The Importance Of State Courts Protecting Civil Rights And Liberties
The Supreme Court is the “nation’s highest court” and the Constitution—including the Supreme Court’s rulings—is the “Law of the Land.”
Well, as a narrow, technical, and formalistic sense, those assertions are accurate. But as a general, practical, and realistic sense, they are quite misleading. It is axiomatic in our federal system of government that states and their courts are free to pursue their own different priorities and render their own different rulings, as long as they don’t actually violate federal law.
In this program, they will explore the legal basis and tradition of state court decisions throughout the nation that reject the federal Supreme Court’s treatment of constitutional rights and liberties, that provide greater or simply different protection for those rights and liberties, and that are then the supreme law of the land in their respective state jurisdictions.
Vincent M. Bonventre, J.D., Ph.D,
Justice Robert H. Jackson Distinguished Professor of Law Albany Law School
- December 13, 2021
- Online On-Demand