Constitutional Law

State Constitutions

Are state constitutions based on the U.S. Constitution?

Not necessarily, as many state constitutions were enacted before the 1787 U.S. Constitution. There are some similarities between the various constitutions but there are also distinct differences. For example, the Tennessee Constitution contains eleven articles instead of the seven contained by the U.S. Constitution.

Another difference between some state constitutions and the federal constitution concerns the number of amendments adopted. Some states have adopted hundreds and hundreds of amendments to their state constitution, as the amending process is much less rigorous than under the federal constitution. For example, the Alabama Constitution of 1901 has been amended approximately 800 times in its history.


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