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The Royal Constitution of the Kingdom of Zarahemla

Preamble

By means of the claims I hold on the Tithonia Plateau of Mars and of the Asteroid Ceres, and in order to form a Kingdom, I, Spence, King of Zarahemla, to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to the citizens and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Royal Constitution for the Kingdom of Zarahemla.

Article I

The Legislative Branch

 Section 1

The House of Commons

 Section 2

  1. The House of Commons shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several Duchies, and the electors in each Duchy shall have the qualifications for electors of the most numerous branch of the Duchy Parliament.

  2. No person shall be a Member of Parliament who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that Duchy in which he shall be chosen.

  3. Members of Parliament shall be apportioned among the several Duchies which may be included within this Kingdom, according to their respective numbers. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Royal Parliament of the Kingdom, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Members of Parliament shall not exceed one for every forty thousand, but each Duchy shall have at least one Member of Parliament; and until such enumeration shall be made, the Duchies of Narnia, Stovokor, Shejidan, Chanur, Lothlorien, Traaken, and Atreides, shall be entitled to choose ten each.

  4. When vacancies happen in the House of Commons representation from any Duchy, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

  5. The House of Commons shall choose their Speaker and other officers; and shall have sole power of impeachment.

The House of Lords

Section 3

  1. The House of Lords shall be composed of one Envoy chosen from and by the nobility of each county, for six years; and each Envoy shall have one vote.

  2. Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Envoys of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, the Count or Countess of said county may make temporary appointments until the next election, which shall then fill such vacancies.

  3. No person shall be an Envoy who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years.

  4. The Crown Prince shall have one vote, solely to break a tie in the House of Lords.

  5. The House of Lords shall choose their Chief Envoy and also other officers.

  6. The House of Lords shall have sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the Prime Minister of the Kingdom is tried, the High Judge shall preside: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

  7. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the Kingdom: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

Organization of the Royal Parliament

 Section 4

  1. The times, places and manner of holding elections for Envoys and Members of Parliament, shall be prescribed in each Duchy by the legislature thereof; but the Royal Parliament may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Envoys.

  2. The Royal Parliament shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the second Monday in January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
     

Section 5

  1. Each Chamber shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each Chamber may provide.

  2. Each Chamber may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

  3. Each Chamber shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either Chamber on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

  4. Neither Chamber, during the session of Royal Parliament, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than in which the two Chambers shall be sitting.

Section 6

  1. The Envoys and Members of Parliament shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the Kingdom. No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Envoys and Members of Parliament, shall take effect, until an election of Members of Parliament shall have intervened. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Chambers, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either Chamber; they shall not be questioned in any other place.

  2. No Envoy or Member of Parliament shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the Kingdom, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no person holding office under the Kingdom, shall be a member of either Chamber during his continuance in office.

Section 7

  1. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Commons; but the House of Lords may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.

  2. Every bill which shall have passed the House of Commons and the House of Lords, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that Chamber in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that Chamber shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other Chamber, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds, it shall become a law, but in all such cases the votes of both Chambers shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each Chamber respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Prime Minister within ten days (Saturdays and Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Royal Parliament by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

  3. Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of the House of Lords and House of Commons may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the House of Lords and House of Commons, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

  4. Until Zarahemla is a landed state the House of Lords shall remain an advisory body and until the population shall exceed one hundred thousand citizens, the House of Commons shall not convene.

Powers granted to Royal Parliament

Section 8

The Royal Parliament shall have power:

  1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the Kingdom; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the Kingdom. The Royal Parliament shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several Duchies, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

  2. To borrow money on the credit of the Kingdom;

  3. To establish Royal elementary, secondary and post-secondary school systems and standards of education uniform throughout the Kingdom;

  4. To establish a system of aide for indigent citizens of the Kingdom;

  5. To establish departments to regulate Insurance sold or claimed within the kingdom;

  6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the Kingdom;

  7. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Royal Court;

  8. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed deep space, and offenses against the law of nations;

  9. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

  10. To provide and maintain a Space Fleet;

  11. To make rules for the government and regulation of the planetary and space forces;

  12. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Kingdom, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

  13. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the Kingdom, reserving to the Duchies respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by the Royal Parliament;

  14. To exercise total legislative authority over all places purchased in the kingdom in which the same shall be for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;

  15. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Royal Constitution in the government of the Kingdom, or in any department or officer thereof.

