The Washington State Constitution: A Reference Guide

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Greenwood Press, 2002 - 287 страница

Providing a useful starting point for practitioners and others interested in working with Washington's basic legal document, this original reference work describes each article and each section of the State Constitution in turn, outlining the historical background of the section, its predecessors or relatives in the U.S. or other state constitutions, and key interpretive cases. The Introduction, written by retired State Supreme Court Justice Robert F. Utter, describes the increasing interest in state constitutions during the past quarter-century and outlines how federal courts have come to rely on Washington State's constitution as an independent source of rights protections.

The article of the Constitution described at greatest length is Article I, the declaration of Rights. It contains 35 sections covering religious freedom, protection of speech and privacy, the right to bear arms, rights of the accused, a prohibition of a standing army, and many other provisions. Of the remaining 31 articles, many have their origins in other state constitutions, particularly those of western states, while a few sections are unique in their language. The paramount duty clause of the education article is an example of language that originated first in Washington, although it has cousins in other state constitutions that entrench the concept of common schools that spread throughout the nation after 1830.

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