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The U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) has long been known for its descriptive and evaluative research on American federalism and for its consistent and reliable dissemination of data on intergovernmental functions and finance. During the past 29 years, the Commission's reports and data have played crucial roles in pinpointing problems, highlighting new issues, and helping private citizens and public officials to shape new directions for the federal system.

With this report, the Commission seeks to highlight yet another new, but not widely known development in American federalism: the revival of interest in state constitutions and state constitutional law.

As it has done so often in the past, the Commission presents here a body of information not otherwise readily available to private citizens and public officials. This report is the first major collection of multistate cases and materials on issues of state constitutional law affecting the 50 states ever to be made available. The report covers a wide range of issues likely to arise under any state constitution and, through cases and other materials, shows how these issues are addressed in similar and different ways by the several states.

This report would not have been possible without the generous efforts of Professor Robert F. Williams

at the Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, NJ. While teaching state constitutional law, Professor Williams assembled much of the material that forms the basis for this report, and a research leave from Rutgers University enabled him to put the materials into the form in which they appear here.

A number of people contributed to the preparation and publication of this report. Professor Williams would like to acknowledge the constant assistance over the years of Professor L. Harold Levinson of Vanderbilt University and Professor Frank P. Grad of Columbia University. Ideas generated by Alaine S. Williams in her law practice provided many insights into the "real world" of state constitutional law.

We would also like to thank Michael E. Libonati, Erick Low, Edwin Meese III, Thomas R. Morris, Martin A. Schwartz, and David M. Skover for comments and suggestions on the initially proposed contents of this report. Any errors of omission or commission, of course, remain the responsibility of the compiler and ACIR staff.

Special appreciation is due to Lori A. O'Bier for tireless typing and retyping of these materials and to Joan Casey for expert editing and proofing.

John Kincaid Executive Director

Depos, USA


Chapter 1 The History, Nature and Function of State Constitutions

A. The Evolving State Constitutions during the Founding Decade .

B. State Constitution Making after the Original States

Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1, U.S. Constitution

By the President of the United States of America, A Proclamation. January 6, 1912

Coyle v. Smith, Secretary of State of the State of Oklahoma 221 U.S. 559 (1911).

C. State Constitutions as Instruments of Lawmaking ....

James Willard Hurst, The Growth of American Law: The Law Makers ....

William Swindler, "State Constitutions for the 20th Century." Nebraska Law Review

50 (Summer 1971): 583-86, 588-89. ..

Frank P. Grad, “The State Constitution: Its Function and Form for Our Time.”

Virginia Law Review 54 (June 1968): 928-29, 942-43, 945-47, 972-73.

Daniel J. Elazar, “The Principles and Traditions Underlying State Constitutions."

Publius: The Journal of Federalism 12 (Winter 1982): 18-22.

Chapter 2 States and Their Constitutions in the Federal System

A. Introduction

B. The Guarantee Clause

Article IV, Section 4, U.S. Constitution ...

Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Company v. Oregon 223 U.S. 118 (1912)

C. The Supremacy Clause

Article VI, Clause 2, United States Constitution

1. Conflict between State Constitutions and the Federal Constitution

Reitman v. Mulkey 387 U.S. 369 (1967)

Hunter v. Underwood 471 U.S. 222 (1985)

Trombetta v. State of Florida 353 F. Supp. 575 (M.D. Fla. 1973)

2. Conflict with Federal Statute

State of North Carolina ex rel. Morrow v. Califano 445 F. Supp. 532

(E.D.N.C. 1977)......

a. Note on Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority

b. Congressional Accommodation of State Prerogatives

Public Law 99-150 (S. 1570]; November 13, 1985, Fair Labor Standards

Amendments of 1985 ....

Senate Report (Labor and Human Resources Committee) October 17, 1985

[To accompany S.1570).

Wheeler v. Barrera 417 U.S. 402 (1974)

c. Congressional Displacement of State Constitutions.

125 Congressional Record-House, P. 993 (daily ed. Feb. 29, 1979),

Legislation to Bring Temporary Relief to Arkansas vis-a-vis Interest Rates ...

McInnis v. Cooper Communities, Inc. 611 S.W. 2d 767 (Ark. 1981)


D. Interstate Compacts and State Constitutions


Article I, Section 10, Clause 3, United States Constitution


West Virginia ex rel. Dyer v. Sims 341 U.S. 22 (1951) ..


Chapter 3 State Constitutional Protection of Individual Liberties in the Federal System


A. Introduction: State Constitutional Protections beyond Minimum

Federal Constitutional Rights ..


B. The Incorporation of Federal Constitutional Protections against the States


Barron v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore 32 U.S. 243 (1833)


Malloy v. Hogan 378 U.S. 1 (1964)


Perry v. Louisiana 461 U.S. 961 (1983).


Gilliard v. Mississippi 464 U.S. 867 (1983).

C. The Rediscovery of State Constitutional Rights ..


William J. Brennan, Jr., “State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights.”

Harvard Law Review 90 (January 1977): 489.


Michigan v. Mosley 423 U.S. 96 (1976)

Robert F. Williams, “In The Supreme Court's Shadow: Legitimacy of State Rejection

of Supreme Court Reasoning and Result.” South Carolina Law Review 35

(Spring 1984): 353. ...


D. State Judicial Reliance on State Constitutions


Hansen v. Owens 619 P.2d 315 (Utah 1980)


Beirkamp v. Rogers 293 N.W. 2d 577 (Iowa 1980).


