ORV Constitution

Just like the United States, the Ohio River Valley is governed by a written constitution, available to the People.  Here, presented for the People, is the Constitution of The Ohio River Valley Junior State of America.  When originally written, the ORV Constitution had six articles; since then, there have been four amendments made.  For ease of use, sections that have been repealed by later amendments are not included in their original place; they are included under the section of the amendment that repealed them.  Any part that is in red is inoperative; all other sections are operative.

Preamble

We, the citizens of the Ohio River Valley of the Junior State of America, in order to practice and learn about the democratic process, encourage open discussion of current and past social and political issues, and develop leadership among our citizens, do hereby ordain and establish this Constitution of the Junior State of America Ohio River Valley.

Article I:  Name

Section 1

The name of the State shall be the Ohio River Valley of the Junior State of America. This name is defined as chapters within the state boundaries of Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, and any chapters of Southeastern Indiana that wish to participate in Ohio River Valley affairs.

Article II:  Membership

Section 1

Citizens are defined as high school students belonging to an official tax paid chapter with an approved chapter constitution.

Section 2

Citizens shall not be denied the right to participate in state activities, including, but not limited to, the right to attend state functions, the right to hold office, and the right to vote in state elections.

Section 3

Citizens shall not be denied a republican form of government. Citizens may initiate legislation within the Council of Chapter Presidents through a petition signed by citizens numbering at least ten percent (10%) of the attendance of the last overnight convention. Signatures from at least three chapters must comprise this ten percent (10%).

Section 4

Citizens shall be informed of state affairs regularly by a printed and/or electronic newsletter available to all Chapter Presidents, issued by the Governor’s office.

Section 5

Citizens shall not have the above rights revoked without the due process of law.

Article III:  Officers

Section 1

The executive authority of the state shall rest in the office of the Governor.

Section 2

The Governor shall be elected at the Spring State Convention for a one year term. The election shall be by roll call, open to all citizens of the state in attendance. The Governor must capture a majority of all votes cast, with runoff elections as needed to achieve a majority.

Section 3

The authority of the Governor includes overseeing state conventions. In addition, the Governor shall oversee other internal state affairs including, but not limited to, suggestion legislation to the Council of Chapter Presidents and facilitating inter-chapter communication. To this end, the Governor shall appoint a cabinet subject to the approval of the majority of the Council of Chapter Presidents. The Governor may not serve as his/her Chapter Representative. The Governor shall be required to report on the status of the state at every convention.

Section 4

The Governor shall have the right to veto any action of the Council of Chapter Presidents. The Council of Chapter Presidents can override a veto by a two thirds (2/3) majority vote.

Section 5

The Lieutenant Governor shall work to advance the state in cooperation with the Governor. The Lieutenant Governor shall not have the authority to remove the Governor.

Section 6

The Governor can be impeached and removed from office by a majority of the Council of Chapter Presidents. All impeachment proceedings are to be held in public. The Governor may be impeached if he or she fails to execute the office to which he or she was elected, if it is determined that the Governor has deliberately tampered with the Electoral Process, or if the Governor misuses the resources of the state for personal endeavors.

Section 7

The Lieutenant Governor shall be elected separately from the Governor, in the same manner as that prescribed for the election of the Governor. The Lieutenant Governor shall act as Governor if the office of Governor is vacated. If the office of the Lieutenant Governor should be vacated, the Governor shall determine the method in which the vacancy is filled.

Article IV:  Elections

Section 1

The Lieutenant Governor and/or a designee of the Governor will preside over the elections.

Section 2

If the Lieutenant Governor or Governor’s designee is running for an office, the Governor shall appoint the head of the Fair Election Committee.

Section 3

A Fair Election Committee will be selected consisting of the committee head, defined by Sections 1 and 2, and at least two (2) other non-partisan members.

Article V:  Council of Chapter Presidents

(Note: Article V was originally a different variation, but the entire article was replaced by Amendment II.  For convenience, the most up-to-date version, as outlined in Amendment II, is included below.  To see the original text of Article V, please click here.)

Section 1

There shall be a Council of Chapter Presidents which will be responsible for writing and passing legislation necessary for the functioning of the state. The Council is also tasked with considering amendments to this Constitution.

Section 2

The Chapter President of each tax paid chapter shall sit on the Council of Chapter Presidents. If a tax paid chapter has Co-Chapter Presidents, then both may attend as their chapter’s collective representatives. If a tax paid chapter attends a convention without a Chapter President, then the highest ranking chapter official in attendance shall represent the chapter on the Council.

Section 3

The Council of Chapter Presidents shall meet at least once at every convention. At least fifty percent (50%) of all chapters attending the convention must be represented for the Council to convene.

Section 4

Each chapter receives one vote on the Council of Chapter Presidents.

Section 5

Any member of the Council of Chapter Presidents may propose amendments and legislation during a meeting of the Council. All legislation proposed within the Council shall need a simple majority in order to pass.

Section 6

A Governor’s veto can be overridden with a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Council of Chapter Presidents.

Section 7

To amend this Constitution, the amendment must be passed by a three-fourths (¾) majority of the Council of Chapter Presidents present at a convention.

Section 8

The Lieutenant Governor shall preside over the meetings as Chairman of the Council of Chapter Presidents. The Lieutenant Governor shall have the authority to cast a deciding vote in the Council if the vote is tied. The Lieutenant Governor shall be considered an honorary member of the Council for the purpose of proposing legislation.

