similarities between state and the federal Constitution

State and the federal Constitution

The legislative process followed while drafting a constitutional document can deliberately be limiting or open to discernment. Its essence is to equip the key players at all levels of government with the necessary skills to not only interpret the law but also appropriately regulate society. The Colorado state constitution is generally more detailed than the U.S constitution. However, there are similarities between the contents of the state constitution and the federal Constitution. For instance, both structures contain a preamble that clearly outlines the general rights awarded to the people of Colorado and, alternatively, the people of the United States of America. Both constitutions contain articles that embody the doctrine of separation of power within the government.

Additionally, they specify on the efficacy of the legislature, which includes the bicameral congress, the executive consisting of the president and the judiciary consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Federal Constitution tends to deviate from the state constitution in that it summarizes the obligations and rights of local entities. Colorado’s state constitution has 29 articles as opposed to the seven sections in the U.S constitution (Tooker, 2017). These articles are divided into topics such as elections, conservation policies, local government, and public health. This analysis seeks to outline the U.S constitution to the Colorado state constitution in terms of the differences and similarities on the bill of rights, provision for the protection of privacy rights, and the merit of explicit versus general constitutional language in the protection of rights.

Both the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights and the Colorado State Constitution’s Bill of rights have a similar approach to outlining citizen’s rights. The U.S. Bill of Rights and the Colorado bill of rights advocate for equality for justice, gender equality, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech and press.  For example, in article 1 section 4 of the Colorado state constitution Bill of Rights states that “No law shall be enacted upon a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  This is deliberate of amendment I of the U.S. Bill of Rights which declares that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Another comparison is that protection is guaranteed for citizens accused of crimes in both bills of rights.  For instance, people of Colorado are protected against discrimination and are promised equal protection under the law.  In article 1 section 5 of the Colorado Bill of Rights states that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment of the person’s civil rights or be discriminated against in the exercise thereof because of race, religion, sex or ancestry.”  This is a reflection of article 7 of U.S. Bill of Rights which states (U.S state constitution, section 7), “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime unless a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

The Colorado foundational document differs from the U.S constitution in that it gives more considerable attention to civil liberties. The people of Colorado are guaranteed a right to life, the right to pursue happiness, the right to a fair trial, and gender equality. However, the U.S state constitution does not directly mention anything on gender equality after the bill amendment failed to gain approval from the necessary states in the 1980s (U.S. History, n.d.). Segregation is prohibited explicitly in the Colorado state constitution, as is imprisonment for debt (Colorado State Constitution, Article I). Finally, the people of Colorado are guaranteed access to records of persons who committed certain crimes against children within its Bill of Rights. All-in-all, the Colorado state constitution goes to greater lengths to protect the rights of its citizens.

Another fundamental difference between the U.S and the Colorado state constitution is the right to privacy, which is stated explicitly in Colorado’s and implied within the U.S. Constitution.  Privacy enables us to create boundaries and protect ourselves from unwarranted interference in our lives, allowing us to negotiate who we are and how we want to interact with the world around us.  This right protects us from arbitrary and unjustified use of power by states, companies, and other actors. The right to privacy in Article I, Section 6 of the Colorado state constitution and it states that: “The right privacy is recognized and shall not be infringed without the showing of compelling state interest.  The legislature shall take affirmative steps to implement this right (Colorado State Constitution, Article I, section 6).” The state is not only specific about privacy being a guaranteed right, but it also compels the state legislature to protect the right when necessary.

Besides, listing privacy as a state right, the website on which the Colorado state constitution is found interprets this section. This is different from the fourth amendment to the Constitution, which abstractly honors the right to privacy by protecting citizens from “unreasonable searches and apprehension” by providing protection for people to be secure within their surroundings. These differences reflect on the freedom of states within a federalist system to adopt the spirit of U.S. Constitutional customs as its necessary for the society.


Therefore, documents used to govern society embrace legislative language to outline rights and limitations, which in some cases, are intentionally limiting or open to interpretation to evolve with the needs of the people. The Colorado state constitution is more specific and detailed than the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Constitution’s general language is necessary since there are states that can get more specific about the rights of their citizens. Since the United States encompasses such a large amount of territory, certain countries should be free to list out certain rights. Colorado strikes a good middle ground in terms of privacy and general versus specific language. While it is considered a reason, the Colorado constitution does not get into excessive detail about what privacy rights entail. Therefore, the Colorado constitution does provide more profound protections to the right of privacy as opposed to the U.S. Constitution but also remains moldable to adapt and serve its citizens.


The Colorado state constitution article I

The U.S state constitution the I amendment

The U.S state bill of rights article VI

Tooker, E. (2017). The United States Constitution and the Iroquois League. In The Invented Indian (pp. 107-128). Routledge.

U.S. History, 57c.The Equal Rights Amendment. Retrieved from

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