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The Law of American State Constitutions$
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Robert F. Williams

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195343083

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343083.001.0001

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The State Judicial Branch

The State Judicial Branch

Chapter:
(p.283) 10 THE STATE JUDICIAL BRANCH
Source:
The Law of American State Constitutions
Author(s):

Robert F. Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343083.003.0010

This chapter discusses the differences between the federal and state judiciary. Many state judges are elected through a variety of mechanisms. The workload of state supreme courts has evolved over the years from a private-law orientation to more constitutional law and public policy kinds of cases. In addition, state courts exercise a number of nonadjudicatory powers such as rulemaking on practice and procedure before the courts and regulation of lawyers. Some state courts have the authority to issue advisory opinions and answer certified questions, and some of them have asserted certain inherent powers such as to require adequate funding levels. State courts also retain the power to develop common law doctrine, as well as to resolve disputes among state and local government officials and agencies in ways that rarely involve the federal judiciary. State courts are also not bound by the rigid federal doctrines of standing, mootness, and ripeness.

Keywords:   state judiciary, rulemaking, advisory opinions, state judges, practice and procedure, regulating lawyers, inherent powers, certified questions

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