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A Doubtful and Perilous Experiment
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A Doubtful and Perilous Experiment: Advisory Opinions, State Constitutions, and Judicial Supremacy

Mel A. Topf


This book is the only comprehensive treatment of the history and controversies, the law and theories, about U.S. state supreme court advisory opinions. This significant but little studied area of state constitutional law has no parallel in federal law (which bars federal courts from giving advisory opinions). Just ten states permit such advising (many others have rejected it), but advisory opinions have been attacked because they clash with fundamental doctrines of American constitutionalism, including separation of powers, due process, judicial review, judicial independence, and, especially, ... More

Keywords: advisory opinions, state constitutionalism, state supreme courts, judicial review, judicial supremacy, separation of powers, due process, judicial independence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199756766
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756766.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mel A. Topf, author
Roger Williams University