Battles for the State Constitution: A Dissenter’s View

J. Richard B. Sanders, Battles for the State Constitution: A Dissenter’s View, 37 Gonz. L. Rev. 1 (2002).

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Thank you Dan Lloyd and thank you Gonzaga Federalist Society for inviting my presentation. And thank you friends for sharing your lunch hour with me.

My topic is “Battles for the State Constitution: A Dissenter’s View.” This, however, was not the original suggested topic. That was “Interpreting the Constitution: A View From the Front Lines.” I rejected the latter in favor of the former not only because it seemed overly academic, but also because it failed, in my view, to properly grasp the role of the lawyer and the judge when it comes to questions of constitutional moment.
Rather, I think lawyers, at least the successful ones, have the Rocky movie inspired “Eye of the Tiger.” They are passionate, not dispassionate. They are zealous in their advocacy. They are warriors who champion the legal rights of their clients. They are anxious to do battle, to temper their swords with the blood of their adversaries. And if that is not their destiny, then they hold it is better to leave the field on their shield rather than cowering behind it. And all the while they are consummate professionals, ever controlled and courteous, as they fight for the right. . . . Read More

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