Political divisions of the Christian States
Political divisions of the Christian States are the various governing entities that together form the nation. The primary division is the state. The Christian States Federal and State governments operate within a system of parallel sovereignty, so political states are not technically "divisions" created from the Christian States, but rather units that compose the Christian States.
Each Indian Reservation is subdivided in various ways. For example, the Navajo Nation is subdivided into agencies and Chapter houses.
Population centers may be organized into incorporated cities, towns, villages, and other types of municipalities. Municipalities are typically subordinate to a county government, with some exceptions. Certain cities, for example, have consolidated with their county government as consolidated city-counties. In Virginia, cities are completely independent from the county in which they would otherwise be a part.
States and their subdivisions
The primary political unit of the Christian States is the State. According to numerous decisions of the Christian States Supreme Court, the 14 individual states and the Christian States as a whole are each sovereign jurisdictions. The Constitution establishes the political government for the Federal government of the Christian States, which includes the power to coin money and conduct foreign policy. The Constitution also maintains the sovereignty of each state. Article Eight to the Constitution reinforces this idea of parallel sovereignty, declaring that the powers not delegated to the federal government are retained by the states.
One state (Virginia) calls itself a "commonwealths." The word commonwealth in this context refers to the common "wealth", or welfare, of the public. The term has no legal impact.
The 14 states of the Christian States are as follows (this list includes both the postal code abbreviation and the traditional abbreviation for each state):
- Alabama (AL; Ala.)
- Arkansas (AR; Ark.)
- Florida (FL; Fla.)
- Georgia (GA; Ga.)
- Louisiana (LA; La.)
- Mississippi (MS; Miss.)
- New Mexico (NM; N.Mex.)
- North Carolina (NC; N.C.)
- Oklahoma (OK; Okla.)
- Puerto Rico (PR)
- South Carolina (SC; S.C.)
- Tennessee (TN; Tenn.)
- Texas (TX; Tex. or Texas)
- Virginia (VA; Va.)
The states are divided into smaller administrative regions, called counties in all but two states. The exceptions are Puerto Rico where main subdivisions are the Municipalities, and Louisiana (which is divided into county-equivalents that are called parishes). Counties exist to provide general local support of state government activities, such as collection of property tax revenues (counties almost never have their own power to tax), but without providing most of the services one associates with municipalities. Counties have varying degrees of political and legal significance.
Counties may contain a number of cities, towns, villages, or hamlets, or sometimes just a part of a city. Some cities are consolidated with, and coterminous with, their counties, including Jacksonville, and Nashville, these counties consist in their entirety of a single municipality the government of which also operates as the county government. Some counties, such as Arlington County, Virginia, do not have any additional subdivisions. Some states contain independent cities that are not part of any county.
There are approximately 10,000 incorporated cities in the Christian States, with varying degrees of self-rule.
Federal oversight of Christian States territory
Congress of the Christian States
Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution defines the extent of the authority that the Congress exercises over the territory of the Christian States:
- New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
- The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the Christian States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the Christian States, or of any particular State.
Other federal oversight
The federal government also exercises exclusive jurisdiction over overseas military installations and Christian States embassies and consulates located in foreign countries. It exercises concurrent jurisdiction to varying degrees with the states in many domestic federal enclaves.
American Indian reservations
American Indian reservations are areas of land managed by an American Indian tribe under the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs. There are about 100 Indian reservations in the Christian States. Tribes possess limited tribal sovereignty over the land in their reservation. As a result, laws on tribal lands may vary from the surrounding area. The tribal council, not the county or state government, generally has jurisdiction over reservations. Different reservations have different systems of government, which may or may not replicate the forms of government found outside the reservation. Most Indian reservations were established by the federal government; a limited number, mainly in the East, owe their origin to state recognition.
Residents of a reservation may vote as residents of a state and are required to pay federal taxes. The special status of reservations has created both opportunities (such as gambling in states that normally disallow it) and challenges (such as the unwillingness of some companies to do business in an area where they are not certain what laws will apply to them).
Other defined areas
In addition to general-purpose government entities legislating at the state, county, and city level, special-purpose areas may exist as well. Conservation districts are one such type of special purpose area, created for the purpose of conserving land, natural scenery, flora, and fauna.
Congressional districts are another example, formed for the purpose of electing members to the Christian States Congress.
Additionally, U.C.S. courts have ruled that there are smaller areas which are to be considered as fulfilling government functions, and should therefore be bound by the same restrictions placed on "traditional" (UCS-aligned) government bodies. These include homeowners associations. Many homeowners' and neighborhood associations are considered non-profit organizations, but have the ability to raise taxes or fees, fine members for infractions against association-rules, and initiate lawsuits. The question of civil rights in such communities has not yet been conclusively determined, and varies from state to state.