The Law of American State Constitutions

Author: Robert Williams
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199711305
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Law of American State Constitutions provides complete coverage of the legal doctrines surrounding, applying to, and arising from American state constitutions and their judicial interpretation. Using specific examples, Professor Williams provides legal analysis of the nature and function of state constitutions by contrast to the federal Constitution, including rights, separation of powers, policy-based provisions, the judicial interpretation issues that arise under state constitutions and the processes for their amendment and revision. Reference is made to history and political theory, but legal analysis is the primary focus. The Law of American State Constitutions provides an important analytical tool that explains the unique character and the range of judicial interpretation of these constitutions, together with the specialized techniques of argument and interpretation surrounding state constitutions. This is the first book to present a complete picture of the current body of state constitutional law and its judicial interpretation.

Understanding State Constitutions

Author: G. Alan Tarr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691070667
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For many Americans, the word "constitution" means just one thing: the national Constitution. According to a recent survey, almost half do not know that individual states also have constitutions. Scholars have also paid little attention to state constitutions, favoring the apparently more dynamic and significant federal scene. G. Alan Tarr seeks to change that in this landmark book. A leading authority on state legal issues, he combines history, law, and political science to present a thorough and long-needed account of the distinct and important role of state constitutions in American life. Tarr shows that state constitutional politics are dominated by three crucial issues with little salience at the national level: the distribution of power among groups and regions within states, the scope of state and local governmental authority, and the relation of the state to economic activity. He explains how state constitutions differ from the national Constitution in treating not only matters of high principle but also such mundane subjects as ski trails and motor vehicle revenues. He also explores why state constitutions, unlike their federal counterpart, have been so frequently amended and replaced. Tarr concludes that the United States not only has a system of dual constitutionalism but also has dual constitutional cultures. Powerfully argued and meticulously researched, the book fills an important gap in political and legal studies and finally gives state constitutions the scholarly attention they richly deserve.

The Law of Nations and the United States Constitution

Author: Anthony J. Bellia Jr.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190666781
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Law of Nations and the United States Constitution offers a new lens through which anyone interested in constitutional governance in the United States should analyze the role and status of customary international law in U.S. courts. The book explains that the law of nations has not interacted with the Constitution in any single overarching way. Rather, the Constitution was designed to interact in distinct ways with each of the three traditional branches of the law of nations that existed when it was adopted--namely, the law merchant, the law of state-state relations, and the law maritime. By disaggregating how different parts of the Constitution interacted with different kinds of international law, the book provides an account of historical understandings and judicial precedent that will help judges and scholars more readily identify and resolve the constitutional questions presented by judicial use of customary international law today. Part I describes the three traditional branches of the law of nations and examines their relationship with the Constitution. Part II describes the emergence of modern customary international law in the twentieth century, considers how it differs from the traditional branches of the law of nations, and explains why its role or status in U.S. courts requires an independent, context-specific analysis of its interaction with the Constitution. Part III assesses how both modern and traditional customary international law should be understood to interact with the Constitution today.

51 Imperfect Solutions

Author: Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190866063
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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When we think of constitutional law, we invariably think of the United States Supreme Court and the federal court system. Yet much of our constitutional law is not made at the federal level. In 51 Imperfect Solutions, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton argues that American Constitutional Law should account for the role of the state courts and state constitutions, together with the federal courts and the federal constitution, in protecting individual liberties. The book tells four stories that arise in four different areas of constitutional law: equal protection; criminal procedure; privacy; and free speech and free exercise of religion. Traditional accounts of these bedrock debates about the relationship of the individual to the state focus on decisions of the United States Supreme Court. But these explanations tell just part of the story. The book corrects this omission by looking at each issue-and some others as well-through the lens of many constitutions, not one constitution; of many courts, not one court; and of all American judges, not federal or state judges. Taken together, the stories reveal a remarkably complex, nuanced, ever-changing federalist system, one that ought to make lawyers and litigants pause before reflexively assuming that the United States Supreme Court alone has all of the answers to the most vexing constitutional questions. If there is a central conviction of the book, it's that an underappreciation of state constitutional law has hurt state and federal law and has undermined the appropriate balance between state and federal courts in protecting individual liberty. In trying to correct this imbalance, the book also offers several ideas for reform.

The American State Constitutional Tradition

Author: John J. Dinan
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The first comprehensive study of all 114 state constitutional conventions for which there are records--from Connecticut's in 1818 to New Hampshire's in 1984. By integrating state constitution-makers with the federal constitutional tradition, this path-breaking work yields a superior understanding of how American citizens have chosen to govern themselves.

Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places

Author: Emily Zackin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400846277
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Unlike many national constitutions, which contain explicit positive rights to such things as education, a living wage, and a healthful environment, the U.S. Bill of Rights appears to contain only a long list of prohibitions on government. American constitutional rights, we are often told, protect people only from an overbearing government, but give no explicit guarantees of governmental help. Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places argues that we have fundamentally misunderstood the American rights tradition. The United States actually has a long history of enshrining positive rights in its constitutional law, but these rights have been overlooked simply because they are not in the federal Constitution. Emily Zackin shows how they instead have been included in America's state constitutions, in large part because state governments, not the federal government, have long been primarily responsible for crafting American social policy. Although state constitutions, seemingly mired in trivial detail, can look like pale imitations of their federal counterpart, they have been sites of serious debate, reflect national concerns, and enshrine choices about fundamental values. Zackin looks in depth at the history of education, labor, and environmental reform, explaining why America's activists targeted state constitutions in their struggles for government protection from the hazards of life under capitalism. Shedding much-needed light on the variety of reasons that activists pursued the creation of new state-level rights, Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places challenges us to rethink our most basic assumptions about the American constitutional tradition.

