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Series

2014

Journal Articles

Federalism

University at Buffalo School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Autonomy And Isomorphism: The Unfulfilled Promise Of Structural Autonomy In American State Constitutions, James A. Gardner Jan 2014

Autonomy And Isomorphism: The Unfulfilled Promise Of Structural Autonomy In American State Constitutions, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

In the American system of federalism, states have almost complete freedom to adopt institutions and practices of internal self-governance that they find best-suited to the needs and preferences of their citizens. Nevertheless, states have not availed themselves of these opportunities: the structural provisions of state constitutions tend to converge strongly with one another and with the U.S. Constitution. This paper examines two important periods of such convergence: the period from 1776 through the first few decades of the nineteenth century, when states were inventing institutions of democratic governance and representation; and the period following the Supreme Court’s one ...