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Full-Text Articles in Law

Standing For Nothing, Robert Mikos May 2019

Standing For Nothing, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A growing number of courts and commentators have suggested that states have Article III standing to protect state law. Proponents of such "protective" standing argue that states must be given access to federal court whenever their laws are threatened. Absent such access, they claim, many state laws might prove toothless, thereby undermining the value of the states in our federal system. Furthermore, proponents insist that this form of special solicitude is very limited-that it opens the doors to the federal courthouses a crack but does not swing them wide open. This Essay, however, contests both of these claims, and thus ...


Immigration To Blue Cities In Red States: The Battleground Between Sanctuary And Exclusion, Karla M. Mckanders Mar 2019

Immigration To Blue Cities In Red States: The Battleground Between Sanctuary And Exclusion, Karla M. Mckanders

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This commentary interrogates the concept of immigration federalism, examining the political and ideological contours of state and local sanctuary laws in the context of both state and the Trump Administration's exclusionary policies. I utilize the intrastate federalism conflicts within the State of Tennessee to highlight the political dynamics that govern the passing of state and local sanctuary laws analyzing new issues that have surfaced under the Trump Administration. In this context, the commentary argues that recent immigration federalism standoffs center around political divisions which fail to engage in principled evaluations of which level of governmentfederal, state, or local--should be ...


Constrained Regulatory Exit In Energy Law, Jim Rossi Jan 2018

Constrained Regulatory Exit In Energy Law, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In recent years, the federal government’s efforts to open up competitive electricity markets have transformed how we think about the regulation of energy. In many respects, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) broad “deregulatory” efforts, which commenced in the 1990s, might appear to be a case of paradigmatic regulatory exit as defined by J.B. Ruhl and Jim Salzman. But our case study of FERC’s restructuring of wholesale electricity markets reveals some important institutional features that make exit in federalism contexts, and under federal statutory duties, a rich and difficult problem. In the context of energy, exit ...


Risky Business? The Trump Administration And The State-Licensed Marijuana Industry, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2017

Risky Business? The Trump Administration And The State-Licensed Marijuana Industry, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

While it is clear that the new attorney general opposes state marijuana reforms, it is less clear what he will or even could do to block those reforms or to curb the industry that has flourished under them. The popularity of reforms, limits on federal resources, and legal doctrines like the anticommandeering rule all limit the DOJ’s ability to shut down the state-licensed marijuana industry. While Jeff Sessions may never embrace reforms, he may choose to pursue other tactics, like anti-marijuana media campaigns, to curb the use of marijuana and the harms caused thereby. Only time will tell, of ...


Making Preemption Less Palatable: State Poison Pill Legislation, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2017

Making Preemption Less Palatable: State Poison Pill Legislation, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Congressional preemption constitutes perhaps the single greatest threat to state power and to the values served thereby. Given the structural incentives now in place, there is little to deter Congress from preempting state law, even when the state interests Congress displaces far exceed its own. The threat of preemption has raised alarms across the political spectrum, but no one has yet devised a satisfactory way to balance state and federal interests in preemption disputes. This Article devises a novel solution: state poison pill legislation. Borrowing a page from corporate law, poison pill legislation would enable the states to make preemption ...


Federalism Anew, Sara Mayeux, Karen Tani Jan 2016

Federalism Anew, Sara Mayeux, Karen Tani

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

One of the most remarked-upon events of the recent past is the August 2014 death of a black teenager, Michael Brown, at the hands of a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri. Attention initially focused on individual actions and local circumstances, but quickly expanded to a broader set of injustices. Brown died just days before he was scheduled to start college, a significant accomplishment in his local context. His school district's graduation rate was less than 62 percent, compared to 96 percent in a wealthier district down the road, belying Missouri's constitutional commitments to public education ...


Ferc V. Epsa, Jim Rossi, Jon Wellinghoff Jan 2016

Ferc V. Epsa, Jim Rossi, Jon Wellinghoff

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay explores the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in FERC .v. EPSA for state regulation of customer energy resource initiatives, such as net metering policies for rooftop solar and energy storage programs. Unlike many past judicial decision that fixate on a jurisdictional "bright line," EPSA does not define a turf for state policymaking as beyond FERC's reach but instead recognizes how state policies operate adjacent to FERC's regulation of practices affecting wholesale rates. As the first Supreme Court case to explicitly recognize cooperative federalism programs in the regulation of modern energy markets under ...


Marijuana Localism, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2015

Marijuana Localism, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The states have wrested control of marijuana policy from the federal government, but they risk losing some of their newfound power to another player: local governments. Hundreds of local communities are now seeking to establish their own marijuana policies, from legalization to prohibition and a variety of idiosyncratic regulatory schemes in between. These local efforts raise one of the most important and unresolved questions surrounding marijuana law and policy: What authority, if any, should states give local governments to regulate marijuana? This Article provides some guidance on this question. It starts by identifying two competing considerations that help determine whether ...


State Enforcement Of National Policy: A Contextual Approach (With Evidence From The Securities Realm), Amanda Rose Jan 2013

State Enforcement Of National Policy: A Contextual Approach (With Evidence From The Securities Realm), Amanda Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article addresses a topic of contemporary public policy significance: the optimal allocation of law enforcement authority in our federalist system. Proponents of competitive federalism have long argued that assigning concurrent enforcement authority to states and the federal government can lead to redundant expense, policy distortion, and a loss of democratic accountability. A growing literature responds to these claims, trumpeting the benefits of concurrent state-federal enforcement - most notably the potential for state regulators to remedy under-enforcement by captured federal agencies. Both bodies of scholarship are right, but also incomplete. What is missing from this rather polarized debate is a deep ...


