Chapter

Rhode Island

Scott Douglas Gerber

in A Distinct Judicial Power

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199765874
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896875 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765874.003.0020
Rhode Island

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The Rhode Island judiciary was not elevated to coequal status with the Rhode Island general assembly until 2004, a result achieved via the passage of an amendment to the Rhode Island Constitution abolishing legislative supremacy in the state. Although Rhode Island's political architecture had no direct influence on Article III of the U.S. Constitution, the Ocean State judiciary's long and curious journey to independence reveals why independent courts are essential to the preservation of liberty, something the framers of the federal Constitution appreciated more than 200 years before the political leaders of Rhode Island. Because Rhode Island only recently committed itself to the separation of powers, this chapter investigates several events that occurred well after the framing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. It discusses the judiciary's subordinate station in the history of the state.

Keywords: independent judiciary; judicial power; separation of powers; Rhode Island

Chapter.  9110 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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