State Constitutions: Blueprints for Legal and Political Organizations

state constitutions

Every state in the United States has its own constitution that is separate and distinct from the United States Constitution. State constitutions are more detailed regarding the day-to-day relationships between state government and the people living within the state. The size of individual state constitutions vary considerably from state to state. For example, the Vermont state constitution is 10,286 words long while Alabama’s is 340,136 words long.

Differences in length and detail are due to the different purposes of the state documents as well as to the different approaches to constitutional uses between the federal and state governments.

Both the federal and state constitutional documents are the fundamental blueprints for the legal and political organizations of their respective sovereign entities. But they also go beyond this. While the United States Constitution prescribes the limits of federal power, state constitutions describe the details of structure and process of those governmental powers not delegated to the federal government.

Many state documents also address very specific issues deemed by the states to be of sufficient importance to be included in the constitution rather than in an ordinary statute. Also all state constitutions must be in compliance with the U.S. document.

State Constitution Websites

To view a list of state constitutions, and a detailed overview of each, please visit Use the list of links to view more information on a particular state.

Why Are They Important to Private Investigators?

Private detectives, police officers and legal researches should be familiar with state constitutions and where to find the full text for each state. This information may be helpful in researching legal cases, especially those that involve the violation of constitutional rights.


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