The Constitution of Washington is, along with the federal Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia, the supreme legal document of Washington. 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 129 articles in 8 chapters, and is considerably longer than that of its co-constituent state, Washington.
Chapter I: General Provisions
Article 1: Fundamental Provisions
- The State of Washington is a Constituent State of the United Republic of Cascadia.
- The State of Washington derives its authority from, and exercises it within the limits of, the Federal Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia, exercising all powers not vested by the Federal Constitution in the Federal Government, and organizing itself under this Constitution in conformity with the fundamental principles of the rule of law, respect for fundamental liberties and individual rights, democracy, equality, and representative republican government as prescribed by Article 2(3) of the constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia.
Article 2: Primacy of Law and Fidelity to the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia
- Within the limits of the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia, this constitution shall prevail over any other law of the State of Washington.
- No institution of the State of Washington may interfere with the competencies of the Federal Government or of the State of Oregon.
- Any act by the State of Washington in contravention to the Federal Constitution shall be null and void.
- All acts of government at all levels shall conform with the principles of proportionality and good faith, as well as the principles of full faith, allegiance, coordination and cooperation inherent to a federal state.
- The State of Washington shall be liable for any wrongful act or omission causing damage, committed in the exercise or purported exercise of the duties of its officers or authorities. A law may regulate and extend such liability.
- The Courts of the State of Washington shall uphold the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia and this Constitution and shall ensure their full respect.
Article 3: Language
- The official language of the State of Washington is English. A law may make provision for the use of other languages.
- Legislative, executive, and administrative acts and documents shall be drawn up in the official language and shall, where under the express provisions of this Constitution, promulgation is required, be promulgated by publication in the Gazette in the official language.
- Other languages may be used as means of communication and instruction.
Article 4: Flags and Anthem
- The State of Washington shall have its own flag, as per attached Annex A.
- The State of Washington shall have its own anthem, as per attached Annex B.
- The authorities of the State of Washington and any public corporation or public utility body created by or under its laws shall fly on public buildings the flag of the State of Washington and the flag of the United Republic of Cascadia. No other flag shall fly on such buildings.
- Any person shall have the right to fly any flag without any restriction.
Article 5: Official Holidays
- The official holidays of the State of Washington shall include the official holidays specified in Article 10 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia.
- Additional holidays shall be determined and regulated by a law of the General Assembly.
Article 6: State Secularity
- The State of Washington shall be secular.
- Religious functionaries shall be ineligible to hold elected or appointed political public office.
Article 7: Internal State Citizenship Status
- Internal Washingtonian state citizenship status shall be regulated by the Constitutional Law on Internal State Citizenship Status and State Residency Limits, and, within the framework and limits of such Constitutional Law, by relevant law of the State of Washington.
- Laws of the State of Washington may regulate the acquisition of internal state citizenship status by persons hailing from the State of Oregon.
- There shall be no discrimination, direct or indirect, in the grant of internal citizenship of the State of Washington because of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, culture, sex, gender orientation, age, mental or physical disability, social origin, political or other opinion, association with a minority group, property, birth or other status.
Article 8: Political Rights
- Within the limits of the federal Constitution and the Constitutional Law on Internal State Citizenship and State Residency Rights, as they may be amended, Citizens of the United Republic of Cascadia who are permanently resident in the State of Washington and have been so resident for at least six months shall, in accordance with the prescriptions in the Electoral and other relevant Laws, be registered in the electoral rolls at their place of residency and shall have the right to participate in elections for the President of Washington and the General Assembly of Washington, or for local government bodies, and to stand for public office, at the local government level; provided that a law may provide for the exercise of political rights by persons holding the internal citizenship status of Washington and residing outside Cascadia.
Chapter II: Fundamental Rights and Liberties
Article 9: Applicability
- The legislative, executive, and judicial authorities of the State of Washington shall be bound to secure, within the limits of their respective competence, the efficient application of the provisions of this Chapter.
- In the interpretation of fundamental rights and liberties, and their restrictions, due account shall be taken to jurisprudence and other guidance from international human rights bodies in accordance with Article 11 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia.
Article 10: Equality and Non-Discrimination
- Subject to the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia, the Constitutional Law on Internal State Citizenship Status and State Residency Rights, and the express provisions of this Constitution, everyone is equal before the law and no law or decision of the General Assembly and no act or decision of any organ, authority, or person in the State of Washington exercising executive power or administrative functions, shall discriminate against any person on the ground of his community origins, internal state citizenship status, ethnic or religious identity or origin, color, race, culture, language, sex, gender orientation, age, mental or physical disability, social origin, political or other opinion, association with a minority group, property birth or other status; provided that nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from taking positive measures in favor of women, disabled persons or other disadvantaged groups.
- No citizen shall be entitled to use or enjoy any privilege of any title of nobility or of social distinction within the State of Washington.
- No title of nobility or other social distinction shall be conferred by or recognized in the State of Washington.
Article 11: Life
- Every person has the right to life.
- No person shall be deprived of his life.
- No one shall be condemned to the death penalty or executed.
- Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
- in defense of person or property against the infliction of a proportionate and otherwise unavoidable and irreparable evil;
- in order to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detailed, subject always to the principle of proportionality;
- in action taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection, when and as provided by law.
Article 12: Right to the Integrity of the Person
- Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity.
- In the fields of medicine and biology, the following must be respected in particular:
- subject and according to the procedure laid down by law, the free and informed consent of the person concerned o his or her guardian;
- the prohibition of eugenic practices, in particular those aiming at the selection of persons;
- the prohibition of making the human body and its parts as such a source of financial gain;
- the prohibition of reproductive cloning of human beings.
Article 13: Prohibition of Torture
- No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment.
Article 14: Prohibition of Slavery, Forced Labor, and Trafficking of Human Beings
- No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
- No person shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labor.
