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07/01/2020

Gregory Maggs: A Guide and Index for Finding Evidence of The Original Meaning of The U.S. Constitution in Early State Constitutions and Declarations of Rights
Michael Ramsey

Gregory E. Maggs (George Washington University Law School) has posted A Guide and Index for Finding Evidence of The Original Meaning of The U.S. Constitution in Early State Constitutions and Declarations of Rights (98 N.C. L. Rev. 779 (2020)) (59 pages) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

When the original thirteen states declared independence from Great Britain, their former colonial charters became obsolete. Eleven states quickly addressed this situation by adopting state constitutions and, in some cases, declarations of rights to replace their charters. These state documents greatly influenced the drafting of the United States Constitution. Accordingly, scholars and judges often cite these early state documents when making claims about the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution. This Article provides a concise guide to this practice of finding evidence of the original meaning in these early state constitutions and declarations of rights. It explains the history of the documents, where to find them online, and how writers have used them to discern the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The Article includes a comprehensive index, with more than 1700 entries, to help researchers discover relevant provisions.

Other articles in this very valuable series by Professor Maggs:

A Concise Guide to the Federalist Papers as a Source of the Original Meaning of the United States Constitution

A Concise Guide to the Records of the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787 as a Source of the Original Meaning of the U.S. Constitution

A Concise Guide to the Articles of Confederation as a Source for Determining the Original Meaning of the Constitution

A Concise Guide to Using Dictionaries from the Founding Era to Determine the Original Meaning of the Constitution

A Critical Guide to Using the Legislative History of the Fourteenth Amendment to Determine the Amendment's Original Meaning

A Concise Guide to the Records of the State Ratifying Conventions as a Source of the Original Meaning of the U.S. Constitution