The American State Constitutional Tradition

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Author: John J. Dinan

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 430

View: 2658

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.

State Constitutional Politics

Governing by Amendment in the American States

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Author: John Dinan

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022653295X

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 7583

Since the US Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended just twenty-seven times, with ten of those amendments coming in the first two years following ratification. By contrast, state constitutions have been completely rewritten on a regular basis, and the current documents have been amended on average 150 times. This is because federal amendments are difficult, so politicians rarely focus on enacting them. Rather, they work to secure favorable congressional statutes or Supreme Court decisions. By contrast, the relative ease of state amendment processes makes them a realistic and regular vehicle for seeking change. With State Constitutional Politics, John Dinan looks at the various occasions in American history when state constitutional amendments have served as instruments of governance. Among other things, amendments have constrained state officials in the way they levy taxes and spend money; enacted policies unattainable through legislation on issues ranging from minimum wage to the regulation of marijuana; and updated understandings of rights, including religious liberty, equal protection, and the right to bear arms. In addition to comprehensively chronicling the ways amendments shape politics in the states, Dinan also assesses the consequences of undertaking changes in governance through amendments rather than legislation or litigation. For various reasons, including the greater stability and legitimacy of changes achieved through the amendment process, he argues that it might be a more desirable way of achieving change.

The American Constitutional Tradition

Colonial Charters, Covenants, and Revolutionary State Constitutions, 1578–1780

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Author: H. Lowell Brown

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1683930487

Category: History

Page: 252

View: 2212

Closer examination of foundational, revolutionary documents, and of the colonial legislation enacted on the basis of those foundational documents, reveals an American tradition of constitutionalism that the Revolutionaries were able to draw upon when fashioning their constitutions for the newly independent states and for the federal government.

The Virginia State Constitution

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Author: John Dinan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199355746

Category: Law

Page: 256

View: 9313

The Virginia State Constitution examines constitutional amendments, court decisions, attorney general opinions, and legislative deliberations bearing on the development and interpretation of the Virginia Constitution. The book contains a detailed history of the Virginia Constitution, with particular attention to key moments in the state's constitutional development, from the 1776 Constitution through the current 1971 Constitution. The book also includes a provision-by-provision commentary on the evolution and meaning of each section of the Virginia Constitution. The second edition brings this material up to date through mid-2013 and analyzes a number of constitutional developments with important implications for governance. Among the recent amendments covered in this volume is an amendment barring recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions, and an amendment that undertook a major revision of the provision limiting the eminent domain power. The book examines several recent state court decisions of note, including the state supreme court's first interpretation of the provision guaranteeing "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" and various court decisions limiting the power to levy taxes. The book also analyzes recent attorney general opinions with significant implications for legislative appropriations to non-profit groups, along with various other legislative initiatives. 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 Law of American State Constitutions

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Author: Robert Williams

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199711305

Category: Law

Page: 456

View: 4457

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.

The Virginia State Constitution

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Author: John J. Dinan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199877696

Category: Law

Page: 296

View: 5460

In contrast with the U.S. Constitution, which has been amended only 27 times since it was drafted in 1787, the Virginia Constitution has been the subject of many revisions since its adoption by the Convention of 1776. Significant changes have been brought about at the recommendation of revision commissions. On a number of those occasions, Virginia constitution makers have engaged in significant debates about fundamental questions. In fact, few states have had more opportunities to engage in constitutional revision and to debate fundamental principles. In The Virginia State Constitution, John Dinan analyzes the history and development of the Virginia constitution and undertakes a detailed treatment of the evolving interpretation of each section. In it, he contends that few states have had more opportunities than Virginia to engage in constitutional revision, and, in the process, to debate fundamental political questions about the role of state government. Previously published by Greenwood, this title has been brought back in to circulation by Oxford University Press with new verve. Re-printed with standardization of content organization in order to facilitate research across the series, this title, as with all titles in the series, is set to join the dynamic revision cycle of The Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States. 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 states 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 Constitutionalism of American States

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Author: George E. Connor,Christopher W. Hammons

Publisher: University of Missouri Press

ISBN: 0826266053

Category: Law

Page: 816

View: 4311

"This comparative study of state constitutions offers insightful overviews of the general and specific problems that have confronted America's constitution writers since the country's founding. Each chapter reflects the constitutional theory and history of a single state, encompassing each document's structure, content, and evolution"-- Provided by publisher.

