Vermont residents are subject to Vermont state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Vermont 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 Vermont also has its own state laws. Vermont state laws include the Vermont Constitution, laws passed by the Vermont legislature and periodically codified in the Vermont Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Vermont laws.
While the Vermont Constitution technically dates from 1793, it was substantially revised in 1913. The document is divided into two sections that cover individual rights and the framework of government, respectively. Section 72 provides the process for amending the Constitution. All amendments must begin with a proposal in the Vermont State Senate. An amendment must be approved by a two-thirds vote in the Senate and a majority vote in the Vermont House of Representatives when it is first proposed. If a majority of each chamber votes in favor of the amendment in the next legislative session as well, the amendment will appear on a ballot. The Constitution does not provide for constitutional conventions.
The Vermont Statutes contain the laws passed by the Vermont legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Vermont Constitution are often interpreted by the Vermont Supreme Court, which is the only appellate court in the state. The federal Vermont District Court also issues decisions that may affect Vermont residents. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Vermont District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Second Circuit or from the Vermont Supreme Court.