The Mississippi State Constitution (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780199890736

John W. Winkle, III
222 Pages
166 x 242 mm
Pub date
Jul 2014
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In The Mississippi State Constitution, John W. Winkle III explores constitutional meaning in Mississippi, both past and present, and shows how, through their own interpretations, judges and other government actors have shaped that meaning. This book illustrates how the popular will of the moment, through constitutional reform conventions or approved amendments, may have both intended and unintended consequences for generations to come. Whether a constitution is a document of power or of limitation is an ageless and important question. The current and now antiquated 1890 version, its patchwork pattern of amendments, and numerous judicial interpretations since, by and large leave that question unsettled. The Mississippi State Constitution features three structural components that are useful for lay and professional audiences alike. First, it surveys the history and development of Mississippi's four constitutions (1817, 1832, 1869, and 1890) by examining the nineteenth century preference for state conventions as agents of comprehensive constitutional reform, and the twentieth and twenty-first century preferences for piecemeal amendments (more than 160 proposals). Second, the book offers a detailed section-by-section commentary on the fifteen articles of the current constitution. It explains the meaning and traces the origins of each provision. In the interest of a fair and thorough analysis, this commentary relies on rulings handed down by Mississippi appellate courts, opinions issued by the office of state attorney general, and enabling legislation passed by state lawmakers. Third, this volume provides a bibliographic essay on available primary and secondary sources for those interested in further study. The Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States is an important new series that reflects a renewed international interest in constitutional history and provides expert insight into each of the 50 state constitutions. Each volume in this innovative series contains a historical overview of the state's constitutional development, a section-by-section analysis of its current constitution, and a comprehensive guide to further research. Under the expert editorship of Professor G. Alan Tarr, Director of the Center on State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers University, this series provides essential reference tools for understanding state constitutional law. Books in the series can be purchased individually or as part of a complete set, giving readers unmatched access to these important political documents.


Series Foreword by G. Alan Tarr
Foreword by William F. Winter
Part one The History of the Mississippi Constitution
Part two The Mississippi Constitution and Commentary
Article I: Distribution of Powers
Article II: Boundaries of the State
Article III: Bill of Rights
Article IV: Legislative Department
Article V: Executive
Article VI: Judiciary
Article VII: Corporations
Article VIII: Education
Article IX: Militia
Article X: The Penitentiary and Prisons
Article XI: Levees
Article XII: Franchise
Article XIII: Apportionment
Article XIV: General Provisions
Article XV: Amendments to the Constitution
Bibliographical Essay
Table of Cases
About the Author

About the author: 

John W. Winkle III (Ph.D. - Duke University) is Professor of Political Science at the University of Mississippi. His field of expertise is constitutional law and judicial politics. He has published a book on state constitutionalism, and numerous refereed articles on lobbying by judges, state-federal court relations, and state judicial reform. He has received recognition for research and teaching excellence by the University of Mississippi, the Burlington-Northern Foundation, the State of Mississippi, and the American Political Science Association. He has held invited visiting positions at Emory University and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

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