Principles of State Constitutional Interpretation

Clint Bolick

State constitutionalism—the practice of state courts deciding cases on independent state constitutional grounds—is a vital yet underdeveloped attribute of American federalism. Our system of dual sovereignty ensures the capacity of state courts to interpret their own constitutions to provide greater protections for individual rights than the federal constitution. When they do so, their decisions are not subject to review by federal courts absent a federal issue.

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