Arizona’s Ever-Changing Constitution

What’s with all these propositions?

Arizona’s Constitution can be amended in 3 ways. The Legislature may vote to put a proposal on the ballot (Referendum). Second, the voters may submit a petition with the required number of signatures (Initiative).  Regardless of the means of getting on the ballot, if a majority votes for the proposition, it becomes law and the Constitution is changed. The 3rd method is for the Legislature to propose a Constitutional Convention. In that case, the voters must approve the Convention and any revisions that the Convention recommends. These routes to change our Constitution make for some vibrant, interactive, and often rowdy election cycles!

At the State of Arizona Research Library we have lots of materials about the Arizona Constitution. You can browse the Minutes or the Records of the Constitutional Convention of 1910.

 

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You can compare the Arizona Constitution with the U.S. Constitution with these publications from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

You can see how the Arizona Constitution has changed over the years at our Constitution Timeline here.

You can study the work of experts who have analyzed the Constitution by viewing these titles (and more) in our Reading Room or borrowing them through your public library via interlibrary loan. The Toni McClory book is also available for free as an ebook through Reading Arizona!

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And you can vote! There are 3 proposed Constitutional amendments on the ballot for the 2018 midterm election on November 6, 2018.  Here’s the publicity pamphlet for this year’s General Election.

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Arizona’s Territorial Legislature

Arizona’s Legislature met to debate the issues of the day and pass laws, long before Arizona became a state. The Legislature met in Prescott between 1864 and 1867, and again between 1879 and 1889. In between they met in Tucson, before settling in to Phoenix in 1891 to stay.

We have copies of the enacted laws (“Session Laws”) passed by the Territorial Legislature dating from 1864 until Arizona became a state on February 14, 1912. We were the “Valentine to the Nation”. We also have copies of the Session Laws passed since Statehood, which you can research in print in our Reading Room or browse online on the Arizona Memory Project here.

Session LawsWe think it’s vital to preserve these irreplaceable materials. We keep a print copy that is accessible to users. We also make digital copies of everything we can, and post them online so people can access them from anywhere there is an internet connection. We set aside a good-quality preservation copy of each document. Then we select multiple duplicates whenever possible to use as replacements for the accessible copies. We keep the preservation copies and the duplicate replacement copies in separate climate-controlled spaces to assure that the information in them will not be lost.

These may not be things to curl up on a comfy couch and read. But preserving them is just one of the many things we do here at the State of Arizona Research Library.

If you wish to come see the Session Laws or any other historic or current law material in person, stop by the Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History Building at 1901 W. Madison Street, Phoenix any Monday through Friday (except state holidays).

