The Constitution of Oregon is, along with the federal Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia, the supreme legal document of Oregon. It came into effect on January 1, 2015, and establishes the organs and functions of the government as a federated state of Cascadia. It consists of 162 articles in 6 chapters, and is considerably longer than that of its co-constituent state, Washington.
Chapter I: General Principles
Article 1: The Form and Characteristics of the State of Oregon
- The State of Oregon, as one of the two Constituent States of the United Republic of Cascadia, is based on the political equality, bi-zonality and equal status of the two Constituent States, representing the interests and identity of Oregonians and their equal political status in a bi-zonal partnership. It is a secular state based on the principles of human rights, democracy, representative republican government, social justice, and the supremacy of law.
Article 2: Powers of the State of Oregon
- The State shall have all the powers and functions not explicitly vested in the Federal Government by the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia and shall sovereignly exercise these powers ad functions in its territory through its legislative, executive, and judicial organs within the limits of the Federal Constitution.
- The State also freely exercises all powers and duties transferred or entrusted to it by the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia or the Federal Government.
- No organ, office, or authority in the State can exercise ay power, which does not emanate, directly or indirectly, from its Constitution, or is accorded by the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia.
Article 3: The Unity, Official Language, Anthem, and Capital of the State
- The State is an indivisible whole with its people living in its boundaries.
- The official language is English.
- The State has its own flag and anthem. Other flags may be flown in the territory of the State subject to the relevant provisions of the constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia, and federal and state law.s
- The capital of the State is Salem.
Article 4: Fidelity to the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia
- No institution of the State may interfere with the competences of the Federal Government or of the State of Washington.
- Any act by the State in contravention to the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia shall be null and void.
- All acts of government at all levels shall conform with the principles of full faith, allegiance, coordination and cooperation with the United Republic of Cascadia.
Article 5: Legislative Power
- Legislative power shall be vested in the Legislative Assembly of Oregon.
Article 6: The Duties and Powers of the Executive
- The executive duties and powers shall be carried out and exercised by the President of Oregon and the Council of Ministers in accordance with the Constitution and laws.
Article 7: Judicial Power
- Judicial power shall be exercised by independent Courts.
Article 8: Supremacy and Binding Force of the Constitution subject to the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia
- The provisions of the Constitution shall be the fundamental legal principles binding the legislative, executive, and judicial organs, the administrative authorities of the State, all organizations and individuals.
- No functions or procedure of the State shall be contrary to or inconsistent with the Constitution.
- All acts of government at all levels shall conform with the principles of proportionality and good faith.
Article 9: Boundaries of the State of Oregon
- The boundaries of the State of Oregon are those described in the Declaration of Independence and Establishment of the United Republic of Cascadia of October 22, 2014, and the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia.
- The State of Oregon shall have no territorial claims against, and shall seek no union with, any State or part of any State.
Chapter II: Fundamental Rights, Liberties, and Duties
Article 10: Respect for Human Honor
- A person's honor is inviolable. Respect for a person's honor is the main principle underlying the life of the State and the society.
Article 11: Equality
- All persons shall be equal before the law without any discrimination. No privileges shall be granted to any individual, family, group or class.
- No discrimination shall be made among individuals for reasons of gender, race, color, ethnic and social background, genetic qualities, religion or belief, political or other views, property, birth, incapacity, age, or sexual inclination.
- The organs and administrative authorities of the State are under an obligation to act in conformity with the principle of equality before the law and not to discriminate in their actions.
- There shall be substantial equality between male and female in every field, including employment, work, and payment.
- The principle of equality shall not impede the taking and continuation of legal precautions in favor of the gender not represented adequately in social and political life.
