibits the creation of any new county smaller than 400 square miles (1,000 km2) and having less than six thousand people. Additionally, the new county may not decrease another county below the stated thresholds.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "West Virginia State Constitution" (PDF). West Virginia State Legislature. Retrieved February 8, 2013. West Virginia State Constitution
  2. ^ a b Bastress, Robert (1995). The West Virginia Constitution: A Reference Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 10–30. ISBN 978-0-313-27409-1.
  3. ^ WV Constitution, Preamble