The Constitution of the State of Texas is often compared to the Constitution of the United States. The main similarities between the two constitutions include: (a) the Bill of Rights; (b) the inclusion of 2 houses (bicameral structure); and (c) the separation of powers. To begin with, the Bill of Rights is the most fundamental similarity between the U.S. and Texas Constitutions. Article I of the Texas Constitution has 29 sections that stipulate the freedoms and rights available to state members. In a similar fashion, the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution describe and define the limits of the freedoms and rights to be used by American citizens.
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The state and federal legislatures have many common features, and their descriptions are included in the Texas and U.S. Constitutions accordingly. Based on the Constitution of the State of Texas, the state’s legislative power is vested in the Senate and the House of Representatives (art.III, §1). The Senate includes thirty-one members, whereas the House comprises ninety-three members (art.III, §2). Likewise, the House of Representatives and the Senate make up the United States’ federal legislature. The U.S. Constitution specifies who and in what way can become a Representative and a Senator. For instance, the Federal Senate is composed of two Senators representing each state, who have one vote (art.I, §3).
Finally, the separation of powers is an essential similarity between the two constitutions. Both constitutions rely on the principles of checks and balances. However, while the Texas Constitution states explicitly that “the powers of the government of the state of Texas shall be divided into three distinct departments” (art. II., §1), there is no such statement in the U.S. Constitution. It would be fair to say that the principle of checks and balances the way it is presented in the U.S. Constitution is rather implicit and even implied. Yet, even with all these differences and implications, the Texas Constitution is very similar to the federal one. To a large extent, the Constitution of the State of Texas can be considered as an adjusted version of the chief federal document.
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