The Federal Constitution and the Constitututions
of the 50 states form the framework of our goverment. They define the basic
organization and the limits of power of the three branches of government.
Additionally, the basic rights of the citizens are set forth in the Constitution.
Each state has its own Constitution. In addition
to setting forth the structure of state government the California
Constitution reiterates many of the same fundamental rights enumerated
in the Federal Constitution.
Interrelationship Between Constitution,
Statutes and Case Law
Constitutions are only frameworks for the
structure of government and our fundamental rights. Many of the rights
enumerated in the Constitution are implemented by legislative
enactments. For example, the
Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution sets forth the right against
I, section 15 of the California Constitution sets forth an identical
right. The California Legislature has codified this right in Evidence
Code § 940.Case law such as Miranda
v. Arizona interprets and defines the limits of this fundamental right.