Table of Contents
We, the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
ARTICLE I. Declaration of Rights.
All individuals are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation; pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness; and to keep and bear arms for the defense of their person, family, property, and the state, and for lawful hunting, recreational, and other lawful purposes, which shall not be infringed.
[Amended Nov. 6, 1984 (S.L. 1985, ch. 702)]
All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people, and they have a right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require.
The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference shall be forever guaranteed in this state, and no person shall be rendered incompetent to be a witness or juror on account of his opinion on matters of religious belief; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state.
Every man may freely write, speak and publish his opinions on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege. In all civil and criminal trials for libel the truth may be given in evidence, and shall be a sufficient defense when the matter is published with good motives and for justifiable ends; and the jury shall have the same power of giving a general verdict as in other cases; and in all indictments or informations for libels the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts under the direction of the court as in other cases.
The citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for the common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for the redress of grievances, or for other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state.
Every citizen of this state shall be free to obtain employment wherever possible, and any person, corporation, or agent thereof, maliciously interfering or hindering in any way, any citizen from obtaining or enjoying employment already obtained, from any other corporation or person, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons and things to be seized.
All courts shall be open, and every man for any injury done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation shall have remedy by due process of law, and right and justice administered without sale, denial or delay. Suits may be brought against the state in such manner, in such courts, and in such cases, as the legislative assembly may, by law, direct.
Until otherwise provided by law, no person shall, for a felony, be proceeded against criminally, otherwise than by indictment, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service in time of war or public danger. In all other cases, offenses shall be prosecuted criminally by indictment or information. The legislative assembly may change, regulate or abolish the grand jury system.
All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses when the proof is evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted. Witnesses shall not be unreasonably detained, nor be confined in any room where criminals are actually imprisoned.
In criminal prosecutions in any court whatever, the party accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial; to have the process of the court to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf; and to appear and defend in person and with counsel. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense, nor be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
The right of trial by jury shall be secured to all, and remain inviolate. A person accused of a crime for which he may be confined for a period of more than one year has the right of trial by a jury of twelve. The legislative assembly may determine the size of the jury for all other cases, provided that the jury consists of at least six members. All verdicts must be unanimous.
[Amended Sep. 3, 1974 (S.L. 1975, ch. 603)]
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless, when in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require.
No person shall be imprisoned for debt unless upon refusal to deliver up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law; or in cases of tort; or where there is strong presumption of fraud.
Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation having been first made to, or paid into court for the owner, unless the owner chooses to accept annual payments as may be provided for by law. No right of way shall be appropriated to the use of any corporation until full compensation therefor be first made in money or ascertained and paid into court for the owner, unless the owner chooses annual payments as may be provided by law, irrespective of any benefit from any improvement proposed by such corporation. Compensation shall be ascertained by a jury, unless a jury be waived. When the state or any of its departments, agencies or political subdivisions seeks to acquire right of way, it may take possession upon making an offer to purchase and by depositing the amount of such offer with the clerk of the district court of the county wherein the right of way is located. The clerk shall immediately notify the owner of such deposit. The owner may thereupon appeal to the court in the manner provided by law, and may have a jury trial, unless a jury be waived, to determine the damages, which damages the owner may choose to accept in annual payments as may be provided for by law. Annual payments shall not be subject to escalator clauses but may be supplemented by interest earned.
[Amended Jun. 26, 1956] [Amended Nov. 2, 1982]
Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies or giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the evidence of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in open court.
No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contracts shall ever be passed.
The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. No standing army shall be maintained by this state in time of peace, and no soldiers shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in time of war, except in the manner prescribed by law.
To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government and shall forever remain inviolate.
No special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted which may not be altered, revoked or repealed by the legislative assembly; nor shall any citizen or class of citizens be granted privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not be granted to all citizens.
All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation.
The state of North Dakota is an inseparable part of the American union and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.
The provisions of this constitution are mandatory and prohibitory unless, by express words, they are declared to be otherwise.
ARTICLE II. Elective Franchise.
The general election of the state shall be held biennially as provided by law.
Every citizen of the United States, who has attained the age of eighteen years and who is a North Dakota resident, shall be a qualified elector. When an elector moves within the state, he shall be entitled to vote in the precinct from which he moves until he establishes voting residence in another precinct. The legislative assembly shall provide by law for the determination of residence for voting eligibility, other than physical presence. No elector shall lose his residency for voting eligibility solely by reason of his absence from the state.
The legislative assembly shall provide by law for secrecy in voting, for absentee voting, for administration of elections and for the nomination of candidates.
No person who has been declared mentally incompetent by order of a court or other authority having jurisdiction, which order has not been rescinded, shall be qualified to vote. No person convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote until his or her civil rights are restored.
[Adopted Nov. 7, 1978, Measure 2 S.L. 1979 ch. 695 ]
ARTICLE III Powers Reserved to the People.
While the legislative power of this state shall be vested in a legislative assembly consisting of a senate and a house of representatives, the people reserve the power to propose and enact laws by the initiative, including the call for a constitutional convention; to approve or reject legislative Acts, or parts thereof, by the referendum; to propose and adopt constitutional amendments by the initiative; and to recall certain elected officials. This article is self-executing and all of its provisions are mandatory. Laws may be enacted to facilitate and safeguard, but not to hamper, restrict, or impair these powers.
A petition to initiate or to refer a measure shall be presented to the secretary of state for approval as to form. A request for approval shall be presented over the names and signatures of twenty-five or more electors as sponsors, one of whom shall be designated as chairman of the sponsoring committee. The secretary of state shall approve the petition for circulation if it is in proper form and contains the names and addresses of the sponsors and the full text of the measure.
The petition shall be circulated only by electors. They shall swear thereon that the electors who have signed the petition did so in their presence. Each elector signing a petition shall also write in the date of signing and his post-office address. No law shall be enacted limiting the number of copies of a petition. The copies shall become part of the original petition when filed.
The petition may be submitted to the secretary of state if signed by electors equal in number to two percent of the resident population of the state at the last federal decennial census.
An initiative petition shall be submitted not less than ninety days before the statewide election at which the measure is to be voted upon. A referendum petition may be submitted only within ninety days after the filing of the measure with the secretary of state. The submission of a petition shall suspend the operation of any measure enacted by the legislative assembly except emergency measures and appropriation measures for the support and maintenance of state departments and institutions. The submission of a petition against one or more items or parts of any measure shall not prevent the remainder from going into effect. A referred measure may be voted upon at a statewide election or at a special election called by the governor.
The secretary of state shall pass upon each petition, and if he finds it insufficient, he shall notify the “committee for the petitioners” and allow twenty days for correction or amendment. All decisions of the secretary of state in regard to any such petition shall be subject to review by the supreme court. But if the sufficiency of such petition is being reviewed at the time the ballot is prepared, the secretary of state shall place the measure on the ballot and no subsequent decision shall invalidate such measure if it is at such election approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon. If proceedings are brought against any petition upon any ground, the burden of proof shall be upon the party attacking it.
All decisions of the secretary of state in the petition process are subject to review by the supreme court in the exercise of original jurisdiction. If his decision is being reviewed at the time the ballot is prepared, he shall place the measure on the ballot and no court action shall invalidate the measure if it is approved at the election by a majority of the votes cast thereon.
If a majority of votes cast upon an initiated or a referred measure are affirmative, it shall be deemed enacted. An initiated or referred measure which is approved shall become law thirty days after the election, and a referred measure which is rejected shall be void immediately. If conflicting measures are approved, the one receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall be law. A measure approved by the electors may not be repealed or amended by the legislative assembly for seven years from its effective date, except by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house.
A constitutional amendment may be proposed by initiative petition. If signed by electors equal in number to four percent of the resident population of the state at the last federal decennial census, the petition may be submitted to the secretary of state. All other provisions relating to initiative measures apply hereto.
Any elected official of the state, of any county or of any legislative or county commissioner district shall be subject to recall by petition of electors equal in number to twenty-five percent of those who voted at the preceding general election for the office of governor in the state, county, or district in which the official is to be recalled.
The petition shall be filed with the official with whom a petition for nomination to the office in question is filed, who shall call a special election if he finds the petition valid and sufficient. No elector may remove his name from a recall petition.
The name of the official to be recalled shall be placed on the ballot unless he resigns within ten days after the filing of the petition. Other candidates for the office may be nominated in a manner provided by law. When the election results have been officially declared, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed elected for the remainder of the term. No official shall be subject twice to recall during the term for which he was elected.
ARTICLE IV. Legislative Branch.
The senate must be composed of not less than forty nor more than fifty-four members, and the house of representatives must be composed of not less than eighty nor more than one hundred eight members. These houses are jointly designated as the legislative assembly of the state of North Dakota.
The legislative assembly shall fix the number of senators and representatives and divide the state into as many senatorial districts of compact and contiguous territory as there are senators. The districts thus ascertained and determined after the 1990 federal decennial census shall continue until the adjournment of the first regular session after each federal decennial census, or until changed by law.
The legislative assembly shall guarantee, as nearly as is practicable, that every elector is equal to every other elector in the state in the power to cast ballots for legislative candidates. A senator and at least two representatives must be apportioned to each senatorial district and be elected at large or from subdistricts from those districts. The legislative assembly may combine two senatorial districts only when a single member senatorial district includes a federal facility or federal installation, containing over two-thirds of the population of a single member senatorial district, and may provide for the election of senators at large and representatives at large or from subdistricts from those districts.
The legislative assembly shall establish by law a procedure whereby one-half of the members of the senate, as nearly as is practicable, are elected biennially.
Senators must be elected for terms of four years and representatives for terms of two years.
Each person elected to the legislative assembly must be, on the day of the election, a qualified elector in the district from which the member was chosen and must have been a resident of the state for one year immediately prior to that election.
While serving in the legislative assembly, no member may hold any full-time appointive state office established by this constitution or designated by law. During the term for which elected, no member of the legislative assembly may be appointed to any full-time office which has been created, or to any office for which the compensation has been increased, by the legislative assembly during that term.
The terms of members of the legislative assembly begin on the first day of December following their election.
The legislative assembly shall meet at the seat of government in the month of December following the election of the members thereof for organizational and orientation purposes as provided by law and shall thereafter recess until twelve noon on the first Tuesday after the third day in January or at such other time as may be prescribed by law but not later than the eleventh day of January.
No regular session of the legislative assembly may exceed eighty natural days during the biennium. The organizational meeting of the legislative assembly may not be counted as part of those eighty natural days, nor may days spent in session at the call of the governor or while engaged in impeachment proceedings, be counted. Days spent in regular session need not be consecutive, and the legislative assembly may authorize its committees to meet at any time during the biennium. As used in this section, a “natural day” means a period of twenty-four consecutive hours.
Neither house may recess nor adjourn for more than three days without consent of the other house.
The house of representatives shall elect one of its members to act as presiding officer at the beginning of each organizational session.
If any person elected to either house of the legislative assembly shall offer or promise to give his vote or influence, in favor of, or against any measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced into the legislative assembly, in consideration, or upon conditions, that any other person elected to the same legislative assembly will give, or will promise or assent to give, his vote or influence in favor of or against any other measure or proposition, pending or proposed to be introduced into such legislative assembly, the person making such offer or promise shall be deemed guilty of solicitation of bribery. If any member of the legislative assembly, shall give his vote or influence for or against any measure or proposition, pending or proposed to be introduced into such legislative assembly, or offer, promise or assent so to do upon condition that any other member will give, promise or assent to give his vote or influence in favor of or against any other such measure or proposition pending or proposed to be introduced into such legislative assembly, or in consideration that any other member hath given his vote or influence, for or against any other measure or proposition in such legislative assembly, he shall be deemed guilty of bribery. And any person, member of the legislative assembly or person elected thereto, who shall be guilty of either such offenses, shall be expelled, and shall not thereafter be eligible to the legislative assembly, and, on the conviction thereof in the civil courts, shall be liable to such further penalty as may be prescribed by law.
No member of the legislative assembly, expelled for corruption, and no person convicted of bribery, perjury or other infamous crime shall be eligible to the legislative assembly, or to any office in either branch thereof.
The governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in either house of the legislative assembly.
A majority of the members elected to each house constitutes a quorum. A smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel attendance of absent members in a manner, and under a penalty, as may be provided by law.
Each house is the judge of the qualifications of its members, but election contests are subject to judicial review as provided by law. If two or more candidates for the same office receive an equal and highest number of votes, the secretary of state shall choose one of them by the toss of a coin.
Each house shall determine its rules of procedure, and may punish its members or other persons for contempt or disorderly behavior in its presence. With the concurrence of two-thirds of its elected members, either house may expel a member.
Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and a recorded vote on any question shall be taken at the request of one-sixth of those members present. No bill may become law except by a recorded vote of a majority of the members elected to each house, and the lieutenant governor is considered a member-elect of the senate when the lieutenant governor votes.
No law may be enacted except by a bill passed by both houses, and no bill may be amended on its passage through either house in a manner which changes its general subject matter. No bill may embrace more than one subject, which must be expressed in its title; but a law violating this provision is invalid only to the extent the subject is not so expressed.
Every bill must be read on two separate natural days, and the readings may be by title only unless a reading at length is demanded by one-fifth of the members present.
No bill may be amended, extended, or incorporated in any other bill by reference to its title only, except in the case of definitions and procedural provisions.
The presiding officer of each house shall sign all bills passed and resolutions adopted by the legislative assembly, and the fact of signing shall be entered at once in the journal.
Every law, except as otherwise provided in this section, enacted by the legislative assembly during its eighty natural meeting days takes effect on August first after its filing with the secretary of state, or if filed on or after August first and before January first of the following year ninety days after its filing, or on a subsequent date if specified in the law unless, by a vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house, the legislative assembly declares it an emergency measure and includes the declaration in the Act. Every appropriation measure for support and maintenance of state departments and institutions and every tax measure that changes tax rates enacted by the legislative assembly take effect on July first after its filing with the secretary of state or on a subsequent date if specified in the law unless, by a vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house, the legislative assembly declares it an emergency measure and includes the declaration in the Act. An emergency measure takes effect upon its filing with the secretary of state or on a date specified in the measure. Every law enacted by a special session of the legislative assembly takes effect on a date specified in the Act.
