Missouri residents are subject to Missouri state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Missouri 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 Missouri also has its own state laws. Missouri state laws include the Missouri Constitution, laws passed by the Missouri legislature and periodically codified in the Missouri Revised Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Missouri laws.
Adopted in 1945, the Missouri Constitution consists of 14 articles. It outlines the three branches of government in greater detail than the three previous versions of this document. One distinctive feature of the Constitution is Article XIV, which specifically covers medical marijuana. Article XII provides the three processes for amending the Constitution. First, an amendment proposed by the legislature will appear on a ballot if a majority of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor. Alternatively, Article XII permits amendments proposed through ballot initiatives to appear on a ballot if they meet the requirements for initiatives in Article III. Finally, a proposal for a constitutional convention will appear automatically on a ballot at 20-year intervals.
The Missouri Revised Statutes contain the laws passed by the Missouri legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Missouri Constitution are often interpreted by the Missouri Supreme Court and the Missouri Court of Appeals, which is divided into three districts (Eastern, Western, and Southern). Two federal district courts in Missouri also issue decisions that may affect Missouri residents. These are the Eastern and Western District Courts of Missouri. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by federal district courts in Missouri. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Eighth Circuit or from the Missouri Supreme Court.