New England Law | Boston Professor and constitutional scholar Lawrence Friedman has been selected as a charter member of the U.S. State Constitutions Network, a new initiative aimed at bringing together projects and individuals interested in studying U.S. state constitutions.
Launching September 24, 2019, the organization seeks to gather "researchers collating, digitizing, transcribing, editing, and analyzing the records relating to U.S. State Constitutional History, along with those seeking to prepare new materials on state constitutional history for classroom use and broader civic education." As a charter member, Professor Friedman will contribute to these efforts.
The U.S. State Constitutions Network was developed by Dr. Nicholas Cole of Oxford University’s Quill Project and Julie Silverbrook of ConSource, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit devoted to constitutional history. (Of note: ConSource was created by Lorianne Updike Toler, an adjunct professor teaching a First Amendment class at New England Law | Boston.)
Per Oxford University:
Since 1776 America has been governed by two national constitutional frameworks—The Articles of Confederation (1777) and The Constitution of the United States (1787). The Constitution of the United States is also a relatively static document and has been amended only twenty-seven times in its history. This relative stability at federal level contrasts dramatically with the instability of constitutional arrangements at state level. Since 1776 at least 235 constitutions have been in operation at different times to govern the various states of the Union, and several others have been proposed though never put into operation. In many cases, these constitutions were themselves amended dozens, or even many hundreds of times. As a result, the question, “What constitutional arrangements were in operation in America on a given date?” does not have a trivial answer.”
But Professor Friedman and his colleagues are sure to explore these issues in depth.
Learn more about Professor Lawrence Friedman and his Constitutional Law scholarship.