SEASON 1

Protecting Individual Liberties: Recognizing the Value of State and Federal Courts

When U.S. citizens hear “constitutional law,” we tend to think only of the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court, and the federal court system, effectively ignoring the power of state constitutional law. In 51 Imperfect Solutions, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton argues that American Constitutional Law should account for the role of the state courts and state constitutions, together with the federal courts and the federal constitution, in protecting individual liberties.

In this episode, Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court talks to Judge Sutton about the distinct yet parallel importance of the State Court systems and the Federal Court system, including how we came to value so highly the federal system; why we should pay more attention to our state courts and constitutions; and what we as citizens, educators, and advocates should do going forward.

SUPPLEMENTARY RESOURCES

51 Imperfect Solutions: States and the Making of American Constitutional Law, Jeffrey S. Sutton

When we think of constitutional law, we invariably think of the United States Supreme Court and the federal court system. Yet much of our constitutional law is not made at the federal level. In 51 Imperfect Solutions, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton argues that American Constitutional Law should account for the role of the state courts and state constitutions, together with the federal courts and the federal constitution, in protecting individual liberties. 

Disuniformity of Federal Constitutional Rights

Blocher, Joseph, Disuniformity of Federal Constitutional Rights (December 23, 2018). University of Illinois Law Review, Forthcoming; Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2019-3. 

 

Cases Mentioned:

Batson v. Kentucky

Bolling v. Sharpe

Brown v. Board of Education

Cooper v. Aaron

Kansas v. Carr

Loving v. Virginia

Mapp v. Ohio

Naim v. Naim

New York Times Company v. Sullivan

Pierce v. Society of Sisters

Swain v. Alabama