The Pennsylvania Constitution -- A Treatise on Rights and Liberties SECOND EDITION (Includes book + digital download)

Bisel Publishing


  • A Treatise on Rights and Liberties


1 Volume, Hardbound, 1060 pages
Published: October 2020
Most recent supplement/update: 2024 Supplement published Nov. 2023.
Library of Congress Number: 2004101732
ISBN: 978-1-7325640-6-0

Includes book + digital download (link provided at checkout)


  • The publication of this book is the first in 100 years to provide a comprehensive treatment of the State Constitution's individual rights provisions. Organized to correspond to the 28 provisions of the Declaration of Rights, this title allows the reader to gather the critical material necessary to comply with the protocol set forth in the landmark Commonwealth v. Edmunds decision. The treatise proceeds methodically with a treatment of each of the provisions of the Declaration of Rights, assembling detailed history, hard-to-find caselaw, and related caselaw from other states. This is the one indispensable resource tool that provides judges and practitioners with the relevant material to engage in a thorough, scholarly state constitutional analysis with respect to hundreds of important issues.

  • This second edition of the book, like the first, is dedicated to current and future generations of lawyers, judges, scholars, teachers and law students who have shaped, and will continue to shape, the jurisprudence captured within the pages of this treatise. By relying upon their wisdom, creativity and good judgment--just as the founders of this remarkable Commonwealth did in an earlier period of history--a new cadre of lawyers and jurists will fashion a body of Pennsylvania Constitutional law that will continue to guide us in decades and centuries to come.


    With Chapter Authors

    Foreword by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Thomas G. Saylor

    Introductory Chapters
    1. Overview of Pennsylvania Constitutional Law — Ken Gormley
    2. State Constitutional Law: The Building Blocks — Ken Gormley
    3. History of the Pennsylvania Constitution — John Gedid

    Constitutional Provisions
    4. Inherent Rights of Mankind — Elizabeth Wachsman and Ken Gormley
    5. Political Powers — Harry Witte
    6. Religious Freedom — Gary Gildin
    7. Religion — Gary Gildin
    8. Elections — Amy Elizabeth McCall
    9. Trial by Jury — Honorable Jessica Brewbaker
    10. Protection of Free Expression — Seth Kreimer
    11. Searches and Seizures — David Rudovsky
    12. Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions — Sally Kaye
    13. Initiation of Criminal Proceedings; Twice in Jeopardy; Eminent Domain — Jennifer DiGiovanni, Anthony Kovalchick, Leslie Kozler
    14. Courts to Be Open; Suits Against the Commonwealth — Donald Marritz
    15. The Suspension of Laws — Robert Kravetz
    16. Bail, Fines and Punishments — Bruce Ledewitz
    17. Prisoners to Be Bailable; Habeas Corpus — Rebecca Spangler
    18. Special Criminal Tribunals — Amy Constantine
    19. Debtors May Not be Imprisoned in Absence of Fraud — Robert Kravetz
    20. Ex Post Facto Laws; Impairment of Contracts — Richard Cromer
    21. Prohibition Against Bills of Attainder — Robert Kravetz
    22. No Attainder Shall Work Corruption of Blood — Robert Kravetz
    23. The Rights of Assembly and Petition — Joy McNally
    24. The Right to Bear Arms  Jeffrey Bauman
    25. Prohibition of Standing Armies; Military Subordinate to Civilian Power — Robert Kravetz
    26. No Quartering of Troops — Robert Kravetz
    27. Titles of Nobility — Robert Kravetz
    28. Declaration of Rights Excepted Out of General Powers of Government — Robert Kravetz
    29. No Discrimination By Commonwealth and Its Political Subdivisions — Jason Hardiman
    30. Natural Resources and the Public Estate  John Dernbach

    Miscellaneous Topics
    31. Prohibition Against Denial or Abridgement of Equality of Rights Because of Sex — Honorable Phyllis Beck and Patricia Daly
    32. Pennsylvania's Equality Provisions — Robert Williams
    33. Due Process Rights Under the Pennsylvania Constitution — Frederick Rapone, Jr.

    The Right to Privacy in the Pennsylvania Constitution Seth Kreimer


    State Action and the Declaration of Rights — Nancy Burkoff


    36. Amending the Pennsylvania Constitution –- Harry Witte