September 10, 2010
Fritz on an Overlooked American Constitutionalism
Christian Fritz (U. NM Law) this week posted Foreword: Out From Under the Shadow of the Federal Constitution: An Overlooked American Constitutionalism on ssrn. The piece, an adaptation of Fritz's 2010 State Constitutional Lecture at the Rutgers-Camden Center for State Constitutional Studies, is his latest in a series of pieces on state constitutions--arguing that they are neglected in favor of the Federal Constitution, to the detriment of a broader, richer American constitutionalism. Fritz:
[T]he conventional paradigm of American constitutionalism--focused on the creation and interpretation of the Federal constitution . . . fails to consider the rich American experience with the formulation and revision of state constitutions, while elevating the Federal constitution as the ultimate American model. Th[is] article . . . suggests why a more complete paradigm that fully integrates state constitution-making facilitates our understanding of the meaning of the early struggle of the American people to exercise their constitutionally based "sovereign" power to govern themselves, in all of its shapes and forms. That understanding is important as we continue to grapple with the legitimacy of invoking the direct and affirmative exercise of that sovereignty in the context of modern political life.
Fritz's article comes out just weeks before Penn State hosts its conference State Constitutionalism in the 21st Century.
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