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The Theory And Practice Of Contestatory Federalism, James A. Gardner Dec 2018

The Theory And Practice Of Contestatory Federalism, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Madisonian theory holds that a federal division of power is necessary to the protection of liberty, but that federalism is a naturally unstable form of government organization that is in constant danger of collapsing into either unitarism or fragmentation. Despite its inherent instability, this condition may be permanently maintained, according to Madison, through a constitutional design that keeps the system in equipoise by institutionalizing a form of perpetual contestation between national and subnational governments. The theory, however, does not specify how that contestation actually occurs, and by what means.

This paper investigates Madison’s hypothesis by documenting the methods actually ...


Active Judicial Governance, James A. Gardner Sep 2018

Active Judicial Governance, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Evidence marshaled in a new article by Jonathan Marshfield suggests strongly that unlike judges of U.S. federal courts, judges of American state supreme courts both recognize and embrace their role as active participants in the process of indirect popular self-rule. Consequently, they much more willingly serve as active and self-conscious vectors of governance. This is not to say that state judges lack appropriate judicial humility; it is to say merely that they possess a different and more nuanced understanding of the role of courts in American government than some of their federal counterparts.


Canadian Federalism In Design And Practice: The Mechanics Of A Permanently Provisional Constitution, James A. Gardner Dec 2017

Canadian Federalism In Design And Practice: The Mechanics Of A Permanently Provisional Constitution, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

This paper examines the interaction between constitutional design and practice through a case study of Canadian federalism. Focusing on the federal architecture of the Canadian Constitution, the paper examines how subnational units in Canada actually compete with the central government, emphasizing the concrete strategies and tactics they most commonly employ to get their way in confrontations with central authority. The evidence affirms that constitutional design and structure make an important difference in the tactics and tools available to subnational units in a federal system, but that design is not fully constraining: there is considerable evidence of extraconstitutional innovation and improvisation ...


Constitutionalizing Class Certification, Margaret S. Thomas Jan 2017

Constitutionalizing Class Certification, Margaret S. Thomas

Journal Articles

While class actions have been in decline in federal mass tort litigation since at least the 1990s, a quiet shift has been occurring in their landscape in state courts. Although most scholarly attention has been focused on federal courts and on the U.S. Supreme Court’s reworking of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 in the aftermath of the Class Action Fairness Act, state supreme courts have been engaged in a little-noticed but tremendously important battle over the future of class certification.

Defendants in non-removable class actions in state courts have increasingly shifted their arguments against class certification from ...


Constitutional Economic Justice: Structural Power For "We The People", Martha T. Mccluskey Jan 2017

Constitutional Economic Justice: Structural Power For "We The People", Martha T. Mccluskey

Journal Articles

Toward that goal, this essay proposes a structural principle of collective economic power for “we the people.” This principle is both consistent with longstanding Constitutional ideals and tailored to the current challenges of neoliberal ideology and policy. It develops two premises: first, it rejects the neoliberal economic ideology that defines legitimate power and freedom as individualized “choice” constrained by an existing political economy. Instead, this proposed principle recognizes that meaningful political economic freedom and power fundamentally consist of access to collective organizations with potential to create a “more perfect union” with better and less constrained options. Second, the post-Lochner principle ...


Intrastate Federalism, Rick Su Oct 2016

Intrastate Federalism, Rick Su

Journal Articles

In debates about the role of federalism in America, much turns on the differences between states. But what about divisions within states? The site of political conflict in America is shifting: battles once marked by interstate conflict at the national level are increasingly reflected in intrastate clashes at the local. This shift has not undermined the role of federalism in American politics, as many predicted. Rather, federalism's role has evolved to encompass the growing divide within states and between localities. In other words, federalism disputes — formally structured as between the federal government and the states — are increasingly being used ...


