This new case book addresses the constitutions of the 50 States. It is designed for a survey course, one that does not purport to cover every State's constitution in detail. Rather, like a traditional contracts, real property or torts textbook, it uses the most interesting state court decisions from around the country to illustrate the astonishing array of state constitutional issues at play in modern American law. The method of presentation emphasizes the function of state constitutions in our federal system. It sometimes does so by explaining how the U.S. Constitution deals with an issue before discussing how the state constitutions handle it, and it sometimes does so by explaining how the state constitutions contain provisions that have no parallel in the U.S. Constitution. A central theme of the book, explored in a variety of areas, is that state constitutions provide a source of rights independent of the Federal Constitution, and state courts frequently construe these provisions to grant more expansive protection for individual rights than the Federal Constitution provides.
As the reader will see, the state courts' expansion of liberty and property rights under their constitutions stems from a variety of factors: differences in the text between the state and federal constitutional provisions, the smaller size of the state courts' jurisdiction, state constitutional history, unique state traditions and disagreement with the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of similar language. State constitutional law, like its federal counterpart, is not limited to individual rights. The book also explores the organization and structure of state and local governments, the method of choosing state judges, the ease with which most state constitutions can be amended, taxation, public finance and school funding. As the nightly news confirms, it is no exaggeration to say that many of the most ground-breaking constitutional debates of the day are being aired in the state courts under their own constitutions. The mission of this book is to introduce students to this increasingly significant body of American law and to prepare them to practice effectively in it.
Publisher: West Academic
Number of pages: 277
Weight: 1656 g
Dimensions: 254 x 190 x 36 mm