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Texas Constitution 2000
Texas Constitution 2000

Complete Document
Adopted by the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1997
on
12 Dec 1998


Declaration of Intent

Adopted by the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1997, 26 July 1997

I. We hold that the foundation of this nation is that an individual's body, life, labor, ideas, thoughts, and material possessions that the individual has created or acquired without coercion are that individual's property and that no individual, majority, society, or government may legitimately take or control an individual's property without that individual's consent.

II. We hold that the foundation of our economy shall be the free market system unfettered by intrusions of government and based upon the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services.

III. We hold that peaceful relations with other nations is based upon the concept of mutual respect and that war and other interference in the affairs of other nations serves only to destroy such peaceful relations. It is therefore declared that Texas shall remain neutral in the affairs of, and between, other nations.

Preamble

We, the people of Texas, invoking the blessings of God our Creator, do ordain and establish this constitution.

Article 1. Declaration of Rights

Section 1. All political power is inherent in the people, and all governments exist by the will of the people. The people of Texas retain the right of altering, reforming, or abolishing their government in any manner they believe proper, at any time.

Section 2. Every individual has the inherent right of life from physical conception to natural death.

Section 3. Every individual has the inherent right of liberty, which is the unrestrained exercise of free will, which shall never be infringed provided the exercise thereof does not violate the rights of any other individual.

Section 4. Every individual's body, life, labor, ideas, thoughts, and possessions that the individual has lawfully created or acquired are that individual's property. Every individual has the inherent right of the ownership, non-coercive acquisition, and use of property.

Section 5. Every individual has the inherent right of defending the life, liberty, or property of any individual using whatever force is necessary, through whatever means available, including the use of deadly force.

Section 6. Every individual has the inherent right of owning, using, and carrying arms of any description.

Section 7. All rights are retained by each individual and shall never be denied, infringed, or violated in any way except in the sole circumstance of conviction of a crime or tort by due process of law as defined in this constitution, and then only as directed in the particular case.

Article 2. Limits of Government

Section 1. Government has no inherent rights or powers, neither implicit nor explicit. This constitution assigns certain functions to the artificial entities called governments created by this constitution and authorizes those artificial entities to take certain actions necessary to accomplish the assigned functions. No national or county government entity or official shall assume any function or authorization not specifically assigned or authorized by this constitution.

Section 2. Government shall never infringe the rights of individuals nor modify any governmental processes, duties, responsibilities, or form of government as specified in this constitution.

Section 3. Government shall never operate outside the limits of a budget which shall never exceed ninety percent of the revenue collected the previous year.

Section 4. Government shall never grant monopolies or perpetuities nor in any way restrict or control the free flow of trade within or across the geographical boundaries of Texas.

Section 5. Government shall never restrict individuals from assembling to train with arms for the individual or collective defense of life, liberty, or property.

Section 6. Government shall never restrict nor control the manufacture, sale, purchase, ownership, use, storage, transportation, or carrying of any arms, parts, accessories, or ammunition.

Section 7. Government shall never issue charters, licenses, certificates of competency, nor any form of recognition or registration for any organization or individual.

Section 8. Government shall never promote, control, nor interfere with any religious or philosophical organization or activity.

Section 9. Government shall never restrict nor control the free flow of ideas using any present or future form or medium of expression.

Section 10. Government shall never invade the privacy of any individual without due process of law.

Section 11. Government shall never operate, own, control, nor fund any means of education not specifically related to performing the functions of government authorized by this constitution.

Section 12. Government shall never infringe the right of the free movement of individuals within or across the geographical boundaries of Texas.

Section 13. Government shall never borrow money nor pledge the assets of individuals or non-governmental organizations.

Section 14. Government shall never offer nor provide gifts, subsidies, or assistance of any kind to any individual, group of individuals, organization, or nation.

Section 15. Government shall never accept gifts, subsidies, or assistance of any kind from any foreign government, organization, or nation.

Section 16. Government shall never issue currency nor cause currency to be issued.

Section 17. No organization established, controlled, employed, or enabled by government shall violate any part of this constitution.

Section 18. Government shall never own title to any real property which is not specifically authorized by this constitution.

Section 19. Government shall never restrict individuals from freely associating or assembling.

Section 20. Government shall never extend payment, credit, gifts, subsidies, endowments, retirement benefits, nor anything else of value or worth to any individual beyond the time of actual service to the government in whatever capacity.

Section 21. Government shall never impose taxation of any kind.

Section 22. Government shall never own subsurface water nor unprocessed minerals of any sort.

Section 23. Government shall never own methods of extracting any mineral, including water, from it's source.

Section 24. Government shall never regulate the use of publicly owned rights of way.

Section 25. Government shall never impose emergency powers nor suspend any part of this constitution, neither in time of war nor for any other reason.

Article 3. The Law


Section 1. A crime is any action taken by an individual wherein the individual intentionally initiates physical force, fraud, or theft which results in damage to another individual or damage or loss of another individual's property without the consent of that individual; or an action taken by a government official in violation of this constitution.

Section 2. Tort is any unintentional action that results in damage to another individual or damage or loss of another individual's property.

Section 3. No body of law other than the law defined in this constitution has any force or effect on anyone on or under the soil of Texas, on or in the waters of Texas, or in the airspace of Texas unless all parties to an action have previously knowingly, voluntarily, and intentionally agreed to that body of law by contract.

Section 4. The obligations of contracts shall not be impaired provided only that all parties to the contract entered the contract knowingly, willingly, and voluntarily.

Section 5. Except in the case of a crime in progress, no individual shall be detained, imprisoned, nor held against his or her will in any manner, unless a lawfully executed warrant specifying the charges has been issued in accordance with this constitution. Any individual so detained will be informed of the reason for detention within one hour of being detained.

Article 4. County Government

Part 1. County Courts


Section 1. Any individual accused of a crime or tort shall be:

  1. presumed innocent until proven guilty;
  2. given the opportunity of facing the accusers in court;
  3. granted a trial by a randomly selected jury of twelve other individuals;
  4. informed of the exact nature of the charges;
  5. given adequate notice for preparing a defense;
  6. given access to all evidence collected; and
  7. given the opportunity, if convicted, of appealing to at least three other county courts in the same or adjacent Texas counties.

