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Hidden Laws – How State Constitutions Stabilize American Politics - Yale Scholarship Online
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Hidden Laws: How State Constitutions Stabilize American Politics

Robinson Woodward-Burns


The United States is home to the world’s oldest national constitution. Stability defines the document. Americans have never convened to replace the Constitution and rarely amended or fundamentally reinterpreted the document. What explains the American Constitution’s longevity? This book proposes that state constitutional revision resolves national constitutional controversies. With lower barriers to amendment and replacement, the American state constitutions invite reform, addressing national constitutional controversies. This state constitutional reform discourages national constitutional re ... More

Keywords: United States Constitution, State constitutions, Federalism, American political development, American political history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780300248692
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300248692.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robinson Woodward-Burns, author
Howard University