The legislative assembly shall enact all laws necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this constitution. Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, no local or special laws may be enacted, nor may the legislative assembly indirectly enact special or local laws by the partial repeal of a general law but laws repealing local or special laws may be enacted.
All sessions of the legislative assembly, including the committee of the whole and meetings of legislative committees, must be open and public.
Members of the legislative assembly are immune from arrest during their attendance at the sessions, and in going to or returning from the sessions, except in cases of felony. Members of the legislative assembly may not be questioned in any other place for any words used in any speech or debate in legislative proceedings.
Any amendment to this constitution may be proposed in either house of the legislative assembly, and if agreed to upon a roll call by a majority of the members elected to each house, must be submitted to the electors and if a majority of the votes cast thereon are in the affirmative, the amendment is a part of this constitution.
ARTICLE V. Executive Branch.
The executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall reside at the seat of government and shall hold office for the term of four years beginning in the year 1988, and until a successor is elected and duly qualified. The term begins on December fifteenth following the governor's election.
[ Amended Nov. 4, 1986, effective Dec. 4, 1986 ]
A lieutenant governor shall be elected at the same time and for the same term as the governor. In case of the death, impeachment, resignation, failure to qualify, absence from the state, removal from office, or the disability of the governor, the powers and duties of the office for the residue of the term, or until he shall be acquitted or the disability be removed, shall devolve upon the lieutenant governor.
No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant governor unless he be a citizen of the United States, and a qualified elector of the state, who shall have attained the age of thirty years, and who shall have resided five years next preceding the election within the state or territory, nor shall he be eligible to any other office during the term for which he shall have been elected.
The governor and lieutenant governor shall be elected upon a joint ballot by the qualified electors of the state beginning with elections held in 1976. A single vote shall be cast upon a joint ballot by each qualified elector for the joint candidates representing the political party or affiliation of his choice. The joint candidates having the highest number of votes shall be declared elected, but if two or more joint candidates shall have an equal and highest number of votes for governor and lieutenant governor, the two houses of the legislative assembly at its next regular session shall forthwith in joint session choose one pair of such joint candidates for said offices. The returns of the election for governor and lieutenant governor shall be made in such manner as shall be prescribed by law.
The governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the state, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States, and may call out the same to execute the laws, suppress insurrection and repel invasion. He shall have power to convene the legislative assembly on extraordinary occasions. He shall at the commencement of each session communicate to the legislative assembly by message, information of the condition of the state, and recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient. He shall transact all necessary business with the officers of the government, civil and military. He shall expedite all such measures as may be resolved upon by the legislative assembly and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
The governor shall have power in conjunction with the board of pardon of which the governor shall be ex officio a member and the other members of which shall consist of the attorney general of the state of North Dakota, the chief justice of the supreme court of the state of North Dakota, and two qualified electors who shall be appointed by the governor, to remit fines and forfeitures, to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons after conviction for all offenses except treason and cases of impeachment; but the legislative assembly may by law regulate the manner in which the remission of fines, pardons, commutations and reprieves may be applied for. Upon conviction for treason the governor shall have the power to suspend the execution of sentence until the case shall be reported to the legislative assembly at its next regular session, when the legislative assembly shall either pardon or commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence or grant further reprieve. The governor shall communicate to the legislative assembly at each regular session each case of remission of fine, reprieve, commutation or pardon granted by the board of pardon, stating the name of the convict, the crime for which he is convicted, the sentence and its date and the date of the remission, commutation, pardon or reprieve, with their reasons for granting the same.
The powers and duties of the lieutenant governor shall be to serve as president of the senate, and he may, when the senate is equally divided, vote on procedural matters, and on substantive matters if his vote would be decisive. Additional duties shall be prescribed by the governor. If, during the vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor shall be impeached, displaced, resign, or die, or from mental or physical disease, or otherwise become incapable of performing the duties of his office, the secretary of state shall act as governor until the vacancy shall be filled or the disability removed.
When any office shall from any cause become vacant, and no mode is provided by the constitution or law for filling such vacancy, the governor shall have power to fill such vacancy by appointment.
Every bill which shall have passed the legislative assembly shall before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor. If he approves, he shall sign, but if not, he shall return it with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the objections at large upon the journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members-elect shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if it be approved by two-thirds of the members-elect, it shall become a law; but in all such cases the vote of both houses shall be determined by the yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered upon the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the governor within three days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law unless the legislative assembly by its adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall be a law unless he shall file the same with his objections in the office of the secretary of state within fifteen days after such adjournment.
The governor shall have power to disapprove of any item or items, or part or parts of any bill making appropriations of money or property embracing distinct items, and the part or parts of the bill approved shall be the law, and the item or items, and part or parts disapproved shall be void, unless enacted in the following manner: If the legislative assembly be in session he shall transmit to the house in which the bill originated a copy of the item or items, or part or parts thereof disapproved together with his objections thereto, and the items or parts objected to shall be separately reconsidered, and each item or part shall then take the same course as is prescribed for the passage of bills over the executive veto.
Any governor of this state who asks, receives or agrees to receive any bribe upon any understanding that his official opinion, judgment or action shall be influenced thereby, or who gives or offers, or promises his official influence in consideration that any member of the legislative assembly shall give his official vote or influence on any particular side of any question or matter upon which he may be required to act in his official capacity, or who menaces any member by the threatened use of his veto power, or who offers or promises any member that he, the said governor, will appoint any particular person or persons to any office created or thereafter to be created, in consideration that any member shall give his official vote or influence on any matter pending or thereafter to be introduced into either house of said legislative assembly, or who threatens any member that he, the said governor, will remove any person or persons from office or position with intent in any manner to influence the action of said member, shall be punished in the manner now, or that may hereafter, be provided by law, and upon conviction thereof shall forfeit all right to hold or exercise any office of trust or honor in this state.
There shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the times and places of choosing members of the legislative assembly, a secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of insurance, an attorney general, a commissioner of agriculture and labor, and a tax commissioner, who shall have attained the age of twenty-five years and shall have the qualifications of state electors. They shall severally hold their offices at the seat of government for the term of four years beginning with the year 1965, and until their successors are elected and duly qualified; but no person shall be eligible for the office of treasurer for more than two consecutive terms.
The board of railroad commissioners shall hereafter be known as the public service commission and the members of the board of railroad commissioners as public service commissioners and the powers and duties now or hereafter granted to and conferred upon the board of railroad commissioners are hereby transferred to the public service commission.
The public service commissioners shall have the qualifications of state electors, have attained the age of twenty-five years, be chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the times and places of choosing members of the legislative assembly, hold office at the seat of government and until their successors are elected and duly qualified. As each of the three public service commissioners now holding office completes his term, his successor shall be elected for a term of six years.
The legislative assembly may by law provide for a department of labor, which, if provided for, shall be separate and distinct from the department of agriculture, and shall be administered by a public official who may be either elected or appointed, whichever the legislative assembly shall declare; and if such a department is established the commissioner of agriculture and labor provided for above shall become the commissioner of agriculture.
ARTICLE VI. Judicial Branch.
The judicial power of the state is vested in a unified judicial system consisting of a supreme court, a district court, and such other courts as may be provided by law.
The supreme court shall be the highest court of the state. It shall have appellate jurisdiction, and shall also have original jurisdiction with authority to issue, hear, and determine such original and remedial writs as may be necessary to properly exercise its jurisdiction. The supreme court shall consist of five justices, one of whom shall be designated chief justice in the manner provided by law.
The supreme court shall have authority to promulgate rules of procedure, including appellate procedure, to be followed by all the courts of this state; and, unless otherwise provided by law, to promulgate rules and regulations for the admission to practice, conduct, disciplining, and disbarment of attorneys at law.
The chief justice shall be the administrative head of the unified judicial system. He may assign judges, including retired judges, for temporary duty in any court or district under such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the supreme court. The chief justice shall appoint a court administrator for the unified judicial system. Unless otherwise provided by law, the powers, duties, qualifications, and terms of office of the court administrator, and other court officials, shall be as provided by rules of the court.
[Adopted Sep. 7, 1976]
A majority of the supreme court shall be necessary to constitute a quorum or to pronounce a decision, provided that the supreme court shall not declare a legislative enactment unconstitutional unless at least four of the members of the court so decide.
[Amended Sep. 7, 1976]
When a judgment or order is reversed, modified, or confirmed by the supreme court, the reasons shall be concisely stated in writing, signed by the justices concurring, filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court, and preserved with a record of the case. Any justice dissenting may give the reason for his dissent in writing over his signature.
Appeals shall be allowed from decisions of lower courts to the supreme court as may be provided by law.
The justices of the supreme court shall be chosen by the electors of the state for ten-year terms, so arranged that one justice is elected every two years. They shall hold office until their successors are duly qualified, and shall receive compensation as provided by law, but the compensation of any justice shall not be diminished during his term of office.
The district court shall have original jurisdiction of all causes, except as otherwise provided by law, and such appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law or by rule of the supreme court. The district court shall have authority to issue such writs as are necessary to the proper exercise of its jurisdiction.
The state shall be divided into judicial districts by order of the supreme court. In each district, one or more judges, as provided by law, shall be chosen by the electors of the district. The term of office shall be six years, and a district judge shall hold office until his successor is duly qualified. The compensation of district judges shall be fixed by law, but the compensation of any district judge shall not be diminished during his term of office.
Supreme court justices and district court judges shall be citizens of the United States and residents of this state, shall be learned in the law, and shall possess any additional qualifications prescribed by law. Judges of other courts shall be selected for such terms and shall have such qualifications as may be prescribed by law.
No justice of the supreme court or judge of the district court of this state shall engage in the practice of law, or hold any public office, elective or appointive, not judicial in nature. No duties shall be imposed by law upon the supreme court or any of the justices thereof, except such as are judicial, nor shall any of the justices exercise any power of appointment except as herein provided. No judge of any court of this state shall be paid from the fees of his office, nor shall the amount of his compensation be measured by fees, other moneys received, or the amount of judicial activity of his office.
When any justice or judge has a conflict of interest in a pending cause or is unable to sit in court because he is physically or mentally incapacitated, the chief justice, or a justice acting in his stead, shall assign a judge, or retired justice or judge, to hear the cause.
The legislative assembly may provide for the retirement, discipline, and removal of judges. The removal procedure provided for herein may be used in addition to the impeachment proceedings provided for in article XI, sections 8, 9, and 10, and removal provided for in article XI, section 11.
The legislative assembly may provide for the retirement, discipline and removal of judges of the supreme court and district court. The removal procedure provided for herein may be used in addition to the impeachment proceedings provided for in article XI, sections 8, 9, and 10.
1. A judicial nominating committee shall be established by law. Any vacancy in the office of supreme court justice or district court judge shall be filled by appointment by the governor from a list of candidates nominated by the committee, unless the governor calls a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term. An appointment shall continue until the next general election, when the office shall be filled by election for the remainder of the term.
ARTICLE VII. Political Subdivisions.
The purpose of this article is to provide for maximum local self-government by all political subdivisions with a minimum duplication of functions.
The legislative assembly shall provide by law for the establishment and the government of all political subdivisions. Each political subdivision shall have and exercise such powers as provided by law.
The several counties of the state of North Dakota as they now exist are hereby declared to be counties of the state of North Dakota.
The legislative assembly shall provide by law for relocating county seats within counties, but it shall have no power to remove the county seat of any county.
Methods and standards by which all or any portion of a county or counties may be annexed, merged, consolidated, reclassified, or dissolved shall be as provided by law. No portion of any county or counties shall be annexed, merged, consolidated, or dissolved unless a majority of the electors of each affected county voting on the question so approve.
The legislative assembly shall provide by law for the establishment and exercise of home rule in counties and cities. No home rule charter shall become operative in any county or city until submitted to the electors thereof and approved by a majority of those voting thereon. In granting home rule powers to cities, the legislative assembly shall not be restricted by city debt limitations contained in this constitution.
The legislative assembly shall also provide by law for optional forms of government for counties, but no optional form of government shall become operative in any county until submitted to the electors thereof at a special or general election, and approved by a majority of those voting thereon.
Until one of the optional forms of county government is adopted by any county, the fiscal and administrative affairs of the county shall be governed by a board of county commissioners as provided by law.
Each county shall provide for law enforcement, administrative and fiscal services, recording and registration services, educational services, and any other governmental services or functions as may be provided by law. Any elective county office shall be for a term of four years.
Questions of the form of government to be adopted by any county or on the elimination or reinstatement of elective county offices may be placed upon the ballot by petition of electors of the county equal in number to twenty-five percent of the votes cast in the county for the office of governor at the preceding gubernatorial election.
Agreements, including those for cooperative or joint administration of any powers or functions, may be made by any political subdivision with any other political subdivision, with the state, or with the United States, unless otherwise provided by law or home rule charter. A political subdivision may by mutual agreement transfer to the county in which it is located any of its powers or functions as provided by law or home rule charter, and may in like manner revoke the transfer.
The power of the governing board of a city to franchise the construction and operation of any public utility or similar service within the city shall not be abridged by the legislative assembly.
ARTICLE VIII. Education.
A high degree of intelligence, patriotism, integrity and morality on the part of every voter in a government by the people being necessary in order to insure the continuance of that government and the prosperity and happiness of the people, the legislative assembly shall make provision for the establishment and maintenance of a system of public schools which shall be open to all children of the state of North Dakota and free from sectarian control. This legislative requirement shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of North Dakota.
The legislative assembly shall provide for a uniform system of free public schools throughout the state, beginning with the primary and extending through all grades up to and including schools of higher education, except that the legislative assembly may authorize tuition, fees and service charges to assist in the financing of public schools of higher education.
In all schools instruction shall be given as far as practicable in those branches of knowledge that tend to impress upon the mind the vital importance of truthfulness, temperance, purity, public spirit, and respect for honest labor of every kind.
The legislative assembly shall take such other steps as may be necessary to prevent illiteracy, secure a reasonable degree of uniformity in course of study, and to promote industrial, scientific, and agricultural improvements.
All colleges, universities, and other educational institutions, for the support of which lands have been granted to this state, or which are supported by a public tax, shall remain under the absolute and exclusive control of the state. No money raised for the support of the public schools of the state shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian school.
