Ex Uno Plura: State Constitutions and Their Political Cultures (Suny Series in American Constitutionalism)

Ex Uno Plura: State Constitutions and Their Political Cultures (Suny Series in American Constitutionalism)

James T. McHugh

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0791457508

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


State constitutions have become increasingly important in light of recent trends in jurisprudence that favor decentralizing the American federal system. Ex Uno Plura uses a political culture approach to explore eight state constitutional traditions. McHugh argues that state jurisprudence is not merely a reflection of the process, values, and decisions found at the federal level, especially through the influence of the Fourteenth Amendment. A close examination of separate state constitutions, including their origins, sociopolitical cultures, and jurisprudence, reveals historically, culturally, and philosophically unique characteristics, each of which will contribute to the ongoing debate concerning American judicial federalism. The states included are Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.

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is a social act. Whoever undertakes to sell any description of goods to the public does what affects the interest of other persons, and of society in general; and thus his conduct, in principle, comes within the jurisdiction of society. . . . But it is now recognized, though not till after a long struggle, that both the cheapness and the good quality of commodities are most effectually provided for by leaving the producers and sellers perfectly free, under the sole check of equal freedom to the

the aristocratic low country . . . to do so would be to ignore the importance of local squabbles in determining the complexion of certain legislative delegations and to overlook the significance of personality clashes among public figures.15 Therefore, southern American colonies reflected the English transition from a feudal, agrarian society to a mercantile, liberal society. The result of this transition was a mixture of classical conservative and traditional liberal values throughout the American

sued her grandfather for negligence involving a lawn mower accident, with her father bringing the suit upon her behalf. The trial court found in favor of the grandfather, largely because of the doctrine of family immunity. Judge A. W. Birdsong’s majority opinion stressed, again, that upholding this ruling was made simply because “[t]o allow an unemancipated child to sue a parent (or head of a household) would be against the public policy of this state.”69 The majority opinion was made without

also guides attitudes towards the physical environment upon which the people depend for their survival. The concept of economic exploitation, therefore, is anathema to aboriginal peoples, including the Polynesians, as are the concepts of feudal obligation, separation from agrarian production, or a surplus value of labor. In fact, the entire concept of individual aggrandizement, seclusion, and competitive success over other members of the community equally is anathema to Polynesian culture and

shape, and likker won’t set on their stomachs, and they don’t believe in God, so it’s up to you to give ‘em something to stir ‘em up and make ‘em feel alive again. Just for half an hour. That’s what they come for. Tell ‘em anything. But for Sweet Jesus’ sake don’t try to improve their minds.”47 Louisiana Constitution of 1974 This paternalistic attitude can be discerned within the development of Louisiana’s constitutional tradition, even after the adoption of the 1974 state constitution. This

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