State Constitutions for the Twenty-first Century, Volume 2

Drafting State Constitutions, Revisions, and Amendments

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Author: Frank P. Grad,Robert F. Williams

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791466483

Category: Law

Page: 147

View: 7938

Identifies problems reformers face in drafting or amending state constitutions.

New York's Broken Constitution

The Governance Crisis and the Path to Renewed Greatness

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Author: Peter J. Galie,Christopher Bopst,Gerald Benjamin

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438463340

Category: Political Science

Page: 340

View: 2901

Examines the significant gaps between what New York State’s constitution says and how the state is actually governed and offers ideas for reform. On its face, New York State’s constitution is an elaborate and impressive aggregation of processes, powers, mandates, and limits. But many of these are “inoperative,” and New Yorkers who read the document and believe what it says will come away with a massive misunderstanding of the realities of state government. The essays in New York’s Broken Constitution seek to clarify the realities by bringing attention to the gaps between what the constitution says and how the state is actually governed, and they provide a disquieting picture of the state of the state’s constitution. Among the topics addressed are state debt and budgeting practices, legislative redistricting, local government, gambling, conservation, and the process of amending the constitution. Written by knowledgeable professionals, the chapters explain the constitutional provisions in question, including the reasons for their constitutional status; how they have been used and interpreted; and the extent of the gaps between the constitutional provisions and practice. Various proposals for reform are also examined. “This is an impressive volume, teeming with invaluable insights. It presents a compelling message: since many of the dysfunctions in state governance are inextricably tied to the organizational structures and policies detailed—and sometimes followed, sometimes disregarded—in the state constitution, constitutional reform is imperative. Anyone concerned about the operation and current dysfunction of New York State government should read this book.” — Vincent M. Bonventre, Albany Law School “This book will be enormously useful in guiding the public and scholarly debate in the lead-up to the November 2017 vote on the question of whether to hold a state constitutional convention.” — John J. Dinan, author of The American State Constitutional Tradition

Constitutional Dynamics in Federal Systems

Sub-national Perspectives

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Author: Michael Burgess,G. Alan Tarr

Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP

ISBN: 0773539549

Category: Political Science

Page: 338

View: 5682

Providing a comprehensive view of the constitutional architecture of federations, contributors address change and development in federal states from the standpoint of constitutional revision and reform. Oftentimes change comes from the constituent units that together form a federation. With this in mind, political scientists and legal scholars from across Europe and North America address three important questions. First, what is the scope of national space - the range of discretion and autonomy in constitutional design and development - that is available to the sub-national units in federal system? Second, to what extent have the sub-national units occupied the constitutional space available to them? Third, what have been the effects of constitutional initiatives by sub-national units within their constitutional space on national constitutional development (vertical federalism), on constitutional development in other sub-national units (horizontal federalism), and on political development within their own borders? A comparative, interdisciplinary approach to constitutionalism in federal systems, this volume will be of particular interest to scholars studying federalism, comparative politics, public law, and political development. Contributors include Michael Burgess (University of Kent) and G. Alan Tarr (Rutgers University-Camden), John J. Dinan (Wake Forest University), Arthur Gunlicks (University of Richmond), Peter Bujäger (University of Innsbruck), Jens Woelk (University of Trento), Nicolas Schmitt (University of Fribourg), Patrick Peeters (University of Leuven), Gerald Baier (University of British Columbia), Stephen Tierney (University of Edinburgh), Carlos Viver (University of Barcelona), Francesco Palermo (University of Verona), Anneli Albi (University of Kent), Ornella Porchia (University of Turin).

