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Fall 2023 Seminar

State Constitutionalism

Prerequisite: Students must have completed, or be concurrently enrolled in, 1L Constitutional Law or Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers

Exam Type: No Exam

This class will explore the contours and impact of state constitutional law, a subject that has received increased attention in recent years.  We will examine differences in the structure and scope of state constitutions and the federal constitution; consider when state high courts construe state constitutional provisions differently (and more broadly) than their federal analogues and the grounds for doing so; and survey various state constitutional provisions that lack any federal counterpart.  Specific topics will include litigation concerning criminal procedure, freedom of speech, marriage, property rights and taxing, school funding, the relationship between state and local governments, and the “major questions doctrine” and separation of powers concerns.