North Dakota residents are subject to North Dakota state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in North Dakota 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 North Dakota also has its own state laws. North Dakota state laws include the North Dakota Constitution, laws passed by the North Dakota legislature and periodically codified in the North Dakota Century Code, and decisions by courts that interpret North Dakota laws.
When North Dakota became a state in 1889, the North Dakota Constitution took effect. Unlike most state constitutions, it does not contain a single article dedicated to the amendment process. The Constitution permits amendments by legislative referrals, ballot initiatives, and constitutional conventions. Under Article IV, an amendment proposed by the legislature will appear on a ballot if a majority of the members of each chamber vote in its favor. Article III describes the process of initiated amendments, including how many signatures are required on a petition. As provided by Section 1 of Article III, a constitutional convention may be called only by an initiative, rather than by the legislature.
The North Dakota Century Code contains the laws passed by the North Dakota legislature. These laws and the provisions of the North Dakota Constitution are often interpreted by the North Dakota Supreme Court and the North Dakota Court of Appeals. The federal North Dakota District Court also issues decisions that may affect North Dakota residents. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the North Dakota District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Eighth Circuit or from the North Dakota Supreme Court.