From our friends at the Federalist Society.
The extraordinary decade from 1776 to 1787 marked the most substantial period of constitution writing in the history of the world. For the first time, men were able to determine their own systems of government; but the process involved considerable trial and error, leading to the creation of distinctive documents in the thirteen colonies. Among these, the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 and the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 stand out for their innovations in the constitution drafting process.
How did Pennsylvania and Massachusetts’ initial constitutions contribute to the idea of a “government of laws, and not of men”? Professors John Dinan and Robert Williams and Judge Jeffrey Sutton explore the drafting of America’s first constitutions.
Founded in 1982, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order. We are committed to the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks to promote awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.