Distinctive Identity Claims In Federal Systems: Judicial Policing Of Subnational Variance, Antoni Abat I Ninet, James A. Gardner Apr 2016

Distinctive Identity Claims In Federal Systems: Judicial Policing Of Subnational Variance, Antoni Abat I Ninet, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

It is characteristic of federal states that the scope of subnational power and autonomy are subjects of frequent dispute, and that disagreements over the reach of national and subnational power may be contested in a wide and diverse array of settings. Subnational units determined to challenge nationally-imposed limits on their power typically have at their disposal many tools with which to press against formal boundaries. Federal systems, moreover, frequently display a surprising degree of tolerance for subnational obstruction, disobedience, and other behaviors intended to expand subnational authority and influence, even over national objection. This tolerance, however, has limits. In this ...


Justice Brennan And The Foundations Of Human Rights Federalism, James A. Gardner Jan 2016

Justice Brennan And The Foundations Of Human Rights Federalism, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

In a well-known and widely cited 1977 law review article, Justice William J. Brennan called on state courts to “step into the breach” and use their authority as independent interpreters of state constitutions to continue on the state level the expansion of individual liberties begun on the national level by the Warren Court. Justice Brennan was right about the importance of independent state constitutional law, but he was wrong about the reason. The benefits of independent state constitutional law have little to do with expanding human rights and everything to do with federalism. The confusion is understandable; both individual rights ...


Demand Response And Market Power, Bruce R. Huber May 2015

Demand Response And Market Power, Bruce R. Huber

Journal Articles

In her article, Bypassing Federalism and the Administrative Law of Negawatts, Sharon Jacobs educates her readers about the concept of demand response, and then describes its propagation in recent years while making the broader argument that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) — the federal government’s principal energy regulator — has engaged in a strategy of “bypassing federalism” that may entail more costs than benefits. Professor Jacobs is right to call attention to demand response and to FERC’s approach to matters of jurisdictional doubt. While I share many of her concerns about boundary lines in a federal system, I argue ...


Toward A Fundamental Right To Evade Law? Protecting The Rule Of Unequal Racial And Economic Power In Shelby County And State Farm, Martha T. Mccluskey Jan 2015

Toward A Fundamental Right To Evade Law? Protecting The Rule Of Unequal Racial And Economic Power In Shelby County And State Farm, Martha T. Mccluskey

Journal Articles

To rationalize its ruling on voting rights, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder develops a constitutional vision of passivity in the face of institutionalized power to violate the law. This essay compares Shelby County to State Farm Mutual Automobile v. Campbell, a 2003 Supreme Court ruling involving a different subject area, state punitive damage awards. In both, the Court asserts newly articulated judicial power to override other branches, not to protect human rights, but rather to expand institutionalized immunity from those rights. On the surface, the Court’s rejection of state sovereignty in State Farm (protecting multistate corporations from high punitive ...


Autonomy And Isomorphism: The Unfulfilled Promise Of Structural Autonomy In American State Constitutions, James A. Gardner Jan 2014

Autonomy And Isomorphism: The Unfulfilled Promise Of Structural Autonomy In American State Constitutions, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

In the American system of federalism, states have almost complete freedom to adopt institutions and practices of internal self-governance that they find best-suited to the needs and preferences of their citizens. Nevertheless, states have not availed themselves of these opportunities: the structural provisions of state constitutions tend to converge strongly with one another and with the U.S. Constitution. This paper examines two important periods of such convergence: the period from 1776 through the first few decades of the nineteenth century, when states were inventing institutions of democratic governance and representation; and the period following the Supreme Court’s one ...


Insights From Canada For American Constitutional Federalism, Stephen F. Ross Jan 2014

Insights From Canada For American Constitutional Federalism, Stephen F. Ross

Journal Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 132 S. Ct. 2566 (2012), has again focused widespread public attention on the Court as an arbiter of the balance of power between the federal government and the states. The topic of the proper role a nation's highest court in this respect has been important and controversial throughout not only American, but also Canadian history, raising questions of constitutional theory for a federalist republic: What justifies unelected judges interfering with the ordinary political process with regard to federalism questions? Can courts create judicially manageable ...


