Clint Bolick on state constitutions

Some state constitutions predate the U.S. Constitution, and many provide broader protection for individual rights and tougher constraints on government action than does the federal document. Aside from differently worded provisions on such matters as takings for public use and firearms liberty, for example, some states have “gift clauses” in their constitutions that have been interpreted to prohibit corporate subsidies, or clauses prohibiting legislation meant to advance parochial or local interests alone. Justice Clint Bolick of the Arizona Supreme Court speaks with Cato’s Caleb Brown on the possibilities for using these state constitutional provisions to advance liberty.

Related: Eugene Volokh discusses “Originalism: The Primary Canon of State Constitutional Interpretation,” a new article by Jeremy M. Christiansen.

One Comment

  • The problem in California is that the unsavvy electorate passed Prop. 8 decades ago that resulted in California being tied to federal constitutional standards; our independent state grounds opportunity for suppressing evidence that is collected in violation of the state Constitution went out the window, and our supreme court did not have the hormones to rule that such evisceration of constitutional standards could not be obtained by simple voter proposition.

    The vital and framing doctrine of federalism was gutted by an ignorant electorate and then by a thoughtless and gutless state supreme court, and our citizens have been victimized by the ugly reality for decades.