The 1970 Illinois Constitution: A Well-Tailored Garment
Hilliard, James W.
MetadataShow full item record
In American political theory, a state constitution is the supreme and fundamental law of a state. A state constitution must meet present and foreseeable needs, but must also allow for appropriate change to address evolving needs and conditions. The 1970 Illinois Constitution directs that, at least once every twenty years, the question of whether a state constitutional convention should be called must be submitted to the voters. In 2008, the second automatic proposed call for a state constitutional convention overwhelmingly failed. This article explains the history, theory, and purposes of state constitutions in the American political system. The article recounts the background, framing, and ratification of the 1970 Illinois Constitution. Further, it describes the contents of the Illinois Constitution and explains how the document fulfills the general purposes of state constitutions, demonstrating that the Illinois Constitution remains adaptable to new situations and changing circumstances. The article concludes that Illinois voters at the November 2008 general election correctly voted "NO" for the call for a state constitutional convention.