Thursday, October 30, 2008

For a while now it's been bothering me (and I'm sure you too) that while I consider myself familiar with the US Constitution, I have never read the NJ Constitution. I was surprised to learn we've had 3 constitutions, the current one being adopted in 1947. Here's a fun fact about our first and second ones:
"Among other provisions, [the first constitution] granted unmarried women and blacks who met property requirements the right to vote."
"The succeeding constitution, adopted on June 29, 1844, restricted suffrage to white males."

Interestingly enough Hangout NJ "the state's Web site for kids!" interprets this as:
"In the mid-1800s New Jersey citizens wanted a more democratic state government."

A lot of god stuff:
"We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution."

"No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience;"

Also around Article IV Section VII I started to remember why I never bothered with state constitutions:
"It shall be lawful for bona fide veterans, charitable, educational, religious or fraternal organizations, civic and service clubs, senior citizen associations or clubs, volunteer fire companies and first-aid or rescue squads to conduct, under such restrictions and control as shall from time to time be prescribed by the Legislature by law, games of chance of, and restricted to, the selling of rights to participate, the awarding of prizes, in the specific kind of game of chance sometimes known as bingo or lotto, played with cards bearing numbers or other designations, 5 or more in one line, the holder covering numbers as objects, similarly numbered, are drawn from a receptacle and the game being won by the person who first covers a previously designated arrangement of numbers on such a card, when the entire net proceeds of such games of chance are to be devoted to educational, charitable, patriotic, religious or public-spirited uses, and in the case of senior citizen associations or clubs to the support of such organizations, in any municipality, in which a majority of the qualified voters, voting thereon, at a general or special election as the submission thereof shall be prescribed by the Legislature by law, shall authorize the conduct of such games of chance therein;"

Yes this is a paragraph that allows old people to play Bingo. <- It's pretty much a wall of text all the way down.

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