Volume 68, Issue 4

Twenty-Seventh Issue on State Constitutional Law

Introduction

Robert F. Williams

When we embarked on these publications back in 1989, we hoped to build a literature on state constitutional law as well as to provide a focused learning environment for students in this field. We believe we have succeeded in those goals, and we plan to continue to do so in the future.

Articles

EQUALITY AND THE IMPOSSIBLE – STATE CONSTITUTIONS AND MARRIAGE

Mary L. Bonauto

In this Article, I will be discussing “Equality and the Impossible,” with a focus on the role of state constitutions in the marriage litigation from my personal vantage point. I will address four broad topics: (1) the origins of the state constitutional litigation strategy on marriage for same-sex couples-the lay of the land when we started; (2) the choice of fora; (3) the progression of the litigation; and (4) the eventual move to federal litigation.

SUBNATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL AUTONOMY AND THE ACCOMMODATION OF DIVERSITY IN ETHIOPIA

Christophe Van der Beken

The Ethiopian population is highly diverse in terms of ethnic composition, governance traditions, and socio-economic activities, to mention only a few diversity markers. Accommodating this diversity to guarantee stability and state integrity was the major rationale behind the adoption of federalism in the country. One of the important mechanisms the federal system has to offer in this regard is the constitutional autonomy of its constituent units or regions. The subnational constitutional autonomy enjoyed by Ethiopia’s regions is significant and allows them to draft and enact constitutions that reflect and accommodate the distinct nature of their respective polities. This Article assesses to what extent Ethiopia’s regions have utilized their subnational constitutional autonomy by a systematic comparison of the nine regional constitutions. It is found that although the regions have designed distinct constitutional arrangements, they have surely not exhausted the possibilities regional constitutional autonomy has to offer.

State Constitutional Law

JUDICIAL ENVIRONMENTALISM HOLDS PENNSYLVANIA STATUTE IN VIOLATION OF THE STATE’S CONSTITUTION

Sara Cutuli

In Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a landmark decision for the Commonwealth when it determined that Act 13, pro-fracking legislation, violated the Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA) of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

ADEQUATE AND EQUITABLE EDUCATION IS A CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT UNDER THE KANSAS CONSTITUTION

Katherine Daniel

In Gannon v. State, the Kansas Supreme Court was tasked with determining whether Kansas established unconstitutional, wealth- based disparities in the K-12 public education finance system.

VERMONT SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN LEGISLATION REQUIRING CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS TO PRODUCE DNA SAMPLE PRIOR TO CONVICTION

Jason Scott Kanterman, Esq.

In State v. Medina, the Vermont Supreme Court confronted the issue of whether the State could compel, through legislation, the collection and analysis of DNA from anyone arraigned on, but not convicted of, a felonious crime.

IOWA’S EXPANDED SEARCH-AND-SEIZURE PROTECTIONS

Kurt Reh

In State v. Short, the Iowa Supreme Court held that a warrantless search of a probationer’s apartment by police violated the search-and- seizure provision of the Iowa Constitution, despite reasonable suspicion of criminal activity and a consent-to-search provision in the probationer’s agreement.

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