Do State Constitutions and Courts Still Protect Liberty?
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Constitutional federalism is designed to protect individual liberty by dividing power between the federal and state governments, leaving most power with the states or the people. Writing in the Harvard Law Review over a quarter of a century ago, Justice William J. Brennan invoked that “double protection” as he urged lawyers and judges to look to state constitutions to better secure liberty. Is that how federalism is working today? In particular, how are state courts interpreting their states’ police power? Please join us as Justice Richard B. Sanders, sitting on Washington state’s highest court, discusses his own experience under our federal system.