Section 2. No individual shall be forced to testify. Litigants may appear in person or may be represented by counsel of their choosing.

Section 3. Each county shall create and maintain at least one county court. Counties may create and maintain additional county courts as necessary.

Section 4. County courts have original jurisdiction for all cases involving the violation of rights of any individual and for extradition requests. Complaints must be filed in a county court within the precinct or county where the alleged offense occurred or where the subject of the extradition request is currently located. The Law to be administered by the courts shall be as defined in this constitution. County courts have no jurisdiction over contract disputes except those involving bad faith breach of contract. All other contract disputes shall be resolved as stated in the contract.

Section 5. Grand Juries

  1. Each county shall have at least one grand jury, consisting of twenty-three Texas citizens living in the county.
  2. Jurors shall be chosen at random with compensation and terms of service determined by the County Administrative Council.
  3. Prior to seating, each juror shall be required to make the following oath or affirmation:
  4. "I, (insert full and correct name), will carefully consider all information, testimony, and evidence to be presented in this grand jury hearing and will endeavor to the best of my ability to determine if a crime as defined in the constitution has been committed and if it is probable that the accused is responsible for committing the crime."

    If the juror refuses to make the oath or affirmation, the juror shall be released from service without compensation and another juror shall be selected.


  5. If any juror becomes unable to complete service on the grand jury, a replacement juror shall be chosen.
  6. Upon complaint of an alleged crime and presentation of sufficient cause, the grand jury shall direct the sheriff to conduct an investigation of the alleged crime.
  7. A grand jury indictment shall be issued only when an investigation shows sufficient cause, as determined by the grand jury, at which time any individual may file charges against the accused.
  8. Each grand jury shall elect a foreman from among its members. The county clerk or appointed deputy shall record grand jury proceedings, which shall be closed to all except witnesses called by the grand jury.
  9. The grand jury shall hold a hearing on each complaint no later than thirty days following the filing of the complaint.
  10. The grand jury may issue warrants for search or seizure provided that:
    1. the warrant specifically names the place to be searched and specifically describes the person or thing to be seized; and
    2. the grand jury has in its possession at the time an affidavit supported by oath or affirmation that evidence of a crime is located at the place to be searched or that the person to be seized is accused of a crime. Any property seized must be evidence of the crime described in the warrant.
  11. All decisions of the grand jury shall be by majority vote, the foreman voting only in the case of a tie vote.

Section 6. County Court Juries

  1. All county court proceedings shall be open to the public.
  2. A jury pool of no fewer than twenty-four Texas citizens living in the county where the court is located shall be chosen at random. Compensation and terms of service for jurors and jury pool members shall be determined by the county administrative council provided that jurors serve for a minimum of one case.
  3. A jury of twelve individuals shall be impaneled by lot from the available jury pool. The justice shall direct the bailiff to draw names for jury selection. A total of fourteen names shall be drawn for a panel of twelve jurors and two alternates. Any member of the jury pool scheduled to participate in a trial for which a jury is being selected shall be excluded from the jury for that trial.
  4. A juror may be removed from a jury by a unanimous vote of the other jurors only if the juror fails to appear at the appointed times and places or is known to be a close family member of the accused or the accuser. In the event that a juror is so removed, an alternate juror shall be impaneled.
  5. Prior to the seating of each juror, the juror shall be required to make the following oath or affirmation.
    "I, (insert full and correct name), will carefully consider all information, testimony, and evidence to be presented in this trial and will endeavor to the best of my ability to determine if a crime as defined in the constitution has been committed and if, beyond all reasonable doubt, the accused committed the crime. If compensation is requested, I will endeavor to the best of my ability to determine if the damages were caused by the accused and if the compensation requested by the accuser is reasonable and just."

    If the juror refuses to make the oath or affirmation, the juror shall be released from service without compensation and a replacement juror shall be selected.


  6. The impaneled jury shall select a foreman from its members.
  7. Prior to the trial, the justice shall inform the jury of general court decorum and the general sequence of case presentations, rebuttals, witness questioning, and summations. The justice shall inform the jury concerning the chain of evidence and what he believes is customarily expected for that evidence to be considered. The justice shall inform the jury that they are not bound by anyone's opinions. The justice shall not render any legal opinions nor rule on the admissibility of any evidence or testimony.
  8. The justice shall preside over and keep order in all proceedings of the court. Jury members may, by majority vote, overrule any decision of the justice regarding ejection of individuals from the court.
  9. The jury shall hear all testimony and view all evidence presented, may question witnesses concerning their testimony, and may request additional information from any source the jury deems appropriate.
  10. The jury shall first determine if the alleged actions violated the law and then the facts of the case. After all evidence has been heard, the jury may deliberate its final decision privately until a verdict is reached. They shall render their decision, verdict, or order concerning all aspects of the case as they deem just and proper. Convictions shall be by unanimous jury vote only; otherwise, the accused shall be acquitted. Tort verdicts must be by majority vote, the foreman not voting except in the case of a tie vote.
  11. Penalty for the accused, if found guilty of a crime, shall be determined by the jury by majority vote, the foreman not voting except in the case of a tie vote, except that the death penalty may be imposed only by a unanimous vote of the jury and for a crime which resulted in the death of another individual or individuals.
  12. In any case, the jury may by majority vote award monetary compensation against the accuser, paid to the accused, if the charges are found to be frivolous or malicious.

Section 7. County Court Appeals

  1. Any individual found guilty in a county court may appeal that decision.
  2. Appeals must be filed in a county court in the same or adjacent Texas counties within thirty days of the previous jury decision. No individual may be a juror on more than one trial of the accused for the same offense. If any of the courts of appeal find for the accused, no other action may be taken by any court for the same offense.
  3. The first appeal shall be a jury review of the procedures to determine that all constitutional guarantees were observed. The first appeal jury can only confirm the original verdict, reduce the severity of the sentence, or, if they determine that some violation of rights or due process occurred, return the case to a different court for retrial under the same rules as the original trial.
  4. If an appeals court finds against the accused, a second or third appeal may be made by the accused to county courts in the same or adjacent Texas counties. The entire case shall be presented to juries using the same procedures as the original trial except that all decisions of the appeals juries shall be by majority vote, the foreman voting only in the case of tie votes. The decision of the third appeal is final.