Cooper v. Morin 399 N.E.2d 1188 (N.Y. 1979)


People ex rel. Arcara v. Cloud Books, Inc. 68 N.Y.2d 553, 503 N.E.2d 492 (1986)


E. The Adequate and Independent State Ground Doctrine


Williams v. State 210 Ga. 665, 82 S.E.2d 217 (1954)


Williams v. Georgia 349 U.S. 375 (1955)


Williams v. State 211 Ga. 763, 88 S. E. 2d 376 (1955).


Michigan v. Long 463 U.S. 1032 (1983) ....


State of Oregon v. Kennedy 295 Or. 260, 666 P.2d 1316 (1983)


Colorado v. Nunez 465 U.S. 324 (1984)


F. Advocating and Resisting Greater Protections under State Constitutions


1. The Sequence of Constitutional Arguments


Hans A. Linde, “Without ‘Due Process: Unconstitutional Law in Oregon.” Oregon

Law Review 49 (February 1970): 133.


Delaware v. Van Arsdall 475 U.S. 673 (1986)


Robert F. Utter, “Swimming in the Jaws of the Crocodile: State Court Comment on

Federal Constitutional Issues When Disposing of Cases on State Constitutional

Grounds." Texas Law Review 63 (March/April 1985): 1027.


People v. Class 67 N.Y. 2d 431, 494 N.E.2d 444 (1986)


2. The “Criteria" or "Factor" Approach


State v. Hunt 91 N.J. 338, 450 A.2d (1982)


Robert F. Williams, “In the Supreme Court's Shadow: Legitimacy of State Rejection

of Supreme Court Reasoning and Result.” South Carolina Law Review 35

(Spring 1984): 385-88.


Robert F. Williams, “Methodology Problems in Enforcing State Constitutional Rights." Geor-

gia State University Law Review 3 (Fall/Winter 1986-87): 165-171. ...


Judith S. Kaye, “Dual Constitutionalism in Practice and Principle.” The Record of the

Association of the Bar of the City of New York 42 (April 1987): 285


3. Uniform State and Federal Constitutional Interpretation


Earl M. Maltz, "The Dark Side of State Court Activism." Texas Law Review

63 (March/April 1985): 995. ..


G. State Action as a Requirement under State Constitutions


Sharrock v. Dell Buick-Cadillac, Inc. 45 N.Y.2d 152, 379 N.E. 2d 1169 (1978).

Alderwood Associates v. Washington Environmental Council 96 Wash. 2d 230, 635

P.2d 108 (1981)

David M. Skover, “The Washington Constitutional ‘State Action' Doctrine:

A Fundamental Right to State Action.” University of Puget Sound Law Review

8 (Winter 1985): 240-47.

Western Pennsylvania Socialist Workers 1982 Campaign v. Connecticut General Life

Insurance Company 512 Pa. 23, 515 A.2d 1331 (1986).......

Sanford Levinson, “Freedom of Speech and the Right of Access to Private Property

under State Constitutional Law," in Developments in State Constitutional Law,

ed. Bradley D. McGraw

People v. Zelinski 155 Cal.Rptr. 575, 594 P.2d 1000 (1979)

H. Substantive Due Process and State Constitutions

A.E. Dick Howard, “State Courts and Constitutional Rights in the Day of the Burger

Court.” Virginia Law Review 62 (June 1976): 879-83. ....

Bulova Watch Co. v. Brand Distributors of North Wilkesboro, Inc. 206 S.E.2d 141

(N.C. 1974)...

Department of Insurance v. Dade County Consumer Advocate's Office 492 So. 2d

1032 (Fla. 1986)...

I. “Overruling" State Constitutional Decisions by State Constitutional Amendment

California Constitution, Art. I, sec. 7. Due process and equal protection;

pupil school assignment or transportation privileges and immunities

Florida v. Casal 462 U.S. 636 (1983)

Commonwealth v. Colon-Cruz 393 Mass. 150, 470 N.E.2d 116 (1984)

Chapter 4 State Constitutional Protections without Equivalent Federal Protection

A. Introduction-Examples of Rights Protections not Contained in the Federal Constitution

Kluger v. White 281 So. 2d 1(Fla. 1973)

Saylor v. Hall 497 S.W.2d 218 (Ky. 1973)

Sterling v. Cupp 290 Or. 611, 625 P.2d 123 (1981).

Ravin v. State 537 P.2d 494 (Alaska 1975)

Tucker v. Toia 43 N.Y. 2d 1, 371 N.E. 2d 449 (1977)

B. "Unenumerated Rights" Provisions of State Constitutions

McCracken v. State 518 P.2d 85 (Alaska 1974)

C. Remedies for State Constitutional Violations

1. Cause of Action

Gay Law Students Association v. Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company

156 Cal.Rptr. 14, 595 P. 2d 592 (1979).

2. Sovereign Immunity .

Figueroa v. State 61 Hawaii 369, 604 P.2d 1198 (1979)

Fenton v. Groveland Community Services District 135 Cal.App.3d 797, 185 Cal.Rptr.

758 (Cal. App. 1982)......

Kerns v. Bucklew 357 S.E.2d 750 (W.Va. 1987)

3. Attorneys Fees


Deras v. Myers 272 Or. 47, 535 P.2d 541 (1975).

Chapter 5 Interpretation of State Constitutions

A. Introduction ...

B. Application of General Concepts of Interpretation

Eberle v. Nielson 78 Idaho 572, 306 P.2d 1083 (1957)...

William F. Swindler “State Constitutions for the 20th Century." Nebraska Law Review

50 (Summer 1971): 593-96. .....

State v. Jewett 500 A.2d 233 (Vt. 1985)

C. The “Plain Meaning” of State Constitutional Provisions ..

Lipscomb v. State of Oregon 305 Or. 472, 753 P.2d 939 (1988)

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