Prof writes Iowa Constitution book

By Rox Laird

For those interested in the history, meaning and evolution of the Iowa Constitution, the Oxford University Press has just the thing: The Iowa State Constitution, a new book by University of Iowa law professor Todd E. Pettys.

The book is part of Oxford’s series of commentaries on all 50 state constitutions, a project undertaken by Oxford in response to renewed interest in state constitutions in recent years.

Billed as the second edition of the version published in 1998 and reissued by Oxford in 2011, this book is actually a total rewrite by Pettys, the H. Blair and Joan V. White Chair in Civil Litigation at the University of Iowa College of Law.

Here’s what the publisher says:

“The Iowa State Constitution provides the most comprehensive analysis of Iowa’s constitutional history and the development of its individual provisions. Todd E. Pettys presents a completely revised second edition with an extensive overview of Iowa’s constitutional historical origin and evolution, while discussing cases of importance. Also included is a new bibliographic essay, table of cases, and a general index, offering significant resources for further study.”

The book includes full citations of all cases discussed, including court rulings through June 30, 2017. Pettys has taken that a step further by creating a webpage where he is posting updates to account for rulings that have come since the book’s publication.

In fact, the webpage has several updates and amplifications based on rulings of the Iowa Supreme Court issued since the book’s publication.

Although the book is not cheap ($165 in hard cover, or $156.76 for an e-reader version on Amazon Kindle), it will be an invaluable resource for lawyers and non-lawyers alike who want to know more about the Iowa Constitution.