Section 8. No juror shall be tried for any decision rendered while serving on a jury.

Section 9. Writ of Habeas Corpus

  1. Any individual may petition any justice of any county court with a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of any individual whose liberty is restrained or denied.
  2. The request for writ shall be addressed by name or title to the individual holding the individual in question, and shall describe the individual being held by any means that will allow the individual to be identified.
  3. The request must show cause and sufficient evidence to warrant action on the writ and must be supported by oath or affirmation of the content.
  4. The request for a writ of habeas corpus shall never be disregarded and shall be acted upon by the individual holding the individual in question with all haste and never later than eight hours after the request is presented.
  5. Any official who refuses to act on a lawfully executed request for writ, who delays action on a lawfully issued writ, or who is found to have aided or abetted another in such delay or refusal shall be held accountable under the law. Any justice who is approached with evidence of such delay or refusal shall immediately issue a warrant for the arrest of the official in question.

Part 2. County Administrative Council

Section 1. Texas shall consist of the existing 254 Texas counties, maintaining existing geographic borders and names. Each county shall consist of no less than four geographic precincts. New counties may be formed in any new territory added to Texas.

Section 2. The County Administrative Council shall consist of the following offices to be elected by the qualified voters in each county: a sheriff; a treasurer; a county recorder; a commissioner for each precinct; and at least one justice and one clerk of court for each county or one justice and one clerk of court for each precinct.

  1. The sheriff shall maintain and operate county penal facilities where called for by two-thirds vote of qualified voters of the county, provide bailiffs for the courts in that county, enforce orders of the courts, and uphold the law as defined by this constitution.
  2. The county treasurer shall maintain accurate and timely records of revenue collections and expenditures, and shall disburse funds to support constitutionally authorized county government functions.
  3. The county recorder shall conduct an at-random lottery of citizens every six months to serve as county grand jurors, verify each grand juror's service based on the grand jury roll call records, provide accurate records of grand jury proceedings, maintain accurate records of all County Administrative Council proceedings, maintain accurate records of qualified voters casting ballots, conduct elections, maintain all records at county expense at such places as to safeguard said records, make records of every County Administrative Council proceeding publicly available after filing in an easily searchable form which shall be open for public inspection, and ensure that records are filed within thirty days of completion of each County Administrative Council proceeding.
  4. The precinct commissioner shall represent the people of the precinct from which elected.
  5. The precinct justice shall preside over and keep order in all proceedings of the county court in accordance with this constitution and shall issue or cause to be issued processes and communications necessary for proper operation of the court.
  6. The county clerk of court shall conduct an at-random lottery of citizens to serve as county court jurors, record and maintain all files pertaining to each case as a court of record, maintain said files at court expense at such places as to safeguard said records, make records of every county court proceeding publicly available after filing in an easily searchable form which shall be open for public inspection, ensure that records are filed within thirty days of completion of each county court proceeding, place the seal of the court on all documents where a seal is necessary, and witness the authenticity of the documents.

Section 3. The County Administrative Council shall administer the following functions:

  1. With the approval of two-thirds of all qualified voters casting ballots in an election, establish, operate, and maintain water and sewer systems to be paid for through user fees by those who voluntarily choose to use the services.
  2. Organize and maintain voluntary county defense forces. The County Administrative Council shall call the county defense forces into action only for the defense of the county or nation against armed aggression. The County Administrative Council may coordinate the actions of county defense forces with national defense forces, the defense forces of other counties, and private militia but shall remain in full control of their own county defense forces. At no time shall private militia be considered to be under the command or control of the County Administrative Council or the county defense forces.
  3. Establish rules of and maintain and publish all records of official proceedings.
  4. Operate and maintain facilities for county government use.
  5. Appoint one citizen to represent the county in the National Assembly, who shall have lived in that county for at least two years prior to the appointment, be at least thirty years of age at the time of the appointment, serve a term of four years, and be subject to recall on the vote of at least one-third of the County Administrative Council.
  6. Conduct elections as authorized by this constitution.
  7. Maintain existing publicly owned rights of way which do not exceed the boundaries of the county.
  8. Maintain county court systems.
  9. Determine the appropriate location of county courts and the number of justices and clerks necessary to secure due process of law for all individuals.
  10. With the approval of two-thirds of all qualified voters casting ballots in an election, fund the operation and maintenance of penal facilities.
  11. Establish procedures for the collection of revenues as authorized by this constitution.
  12. Approve or deny annual budgets submitted by all county officers.

Section 4. Operating Procedures

  1. The County Administrative Council may recommend financial compensation for grand jurors, county court jurors, and elected officers for a period of no more than two years. Compensation may only be implemented upon approval of two-thirds of all qualified voters casting ballots in an election. The election ballot must specify names of officers, offices they hold, the recommended compensation for each officer, and the rate of compensation for jurors.
  2. The County Administrative Council shall prepare an annual budget based on a twelve-month calendar year. The amount of expenditures for any budget year shall not exceed ninety percent of the revenue collected for the previous budget year. An auditor shall be appointed, through an annual competitive sealed bidding process, to prepare and present to the County Administrative Council a comprehensive financial audit of all county revenues and expenditures no less than once every twelve months.
  3. The County Administrative Council may create additional precincts or alter the boundaries of precincts upon approval of two-thirds of all qualified voters.
  4. Three-fourths of the officers of the County Administrative Council shall constitute a quorum to do business. Except for the recall of the county's National Assembly Council appointee, all decisions of the council shall be by two-thirds vote of those present for approval.
  5. The County Administrative Council shall meet at least monthly, on a date and time convenient and at a location easily accessible to all citizens. All meetings shall be open to the public at all times.
  6. The County Administrative Council shall elect a chair and vice-chair from among their number once every twelve months. The chair shall ensure that an agenda is posted in widely accessible public places not less than 72 hours prior to every meeting.
  7. The County Administrative Council shall determine and approve the appropriate number of deputies to assist elected officials.
  8. The County Administrative Council may authorize the staffing of offices.
Article 5. National Government

Part 1. National Courts

Section 1. The judicial duties of the national court shall be vested in one supreme court and in one district court per district. The national courts shall only hear cases concerning international treaty disagreements, public officials, military or maritime issues, internal government disputes, or disputes between county governments. The trial of public officials in a national level court shall not prevent their trial in a Texas county court for the same offense.

