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Public Law and Legal Theory

State and Local Government Law

Manoj S. Mate

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State Constitutions And The Basic Structure Doctrine, Manoj Mate Dec 2013

State Constitutions And The Basic Structure Doctrine, Manoj Mate

Manoj S. Mate

cross the United States, voters in many states have enacted initiative constitutional amendments that abrogate protections for equality and fundamental rights. In most cases, state supreme courts have upheld the validity of these amendments, undermining protections for fundamental rights at the state level. This Article proposes a novel solution to this problem: it argues for the application of the basic structure doctrine in the review of constitutional amendments by state supreme courts. Under this doctrine, the Supreme Court of India (like constitutional courts in other nations) asserted the power to invalidate amendments that abrogate "basic features" of the Indian Constitution …