Constitutional expert on what’s next after Prop 2 and 5 pass on Election Day

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 10:06 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2022 at 12:19 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Two proposals for changes to Vermont’s Constitution passed on Election Day, including Prop 2 on slavery and Prop 5, or Article 22, on abortion.

Although slavery has been outlawed in Vermont for decades, the ballot question proposed abolishing it for good. Voters approved it with 89% of the vote.

Since it passed, a certain clause in the Vermont Constitution will be replaced with the words “slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.”

The Reproductive Liberty Amendment, also known as Article 22 or Prop 5, passed with about 77% of the vote, compared to 23% who voted no.

This enshrines the right to abortion into Vermont’s Constitution and says that right cannot be infringed upon unless there is compelling state interest.

Proponents are celebrating the measure’s passage.

“Reproductive decisions are for people to make along with their clinicians and their health care professionals. And reproductive freedom means the freedom to determine your own life scores and Vermonters and every single town in the state yesterday made that declaration very clear,” said Lucy Leriche of Planned Parenthood.

Although the proposal is now set in Vermont, any congressional legislation would override state laws under the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause.

Jared Carter, a Vermont Law School professor and constitutional law expert, spoke with our Dom Amato and Alexandra Montgomery about what happens now.

Watch the video below to see their conversation.

Two proposals for changes to Vermont’s constitution passed on Election Day, including Prop 2 on slavery and Prop 5, or Article 22, on abortion.

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