The Missouri Constitution has 33 sections. These sections give information to what legal rights every resident of the state has, in general. It describes what powers are deemed for the state’s government. It gives information on how laws are carried out. The Missouri Constitution only applies to the state of Missouri and its residents. The Missouri Constitution uses some parts of the United States Constitution as a guide for its sections. For example, the natural rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the right to enjoy the gains of one’s own industry. Those words are based on the Preamble of the United States Constitution.
Other similarities are religious freedom, freedom of speech, rights of peaceful assemble and petition, due process, habeas corpus, open courts, right of trial by jury, right to bear arms, free and open elections, and treason, to name a few.
The United States Preamble is as follows: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution for the United States of America.”
The United States Constitution is more detailed than the Missouri Constitution, and rightfully so. The United States Constitution was written for the same reason as the Missouri Constitution, except that the Unites States Constitution applies to the whole country. It overrides The Missouri Constitution in every way. With its 7 main articles and 29 sub-sections, it is more focused on the working and rights under the United States government, instead of a state’s government.
· Article 1 of the Constitution describes the Legislative Branch of the United States government. It details how the legislative power is gained, elections of senators and representatives, rules of the House and Senate, compensation and privileges of members, how bills are passed, and what the limits are to legislative power.
· Article 2 of the Constitution describes the Presidency. It details the election of the President, his powers, laws executed, and impeachment.
· Article 3 of the Constitution describes the Judiciary. It details the how judiciary power is gained, the scope of that power, and treason.
· Article 4 of the Constitution describes the states. It describes admissions of states, and guarantees made to the states.
· Article 5 of the Constitution describes the Amendment process.
· Article 6 of the Constitution describes the legal status of the Constitution.
· Article 7 of the Constitution describes the ratification process.
Generally speaking, the Missouri Constitution is very much similar to the United States Constitution. Both explain about the people’s rights under the current laws. Both constitutions explain the roles of the government and how their governmental powers are obtained and used.
The difference between the two constitutions is simple. The United States Constitution describes the forms of national government and the rights that the people have under that government. The Missouri Constitution describes the state government and the rights that the residents have under that government. The Missouri Constitution is meant to be a supplement to the United States government, defining individual rights under a state’s laws.