Article 12: The Nature of Fundamental Rights and their Protection
Article 13: The Essence and Restriction of Fundamental Rights and Liberties
Article 14: Fundamental Rights and Liberties not to be Misused
Article 15: The Status of Minorities
Article 16: The Status of Aliens
Article 17: Personal Integrity
Article 18: Right to Life
Article 19: Protection of a Person's Material and Moral Integrity
Article 20: Liberty and Security of a Person
Article 21: Rights Relating to Judicial Trials
Article 22: Rights of Accused Persons
Article 23: Privacy of the Life of the Individual
Article 24: Inviolability of Personal Information
Article 25: Inviolability of Dwelling
Article 26: Freedom of Communication
Article 27: Freedom of Movement and Residence
Article 28: Freedom of Conscience and Religion
Article 29: Freedom of Thought, Speech, and Expression
Article 30: Freedom of Science and Art
Article 31: Freedom of the Press
Article 32: The Right to Publish Newspapers, Magazines, and Pamphlets
Article 33: The Right to Publish Books
Article 34: The Protection of Printing Equipment
Article 35: The Right to Make Use of Means of Communication other than the Press
Article 36: The Right to Correction and Reply
Article 37: The Right of Assembly and Demonstration
Article 38: The Right to Form Associations
Article 39: Right to Good Administration
Article 40: Protection of the Family
Article 41: Protection of Children
Article 42: Protection of the Elderly
Article 43: General Provisions Relating to Property Rights
Article 44: Protection of Land
Article 45: Protection of the Foreshores
Article 46: Protection of Historical, Cultural, and Natural Wealth
Article 47: Protection of the Environment
Article 48: Acquisition and Requisition
Article 49: Acquisitions, Requisitions, and Restrictions connected with Religious Properties
Article 50: Nationalization
Article 51: Right to a Dwelling
Article 52: Right to Health
Article 53: Right to Enter into Contract
Article 54: Order of Economic and Social Life
Article 55: Freedom to Work
Article 56: Right to Work
Article 57: Conditions of Employment
Article 58: Right to Rest
Article 59: Equity in Pay
Article 60: The Right to Establish Trade Unions
Article 61: The Right to Collective Agreement and to Strike
Article 62: Right to Social Security
Article 63: The Right to Protection Against Hunger
Article 64: The Right to Special Protection
Article 65: Rehabilitation of the Poor
Article 66: Right to Education and Training
Article 67: Protection of Youth
Article 68: Promotion of Sports
Article 69: Protection of Arts, Artists, and Cultural Rights
Article 70: Promotion of Cooperative Activities
Article 71: Protection of Agriculture and Farmers
Article 72: Protection of Consumers
Article 73: The Limit of the Economic and Social Duties of the State
Article 74: Internal Constituent State Citizenship Status
- Upon entry into force of this Constitution, Cascadian citizens residing in Oregon or in territories administered by it shall hold its internal constituent state citizenship status according to the relevant constitutional law of the United Republic of Cascadia.
- The State may regulate the acquisition of its internal constituent state citizenship status for persons hailing from Washington.
Article 75: The Right to Elect, to be Elected, and to Participate in a Public Referendum
Article 76: The General Administration and Control of Elections
Article 77: The Right to Establish Political Parties and the Place of the Parties in Political life
Article 78: The Principles with which Political Parties must Comply
Article 79: Right to Enter the Public Service
Article 80: Appointments to the Organizations, Institutions, and Establishments of the United Republic of Cascadia
Article 81: Declaration of Property Wealth
Article 82: Duty to Pay Tax
Article 83: Right to Petition
Chapter III: Legislature
Article 84: The Composition of the Legislative Assembly of Oregon
- The Legislative Assembly of Oregon shall be composed of seventy-five members.
Article 85: The Duties and Powers of the Legislative Assembly of Oregon
- The duties and powers of the Legislative Assembly shall be:
- to approve the constitutional laws of the United Republic of Cascadia in accordance with the procedure envisaged in the Federal Constitution;
- to approve the Cooperation Agreements of the State with the Federal Government and the State of Washington in accordance with the procedure provided in the Federal Constitution;
- to enact, amend, and repeals the laws of the State;
- to exercise control over the Council of Ministers and Ministers;
- to debate and approve bills concerning the budget and financial accounts of the State;
- to approve international agreements on commercial and cultural matters, including the arts, education and sports, to which the State is a party;
- to approve development plans;
- to decide on the granting of general and special amnesty; and
- to exercise the powers and perform the duties envisaged in the other Articles of this Constitution.
Article 86: Elections for the Legislative Assembly of Oregon
- The elections for the Legislative Assembly shall be held every three years.
- The electoral system and principles governing it shall be regulated by law.
- The powers of the Legislative Assembly which has been dissolved shall continue until a new Assembly is elected in its place.
- A law shall provide for the filling of any vacancy that may occur in the Legislative Assembly.
- If the holding of elections shall become impossible due to emergency reasons, the elections may be postponed for a period of one year by the Legislative Assembly. The decision to postpone the elections shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of the total number of members.
Article 87: The Inviolability of the Legislative Assembly and the Internal Security and Administrative Service
- The Legislative Assembly is inviolable. No one can restrict the freedom of the Legislative Assembly, act in a manner disturbing its peace and insult it formal personality.
