The Tennessee State Constitution: A Reference Guide

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990 - Law - 193 pages

This work, the second in Greenwood's series of guides to the state constitutions provides a basic introduction to Tennessee's constitution that includes the history of its development beginning in the 1700s, commentary on the constitution itself, and an extensive bibliography of Tennessee constitutional history. The state's first settlers pioneered innovation in self-government as early as 1772, and later Tennesseans adopted, abolished, and changed their fundamental law as political and social needs have demanded and allowed. Lewis L. Laska's substantial introduction demonstrates that although sometimes driven by political expediency and not always fair in all their actions, each era of constitutional reformers in Tennessee produced a fundamental charter that generally met the public's needs and served the state well in times of prosperity and strife. Some notable innovations include the Tennessee plan for gaining statehood, elections by ballot, direct election of the governor, an early prohibition against double jeopardy, the effective use of a limited constitutional convention, and guidelines for a balanced budget and tax revenue growth.

Documenting the constitutional history of Tennessee, Part one charts the rise to statehood and the constitutions of 1796, 1835, and that of 1870 which remained unamended until 1953. Part two presents valuable commentary on the constitution's preamble and 11 articles including the declaration of rights, the distribution of powers, the executive department, elections, impeachments, the judicial department, state and county officers, militia, disqualification, oaths, bribery of electors, new counties, and miscellaneous provisions. Following the second section is an annotated bibliography of Tennessee constitutional history, includes general references as well as references to pre-statehood compacts, the constitutions of 1796 and 1835, the Civil War, Reconstruction and the 1865 amendments, the constitution of 1870, attempted constitutional reform, and five constitutional conventions from 1953 to 1977. A table of cases completes a resource that will be referred to and relied upon by constitutional scholars and students as well as legal historians.

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Contents

PART II THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION AND COMMENTARY
29
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
163
TABLE OF CASES
169
INDEX
187
Copyright

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Page 59 - The citizens have a right in a peaceable manner to assemble together for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.
Page 35 - That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority...
Page 33 - States, and for other purposes;" in order to establish justice, promote the welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish the following constitution or form of government; and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the name of the STATE OF.
Page 36 - That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences...
Page 151 - The Legislature shall have no power to suspend any general law for the benefit of any particular individual, nor to pass any law for the benefit of individuals, inconsistent with the general laws of the land ; nor to pass any law granting to any individual or individuals, rights, privileges, immunities or exemptions, other than such as may be, by the same law, extended to any member of the community who may be able to bring himself within the provisions of such law.
Page 111 - All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate; when sitting for that purpose the Senators shall be upon oath or affirmation, to do justice according to law and evidence: no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.
Page 93 - The General Assembly shall have power to authorize the several counties and incorporated towns in this State to impose taxes for county and corporation purposes respectively, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law; and all property shall be taxed according to its value, upon the principles established in regard to State taxat,on.
Page 42 - That no man shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.

About the author (1990)

LEWIS L. LASKA is Professor of Business Law at Tennessee State University. He is the author of Tennessee Legal Research Handbook and Tennessee Manual of Complaints, and has written many other journal articles and monographs.

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