Index Digest of State Constitutions

Index Digest of State Constitutions

Index Digest of State Constitutions

Index Digest of State Constitutions

Excerpt

The purpose of this volume, like that of the first Index Digest, is to make available to interested persons a comparative analysis and statement by subject of all provisions, other than those of the purely transitional or schedule type, of the fifty state constitutions. The preparation of such a volume has posed a number of special problems and required the adoption of certain rules and procedures. With the aim of facilitating the use of this reference work, some of the principal problems, rules and procedures are set forth in this preface.

Constitutional Provisions. The first problem was, of course, that of assembling authoritative, complete and up-to-date texts of the constitutions. The initial request was to the Secretary of State for certified true copies of the state constitution and all amendments. Most States provided the official version with the requested certification, but several declined to certify the accuracy of the text provided. Indeed in two instances the Secretary of State replied that there was no official version which could be certified as accurate. In all cases, however, maximum verification of doubtful provisions was sought by comparison with commercially published texts, by correspondence, and by other means.

With a single exception, this second edition contains entries representing state constitutional provisions in force as of September 1, 1958. The exception is the constitution of the fiftieth State, Hawaii. Despite her admission to the Union after the cut-off date for the volume, the staff felt it imperative to include an analysis of the Hawaiian constitution in the interest of complete presentation; this was done during the galley-proof stage of the volume.

Analysis was confined to the terms of the constitutional provisions. No effort was made to go back of these by resort to their judicial interpretation or legislative implementation. Nor was there any exploration of invalidity or other defects. Such self-imposed limitations spring from the Index Digest's objective of reporting comparatively--not evaluating--the provisions themselves. To permit publication in a single volume, as well as to reduce unnecessary repetition and facilitate comparisons, nearly all entries are paraphrases rather than verbatim excerpts. Occasionally the word "details" has been used, as the last word in an entry, to indicate that the cited provision is so long that only its general theme could be paraphrased and that interested readers should refer to the cited provision itself for details. Great care was exercised to insure, as nearly as may be, that each paraphrase faithfully represents the provision. But whenever--as in drafting--the exact language is important, the provision itself should of course be consulted. Each entry is terminated by a citation to the article and section where the full provision may be found.

Topical Organization. One wishing to locate in minimum time the constitutional provisions relating to a particular point would be well-advised to begin with the table of contents and its alphabetical enumeration of all major titles. Beginning on the page of the text to which the appropriate major title refers, there is a detailed outline showing all subdivisions of that title and the page number of each. For example, one wishing to determine which state constitutions expressly permit or prohibit an increase in the Governor's salary during his term of office would look first at the table of contents to learn that the GOVERNOR

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