Category Archives: Article IV
Essays on Article IV of the Constitution
The Constitution guarantees each and every state a “republican form of government.” So is Florida’s rather hectic and confused use of multiple methods of amending its State Constitution actually “Constitutional” in the sense of being done by a “republican form of government” as guaranteed in Article IV, Section 4?
Once upon a time, 1633, to be exact, King Charles issued a Royal Charter for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation. Oddly enough, by the time Rhode Island got around to ratifying the Constitution in May of 1790 (the final original State to do so), the charter was still in operation and was held to be in compliance with Article IV Section 4’s guarantee of “a republican form of government.”
By the time the 1840s rolled around, most of the people living in Rhode Island disagreed and decided to write their own State Constitution and elect their own Governor. This did not sit well with either the current government of the State nor with the President of the United States. So when the two sides tried to come to blows, it went about like you would expect it to have, since you’ve never heard about it or seen it in your high school history books.
But it did teach us quite a bit about what a “republican form of government” really is…
We have our definition of “republic,”
but what if that wasn’t necessarily the definition the Framers had?
A few years ago there was a wonderful show on TV, “How the States Got Their Shapes.” Host Brian Unger takes you around the country and looks at…. well… how the states got their shapes. It’s all based on the book of the same name (HERE). For what it’s worth, the show is better than the book, but the information is the same.
At any rate, why does any of that matter?
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court ruled that the much heralded and discussed Prop 9, a vote by the people on whether or not to separate California into three States, should be removed from the ballot because it “might” violate the States Constitution.
Now… whether it does or not we have to ask some questions about this whole deal.
Plausibly live, It’s Constitution Thursday on The Dave Bowman Show!