Article I of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia

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Article I of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia establishes the Senate and lays out the powers vested in the Senate.

Preamble

This Article establishes the Senate of the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia, the legislative body which will ratify this Constitution and establish all further laws pertaining to the entirety of the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia.

The Preamble of Article I describes the function of the Article I.

Section 1: Structure of the Senate

(a)

The Senate shall have one chamber, of which will have no more than five committees, to be decided by an Act of the Senate.

This establishes the Senate as unicameral, and allows for subcommittees, which can save time by holding hearings on their own instead of before the whole Senate.

(b)

The Senate shall have two members for every Senatorial District, with a minimum of 3 members.

This lays out the distribution of Senators to Senatorial Districts, and makes sure the Senate cannot be too small. An amendment has been proposed to this clause, which would make the Senate larger.

(c)

The Senate must convene for at least 240 days a year.

This makes sure the Senate actually convenes for enough of the year to actually pass laws.

(d)

Senators serve three-year terms, and may serve as many times as they would like.

This clause makes sure that Senators have term limits and the people can vote them out of they please.

(e)

Senators each represent their Senatorial District, which is a contiguous region of land that contains 10 thousand. There are two Senators for each Senatorial Districts.

This upholds clause (b) and assigns the Senators specifically to their Senatorial Districts.

i.

The Senator must reside in that Senatorial District.

This ensures local representation.

ii.

The Senators of a District are appointed by a vote of the People within their District, pursuant to Article IV-3.(a)-i.

This makes sure that only the people represented can vote for their Senator.

iii.

The Senatorial District may contain fewer than 10 thousand, but only as to make districts proportional to each other, or if the total population of the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia is less than 100 thousand.

This clause ensures that all districts are proportional to each other.

iv.

The Senatorial District may be redrawn after each Census is taken, every 8 years, but may not be drawn to misrepresent the People's interests by strategically organizing the districts to diminish oppositions. If any Citizen believes this has happened, they may file a direct Senatorial Injunction (Article I-2.(d) and Article III-1.(b)-vi.) to the Supreme Court to contest the districts.

This bans gerrymandering and allows citizens to directly appeal to the courts if they think it has occurred.

(f)

Senators are not to hold any other job within or outside the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia, including Government positions and titles of nobility.

This makes sure that Senators first priority is the people's best interests, not another job.

(g)

A Senator may be expelled from the Senate by either: A Recommendation of Expulsion following a Senatorial Injunction, Senate vote of at least two-thirds majority, and majority vote in their Senatorial District, or a Petition of at least 10 percent of their Senatorial District and a majority vote in their Senatorial District.

This allows for a Senator to be removed from office in the event that they did something wrong, but ensures that the people have the oversight.

i.

An expelled Senator may run for the office again without any restrictions.

This follows the theory that they will only be elected if the people want them, and if they do, the government should not stop them.

ii.

Only gross misconduct, treason, espionage, or other high crimes may be reason to expel a Senator.

This ensures that a Senator is not expelled for political reasons.

iii.

The accused Senator may not vote in the Senate on their own expulsion.

The vote on the expulsion of a Senator should include them, since they are on trial.

(h)

Any vacancies in the Senate are to be filled by a snap Election (Article IV-3.(a)-ii) held within 2 months of the vacancy.

This clause makes sure that the Senate does not have openings, so that laws can be passed and the government can function.

(i)

Senators are to receive a payment of up $100,000 annually from the Treasury of the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia. An Act of the Senate may lower this, but if an Act of the Senate raises this, the Citizens will vote to approve or deny it at the next Election.

This sets a salary for Senators, so that not just the wealthy can afford to represent their fellow citizens. Also, it makes sure that the Senators do not get greedy and blow their salaries up by requiring the approval of the people.

Section 2: Powers of the Senate

(a)

The Senate shall have the power to pass Acts of the Senate.

This gives the Senate the power to pass laws.

i.

