Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=893461
 
 

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Utah's Constitution: Distinctively Undistinctive


Daniel J.H. Greenwood


Hofstra University College of Law

Kathy Wyer


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Christine Durham


Utah Supreme Court


THE CONSTITUTIONALISM OF AMERICAN STATES, George E. Connor, Christopher W. Hammons, eds., University of Missouri Press, 2006

Abstract:     
This collection explores the proposition that state constitutions reflect distinctive state peoples. In the American system, state governments have no ability to control who their citizens are and, given the constraints of the First Amendment, very little ability to control the cultural production that typically defines peoples. Utah, however, continues to have a distinctive population, with a majority of its population belonging to a single church that understands itself in quasi-national terms as having a distinctive history and culture. Strikingly, however, the distinctive Utah history generated a quite normal state constitution, different only in unusually strong language protecting religious liberty (and simultaneously banning the most controversial local religious practice, polygamy) and its early protection of women's rights. The language of the original Utah constitution was largely borrowed from contemporary state constitutions and subsequent changes have reflected largely national rather than particularistically local concerns. To find the distinctive Utah heritage in the Utah constitution, one must listen to the silences rather than parse the written words.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: state constitutional law, religious liberty, polygamy, marriage, ERA

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Date posted: March 29, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Greenwood, Daniel J.H. and Wyer, Kathy and Durham, Christine, Utah's Constitution: Distinctively Undistinctive. THE CONSTITUTIONALISM OF AMERICAN STATES, George E. Connor, Christopher W. Hammons, eds., University of Missouri Press, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=893461

Contact Information

Daniel J.H. Greenwood (Contact Author)
Hofstra University College of Law ( email )
121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States
516-463-7013 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://law.hofstra.edu/greenwood

Hofstra University Logo

Kathy Wyer
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
No Address Available
Christine Durham
Utah Supreme Court ( email )
450 South State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
United States
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