- The internal security and administrative services within the premises, installations, annexes, and courtyard of the Legislative Assembly shall be provided for and administered by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. For police and other internal security services, a sufficient force shall be allocated to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly by the authorities concerned.
Article 88: The Meetings and Procedure of the Legislative Assembly
- The meetings of the Legislative Assembly shall be held in the Assembly's own premises.
- The Legislative Assembly shall meet without summons at 10:00 within ten days following the publication of the results of the general election in the Official Gazette of the State. The eldest member present at the meeting shall act as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the two youngest members present at the meeting shall perform the duties of Clerks to the Assembly. At this meeting the members shall take the oath or affirmation and then the Legislative Assembly shall proceed with the election of its Presidium. The election of the Presidium shall commence as from this date and shall be completed within ten days.
- The Legislative Assembly shall meet without summons on the first working day of the month of October every year and shall continue its ordinary functions until the end of the month of June.
- The Legislative Assembly shall carry out its functions in accordance with the Rules made by it. The Rules shall be so made as to enable the participation of the political party groups in all activities of the Legislative Assembly in proportion to the number of members in the group. The political party groups shall consist of at least five members.
- The quorum for meetings of the Legislative Assembly shall be at least one-third of the total number of its members and decisions shall, unless there is provision to the contrary in the Constitution, be taken by the absolute majority votes of the members present at the meeting, provided that decisions shall be taken by at least nineteen members. In case of the equality of the positive and negative votes, the issue submitted to the vote shall be considered as rejected, provided that abstentions from voting shall be deemed to denote the acceptance in advance of a decision in favor of the positive or negative votes, whichever is the greater.
- The Legislative Assembly may be summoned to an extraordinary meeting on the request of the President of Oregon, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Council of Ministers or on the request of at least fifteen members.
- The debates in the General Meetings of the Legislative Assembly shall be public and the minutes thereof shall be published in full.
- The Legislative Assembly may hold closed sessions by a decision of the General Meeting of the Legislative Assembly. The publication of the verbatim reports of such debates shall be subject to the decision of the General Meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
- The publication by any means whatsoever of the public debates held in the Legislative Assembly shall be free of any restrictions unless a decision to the contrary is taken upon the proposal of the Presidium at the same session.
Article 89: Taking the Oath or Affirmation
- The members shall take the following oath or affirmation before assuming their duties:
- "I do (swear upon my honor and dignity) (hereby truly affirm and declare) that I shall preserve the existence, rights, and sovereignty exercised by the powers of the State of Oregon within the United Republic of Cascadia; that I shall be bound by the principle of the supremacy of law and by the principles of a democratic, secular State, social justice, and the dignity and rights of all people; that I shall work for the welfare and happiness of the people of Oregon; that I shall not depart from the ideal that every citizen must benefit from human rights; and that I shall remain loyal to the Constitution, (so help me God)."
Article 90: Presidium of the Legislative Assembly
- The Presidium of the Legislative Assembly shall be composed of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and a sufficient number of Clerks and Administrative Officers elected from amongst the members.
- The Presidium shall function as a Council and shall be constituted proportionately with the number of members of the groups in the Legislative Assembly.
- The election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall be held twice during the term of office of the Assembly. Those elected for the first period shall hold office for two years and those elected for the second period shall hold office for the remainder of the term of the Legislative Assembly. The elections for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall commence on the first day of the third year of the term of office of the Legislative Assembly and shall be completed in ten days, at the latest. The duties of the former Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall continue until the new Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the second period shall be elected.
- The election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall be by secret ballot. At the first three rounds of voting an absolute majority of the total number of members shall be required. If an absolute majority of the total number of members cannot be obtained at the third round, a fourth round of voting shall be held between the two candidates who have received the greater number of votes, and the one who receives more votes at the fourth round shall be elected.
- The provisions relating to the number, term of office, and election of the Clerks and Administrative Officers shall be prescribed by the Rules of the Legislative Assembly.
Article 91: Immunity of members
- Members shall not be held liable for their votes or statements at the meetings of the Legislative Assembly, and for repeating or disclosing these outside the Legislative Assembly.
- Where it is alleged that a member committed an offense before or after his election, he cannot be arrested or prosecuted without the leave of the Legislative Assembly. Such leave shall not be necessary in the case of a flagrant offense, punishable with imprisonment for five years or more, provided that the competent person shall notify forthwith the Legislative Assembly.