The States Of Immigration, Rick Su Mar 2013

The States Of Immigration, Rick Su

Journal Articles

Immigration is a national issue and a federal responsibility — so why are states so actively involved? Their legal authority over immigration is questionable. Their institutional capacity to regulate it is limited. Even the legal actions that states take sometimes seem pointless from a regulatory perspective. Why do they enact legislation that essentially copies existing federal law? Why do they pursue regulations that are likely to be enjoined or struck down by courts? Why do they give so little priority to the immigration laws that do survive?

This Article sheds light on this seemingly irrational behavior. It argues that state laws ...


Carolene Products And Constitutional Structure, Barry Cushman Feb 2013

Carolene Products And Constitutional Structure, Barry Cushman

Journal Articles

Justice Harlan Fiske Stone's majority opinion in United States v. Carolene Products Co. is well-known for its statement of two principles. The first is that regulatory legislation affecting ordinary commercial transactions is to be afforded a strong presumption of constitutionality. The second principle, articulated in the famous Footnote Four, qualifies the first: such a strong presumption of constitutionality is not warranted when legislation appears on its face to violate a provision of the Bill of Rights, or restricts ordinary political processes, or is directed at discrete and insular minorities. At the time the decision was announced, however, the decision ...


Police Discretion And Local Immigration Policymaking, Rick Su Jan 2011

Police Discretion And Local Immigration Policymaking, Rick Su

Journal Articles

Immigration responsibilities in the United States are formally charged to a broad range of federal agencies, from the overseas screening of the State Department to the border patrols of the Department of Homeland Security. Yet in recent years, no department seems to have received more attention than that of the local police. For some, local police departments are frustrating our nation’s immigration laws by failing to fully participate in federal enforcement efforts. For others, it is precisely their participation that is a cause for concern. In response to these competing interests, a proliferation of competing state and federal laws ...


Sustainable Decentralization: Power, Extraconstitutional Influence, And Subnational Symmetry In The United States And Spain, James A. Gardner, Antoni Abat I Ninet Jan 2011

Sustainable Decentralization: Power, Extraconstitutional Influence, And Subnational Symmetry In The United States And Spain, James A. Gardner, Antoni Abat I Ninet

Journal Articles

In the Madisonian tradition of constitutional design, the foundation of a sustainable federalism is thought to be a scientifically precise balancing of national and subnational power. Experience shows, however, that national and subnational actors in highly diverse systems are capable of developing a rich array of extraconstitutional methods of mutual influence, so that the formal, constitutionalized balance of power rarely settles the question of the actual balance of power between levels of government. A more important factor in ensuring the long-term sustainability of a meaningfully federal system is the degree of symmetry across subnational units in their relation to the ...


Foreward: Erie's Gift, Jay Tidmarsh Jan 2011

Foreward: Erie's Gift, Jay Tidmarsh

Journal Articles

Sometimes described as "one of the modem cornerstones of our federalism," Erie stands at its narrowest for a simple proposition: When a federal court decides a claim whose source is state law, the court must apply the same substantive common-law rules that a state court would apply to the claim. Dictated by statute, by policy, and by the Constitution, this result seems "superbly right" to many. Indeed, Erie's narrow holding is not controversial today.


Federal Regulation Of State Court Procedures, Anthony J. Bellia Jan 2010

Federal Regulation Of State Court Procedures, Anthony J. Bellia

Journal Articles

May Congress regulate the procedures by which state courts adjudicate claims arising under state law? Recently, Congress not only has considered several bills that would do so, but has enacted a few of them. This Article concludes that such laws exceed Congress's constitutional authority. There are serious questions as to whether a regulation of court procedures qualifies as a regulation of interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause. Even assuming, however, that it does qualify as such, the Tenth Amendment reserves the power to regulate court procedures to the states. Members of the Founding generation used conflict-of-laws language to describe ...


