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Full-Text Articles in Law

Article Iii And The Political Question Doctrine, Scott Dodson Nov 2021

Article Iii And The Political Question Doctrine, Scott Dodson

Northwestern University Law Review

Courts and commentators have often sourced the political question doctrine in Article III, a repository of other separation-of-powers doctrines applicable to the federal courts. Rucho v. Common Cause, a blockbuster political question case decided in 2019, explicitly tied the doctrine to Article III. But the historical development of the doctrine undermines the depth of that connection. Further, sourcing the doctrine in Article III leads to some very odd effects, including leaving state courts free to answer federal political questions. This Article argues that the source of the political question doctrine is in substantive law, not in Article III. Such an ...


New Federalism And Civil Rights Enforcement, Alexander Reinert, Joanna C. Schwartz, James E. Pfander Nov 2021

New Federalism And Civil Rights Enforcement, Alexander Reinert, Joanna C. Schwartz, James E. Pfander

Northwestern University Law Review

Calls for change to the infrastructure of civil rights enforcement have grown more insistent in the past several years, attracting support from a wide range of advocates, scholars, and federal, state, and local officials. Much of the attention has focused on federal-level reforms, including proposals to overrule Supreme Court doctrines that stop many civil rights lawsuits in their tracks. But state and local officials share responsibility for the enforcement of civil rights and have underappreciated powers to adopt reforms of their own. This Article evaluates a range of state and local interventions, including the adoption of state law causes of ...


Reconsidering Federalism And The Farm: Toward Including Local, State And Regional Voices In America's Food System, Margaret Sova Mccabe Jul 2021

Reconsidering Federalism And The Farm: Toward Including Local, State And Regional Voices In America's Food System, Margaret Sova Mccabe

Journal of Food Law & Policy

Why is the relationship between our food system and federalism important to American law and health? It is important simply because federal law controls the American food system. This essay considers how federal law came to structure our food system, and suggests that though food is an essential part of our national economy, the dominating role of the federal government alienates citizens from their food system. It does so by characterizing food as a primarily economic issue, rather than one that has ethical, health, and cultural components. However, state and local governments have much to offer in terms of broadening ...


Rules Of The Road: The Struggle For Safety And The Unmet Promise Of Federalism, Sara C. Bronin Jul 2021

Rules Of The Road: The Struggle For Safety And The Unmet Promise Of Federalism, Sara C. Bronin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

American streets have become increasingly dangerous. 2020 saw the highest year-over-year increase in roadway death rates in 96 years, and the last year for which we have data on non-drivers, 2018, was the was the deadliest year for pedestrians and cyclists in three decades. Though this resurgence of road violence has many complex causes, what makes American roads uniquely deadly are laws that lock in two interrelated design problems: unfriendly streets and unsafe vehicles.

Design standards articulate how streets and vehicles look and function. As they have been enshrined in law, they favor drivers and their passengers over any other ...


Executive Unilateralism And Individual Rights In A Federalist System, Meredith Mclain, Sharece Thrower Jun 2021

Executive Unilateralism And Individual Rights In A Federalist System, Meredith Mclain, Sharece Thrower

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Presidents have a wide array of tools at their disposal to unilaterally influence public policy, without the direct approval of Congress or the courts. These unilateral actions have the potential to affect a variety of individual rights, either profitably or adversely. Governors too can employ unilateral directives for similar purposes, often impacting an even wider range of rights. In this Article, we collect all executive orders and memoranda related to individual rights issued between 1981 and 2018 at the federal level, and across the U.S. states, to analyze their use over time. We find that chief executives of all ...


Territorial Exceptionalism And The Americanwelfare State, Andrew Hammond Jun 2021

Territorial Exceptionalism And The Americanwelfare State, Andrew Hammond

Michigan Law Review

Federal law excludes millions of American citizens from crucial public benefits simply because they live in the United States territories. If the Social Security Administration determines a low-income individual has a disability, that person can move to another state and continue to receive benefits. But if that person moves to, say, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands, that person loses their right to federal aid. Similarly with SNAP (food stamps), federal spending rises with increased demand—whether because of a recession, a pandemic, or a climate disaster. But unlike the rest of the United States, Puerto Rico, the Northern ...


Takings Localism, Nestor M. Davisdson, Timothy M. Mulvaney Mar 2021

Takings Localism, Nestor M. Davisdson, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Conflicts over “sanctuary” cities, minimum wage laws, and gender-neutral bathrooms have brought the problematic landscape of contemporary state preemption of local governance to national attention. This Article contends that more covert, although equally robust, state interference can be found in property, with significant consequences for our understanding of takings law.

