Comparative State Constitutions

social sciences


Assignment I Comparative State Constitutions

The purpose of this assignment is to provide you an understanding of the variation between state constitutions in terms of rights, governmental powers, democracy, inter alia. States, via their constitutions, vary immensely in the enumeration of rights, governmental powers, and the democratic-electoral process.

You will examine the Arizona and New Mexico state constitutions by reading through them and noting how they differ in terms of rights, governmental powers, and democratic-electoral process, inter alia. After you have read the constitutions of Arizona and New Mexico, you will answer some questions concerning the comparative differences and similarities between the two-state constitutions.


I will be looking at the following when reviewing your answers: relevance, usage, grammar, and completeness. Relevance is answering the question presented without redundancy. Usage is the use of proper diction and vocabulary. Avoid the use of colloquial terms and phrases and slang. Grammar involves proper sentence structure and punctuation. Avoid run-on sentences and fragments and use proper comma placement, etc. Completeness is providing a sufficient answer in terms of the requirements noted. This course has a Gordon Rule requirement of a total of 6,000 words. The first assignment requires a total of 1,300 words.

  1. Compare the rights enumerated in the Arizona and New Mexico constitutions. In what ways do the rights differ and how are they similar? Which of these rights provided for in the Arizona and New Mexico constitutions is not enumerated in the federal constitution?
  2. Compare Arizona and New Mexico legislatures in terms of representation (How many representatives in total and how many representatives and senators per district); Describe the type of districting that Arizona has and the effect it produces in terms of party politics. Do the two states employ term limits? If so, what are they? When do the legislatures of Arizona and New Mexico meet?
  3. Compare the executive, gubernatorial, powers of Arizona and New Mexico. What is the length of the gubernatorial term in Arizona and New Mexico? Do Arizona and New Mexico impose term limits on their governors?
  4. How does the democratic process differ between Arizona and New Mexico in terms of initiatives and referendums? What makes Arizona unique among the fifty states in the United States in terms of the democratic process?
  5. What does the Arizona Constitution have to say about English as an official language? What is the compelling interest of the state in providing English as an official language in the state constitution?

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