Powers forbidden to Royal Parliament

Section 9

  1. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

  2. No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.

  3. No capitation tax shall be laid.

  4. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any Duchy.

  5. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one Duchy over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one Duchy, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.

  6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

  7. No person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Royal Parliament, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind what so ever, from any alien king, prince, or Republic.

Powers forbidden to the Duchies

Section 10

  1. No Duchy shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but Royal Crowns a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law or law impairing the obligation of contracts.

  2. No Duchy shall, without the consent of the Royal Parliament, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any Duchy on imports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the Kingdom, and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Royal Parliament.

  3. No Duchy shall, without the consent of Royal Parliament, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another Duchy, or with an alien power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

  4. No person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Royal Parliament, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind what so ever, from any alien king, prince, or republic.

Article II

The executive branch

Section 1

  1. The executive power shall be vested in a Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Zarahemla, who shall be the head of the government. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and together with the Deputy Prime Minister, chosen from the same term, be elected, as follows:

  2. Each citizen of the Kingdom, residing in one of her Duchies, over the age of twenty one, regardless of race, gender or ability to pay a poll tax, and who shall not have been deprived of the right to vote based on punishment for a duly convicted crime, may vote for his of her choice for Prime Minister, and the nominated Deputy Prime Minister, on the same day appointed by the Royal Parliament. The executive of each Duchy shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a Chief of the Election who shall collect the votes and transmit the name of the person who shall have received the most votes for Prime Minister to the senior Member of Parliament of that Duchy, who shall submit that name in the number of votes, equal to the whole number of Ducal Envoys and Members of Parliament to which that Duchy may be entitled in the Royal Parliament.

  3. This vote shall take place on the Feste of the third week of the new session of the House of Commons: but no Envoy or Member of Parliament, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the Kingdom, shall be appointed a Chief of the Election. The Chief Envoy of the House of Lords shall, in the presence of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, receive and count all the votes. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the Prime Minister, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Envoys and Members of Parliament; and if no person shall have a majority, then from the three highest on the list the House of Commons shall choose the Prime Minister. But in choosing the Prime Minister, the votes shall be taken by Duchies, the representation from each Duchy having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the Duchies, and a majority of all the Duchies shall be necessary to a choice. The candidates for Deputy Prime Minister shall have been chosen prior to the election by the candidates for Prime Minister.

  4. The Royal Parliament may determine the time of the elections, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the Kingdom.

  5. No person who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident of the Kingdom, or who shall have been present at the adoption of this Royal Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Zarahemla.

  6. In case of the removal of the Prime Minister from office or of his death or resignation, the Deputy Prime Minister shall become Prime Minister.

  7. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Prime Minister shall nominate a Deputy Prime Minister who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both House of Commons and the House of Lords.

  8. Whenever the Prime Minister transmits to the Chief Envoy of the House of Lords and the Speaker of the House of Commons his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Deputy Prime Minister as acting Prime Minister.

  9. Whenever the Deputy Prime Minister and majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Royal Parliament may by law provide, transmit to the Chief Envoy of the House of Lords and the Speaker of the House of Commons their written declaration that the Prime Minister is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Deputy Prime Minister shall immediately assume the powers and duties of acting Prime Minister.

  10. Thereafter, when the Prime Minister transmits to the Chief Envoy of the House of Lords and the Speaker of the House of Commons his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Deputy Prime Minister and majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other party the Royal Parliament may by law provide, transmit within four days to the Chief Envoy of the House of Lords and the Speaker of the House of Commons their written declaration that the Prime Minister is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon the Royal Parliament shall decide the issue, assembling within forty eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Royal Parliament, within twenty one days after the receipt of the written declaration, or, if Royal Parliament is not in session, within twenty one days after Royal Parliament is required to assemble, determines by two thirds vote of both Chambers that the Prime Minister is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Deputy Prime Minister shall continue to discharge the same as acting Prime Minister; otherwise, the Prime Minister shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

  11. The Prime Minister shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the Kingdom, or any of the Duchies.

  12. Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:- "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Zarahemla, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the King, Kingdom and Royal Constitution of the Kingdom of Zarahemla."

Section 2

  1. The Prime Minister shall be the commander in chief of the Army and Space Fleet of the Kingdom, and of the militia of the several Duchies, when called into the actual service of the Kingdom; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principle officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and  he shall have power to recommend the granting reprieves and pardons for offenses against the Kingdom, except in cases of impeachment. The King shall grant these reprieves and pardons.