- A sentence imposed on a member before or after his election, shall not be carried out until after the end of his term of office. The period during which a member remains in office shall not be reckoned for purposes of limitation of time.
Article 92: The Termination of a member's Term of Office
- The term of office of a member shall come to an end:
- on his death;
- on his final conviction of an offense that constitutes disqualification for election;
- on his resignation, disqualification, acceptance of a duty incompatible with the office of a member; and
- on his failure to attend meetings of the Legislative Assembly for a period of one month without any excuse or leave.
- The termination of the term of office of a member shall be decided upon by the General Meeting of the Legislative Assembly.
Article 93: Duties Incompatible with the Office of member
- Members shall not accept employment in the State or public establishments as public personnel or other public officials, and shall not, directly or indirectly, undertake any business engagements of the State or of public establishments.
- Other duties and functions incompatible with the office of a member shall be regulated by law.
Article 94: Remuneration of members
- The salaries, representation and cost of living allowances and traveling expenses of the members shall be regulated by law. The monthly amount of the salary shall be equal to the monthly amount of the salary drawn by the highest ranking public officer. The total sum of traveling expenses and representation allowances shall not exceed one-half of the total annual salary.
Article 95: Holding of New Elections for the Legislative Assembly
- The Legislative Assembly may, by an absolute majority vote of the total number of its members decide to hold new elections. Abstentions and invalid votes shall be taken into account only for purposes of the quorum of such meeting; they shall not be taken into consideration for the purpose of the minimum number of votes required for the taking of a decision.
- If it is not possible to appoint a Council of Ministers having the support of the majority of the Legislative Assembly in conformity with Article 112(2) of this Constitution within a period of sixty days, the President of Oregon may decide to dissolve the Legislative Assembly and to hold new elections for the Legislative Assembly.
- If the Council of Ministers falls, or is defeated three times within a year for inability to receive a vote of confidence or as a result of a vote of no confidence under Article 115 of this Constitution, the President of Oregon may decide to hold early elections for the Legislative Assembly.
- The President of Oregon may, if he considers it necessary, have recourse to a referendum before deciding to hold new elections for the Legislative Assembly under paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Article.
- The President of Oregon, when deciding to hold new elections shall obtain the views of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Council of Ministers and of the chairpersons of the political parties having a group in the Legislative Assembly.
Article 96: General Provisions Relating to Enactment of Laws and Taking of Decisions
- The Council of Ministers and the members of the Legislative Assembly shall be entitled to introduce bulls bills and resolutions. The method and principles governing the debate in the Assembly of bills and draft resolutions shall be regulated by the Rules of the Assembly.
- The manner in which bills and draft resolutions shall be brought to the notice of the public shall be regulated by the Rules of the Assembly.
Article 97: The Ratification of International Agreements on Commercial and Cultural Matters
Article 98: The Preparation, Application, Debating, and Acceptance of the Budget
Article 99: Final Accounts
Article 100: Promulgation of Laws by the President of Oregon
Article 101: The Publication of Decisions
Article 102: Power of Obtaining Information and Exercising Supervision in General
Article 103: Tabling of Questions and Holding of a General Debate
Article 104: Enquiry or Investigation
Chapter IV: The Executive
Article 105: The President of Oregon
- The President of Oregon shall be elected for a period of four years by Cascadian citizens permanently resident in the State. The candidates for the office of the President of Oregon must possess the following qualifications:
- they must be qualified for election as an MLA;
- they must have had higher education;
- they must have reached the age of thirty-five years;
- they must be holders of the internal citizenship status of Oregon;
- the must have been ordinarily resident in Cascadia for a minimum period of five years immediately preceding the election.
- In order to be elected as President, a candidate must obtain the absolute majority of the total number of valid votes cast. If no candidate obtains such majority, the election shall be repeated after seven days between the two candidates who obtained the greatest number of valid votes cast. The candidate who obtained the greater number of valid votes cast at such repeated election shall be elected as the President.
- The President whose term of office is completed continues in office until the new elected President assumes office.
- The President of Oregon cannot do any work other than his official duties. He cannot, directly or indirectly, undertake any business engagements of the State or of public bodies.
- The salary, representation and cost of living allowances and traveling expenses of the President of Oregon shall be regulated by law.
Article 106: The Taking of the Oath or Affirmation by the President
Article 107: Impartiality of the President
Article 108: The Duties and Powers of the President
Article 109: Immunity and Liability of the President
Article 110: Vacancy in the Office of President
- The Office of the President of Oregon shall become vacant upon his death, upon his absence from work, other than temporary absence, and upon his written resignation sent to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon.
