The Montana Constitution in the State Constitutional Tradition is the first book to situate the state's constitution in the broad sweep of American constitutionalism. This book introduces practitioners and students to the text, history, and principles of the 1972 Montana Constitution's major provisions through leading cases, critical commentary, and parallel developments in both federal and sibling state courts.
Part one of the book begins with past and present debates over state constitutionalism, then considers the interpretive implications of the framing, ratification, and revision of the Montana Constitution between statehood and the present. Next the book explains the presentation and preservation of independent state constitutional claims and related remedies. Part two of the book maps the structure of Montana government, including legislative powers, the divided executive branch, judicial powers and open courts, local government and preemption, educational rights and duties, and voting and representation. Part three of the book covers the distinctive range of rights guaranteed by the Montana Declaration of Rights, including: inalienable rights and a clean and healthful environment; dignity, equal protection, and anti-discrimination enforcement under the Montana Human Rights Act; the right of individual privacy in its informational and autonomy forms; freedoms of religion and expression; the rights to participate and know; and due process of law. The book concludes with a brief discussion of several unexplored guarantees found throughout the Constitution's text.
Throughout the book, detailed notes and questions point the reader toward opportunities for further constitutional development.