Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

Part V State Constitutional Amendment and Revision, 13 Amending and Revising State Constitutions

From: The Law of American State Constitutions

Robert F. Williams

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 08 May 2021

This chapter discusses the variety of mechanisms available to propose changes to state constitutions. Amendments or revisions of state constitutions can be accomplished through legislative proposal, constitutional convention proposal, constitutional commission proposal, and the initiative in states that permit it. In all states other than Delaware, the electors must approve changes to the state constitution. The chapter reviews the use of limited state constitutional conventions, and constitutional commissions. Constitutional revision processes in a variety of states during the 20th century are discussed, together with general lessons that can be derived from those experiences. The chapter describes difficulties faced in modern times with state constitutional amendment and revision, including popular distrust of constitutional conventions and other constitution-making processes. Several proposed improvements to the initiative process for state constitutional change also discussed.

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.