Section 2. Justices shall serve four-year terms, with compensation to be determined by the National Assembly. Compensation for justices shall not be changed during the term in which they were elected.

Section 3. Texas shall be divided into convenient judicial districts, not less than thirteen nor more than thirty, concurrent with existing county lines, to be reapportioned based on the votes cast in the last general election, but not more often than every ten years. A justice shall be elected by ballot of the qualified voters of each district. Each district justice shall reside in the district and hold court at the designated district seat which shall be determined by the National Assembly.

Section 4. One clerk shall be elected for each district court, to be elected at the same time and serve the same term as the district justice. The district clerk's duties and compensation shall be determined by the National Assembly.

Section 5. District Court Trials

  1. Litigants in district courts may elect to have the justice hear and decide the case or they may exercise their right of a jury trial. The right of a jury trial by either party takes precedence over the option to waive that right by the other.
  2. Jury trials shall be conducted by the same rules of proceedings as the Texas county courts.
  3. The district courts shall contract with private or county penal facilities to satisfy judgments of incarceration.

Section 6. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and twelve associate justices with district justices serving in rotation as associate justices of the supreme court. Three-fourths of the associate justices and the chief justice shall constitute a quorum to proceed. The district justices shall rotate their positions on the supreme court every session. All members voting on each case shall place their handwritten signature on the decision with their vote as yes to uphold or no to overturn the case.

Section 7. The chief justice of the supreme court shall be appointed by a two-thirds vote of the district justices. The chief justice shall have no other official duties, shall hold office for four years, not to exceed his elected term of office, shall not hold office for more than two consecutive terms, and shall vote only in the case of a tie vote among the associate justices.

Section 8. The supreme court shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction for district court cases only. Decisions of the supreme court shall be conclusive within the limits of Texas. The supreme court shall hold its sessions quarterly, at such times and places as may be fixed by the National Assembly by a simple majority vote. All cases shall be decided by no less than a two-thirds majority of the voting members of the supreme court. No associate justices shall sit on a case heard by them in any district court.

Section 9. Complete records of every court proceeding shall be made publicly available immediately after filing in an easily searchable form and shall be open for public inspection. Records shall be filed within 30 days of completion of each court proceeding.

Section 10. National courts are authorized to establish procedures, rules, and regulations only for the administration and implementation of their duties. All court proceedings shall be open to the public at all times.

Section 11. National government courts shall maintain and operate facilities to perform duties specified by this constitution and shall prepare annual budgets which shall be presented to the National Assembly for approval or rejection.

Part 2. National Executive Council

Section 1. The President, Vice President, and Treasurer shall comprise the National Executive Council.

Section 2. The office of president shall be limited to the following functions:

  1. Conduct treaty negotiations and ambassadorial functions with foreign governments. Treaties shall never affect any individual within the geographical boundaries of Texas.
  2. Submit proposed treaties to the National Assembly for approval or rejection.
  3. The president shall organize and maintain voluntary national defense forces with advice and concurrence of the National Assembly. The president shall call the national defense forces into action only in defense of the nation against armed aggression by a foreign power. The president shall coordinate the actions of the national defense forces with county defense forces and private militia. At no time shall county defense forces or private militia be considered to be under the command or control of the president or the national defense forces.
  4. Declare war only upon armed invasion or blockade by a foreign power.

Section 3. The office of vice president shall be limited to the following functions:

  1. Serve as president in the absence of the president.
  2. Maintain and publish official records of all National Executive Council proceedings.
  3. Operate and maintain physical facilities for official functions of the National Executive Council.

Section 4. The office of treasurer shall be limited to the following functions:

  1. Receive and disburse funds to support constitutionally authorized national government functions.
  2. Maintain accurate and timely records of national revenue collections, expenditures, and disbursements.
  3. Serve as president in the absence of the president and the vice-president.

Section 5. The National Executive Council shall prepare and submit an annual budget to the National Assembly for approval or rejection.

Section 6. Financial compensation for executive officers shall be determined by the National Assembly. Such compensation shall not be changed during a single term of office.

Section 7. National Executive Council officers must be Texas citizens and be at least thirty years of age.

Section 8. National Executive Council officers shall be elected by qualified voters in a national election to a term of six years, and shall be ineligible to hold any national government office for six years following their term of office.

Section 9. The National Executive Council is authorized to establish procedures, rules, and regulations only for the administration and implementation of their official functions.

Section 10. Texas Rangers

  1. The National Executive Council shall organize and maintain a corps of officers called the Texas Rangers. The corps shall consist of no more than 150 individuals.
  2. Texas Rangers shall be nominated by the president, confirmed by the National Assembly, and commissioned by the president.
  3. Texas Rangers shall provide physical security for the president, vice-president, and treasurer.
  4. Texas Rangers shall maintain investigative services for use only as requested by grand juries.
Part 3. National Assembly

Section 1. Each County Administrative Council shall appoint one representative to the National Assembly. Representatives shall serve a four-year term and may be recalled by the County Administrative Council at any time. Financial compensation shall be determined by and paid by the County Administrative Council which appointed the representative.

Section 2. Three-fourths of the entire National Assembly shall form a quorum. All acts or decisions must have two-thirds approval of the entire body to be effective.