Acts of the Senate which pass with a majority of greater than one half, but lesser than two-thirds of the Senate must be signed by the President. If the President declines to sign, the Act will not pass and will not become law.

◦ Acts that ratify treaties or confirm Executive Officers must achieve a majority of at least two-thirds.

This ensures a balance of powers by making sure that the Executive branch has checks on the Senate, and vice versa. Additionally, it ensures that Executive Officers and treaties are not political, by requiring a larger majority.

ii.

ii. Acts of the Senate which pass with a majority greater than or equal to two-thirds of the Senate or those which have been signed by the President may

◦ Establish, change, or remove taxes on goods within the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia ◦ Declare a State of War with another Nation. ◦ Distribute and regulate the money collected by taxes to other portions of the Government. ◦ Make Rules that govern the operations of the Senate ◦ Regulate the Treasury of the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia, including printing and coining money. ◦ Provide for the organization and funding for a Military ◦ Create any law deemed necessary for the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia. ◦ Overrule regulations established by the Executive Branch. ◦ Repeal or modify previous Acts of the Senate. ◦ Confirm appointments to Executive Offices. ◦ Ratify treaties with other Nations. ◦ Not have a basis on untruths and may not contradict accepted fact and scientific theory. ◦ Not Amend or overrule the Constitution.

This lays out the abilities of Acts of the Senate.

(b)

The Senate shall have the power to pass Amendments to this Constitution, separate from an Act of the Senate.

This makes sure that the entire Constitution is not entrenched and that governmental changes are possible.

i.

Amendments to the Constitution must pass a vote in the Senate with a two-thirds or greater majority, followed by a majority vote of the Citizens.

This makes sure that the citizens are able to provide insight and oversight on amendments.

ii.

ii. Proceedings to vote on Amendments to the Constitution may only begin within a Constitutional Convention.

◦ A Constitutional Convention may be started by a vote of at least two-thirds of the Senate. ◦ A Constitutional Convention may be started by a Petition of at least 5 percent of the Citizens of the Democratic Republic of Tūrnia and the approval of a Senator.

This lays out how Constitutional Conventions are started.

(c)

The Senate shall have the power to pass an Act of Impeachment of any member of the Executive Branch, or a Justice who has been Recommended for Impeachment by three other sitting Justices of their court.

This ensures that there is oversight on all officials in case that one of them breaks a law or does something wrong.

i.

An Act of Impeachment must pass the Senate with a majority of at least two-thirds.

This makes sure that impeachments are not political.

ii.

ii. An Act of Impeachment that passes the Senate will then result in a trial of the impeached official before the Supreme Court. If found guilty, they are to be removed from office immediately and may not run for the same office again.

◦ If the impeached official has committed something other than gross misconduct they may also be sentenced to jail time. ◦ If a Justice is tried before the Supreme Court, they may not rule on their own trial.

This clause makes sure that everyone gets a fair trial and that they are punished appropriately.

iii.

Acts of Impeachment are reserved only for gross misconduct, treason, espionage, or other high crimes.

This further ensures that impeachments are not political.

(d)

If a Senator is believed to have acted improperly while voting on, drafting or debating an Act or Amendment in such a way that may have affected the outcome of the vote, or which may affect the outcome of future votes, including drawing districts as to misrepresent the People (Article I-1.(f)-iii), then any Citizen may submit a Senatorial Injunction to the Supreme Court.

This clause protects the citizens from laws passed by Senators who acted improperly, by allowing the Supreme Court to strike the laws down and punish the Senators.

i.

A Senatorial Injunction, if decided to be heard by the Supreme Court, will prevent the relevant Act or Amendment from taking effect until after a trial of the Senator or Senators accused of misconduct.

This suspends the law until the decisions have been made, insuring it is fair, but also gives the Supreme Court the ability not to hear the injunction, to discourage partisan filings.

ii.

If a Senator is found guilty of such misconduct, a Recommendation of Expulsion will be sent to the Senate.

This permits the Senate to expel a Senator if they did do something wrong.