Takings jurisprudence looks to the states to mediate most tensions between individual property rights and community needs, as the takings federalism literature recognizes. Takings challenges, however, often involve local governments. If the doctrine privileges the democratic process to resolve most takings claims, then, that critical process is a largely local ...


Sanctuary Cities And The Power Of The Purse: An Executive Dole Test, Douglas M. Spencer Jan 2021

Sanctuary Cities And The Power Of The Purse: An Executive Dole Test, Douglas M. Spencer

Articles

A constitutional clash is brewing. Cities and counties are flexing their muscles to frustrate national immigration policy while the federal Executive is threatening to interfere with local law enforcement decision making and funding. Although the federal government generally has plenary authority over immigration law, the Constitution forbids the commandeering of state and local officials to enforce federal law against their will. One exception to this anti-commandeering principle is the Spending Clause of Article I that permits Congress to condition the receipt of federal funds on compliance with federal law. These conditions, according to more than 30 years of Supreme Court ...


The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter Jan 2021

The Democracy Principle In State Constitutions, Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Miriam Seifter

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, antidemocratic behavior has rippled across the nation. Lame-duck state legislatures have stripped popularly elected governors of their powers; extreme partisan gerrymanders have warped representative institutions; state officials have nullified popularly adopted initiatives. The federal constitution offers few resources to address these problems, and ballot-box solutions cannot work when antidemocratic actions undermine elections themselves. Commentators increasingly decry the rule of the many by the few.

This Article argues that a vital response has been neglected. State constitutions embody a deep commitment to democracy. Unlike the federal constitution, they were drafted – and have been repeatedly rewritten and amended – to ...


United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green Oct 2020

United/States: A Revolutionary History Of American Statehood, Craig Green

Michigan Law Review

Where did states come from? Almost everyone thinks that states descended immediately, originally, and directly from British colonies, while only afterward joining together as the United States. As a matter of legal history, that is incorrect. States and the United States were created by revolutionary independence, and they developed simultaneously in that context as improvised entities that were profoundly interdependent and mutually constitutive, rather than separate or sequential.

“States-first” histories have provided foundational support for past and present arguments favoring states’ rights and state sovereignty. This Article gathers preconstitutional evidence about state constitutions, American independence, and territorial boundaries to challenge ...


Dirty Johns: Prosecuting Prostituted Women In Pennsylvania And The Need For Reform, Mckay Lewis Oct 2020

Dirty Johns: Prosecuting Prostituted Women In Pennsylvania And The Need For Reform, Mckay Lewis

Dickinson Law Review

Prostitution is as old as human civilization itself. Throughout history, public attitudes toward prostituted women have varied greatly. But adverse consequences of the practice—usually imposed by men purchasing sexual services—have continuously been present. Prostituted women have regularly been subject to violence, discrimination, and indifference from their clients, the general public, and even law enforcement and judicial officers.

Jurisdictions can choose to adopt one of three general approaches to prostitution regulation: (1) criminalization; (2) legalization/ decriminalization; or (3) a hybrid approach known as the Nordic Model. Criminalization regimes are regularly associated with disparate treatment between prostituted women and their ...


The Opioid Litigation: The Fda Is Mia, Catherine M. Sharkey Apr 2020

The Opioid Litigation: The Fda Is Mia, Catherine M. Sharkey

Dickinson Law Review

It is readily agreed that federal preemption of state tort law alters the balance between federal and state power. Federal preemption is a high-profile defense in almost all modern products liability cases. It is thus surprising to see how little attention has been given to federal preemption by courts and commentators in the opioid litigation. Opioid litigation provides a lens through which I explore the role of state and federal courts and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in striking the right balance of power. My purpose here is not to resolve the divide among the few courts that have ...


Reflections On The Effects Of Federalism On Opioid Policy, Matthew B. Lawrence Apr 2020

Reflections On The Effects Of Federalism On Opioid Policy, Matthew B. Lawrence

Dickinson Law Review

No abstract provided.


Mhpaea & Marble Cake: Parity & The Forgotten Frame Of Federalism, Taleed El-Sabawi Apr 2020

Mhpaea & Marble Cake: Parity & The Forgotten Frame Of Federalism, Taleed El-Sabawi

Dickinson Law Review

No abstract provided.


Transparency Deserts, Christina Koningisor Apr 2020

Transparency Deserts, Christina Koningisor

Northwestern University Law Review

Few contest the importance of a robust transparency regime in a democratic system of government. In the United States, the “crown jewel” of this regime is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Yet despite widespread agreement about the importance of transparency in government, few are satisfied with FOIA. Since its enactment, the statute has engendered criticism from transparency advocates and critics alike for insufficiently serving the needs of both the public and the government. Legal scholars have widely documented these flaws in the federal public records law.

