Justice Holland and Rutgers Professor Robert Williams Spoke on Teaching State Constitutional Law
Web Editor - Published: November 3, 2010
On Monday, November 1st, Delaware Supreme Court Justice and Widener Law Adjunct Professor Randy J. Holland and Rutgers School of Law Professor Robert F. Williams spoke to faculty and administrative staff on the Delaware campus about the importance of teaching state constitutional law courses.

Professor Williams and Justice Holland discussed Resolution 1 from the Conference of Chief Justices that was adopted as proposed by the Professionalism and Competence of the Bar Committee at the Conference of Chief Justices 2010 Midyear Meeting. The Resolution lays out a case for teaching state constitutional law alongside the federal Constitution and concludes by stating, “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Conference of Chief Justices encourages all law schools to offer a course on state constitutional law.”

Following the presentation, both Justice Holland and Professor Williams took questions addressing, among other issues, the effect of long and detailed state constitutions, differences between state constitutions and the federal Constitution, and how lawyers utilize or fail to utilize state constitutional arguments in appellate cases. Professor Williams recommended reading Jennifer Friesen’s State Constitutional Law: Litigating Individual Rights, Claims, and Defenses, calling it the “definitive treatise” on state constitutional rights.

The associate director of the Center for State Constitutional Studies at Rutgers, Distinguished Professor Robert F. Williams teaches state constitutional law. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty in 1980, he served as a legislative assistant during the 1967 Special Constitutional Revision session of the Florida Legislature, and he represented clients before the 1978 Florida Constitution Revision Commission.

Professor Williams is the author of dozens of articles and numerous books on state constitutional law, including The Law of American State Constitutions, published Oxford University Press in September of 2009.

The youngest person to serve on the Delaware Supreme Court, Justice Randy J. Holland has taught a class on the Delaware constitution at Widener Law for the past 15 years. First appointed to the court in 1986, Justice Holland was reappointed and unanimously confirmed for a second twelve-year term in January 1999. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also earned a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia Law School and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Widener University School of Law.

With Sixth Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton and law professors Stephen R. McAllister of the University of Kansas and Jeffrey M. Shaman of DePaul University, Justice Holland recently authored a state constitutional law textbook entitled State Constitutional Law: the Modern Experience.