New Hampshire residents are subject to New Hampshire state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire also has its own state laws. New Hampshire state laws include the New Hampshire Constitution, laws passed by the New Hampshire legislature and periodically codified in the New Hampshire Revised Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret New Hampshire laws.
In 1776, New Hampshire became the first state to devise a constitution that replaced British rule, although the current version of the Constitution dates from 1784. The document is divided into two parts, which cover individual rights and the state government, respectively. Article 100 in Part II provides the two ways to amend the Constitution. First, an amendment proposed by the legislature will appear on a ballot if 60 percent of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor. It will be approved only if two-thirds of qualified voters support it, rather than a simple majority. A proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot if a majority of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor, or automatically at 10-year intervals.
The New Hampshire Revised Statutes contain the laws passed by the New Hampshire legislature. These laws and the provisions of the New Hampshire Constitution are often interpreted by the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which is the only appellate court in the state. The federal New Hampshire District Court also issues decisions that may affect New Hampshire residents. The First Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the New Hampshire District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the First Circuit or from the New Hampshire Supreme Court.