The Florida State Constitution

Author: Talbot D'Alemberte
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190464062
Format: PDF, Mobi
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With an introduction that traces the long constitutional history of Florida, Talbot D'Alemberte provides a thorough understanding of Florida's state constitutional history. He includes an in-depth, article-by-article analysis of the entire constitution, detailing the many significant changes that have been made since its initial drafting. This treatment, along with a table of cases, index, and bibliography, provides an unsurpassed reference guide for students, scholars, and practitioners of Florida's constitution. This second edition provides analysis of Florida's State Constitution with updated commentary focusing on the many court decisions rendered since the 1990s, summarizing the state's current jurisprudence and the increasing use of Florida's many methods of Constitution Amendment, including initiative, Legislative, Constitution Revision Commission and Tax and Budget Reform Commission adopted proposals. The Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States is an important series that reflects a renewed international interest in constitutional history and provides expert insight into each of the 50 state constitutions. Each volume in this innovative series contains a historical overview of the state's constitutional development, a section-by-section analysis of its current constitution, and a comprehensive guide to further research. Under the expert editorship of Professor G. Alan Tarr, Director of the Center on State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers University, this series provides essential reference tools for understanding state constitutional law. Books in the series can be purchased individually or as part of a complete set, giving readers unmatched access to these important political documents.

The New Jersey State Constitution

Author: Robert Forrest Williams
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0199778272
Format: PDF
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The New Jersey State Constitution provides an outstanding constitutional and historical account of the state's governing charter. In addition to an overview of New Jersey's constitutional history, it provides an in-depth, section-by-section analysis of the entire constitution, detailing the many significant changes that have been made since its initial drafting. This treatment, along with a table of cases, index, and bibliography provides an unsurpassed reference guide for students, scholars, and practitioners of New Jersey's constitution. State constitutions perform different functions and contain different provisions from the more-familiar U.S. Constitution. The book first outlines the historical development of New Jersey's state constitution from 1776 to the present and explains the highlights of the process of state constitutional development, leading to the current New Jersey constitution. Next, each section of the current constitution is analyzed, including its origins, general intent and purpose, and important judicial interpretations illustrating the types of situations in which the section can come into play, including references to key academic analysis of each section. Careful explanation is provided, with illustrations from cases, of the complex and evolving relationship between rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and rights guaranteed by the New Jersey constitution. In many instances, New Jersey's rights can be more protective than those included in the Federal Constitution. Finally, the book provides a thorough bibliographical essay reviewing the evolution of the New Jersey constitution. The Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States is an important new series that reflects a renewed international interest in constitutional history and provides expert insight into each of the 50 state constitutions. Each volume in this innovative series contains a historical overview of the state's constitutional development, a section-by-section analysis of its current constitution, and a comprehensive guide to further research. Under the expert editorship of Professor G. Alan Tarr, Director of the Center on State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers University, this series provides essential reference tools for understanding state constitutional law. Books in the series can be purchased individually or as part of a complete set, giving readers unmatched access to these important political documents.

The North Carolina State Constitution

Author: John V. Orth
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0199915148
Format: PDF, Kindle
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North Carolina's state constitution charts the evolution over two centuries of a modern representative democracy. In The North Carolina State Constitution, John V. Orth and Paul M. Newby provide an outstanding constitutional and historical account of the state's governing charter. In addition to an overview of North Carolina's constitutional history, it provides an in-depth, section-by-section analysis of the entire constitution, detailing the many significant changes that have been made since its initial drafting. This treatment, along with a table of cases, index, and bibliography provides an unsurpassed reference guide for students, scholars, and practitioners of North Carolina's constitution. Co-authored by Paul M. Newby, a sitting justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, the second edition includes significant constitutional amendments adopted since the date of the first edition. Almost every article was affected by the changes. Some were minor-such as the lengthening the term of magistrates-and some were more significant, such as spelling out the rights of victims of crimes. One was obviously major: granting the governor the power to veto legislation-making North Carolina's governor the last American governor to be given that power. In addition, the North Carolina Supreme Court has continued the seemingly never-ending process of constitutional interpretation. Some judicial decisions answered fairly routine questions about the powers of office, such as the governor's clemency power. Others were politically contentious, such as deciding the constitutional constraints on legislative redistricting. And one continues to have momentous consequences for public education, recognizing the state's constitutional duty to provide every school child in North Carolina with a "sound, basic education." The Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States is an important series that reflects a renewed international interest in constitutional history and provides expert insight into each of the 50 state constitutions. Each volume in this innovative series contains a historical overview of the state's constitutional development, a section-by-section analysis of its current constitution, and a comprehensive guide to further research. Under the expert editorship of Professor G. Alan Tarr, Director of the Center on State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers University, this series provides essential reference tools for understanding state constitutional law. Books in the series can be purchased individually or as part of a complete set, giving readers unmatched access to these important political documents.