The Law of American State Constitutions

The Law of American State Constitutions

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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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 456 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 33.02mm | 771.1g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195343085
  • 9780195343083
  • 2,005,750

Review quote

"Professor Williams work is more than a classroom primer. From beginning to end it is a significant reprise of the development of democratic government, particularly of democratic state government. It is a work where the usual background material of the introductory apparatus provides a road map through highly significant historical and analytical material from the founding decade of the country to the very present of the new judicial federalism which recognizes a new set of state constitutional rights." --Professor Frank P. Grad, J.P. Chamberlain Professor Emeritus of Legislation, Columbia Law School "A most welcome, important text! Professor Williams' own decades of research and close involvement in the developing field of state constitutional law enable him to illuminate the pathways back in history, and forward into the future, magnificently. This is both a compelling record of history being made, and an absolutely invaluable reference." -Judith S. Kaye, Chief Judge of the State of New York (Retired) "For a generation, Bob Williams has set the agenda for legal scholarship in state constitutional law. In this book, Williams pulls together a career's worth of reflection and study into a definitive account of what state constitutions are, how they work, and how courts should interpret them. The book is exactly what we have come to expect from Bob Williams: comprehensive, meticulously researched, and persuasively argued." -James A. Gardner, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Joseph W. Belluck and Laura L. Aswad Professor of Civil Justice State University of New York, University at Buffalo School of Law "In this book, Robert Williams undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the origin and evolution of American state constitutions, the notable ways they differ from the federal Constitution, and the various issues judges encounter in interpreting the wide range of structural provisions, procedural limitations, and guarantees of individual liberty enshrined in these foundational documents." -John Dinan, Associate Professor, Wake Forest University and author of The American State Constitutional Tradition "The most significant constitutional development of recent decades has been the resuscitation of litigation and scholarship centered on provisions in state constitutions. There has been no more thoughtful analyst of these developments than Professor Robert Williams. Although he disclaims laying down any grand theory for the field, Bob Williams has now given us the most valuable single work in the modern canon. No one since Thomas Cooley has done so much to enrich the debate." -Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, Indiana Supreme Court "This book will enrich the understanding of any practitioner who seeks deeper knowledge of any constitution, state or federal." -John Vail, Vice President and Sr. Litigation counsel, Center for Constitutional Litigation, Washington, D.C."Robert Williams is a long-time and very distinguished laborer in the field of state constitutional law - really, both a pioneer and a leader. His book looks, at first glance, to be a grand summing up, an attempt at magisterial synthesis. But it is in fact much better than that." -Pat Gudridge, Constitutional Law Jotwell"This book explores subnational statehood as an American legal concept like no other resource with which I'm familiar. And as this struggle continues both here and abroad, this book will be an asset for years to come." - James Colburn, Concurring Opinions"There is no better guide to those constitutions, and to that broader conception of what American constitutional law is, than Bob Williams...it will enrich the understanding of any practitioner who seeks deeper knowledge of any constitution, state or federal." --John Vail Trial Magazine "The book provides a coherent exposition of what new judicial federalism means and it draws important parallels and contrasts to litigation under the federal constitution...Overall, William's THE LAW OF AMERICAN STATE CONSTITUTIONS is an excellent book deserving of a read by public law scholars and of use in the classroom." --David Schultz, School of Business, Hamline University Law and Politics Book Review Blog"Williams has written a thoroughly researched book that exceeds expectations and would benefit different audiences. For the law student, this book provides a deeper awareness of constitutional law. For the practicing attorney or judicial officer, the text is an easy read that avoids academic forays into speculative queries, and provides provocative approaches into constitutional analysis and interpretation that may not be found in a practitioner's own state. For the student of American history, this book is a treasure." --Jaime R. Roman, Superior Court Judge, Sacramento, California The Colorado Lawyershow more

About Robert Williams

Robert Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, and Associate Director, Center for State Constitutional Studies. He holds a B.A. from Florida State, a J.D. from the University of Florida, and LL.M. degrees from New York University and Columbia. He served as a legislative assistant during the 1967 Special Constitutional Revision session of the Florida Legislature and represented clients before the 1978 Florida Constitution Revision Commission.show more

Table of contents

CHAPTER 1: THE OTHER AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONS ; CHAPTER 2: THE PRE-FEDERAL STATE CONSTITUTIONS: THE FOUNDING DECADE ; CHAPTER 3: THE EVOLVING AMERICAN STATE CONSTITUTIONS ; CHAPTER 4: FEDERAL LIMITS ON STATE CONSTITUTIONS ; CHAPTER 5: THE NEW JUDICIAL FEDERALISM ; CHAPTER 6: METHODOLOGY IN STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS INTERPRETATION ; CHAPTER 7: LOCKSTEPPING STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS WITH FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ; CHAPTER 8: STATE CONSTITUTIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS ; CHAPTER 9: THE STATE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH ; CHAPTER 10: THE STATE JUDICIAL BRANCH ; CHAPTER 11: THE STATE EXECUTIVE BRANCH ; CHAPTER 12: INTERPRETING STATE CONSTITUTIONS ; CHAPTER 13: STATE CONSTITUTIONAL REVISION AND AMENDMENT ; CHAPTER 14: JUDICIAL INVOLVEMENT IN STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND REVISIONshow more

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