Section 3. The national assembly may establish procedures, rules, and regulations only for the administration and implementation of the functions listed in this section. The national assembly shall:

  1. Establish appropriate regulations for the control of government agents or agencies in the maintenance of those existing publicly owned rights of way which extend beyond the boundaries of any one county. This authority for maintenance is strictly limited to those publicly owned rights of way existing at the time of ratification of this constitution. There shall be no authority to regulate the use of publicly owned rights of way.
  2. Approve or reject treaties as proposed by the president.
  3. Establish uniform standards for maintaining public records.
  4. Issue foreign travel documents on request of any Texas citizen and maintain records of same.
  5. Confirm or deny appointments by National Executive Council officers.
  6. Establish uniform standards for all elections.
  7. Establish rules of and publish all records of National Assembly proceedings.
  8. Operate and maintain facilities for National Assembly use.
  9. Terminate or extend presidential declarations of war within twenty days and every six months thereafter.

Section 4. The National Assembly shall meet in session no less than one month in a calendar year but no more than three consecutive months in any calendar year. In extraordinary circumstances, the National Assembly may be called into session by the approval of no less than two-thirds of the County Administrative Councils.

Section 5. The National Assembly shall approve or deny annual budgets submitted by the National Executive Council and the national courts.

Section 6. The National Assembly shall prepare and provide a copy of the annual budget for the national government to each County Administrative Council.

Section 7. The National Assembly may authorize the National Executive Council to purchase real property in foreign nations for embassy use only, with the title to be held in the name of the nation of Texas.

Section 8. Foreign governments may own no more than ten acres of real property within Texas, to be used only for embassies, and only with the express permission of the National Assembly.

Part 4. Nullification

Any national act or decision may be declared null and void by independent action of at least one-third of County Administrative Councils.

Article 6. Elections

Section 1. Qualified voters in Texas elections shall be Texas citizens who have attained the age of eighteen years or older.

Section 2. Elections for officers of the national and county governments shall be held every two years.

Section 3. The county recorder shall conduct elections according to standards established by the National Assembly.

Article 7. Funding of Government

Section 1. County Administrative Councils may raise funds by any method that is advertised as, and is in fact, strictly voluntary for all parties.

Section 2. County Administrative Councils shall retain seventy percent of revenue for funding county government functions.

Section 3. County Administrative Councils shall disburse thirty percent of revenue to the National Treasurer for funding national government functions.

Article 8. General Provisions

Section 1. National and county governments are authorized to retain title to publicly owned rights of way which exist at the time of ratification of this constitution.

Section 2. The national government is authorized to retain title to those lands and buildings constituting the Capitol grounds in Austin, Texas at the time of the ratification of this constitution.

Section 3. County governments are authorized to retain title to the lands and buildings constituting the county courthouse grounds at the time of the ratification of this constitution.

Section 4. Title to other lands and buildings may be held by county governments upon the approval of two-thirds of the voters of that county provided that the total of all such real property does not exceed one-percent of the total land area of the county.

Section 5. A Texas citizen is an individual who voluntarily declares citizenship provided that:

  1. the individual was born on the soil of Texas; or
  2. at least one of the individual's parents was born on the soil of Texas; or
  3. the individual has lived in Texas for not less than six consecutive months.

Section 6. Texas boundaries shall be as herein defined. Begin at the geographic center of the eastmost part of the Sabine River. Follow the geographic center northerly through Sabine Lake and Sabine Pass to 32 Latitude. All islands existing prior to April 8, 1812 are a part of Louisiana. All islands formed after April 8, 1812 on the west side are a part of Texas and on the east side are a part of Louisiana. Continue due north to the Red River. Follow the geographic center of the Red River westerly to the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. Continue westerly along the Prairie Dog Town Fork to 100 Longitude, proceed due north to 30 36' Latitude, due west to 2 miles west of 103 Longitude, due south to 32 Latitude, and then due west to the Rio Grande River otherwise known as the Rio Bravo del Norte. Follow the Rio Grande along its deepest channel to the Gulf of Mexico. Follow the Gulf of Mexico easterly to the geographic center of the Sabine River. All islands along the coastline of Texas are a part of Texas..

Section 7. New territory may be annexed to existing Texas boundaries by treaty when approved by three-fourths of all members of the National Assembly.

Section 8. The National Executive Council, with approval of the National Assembly, is authorized to purchase or retain title to real property for use as military installations provided that the total of all such real property does not exceed one-half of one percent of the total land area of Texas.

Section 9. Each officer elected or appointed or any agent of government shall be a Texas citizen, shall hold no citizenship in or allegiance to any other nation, and shall affirm the following oath of office:

"I (full name), being fully aware of the consequences of exceeding the authority of my office and being a Texas citizen holding allegiance to no other nation, do solemnly affirm that I will adhere to the Texas constitution in its entirety, and will perform the functions of the office of (name of office) to the best of my abilities."

Any officer or agent of government who does not sign and file the oath for public record with the county recorder within ten calendar days following the administering of the oath shall be denied the appointment or election.

Section 10. Government shall pay its obligations using alamos, defined as one-quarter ounce of 0.999 pure silver; bluebonnets, defined as one-quarter ounce of 0.999 pure gold; or drafts on accounts containing sufficient amounts of such to cover the total amounts of all outstanding drafts.

Section 11. Words used in this constitution are defined in Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, based on the Second Edition of The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, the Unabridged Edition, copyright 1993, 1987; copyright 1996 by Random House Value Publishing, Inc.; published 1996 by Barnes & Noble Books, ISBN 0-7607-0288-8.

Article 9. Ratification

Section 1. The Texas Constitutional Convention secretary shall prepare a formal notification of the completion of the new constitution to the State of Texas Secretary of State. Upon approval by the convention, the notification and the adopted constitution shall be signed by all delegates present. The notification and a copy of the adopted constitution shall be delivered personally by officers of the Texas Constitutional Convention.

Section 2. The constitutional convention shall appoint twelve Texans to the Texas Constitution Ratification Committee (TCRC) which shall be responsible for ensuring the lawful and peaceful ratification of this constitution.

