Redressing Deprivations of Rights Secured by State Constitutions Outside the Shadow of the Supreme Court's Constitutional Remedies Jurisprudence

01 Jan 2011

The second generation of state constitutionalism is now emerging. With the methodology of autonomous state constitutional protection more clearly defined, courts and legislatures are turning to the task of determining when, and from whom, they should award damages to citizens deprived of their state constitutional rights. State courts, as well as legislatures contemplating statutes authorizing damage actions, will be tempted to borrow United States Supreme Court interpretations of 42 U.S.C. §1983 in shaping civil relief for infringement of state constitutional rights. This article argues that the Supreme Court’s Section 1983 remedies doctrine is a product of statutory, structural and institutional variables that do not automatically or comfortably extend to the state constitutional realm. State courts and legislatures must step outside the shadow of the Supreme Court’s Section 1983 jurisprudence to develop an independent scheme of redressing invasions of state constitutional rights.