AuthorFeldman, Stanley G.

This issue again offers many subjects of interest to those involved in the development of state constitutional law. Several articles give us important insights into both the historical development of and current problems relating to individual rights. In particular, I invite the reader to consider the three lead articles on this subject. First is Professor Dippers article on human rights in America from 1776 to 1849. This article makes an important contribution to our understanding of how declarations of rights in state constitutions shaped the guarantees that on the one hand define and on the other limit governmental power. The article also illustrates quite clearly how American declarations of rights were intended to be enforced by individual legal action, a concept quite different from the European view of such guarantees. This concept--recourse to the courts as a method of giving life to constitutional guarantees--is both misunderstood and, unfortunately, under attack today. Professor Dippel also describes the manner in which state declarations of rights "contributed to a climate of opinion" in this country that is sensitive to and understanding of individual rights and the role they play in limiting government power. This, of course, is different from the attitude prevalent in other countries. Finally, the Dippel article illustrates the manner in which state declarations of rights promoted individual liberties during the period of this country's development when the "Federal Constitution by and large remained deaf" to such pleas.

Professor Friedelbaum's article, Expressive Liberties in the State Courts; Their Permissible Reach and Sanctioned Restraints, examines different problems encountered by state courts in attempting to reconcile state and federal free speech guarantees in the blurred area involving protected expressive conduct and governmental regulation. This problem is typified by recent cases ranging from cross burning to flag burning. (1) Professor Friedelbaum's article provides insight into state efforts to use their police powers to regulate and prosecute conduct or even so-called hate speech intended to express political or social views and beliefs. (2)

Professor Marks' article on search and seizure under the Florida Constitution explores the implications of Florida Supreme Court decisions rendered subsequent to that state's adoption of a "confomity" provision, which ties--and therefore limits--the state's constitutional...

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