Section 3. Texas Constitution Ratification Committee

  1. Members of the TCRC shall:
    1. have lived no less than six consecutive months on the soil of Texas;
    2. have attained the age of twenty-one years or older preceding the adoption of this constitution by the convention; and
    3. have demonstrated ability to perform the duties of the office to the satisfaction of the delegates to this convention.
  2. Members of the TCRC shall serve at the discretion of the Texas Constitutional Convention.
  3. The TCRC shall establish procedures for conducting county ratification conventions for the purpose of ratifying the constitution, appoint county ratification convention coordinators, and ensure lawful notification of the date, time, and place of county ratification conventions.
  4. Individuals who have lived on the soil of Texas for no less than six consecutive months and have attained the age of 18 years of age or older preceding the date of the county ratification convention shall be authorized to participate in the convention of the county in which they live.

Section 4. The ratification of this constitution by the ratification conventions of 176 Texas counties shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the counties so ratifying the same.

Section 5. Upon ratification of this constitution, Addendum 1, Transition, shall be implemented immediately and shall continue through its fulfillment.

Section 6. This constitution shall supersede any and all other constitutions, treaties, statutes, and any other form of rules, and shall be the supreme law of Texas.

Addendum 1. Transition

This addendum is intended to facilitate a lawful, peaceful, and orderly process for transition to the ratified Texas Constitution 2000. The day that the constitution is ratified shall be known as Texas Freedom Day.

Article 1 - Immediate Action

Section 1. State of Texas and county officials shall be provided the opportunity to complete oaths of office consistent with this constitution within thirty days of the ratification. Upon receipt of affidavits of oaths of office, the Texas Constitution Ratification Committee (TCRC) shall confirm those officers as qualified to perform their duties in accordance with this constitution. Those officers who choose not to complete the affidavits shall vacate their offices no later than thirty days from the date of the ratification of this constitution.

Section 2. State of Texas government agents may continue administration of their duties which are not in conflict with Article 1 of this constitution for a period not to exceed 24 months after Texas Freedom Day.

Section 3. Upon ratification of this constitution, all taxes paid to foreign governments shall cease to be mandatory for all individuals in Texas.

  1. All State of Texas, county, and local taxes shall remain in full effect until after the first election.
  2. All funds normally accruing to the State of Texas from whatever source shall remain in Texas under the fiduciary responsibility of the treasurer of the Coalition Transition Government.
  3. All the Coalition Transition Government funds shall be transferred to and become the fiduciary responsibility of the national treasurer after the first election.

Section 4. Existing Law Enforcement Agencies

  1. Within thirty days of ratification of this constitution all city law enforcement departments shall be transferred to the sheriff's departments in their respective counties. All United States and other foreign law enforcement agencies will no longer have jurisdiction in Texas. The sheriffs shall notify the commander or person in charge of each law enforcement agency operating on the soil of Texas within their county that United States and Texas transportation codes are null and void within Texas. Sheriffs shall vigorously defend the right to travel for all individuals and shall take immediate action against any individual, whether representing the State of Texas or the United States, who interferes with or attempts to enforce any of the various "traffic laws" under the United States or State of Texas transportation codes.
  2. State of Texas law enforcement agencies' personnel and their equipment shall be transferred to the sheriff in the county in which they are presently based. The sheriff shall determine what personnel and equipment will be kept and any excess equipment may be either sold to another county or sold at public auction.
  3. The sheriffs shall notify the commander or person in charge of each law enforcement agency operating on the soil of Texas within their county of the new constitutional restrictions imposed including, but not limited to, clear instructions that any State of Texas or United States statutory laws which conflict with this constitution shall no longer be enforced.
  4. The existing Texas Ranger organization and all county sheriffs' departments shall remain intact but are subject to later reorganization by the elected or appointed heads of these organizations.
Article 2 - The Coalition Transition Government

Section 1. The Texas Constitution Ratification Committee shall appoint twelve State of Texas elected officers who have completed oaths of office in accordance with this constitution to form with the TCRC a Coalition Transition Government (CTG).

Section 2. The CTG shall ensure the lawful and peaceful implementation of this transition plan.

Section 3. CTG officers shall be compensated at the same rate as the Governor of the State of Texas.

Section 4. The CTG shall elect from among its members a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer with the following duties:

  1. The president shall call and moderate meetings of the CTG and represent the government in communications with other nations. He shall also, upon election, immediately notify nations of the world of the lawful ratification of this constitution; seek peaceful relations with all nations; emphasize the neutrality of Texas in foreign relations matters; and declare the sovereignty of Texas as a neutral nation determined to co-exist peacefully with its neighbors and to defend itself only when attacked by outside forces.
  2. The vice-president shall assume duties of the president in the absence of the president.
  3. The secretary shall maintain accurate records of all meetings.
  4. The treasurer shall accept and disburse funds in accordance with the constitution and maintain accurate records of all transactions.
  5. Officers of the CTG may be assisted in their duties by former State of Texas agents who have completed oaths of office in accordance with this constitution.

Section 5. CTG meetings shall:

  1. be open and accessible to the public at all times;
  2. require a quorum of a simple majority of all members;
  3. require two-thirds approval of those present for any positive decisions or acts;
  4. never allow proxies; and
  5. be announced in writing to all CTG members not less than seventy-two hours in advance.

Section 6. The CTG shall take possession of all revenue and all assets of the State of Texas and shall honor existing lawful financial obligations of the State of Texas.

Section 7. The CTG shall order an election for the purpose of electing national and county officers. The election shall be conducted no later than one-hundred-twenty (120) days after Texas Freedom Day. Upon election, each elected officer shall, within the next ten calendar days, make the prescribed oath of office as administered, and immediately assume the duties of office for which he or she was elected. CTG officers shall not be eligible for election in the first election.

Section 8. Officials elected in the first election shall serve terms as stated in this constitution except:

  1. The first National Executive Council vice-president shall serve a two-year term; and
  2. The first National Executive Council treasurer shall serve a four-year term.

