Delaware residents are subject to Delaware state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Delaware as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Delaware also has its own state laws. Delaware state laws include the Delaware Constitution, laws passed by the Delaware legislature and periodically codified in the Delaware Code, and decisions by courts that interpret Delaware laws.
Adopted in 1897, the current version of the Delaware Constitution is the fourth in the state’s history. Unlike all other states, Delaware does not require a popular vote to amend the Constitution. Also, it does not provide for initiatives or referendums in state or local government. Article XVI provides the two processes for amending the Delaware Constitution. First, the Delaware General Assembly may amend the Constitution if two-thirds of each chamber votes in favor of a proposed amendment in two successive legislative sessions. Alternatively, a proposal for a constitutional convention may go on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the General Assembly votes in favor.
The Delaware Code contains the laws passed by the Delaware legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Delaware Constitution are often interpreted by the Delaware Supreme Court, which is the only appellate court in the state. The federal Delaware District Court also issues decisions that may affect Delaware residents. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Delaware District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Third Circuit or from the Delaware Supreme Court.