  2. He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the House of Lords, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Envoys concur (such treaties shall be signed by the King); and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the House of Lords, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Royal Court, and all other officers of the Kingdom, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Royal Parliament may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the Prime Minister alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

  3. The Prime Minister shall have power to fill up all such vacancies that may happen during the recess of the House of Lords, by granting commissions which will expire at the end of their next session.
     

Section 3

Section 4

Article III

The Judicial Branch

Section 1

Section 2

  1. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, arising under this Royal Constitution, the laws of the Kingdom, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; -to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; -to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; -to controversies to which the Kingdom shall be a party; -to controversies between two or more Duchies; between citizens of different Duchies; -between citizens of the same Duchy claiming lands under grants of different Duchies, and between a Duchy, or the citizens thereof, and alien Duchies.

  2. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a Duchy shall be party, the Royal Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases mentioned, the Royal Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Royal Parliament shall make.

  3. The trial of all crimes, except in the cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the Duchy where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any Duchy, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Royal Parliament may by law have directed.

Section 3

  1. Treason against the Kingdom, shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

  2. The Royal Parliament shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

Article IV

The King

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Section 4

Section 5

Section 6

Section 7

Article V

Relation of the Duchies to each other

Section 1

  1. Full faith and credit shall be given in each Duchy to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other Duchy. And the Royal Parliament may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

Section 2

  1. The citizens of each Duchy shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several Duchies.

  2. A person charged in any Duchy with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another Duchy, shall on demand of the executive authority of the Duchy from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the Duchy having jurisdiction of the crime.

Royal-Ducal relations

Section 3

  1. New Duchies may be admitted by the Royal Parliament into this Kingdom; but no new Duchy shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other Duchy; nor any Duchy be formed by the junction of two or more Duchies, or parts of Duchies, without the consent of the legislatures of the Duchies concerned as well as of the Royal Parliament.

  2. The Royal Parliament shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the Kingdom; and nothing in this Royal Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the Kingdom, or of any particular Duchy.

Section 4

        The Kingdom shall guarantee to every Duchy in this Kingdom a Constitutional Duchy, with a democratically elected legislature, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.

Article VI

Amending the Royal Constitution

The Royal Parliament, whenever two-thirds of both Chambers shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Royal Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several Duchies, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Royal Constitution, which when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several Duchies, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Royal Parliament; provided that no Duchy shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the House of Lords.

Article VII

The Bill of Rights

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Section 4

Section 5

Section 6

Section 7

Section 8

Section 9

Section 10

Section 11

Section 12

Article VIII

Supremacy of this Royal Constitution

  1. This Royal Constitution, and the laws which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the Kingdom, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every Duchy shall be bound thereby, anything in the Ducal Constitution or laws of any Duchy to the contrary notwithstanding.

  2. The Envoys and Members of Parliament, and the members of the several Duchy Parliaments, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the Kingdom and of the several Duchies, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Royal Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the Kingdom.

Done by Royal Decree in the Royal Residence of Exile on Earth, the twenty ninth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight.
 

Amendments to the Constitution

The First Amendment: Succession of the Heirs to the King

Ratified by the House of Lords on 5/20/99 and signed by the King on 6/3/99

The succession of the Heirs to the King shall be in order of birth regardless of gender, first, in order of birth, his children and their descendants, second his siblings and their descendants.

The Second Amendment: Relations between the Kingdom, its Duchies and their Counties

Ratified by the House of Lords on 6/14/00 and signed by the King on 6/15/00

1.      The Royal Government shall guarantee in each County a democratically elected legislature which shall be enabled to freely govern said county.  The Ducal governments shall be entrusted to govern the intercounty affairs and the Kingdom shall govern the interducal and extraroyal affairs.

2.      No level of government shall interfere in the other levels except as prescribed by act of Parliament and according to the Constitution.

The Third Amendment: Royal, Ducal and Comital Heirs

Ratified by the House of Lords on 8/23/11 and signed by the King on 8/24/11

1.      The Monarch, the Dukes and Counts shall each name his or her own heir; the parliament of that polity shall either ratify or reject such an heir. If the title holder shall not have chosen an heir before his or her demise, then the first born child of the body of the title holder shall have precedence to press a claim the title before parliament.

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