Section 9. The CTG shall honor existing financial compensation for Texas government agents affirming adherence to this constitution, which shall continue until such time as national and county governments approve new budgets and personnel, but not later than twenty-four months after Texas Freedom Day.

Section 10. CTG members who miss two consecutive meetings may be removed by a majority vote of the remaining members.

Section 11. Oaths of Office

  1. Nationally elected officers shall be administered their oaths of office by members of the CTG.
  2. County elected officers shall be administered their oaths of office by the County Ratification Convention Coordinator.

Section 12. The Coalition Transition Government shall cease and terminate immediately upon the administration of oaths of office to newly elected national executive officers.

Article 3 - Transition County Governments

Section 1. County officers qualified to serve under this constitution shall meet at the earliest convenient date, no later than thirty days after Texas Freedom Day, to establish the County Administrative Council (CAC). They may appoint citizens to fill vacated offices to serve until the election confirms new officers.

Section 2. The CAC shall take possession of all revenues and assets of the county and of any government subdivision in that county. The CAC may authorize these subdivision government agents to continue administration of their duties, which are not in conflict with this constitution, for a period not to exceed twenty-four months after Texas Freedom Day.

Article 4 - Action Following First Election

Section 1. The National Assembly and County Administrative Councils shall conduct a complete and thorough inventory of all government assets including, but not limited to, all government owned real property. The inventory shall be completed within one calendar year after the initial formation of the National Assembly or the County Administrative Council.

Section 2. The National Assembly and County Administrative Councils shall enter into contract with private auditing firms through a competitive bidding process to audit all government property and funds.

Section 3. The National Executive Council shall:

  1. immediately upon assuming office enter into negotiations with other nations and states to ensure Texas neutrality and establishment of lawful and peaceful relations; and
  2. negotiate with foreign nations the transfer of title to property on the soil of Texas held by those foreign nations to the nation of Texas.

Section 4. All fiduciary accounts and revenues held by the Coalition Transition Government shall be transferred to the national treasurer immediately upon administration of the oath of office, who shall compile a detailed accounting to the National Assembly.

Section 5. All State of Texas government functions and offices shall cease and shall be terminated upon the administering of the oaths of office for the newly elected officers of Texas under this constitution.

Section 6. The National Assembly and the County Administrative Councils shall honor all existing lawful indebtedness of the State of Texas and other government subdivisions.

Article 5 - Transfer of Government Real Property

Section 1. The National Assembly shall develop an orderly process for disposing of national and county government-owned real property not specifically authorized by this constitution to be retained by government. The transfer of title shall be through sealed bids.

Section 2. Individuals qualified to hold and redeem real property purchase vouchers (hereafter referred to as "Purchase Vouchers") shall:

  1. be a Texas citizen as defined by this constitution;
  2. have lived on the soil of Texas not less than two years prior to Texas Freedom Day;
  3. affirm by affidavit adherence to this constitution; and
  4. affirm by oath or affidavit the following statement:
"I, (insert full name), do hereby declare that I have read and understand the consequences of violating the rights of any other individual as specified by this constitution. I also declare that I have not and shall not submit any other claim for Purchase Vouchers in this or any other county."

Section 3. The county recorder shall:

  1. accept citizen affidavits for Purchase Vouchers until the end of the one-hundred-twentieth (120th) day following the first national and county election;
  2. maintain accurate records of citizen affidavits and supporting documents for Purchase Vouchers;
  3. submit the names of citizens qualified to hold Purchase Vouchers to the national treasurer within sixty days following the one-hundred-twentieth (120th) day after the first election; and
  4. distribute the Purchase Vouchers to qualified citizens upon delivery from the national treasurer.

Section 4. The national treasurer shall, within sixty days following receipt of county recorder reports of qualified citizens, cause delivery of appropriately completed Purchase Vouchers to the county recorders. County Recorders shall provide to each qualified citizen one-thousand (1,000) units of Purchase Vouchers.

Section 5. Sealed bid auctions shall commence no later than twelve months after the first national and county election, and be completed not more than sixty months after the ratification of this constitution.

Section 6. Anyone who qualifies in accordance with Section 2 may submit bids to purchase government real property listed for sale. County recorders shall issue allodial title with any required deed restrictions to purchasers upon verification of the highest bid for any parcel of property located within that county. Bids may be submitted consisting of Purchase Vouchers or cash but Purchase Vouchers and cash shall not be combined in the same bid. Winning bids shall be selected as follows:

  1. The highest bid consisting of Purchase Vouchers shall be declared the winner.
  2. If there are no bids consisting of Purchase Vouchers, the highest bid consisting of cash shall be declared the winner.
  3. In the case of tie bids, the bid that was earliest received by the bid administrator shall be declared the winner.
  4. Cash bids shall be evaluated in gold equivalents.
Article 6. Transition Actions

The Coalition Transition Government and the new government of Texas, both national and county levels, shall address each of the following items in their transition actions, ensuring that the minimum requirements specified herein are met.

Section 1. Parks and Historical Sites

  1. Any public property currently used as a park or historical site may be awarded to a self-declared Texas-based public-service organization. This property may be awarded for no fee provided that the owner or manager of the organization submits an affidavit that the organization has agreed to maintain the park or historical site and use it as a park or historical site at cost for a period of twenty-five years.
  2. Any park or historical site for which no organization meeting the requirements of Section 1 is willing to accept responsibility shall be auctioned the same as any other property.

Section 2. Education Facilities

  1. Any public property currently used as an education facility may be awarded to a voluntary organization of individuals interested in providing education services to Texans provided that at least fifty percent of the members of the organization were, within five years prior to Texas Freedom Day, themselves students or had children who were students of the education facility being awarded or were teachers in that facility. This property may be awarded for no fee provided that the owner or manager of the organization submits an affidavit that the organization has agreed to maintain the education facilities and use them as education facilities to provide education services to Texans at cost for at least ten years.
  2. Any education facility for which no organization meeting the requirements of paragraph a is willing to accept responsibility shall be auctioned the same as any other property.