List of individuals who have lain in state at the Arizona State Capitol

  • Governor Joseph H. Kibbey, 1924
    (1924, June 15). Judge Joseph H. Kibbey Of Phoenix Dies. The Arizona Republican.
  • Secretary of State J. C. Callaghan, 1929
    (1929, January 28). Callaghan Succumbs In Hospital. The Arizona Republican.
  • Major William Paul Geary, 1929
    (1929, December 6). Maj. W. P. Geary Dies In Veterans’ Hospital, Body To Lie In State. The Arizona Republican.
  • Governor George W. P. Hunt, 1934
    (1934, December 26). George W. P. Hunt’s Rites Are Set Friday. The Arizona Republic.
  • Pioneer Scott White, 1935
    (1935, March 6). White, Scott. The Arizona Republic.
  • Pioneer Daniel P. Jones, 1935
    (1935, July 9). Jones Rites Slated Today. The Arizona Republic.
  • General Oscar F. Temple, 1936
    (1936, February 7). General’s Last Rites Due Today. The Arizona Republic.
  • State Legislator Rose F. Godfrey, 1936
    (1936, August 3). Rose F. Godfrey Rites Set Today. The Arizona Republic.
  • Governor Benjamin B. Moeur, 1937
    (1937, March 19). Former Governor Is Paid Last Respects. The Phoenix Gazette.
  • Secretary of State Harry M. Moore, 1942
    (1942, November 24). Moore Funeral Is Set; Body To Lie In State At Capitol. The Arizona Republic.
  • Governor John C. Phillips, 1943
    (1943, June 27). Ex-Governor To Lie In State Tomorrow; Rites Set Tuesday. The Arizona Republic.
  • Governor Thomas Campbell, 1944
    (1944, March 3). Campbell Body To Lie In State At Capitol. The Arizona Republic.
  • William B. Kelly, 1948
    (1948, February 15). Pioneer State Editor, Dies. The Arizona Republic.
  • Governor Sidney P. Osborn, 1948
    Turnbow, B. (1948, May 28). Nation Joins State, City In Tribute: Thousands From All Walks Pay Respects To Fallen Governor. The Phoenix Gazette.
  • State Legislator W. G. Rosenbaum, 1949
    (1949, January 14). State To Pay Rosenbaum Honor Today. The Arizona Republic.
  • Judge Alfred C. Lockwood, 1951
    (1951, October 31). Famed State Jurist Dies. The Arizona Republic.
  • State Legislator Elijah Allen, 1953
    (1953, July 3). Body Of Elijah Allen To Lie In State At Capitol Today. The Arizona Republic.
  • Ira H. Hayes, 1955
    Dedera, D. (1955, January 28). Pima Tribesmen Weep at Farewell to War Hero Brother Ira Hayes. The Arizona Republic.
  • State Senator (and State Librarian)  Mulford Winsor, 1956
    (1956, November 7). Mulford Winsor Is Dead. The Phoenix Gazette.
  • Bill Turnbow, 1957
    King, B. (1957, June 29). Body of Turnbow Will Lie In State. The Arizona Republic.
  • Judge Arthur T. La Prade, 1957
    (1957, July 2). LaPrade’s Body To Lie In State Today. The Arizona Republic.
  • Constitutional Delegate Alexander Tuthill, 1958
    (1958, May 27). Tuthill. The Arizona Republic.
  • Governor Robert T. Jones, 1958
    (1958, June 12). Body Of Ex-Governor Jones To Lie In State In State Capitol Rotunda. The Arizona Republic.
  • ASU President Grady Gammage, 1959
    Meibert, V. (1959, December 23). Death Unexpected For ASU President. The Arizona Republic.
  • Governor R. C. Stanford. 1963
    (1963, December 16). Came Here as Boy in Covered Wagon. The Arizona Republic.
  • Leslie C. Hardy, 1968
    (1968, October 19). Leslie Hardy directed revision of Arizona Code. The Arizona Republic.
  • Senator Carl Hayden, 1972
    (1972, January 26). Public Funeral Services Saturday: Former Sen. Hayden. The Daily Courier.
  • Arizona Senator Harold Giss, 1973
    (1973, April 18). Memorial Session at Capitol Today: Legislators Pay Last Respects to Giss. The Arizona Republic.
  • Governor Dan Garvey, 1974
    (1974, February 7). Ex-Gov. Dan E. Garvey to lie in state at Capitol. The Arizona Republic.
  • Judge Charles C. Bernstein, 1976
    (1976, April 30). Charles Bernstein Dies at 71; Ex-Justice on State High Court. The Arizona Republic.
  • Governor Wesley Bolin, 1978
    Swanson, J. (1978, March 6). Wesley Bolin Lies in State at Capitol Today. The Arizona Republic.
  • Mine Inspector Verne C. McCutchan, 1978
    (1978, August 22). Arizona mine inspector dies after illness. The Arizona Republic.
  • Jesse Owens, 1980
    Sowers, C. (1980, April 3). Hundreds Pay Respects to Jesse Owens. The Arizona Republic.
  • Chief Justice Jesse Udall, 1980
    Richards, J. M. Jesse A. Udall: Republican in House from Graham County –Tenth and Eleventh Legislatures of Arizona. Compiled for the Arizona Legislative Council.
  • Governor Ernest W. McFarland, 1984
    (1984, June 9). Death takes Ernest W. McFarland, former governor, legislator, jurist. The Arizona Republic.
  • State Senator Marilyn Jarrett, 2006
    (2006, March 16). Marilyn Jarrett. The Arizona Republic.
  • Senator John S. McCain III, 2018
    Hansen, R. (2018, August 29). John McCain remembered at state Capitol ceremony: ‘We can be proud he was our senator.’ AZCentral.com

 

Join us to Learn the Basics of Westlaw!

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Join us to learn the basics of using Westlaw!

Are you new to legal research? Want to learn to use one of the most common legal research databases?

  • Research and retrieve case law and statutes
  • Find annotations for statutes
  • Find out if a case or law has been changed or overruled

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Time: 12 Noon – 1p.m.

https://www.azlibrary.gov/events/2182

Ever wonder about Federal Depository Libraries?

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This post from Free Government Information might seem a little inside baseball to some, but it does a great job explaining why the Federal Depository Library Program (of which the State Library is a member) is so important to both preserving and accessing information produced by the federal government.

For more background info, check out our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/StateLibAZ/timeline?ref=page_internal

To read the article:

http://freegovinfo.info/node/11549

Arizona Territorial Census Records Now Available Online!

A significant group of valuable Arizona historical record collections, provided through a partnership with the Arizona State Archives and Ancestry.com, are now available on-line and free to residents of the State of Arizona through Ancestry.com.  This includes the Arizona territorial census records covering the years from 1864 through 1882.

All Arizona records are available at azlibrary.gov and can be found on the Doing Research at the Archives page or directly at https://www.azlibrary.gov/arm/research-archives/archives-resources/ancestry-arizona.

This access requires a free Ancestry.com Arizona account. To set up your account you simply go to the web page and enter your five digit Arizona zip code in the space at the bottom of the page.  Once your account is established researchers gain unlimited access to Arizona records that are a part of the State Archives of Arizona’s extensive holdings.