In contrast, scholars have paid comparatively little attention to transparency laws at the ...


Out Of Sight, But Not Out Of Mind: Reevaluating The Role Of Federalism In Adequately Regulating Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, Madhavi Kulkarni Mar 2020

Out Of Sight, But Not Out Of Mind: Reevaluating The Role Of Federalism In Adequately Regulating Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, Madhavi Kulkarni

William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review

No abstract provided.


States’ Evolving Role In The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, David A. Super Mar 2020

States’ Evolving Role In The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, David A. Super

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

States have always been crucial to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). Even though the federal government has paid virtually all the program’s benefit costs, state administration has always been indispensable for several reasons. State and local governments pay their staff considerably less than the federal government, making state administration less expensive. States already administer other important antipoverty programs, notably family cash assistance and Medicaid, allowing them to coordinate the programs and minimize repetitive activities. And states have somewhat lower, and less polarizing, political footprints than does the federal government, moderating criticism of the program. In ...


Conclusion: A Way Forward, Peter B. Edelman Mar 2020

Conclusion: A Way Forward, Peter B. Edelman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Where do we go next? I have three suggestions. One is to enlarge the frame of our work on poverty and race, including a focus on the ever-widening chasm of inequality, and all of it pressing toward the center stage of national attention. A second is to consolidate our work about income, jobs, and cash assistance into a unified frame, which I call a three-legged stool. And the third is to think from a perspective of place, and what that tells us about our antipoverty work.

We need a banner, a message, a theme, a politics for ending poverty. The ...


The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd Mar 2020

The Dormant Commerce Clause And State Clean Energy Legislation, Kevin Todd

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

This Note analyzes recent litigation concerning the constitutionality of state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) and similar environmental legislation designed to promote clean energy. It begins with a discussion of the current state of both federal and state responses to climate change. From there, it analyzes several legal challenges to state RPSs and other climate-related laws that focus on potential violations of the dormant Commerce Clause. It concludes with a brief exploration of how these cases fit the history and purpose of the dormant Commerce Clause. The Note argues that a narrow view of the doctrine is consistent with the purpose ...


Say “No” To Discrimination, “Yes” To Accommodation: Why States Should Prohibit Discrimination Of Workers Who Use Cannabis For Medical Purposes, Anne Marie Lofaso, Lakyn D. Cecil Jan 2020

Say “No” To Discrimination, “Yes” To Accommodation: Why States Should Prohibit Discrimination Of Workers Who Use Cannabis For Medical Purposes, Anne Marie Lofaso, Lakyn D. Cecil

Seattle University Law Review

This Article addresses the question of how the law should treat medical cannabis in the employment context. Using Colorado as a primary example, we argue that states such as Colorado should amend their constitutions and legislate to provide employment protections for employees who are registered medical cannabis cardholders or registered caregivers.

Part I briefly traces the legal regulation of cannabis from an unregulated medicine known as cannabis to a highly regulated illicit substance known as marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. Our travail through this history reveals, unsurprisingly, an increasing demonization of cannabis throughout the twentieth century. That socio-legal demonization ...


How Federalism Built The Fbi, Sustained Local Police, And Left Out The States, Daniel C. Richman, Sarah Seo Jan 2020

How Federalism Built The Fbi, Sustained Local Police, And Left Out The States, Daniel C. Richman, Sarah Seo

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the endurance of police localism amid the improbable growth of the FBI in the early twentieth century when the prospect of a centralized law enforcement agency was anathema to the ideals of American democracy. It argues that doctrinal accounts of federalism do not explain these paradoxical developments. By analyzing how the Bureau made itself indispensable to local police departments rather than encroaching on their turf, the Article elucidates an operational, or collaborative, federalism that not only enlarged the Bureau’s capacity and authority but also strengthened local autonomy at the expense of the states. Collaborative federalism is ...


Same-Sex Marriage And The New Judicial Federalism: Why State Courts Should Not Consider Out-Of-State Backlash, Neal Devins Sep 2019

Same-Sex Marriage And The New Judicial Federalism: Why State Courts Should Not Consider Out-Of-State Backlash, Neal Devins

Neal E. Devins

No abstract provided.


Vertical Power, Michael S. Green Sep 2019

Vertical Power, Michael S. Green

Michael S. Green

Many legal scholars and federal judges - including Justices Ginsburg and Scalia - have implicitly assumed that a state can extend its procedural law solely to federal courts within its borders. To date, however, no one has identified this assumption, much less defended it. Drawing upon an example discussed by Chief Justice Marshall in Wayman v. Southard, 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1 (1825), 1 argue that such vertical power does not exist. Not only do states lack a legitimate interest in extending their law vertically, a state's assertion of vertical power would improperly discriminate against federal courts. If state law ...