Section 3. Counties

Transfer of county-owned public property, operation of the county Coalition Transition Government, and the date of complete transfer to the rules of Texas shall be as negotiated with the State of Texas or with existing county governments but shall in no case be later than twenty-four months after Texas Freedom Day.

Section 4. Corporations, Banks, and Other Business Organizations

  1. All State of Texas corporation charters shall become null and void on the date that the Coalition Transition Government is terminated. Prior to that date, State of Texas corporations which wish to continue to do business in Texas must convert to either a sole proprietorship or an organization defined entirely by contract.
  2. The charters of any State of Texas chartered banks shall become null and void on the date that the Coalition Transition Government is terminated. Prior to that date, State of Texas chartered banks which wish to continue to do business in Texas must convert to either a sole proprietorship or an organization defined entirely by contract.
  3. Business organizations operating on the soil of Texas after the date that the Coalition Transition Government is terminated will no longer be able to depend upon State of Texas or United States statutory law to partially define their business organization. Therefore, all business organizations except sole proprietorships shall reorganize to a sole proprietorship or an organization based entirely on contract.
  4. Corporations chartered by foreign governments may continue to operate on the soil of Texas but they will no longer have any special privileges. Such corporations shall be treated the same as a corporation based entirely on contract.

Section 5. Electromagnetic Wave Frequency Spectrum (Radio Waves)

  1. The electromagnetic wave frequency spectrum is a natural resource and should be treated as such under the concept of "Natural Property". On Texas Freedom Day, each current user of any part of the electromagnetic wave frequency spectrum shall become the owner of that use of that part of the spectrum.
  2. Anyone may use any part of the electromagnetic wave frequency spectrum, and thus become an owner of that use of the spectrum, as long as the new use does not interfere with pre-existing uses.

Section 6. Fire Protection Services

  1. Existing fire protection organizations may reorganize as private businesses.
  2. Any public property currently used in providing fire protection services may be awarded to an existing fire protection organization that has reorganized as a private business to provide fire protection services. This property may be awarded for no fee provided that the owner or manager of the organization submits an affidavit that the organization has agreed to maintain the property and use it to provide fire protection services at cost for at least ten years.

Section 7. Emergency Medical Services

  1. Existing emergency medical services organizations may reorganize as private businesses.
  2. Any public property currently used in providing emergency medical services may be awarded to an existing emergency medical services organization that has reorganized as a private business to provide emergency medical services. This property may be awarded for no fee provided that the owner or manager of the organization submits an affidavit that the organization has agreed to maintain the property and use it to provide emergency medical services at cost for at least ten years.

Section 8. Military Forces

  1. The national government shall immediately enter into negotiations with any foreign government with military forces stationed on the soil of Texas to evacuate those forces as soon as possible.
  2. For the length of the transition period, or until such time as the county defense forces are constitutionally formed, the Coalition Transition Government shall request local private militias to accept any and all duties concerning county and national defense.
  3. The title to any real property or equipment left on the soil of Texas after the evacuation of foreign military forces is complete shall accrue to the national government of Texas.
  4. Control of State of Texas military resources, such as the Texas National Guard weapons, facilities, and personnel, shall transfer to the national government of Texas on a date to be negotiated by the Coalition Transition Government but in no case later than twenty-four months after Texas Freedom Day.
  5. The National Executive Council of the national government of Texas shall begin integrating all existing defense forces, militia, and Texas National Guard resources into an overall defense strategy and transition plan beginning on the day that the new national government of Texas is formed. This integration shall continue until all military resources to remain in Texas are integrated.

Section 9. Incarcerated Individuals

  1. Each County Administrative Council shall appoint twelve Texas citizens of the county to serve on a prisoner review commission which shall have the following duties.
    1. The commission shall establish an orderly process for review of all charges against prisoners in any jail, prison, or any other incarceration or detention facility in that county.
    2. If a prisoner's conviction and sentence is found to be a violation of this constitution, the prisoner shall be released immediately upon order by the commission. Otherwise, the prisoner shall remain incarcerated and shall serve the remainder of the original sentence.
  2. Members of the prisoner review commission, while serving on the commission, shall be compensated at the same rate of pay as members of the County Administrative Council. The commission shall continue until all records of prisoners within the county have been reviewed, but for no longer than twenty-four months after the commission has been appointed.

Section 10. Incarceration Facilities

The County Administrative Council shall hold title to any publicly owned jails, prisons, or any other incarceration or detention facilities located in that county. The County Administrative Council shall direct that such facilities be consolidated as much as possible without overcrowding while leaving some room for future expansion of the prison population. Any facilities emptied by this consolidation shall be decommissioned and considered excess public property to be auctioned or declared "unowned".

Section 11. Court Cases

  1. Any criminal court case in which a judgment has been made prior to Texas Freedom Day shall be considered a valid judgment subject to the incarcerated prisoner review.
  2. Any civil court case in which a judgment has been made prior to Texas Freedom Day shall be considered a valid judgment.
  3. Any court case in which a trial has been initiated but in which a judgment has not been made prior to Texas Freedom Day may be terminated and entered into a Texas County Court at the discretion of the accused in the trial. The fact that the court case was initiated shall be considered to have satisfied the grand jury indictment requirement of this constitution.
  4. Any court case in which a trial has not been initiated prior to Texas Freedom Day shall be entered into a Texas county court. If a grand jury has indicted the accused prior to Texas Freedom Day, this shall be considered to have satisfied the grand jury indictment requirement of this constitution. Valid grand jury indictments on and after Texas Freedom Day shall come only from Texas grand juries in accordance with due process as defined in this constitution.

Section 12. Existing bonds.

  1. Any bonds existing prior to Texas Freedom Day issued by the State of Texas or any political subdivision of the State of Texas shall become the liability of the new national government.
  2. The bonds shall be retired as soon as possible using not more than ten percent per year of the national government's revenue.

Section 13. Handicapped Individuals

The National Assembly shall establish and implement an orderly transfer of existing obligations for care of mentally or physically handicapped individuals to the free market. This transfer shall be completed no later than twenty-four months after the first National Assembly is convened. No new admissions to government support shall be accepted after Texas Freedom Day.