Charles Smith
In This Section

The U.S. and State Constitutions
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 12:05 AM


``The Minnesota Constitution and U.S. constitution

Differences of Constitutions

1: The executive branch is made up of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of state, Auditor and Attorney General.  That’s 5 people sharing the power instead of one man like the President.   

2: Public highways and residential street laws are present.

3: Structure of Amendments is more in depth to personal freedoms.

4: Voting laws are more specific to county, age and citizenship.

5: Taxation of academically oriented property and place of worship is expressed.

Similarity of Constitutions

1: The structure is the same in that there is a bill of rights and amendments.

2: There is a preamble that is worded different but has the same principles.

3:  Both documents reach for freedom and the undimmed stretch for peace.

4: The Documents state the separation of power by three branches except one is a sublevel of the other one.

5: Institution of set principles in accordance of laws protect the accused and protect privacy.           

Differences between U.S. Bill of Rights and Minnesota Bill of Rights


The U.S. Bill of Rights are the first 10 ammendments to the Constitution which limit the power of the government. The Bill of rights protect the people. The U.S. Bill of Rights and the Minnesota Bill of rights are parallel in a number of ways. Below are 5 examples.


Example 1

U.S. Bill of Rights: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Minnesota Bill of Rights: Sec. 3.   The liberty of the press shall forever remain inviolate, and all persons may freely speak, write and publish their sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right.
In this example the Minnesota Bill of Rights gives more details than the U.S. Bill of rigts on the subject of freedom of the press and freedome of speech. 

Example 2.

U.S. Bill of Rights:  "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Minnesota Bill of Rights Sec. 5.   Excessive  bail shall not  be required, nor excessive  fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.
These two parts of the bill of Rights for both the federal govt and Minnesota are exactly the same.
Example 3.

U.S. Bill of Rights:  "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

Minnesota Bill of Rights: Sec. 4.   The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and shall extend to all cases at  law without regard to the  amount in controversy.  A jury trial  may be waived by the  parties in all cases in the manner prescribed by law.  The  legislature  may provide that the agreement of five-sixths of a jury in a  civil action or proceeding,  after not less than  six hours' deliberation, is a sufficient verdict.

In this example the Minnesota bill of rights has more details than the U.S. It says that everyone has the right to a speedy trail by jury but that the jury can be waved and that a person has the right to a trial by jury not matter the amount in controversy which I think means that even small cases have the right to a jury. It also says that 5/6 of a jury can make a verdict after more than 6 hrs.


Example: 4:

U.S. Bill of Rights: "No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

Minnesota Bill of Rights: Sec. 14.  The military shall be subordinate to the civil power and  no standing army shall be maintained in this state in times of peace.
This example is different for Minnesota in that of course the U.S.ammendment holds but in Minnesota the Bill of Rights say that in the time of peace the military can’t be the top power they must be below civil power and that an army can’t be in power during times of peace.
Example 5:

U.S. Bill of Rights: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Minnesota Bill of Rights: Sec. 10.  The right  of the  people to  be secure  in  their  persons, houses, papers  and effects,  against unreasonable  searches  and seizures  shall not  be violated;  and no  warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or  affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be  searched and the person or things to be seized.
Like the federal bill of Rights having to do with bail, this one is word for word the same in both the federal and state Bill of Rights on the topic of search and seizure.