The Foundations of the Modern Philippine State

Imperial Rule and the American Constitutional Tradition in the Philippine Islands, 1898–1935

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Author: Leia Castañeda Anastacio

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316790614

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 7709

The US occupation of the Philippine Islands in 1898 began a foundational period of the modern Philippine state. With the adoption of the 1935 Philippine Constitution, the legal conventions for ultimate independence were in place. In this time, American officials and their Filipino elite collaborators established a representative, progressive, yet limited colonial government that would modernize the Philippine Islands through colonial democracy and developmental capitalism. Examining constitutional discourse in American and Philippine government records, academic literature, newspaper and personal accounts, The Foundations of the Modern Philippine State concludes that the promise of America's liberal empire was negated by the imperative of insulating American authority from Filipino political demands. Premised on Filipino incapacity, the colonial constitution weakened the safeguards that shielded liberty from power and unleashed liberalism's latent tyrannical potential in the name of civilization. This forged a constitutional despotism that haunts the Islands to this day.

Framed

America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance

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Author: Sanford Levinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199890757

Category: History

Page: 437

View: 5902

In Framed, Levinson challenges our belief that the most important features of our constitutions concern what rights they protect. Instead, he focuses on the fundamental procedures of governance such as congressional bicameralism; the selection of the President by the electoral college, or the dimensions of the President's veto power--not to mention the near impossibility of amending the United States Constitution. These seemingly "settled" and "hardwired" structures contribute to the now almost universally recognized "dysfunctionality" of American politics. Levinson argues that we should stop treating the United States Constitution as uniquely exemplifying the American constitutional tradition. We should be aware of the 50 state constitutions, often interestingly different--and perhaps better--than the national model. Many states have updated their constitutions by frequent amendment or by complete replacement via state constitutional conventions. California's ungovernable condition has prompted serious calls for a constitutional convention. This constant churn indicates that basic law often reaches the point where it fails and becomes obsolete. Given the experience of so many states, he writes, surely it is reasonable to believe that the U.S. Constitution merits its own updating.

Ex Uno Plura

State Constitutions and Their Political Cultures

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Author: N.A

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 0791486729

Category: Constitutional history

Page: 328

View: 4424

A Revolution in Favor of Government

Origins of the U.S. Constitution and the Making of the American State

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Author: Max M. Edling

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199705856

Category: Political Science

Page: 352

View: 4991

What were the intentions of the Founders? Was the American constitution designed to protect individual rights? To limit the powers of government? To curb the excesses of democracy? Or to create a robust democratic nation-state? These questions echo through today's most heated legal and political debates. In this powerful new interpretation of America's origins, Max Edling argues that the Federalists were primarily concerned with building a government that could act vigorously in defense of American interests. The Constitution transferred the powers of war making and resource extraction from the states to the national government thereby creating a nation-state invested with all the important powers of Europe's eighteenth-century "fiscal-military states." A strong centralized government, however, challenged the American people's deeply ingrained distrust of unduly concentrated authority. To secure the Constitution's adoption the Federalists had to accommodate the formation of a powerful national government to the strong current of anti-statism in the American political tradition. They did so by designing a government that would be powerful in times of crisis, but which would make only limited demands on the citizenry and have a sharply restricted presence in society. The Constitution promised the American people the benefit of government without its costs. Taking advantage of a newly published letterpress edition of the constitutional debates, A Revolution in Favor of Government recovers a neglected strand of the Federalist argument, making a persuasive case for rethinking the formation of the federal American state.

American Sovereigns

The People and America's Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War

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Author: Christian G. Fritz

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139467179

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 537

American Sovereigns: The People and America's Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War challenges traditional American constitutional history, theory and jurisprudence that sees today's constitutionalism as linked by an unbroken chain to the 1787 Federal constitutional convention. American Sovereigns examines the idea that after the American Revolution, a collectivity - the people - would rule as the sovereign. Heated political controversies within the states and at the national level over what it meant that the people were the sovereign and how that collective sovereign could express its will were not resolved in 1776, in 1787, or prior to the Civil War. The idea of the people as the sovereign both unified and divided Americans in thinking about government and the basis of the Union. Today's constitutionalism is not a natural inheritance, but the product of choices Americans made between shifting understandings about themselves as a collective sovereign.

Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places

Why State Constitutions Contain America's Positive Rights

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Author: Emily Zackin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400846277

Category: Political Science

Page: 248

View: 699

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.

Separate Peoples, One Land

The Minds of Cherokees, Blacks, and Whites on the Tennessee Frontier

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Author: Cynthia Cumfer

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469606593

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 4980

Exploring the mental worlds of the major groups interacting in a borderland setting, Cynthia Cumfer offers a broad, multiracial intellectual and cultural history of the Tennessee frontier in the Revolutionary and early national periods, leading up to the era of rapid westward expansion and Cherokee removal. Attentive to the complexities of race, gender, class, and spirituality, Cumfer offers a rare glimpse into the cultural logic of Native American, African American, and Euro-American men and women as contact with one another powerfully transformed their ideas about themselves and the territory they came to share. The Tennessee frontier shaped both Cherokee and white assumptions about diplomacy and nationhood. After contact, both groups moved away from local and personal notions about polity to embrace nationhood. Excluded from the nationalization process, slaves revived and modified African and American premises about patronage and community, while free blacks fashioned an African American doctrine of freedom that was both communal and individual. Paying particular attention to the influence of older European concepts of civilization, Cumfer shows how Tennesseans, along with other Americans and Europeans, modified European assumptions to contribute to a discourse about civilization, one both dynamic and destructive, which has profoundly shaped world history.

Ordered Liberty

A Constitutional History of New York

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Author: Peter J. Galie

Publisher: Fordham Univ Press

ISBN: 9780823216529

Category: History

Page: 409

View: 8016

The impending 1997 mandate to place before the voters the question on whether to convene a convention to revise and amend the New York Constitution becomes increasingly important and deserving of careful attention. Ordered Liberty provides a comprehensive chronicle of the constitutional history of New York state. There exists no single or multi-volumed work in print which examines this crucial history. This volume, bringing all previously published studies up to date, uses as its organizational frame the nine constitutional conventions in New York history and the constitutions each produced. Each convention is placed in its political, legal, and economic context- the work of the convention is examined, and the political theory reflected in each is explained. Finally, an assessment of each convention's accomplishments is presented. Subsequent sections of the volume examine appropriate methods to achieve that reform. An extensive bibliographical essay of primary and secondary sources on the state's constitutional history is provided.

The Revolutionary Constitution

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Author: David J. Bodenhamer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019991303X

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 5601

The framers of the Constitution chose their words carefully when they wrote of a more perfect union--not absolutely perfect, but with room for improvement. Indeed, we no longer operate under the same Constitution as that ratified in 1788, or even the one completed by the Bill of Rights in 1791--because we are no longer the same nation. In The Revolutionary Constitution, David J. Bodenhamer provides a comprehensive new look at America's basic law, integrating the latest legal scholarship with historical context to highlight how it has evolved over time. The Constitution, he notes, was the product of the first modern revolution, and revolutions are, by definition, moments when the past shifts toward an unfamiliar future, one radically different from what was foreseen only a brief time earlier. In seeking to balance power and liberty, the framers established a structure that would allow future generations to continually readjust the scale. Bodenhamer explores this dynamic through seven major constitutional themes: federalism, balance of powers, property, representation, equality, rights, and security. With each, he takes a historical approach, following their changes over time. For example, the framers wrote multiple protections for property rights into the Constitution in response to actions by state governments after the Revolution. But twentieth-century courts--and Congress--redefined property rights through measures such as zoning and the designation of historical landmarks (diminishing their commercial value) in response to the needs of a modern economy. The framers anticipated just such a future reworking of their own compromises between liberty and power. With up-to-the-minute legal expertise and a broad grasp of the social and political context, this book is a tour de force of Constitutional history and analysis.