- If, due to health reasons, the President shall become permanently incapable of performing his duties, the Council of Ministers shall inform the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon of the situation. If the Supreme Court of Oregon, sitting as the Constitutional Court, decides that the President is permanently incapable of performing his duties, the Office of the President shall be deemed to have become vacant.
Article 111: Deputizing for the President
Article 112: The Formation of the Council of Ministers
Article 113: The Duties, Powers, and Responsibilities of the Prime Minister
Article 114: The Establishment of Ministries
Article 115: The Assumption of Duty by the Council of Ministers and its Responsibilities
Article 116: The Duties, Powers, and Responsibilities of the Ministers
Article 117: Decrees Having the Force of Law
Article 118: The State Administration
Article 119: The Public Controller
Article 120: Establishment of Departments and Service Units
Article 121: Central Administration
Article 122: Police Organization
Article 123: Local Authorities
Article 124: The Carrying Out of the Basic and Continuous Duties Connected with the Public Services
Article 125: Provisions in Connection with Public Personnel and Other Public Officers
Article 126: Rules and Regulations
Article 127: Illegal Orders
Article 128: Declaration of State of Emergency due to Natural Disasters, Serious Economic Crisis, and Widespread Acts of Violence
Article 129: Arrangements Regarding State of Emergency
Article 130: Professional Bodies of a Public Nature
Article 131: Institutions of Higher Education
Article 132: Radio and Television Broadcasting and News Agencies
Article 133: Specialized and Autonomous Institutions
Article 134: Office of Religious Affairs
Article 135: Office of Audit
Article 136: The Control of Public Utility Enterprises
Article 137: Development and Planning
Article 138: Putting the State under Financial Obligation and the Establishment of Funds
Chapter V: The Judiciary
Article 139: Independence of Courts
Article 140: The Security of Tenure of Judges
Article 141: The Profession of Judges
Article 142: Hearings to be Public and Judgments to Contain Reasons
Article 143: Trial of Juveniles
Article 144: Council of Justice
Article 145: Punishment of Persons not Complying with Court Decisions or Orders
Article 146: The Constitution of the Supreme Court and Allocation of Functions
Article 147: Powers of the Constitutional Court
Article 148: Conflict of Power Between Organs
Article 149: Unconstitutionality of Laws
Article 150: Annulment Suits
Article 151: Reference of Questions of Unconstitutionality by Courts to the Supreme Court
Article 152: The Interpretation of the Constitution
Article 153: Decisions of the Constitutional Court
Article 154: The Powers of the Court of Appeal
Article 155: The Powers of the High Administrative Court
Article 156: Other Duties and Powers of the Supreme Court
Article 157: Power to make Rules of Court
Article 158: Establishment, Duties, and Powers of Subordinate Courts
Article 159: The Attorney-General and Counsels of the State
Chapter VI: Miscellaneous Provisions
Article 160: Right of the State to Ownership
Article 161: Reserving the Rights of Public Personnel
Article 162: The Official Gazette of Oregon
Chapter VII: Final Provisions
Article 163: Amendment of the Constitution
- This Constitution may be amended on a proposal tabled by at least fifteen members and its acceptance by at least two-thirds of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly.
- If a proposal made under paragraph (1) is accepted by a majority of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly, it may be put to a referendum. In such a case, the constitutional amendment comes into effect if the number of "Yes" votes in the referendum are more than the "No" votes.
- The consideration and acceptance of the proposed constitutional amendments shall be subject to the provisions relating to the consideration and acceptance of laws, except for the requirements stated in paragraph (1), provided that proposals for amendment cannot be debated earlier than fifteen days following their submission.
- The requirement of prior acceptance by referendum for a constitutional amendment to come into effect, may be provided by a law relating to such amendment. In such a case the constitutional amendment comes into effect if the number of "Yes" votes in the referendum are more than the "No" votes.
- Constitutional amendments not requiring approval by a referendum shall come into force through publication in the Official Gazette of the State by the President of Oregon within ten days.
- The provisions of Article 1 of this Constitution prescribing the basis and characteristics of the state canot be changed.
Article 164: Definitions
Article 165: The Coming into Force of the Constitution
- This Constitution shall come into force on January 1, 2015, following the acceptance of the Constitutions of the United Republic of Cascadia, Washington, and Oregon, at separate and simultaneous referenda.