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Oxford Law Citator
Part one Rhode Island Constitutional Development, 1636– 2006
The History and Development of the Rhode Island Constitution
The Colonial Era: To 1763
The Revolutionary Era: 1764–1790
The Early National Period: 1790–1840
The Dorr Rebellion and its Aftermath: 1841–1854
The Republican Ascendancy: 1854–1935
The Bloodless Revolution and its Aftermath: 1935–1939
The Democratic Ascendancy: 1940–1985
The Modern Era: 1986–2006
Part two The Rhode Island Constitution and Commentary
Art.I Declaration of Certain Constitutional Rights and Principles
s.1 Right to make and alter the constitution—Constitution—obligatory upon all.
s.2 Laws for good of the whole—Burdens to be equally distributed—Due process—Equal protection—Discrimination—No right to abortion granted.
Laws for Good of the Whole
Burdens To Be Equally Distributed
Due Process And Equal Protection
s.3 Freedom of religion.
s.4 Slavery prohibited.
s.5 Entitlement to remedies for injuries and wrongs—Right to justice.
Statutes Of Limitations And Statutory Notice Requirements
Court-Related Costs And Fees
No Interference With Right
s.6 Search and seizure.
s.7 Requirement of presentment or indictment—Double jeopardy.
s.8 Bail, fines, and punishments.
s.9 Right to bail—Habeas corpus.
s.10 Rights of accused in criminal cases.
s.11 Relief of debtors from prison.
s.12 Ex post facto laws—Laws impairing the obligation of contract.
Ex Post Facto
Interference with Contract
Scope of Application
Invocation of Right
Silence of the Defendant
Evidence and Presumptions
Comment of Counsel
Assistance of Counsel
s.14 Presumption of innocence—Securing accused persons.
Presumption of Innocence
Acts of Severity
s.15 Trial by jury.
Scope of Right
s.16 Compensation for taking private property for public use—Regulation of fisheryrights and shore privileges not a public taking.
Statute of Limitations on Takings Claims
s.17 Fishery rights—Privileges of the shore—Conservation of natural resources—Preservation of the natural environment.
s.18 Subordination of the military to civil authority.
s.19 Quartering of soldiers.
s.20 Freedom of the press.
s.21 Right to assemble and petition—Freedom of speech.
s.22 Right to bear arms.
s.23 Rights of victims of crime.
s.24 Rights not enumerated—State rights not dependent on federal rights.
Art.II Of Suffrage
s.1 Persons entitled to vote.
s.2 Nominations, voter registration, and voting procedures.
Art.III Of Qualification for Office
s.1 Civil office—Qualified electors.
s.2 Disqualification upon conviction or plea of nolo contendere—Requalification follow-ing sentence, probation or parole.
s.3 Oath of general officers.
s.4 Oath of General Assembly members, judges, and other officers.
s.5 Method of administering the oath of office.
s.6 Holding of offices under other governments—Senators and representatives not to holdother appointed offices under state government.
s.7 Ethical conduct.
s.8 Ethics commission—Code of ethics.
Art.IV Of Qualification for Office
s.1 Election and terms of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, generaltreasurer, and General Assembly members—Recall.
s.2 Election by plurality.
s.3 Filling vacancy by the General Assembly when elected officers cannot serve—Election when there is noplurality.
s.4 Temporary appointment to fill vacancies in the office of secretary of state, attorney general, or generaltreasurer.
s.5 Special elections to fill General Assembly vacancies.
s.6 Elections in grand committee—Majority vote—Term of elected official.
s.7 Elections in grand committee—Quorum—Permitted activities.
s.8 Voter registration lists.
s.9 Reports of campaign contributions and expenses.
s.10 Limitations on campaign contributions—Public financing of campaign expenditures of general officers.