1. A board of higher education, to be officially known as the state board of higher education, is hereby created for the control and administration of the following state educational institutions, to wit:
a. The state university and school of mines, at Grand Forks, with their substations.
b. The state agricultural college and experiment station, at Fargo, with their substations.
c. The school of science, at Wahpeton.
d. The state normal schools and teachers colleges, at Valley City, Mayville, Minot, and Dickinson.
e. The school of forestry, at Bottineau.
f. And such other state institutions of higher education as may hereafter be established.
a. The state Board of Higher Education shall consist of seven members, all of whom shall be qualified electors and taxpayers of the state, and who shall have resided in this state for not less than five years immediately preceding their appointment, to be appointed by the governor, by and with the consent of the senate, from a list of names selected as hereinafter provided.
There shall not be on said board more than one graduate of any one of the institutions under the jurisdiction of the state Board of Higher Education at any one time. No person employed by any institution under the control of the board shall serve as a member of the board, nor shall any employee of any such institution be eligible for membership on the state Board of Higher Education for a period of two years following the termination of his employment.
On or before the first day of February, 1939, the governor shall nominate from a list of three names for each position, selected by the unanimous action of the President of the North Dakota Educational Association, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and, with the consent of a majority of the members-elect of the senate, shall appoint from such list as such state Board of Higher Education seven members, whose terms shall commence on the first day of July, 1939, one of which terms shall expire on the thirtieth day of June, 1940, and one on the thirtieth day of June in each of the years 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, and 1946. The term of office of members appointed to fill vacancies at the expiration of said terms shall be for seven years, and in the case of vacancies otherwise arising, appointments shall be made only for the balance of the term of the members whose places are to be filled.
b. In the event any nomination made by the governor is not consented to and confirmed by the senate as hereinbefore provided, the governor shall again nominate a candidate for such office, selected from a new list, prepared in the manner hereinbefore provided, which nomination shall be submitted to the senate for confirmation, and said proceedings shall be continued until such appointments have been confirmed by the senate, or the session of the legislature shall have adjourned.
c. When any term expires or a vacancy occurs when the legislature is not in session, the governor may appoint from a list selected as hereinbefore provided, a member who shall serve until the opening of the next session of the legislature, at which time his appointment shall be certified to the senate for confirmation, as above provided; and if the appointment be not confirmed by the thirtieth legislative day of such session, his office shall be deemed vacant and the governor shall nominate from a list selected as hereinbefore provided, another candidate for such office and the same proceedings shall be followed as are above set forth; provided further, that when the legislature shall be in session at any time within six months prior to the date of the expiration of the term of any member, the governor shall nominate his successor from a list selected as above set forth, within the first thirty days of such session, and upon confirmation by the senate such successor shall take office at the expiration of the term of the incumbent. No person who has been nominated and whose nomination the senate has failed to confirm shall be eligible for an interim appointment.
3. The members of the state board of higher education may only be removed by impeachment for the offenses and in the manner and according to the procedure provided for the removal of the governor by impeachment proceedings.
4. Each appointive member of the state board of higher education, except the student member, shall receive compensation set by the legislative assembly for the time actually spent devoted to the duties of the member's office. All members shall receive necessary expenses in the same manner and amounts as other state officials for attending meetings and performing other functions of their office.
5. The legislature shall provide adequate funds for the proper carrying out of the functions and duties of the state board of higher education.
a. The state board of higher education shall hold its first meeting at the office of the state board of administration at Bismarck, on the 6th day of July, 1939, and shall organize and elect one of its members as president of such board for a term of one year. It shall also at said meeting, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, elect a competent person as secretary, who shall reside during his term of office in the city of Bismarck, North Dakota. Said secretary shall hold office at the will of the board. As soon as said board is established and organized, it shall assume all the powers and perform all the duties now conferred by law upon the board of administration in connection with the several institutions hereinbefore mentioned, and the said board of administration shall immediately upon the organization of said state board of higher education, surrender and transfer to said state board of higher education all duties, rights, and powers granted to it under the existing laws of this state concerning the institutions hereinbefore mentioned, together with all property, deeds, records, reports, and appurtenances of every kind belonging or appertaining to said institutions.
b. The said state board of higher education shall have full authority over the institutions under its control with the right, among its other powers, to prescribe, limit, or modify the courses offered at the several institutions. In furtherance of its powers, the state board of higher education shall have the power to delegate to its employees details of the administration of the institutions under its control. The said state board of higher education shall have full authority to organize or reorganize within constitutional and statutory limitations, the work of each institution under its control, and do each and everything necessary and proper for the efficient and economic administration of said state educational institutions.
c. Said board shall prescribe for all of said institutions standard systems of accounts and records and shall biennially, and within six (6) months immediately preceding the regular session of the legislature, make a report to the governor, covering in detail the operations of the educational institutions under its control.
d. It shall be the duty of the heads of the several state institutions hereinbefore mentioned, to submit the budget requests for the biennial appropriations for said institutions to said state board of higher education; and said state board of higher education shall consider said budgets and shall revise the same as in its judgment shall be for the best interests of the educational system of the state; and thereafter the state board of higher education shall prepare and present to the state budget board and to the legislature a single unified budget covering the needs of all the institutions under its control. “Said budget shall be prepared and presented by the board of administration until the state board of higher education organizes as provided in subsection 6a.” The appropriations for all of said institutions shall be contained in one legislative measure. The budgets and appropriation measures for the agricultural experiment stations and their substations and the extension division of the North Dakota state university of agriculture and applied science may be separate from those of state educational institutions.
e. The said state board of higher education shall have the control of the expenditure of the funds belonging to, and allocated to such institutions and also those appropriated by the legislature, for the institutions of higher education in this state; provided, however, that funds appropriated by the legislature and specifically designated for any one or more of such institutions, shall not be used for any other institution.
a. The state board of higher education shall, as soon as practicable, appoint for a term of not to exceed three (3) years, a state commissioner of higher education, whose principal office shall be at the state capitol, in the city of Bismarck. Said commissioner of higher education shall be responsible to the state board of higher education and shall be removable by said board for cause.
b. The state commissioner of higher education shall be a graduate of some reputable college or university, and who by training and experience is familiar with the problems peculiar to higher education.
c. Such commissioner of higher education shall be the chief executive officer of said state board of higher education, and shall perform such duties as shall be prescribed by the board.
8. This constitutional provision shall be self-executing and shall become effective without the necessity of legislative action.
[ Amended Nov. 5, 1996, effective Dec. 5, 1996]
ARTICLE IX. Trust Lands
All proceeds of the public lands that have heretofore been, or may hereafter be granted by the United States for the support of the common schools in this state; all such per centum as may be granted by the United States on the sale of public lands; the proceeds of property that shall fall to the state by escheat; all gifts, donations, or the proceeds thereof that come to the state for support of the common schools, or not otherwise appropriated by the terms of the gift, and all other property otherwise acquired for common schools, shall be and remain a perpetual trust fund for the maintenance of the common schools of the state. Only the interest and income of the fund may be expended and the princial shall be retained and devoted to the trust purpose. All property, real or personal, received by the state from whatever source, for any specific educational or charitable institution, unless otherwise designated by the donor, shall be and remain a perpetual trust fund for the creation and maintenance of such institution, and may be commingled only with similar funds for the same institution. Should a gift be made to an institution for a specific purpose, without designating a trustee, such gift may be placed in the institution's fund; provided that such a donation may be expended as the terms of the gift provide.
The interest and income of each institutional trust fund held by the state shall, unless otherwise specified by the donor, be appropriated by the legislative assembly to the exclusive use of the institution for which the funds were given.
The proceeds of all bonuses, or similar payments, made upon the leasing of coal, gas, oil, or any other mineral interests under, or reserved after sale of, grant lands for the common schools or institutional lands shall be deposited in the appropriate permanent trust fund as created by this section.
The interest and income of this fund together with the net proceeds of all fines for violation of state laws and all other sums which may be added thereto by law, shall be faithfully used and applied each year for the benefit of the common schools of the state and no part of the fund shall ever be diverted, even temporarily, from this purpose or used for any other purpose whatever than the maintenance of common schools as provided by law.
The superintendent of public instruction, governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state treasurer comprise a board of commissioners, to be denominated the “board of university and school lands”. Subject to the provisions of this article and any law that may be passed by the legislative assembly, the board has control of the appraisement, sale, rental, and disposal of all school and university lands, and the proceeds from the sale of such lands shall be invested as provided by law.
The public officers designated by law shall constitute boards of appraisal and under the authority of the state board of university and school lands shall appraise all school lands within their respective counties which they may from time to time recommend for sale at their actual value under the prescribed terms and shall first select and designate for sale the most valuable lands.
After one year from the assembling of the first legislative assembly the lands granted to the state from the United States for the support of the common schools, may be sold upon the following conditions and no other: No more than one-fourth of all such lands shall be sold within the first five years after the same become salable by virtue of this section. No more than one-half of the remainder within ten years after the same become salable as aforesaid. The residue may be sold at any time after the expiration of said ten years. The legislative assembly shall provide for the sale of all school lands subject to the provisions of this article. In all sales of lands subject to the provisions of this article all minerals therein, including but not limited to oil, gas, coal, cement materials, sodium sulphate, sand and gravel, road material, building stone, chemical substances, metallic ores, uranium ores, or colloidal or other clays, shall be reserved and excepted to the state of North Dakota, except that leases may be executed for the extraction and sale of such materials in such manner and upon such terms as the legislative assembly may provide.
No original grant school or institutional land shall be sold for less than the fair market value thereof, and in no case for less than ten dollars ($10.00) per acre, provided that when lands have been sold on contract and the contract has been canceled, such lands may be resold without reappraisement by the board of appraisal. The purchaser shall pay twenty (20) percent of the purchase price at the time the contract is executed; thereafter annual payments shall be made of not less than six (6) percent of the original purchase price. An amount equal to not less than three (3) percent per annum of the unpaid principal shall be credited to interest and the balance shall be applied as payment on principal as credit on purchase price. The purchaser may pay all or any installment or installments not yet due to any interest paying date. If the purchaser so desires, he may pay the entire balance due on his contract with interest to date of payment at any time and he will then be entitled to proper conveyance.
All sales shall be held at the county seat of the county in which the land to be sold is situated, and shall be at public auction and to the highest bidder, and notice of such sale shall be published once each week for a period of three weeks prior to the day of sale in a legal newspaper published nearest the land and in the newspaper designated for the publication of the official proceedings and legal notices within the county in which said land is situated. No grant or patent for such lands shall issue until payment is made for the same; provided that the land contracted to be sold by the state shall be subject to taxation from the date of the contract. In case the taxes assessed against any of said lands for any year remain unpaid until the first Monday in October of the following year, the contract of sale for such land shall, if the board of university and school lands so determine, by it, be declared null and void. No contract of sale heretofore made under the provisions of this section of the constitution as then providing shall be affected by this amendment, except prepayment of principal may be made as herein provided.
Any of said lands that may be required for townsite purposes, schoolhouse sites, church sites, cemetery sites, sites for other educational or charitable institutions, public parks, airplane landing fields, fairgrounds, public highways, railroad right of way, or other railroad uses and purposes, reservoirs for the storage of water for irrigation, irrigation canals, and ditches, drainage ditches, or for any of the purposes for which private lands may be taken under the right of eminent domain under the constitution and laws of this state, may be sold under the provisions of this article, and shall be paid for in full at the time of sale, or at any time thereafter as herein provided. Any of said lands and any other lands controlled by the board of university and school lands, including state coal mineral interests, may, with the approval of said board, be exchanged for lands and coal mineral interests of the United States, the state of North Dakota or any county or municipality thereof as the legislature may provide, and the lands so acquired shall be subject to the trust to which the lands exchanged therefor were subject, and the state shall reserve all mineral and water power rights in land so transferred, except coal mineral interests approved for exchange by the board of university and school lands under this section.
When any of said lands have been heretofore or may be hereafter sold on contract, and the purchaser or his heirs or assigns is unable to pay in full for the land purchased within twenty years after the date of purchase and such contract is in default and subject to being declared null and void as by law provided, the board of university and school lands may, after declaring such contract null and void, resell the land described in such contract to such purchaser, his heirs or assigns, for the amount of the unpaid principal, together with interest thereon reckoned to the date of such resale at the rate of not less than three (3%) percent, but in no case shall the resale price be more than the original sale price; such contract of resale shall be upon the terms herein provided, provided this section shall be deemed self-executing insofar as the provisions for resale herein made are concerned.
All lands received by the state for any specific educational or charitable institution shall be appraised and sold in the same manner and under the same limitations and subject to all the conditions as to price and sale as provided in this constitution for the appraisal and sale of lands for the benefit of common schools. However, a distinct and separate account shall be kept by the proper officers of each of said funds and the limitations as to the time in which school land may be sold shall apply only to lands granted for the support of common schools.
The legislative assembly shall have authority to provide by law for the leasing of lands granted to the state for educational and charitable purposes; but no such law shall authorize the leasing of said lands for a longer period than five years. Said lands shall only be leased for pasturage and meadow purposes and at a public auction after notice as heretofore provided in case of sale; provided, that all of said school lands now under cultivation may be leased, at the discretion and under the control of the board of university and school lands, for other than pasturage and meadow purposes until sold. All rents shall be paid in advance. Provided, further, that coal lands may also be leased for agricultural cultivation upon such terms and conditions and for such a period, not exceeding five years, as the legislature may provide.
No law shall ever be passed by the legislative assembly granting to any person, corporation or association any privileges by reason of the occupation, cultivation or improvement of any public lands by said person, corporation or association subsequent to the survey thereof by the general government. No claim for the occupation, cultivation or improvement of any public lands shall ever be recognized, nor shall such occupation, cultivation or improvement of any public lands ever be used to diminish either directly or indirectly, the purchase price of said lands.
The legislative assembly may provide by law for the sale or disposal of all public lands that have been, or may hereafter be granted by the United States to the state for purposes other than set forth in article IX, section 1. The legislative assembly in providing for the appraisal, sale, rental, and disposal of the same shall not be subject to the provisions and limitations of article IX, sections 1 through 11.
