Definition of constitutional lawWatch
Try Dicey and Locke.
Laura and the team.
Constitutional law is generally viewed as that branch of law which is concerned with the allocation and regulation of governmental power.
In one sense, it is concerned with the organisation of the state and the distribution, delineation and regulation of power between different branches of the state, and within the state itself. Here the concepts of Separation of Powers, Devolution and Federalism for example are important.
In another sense, Constitutional law is concerned with the regulation of governmental power vis-a-vis individuals. In this sense, the Constitution regulates governmental power generally in order to restrain the power which the state has over individuals. Here, concepts of the Rule of Law, Human Rights and judicial review are important.
Even in the UK where your argument would have more force given that the traditional way of looking at Constitutional law is the Dicean view that there is no sharp distinction between normal and constitutional law, it is still the case that the fundamentals are contained in a body which we refer to as constitutional law. Parliamentary Sovereignty is the obvious example; it is the fundamental basis of the relationship between Parliament and the courts.
So, while Constitutions sometimes concern matters which are not fundamental, it is certainly true to say that in general terms they do - the vast majority of Constitutional Law is fundamental in nature. In terms of hierarchy, it is normally, but not invariably, the case that Constitutional law is more fundamental in a hierarchy of laws within a given state. Again, not always, but I didn't claim always.
The constitution isn't 'above' the State. It is part of the State. A structural constitution will organize how the State is structured and how power is allocated, for example.
Firstly, the Constitution is normally anterior to the state. The Constitution generally constitutes the state and puts it into being so to speak - I am not arguing that it is anterior to communities, nations, countries or anything, but it is anterior to the legal idea of the state because the Constitution will generally outline a conception of the state. The conception comes before the actual state. In the US, the Constitution was anterior to the state as we know it today - it came before the state, and through it's adoption it constituted it.
Again, I don't accept the view that the Constitution isn't above the state. It cannot be the state, because it constitutes the state and regulates it. This feeds into most of what i said above.
I agree about the definition of structural constitutions - nothing I said would suggest otherwise. I argue in my definition for quite a structuralist conception of constitutions.
Interesting discussion nonetheless...