Judicial Review, Local Values, And Pluralism, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2009

Judicial Review, Local Values, And Pluralism, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

At the Federalist Society's 2008 National Student Symposium, a panel of scholars was asked to consider the question, does pervasive judicial review threaten to destroy local identity by homogenizing community norms? The answer to this question is yes, pervasive judicial review certainly does threaten local identity, because such review can homogenize[e] community norms, either by dragging them into conformity with national, constitutional standards or (more controversially) by subordinating them to the reviewers' own commitments. It is important to recall, however, that while it is true that an important feature of our federalism is local variation in laws and ...


The Federal Common Law Of Nations, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Jan 2009

The Federal Common Law Of Nations, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Journal Articles

Courts and scholars have vigorously debated the proper role of customary international law in American courts: To what extent should it be considered federal common law, state law, or general law? The debate has reached something of an impasse, in part because various positions rely on, but also are in tension with, historical practice and constitutional structure. This Article describes the role that the law of nations actually has played throughout American history. In keeping with the original constitutional design, federal courts for much of that history enforced certain rules respecting other nations' perfect rights (or close analogues) under the ...


In Search Of Sub-National Constitutionalism, James A. Gardner Sep 2008

In Search Of Sub-National Constitutionalism, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Two recent trends, one favoring federalism as a form of governmental organization and the other favoring written constitutions, have lately combined to produce an impressive proliferation of subnational constitutions. Documents that can fairly be described as constitutions now govern the affairs of subnational units - states, provinces, cantons, Länder - in federal states on every continent. What remains unclear, however, is whether the proliferation of subnational constitutions indicates a corresponding spread of the practice of subnationalism constitutionalism - whether, that is, the appearance of subnational constitutions around the globe evinces a spreading ideological commitment to a strong role for subnational governments in shaping ...


Notes On The Multiple Facets Of Immigration Federalism, Rick Su Jan 2008

Notes On The Multiple Facets Of Immigration Federalism, Rick Su

Journal Articles

This symposium essay takes as its starting point the contestable position that some degree of immigration federalism is both constitutionally permissible and politically desirable. It suggests, however, that liberating the issue of immigration from the shadows of federal exclusivity does not necessarily tell us much about what a conceptual framework or legal jurisprudence of immigration federalism should or will actually be like. This is not solely a function of the difficulties inherent in incorporating principles of federalism into what is usually understood to be an exclusive federal field of immigration. Rather, it is also a consequence of the rifts and ...


The Origins Of Article Iii "Arising Under" Jurisdiction, Anthony J. Bellia Jan 2007

The Origins Of Article Iii "Arising Under" Jurisdiction, Anthony J. Bellia

Journal Articles

Article III of the Constitution provides that the judicial Power of the United States extends to all cases arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States. What the phrase arising under imports in Article III has long confounded courts and scholars. This Article examines the historical origins of Article III arising under jurisdiction. First, it describes English legal principles that governed the jurisdiction of courts of general and limited jurisdiction--principles that animated early American jurisprudence regarding the scope of arising under jurisdiction. Second, it explains how participants in the framing and ratification of the Constitution understood arising ...


Federalism Doctrines And Abortion Cases: A Response To Professor Fallon, Anthony J. Bellia Jan 2007

Federalism Doctrines And Abortion Cases: A Response To Professor Fallon, Anthony J. Bellia

Journal Articles

This Essay is a response to Professor Richard Fallon's article, If Roe Were Overruled: Abortion and the Constitution in a Post-Roe World. In that article, Professor Fallon argues that if the Supreme Court were to overrule Roe v. Wade, courts might well remain in the abortion-umpiring business. This Essay proposes a refinement on that analysis. It argues that in a post-Roe world courts would not necessarily subject questions involving abortion to the same kind of constitutional analysis in which the Court has engaged in Roe and its progeny, that is, balancing a state's interest in protecting life against ...


