Analyzing Florida's Constitution covers all of the Florida constitutional law topics necessary for passing the Florida Bar Exam and practicing law in Florida. It takes a comparative law approach to the study of Florida constitutional law by comparing it to federal constitutional law. Although focused primarily on the theory of state constitutional law, the book discusses the practice of state constitutional law, so that the student can not only identify constitutional law violations but also know how to seek relief from those violations.
The book begins with the idea of a state being a "laboratory of democracy" where rights may be expanded or invented within the minimum requirements of the federal constitution. It explores the question of how Florida's constitution can produce its own jurisprudence in light of the supremacy of the United States Constitution and outlines the canons of construction for Florida's constitution. It introduces the concept that a state constitution can be a source of heightened civil liberties and fundamental rights using examples from Florida's constitution.
The book identifies Florida constitutional rights without an exact parallel to those in the text of the US Constitution and asks whether Florida has taken its own path in interpreting or implementing the identified constitutional rights and introduces rights enumerated in the text of the Florida constitution that are not embodied in the text of the US Constitution. In so doing, it compares Florida's approach to those of other state constitutions.
The familiar refrain that unlike the federal constitution a state's constitution is a restriction upon power not a grant of power is explored. State constitutional criminal procedure is examined by looking at the ancient origin of the jury as well as the recent origin of Florida criminal procedure. Also examined are Florida local government and municipal law, separation of powers, Florida's state court system, extraordinary writs, powers of Florida's executive branch, Florida administrative law, Florida's "Sunshine Laws" creating a right of access to public records and meetings, lawmaking and its limits, and homestead.
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