The legislative assembly shall pass suitable laws for the safekeeping, transfer and disbursement of the state school funds; and shall require all officers charged with the same or the safekeeping thereof to give ample bonds for all moneys and funds received by them, and if any of said officers shall convert to his own use in any manner or form, or shall loan with or without interest or shall deposit in his own name, or otherwise than in the name of the state of North Dakota, or shall deposit in any banks or with any person or persons, or exchange for other funds or property any portion of the school funds aforesaid or purposely allow any portion of the same to remain in his own hands uninvested, except in the manner prescribed by law, every such act shall constitute an embezzlement of so much of the aforesaid school funds as shall be thus taken or loaned, or deposited, or exchanged, or withheld and shall be a felony; and any failure to pay over, produce or account for, the state school funds or any part of the same entrusted to any such officer, as by law required or demanded, shall be held and be taken to be prima facie evidence of such embezzlement.
The following public institutions of the state are permanently located at the places hereinafter named, each to have the lands specifically granted to it by the United States in the Act of Congress approved February 22, 1889, to be disposed of and used in such manner as the legislative assembly may prescribe subject to the limitations provided in the article on school and public lands contained in this constitution.
1. The seat of government at the city of Bismarck in the county of Burleigh.
2. The state university and the school of mines at the city of Grand Forks, in the county of Grand Forks.
3. The North Dakota state university of agriculture and applied science at the city of Fargo, in the county of Cass.
4. A state normal school at the city of Valley City, in the county of Barnes, and the legislative assembly, in apportioning the grant of eighty thousand acres of land for normal schools made in the Act of Congress referred to shall grant to the said normal school at Valley City, as aforementioned, fifty thousand (50,000) acres, and said lands are hereby appropriated to said institution for that purpose.
5. The school for the deaf and dumb of North Dakota at the city of Devils Lake, in the county of Ramsey.
6. A state training school at the city of Mandan, in the county of Morton.
7. A state normal school at the city of Mayville, in the county of Traill, and the legislative assembly in apportioning the grant of lands made by Congress in the Act aforesaid for state normal schools shall assign thirty thousand (30,000) acres to the institution hereby located at Mayville, and said lands are hereby appropriated for said purpose.
8. A state hospital for the insane at the city of Jamestown, in the county of Stutsman. And the legislative assembly shall appropriate twenty thousand acres of the grant of lands made by the Act of Congress aforesaid for other educational and charitable institutions to the benefit and for the endowment of said institution, and there shall be located at or near the city of Grafton, in the county of Walsh, an institution for the feebleminded, on the grounds purchased by the secretary of the interior for a penitentiary building.
The following public institutions are located as provided, each to have so much of the remaining grant of one hundred seventy thousand acres of land made by the United States for “other educational and charitable institutions” as is allotted by law:
1. A soldiers' home, when located, or such other charitable institution as the legislative assembly may determine, at the city of Lisbon in the county of Ransom, with a grant of forty thousand acres of land.
2. The school for the blind at the city of Grand Forks in the county of Grand Forks or at such other location as may be determined by the legislative assembly to be in the best interests of the students of such institution and the state of North Dakota.
3. A school of forestry, or such other institution as the legislative assembly may determine, at such place in one of the counties of McHenry, Ward, Bottineau, or Rolette, as the electors of said counties may determine by an election for that purpose, to be held as provided by the legislative assembly.
4. A school of science or such other educational or charitable institution as the legislative assembly may prescribe, at the city of Wahpeton in the county of Richland, with a grant of forty thousand acres.
5. A state college at the city of Minot in the county of Ward.
6. A state college at the city of Dickinson in the county of Stark.
7. A state hospital for the mentally ill at such place within this state as shall be selected by the legislative assembly.
No other institution of a character similar to any one of those located by article IX, section 12, or this section shall be established or maintained without an amendment of this constitution.
ARTICLE X. Finance and Public Debt.
The legislative assembly shall be prohibited from raising revenue to defray the expenses of the state through the levying of a tax on the assessed value of real or personal property.
The power of taxation shall never be surrendered or suspended by any grant or contract to which the state or any county or other municipal corporation shall be a party.
No tax shall be levied except in pursuance of law, and every law imposing a tax shall state distinctly the object of the same, to which only it shall be applied. Notwithstanding the foregoing or any other provisions of this constitution, the legislative assembly, in any law imposing a tax or taxes on, in respect to or measured by income, may define the income on, in respect to or by which such tax or taxes are imposed or measured or may define the tax itself by reference to any provision of the laws of the United States as the same may be or become effective at any time or from time to time, and may prescribe exceptions or modifications to any such provision.
All taxable property except as hereinafter in this section provided, shall be assessed in the county, city, township, village or district in which it is situated, in the manner prescribed by law. The property, including franchises of all railroads operated in this state, and of all express companies, freight line companies, dining car companies, sleeping car companies, car equipment companies, or private car line companies, telegraph or telephone companies, the property of any person, firm or corporation used for the purpose of furnishing electric light, heat or power, or in distributing the same for public use, and the property of any other corporation, firm or individual now or hereafter operating in this state, and used directly or indirectly in the carrying of persons, property or messages, shall be assessed by the state board of equalization in a manner prescribed by such state board or commission as may be provided by law. But should any railroad allow any portion of its railway to be used for any purpose other than the operation of a railroad thereon, such portion of its railway, while so used shall be assessed in a manner provided for the assessment of other real property.
Taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property including franchises within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax. The legislative assembly may by law exempt any or all classes of personal property from taxation and within the meaning of this section, fixtures, buildings and improvements of every character, whatsoever, upon land shall be deemed personal property. The property of the United States, to the extent immunity from taxation has not been waived by an act of Congress, property of the state, county, and municipal corporations, to the extent immunity from taxation has not been waived by an act of the legislative assembly, and property used exclusively for schools, religious, cemetery, charitable or other public purposes shall be exempt from taxation. Except as restricted by this article, the legislative assembly may provide for raising revenue and fixing the situs of all property for the purpose of taxation. Provided that all taxes and exemptions in force when this amendment is adopted shall remain in force until otherwise provided by statute.
The legislative assembly may provide for the levy, collection and disposition of an annual poll tax of not more than one dollar and fifty cents on every male inhabitant of this state over twenty-one and under fifty years of age, except paupers, idiots, insane persons and Indians not taxed.
The legislature may by law provide for the levy and collection of an acreage tax on lands within the state in addition to the limitations specified in article X, section 1, of the constitution. The proceeds of such tax shall be used to indemnify the owners of growing crops against damages by hail, provided that lands used exclusively for public roads, rights of way of common carriers, mining, manufacturing or pasturage may be exempt from such tax.
The legislative assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
The legislative assembly may provide for the levy of a tax upon lands within the state for the purpose of creating a fund to insure the owners of growing crops against losses by hail. The legislative assembly may classify lands within the state, and divide the state into districts on such basis as shall seem just and necessary, and may vary the tax rates in such districts in accordance with the risk, in order to secure an equitable distribution of the burden of the tax among the owners of such lands.
1. Upon the adoption of this amendment to the Constitution of the State of North Dakota there shall be annually levied by the state of North Dakota one mill upon all of the taxable property within the state of North Dakota which, when collected, shall be covered into the state treasury of the state of North Dakota and placed to the credit of the North Dakota state medical center at the university of North Dakota; said fund shall be expended as the legislature shall direct for the development and maintenance necessary to the efficient operation of the said North Dakota state medical center.
2. This amendment shall be self-executing, but legislation may be enacted to facilitate its operation.
Revenue from gasoline and other motor fuel excise and license taxation, motor vehicle registration and license taxes, except revenue from aviation gasoline and unclaimed aviation motor fuel refunds and other aviation motor fuel excise and license taxation used by aircraft, after deduction of cost of administration and collection authorized by legislative appropriation only, and statutory refunds, shall be appropriated and used solely for construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of public highways, and the payment of obligations incurred in the construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of public highways.
1. All public moneys, from whatever source derived, shall be paid over monthly by the public official, employee, agent, director, manager, board, bureau, or institution of the state receiving the same, to the state treasurer, and deposited by him to the credit of the state, and shall be paid out and disbursed only pursuant to appropriation first made by the legislature; provided, however, that there is hereby appropriated the necessary funds required in the financial transactions of the Bank of North Dakota, and required for the payment of losses, duly approved, payable from the state hail insurance fund, state bonding fund, and state fire and tornado fund, and required for the payment of compensation to injured employees or death claims, duly approved, payable from the workmen's compensation fund, and required for authorized investments made by the board of university and school lands, and required for the financial operations of the state mill and elevator association, and required for the payment of interest and principal of bonds and other fixed obligations of the state, and required for payments required by law to be paid to beneficiaries of the teachers' insurance and retirement fund, and required for refunds made under the provisions of the Retail Sales Tax Act, and the State Income Tax Law, and the State Gasoline Tax Law, and the Estate and Succession Tax Law, and the income of any state institution derived from permanent trust funds, and the funds allocated under the law to the state highway department and the various counties for the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of public roads.
This constitutional amendment shall not be construed to apply to fees and moneys received in connection with the licensing and organization of physicians and surgeons, pharmacists, dentists, osteopaths, optometrists, embalmers, barbers, lawyers, veterinarians, nurses, chiropractors, accountants, architects, hairdressers, chiropodists, and other similarly organized, licensed trades and professions; and this constitutional amendment shall not be construed to amend or repeal existing laws or Acts amendatory thereof concerning such fees and moneys.
2. No bills, claims, accounts, or demands against the state or any county or other political subdivision shall be audited, allowed, or paid until a full itemized statement in writing shall be filed with the officer or officers whose duty it may be to audit the same, and then only upon warrant drawn upon the treasurer of such funds by the proper officer or officers.
3. This amendment shall become effective on July 1, 1939.
The state may issue or guarantee the payment of bonds, provided that all bonds in excess of two million dollars shall be secured by first mortgage upon real estate in amounts not to exceed sixty-five percent of its value; or upon real and personal property of state-owned utilities, enterprises, or industries, in amounts not exceeding its value, and provided further, that the state shall not issue or guarantee bonds upon property of state-owned utilities, enterprises, or industries in excess of ten million dollars. No further indebtedness shall be incurred by the state unless evidenced by a bond issue, which shall be authorized by law for certain purposes, to be clearly defined. Every law authorizing a bond issue shall provide for levying an annual tax, or make other provision, sufficient to pay the interest semiannually, and the principal within thirty years from the date of the issue of such bonds and shall specially appropriate the proceeds of such tax, or of such other provisions to the payment of said principal and interest, and such appropriation shall not be repealed nor the tax or other provisions discontinued until such debt, both principal and interest, shall have been paid. No debt in excess of the limit named herein shall be incurred except for the purpose of repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, defending the state in time of war or to provide for the public defense in case of threatened hostilities.
1. Notwithstanding any other provision in the constitution, and for the purpose of promoting the economic growth of the state, the development of its natural resources, and the prosperity and welfare of its people, the state may issue bonds and use the proceeds thereof to make loans to privately or cooperatively owned enterprises to plan, construct, acquire, equip, improve, and extend facilities for converting natural resources into power and generating and transmitting such power, and to acquire real and personal property and water and mineral rights needed for such facilities.
2. The state may issue general obligation bonds for this purpose to an amount which, with all outstanding general obligation bonds, less the amount of all money on hand and taxes in process of collection which are appropriated for their payment, will not exceed five percent of the full and true value of all of the taxable property in the state, to be ascertained by the last assessment made for state and county purposes: but nothing herein shall increase or diminish the limitations established by other provisions of the constitution on the amount of bonds therein authorized to be issued.
3. The state may also issue revenue bonds for the purpose of providing part or all of the funds required for any project undertaken under subsection 1, payable solely from sums realized from payments of principal and interest on money loaned for such project, and from other similar projects if so determined by the legislature, and from the liquidation of security given for such payments. Revenue bonds issued for any project shall not exceed the cost thereof, including all expenses reasonably incurred to complete and finance the project, but shall not be subject to any other limitation of amount.
4. The full faith and credit of the state shall be pledged for the prompt and full payment of all bonds issued under subsection 2. Its obligation with respect to bonds issued under subsection 3 shall be limited to the prompt and full performance of such covenants as the legislature may authorize to be made respecting the enforcing of the provisions of underlying loan agreements and the segregation, accounting, and application of bond proceeds and of loan payments and other security pledged for the payment of the bonds. All bonds authorized by subsections 1 to 3, inclusive, shall mature within forty years from their respective dates of issue, but may be refunded at or before maturity in such manner and for such term and upon such conditions as the legislature may direct. Any such bonds may, but need not be, secured by mortgage upon real or personal property acquired with the proceeds of the same or any other issue of general obligation or revenue bonds, or upon other property mortgaged by the debtor. Pledges of revenues and mortgages of property securing bonds of any issue may be prior or subordinate to or on a parity with pledges and mortgages securing any other issue of general obligation or revenue bonds, as determined by the legislature from time to time in conformity with any provisions made for the security of outstanding bonds.
5. The legislature shall pass such laws as are appropriate to implement this amendment.
6. If any subsection of this amendment, or any part of a subsection, or any application thereof to particular circumstances should be held invalid for any reason, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of all remaining provisions of this amendment which may be given effect without that which is declared invalid, as applied to any circumstances and for this purpose all subsections and parts of subsections and applications thereof are declared to be severable.
The debt of any county, township, city, town, school district or any other political subdivision, shall never exceed five per centum upon the assessed value of the taxable property therein; provided that any incorporated city may, by a two-thirds vote, increase such indebtedness three per centum on such assessed value beyond said five per centum limit, and a school district, by a majority vote may increase such indebtedness five percent on such assessed value beyond said five per centum limit; provided also that any county or city by a majority vote may issue bonds upon any revenue-producing utility owned by such county or city, or for the purchasing or acquiring the same or building or establishment thereof, in amounts not exceeding the physical value of such utility, industry or enterprise. In estimating the indebtedness which a city, county, township, school district or any other political subdivision may incur, the entire amount, exclusive of the bonds upon said revenue-producing utilities, whether contracted prior or subsequent to the adoption of this constitution, shall be included; provided further that any incorporated city may become indebted in any amount not exceeding four per centum of such assessed value without regard to the existing indebtedness of such city for the purpose of constructing or purchasing waterworks for furnishing a supply of water to the inhabitants of such city, or for the purpose of constructing sewers, and for no other purposes whatever. All bonds and obligations in excess of the amount of indebtedness permitted by this constitution, given by any city, county, township, town, school district, or any other political subdivision shall be void.