Article VI:  Adoption

Section 1

This Constitution shall take effect upon the approval of a three fourths (3/4) majority of the Council of Chapter Presidents.

 

Amendments

Amendment I

Amendment I was approved by the Council of Chapter Presidents on February 17, 2012.

Section 1

The Constitution of the Ohio River Valley Junior State is amended to abolish regions, create districts and provide for the leadership thereof.

a.   Section (8) of Article III is hereby deleted.

(The now inoperative Article III, Section 8:  Mayors and Vice-Mayors shall run separately and shall be elected, in the same manner as Governor and Lieutenant Governor, by a majority vote, at Spring State by the region the mayor will be governing.)

Section 2

The number and borders of districts shall be set by legislation duly passed by the Council of Chapter Presidents

a.   No chapter may be a member of more than one district

b.   Citizens of a district shall be defined as tax-paid members of the Junior State of America who belong to a chapter in said district.

Section 3

Mayors shall be elected in the manner prescribed for the election of the Governor, and the citizens of the respective districts shall be the electors.

  1. The Governor shall have the authority to appoint Mayors in the absence of candidates or in the event of a vacancy

Section 4

Mayors shall have the mandate and authority to manage expansion; oversee chapter health; call and preside over district meetings of chapter presidents, coordinate chapter conferences; assist and create local chapter alliances; promote the Junior State within a district; and to appoint agents and assistants.

Section 5

The Chapter Presidents within a district shall have the authority to impeach a Mayor by a two-thirds majority vote.

Amendment II

Amendment II was approved by the Council of Chapter Presidents on December 8, 2012.

(Note:  The purpose of Amendment II was to replace Article V with a newer version.  The entire text of Amendment II is included above under “Article V:  Council of Chapter Presidents.”  To see the original text of Article V, before it was replaced when Amendment II was passed, click here.)

Amendment III

Amendment III was approved by the Council of Chapter Presidents on November 23, 2013.  The entirety of Amendment III has been repealed.

Section 1

Mayors shall now be referred to as Senators.

Section 2

Part A of Section 3 and Section 4 of Amendment I shall be repealed.

Section 3

Article V, Section 8 shall be repealed.

(Article V, Section 8:  The Lieutenant Governor shall preside over the meetings as Chairman of the Council of Chapter Presidents. The Lieutenant Governor shall have the authority to cast a deciding vote in the Council if the vote is tied. The Lieutenant Governor shall be considered an honorary member of the Council for the purpose of proposing legislation.)

Section 4

Senators shall form the upper house of the state legislature, the Senate.

Section 5

All legislation must be initiated by the Council of Chapter Presidents.

Section 6

All legislation other than that regarding the placement of chapters into districts and amending the constitution must also be approved by the Senate with a majority vote.

Section 7

The Lieutenant Governor shall act as the President of the Senate and may cast a vote to break a tie.

Section 8

Senators shall have the duty of assisting in publicizing events and representing the Junior State of America in their districts. In addition, Senators will be required to plan and host at least one District event a year.

Section 9

The Senate shall act as the judicial body of the state and as such will define any questions of constitutional law brought before it and will carry out a trial of impeachment against the governor should the Council of Chapter Presidents vote to impeach. A vote of three fourths of the Senators shall be required to convict the Governor and remove him/her from office. The Senate also shall have the sole power of approving cabinet appointments by the governor.

Section 10

A member of the Junior State may not be a Senator and a voting member of the Council of Chapter Presidents.

Section 11

The Council of Chapter Presidents shall elect their own leader each Spring State Convention who shall have the duty of chairing all meetings of the Council. The Speaker may be replaced by another Chapter President should they lose the confidence of the Council. The Speaker retains the right to vote in the Council. The Speaker shall be considered the third ranking executive of the state after the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.

Section 12

The Council and the Senate shall establish their own governing rules as they deem necessary and proper.

Section 13

The Lieutenant Governor shall continue to preside over the Council of Chapter Presidents until a Speaker is elected. The Senators will turn their current duties over to the Governor and take on their new responsibilities following Fall State 2013. The Senate shall meet for the first time at Winter Congress 2014.

Amendment IV

Amendment IV was approved by the Council of Chapter Presidents on August 22, 2015.

Section 1

Amendment III to the Constitution of the Ohio River Valley is hereby repealed.

  1. The repeal of Section 3 and Section 8 of Amendment III shall not go into effect until June 1, 2016.

  2. The repeal of all other sections of Amendment III shall go into effect immediately following the passage of this amendment.

Section 2

The Council of Chapter Presidents shall establish its own governing rules as it deems necessary and proper.

Section 3

  1. Mayors must hold at least one district convention per JSA year.

  2. Agents and assistants on the district level, appointed by the Mayors, are subject to the approval of the chapter presidents of their district.

Section 4

The Governor shall have the authority to appoint members to state Cabinet to assist the Mayors with any duties in the same manner as outlined in Section 3 of Article III of the Ohio River Valley Constitution.

Section 5

  1. Should the Council of Chapter Presidents vote to impeach the governor, they shall carry out a trial of impeachment.  A vote of ⅔ of the Council of Chapter Presidents shall be required to convict the Governor and remove him/her from office.

  2. Section 6 of Article III of the Ohio River Valley Constitution should not be construed as allowing the governor to be convicted and removed from office with a simple majority vote of the Council of Chapter Presidents.

Section 6

The Council of Chapter Presidents shall act as the judicial body of the state.  As such, it will define any questions of constitutional law brought before it.