New Hampshire

Scott Douglas Gerber

in A Distinct Judicial Power

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199765874
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896875 | DOI:
New Hampshire

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New Hampshire enjoys the distinction of being “first” in the utilization of three practices that have helped to shape the history of American constitutionalism. On January 5, 1776, New Hampshire became the “first” of the original thirteen states to enact a written constitution. In June of 1778, New Hampshire became the “first” state to assemble a convention of delegates whose sole responsibility was to draft a form of government to submit to the people of the state for ratification or rejection. And most important of all, in 1786–7 the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for the County of Rockingham, New Hampshire, became the “first” court in the United States to void as unconstitutional on multiple occasions an act of a separate branch of government. This chapter examines New Hampshire's colonial and early state constitutional history in order to discern how these practices relate to the independence of the state's judiciary.

Keywords: constitutional history; independent judiciary; judicial power; New Hampshire

Chapter.  16458 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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