Art.V Of the Distribution of Powers
Art.VI Of the Legislative Power
s.1 Constitution the supreme law of the state.
s.2 Power vested in the General Assembly—Concurrence of houses required to enact laws—Style of laws.
s.3 Sessions of the General Assembly—Compensation of General Assembly members and officers.
s.4 Restriction on General Assembly members’ activities as counsel.
s.5 Immunities of General Assembly members.
s.6 Election and qualification of General Assembly members—Quorum and organization of houses.
s.7 Rules of the houses—Contempt.
s.8 House journals.
s.9 Adjournment of houses.
s.10 Residual powers (repealed in 2005).
s.11 Vote required to pass local or private appropriations.
s.12 Property valuations for tax assessments.
s.13 Continuance in office until successors qualify.
s.14 General corporation laws.
s.16 Borrowing power of the General Assembly.
s.17 Borrowing in anticipation of receipts.
s.18 Redevelopment powers.
s.19 Taking of property for highways, streets, places, parks, or parkways.
s.20 Local off-street parking facilities.
s.21 Emergency powers in case of enemy attack.
s.22 Referendum on the expansion of gambling.
Art.VII Of the House of Representatives
s.2 Officers—Presiding member during organization.
Art.VIII Of the Senate
s.1 Composition and apportionment.
s.2 Lieutenant governor to be presiding officer until 2003.
s.3 Presiding officer in absence of lieutenant governor (repealed).
s.4 Secretary of state to be secretary of the senate (repealed).
Art.IX Of the Executive Power
s.1 Power vested in the governor.
s.2 Faithful execution of laws.
s.3 Captain general and commander in chief of military and navy.
s.5 Powers of appointment.
s.6 Adjournment of the General Assembly.
s.7 Convening of special sessions of the General Assembly.
s.8 Commissions and the state seal.
s.9 Vacancy in the office of the governor.
s.10 Vacancies in offices of both the governor and lieutenant governor.
s.11 Compensation of the governor and lieutenant governor.
s.12 Powers and duties of the secretary of state, attorney general, and general treasurer.
s.14 Veto power of governor—Veto overrides by the General Assembly—Acts effective without action bythe governor.
s.15 State budget.
s.16 Limitation on state spending. [Effective from July 1, 2007 until July 1, 2012].
s.16 Limitation on state spending. [Effective July 1, 2012].
s.17 Budget reserve account.
Art.X Of the Judicial Power
s.1 Power vested in the courts.
s.2 Jurisdiction of the supreme and inferior courts—Quorum of the supreme court.
s.3 Advisory opinions by the supreme court.
s.4 Judicial selection.
s.5 Tenure of supreme court justices.
s.6 Compensation for justices of the supreme court.
s.7 Wardens and justices of the peace.
Art.XI Of Impeachments
s.1 Power of impeachment by the House.
s.2 Impeachment trial by the senate.
s.3 Governor, executive officers, judges liable to impeachment—Grounds for impeachment.
Art.XII Of Education
s.1 Duty of the General Assembly to promote public schools and public libraries and to secure opportuni-ties for education.
s.2 Perpetual school fund.
s.3 Educational donations.
s.4 Implementation of this article—Diversion of funds prohibited.
Art.XIII Home Rule for Cities and Towns
s.1 Right of self-government in local matters.
s.2 Local power to adopt home rule charter in conformity with reserved powers of the General Assembly.
s.3 Every city and town shall have a legislative body.
s.4 General laws apply to all cities and towns but shall not affect the form of government—Special actsneed approval of local electors.
s.5 Local taxing and borrowing power only as authorized by the General Assembly.
s.6 Procedures for the adoption of a home rule charter.
s.7 Vote on charter adoption.
s.8 Amendments to a home rule charter.
s.9 Filing of charter petition with the local legislative body.
s.10 Certification of charter adoption.
s.11 No diminution of the power of the judiciary.
Art.XIV Constitutional Amendments and Revisions
s.1 Amendment process.
s.2 Procedures for the call of a constitutional convention.
Art.XV General Transition
s.1 What remains in full force and effect.
s.2 What continues to be valid.
s.3 All officers to continue the duties of their office.
s.4 Implementing legislation required.
Table of Cases
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Table of Cases
The Rhode Island State Constitution
Patrick T. Conley, Robert G. Flanders, Jr.
US Constitutional Law [USC]
Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States
Published in print:
11 April 2011