|Deadwood, Dakota, 1888 (LC)|
Over the last several decades, the field of state constitutional law has become both more prominent and influential. Consequently, state constitutions have been receiving more judicial attention and have been increasingly applied in a diverse array of settings.The second, in the same issue, is History of the 1889 South Dakota Constitution and is coauthored with Candice Spurlin. It “presents a history of the formation of the 1889 South Dakota Constitution. It focuses on events pertaining to the three constitutional conventions preceding the ratification of the 1889 Constitution. This Article does not address the many subsequent amendments to the South Dakota Constitution, including the amendments instigated by the Constitutional Revision Commission established in 1969.”
Across the country, more and more attention is being paid to state constitutions and the role they play in the broader framework of American constitutional law and development.
To support this intensifying focus on state constitutions, reference literature is needed to explain and analyze the structural schemes and substantive provisions of the various state constitutions. This Article discusses the role of state constitutional law in general and also introduces a series of three subsequent articles that seek to provide a general overview of the 1889 South Dakota Constitution through both a narrative and documentary history of that document. These articles respond not only to the need for greater study of the history of the South Dakota Constitution in particular, but also to the growing role and influence of state constitutional law in general in the American legal system.
Through a study of state constitutional law, one can see both the consistencies between state constitutions and the unique aspects of each constitution. For instance, even though it is one of the nation’s lesser populated states, South Dakota has a unique constitution for a host of reasons.