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Courts

2008

Bradley W. Joondeph

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Federalism, The Rehnquist Court, And The Modern Republican Party, Bradley Joondeph Feb 2008

Federalism, The Rehnquist Court, And The Modern Republican Party, Bradley Joondeph

Bradley W. Joondeph

Most scholars agree that federalism was central to the Rehnquist Court’s constitutional agenda. But there is a part of the federalism story that has been largely overlooked: the Court's decisions involving the structural constraints on state governments, the most significant of which are preemption and the dormant Commerce Clause. This article makes two empirical claims about the Rehnquist Court’s federalism jurisprudence, one descriptive and one interpretive. The descriptive claim is that that the Court’s overall approach to federalism was more complicated than many have assumed, and it was not necessarily friendly to the states. To support ...