Research and Resources
Research, commentary and analysis of Illinois Constitutions past and present. (This page is a work-in-progress. Some of the files can be quite large. Please be patient while information is compiled and uploaded to the site.)
I would like to recommend this pamphlet written by the American Bar Association when it was only 50 years old. Even though I do not agree with much of what the Bar Association stands for today, this pamphlet was written when the concepts of individual liberty, state sovereignty, limited government, and a rule of law were still popular and fundamental to the scheme of American government. I suggest you read it carefully; it makes some good points. Remember that it was written by lawyers with the intent of educating people on their roles as citizens. I was skeptical at first, but found the work to be substantive and fairly honest. You won’t find the Bar Association stating such things in our current political climate, but in 1925 these things were just as much a concern and valid as they are today; today even more so. The piece foretells the future of what was to come, what has come to pass, and how it happened.
This piece is called “Understanding the Illinois Constitution”, 2001 Edition, put together by the Illinois Bar Foundation. I discuss this in detail on my Analysis and Commentary page, but nevertheless it is a dumbded-down, pretentious and sophomoric work that is not without its adequate historical commentary. An astute student of law, rights, or constitutions should be able to pick this apart rather easily. It is insightful as a reference to how the oligarchy thinks and dissembles in preservation of their class and status.
Annotated Constitutional Convention of Illinois 1870 (7 parts) THESE FILES ARE LARGE AND MAY TAKE SOME TIME TO DOWNLOAD
Lists of Suggestions for Constitutional Change Together With Texts of Constitutions of Illinois (1919)
This was prepared by for the 1919 Constitutional Convention convened for possibly amending the 1870 Constitution. Even though the convention did not produce a new constitution (it was rejected by the voters) it does a good job of reviewing all the prior constitutions. The information is relevant in explaining the state of the constitution up to the 1870 revision.
Constitutional Development in Illinois Second Edition.
This was prepared as a guide for the voters in considering a possible constitution by the 1919 Constitutional Convention.
Due Process of Law in Relation to Statutory Uncertainty and Constructive Offenses, Giving Much Needed Enlightenment to Legislators, Bar and Bench
This was written by a Lawyer named Theodore Schroeder in 1908 in cooperation with the Free Speech League. The piece deals with mischief arising from misconstruction of law and statutory uncertainty. It is an honest and educational piece that discusses the true nature of law. Highly recommended for fundamental understanding of what “law” actually is, and is not.
Record of Proceedings, Sixth Illinois Constitutional Convention
This is an excellent resource for seeing what went into the most recent Illinois Constitution. I’m sorry they did not include the committee proceedings because that is where much of the meat would be regarding the final version of the articles. Nevertheless, you will be able to see who was involved in the various committees, what associations and parties were allowed to address the convention on different issues, and what influences eventually won out in crafting the final versions of the articles. This file is large (174MB), and in Adobe PDF format. It is worth the time to peruse, particularly the Bill of Rights. Definitely a good, comprehensive, and educational resource on what goes into a constitutional convention, and how politics managed to infiltrate the minds of the people creating our organic law. Other good resources of information from the Legislative Research Unit can be downloaded from their site.
Con-Con Issues for the Illinois Constitutional Convention. Papers prepared by the Constitution Research Group. Samuel K. Grove, Director, Victoria Ranney, Editor. University of Illinois Press.
This book was written to study the possible facing the Constitutional Convention of 1969. There is good, albeit misleading, information that dilutes or avoids the true nature of sovereignty and limited government. I am hoping to annotate this work, but time is at a premium. A good read if you’re looking for perspective on what government believes to be important issues; as well as how they interpret our constitution. This file is in Adobe PDF format and is 9MB in size.