Reckoning with Dissonance: Thoughts on State Constitutional Law and Constitutional Discourse

Lawrence Friedman

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This is an essay about state constitutional law and its relevance to constitutional discourse about individual rights—to the continuing discussion among judges, lawyers, and commentators about the meaning of our constitutional commitments to such values as due process and equal protection of the laws. To appreciate the role state constitutional decisionmaking plays in this discourse, it is important to understand that the search for constitutional meaning is, in a real sense, a search for order—for a resolution to a conflict about what a constitutional provision signifies in the context of specific facts, a resolution sufficient to allow us to go about our days with some greater understanding of the limits that the state can impose on our actions as individuals.
40 New Eng. L. Rev. 437

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