California has had two Constitutions. The first Constitution of California was ratified on November 13, 1849, prior to California's admittance into the Union in 1850. California's current constitution was ratified on May 7, 1879 and has been amended over 480 times.
The Constitution is grouped into subject matter areas known as Articles. Each Article is organized by a heading and section numbers. The Constitution of California may be found in the following sources:
The annotated formats provide supplemental notes, historical materials, case law and encyclopedia references to assist in explaining the text of Constitution.
- The Federal and State Constitutions. Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the States, Territories and Colonies Now or Heretofore Forming the United States of America v.1 (1906), Francis Newton Thorpe, ed. Includes: Treaty with Mexico ceding California 1848, Constitution of California 1849, Act for Admission of California 1850, Constitution of California 1879.
- The Genesis of California's First Constitution, 1846-49 (1895), by Rockwell Dennis Hunt. A 19th century legal treatise that provides a detailed account of the legal status of California from the American conquest to the adoption of the Constitution.
- The Establishment of State Government in California, 1846-1850 (1914), by Cardinal Leonidas Goodwin. This treatise details the years preceding, during and immediately following the ratification of California‰s first Constitution. Includes an index and bibliography.
- Constitution of the State of California (1894), annotated by W.F. Henning. Includes: Constitution of California 1849, Constitution of California 1879.
- Constitution of the State of California (1899), annotated by W.F. Henning. Includes: Constitution of California 1849, Constitution of California 1879.
- Constitution of the State of California: Adopted in Convention at Sacramento, March 3, 1879 (4th ed. 1916), Edward F. Treadwell, ed.
- HeinOnline: State Constitutions Illustrated: California (1813 - )
Print Historic Constitutions
- West's Annotated California Codes, Call Number: State 1st Floor KFC30.5 .W4. Located in vol. 3.
- Constitution of the State of California, Annotated (Bancroft-Whitney Company), Call Number: State 1st Floor KFC30.5 .D4 C665 1981.Part of Deering's California Codes Annotated, located in fourth vol, entitled "Constitution Article XIII-End."
- The California State Constitution: A Reference Guide, by Joseph R. Grodin, Calvin R. Massey, Richard B. Cunningham, Call Number: State 1st Floor KFC 680 1879 .A6 G76 1993.
- William Finely Swindler, Sources and Documents of United States Constitutions (1973-1979), Call Number: State 1st Floor KF4530 .S94. California documents, including a comparative outline of California Constitutions, bibliography and index are in volume 1.
- Constitution of the State of California (various editions at the Law Library).
- More Law Library books on the constitutional history of California.