Any city, county, township, town, school district or any other political subdivision incurring indebtedness shall, at or before the time of so doing, provide for the collection of an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest and also the principal thereof when due, and all laws or ordinances providing for the payment of the interest or principal of any debt shall be irrepealable until such debt be paid.
No bond or evidence of indebtedness of the state is valid unless it has endorsed thereon a certificate, signed by the auditor and secretary of state showing that the bond or evidence of debt is issued pursuant to law and is within the debt limit. No bond or evidence of debt of any county, or bond of any township or other political subdivision is valid unless it has endorsed thereon a certificate signed by the officer authorized by law to sign such certificate, stating that said bond or evidence of debt is issued pursuant to law and is within the debt limit.
The state, any county or city may make internal improvements and may engage in any industry, enterprise or business not prohibited by Article XX of the Constitution, but neither the state nor any political subdivision thereof shall otherwise loan or give its credit or make donations to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation except for reasonable support of the poor, nor subscribe to or become the owner of capital stock in any association or corporation.
[Amended Nov. 5, 1918]
The legislative assembly is hereby authorized and empowered to provide by law for the erection, purchasing or leasing and operation of one or more terminal grain elevators in the states of Minnesota or Wisconsin, or both, to be maintained and operated in such manner as the legislative assembly shall prescribe, and provide for inspection, weighing and grading of all grain received in such elevator or elevators.
The legislative assembly is hereby authorized and empowered to provide by law for the erection, purchasing or leasing and operation of one or more terminal grain elevators in the state of North Dakota, to be maintained and operated in such manner as the legislative assembly shall prescribe, and provide for inspection, weighing and grading of all grain received in such elevator or elevators.
Not less than fifteen percent of the tax imposed for severing coal shall be placed into a permanent trust fund in the state treasury to be held in trust and administered by the board of university and school lands, which shall have full authority to invest said trust funds as provided by law, and may loan moneys from the fund to political subdivisions as provided by law. The interest earned on the moneys in said trust fund shall be used first to replace uncollectable loans made from the fund, and the balance shall be credited to the general fund of the state. Up to fifty percent of the taxes collected and deposited in the permanent trust fund during a biennium may be appropriated by the legislative assembly for lignite research, development, and marketing as provided by law.
The legislative assembly may provide by law for a percentage of revenue from taxes imposed on the extraction or production of oil to be allocated and credited to a special trust fund, to be known as the resources trust fund. The principal and income of the resources trust fund may be expended only pursuant to legislative appropriation for:
1. Constructing water-related projects, including rural water systems; and
2. Funding of programs for energy conservation.
The legislative assembly may provide for the payment of adjusted compensation to North Dakota residents who were members of the regular active duty armed forces and who served in the Persian Gulf theatre or in the Grenada, Lebanon, or Panama areas of armed conflict as designated by the President of the United States or to heirs of North Dakota residents who were members of the regular active duty armed forces and who died while on orders to or from the Persian Gulf theatre or in the Grenada, Lebanon, or Panama areas of armed conflict as designated by the President of the United States. The legislative assembly may provide a direct appropriation or provide for the issuance, sale, and delivery of bonds of the state of North Dakota in such principal amounts as determined by the legislative assembly to be necessary for the payment of adjusted compensation under this section. Adjusted compensation under this section may be paid at such rates, terms of service, and conditions as the legislative assembly provides.
The veterans' postwar trust fund shall be a permanent trust fund of the state of North Dakota and shall consist of moneys transferred or credited to the fund as authorized by legislative enactment. Investment of the fund shall be the responsibility of the state treasurer who shall have full authority to invest the fund only in the same manner as the state investment board is authorized to make investments. All income received from investments is to be utilized for programs which must be of benefit and service to veterans, who are defined by legislative enactment, or their dependents, and such income is hereby appropriated to the administrative committee on veterans' affairs on a continuing basis for expenditure upon those programs selected at the discretion of the administrative committee on veterans' affairs.
[ Adopted Nov. 5, 1996, effective Dec. 5, 1996]
ARTICLE XI. General Provisions.
The name of this state shall be “North Dakota.” The state of North Dakota shall consist of all the territory included within the following boundary, to wit: Commencing at a point in the main channel of the Red River of the North, where the forty-ninth degree of north latitude crosses the same; thence south up the main channel of the same and along the boundary line of the state of Minnesota to a point where the seventh standard parallel intersects the same; thence west along said seventh standard parallel produced due west to a point where it intersects the twenty-seventh meridian of longitude west from Washington; thence north on said meridian to a point where it intersects the forty-ninth degree of north latitude; thence east along said line to place of beginning.
The following described seal is hereby declared to be and hereby constituted the great seal of the state of North Dakota, to wit: A tree in the open field, the trunk of which is surrounded by three bundles of wheat; on the right a plow, anvil and sledge; on the left, a bow crossed with three arrows, and an Indian on horseback pursuing a buffalo toward the setting sun; the foliage of the tree arched by a half circle of forty-two stars, surrounded by the motto “Liberty and Union Now and Forever, One and Inseparable”; the words “Great Seal” at the top; the words “State of North Dakota” at the bottom; “October 1st” on the left and “1889” on the right. The seal to be two and one-half inches in diameter.
All flowing streams and natural watercourses shall forever remain the property of the state for mining, irrigating and manufacturing purposes.
Members of the legislative assembly and judicial department, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted shall, before they enter on the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of North Dakota; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of _ according to the best of my ability, so help me God” (if an oath), (under pains and penalties of perjury) if an affirmation, and no other oath, declaration, or test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.
Unless otherwise provided by law, all meetings of public or governmental bodies, boards, bureaus, commissions, or agencies of the state or any political subdivision of the state, or organizations or agencies supported in whole or in part by public funds, or expending public funds, shall be open to the public.
Unless otherwise provided by law, all records of public or governmental bodies, boards, bureaus, commissions, or agencies of the state or any political subdivision of the state, or organizations or agencies supported in whole or in part by public funds, or expending public funds, shall be public records, open and accessible for inspection during reasonable office hours.
The legislative assembly, in order to ensure continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack, shall have the power and immediate duty (1) to provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices, and (2) to adopt such other measures as may be necessary and proper for ensuring the continuity of governmental operations including, but not limited to, waiver of constitutional restrictions upon the place of transaction of governmental business, upon the calling of sessions of the legislative assembly, length of sessions, quorum and voting requirements, subjects of legislation and appropriation bill requirements, upon eligibility of legislators to hold other offices, residence requirements for legislators, and upon expenditures, loans or donations of public moneys. In the exercise of the powers hereby conferred the legislative assembly shall in all respects conform to the requirements of this constitution except to the extent that in the judgment of the legislative assembly so to do would be impracticable or would admit of undue delay.
The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. The concurrence of a majority of all members elected shall be necessary to an impeachment.
All impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation to do justice according to the law and evidence. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members elected. When the governor or lieutenant governor is on trial, the presiding judge of the supreme court shall preside.
The governor and other state and judicial officers, except county judges, justices of the peace and police magistrates, shall be liable to impeachment for habitual drunkenness, crimes, corrupt conduct, or malfeasance or misdemeanor in office, but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than removal from office and disqualification to hold any office of trust or profit under the state. The person accused, whether convicted or acquitted, shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.
All officers not liable to impeachment shall be subject to removal for misconduct, malfeasance, crime or misdemeanor in office, or for habitual drunkenness or gross incompetency in such manner as may be provided by law.
No officer shall exercise the duties of his office after he shall have been impeached and before his acquittal.
On trial of impeachment against the governor, the lieutenant governor shall not act as a member of the court.
No person shall be tried on impeachment before he shall have been served with a copy thereof, at least twenty days previous to the day set for trial.
No person shall be liable to impeachment twice for the same offense.
The militia of this state shall consist of all able-bodied male persons residing in the state, between the agesof eighteen and forty-five years, except such as may be exempted by the laws of the United States or of this state. Persons whose religious tenets or conscientious scruples forbid them to bear arms shall not be compelled to do so in times of peace, but shall pay an equivalent for a personal service.
The militia shall be enrolled, organized, uniformed, armed and disciplined in such a manner as shall be provided by law, not incompatible with the constitution or laws of the United States.
The legislative assembly shall provide by law for the establishment of volunteer organizations of the several arms of the service, which shall be classed as active militia; and no other organized body of armed men shall be permitted to perform military duty in this state except the army of the United States, without the proclamation of the governor of the state.
All militia officers shall be appointed or elected in such a manner as the legislative assembly shall provide.
The commissioned officers of the militia shall be commissioned by the governor, and no commissioned officer shall be removed from office except by sentence of court-martial, pursuant to law.
The militia forces shall in all cases, except treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at musters, parades and elections of officers, and in going to and returning from the same.
The right of the debtor to enjoy the comforts and necessaries of life shall be recognized by wholesome laws, exempting from forced sale to all heads of families a homestead, the value of which shall be limited and defined by law; and a reasonable amount of personal property; the kind and value shall be fixed by law. This section shall not be construed to prevent liens against the homestead for labor done and materials furnished in the improvement thereof, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
The real and personal property of any woman in this state, acquired before marriage, and all property to which she may, after marriage become in any manner rightfully entitled, shall be her separate property, and shall not be liable for the debts of her husband.
The labor of children under twelve years of age, shall be prohibited in mines, factories and workshops in this state.
The legislative assembly shall not authorize any game of chance, lottery, or gift enterprises, under any pretense, or for any purpose whatever. However, the legislative assembly may authorize by law bona fide nonprofit veterans', charitable, educational, religious, or fraternal organizations, civic and service clubs, or such other public-spirited organizations as it may recognize, to conduct games of chance when the entire net proceeds of such games of chance are to be devoted to educational, charitable, patriotic, fraternal, religious, or other public-spirited uses.
The legislative, executive, and judicial branches are coequal branches of government. Elected members and officials of each branch shall receive as compensation for their services only such amounts as may be specifically set by law. Payment for necessary expenses shall not exceed those allowed for other state employees.
ARTICLE XII. Corporations Other than Municipal.
The term “corporation”, as used in this article, shall not be understood as embracing municipalities or political divisions of the state unless otherwise expressly stated, but it shall be held and construed to include all associations and joint stock companies having any of the powers or privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or partnerships.
No charter of incorporation shall be granted, changed or amended by special law, except in the case of such municipal, charitable, educational, penal or reformatory corporations as may be under the control of the state; but the legislative assembly shall provide by general laws for the organization of all corporations hereafter to be created, and any such law, so passed, shall be subject to future repeal or alteration.
All existing charters or grants of special or exclusive privileges, under which a bona fide organization shall not have taken place and business been commenced in good faith at the time this constitution takes effect, shall thereafter have no validity.
The legislative assembly shall not remit the forfeiture of the charter to any corporation now existing, nor alter or amend the same, nor pass any other general or special law for the benefit of such corporation, except upon the condition that such corporation shall thereafter hold its charter subject to the provisions of this constitution.
The exercise of the right of eminent domain shall never be abridged, or so construed as to prevent the legislative assembly from taking the property and franchises of incorporated companies and subjecting them to public use; the same as the property of individuals; and the exercise of the police power of this state shall never be abridged, or so construed as to permit corporations to conduct their business in such a manner as to infringe the equal rights of individuals or the general well-being of the state.
In all elections for directors or managers of a corporation, each member or shareholder may cast the whole number of his votes for one candidate, or distribute them upon two or more candidates, as he may prefer, provided, any cooperative corporation may adopt bylaws limiting the voting power of its stockholders.
No foreign corporation shall do business in this state without having one or more places of business and an authorized agent or agents in the same, upon whom process may be served.
No corporation shall engage in any business other than that expressly authorized in its charter.
No corporation shall issue stock or bonds except for money, labor done, or money or property actually received; and all fictitious increase of stock or indebtedness shall be void. The stock and indebtedness of corporations shall not be increased except in pursuance of general law, nor without the consent of the persons holding the larger amount in value of the stock first obtained.
No law shall be passed by the legislative assembly granting the right to construct and operate a street railroad, telegraph, telephone or electric light plant within any city, town or incorporated village, without requiring the consent of the local authorities having the control of the street or highway proposed to be occupied for such purposes.
Every railroad corporation organized and doing business in this state, under the laws or authority thereof, shall have and maintain a public office or place in the state for the transaction of its business, where transfers of its stock shall be made and in which shall be kept for public inspection, books in which shall be recorded the amount of capital stock subscribed, and by whom, the names of the owners of its stock and the amount owned by them respectively; the amount of stock paid in and by whom, and the transfers of said stock; the amount of its assets and liabilities and the names and place of residence of its officers. The directors of every railroad corporation shall annually make a report, under oath, to the auditor of public accounts, or some officer or officers to be designated by law, of all their acts and doings, which report shall include such matters relating to railroads as may be prescribed by law, and the legislative assembly shall pass laws enforcing by suitable penalties the provisions of this section; provided, the provisions of this section shall not be so construed as to apply to foreign corporations.
No railroad corporation shall consolidate its stock, property or franchises with any other railroad corporation owning a parallel or competing line; and in no case shall any consolidation take place except upon public notice given at least sixty days to all stockholders, in such manner as may be provided by law. Any attempt to evade the provisions of this section, by any railroad corporation, by lease or otherwise, shall work a forfeiture of its charter.
Railways heretofore constructed or that may hereafter be constructed in this state are hereby declared public highways, and all railroad, sleeping car, telegraph, telephone and transportation companies of passengers, intelligence and freight, are declared to be common carriers and subject to legislative control; and the legislative assembly shall have power to enact laws regulating and controlling the rates of charges for the transportation of passengers, intelligence and freight, as such common carriers from one point to another in this state; provided, that appeal may be had to the courts of this state from the rates so fixed; but the rates fixed by the legislative assembly or board of railroad commissioners shall remain in force pending the decision of the courts.