Can The States Keep Secrets From The Federal Government?, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2012

Can The States Keep Secrets From The Federal Government?, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

States amass troves of information detailing the regulated activities of their citizens, including activities that violate federal law. Not surprisingly, the federal government is keenly interested in this information. It has ordered reluctant state officials to turn over their confidential files concerning medical marijuana, juvenile criminal history, immigration status, tax payments, and employment discrimination, among many other matters, to help enforce federal laws against private citizens. Many states have objected to these demands, citing opposition to federal policies and concerns about the costs of breaching confidences, but the lower courts have uniformly upheld the federal government’s power to commandeer ...


Medical Marijuana And The Political Safeguards Of Federalism, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2012

Medical Marijuana And The Political Safeguards Of Federalism, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Medical marijuana has emerged as one of the key federalism battlegrounds of the last two decades. Since 1996, sixteen states have passed new laws legalizing the drug for certain medical purposes.' All the while, the federal government has remained committed to zero-tolerance, prohibiting the possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana for any purpose.2 The federal government's uncompromising stance against medical marijuana seemingly exposes the states' vulnerability to the whims of the national political process, and it has inspired calls for the courts to step in and protect state experimentation from this and other instances of arguable congressional over-reaching.


The Multienforcer Approach To Securities Fraud Deterrence: A Critical Analysis, Amanda Rose Jan 2010

The Multienforcer Approach To Securities Fraud Deterrence: A Critical Analysis, Amanda Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Participants in the U.S. capital markets can be sued for securities fraud by a mishmash of enforcers, including the SEC, class action plaintiffs, and state regulators. Does this multi-enforcer approach make sense from a deterrence perspective? This Article suggests that the answer is probably no. Although in theory there are conditions under which a multi-enforcer approach would promote optimal deterrence, it is unclear at best that those conditions exist in the United States. And further empirical research, while warranted, is unlikely to resolve the issue definitively. The status quo tends to persevere in the face of this sort of ...


The Constitutionality Of State And Local Laws Targeting Immigrants, Karla M. Mckanders Jan 2009

The Constitutionality Of State And Local Laws Targeting Immigrants, Karla M. Mckanders

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This paper addresses current immigration issues across the country, specifically in Arkansas, and how lawyers can seek to achieve social justice for immigrants. There currently has been a lot of activity and discussion surrounding state and local laws targeting immigrants. Central to this discussion has been whether states and localities are constitutionally permitted to enact immigration laws and whether state and local actions upset the current immigration system and how, if at all, their actions affect documented and undocumented immigrants' rights. When states and localities pass immigration related laws, the main concern is whether federal, state or local governments are ...


On The Limits Of Supremacy: Medical Marijuana And The States' Overlooked Power To Legalize Federal Crime, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2009

On The Limits Of Supremacy: Medical Marijuana And The States' Overlooked Power To Legalize Federal Crime, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Using the conflict over medical marijuana as a timely case study, this Article explores the overlooked and underappreciated power of states to legalize conduct Congress bans. Though Congress has banned marijuana outright, and though that ban has survived constitutional scrutiny, state laws legalizing medical use of marijuana constitute the de facto governing law in thirteen states. This Article argues that these state laws and (most) related regulations have not been, and, more interestingly, cannot be preempted by Congress, given constraints imposed on Congress's preemption power by the anti-commandeering rule, properly understood. Just as importantly, these state laws matter, in ...


The Populist Safeguards Of Federalism, Robert A. Mikos Jan 2007

The Populist Safeguards Of Federalism, Robert A. Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Extant legal scholarship often portrays citizens as the catalysts of federalization. Scholars say that citizens pressure Congress to impose their morals on people living in other states, to trump home-state laws with which they disagree, or to shift the costs of regulatory programs onto out-of-state taxpayers, all to the demise of states' rights. Since Congress (usually) gives citizens what they want, scholars insist the courts must step in to protect states from federal encroachments. By contrast, this Article proposes a new theory of the populist safeguards of federalism. It develops two distinct but mutually reinforcing reasons why populist demands on ...


Welcome To Hazelton - Illegal Immigrants Beware, Karla M. Mckanders Jan 2007

Welcome To Hazelton - Illegal Immigrants Beware, Karla M. Mckanders

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

On July 13, 2006, the city of Hazleton made national news as the first municipality in the country to pass ordinances against illegal immigrants. The majority of municipal legislation that passed regulated the employment of undocumented workers. The ordinances resulted from municipal perceptions that the federal government has failed to enact and enforce comprehensive immigration legislation. Thereafter, several states and municipalities across the country passed ordinances against illegal immigration. Since then, the federal courts have been inundated with lawsuits challenging the validity of municipal ordinances.

This article delves into the profound impact that municipal ordinances that sanction businesses for employing ...


Democratic Education, Suzanna Sherry Jan 1988

Democratic Education, Suzanna Sherry

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Amy Gutmann's Democratic Education might equally well be entitled Republican Education, for its central theme is how to produce true republican citizens-citizens who possess both the ability and the motivation to participate in their deliberative political communities. That such a republican education must take place in a democratic context, however, imposes limits on how educational decisions are made and on what may be taught. Gutmann carefully explores both. The resulting "democratic theory of education" she proposes and examines is a small masterpiece of political theory with implications far beyond the educational context.