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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines constitutionalism at the state level and the role played by state courts in interpreting state constitutional provisions. It begins with an overview of the fifty state constitutions compared with the U.S. Constitution, with particular emphasis on frame-of-government provisions, bills of rights, and policy provisions. It then considers the amendment and revision procedures of state constitutions with respect to constitutional conventions, legislature-referred and citizen-initiated constitutional amendments, and constitutional commissions. It then focuses on the way state amendment processes have been the vehicle for reflecting changes in constitutional principles at the state level, whether regarding the separation of powers, expansion and restriction of governmental power, or protection of rights.

Keywords: constitutionalism, state courts, state constitutions, Constitution, bills of rights, amendment/revision procedures, constitutional conventions, constitutional amendments, constitutional commissions, constitutional development

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