The Virginia State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Part 56

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006 - Law - 256 pages


John Dinan, Zachary T. Smith Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Wake Forest University, analyzes the history and development of the Virginia Constitution and undertakes a detailed treatment of the evolving interpretation of each section, as seen in constitutional conventions, revisions commissions, judicial decisions, attorney general opinions, and legislative and gubernatorial deliberations. He also reveals that few states have made more opportunities that Virginia to engage in constitutional revision and, in the process, to debate fundamental political questions, whether in regard to the rights and liberties to which citizens are entitled, the extent of popular participation in governance, or the means of structuring governmental institutions.

John Dinan analyzes the history and development of the Virginia Constitution and understakes a detailed treament of the evolving interpretation of each section, as seen in constitutional conventions, revisions commissions, judicial decisions, attorney general opinions, and legislative and gubernatorial deliberations. He also reveals that few states have made more opportunities than Virginia to engage in constitutional revision and, in the process, to debate fundamental political questions, whether in regard to the rights and liberties to which citizens are entitled, the extent of popular participation in governance, or the means of structuring governmental institutions.

The first part of the book provides an overview of the development of the Virginia Constitution, and analyzes the principal debates that took place in the Conventions of 1776, 1829-30, 1850-51, 1861, 1864, 1867-68, and 1901-02, the Limited Conventions of 1945 and 1956, and the Revision Commissions of 1927 and 1969. The second part of the book undertakes a detailed treatment of the evolving interpretation of each Section of the Virginia Constitution, as seen in the relevant judicial decisions, attorney general opinions, and legislative and gubernatorial deliberations. Finally, this volume includes a bibliographical essay and table of cases that can assist lawyers, scholars, and students in conducting further research in particular areas.

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Contents

THE CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF VIRGINIA
1
VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION AND COMMENTARY
33
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
227
TABLE OF CASES
241
INDEX
249
Copyright

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Page 69 - That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burthened, in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.
Page 46 - That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free ; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good.
Page 43 - That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services ; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge, to be hereditary.
Page 54 - That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed; nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Page 5 - That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Page 93 - ... shall be given to each of the two political parties which, at the general election next preceding their appointment, cast the highest and the next highest number of votes.
Page 108 - No law shall embrace more than one object which shall be expressed in its title...
Page 105 - A majority of the members elected to each house shall constitute a quorum to do business ; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and shall have power to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalty as each house may prescribe.
Page 67 - That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free State ; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided, as dangerous to liberty ; and that, in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Page 206 - No other or greater amount of tax or revenue shall. at any time, be levied than may be required for the necessary expenses of the government, or to pay the indebtedness of the State.

About the author (2006)

John Dinan Keeping the People's Liberties: Legislators, Citizens, and Judges as Guardians of Rights, as well as various articles on state constitutionalism, federalism, and the protection of civil rights and liberties.

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