Constitution of Arizona

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Constitution of the State of Arizona
Jurisdiction Arizona, United States
Date effective 3 January 1910;109 years ago (1910-01-03)

The Constitution of the State of Arizona is the governing document and framework for the U.S. state of Arizona. The current constitution is the first and only adopted by the state of Arizona.

Constitution Set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed

A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.



The Arizona Territory was authorized to hold a constitutional convention in 1910 at which the constitution was drafted and submitted to Congress. The original constitution was approved by Congress, but subsequently vetoed by President William H. Taft on his objections concerning the recalling of judges. The constitution was amended by the constitutional convention removing the recalling of judges and resubmitted upon which President Taft approved Arizona's statehood as the 48th state on February 14, 1912. [1]

Arizona Territory US 19th century-early 20th century territory

The Territory of Arizona was a territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863 until February 14, 1912, when the remaining extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Arizona. It was created from the western half of the New Mexico Territory during the American Civil War.

Constitutional convention (political meeting) gathering for the purpose of writing or revising a constitution

A constitutional convention is a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. Members of a constitutional convention are often, though not necessarily or entirely, elected by popular vote. However, a wholly popularly-elected constitutional convention can also be referred to as a Constituent assembly.

The following individuals were the delegates to the convention: Fred Colter (D), representing Apache County; E. M. Doe (R) and C. C. Hutchinson (R), representing Coconino County; E.E. Ellinwood (D), John Bolan (D), H. B. Sims (D), C. M. Roberts (D), F. R. Bradner (D), Thomas Fenney (D), A. F. Parsons (D), E. A. Tovreau (D), D. L. Cunningham (D), C. F. Connelly (D), representing Cochise County; George W. P. Hunt (D), J. J. Keegan (D), Alfred Kinney (D), John H. McCormick (D), Jacob Weinberger (D), representing Gila County; Lamar Cobb (D), A. R. Lynch (D), Mit Simms (D), A. M. Tuthill (D), William T. Webb (D), representing Graham County; A. C. Baker (D), Lysander Cassidy (D), John Orme (D), Orrin Standage (D), J. E. Crutchfield (D), F. A. Jones (D), Benjamin Baker Moeur (D), Alfred Franklin (D), Sidney Osborn (D), representing Maricopa County; Henry Lovin (D) representing Mohave County; James Scott (R), and William Morgan (D), representing Navajo County; Thomas N. Willis (D) and Elmer Coker (D), representing Pinal County; S. L. Kingman (R), W. F. Cooper (R), George Pusch (R), Carl Jacome (R), and J. C. White (R), representing Pima County; Bracey Curtis (R) representing Santa Cruz; Mulford Winsor (D), F. L. Ingram (D), and C. E. Short (D), representing Yuma County; and E. M. Wells (R), M. G. Cunniff (D), A. A. Moore (D), Homer R. Wood (D), Morris Goldwater (D), and Albert Jones (D), representing Yavapai County. [2]

Fred Colter American rancher and politician

Fred Colter was an Arizona rancher and farmer, as well as being the state senator for Apache County beginning with Arizona's second state legislature in 1915. Colter spent six terms in the Arizona Senate. He also led the fight on Arizona's behalf to maintain control over the water from the Colorado River, coining the slogan, "Save the Colorado for Arizona". He was a close ally of the state's first governor, George W. P. Hunt. Prior to his election to the state senate, Colter had served as the state's fair commissioner.

Apache County, Arizona County in the United States

Apache County is located in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census its population was 71,518. The county seat is St. Johns.

Coconino County, Arizona County in the United States

Coconino County is a county located in the north central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 134,421 at the 2010 census. The county seat is Flagstaff. The county takes its name from Cohonino, a name applied to the Havasupai. It is the second-largest county by area in the contiguous United States, behind San Bernardino County, California, with its 18,661 square miles (48,300 km2), or 16.4% of Arizona's total area, making it larger than each of the nine smallest states.

Fairly quickly after Arizona became a state, the state legislature approved a constitutional amendment which restored the ability to recall judges, which was approved in the 1912 general election. [1]

A constitutional amendment is a modification of the constitution of a polity, organization or other type of entity. Amendments are often interwoven into the relevant sections of an existing constitution, directly altering the text. Conversely, they can be appended to the constitution as supplemental additions (codicils), thus changing the frame of government without altering the existing text of the document.


We the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution.


The Arizona Constitution is divided into a preamble and 30 articles, numbered 1–6, 6.1, 7–22, and 25–30, with articles 23 and 24 having been repealed. Article 30 is no longer in force due to being ruled illegal.

United States Bill of Rights the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution

The United States Bill of Rights comprises the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Proposed following the often bitter 1787–88 debate over ratification of Constitution, and written to address the objections raised by Anti-Federalists, the Bill of Rights amendments add to the Constitution specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, clear limitations on the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically granted to the U.S. Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the states or the people. The concepts codified in these amendments are built upon those found in earlier documents, especially the Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776), as well as the English Bill of Rights (1689) and the Magna Carta (1215).

United States Constitution Supreme law of the United States of America

The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress ; the executive, consisting of the President ; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it. It is regarded as the oldest written and codified national constitution in force.

Arizona Supreme Court the highest court in the U.S. state of Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court is the state supreme court of the U.S. state of Arizona. It consists of a chief justice, a vice chief justice, and five associate justices. Each justice is appointed by the governor of Arizona from a list recommended by a bipartisan commission. Justices stand for retention in an election two years after their appointment and then every six years. They must retire at age 70.


Two sections in the Constitutions are duplicated, having resulted from three constitutional amendments being approved in 1992 (Propositions 100, 101, and 107 all amending term limits with Proposition 107 creating a second version in both sections).

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  1. 1 2 Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Record - The Road to Statehood Accessed November 6, 2006
  2. "Delegates To The Constitutional Convention". St. Johns Herald and Apache News (St. Johns, Arizona). September 22, 1910. p. 4. Retrieved January 23, 2017 via Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  4. State of Arizona. "Article 5". Arizona Constitution. Arizona Legislature.
  5. State of Arizona. "Article 5, section 1". Arizona Constitution. Arizona Legislature.
  6. State of Arizona. "Article 19". Arizona Constitution. Arizona Legislature.
  7. State of Arizona. "Article 19, section 1". Arizona Constitution. Arizona Legislature.

Further reading

McClory, T. Understanding the Arizona Constitution, The University of Arizona Press, 2001 ISBN   978-0-8165-2096-1