Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

On the Significance of Constitutional Spirit

23 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2010  

Louis D. Bilionis

University of Cincinnati College of Law

Date Written: March 15, 2010


America is experiencing a major realignment of the national constitutional order. The primary responsibility for defining and enforcing civil liberties is shifting from the federal courts and the Federal Constitution to the state judiciaries and their state constitutions. Judges who expound a state constitution must do so with devotion to its spirit - not the spirit of the Federal Constitution, and not the spirit that underlies the currently popular constitutional theory. In many states, North Carolina Among them, keeping faith with the constitutional spirit means interpreting individual rights liberally and enforcing them unflinchingly.

Keywords: state constitutions, North Carolina, individual rights

JEL Classification: K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Bilionis, Louis D., On the Significance of Constitutional Spirit (March 15, 2010). North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 70, p. 1803, 1992; U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 10-10. Available at SSRN:

Louis D. Bilionis (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views