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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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State Constitutional Distribution of Powers

State Constitutional Distribution of Powers

Chapter:
(p.235) 8 STATE CONSTITUTIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF POWERS
Source:
The Law of American State Constitutions
Author(s):

Robert F. Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343083.003.0008

This chapter presents a general discussion of state constitutional distribution or separation of powers. The federal Constitution does not mandate any particular arrangement of governmental powers in the states. By contrast to rights provisions, the federal Constitution's separation of powers doctrine has not been incorporated into the federal Constitution so as to apply to the states. For this reason federal separation of powers doctrines should be even less persuasive in state courts than federal constitutional rights interpretation. Many states' constitutions, unlike the federal Constitution, contain textual requirements of separation of powers and bans on dual office holding. Further, however, the states' constitutional distribution of powers arrangements differ a good deal from state to state. The chapter therefore describes the importance of a state-specific separation of powers analysis based on that state's specific arrangements. Examples are given where a state has a particularly strong governor or legislature. The chapter distinguishes between functional and formalist separation of powers analysis, and provides an example of state separation of powers approaches to the delegation of legislative authority.

Keywords:   separation of powers, functional, formal, federal separation of powers, state-specific separation of powers, legislative delegation

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