Any association or corporation organized for the purpose shall have the right to construct and operate a railroad between any points within this state, and to connect at the state line with the railroads of other states. Every railroad company shall have the right with its road to intersect, connect with or cross any other, and shall receive and transport each other’s passengers, tonnage and cars, loaded or empty, without delay or discrimination.
If a general banking law be enacted, it shall provide for the registry and countersigning by an officer of the state, of all notes or bills designed for circulation, and that ample security to the full amount thereof shall be deposited with the state treasurer for the redemption of such notes or bills.
Any combination between individuals, corporations, associations, or either having for its object or effect the controlling of the price of any product of the soil or any article of manufacture of commerce, or the cost of exchange or transportation, is prohibited and hereby declared unlawful and against public policy; and any and all franchises heretofore granted or extended, or that may hereafter be granted or extended in this state, whenever the owner or owners thereof violate this article shall be deemed annulled and become void.
The exchange of “black lists” between corporations shall be prohibited.
ARTICLE XIII. Compact with the United States.
1. Perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and no inhabitant of this state shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship.
2. The people inhabiting this state do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes, and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and that said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the Congress of the United states, provided, however, that the legislative assembly of the state of North Dakota may, upon such terms and conditions as it shall adopt, provide for the acceptance of such jurisdiction as may be delegated to the state by act of Congress; that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without this state shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the lands belonging to residents of this state; that no taxes shall be imposed by this state on lands or property therein, belonging to, or which may hereafter be purchased by the United States or reserved for its use. But nothing in this article shall preclude this state from taxing as other lands are taxed, any lands owned or held by any Indian who has severed his tribal relations, and has obtained from the United States or from any person, a title thereto, by patent or other grant, save and except such lands as have been or may be granted to any Indian or Indians under any acts of Congress containing a provision exempting the lands thus granted from taxation, which last mentioned lands shall be exempt from taxation so long, and to such an extent, as is, or may be provided in the act of Congress granting the same.
3. In order that payment of the debts and liabilities contracted or incurred by and in behalf of the Territory of Dakota may be justly and equitably provided for and made, and in pursuance of the requirements of an act of congress approved February 22, 1889, entitled “An act to provide for the division of Dakota into two states and to enable the people of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington to form constitutions and state governments and to be admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, and to make donations of public lands to such states,” the states of North Dakota and South Dakota, by proceedings of a joint commission, duly appointed under said act, the sessions whereof were held at Bismarck in said state of North Dakota, from July 16, 1889, to July 31, 1889, inclusive, have agreed to the following adjustment of the amounts of the debts and liabilities of the Territory of Dakota which shall be assumed and paid by each of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota, respectively, to-wit:
This agreement shall take effect and be in force from and after the admission into the Union, as one of the United States of America, of either the state of North Dakota or the state of South Dakota.
The words “state of North Dakota” wherever used in this agreement, shall be taken to mean the Territory of North Dakota in case the state of South Dakota shall be admitted into the Union prior to the admission into the Union of the state of North Dakota; and the words “state of South Dakota,” wherever used in this agreement, shall be taken to mean the Territory of South Dakota in case the state of North Dakota shall be admitted into the Union prior to the admission into the Union of the state of South Dakota.
The said state of North Dakota shall assume and pay all bonds issued by the Territory of Dakota to provide funds for the purchase, construction, repairs or maintenance of such public institutions, grounds or buildings as are located within the boundaries of North Dakota, and shall pay all warrants issued under and by virtue of that certain Act of the legislative assembly of the Territory of Dakota, approved March 8, 1889, entitled “An Act to provide for the refunding of outstanding warrants drawn on the Capitol Building Fund.”
The said state of South Dakota shall assume and pay all bonds issued by the Territory or Dakota to provide funds for the purchase, construction, repairs or maintenance of such public institutions, grounds or buildings as are located within the boundaries of South Dakota.
That is to say: The state of North Dakota shall assume and pay the following bonds and indebtedness, to-wit:
Bonds issued on account of the Hospital for Insane at Jamestown, North Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $266,000; also bonds issued on account of the North Dakota University at Grand Forks, North Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $96,700; also, bonds issued on account of the Penitentiary at Bismarck, North Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $93,600; also, refunding Capitol Building warrants dated April 1, 1889, $83,507.46.
And the state of South Dakota shall assume and pay the following bonds and indebtedness, to-wit:
Bonds issued on account of the Hospital for the Insane at Yankton, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $210,000; also, bonds issued on account of the School for Deaf Mutes, at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $51,000; also, bonds issued on account of the University at Vermillion, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $75,000; also, bonds issued on account of the Penitentiary at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $94,300; also, bonds issued on account of the Agricultural College at Brookings, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $97,500; also, bonds issued on account of the Normal School at Madison, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $49,400; also, bonds issued on account of the School of Mines at Rapid City, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $33,000; also, bonds issued on account of the Reform School at Plankinton, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $30,000; also, bonds issued on account of the Normal School at Spearfish, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $25,000; also bonds issued on account of the Soldiers' Home at Hot Springs, South Dakota, the face aggregate of which is $45,000.
The states of North Dakota and South Dakota shall pay one- half each of all liabilities now existing or hereafter and prior to the taking effect of this agreement incurred, except those hereto fore or hereafter incurred on account of public institutions, grounds or buildings, except as otherwise herein specifically provided.
The state of South Dakota shall pay to the state of North Dakota $46,500, on account of the excess of Territorial appropriations for the permanent improvement of territorial institutions which under this agreement will go to South Dakota, and in full of the undivided one-half interest of North Dakota in the territorial library, and iu full settlement of unbalanced accounts, and of all claims against the territory, of whatever nature, legal or equitable, arising out of the alleged erroneous or unlawful taxation of Northern Pacific Railroad lands, and the payment of said amount shall discharge and exempt the state of South Dakota from all liability for or on account of the several matters herein before referred to; nor shall either state be called upon to pay or answer to any portion of liability hereafter arising or accruing on account of transactions heretofore had, which liability would be a liability of the Territory of Dakota had such territory remained in existence, and which liability shall grow out of matters connected with any public institutions, grounds or buildings of the territory situated or located within the boundaries of the other state.
A final adjustment of accounts shall be made upon the following basis: North Dakota shall be charged with all sums paid on account of the public institutions, grounds or buildings located within its boundaries on account of the current appropriations since March 9, 1889, and South Dakota shall be charged with all sums paid on account of public institutions, grounds or buildings located within its boundaries on the same account and during the same time. Each state shall be charged with one-half of all other expenses of the territorial government during the same time. All moneys paid into the treasury during the period from March 8, 1889, to the time of taking effect of this agreement by any county, municipality or person within the limits of the proposed state of North Dakota, shall be credited to the state of North Dakota; and all sums paid into said treasury within the same time by any county, municipality or person within the limits of the proposed state of South Dakota shall be credited to the state of South Dakota; except that any and all taxes on gross earnings paid into said treasury by railroad corporations, since the 8th day of March, 1889, based upon earnings of years prior to 1888, under and by virtue of the act of the legislative assembly of the Territory of Dakota, approved March 7, 1889, and entitled “An Act providing for the levy and collection of taxes upon property of railroad companies in this Territory,” being Chapter 107 of the Session Laws of 1889, (that is, the part of such sums going to the Territory) shall be equally divided between the states of North Dakota and South Dakota; and all taxes heretofore or here after paid into said treasury under and by virtue of the act last mentioned, based on the gross earnings of the year 1888, shall be distributed as already provided by law, except that so much thereof as goes to the territorial treasury shall be divided as fol lows: North Dakota shall have so much thereof as shall be or has been paid by railroads within the limits of the proposed state of North Dakota, and South Dakota so much thereof as shall be or has been paid by railroads within the limits of the proposed state of South Dakota; each state shall be credited also with all balances of appropriations made by the Seventeenth legislative assembly of the Territory of Dakota for the account of the public institutions, grounds or buildings situated within its limits, remaining unexpended on March 8, 1889. If there shall be any indebtedness except the indebtedness represented by the bonds and refunding warrants hereinbefore mentioned, each state shall at the time of such final adjustment of accounts, assume its share of said indebtedness as determined by the amount paid on account of the public institutions, grounds or buildings of such state in excess of the receipts from counties, municipalities, railroad corporations or persons within the limits of said state, as provided in this article ; and if there should be a surplus at the time of such final adjustment, each state shall be entitled to the amounts received from counties, municipalities, railroad corporations or persons within its limits over and above the amount charged it.
And the state of North Dakota hereby obligates itself to pay such part of the debts and liabilities of the Territory of Dakota as is declared by the foregoing agreement to be its proportion thereof, the same as if such proportion had been originally created by said state of North Dakota as its own debt or liability.
Amended Jun. 24, 1958, effective Jul. 24, 1958]
Jurisdiction is ceded to the United States over the military reservations of Fort Abraham Lincoln, Fort Buford, Fort Pembina and Fort Totten, heretofore declared by the President of the United states; Provided, Legal process, civil and criminal, of this state, shall extend over such reservations in all cases in which exclusive jurisdiction is not vested in the United States, or of crimes not committed within the limits of such reservations.
The state of North Dakota hereby accepts the several grants of land granted by the United States to the state of North Dakota by an Act of Congress entitled “An act to provide for the division of Dakota into two states, and to enable the people of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington to form constitutions and state governments, and to be admitted into the union on equal footing with the original states, and to make donations of public lands to such states,” under the conditions and limitations therein mentioned; reserving the right, however, to apply to Congress for modification of said conditions and limitations in case of necessity.
Sections 1 to 25. Repealed.
Section 26. The legislative assembly shall provide for the editing, and for the publication in an independent volume, of this constitution as soon as it shall take effect, and whenever it shall be altered or amended, and shall cause to be published in the same volume the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Enabling Act.
The Enabling Act
An act to provide for the division of Dakota into two states, and to enable the people of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington to form constitutions and state governments, and to be admitted into the union on an equal footing with the original states, and to make donations of public lands to such states.
Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the inhabitants of all that part of the area of the United States now constituting the territories of Dakota, Montana, and Washington, as at present described, may become the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington respectively, as hereinafter provided.
The area comprising the territory of Dakota shall, for the purposes of this act, be divided on the line of the seventh standard parallel produced due west to the western boundary of said territory; and the delegates elected as hereinafter provided to the constitutional convention in districts north of said parallel shall assemble in convention, at the time prescribed in this act, at the city of Bismarck; and the delegates elected in districts south of said parallel shall, at the same time, assemble in convention at the city of Sioux Falls.
That all persons who are qualified by the laws of said territories to vote for representatives to the legislative assemblies thereof, are hereby authorized to vote for and choose delegates to form conventions in said proposed states; and the qualifications for delegates to such conventions shall be such as by the laws of said territories, respectively, persons, are required to possess to be eligible to the legislative assemblies thereof, and the aforesaid delegates to form said conventions shall be apportioned within the limits of the proposed states, in such districts as may be established as herein provided, in proportion to the population in each of said counties and districts, as near as may be, to be ascertained at the time of making said apportionments by the persons hereinafter authorized to make the same, from the best information obtainable, in each of which districts three delegates shall be elected, but no elector shall vote for more than two persons for delegates to such conventions; that said apportionments shall be made by the Governor, the chief justice and the secretary of said territories; and the governors of said territories shall, by proclamation, order an election of the delegates aforesaid in each of said proposed states, to be held on the Tuesday after the second Monday in May, 1889, which proclamation shall be issued on the fifteenth day of April 1889; and such election shall be conducted, the returns made, the result ascertained and the certificates to persons elected to such conventions issued in the same manner as is prescribed by the laws of the said territories regulating elections therein for delegates to Congress; and the number of votes cast for delegates in each precinct shall also be returned. The number of delegates to said conventions respectively, shall be seventy-five; and all persons resident in said proposed states, who are qualified voters of said territories as herein provided, shall be entitled to vote upon the election of delegates, and under such rules and regulations as said conventions may prescribe, not in conflict with this act, upon the ratification or rejection of the constitutions.
That the delegates to the conventions elected as provided for in this act shall meet at the seat of government of each of said territories, except the delegates elected in South Dakota, who shall meet at the city of Sioux Falls, on the fourth day of July, 1889, and, after organization, shall declare on behalf of the people of said proposed states, that they adopt the Constitution of the United States; whereupon the said conventions shall be, and are hereby authorized to form constitutions and state governments for said proposed states, respectively. The Constitution shall be republican in form, and make no distinction in civil or political rights on account of race or color, except as to Indians not taxed, and not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and the principles of the Declaration of Independence. And said convention shall provide by ordinances irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of said states:
First. That perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and that no inhabitant of said states shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship.
Second. That the people inhabiting said proposed states do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the Congress of the United States; that the lands belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the said states shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the lands belonging to residents thereof; that no taxes shall be imposed by the states on lands or property therein belonging to or which may hereafter be purchased by the United States or reserved for its use. But nothing herein, or in the ordinances herein provided for, shall preclude the said states from taxing as other lands are taxed any lands owned or held by any Indian who has severed his tribal relations, and has obtained from the United States or from any person a title thereto by patent or other grant, save and except such lands as have been or may be granted to any Indian or Indians under any act of Congress containing a provision exempting the lands thus granted from taxation; but said ordinances shall provide that all such lands shall be exempt from taxation by said states so long and to such extent as such act of Congress may prescribe.
Third. That the debts and liabilities of said territories shall be assumed and paid by said states, respectively.
Fourth. That provision shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of systems of public schools, which shall be open to all the children of said states, and free from sectarian control.
-Federal Jurisdiction and Control.
Since jurisdiction and control of Indian lands remains in the United States under section 4 of the Enabling Act, congress could enact an act making criminal the introduction of intoxicating liquor upon an allotment within the limits of an Indian reservation. United States v. Sutton, 215 U.S. 291, 30 S.Ct. 116, 54 L. Ed. 200 (1909).
Lands within South Dakota which were formerly a part of an Indian reservation and not restored to the public domain and open to settlement, but held by an Indian allottee under a trust patent, are Indian lands over which the United States has exclusive jurisdiction. Ex Parte Van Moore, 221 F. 954 (D. S.D. 1915).