State Courts And The Interpretation Of Federal Statutes, Anthony J. Bellia Jan 2006

State Courts And The Interpretation Of Federal Statutes, Anthony J. Bellia

Journal Articles

Scholars have long debated the separation of powers question of what judicial power federal courts have under Article III of the Constitution in the enterprise of interpreting federal statutes. Specifically, scholars have debated whether, in light of Founding-era English and state court judicial practice, the judicial power of the United States should be understood as a power to interpret statutes dynamically or as faithful agents of Congress. This Article argues that the question of how courts should interpret federal statutes is one not only of separation of powers but of federalism as well. State courts have a vital and often ...


Congressional Power And State Court Jurisdiction, Anthony J. Bellia Jan 2006

Congressional Power And State Court Jurisdiction, Anthony J. Bellia

Journal Articles

Federal laws that regulate state institutions give rise to what the Supreme Court has described as the oldest question of constitutional law. In recent years, the Court has confronted questions of congressional power to regulate state legislatures and executives, but has not directly confronted any question of congressional power to regulate state courts. Since the Founding, questions of congressional power to regulate state court jurisdiction of Article III cases have arisen - most notably, congressional power to assign jurisdiction of federal criminal cases to state courts. Today, significant questions of congressional power to regulate state court jurisdiction over non-Article III cases ...


William H. Rehnquist: A Life Lived Greatly, And Well, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2006

William H. Rehnquist: A Life Lived Greatly, And Well, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

Chief Justice Rehnquist leaves behind a formidable and important legacy in constitutional law. His work on the Court was animated and guided by the view that We the People, through our Constitution, have authorized our federal courts, legislators, and administrators to do many things - but not everything. Because the Nation's powers are few and defined, Congress may not pursue every good idea or smart policy, nor should courts invalidate every foolish or immoral one. However, for those of us who knew, worked with, learned from, and cared about William Rehnquist, it is his unassuming manner, the care he took ...


Whose Constitution Is It? Why Federalism And Constitutional Positivism Don't Mix, James A. Gardner Feb 2005

Whose Constitution Is It? Why Federalism And Constitutional Positivism Don't Mix, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

It is frequently argued that state constitutions ought to be interpreted using a methodology of constitutional positivism, a familiar and commonplace theory of interpretational legitimacy that requires courts to treat a constitution as an authoritative expression of the will of the people who made it. I argue, contrary to this view, that orthodox constitutional positivism is not a viable interpretational methodology for subnational constitutions in a federal system. Although constitutional positivism makes sense for national constitutions, which furnish the paradigm case, subnational constitutions pose important problems for the political theory upon which constitutional positivism relies. According to that theory, the ...


Preparing The Groundwork For A Responsible Debate On Stem Cell Research And Human Cloning, O. Carter Snead Jan 2005

Preparing The Groundwork For A Responsible Debate On Stem Cell Research And Human Cloning, O. Carter Snead

Journal Articles

The debate over both cloning and stem cell research has been intense and polarizing. It played a significant role in the recently completed presidential campaign, mentioned by both candidates on the stump, at both parties' conventions, and was even taken up directly during one of the presidential debates. The topic has been discussed and debated almost continuously by the members of the legal, scientific, medical, and public policy commentariat. I believe that it is a heartening tribute to our national polity that such a complex moral, ethical, and scientific issue has become a central focus of our political discourse. But ...


The Theology Of The Blaine Amendments, Richard W. Garnett Jan 2004

The Theology Of The Blaine Amendments, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

The Supreme Court affirmed, in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, that the Constitution permits us to experiment with school-choice programs and, in particular, with programs that include religious schools. However, the constitutions of nearly forty States contain provisions - generically called Blaine Amendments - that speak more directly and, in many cases, more restrictively, than does the First Amendment to the flow of once-public funds to religious schools. This Article is a series of reflections, prompted by the Blaine Amendments, on education, citizenship, political liberalism, and religious freedom.

First, the Article considers what might be called the federalism defense of the provisions. It concludes ...