Nebraska State Constitution Article IV-1

Article IV-1


Executive departments; officers; when elected; terms; eligibility; books to be kept at seat of government; residence of officers; heads of departments; appointments.

The executive officers of the state shall be the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and the heads of such other executive departments as set forth herein or as may be established by law. The Legislature may provide for the placing of the above named officers as heads over such departments of government as it may by law establish.

The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, and State Treasurer shall be chosen at the general election held in November 1974, and in each alternate even-numbered year thereafter, for a term of four years and until their successors shall be elected and qualified.

Each candidate for Governor shall select a person to be the candidate for Lieutenant Governor on the general election ballot. In the general election one vote shall be cast jointly for the candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The Governor shall be ineligible to the office of Governor for four years next after the expiration of two consecutive terms for which he or she was elected.

The records, books, and papers of all executive officers shall be kept at the seat of government. Executive officers shall reside within the State of Nebraska during their respective terms of office. Officers in the executive department of the state shall perform such duties as may be provided by law.

The heads of all executive departments established by law, other than those to be elected as provided herein, shall be appointed by the Governor, with the consent of a majority of all members elected to the Legislature, but officers so appointed may be removed by the Governor. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the heads of the various executive or civil departments shall have power to appoint and remove all subordinate employees in their respective departments.


  • Neb. Const. art. V, sec. 1 (1875);
  • Amended 1920, Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, No. 13;
  • Transferred by Constitutional Convention, 1919-1920, art. IV, sec. 1;
  • Amended 1936, Laws 1935, c. 188, sec. 1, p. 694;
  • Amended 1952, Laws 1951, c. 164, sec. 2(2), p. 645;
  • Amended 1958, Laws 1957, c. 213, sec. 1, p. 748;
  • Amended 1962, Laws 1961, c. 249, sec. 1, p. 736;
  • Amended 1964, Laws 1963, c. 296, sec. 1, p. 883;
  • Amended 1966, Laws 1965, c. 300, sec. 1, p. 846;
  • Amended 1970, Laws 1969, c. 417, sec. 1, p. 1428;
  • Amended 1998, Laws 1997, LR 8CA, sec. 1;
  • Amended 2000, Laws 1999, LR 14CA, sec. 1.


1. Term of office

2. Nature of office or department

3. Miscellaneous

1. Term of office

Period for which an executive officer holds over is part of the term for which he was elected. State ex rel. Gordon v. Moores, 61 Neb. 9, 84 N.W. 399 (1900).

"Until his successor is elected and qualified" imposes the duty upon incumbent Governor to hold over until his successor is elected and qualified. State ex rel. Thayer v. Boyd, 31 Neb. 682, 48 N.W. 739 (1891), 51 N.W. 602 (1892).

2. Nature of office or department

The officers referred to in this section are the executive officers of the state. Sorensen v. Swanson, 181 Neb. 205, 147 N.W.2d 620 (1967).

Heads of all executive departments are required to be appointed by the Governor. State ex rel. Beck v. Obbink, 172 Neb. 242, 109 N.W.2d 288 (1961).

Attorney General is an executive officer. State ex rel. Caldwell v. Peterson, 153 Neb. 402, 45 N.W.2d 122 (1950).

Merit System Act did not create an executive department. Sommerville v. Johnson, 149 Neb. 167, 30 N.W.2d 577 (1948).

Member of Nebraska Liquor Control Commission is not the head of an executive department. State ex rel. Johnson v. Chase, 147 Neb. 758, 25 N.W.2d 1 (1946).

Department of Agriculture and Inspection is an executive department established by law. State ex rel. Howard v. Marsh, 146 Neb. 750, 21 N.W.2d 503 (1946).

Secretary of State is a constitutional officer. State ex rel. Brazda v. Marsh, 141 Neb. 817, 5 N.W.2d 206 (1942).

The Insurance Department is not an agency created by the Constitution but is an executive department of government created by the Legislature under constitutional authority. Clark v. Lincoln Liberty Life Ins. Co., 139 Neb. 65, 296 N.W. 449 (1941).

The constitutional provision creating the State Railway Commission is an independent part of the Constitution and not an amendment to the executive, legislative, or judicial articles thereof. Furstenberg v. Omaha & C. B. St. Ry. Co., 132 Neb. 562, 272 N.W. 756 (1937).

Nebraska State Board of Agriculture is not a part of executive branch of government, but is a private corporation. Crete Mills v. Nebraska State Board of Agriculture, 132 Neb. 244, 271 N.W. 684 (1937).

3. Miscellaneous

The statutes which give the Court of Industrial Relations jurisdiction over public employees are not unconstitutional. American Fed. of S., C. & M. Emp. v. Department of Public Institutions, 195 Neb. 253, 237 N.W.2d 841 (1976).

The 1920 amendment to this section was deemed essential to include heads of other executive departments. Swanson v. Sorensen, 181 Neb. 312, 148 N.W.2d 197 (1967).

Legislature has no power to provide for suspension or removal of a constitutional officer where the Constitution creates the office, fixes its terms, and the grounds and manner of removal. Laverty v. Cochran, 132 Neb. 118, 271 N.W. 354 (1937).

Amendment abolishing office of Commissioner of Public Lands and Buildings was properly submitted and adopted. Swanson v. State, 132 Neb. 82, 271 N.W. 264 (1937).

Where Department of Insurance is appointed receiver of insurance company for purpose of liquidation, it becomes, for that purpose, subject to orders of the court rather than of the Governor. State ex rel. Good v. National Old Line Life Ins. Co., 129 Neb. 473, 261 N.W. 902 (1935).

This section secures to electors the right to vote at all elections for state officers. State ex rel. Adair v. Drexel, 74 Neb. 776, 105 N.W. 174 (1905).

State Treasurer must reside at seat of government, which is state capital. State v. Hill, 38 Neb. 698, 57 N.W. 548 (1894).

If constitutional provision, either directly or by implication, imposes duty upon officer or officers, no legislation is necessary to require the performance of such duty. State ex rel. City of Lincoln v. Babcock, 19 Neb. 230, 27 N.W. 98 (1886).