Under the Enabling Act and the disclaimer provision in the Constitution of South Dakota, not only lands, but all other property issued by the United States government to Indian allottees for use thereon, remained subject to federal control until Congress relinquished the trust. United States v. Pearson, 231 F. 270 (D.S.D. 1916).
Whether Indian pantentees of land in a reservation, created by Indian treaty, took to high or low watermark of a lake was not a question of state law. Montana Power Co. v. Rochester, 127 F.2d 189 (9th Cir. 1942).
-Jurisdiction of State.
The compact between the United States and North Dakota created by section 4 of the Enabling Act and art. XIII, sec. 1 of the state Constitution did not reserve to the United States exclusive jurisdiction of civil causes of action not involving lands, between Indians residing on reservations. Vermilion v. Spotted Elk, 85 N.W.2d 432 (N.D. 1957).
-Voting Rights of Indians.
It was the duty of county commissioners to establish a voting precinct within or for a territory situated within the county limits and also within the limits of an Indian reservation, where the territory had, under an act of Congress, been allotted to certain Indians and they were living upon the allotments and farming the same. State ex rel. Tompton v. Denoyer, 6 N.D. 586, 72 N.W. 1014 (1897).
Schools and School Districts
An act of the territorial legislature organizing an independent school district was subject to amendment by the state legislature. Jones v. Brightwood Indep. Sch. Dist., 63 N.D. 275, 247 N.W. 884 (1933).
State Political and Governmental Control.
Section 4, subdivision 2, of the Enabling Act and the compact embraced in art. XIII, sec. 1 of the state Constitution, vested in the state all jurisdiction not expressly reserved in the Congress of the United States, over certain territory embraced in what is known as the Ft. Berthold Indian reservation. State ex rel. Baker v. Mountrail County, 28 N.D. 389, 149 N.W. 120 (1914).
The state may rightfully exercise political and governmental control over lands formerly within a military reservation and reserved by the United States for Indian school and Indian agency purposes, to the extent of including them within its political subdivisions for political and governmental purposes. La Duke v. Melin, 45 N.D. 349, 177 N.W. 673 (1920).
Unappropriated Public Lands.
The beds of navigable streams are not “unappropriated public lands” included within the disclaimer of title contained in section 4 of the Enabling Act. State v. Loy, 74 N.D. 182, 20 N.W.2d 668 (1945).
Section 5. That the convention which shall assemble at Bismarck shall form a Constitution and state government for a state to be known as North Dakota, and the convention which shall assemble at Sioux Falls shall form a Constitution and state government for a state to be known as South Dakota; provided, that at the election for delegates to the constitutional convention in South Dakota, as hereinbefore provided, each elector may have written or printed on his ballot, the words, “For the Sioux Falls Constitution,” or the words, “Against the Sioux Falls Constitution,” and the votes on this question shall be returned and canvassed in the same manner as for the election provided for in section 3 of this act; and if a majority of all votes cast on this question shall be “For the Sioux Falls Constitution,” it shall be the duty of the convention which may assemble at Sioux Falls, as herein provided, to resubmit to the people of South Dakota, for ratification or rejection, at the election hereinafter provided for in this act, the Constitution framed at Sioux Falls, and adopted November 3, 1885, and also the articles and propositions separately submitted at that election, including the question of locating the temporary seat of government, with such changes only as relate to the name and boundary of the proposed state, to the reapportionment of the judicial and legislative districts, and such amendments as may be necessary in order to comply with the provisions of this act; and if a majority of the votes cast on the ratification or rejection of the Constitution shall be for the Constitution irrespective of the article separately submitted, the state of South Dakota shall be admitted as a state in the union under said Constitution as hereinafter provided; but the archives, records and books of the territory of Dakota shall remain at Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, until an agreement in reference thereto is reached by said states. But if at the election for delegates to the constitutional convention in South Dakota a majority of all that votes cast at that election shall be “Against the Sioux Falls Constitution,” then, and in that event, it shall be the duty of the convention which will assemble at the city of Sioux Falls on the fourth day of July, 1889, to proceed to form a Constitution and state government as provided in this act the same as if that question had not been submitted to a vote of the people of South Dakota.
It shall be the duty of the constitutional conventions of North Dakota and South Dakota to appoint a joint commission, to be composed of not less than three members to each convention, whose duty it shall be to assemble at Bismarck, the present seat of government of said territory, and agree upon an equitable division of all property belonging to the territory of Dakota, the disposition of all public records, and also adjust and agree upon the amount of the debts and liabilities of the territory, which shall be assumed and paid by each of the proposed states of North Dakota and South Dakota; and the agreement reached respecting the territorial debts and liabilities shall be incorporated into the respective Constitutions, and each of said states shall obligate itself to pay its proportion of such debts and liabilities the same as if they had been created by such states respectively.
If the Constitutions formed for both North Dakota and South Dakota shall be rejected by the people at the elections for the ratification or rejection of their respective Constitutions as provided for in this act, the territorial government of Dakota shall continue in existence the same as if this act had not been passed. But if the Constitution formed for either North Dakota or South Dakota shall be rejected by the people, that part of the territory so rejecting its proposed Constitution shall continue under the territorial government of the present territory of Dakota, but shall, after the state adopting its Constitution is admitted into the union, be called by the name of the territory of North Dakota or South Dakota, as the case may be; provided, that if either of the proposed states provided for in this act shall reject the Constitution which may be submitted for ratification or rejection at the election provided therefor, the Governor of the territory in which such proposed Constitution was rejected shall issue his proclamation reconvening the delegates ejected to the convention which formed such rejected Constitution, fixing the time and place at which said delegates shall assemble; and when so assembled they shall proceed to form another Constitution or to amend the rejected Constitution, and shall submit such new Constitution or amended Constitution to the people of the proposed state for ratification or rejection, at such time as said convention may determine; and all the provisions of this act, so far as applicable, shall apply to such convention so reassembled and to the Constitution which may be formed, its ratification or rejection, and to the admission of the proposed state.
That the constitutional convention which may assemble in South Dakota shall provide by ordinance for resubmitting the Sioux Falls Constitution of 1885, after having amended the same as provided in section 5 of this act, to the people of South Dakota for ratification or rejection at an election to be held therein on the first Tuesday in October, 1889; but if said constitutional convention is authorized and required to form a new Constitution for South Dakota, it shall provide for submitting the same in like manner to the people of South Dakota for ratification or rejection, at an election to be held in said proposed state on the said first Tuesday in October. And the Constitutional conventions which may assemble in North Dakota, Montana, and Washington, shall provide in like manner for submitting the Constitutions formed by them to the people of said proposed states respectively, for ratification or rejection, at elections to be held in said proposed states on the first Tuesday in October. At the elections provided for in this section the qualified voters of said proposed states shall vote directly for or against the proposed Constitutions, and for or against any articles or propositions separately submitted. The returns of said elections shall be made to the secretary of each of said territories, who, with the Governor and chief justice thereof, or any two of them, shall canvass the same; and if a majority of the legal votes cast shall be for the Constitution, the Governor shall certify the result to the president of the United States, together with a statement of the votes cast thereon and upon separate articles or propositions, and a copy of the said Constitution, articles, propositions, and ordinances. And if the Constitutions and governments, of said proposed states are republican in form, and if all the provisions of this act have been complied with in the formation thereof, it shall be the duty of the president of the United States to issue his proclamation announcing the result of the election in each, and thereupon the proposed states which have adopted Constitutions and formed state governments, as herein provided, shall be deemed admitted by congress into the union, under and by virtue of this act, on an equal footing with the original states from and after the state of said proclamation.
Adoption of Article
An article of the Constitution which received a majority of all the votes cast upon the question of its adoption and upon the question of the adoption of the Constitution was legally adopted though it failed to receive a majority of votes cast for governor. State ex rel. Larabee v. Barnes, 3 N.D. 319, 55 N.W. 883 (1893).
That until the next general census, or until otherwise provided by law, said states shall be entitled to one representative in the house of representatives to the fifty-first Congress, together with the Governors and other officers provided for in said Constitutions, may be elected on the same day of the election for the ratification or rejection of the Constitutions; and until said state officers are elected and qualified under the provisions of each Constitution and the states, respectively, are admitted into the union, the territorial officers shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices in each of said territories.
That upon the admission of each of said states into the union, sections numbered sixteen and thirty-six in every township of said proposed states, and where such sections, or any parts thereof, have been sold or otherwise disposed of by or under the authority of any act of Congress, other lands equivalent thereto, in legal subdivisions of not less than one-quarter section, and as contiguous as may be to the section in lieu of which the same is taken, are hereby granted to said states for the support of common schools, such indemnity lands to be selected within said states in such manner as the Legislature may provide, with the approval of the secretary of the interior; provided, that the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections embraced in permanent reservations for national purposes shall not, at any time, be subject to the grant nor to the indemnity provisions of this act, nor shall any lands embraced in Indian, military or other reservations of any character, be subject to the grants or to the indemnity provisions of this act until the reservation shall have been extinguished and such lands be restored to, and become a part of, the public domain.
Bankruptcy Act Proceedings.
The fact that land being sold under contract to a bankrupt farmer was a part of the trust funds created by the Enabling Act did not exclude the land from administration under Bankruptcy Act proceedings. North Dakota v. Hegstad, 134 F.2d 598 (8th Cir. 1943).
A bankrupt whose land is sold to the state on foreclosure of a mortgage securing a loan of permanent school funds may redeem by payment of the value of the land as fixed under the provisions of the Federal Bankruptcy Act, even though for less than the amount required for redemption under state law. North Dakota v. Towner County, 142 F.2d 48 (8th Cir. 1944).
Permanent School Fund.
The entire grant of land to the state for educational purposes was in trust and the express terms of the grant required the state as trustee to maintain the permanency of the funds acquired through the grant. The state is limited to the use of the interest from the permanent fund and the interest shall be used only for the support of schools. State ex rel. Bd. Of Univ. & Sch. Lands v. McMillan, 12 N.D. 280, 96 N.W. 310 (1903), distinguished, Lang v. City of Cavalier, 59 N.D. 75, 228 N.W. 819 (1930).
The assembly cannot divert nor authorize diversion of any part of the principal or interest or income from the investment of funds under the control of the board of university and school lands arising from the rental or sale of lands granted by the United States to any purposes other than those for which grants were made and any diversion to other purposes or any donation thereof in aid of an individual, by the assembly directly, or by the board of university and school lands by legislative enactment is unconstitutional. State ex rel. Sathre v. Board of Univ. & Sch. Lands, 65 N.D. 687, 262 N.W. 60 (1935).
That all lands granted by this act shall be disposed of only at public sale after advertising - tillable lands capable of producing agricultural crops for not less than $10 per acre and lands principally valuable for grazing purposes for not less than $5 per acre. Any of the said lands may be exchanged for other lands, public or private, or equal value and as near as may be of equal area, but if any of the said lands are exchanged with the United States such exchange shall be limited to Federal lands that are surveyed, nonmineral, unreserved public lands within the state or are reserved public lands within the State that are subject to exchange under the laws governing the administration of such Federal reserved public lands.
All exchanges heretofore made under section 11 of the Act approved February 22, 1889 (25 Stat. 676), as amended by the Act approved May 7, 1932 (47 Stat. 150), for reserved public lands of the United States that were subject to exchange under law pursuant to which they were being administered and the requirements thereof have been met, are hereby approved to the same extent as though the lands exchanged were unreserved public lands.
The said lands may be leased under such regulations as the legislature may prescribe.
The state may also, upon such terms as it may prescribe, grant such easements or rights in any of the lands granted by this act, as may be acquired in privately owned lands through proceedings in eminent domain: provided, however, that none of such lands, nor any estate or interest therein, shall ever be disposed of except in pursuance of general laws providing for such disposition, nor unless the full market value of the estate or interest disposed of, to be ascertained in such manner as may be provided by law, has been paid or safely secured to the state.
With the exception of the lands granted for public buildings, the proceeds from the sale and other permanent disposition of any of the said lands and from every part thereof, shall constitute permanent funds for the support and maintenance of the public schools and the various state institutions for which the lands have been granted. Rentals on leased land, proceeds from the sale of timber and other crops, interest on deferred payments on land sold, interest on funds arising from these lands, and all other actual income, shall be available for the acquisition and construction of facilities, including the retirement of bonds authorized by law for such purposes, and for the maintenance and support of such schools and institutions. Any state may, however, in its discretion, add a portion of the annual income to the permanent funds. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, each of the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington may pool the moneys received by it from oil and gas and other mineral leasing of said lands. The moneys so pooled shall be apportioned among the public schools and the various state institutions shall receive an amount which bears the same ratio to the total amount apportioned as the number of acres (including any that may have been disposed of) granted for such public schools or for such institutions bears to the total number of acres (including any that may have been disposed of) granted by this act. Not less than fifty per centum of each such amount shall be covered into the appropriate permanent fund.
The lands hereby granted shall not be subject to pre-emption, homestead entry, or any other entry under the land laws of the United States whether surveyed or unsurveyed, but shall be reserved for the purposes for which they have been granted.
History: As amended by Act of August 11, 1921, ch. 61, 42 Stat. 158; Act of May 7, 1932, ch. 172, 47 Stat. 150; Act of June 25, 1938, ch. 700, 52 Stat. 1198; Act of April 13, 1948, ch. 183, 62 Stat. 170; Act of June 28, 1952, ch. 480, 66 Stat. 283; Act of June 30, 1967, Public Law 90-41, 81 Stat. 106; Act of October 16, 1970, Public Law 91-463, 84 Stat. 987.
Condemnation of School Lands.
Where a state statute relating to the condemnation of right of way by the state highway commission contemplates that title to lands shall be acquired, such procedure cannot be resorted to acquire school land granted to the state. State Hwy. Comm'n v. State, 70 N. D. 673, 297 N.W. 194 (1940).
Oil and Gas Leases
Under the Enabling Act, as amended, the state has full power to provide for the execution of oil and gas leases on school and university lands. State ex rel. Rausch v. Amerada Petro. Corp., 78 N.D. 247, 49 N.W.2d 14 (1951).
When a contract for the sale of school land is canceled, the land reverts to the state, and no interest in the land is subject to taxation until a resale or redemption is made. Upon reversion of the land to the state, all unpaid taxes levied thereon are canceled. State v. Towner County, 68 N.D. 629, 283 N.W. 63 (1938).
