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NCJ Number: 99392 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Exploring the Mystique of State Constitutional Analysis
Journal: Criminal Justice Quarterly  Volume:8  Issue:4  Dated:(Spring 1985)  Pages:155-176
Author(s): M Weinstein
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the bases for States' reliance upon their own constitutions as sources of civil rights as well as the U.S. Supreme Court's response to this trend. After using the New Jersey Supreme Court's search-and-seizure cases as an example of independent State constitutional interpretation, this article also suggests how prosecutors can rebut defendants' claims based on State constitutional arguments.
Abstract: The U.S. Supreme Court has assertively reviewed decisions in which State tribunals expand criminal protections under the guise of State constitutions while relying on Federal law interpretations. Consequently, State courts wishing to provide criminal protections either unavailable under the Federal Constitution or no longer guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution or no longer guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court have turned to their State constitutions as a means of avoiding Federal review. The basis for this evasion technique is in the independent and adequate State ground doctrine. Under this doctrine, the U.S. Supreme Court generally declines to review a State decision based on either a State ground alone, constitutional or otherwise, or on both State and Federal grounds if resolution of the State law renders consideration of the Federal issue unnecessary. Since 1975, the New Jersey Supreme Court in three major search-and-seizure cases has rejected U.S. Supreme Court rulings and imposed greater restrictions on police activity under the State constitution. In arguing that this is inappropriate, given the similarity between New Jersey and Federal relevant constitutional provisions, < this article presents five suggestions to assist prosecutors in counteracting defendants' State constitutional claims. A total of 238 footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; New Jersey; Search and seizure laws; State laws; US Supreme Court decisions
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