Thursday, November 20, 2008

Grodin Writes Article On State Constitutional History

Professor (and former Justice) Joe Grodin has written an article for the newsletter of the California Supreme Court Historical Society entitled "The California Supreme Court and State Constitutional Rights: The Early Years." A link to the article is here. It's quite interesting, focusing on the constitutional decisions rendered by the California Supreme Court in the first dozen years of its existence. There were several cases dealing with slavery, particularly the then-divisive question of whether a slave brought with his or her master into a free state like California was entitled to his freedom. The court's record was mixed, to say the least, but at least there is nothing as egregious at Dred Scott. There were also cases dealing with the constitutionality of sunday closing laws and the uniformity requirement of the state constitution. Thanks to Jon Steiner for calling the article to my attention.

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