That upon the admission of each of said states into the union, in accordance with the provisions of this act, fifty sections of the unappropriated public lands within said states, to be selected and located in legal subdivisions as provided in section 10 of this act, shall be, and are hereby granted to said states for public buildings at the capital of said states for legislative, executive, and judicial purposes, including construction, reconstruction, repair, renovation, furnishings, equipment, and any other permanent improvement of such buildings, and the acquisition of necessary land for such buildings, and the payment of principal and interest on bonds issued for any of the above purposes.
That five per centum of the proceeds of the sales of public lands lying within said states which shall be sold by the United States subsequent to the admission of said states into the union, after deducting all the expenses incident to the same, shall be paid to the said states, to be used as a permanent fund, the interest of which only shall be expended for the support of the common schools within said states, respectively.
That the lands granted to the territories of Dakota and Montana by the Act of February 18, 1881, entitled “An Act to grant lands to Dakota, Montana, Arizona, Idaho, and Wyoming for university purposes,” are hereby vested in the states of South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana respectively, if such states are admitted into the union as provided in this act, to the extent of the full quantity of seventy-two sections to each of said states, and any portion of said lands that may not have been selected by either of said territories of Dakota or Montana may be selected by the respective states aforesaid; but said Act of February 18, 1881, shall be so amended as to provide that none of said lands shall be sold for less than $10 per acre, and the proceeds shall constitute a permanent fund to be safely invested and held by said states severally, and the income thereof be used exclusively for university purposes. And such quantity of the lands authorized by the fourth section of the Act of July 17, 1854, to be reserved for university purposes in the territory of Washington, as together with the lands confirmed to the vendees of the territory by the Act of March 14, 1864, will make the full quantity of seventy- two entire sections, are hereby granted in like manner to the state of Washington for the purposes of a university in said state. None of the lands granted in this section shall be sold at less than $10 per acre; but said lands may be leased in the same manner as provided in section 11 of this act. The schools, colleges and universities provided for in this act shall forever remain under the exclusive control of the said states, respectively, and no part of the proceeds arising from the sale or disposal of any lands herein granted for educational purposes shall be used for the support of any secretarian or denominational school, college, or university. The section of land granted by the Act of June 16, 1880, to the territory of Dakota, for an asylum for the insane shall, upon the admission of said state of South Dakota into the union, become the property of said state.
That so much of the land belonging to the United States as have been acquired and set apart for the purpose mentioned in “An act appropriating money for the erection of a penitentiary in the territory of Dakota,” approved March 2, 1881, together with the buildings thereon, be, and the same is hereby granted, together with any unexpended balances of the money appropriated therefor by said act, to said state of South Dakota, for the purposes therein designated; and the states of North Dakota and Washington shall, respectively, have like grants for the same purpose, and subject to like terms and conditions as provided in said Act of March 2, 1881, for the territory of Dakota. The penitentiary at Deer Lodge City, Montana, and all lands connected therewith and set apart and reserved therefor, are hereby granted to the state of Montana.
That ninety thousand acres of land, to be selected and located as provided in section 10 of this act, are hereby granted to each of said states except to the state of South Dakota, to which one hundred twenty thousand acres are granted for the use and support of agricultural colleges in said states, as provided in the acts of Congress making donations of lands for such purposes.
That in lieu of the grant of land for purposes of internal improvement made to new states by the eighth section of the Act of September 4, 1841, which act is hereby repealed as to the states provided for by this act, and in lieu of any claim or demand by the said states, or either of them, under the Act of September 28, 1850, and section 2479 of the Revised Statutes, making a grant of swamp and overflowed lands to certain states, which grant it is hereby declared is not extended to the states provided for in this act, and in lieu of any grant of saline lands to said states, the following grants of land are hereby made, to wit:
To the state of South Dakota: For the school of mines, forty thousand acres; for the reform school, forty thousand acres; for the deaf and dumb asylum, forty thousand acres; for the agricultural college, forty thousand acres; for the university, forty thousand acres; for state normal school, eighty thousand acres; for public buildings at the capital of said state, fifty thousand acres, and for such other educational and charitable purposes as the Legislature of said state may determine, one hundred seventy thousand acres; in all, five hundred thousand acres.
To the state of North Dakota a like quantity of land as is in this section granted to the state of South Dakota, and to be for like purposes, and in like proportion as far as practicable.
To the state of Montana: For the establishment and maintenance of a school of mines, one hundred thousand acres; for state normal schools, one hundred thousand acres; for agricultural colleges, in addition to the grant hereinbefore made for that purpose, fifty thousand acres; for the establishment of a state reform school, fifty thousand acres; for the establishment of a deaf and dumb asylum, fifty thousand acres; for public buildings at the capital of the state, in addition to the grant hereinbefore made for that purpose, one hundred fifty thousand acres.
To the state of Washington: For the establishment and maintenance of a scientific school, one hundred thousand acres; for state normal schools, one hundred thousand acres; for public buildings at the state capital in addition to the grant hereinbefore made for that purpose, one hundred thousand acres; for state, charitable, educational, penal, and reformatory institutions, two hundred thousand acres.
That the states provided for in this act shall not be entitled to any further or other grants of land for any purpose than as expressly provided in this act. And the lands granted by this section shall be held, appropriated, and disposed of exclusively for the purposes herein mentioned, in such manner as the legislatures of the respective states may severally provide.
The power to determine the manner of the use of public lands granted by the Enabling Act is purely legislative and cannot be delegated to a commission. State ex rel. Rusk v. Budge, 14 N.D. 532, 105 N.W. 724 (1905), distinguished, More v. Western Grain Co., 37 N.D. 547, 164 N.W. 294 (1917).
The words “charitable purposes” should be construed in a broad, and not limited meaning, to include acts of public benefaction which are done for public purposes, as well as mere almsgiving or benefaction to the poor, and, as so construed, the section authorizes the maintenance of an institution which shall care for all classes of aged and infirm soldiers, irrespective of their monetary worth. State ex rel. Skeffington v. Seigfried, 40 N.D. 57, 168 N.W. 62 (1918).
The erection of a resident for the governor at the capital is within the purposes of the grant of land made by congress to the state for public buildings at the capital under the Enabling Act. State ex rel. Rusk v. Budge, 14 N.D. 532, 105 N.W. 724 (1905), distinguished, More v. Western Grain Co., 37 N.D. 547, 164 N.W. 294 (1917).
Limitation on Legislative Disposal of Lands.
The Montana legislature must act in subordination to the state Constitution in executing the authority entrusted to it in section 17 of the Enabling Act. Montana ex rel. Haire v. Rice, 204 U.S. 291, 27 S. Ct. 281, 51 L. Ed. 490 (1907).
That all mineral lands shall be exempted from the grants made by this act. But if sections sixteen and thirty-six, or any subdivision or portion of any smallest subdivision thereof in any township shall be found by the department of the interior to be mineral lands, said states are hereby authorized and empowered to select, in legal subdivisions, an equal quantity of other unappropriated lands in said states, in lieu thereof, for the use and benefit of the common schools of said states.
That all lands granted in quantity or as indemnity by this act shall be selected, under the direction of the secretary of the interior, from the surveyed, unreserved, and unappropriated public lands of the United States within the limits of the respective states entitled thereto. And there shall be deducted from the number of acres of land donated by this act for specific objects to said states the number of acres in each heretofore donated by Congress to said territories for similar objects.
That the sum of twenty thousand dollars or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, to each of said territories for defraying the expenses of the said conventions, except to Dakota for which the sum of forty thousand dollars is so appropriated, twenty thousand dollars each for South Dakota and North Dakota, and for the payment of the members thereof, under the same rules and regulations and at the same rates as are now provided by law for the payment of the territorial legislatures. Any money hereby appropriated not necessary for such purpose shall be covered into the treasury of the United States.
That each of said states, when admitted as aforesaid, shall constitute one judicial district, the names thereof to be the same as the names of the states, respectively; and the circuit and district courts thereof shall be held at the capital of such state for the time being, and each of said districts shall, for judicial purposes, until otherwise provided, be attached to the eighth judicial circuit, except Washington and Montana, which shall be attached to the ninth judicial circuit. There shall be appointed for each of said districts one district judge, one United States attorney and one United States marshal. The judge of each of said districts shall receive a yearly salary of three thousand five hundred dollars payable in four equal installments, on the first days of January, April, July, and October of each year, and shall reside in the district. There shall be appointed clerks of said courts in each district, who shall keep their offices at the capital of said state. The regular terms of said courts shall be held in each district, at the place aforesaid on the first Monday in April and the first Monday in November of each year, and only one grand jury and one petit jury shall be summoned in both said circuit and district courts. The circuit and district courts for each of said districts and the judges thereof, respectively, shall possess the same powers and jurisdiction, and perform the same duties required to be performed by the other circuit and district courts and judges of the United States, and shall be governed by the same laws and regulations. The marshal, district attorney, and clerks of the circuit and district courts of each of said districts, and all other officers and persons performing duties in the administration of justice therein, shall severally possess the powers and perform the duties lawfully possessed and required to be performed by similar officers in other districts of the United States; and shall, for the services they may perform, receive the fees and compensation allowed by law to other similar officers and persons performing similar duties in the state of Nebraska.]
That all cases of appeal or writ of error heretofore prosecuted and now pending in the Supreme Court of the United States upon any record from the Supreme Court of either of the territories mentioned in this act, or that may hereafter lawfully be prosecuted upon any record from either of said courts, may be heard and determined by said Supreme Court of the United States. And the mandate of execution or of further proceedings shall be directed by the Supreme Court of the United States to the circuit or district court hereby established within the state succeeding the territory from which such record is or may be pending, or to the Supreme Court of such state, as the nature of the case may require; provided, that the mandate of execution or of further proceedings shall, in cases arising in the territory of Dakota, be directed by the Supreme Court of the United States to the circuit or district court of the district of South Dakota, or to the Supreme Court of the state of South Dakota, or to the circuit or district court of the district of North Dakota, or to the Supreme Court of the state of North Dakota, or to the Supreme Court of the territory of North Dakota, as the nature of the case may require. And each of the circuit, district, and state courts, herein named, shall, respectively, be the successor of the Supreme Court of the territory, as to all such cases arising within the limits embraced within the jurisdiction of such courts respectively, with full power to proceed with the same, and award mesne or final process therein; and that from all judgments and decrees of the Supreme Court of either of the territories mentioned in this act, in any case arising within the limits of any of the proposed states prior to admission, the parties to such judgment shall have the same right to prosecute appeals and writs of error to the Supreme Court of the United States as they shall have had by law prior to the admission of said state into the union.
That in respect to all cases, proceedings, and matters now pending in the Supreme or district Courts of either of the territories mentioned in this act at the time of the admission into the union of either of the states mentioned in this act, and arising within the limits of any such state, whereof the circuit or district courts by this act established might have had jurisdiction under the laws of the United States had such courts existed at the time of the commencement of such cases, the said circuit and district courts, respectively, shall be the successors of said Supreme and district Courts of said territory; and in respect to all other cases, proceedings and matters pending in the Supreme or district Courts of any of the territories mentioned in this act at the time of the admission of such territory into the union, arising within the limits of said proposed state, the courts established by such state shall, respectively, be the successors of said Supreme and district territorial Courts; and all the files, records, indictments, and proceedings relating to any such cases, shall be transferred to such circuit, district, and state courts, respectively, and the same shall be proceeded with therein in due courts of law; but no writ, action, indictment, cause, or proceeding now pending, or that prior to the admission of any of the states mentioned in this act, shall be pending in any territorial court in any of the territories mentioned in this act, shall abate by the admission of any such state into the union, but the same shall be transferred and proceeded with, in the proper United States circuit, district, or state court, as the case may be; provided, however, that in all civil actions, causes, and proceedings, in which the United States is not a party, transfers shall not be made to the circuit and district courts of the United States except upon written request of one of the parties to such action or proceeding filed in the proper court; and in the absence of such request, such cases shall be proceeded with in the proper state courts.
That the constitutional conventions may, by ordinance, provide for the election of officers for full state governments, including members of the Legislatures and representatives in the fifty-first Congress; and said state governments shall remain in abeyance until the states shall be admitted into the union, respectively, as provided in this act. In case the Constitution of any of said proposed states shall be ratified by the people, but not otherwise, the Legislature thereof may assemble, organize, and elect two senators of the United States, and the Governor and secretary of state of such proposed state shall certify the election of the senators and representatives in the manner required by law; and when such state is admitted into the union, the senators and representatives shall be entitled to be admitted to seats in Congress, and to all the rights and privileges of senators and representatives of other states in the Congress of the United States; and the officers of the state governments formed in pursuance of said Constitutions, as provided by the constitutional conventions, shall proceed to exercise all the functions of such state officers; and all laws in force made by said territories, at the time of their admission into the union, shall be in force in said states, except as modified or changed by this act, or by the Constitutions of the states, respectively.
That all acts or parts of acts in conflict with the provisions of this act, whether passed by the Legislatures of said territories or by Congress, are hereby repealed.
Section 26. North Dakota Trust Funds.
(a) DISPOSITION. - Notwithstanding section 11, the State of North Dakota shall, with respect to any trust fund in which proceeds from the sale of public land are deposited under this Act (referred to in this section as the 'trust fund') -
(1) deposit all revenues earned by a trust fund into the trust fund;
(2) deduct the costs of administering a trust fund from each trust fund; and
(3) manage each trust fund to -
(A) preserve the purchasing power of the trust fund; and
(B) maintain stable distributions to trust fund beneficiaries.
(b) DISTRIBUTIONS. - Notwithstanding section 11, any distributions from trust funds in the State of North Dakota shall be made in accordance with section 2 of article IX of the Constitution of the State of North Dakota.
(c) MANAGEMENT OF PROCEEDS. - Notwithstanding section 13, the State of North Dakota shall manage the proceeds referred to in that section in accordance with subsections (a) and (b).
(d) MANAGEMENT OF LAND AND PROCEEDS. - Notwithstanding sections 14 and 16, the State of North Dakota shall manage the land granted under that section, including any proceeds from the land, and make distributions in accordance with subsections (a) and (b).