- For the purposes of this Article, the term "forced or compulsory labor" shall not include:
- any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 15 or during conditional release from such detention;
- any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the inhabitants.
- Trafficking in human beings is prohibited.
Article 15: Liberty and Security of Person
- Every person has the right to liberty and security of person.
- No person shall be deprived of his or her liberty, save in the following cases when and as provided by law:
- the arrest or detention effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offense or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his or her committing an offense or fleeting after having done so;
- the detention of a minor by a lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him or her before the competent legal authority;
- the detention of persons for the prevention of spreading infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants;
- Save when, and as provided by law, in case of a flagrant offense punishable by imprisonment, no person shall be arrested on suspicion of having committed an offense, save under the authority of a reasoned judicial warrant issued according to the formalities and standards prescribed by law.
Article 17: Rights of Accused Persons
Article 18: Fair Trial
Article 19: Right of Petition and Access to Court
Article 20: Right of Access to Documents
Article 21: Privacy, Home, and Communications
Article 22: Personal Data
Article 23: Right to Marry
Article 24: Freedom of Movement and Residence
Article 25: Rights to Property
Article 26: Public Burdens
Article 27: Social Security
Article 28: Environment
Article 29: Right to Education
Article 30: Profession or Occupation
Article 31: Freedom of Contract
Article 32: Right to Strike
Article 33: Freedom of Assembly and Association
Article 34: Freedom of Expression
Article 35: Thought, Conscience, and Religion
Article 36: Equality Before the Law
Article 37: Elections
Article 38: Special Status Areas
Article 39: Religious Minorities
Article 40: Aliens
Article 41: Guidelines for Interpretation
Chapter III: Competences of the State of Washington
Article 42: Competences and Functions
- The State of Washington, in accordance with Article 15(1) of the Federal Constitution, shall exercise within its territorial boundaries all competences and functions not vested in the Federal Government by Article 14 of that Constitution.
- The State of Washington shall have:
- primary criminal jurisdiction over violation of federal laws, unless such jurisdiction is reserved for the Supreme Court of Cascadia or other federal courts by federal legislation;
- exclusive jurisdiction over civil, criminal, and administrative matters arising within the State of Washington, except as limited by the jurisdiction of the said Supreme Court or other federal courts conferred upon them by the Federal Constitution or by Federal Constitutional Laws; subject to the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia, the law may provide for further jurisdiction in respect of any matter;
- subject to the Constitution of the United Republic of Cascadia, extra-territorial jurisdiction, as provided by law.
- The police of the State of Washington shall be stationed and, subject to the right of hot pursuit, operate exclusively within the State of Washington, and shall be responsible for the protection and enforcement of law, order, and public safety within such State, including offenses against Federal Laws, without prejudice to the functions of the Federal Police and the Joint Investigation Agency, to the provisions of the Constitutional Laws on Police Matters and Composition and Functions of the Joint Investigation Agency, and to the Cooperation Agreement on Police Matters.
- Where the Federal Government has entrusted the implementation of its Laws to authorities of the State of Washington in accordance with Article 14(3) of the Federal Constitution, the State of Washington shall have competence in this respect and shall act in accordance with the procedure set out in the Federal Law on Implementation of Federal Laws by State Authorities.
- Where the State of Washington enjoys legislative competencies in respect of the subject matter of an international treaty, the State of Washington shall, in accordance with Article 14(4) of the Federal Constitution, implement any obligations of the United Republic of Cascadia thereunder.
Article 43: Participation in the External Relations of the United Republic of Cascadia
Article 44: Participation in the Relations of the United Republic of Cascadia
Article 45: Cooperation and Coordination
Chapter IV: The Executive
Article 46: The President of Washington
Article 47: Functions of the President
Article 48: Election of the President
- The election of the President shall be direct, by universal suffrage and secret ballot, provided that if there is only one candidate for election that candidate shall be declared as elected.
- A candidate who receives a majority of the votes validly cast shall be elected. If none of the candidates attains the required majority, the election shall be repeated on the corresponding day of the week next following between the two candidates who received the greater number of votes validly cast, and the candidate who receives at such election the greater number of the votes validly cast shall be deemed to be elected.
- If the election cannot take place on the date fixed under this Constitution owing to extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances such as earthquake, floods, general epidemic and the like, then such election shall take place on the corresponding day of the week next following.
Article 49: Qualifications for Candidacy
Article 50: Ineligibility and Incompatibility
Article 51: Investiture
Article 52: Term of Office
- The President shall hold office for a period of four years, commencing on the date of his investiture and shall continue to hold such office until the investiture of the next President.
- The President elected at a special election under paragraph (4) of Article 53 shall hold office for the unexpired period of office of the President whose vacancy he has been elected to fill. If the unexpired period is less than a year, the person elected President shall hold office both for such unexpired period and for a further period of four years, and shall continue to hold such office until the next President is invested.
- The election of a new President shall take place before the expiation of the period of office of the outgoing President so as to enable the newly-elected President to be invested on the date such period expires.
Article 53: Vacancy
Article 54: Immunity and Prosecution
Article 55: Council of Ministers
Article 56: Executive Power of the President
Article 57: Veto Rights over Laws and Decisions of the General Assembly
Article 58: Right of Return of laws
Article 59: Promulgation
Article 60: Commutation of Sentences
Article 61: Executive Power of Ministers
Article 62: Ministers' Eligibility
Article 63: Affirmation
Article 64: Secretariat
Chapter V: The General Assembly
Article 65: Legislative Competence
Article 66: Size of the General Assembly
- The number of delegates to the General Assembly shall be ninety-nine.
- The number of delegates may be altered by a resolution of the General Assembly carried by a majority comprising three-fifths of the delegates.