A survey of the constitutions of all 50 US states, as well as the US territories, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. Arranged alphabetically by state, each profile includes the constitution's history and influences, and its division of powers.
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The author of Constitutions of the World [RBB O 15 95] and The Illustrated Dictionary of Constitutional Concepts [RBB Ap 15 97] has provided a valuable resource on the constitutions of each state and three U.S. territories. Introductory material provides perspective on the significant role of the state documents in the nation's history and in recent years. Charts convey the structure of the three branches of government in each state (e.g., number of statewide elected officers, appointment or election of Supreme Court members, and the legislative vote needed for amendments). Special provisions, such as a balanced-budget requirement, home rule, and abortion rights, are also shown in comparative charts.
The bulk of the resource is an alphabetically arranged seven-to nine-page profile on the constitution of each state or territory. Basic data on the state and the origin and historical highlights of the document appear at the beginning. A readable summary of each article or section follows, with the actual words from the document excerpted or summarized. The full text of the constitutions is not provided. The years the sections were added or amended and pertinent court decisions are noted. The format allows for easy comparisons on how states have arranged their governance.
After the profiles, the text of the U.S. Constitution, table of pertinent state cases, glossary, sources used, and an index complete the work. The index is accurate in page numbers, but space considerations may have made the state summaries especially selective. Is Rhode Island the only state where libraries are mentioned in its constitution?
The work succeeds in making the state documents understandable and accessible to the average citizen. As a reference resource, it will be valuable for high-school and college students as well as researchers seeking to learn how other states handle societal issues.Review:
..."merits a place in all general collections, as well as specialized political science libraries. Law libraries might find the book useful as a fast ready-reference tool. The work helps simplify a vast body of literature and will permit students to get quick answers without being put off by a massive series of state-by-state volumes."
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Book Description Cq Pr, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1568023731