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November 3-4, 2021

State Constitutions and American Federalism

A Federalism Index Project Event

This event was sponsored and made possible by the Utah Federalism Commission 


November 3-4, 2021


Most Americans live under two constitutions—the United States Constitution and the constitution of the state in which they live. States and state constitutions are an essential part of a functioning federal system. What happens at the state level matters, and it matters even more as the nation becomes larger and more diverse. Join us for a far-ranging public discussion of the history, politics, and future of all 50 constitutions.

Audience and Speakers /

This event is an in-person event. Participants who wish to join us in person are welcome to join us at Utah Valley University in Classroom Building 510. This space is available to the public. We follow standard university guidelines relating to COVID-19 and other health protocols. If you have any questions about in-person attendance, please email the CCS Events and Marketing program manager at

SCHEDULE: November 3rd

Sessions will be held in CB 510

9:00 AM: State Constitutions, Constitutionalism, and Federalism

  • John Dinan

  • Introduction by Andrew Bibby, CCS

10:30 AM: State Constitutions and American Political Development

  • Sean Beienburg

  • Silvana Siddali, "American State Constitutions in a Transatlantic World"

  • Robinson Woodward-Burns

1:30 PM: Guardians of Rights

  • Lawrence Friedman

  • Jonathan Marshfield, "America's Misunderstood Constitutional Rights"

  • John Dinan

SCHEDULE: November 4th

Sessions will be held in CB 510*

9:00 AM: Intra- and Inter-State Conflicts

  • Lori Riverstone-Newell

  • Richard Briffault

  • Josh Blackman

10:30 AM: Creation and Consequence: State Constitutional Amendments

*Session will be held in CB 101C

  • Adam Brown, "Why We Amend State Constitutions More than the U.S. Constitution"

  • Nancy Martorano Miller, "Changing How We Change Constitutions: The Evolution of State Constitutional Amendment and Revision Processes"

  • Josh Altic, "Recent Changes to Citizen Initiative and State Constitutional Amendment Processes and What is Motivating Them"

1:30 PM: What Do We Know, and How Do We Feel About Our State Constitutions?

  • Alan Tarr

  • J.H. Snider

  • James Zink, "The Dead Hand of the Past? The Nature and Effects of 'Constitutional Veneration' in America"

**Speakers and Titles May be Subject to Change


Videos of our previous conference are available to view at the link below.

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