A Comparison of the Nevada and the U.S. Constitutions
It is generally understood that the United States is built upon the principles of democracy, in which the majority consensus of the citizens helps to define the shape of issues or elections. However, in assuming that the Constitution - the document upon which such practices are founded – is inherently democratic is only partially accurate. Indeed, it has been frequently argued that the U. S. Constitution is representative of the rule of law from a federation as opposed to a pure democracy; in a federation, elections occur among the majority of the citizenry but this process results in elected officials who then determine the direction of the country. In short, a federation transforms a democracy from the rule of the many back into the rule of the few, with the “few” in this sense being the elected officials selected through an elections process.
State constitutions, however, tend to show deviation from the structure of federal rule maintained by the U.S. Constitution. In the case of the Nevada State Constitution, there is ample evidence that this document sets forth a policy of law that is far more “democratic” in tone and in application than the Constitution. There are strong similarities between the two documents. Both, for example, stress the rights of the citizenry and even focus on issues such as the “right to assemble” and the citizenry’s ability to refuse to quarter citizens in their homes upon order from the government. Yet when the workings of the legislative, executive, and judicial systems are investigated, it is clear that Nevada’s state constitution deviates dramatically from the U.S. Constitution. While both share these three separate designations of political power, and while there is the unstated intention that these branches are intended to keep the other within check, there are differences which suggest a greater degree of democratic control over each area therein.
References: Constitution of the State of Nevada, The. (2005) Author. Acquired 3 October 2005 at http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Const/NvConst.html
White House, The. (2005) “The United States Constitution.” Acquired 3 October 2005 at http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html
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