Conservation, Regionality, And The Farm Bill, Jess R. Phelps Aug 2019

Conservation, Regionality, And The Farm Bill, Jess R. Phelps

Maine Law Review

Over the past several Farm Bills, there has been a somewhat subtle shift in program design to better incorporate regional perspectives/localized areas of conservation concern into national conservation program delivery. The purpose of this Article is to specifically explore the various roles that regional considerations play in existing Farm Bill conservation programs and also consider whether further developments in this direction could result in more flexible program delivery, more effective partnerships, and ultimately, better conservation outcomes. To this end, section II will provide an overview of the history of the Farm Bill, from its origins to the emergence of ...


A Gun To Whose Head? Federalism, Localism, And The Spending Clause, Daniel S. Cohen Jan 2019

A Gun To Whose Head? Federalism, Localism, And The Spending Clause, Daniel S. Cohen

Dickinson Law Review

President Trump’s executive order rescinding federal funds from “sanctuary jurisdictions” has brought a critical, but overlooked, question of constitutional law to the forefront of the political debate: how does the Spending Clause apply to local governments? The purpose of the Spending Clause is to empower the federal government to bargain with the states to enact policies it cannot enact itself. This power, however, is constrained within the confines of federalism. The Supreme Court has sought to restrict the Spending Clause by crafting the Dole-NFIB framework, a test to determine whether a federal grant has compromised federalism. At its ...


Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler Jan 2019

Unlocking Access To Health Care: A Federalist Approach To Reforming Occupational Licensing, Gabriel Scheffler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Several features of the existing occupational licensing system impede access to health care without providing appreciable protections for patients. Licensing restrictions prevent health care providers from offering services to the full extent of their competency, obstruct the adoption of telehealth, and deter foreign-trained providers from practicing in the United States. Scholars and policymakers have proposed a number of reforms to this system over the years, but these proposals have had a limited impact for political and institutional reasons.

Still, there are grounds for optimism. In recent years, the federal government has taken a range of initial steps to reform licensing ...


Administrative States: Beyond Presidential Administration, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2019

Administrative States: Beyond Presidential Administration, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Presidential administration is more entrenched and expansive than ever. Most significant policymaking comes from agency action rather than legislation. Courts endorse “the presence of Presidential power” in agency decisionmaking. Scholars give up on external checks and balances and take presidential direction as a starting point. Yet presidential administration is also quite fragile. Even as the Court embraces presidential control, it has been limiting the administrative domain over which the President presides. And when Presidents drive agency action in a polarized age, their policies are not only immediately contested but also readily reversed by their successors.

States complicate each piece of ...


Book Review: 51 Imperfect Solutions: States And The Making Of American Constitutional Law, By Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton, Steven H. Steinglass Sep 2018

Book Review: 51 Imperfect Solutions: States And The Making Of American Constitutional Law, By Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton, Steven H. Steinglass

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

The Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, has written an excellent book on the importance of state constitutions as bulwarks against state abuse and the source of protections of individual rights. The book, 51 Imperfect Solutions: States and the Making of American Constitutional Law, argues that individual rights are more secure when both federal and state constitutional protections are strong. And our system of federalism and the quality of state and federal judicial decisions are improved when there are state constitutional safeguards.


A Study In Sovereignty: Federalism, Political Culture, And The Future Of Conservatism, Clint Hamilton Apr 2018

A Study In Sovereignty: Federalism, Political Culture, And The Future Of Conservatism, Clint Hamilton

Senior Honors Theses

This thesis confronts symptoms of an issue which is eroding at the principles of conservative advocacy, specifically those dealing with federalism. It contrasts modern definitions of federalism with those which existed in the late 1700s, and then attempts to determine the cause of the change. Concluding that the change was caused by a shift in American political identity, the author argues that the conservative movement must begin a conversation on how best to adapt to the change to prevent further drifting away from conservative principles.


America's War On Drugs: Applying A Supply And Demand Framework For The Opioid Epidemic Through The Lens Of Federalism, Cari Librett Apr 2018

America's War On Drugs: Applying A Supply And Demand Framework For The Opioid Epidemic Through The Lens Of Federalism, Cari Librett

Senior Theses and Projects

For the past fifty years, American drug policy has been manipulated and enforced in a way that made it possible for drug epidemics to occur and has exaggerated their negative consequences on society. The War on Drugs policy initiatives first implemented in the 1970s created a drug law enforcement structure that has criminalized addiction and made it difficult for addicts to receive treatment. The United States is currently facing it's worst drug epidemic in history due to these policies. However, unlike previous epidemics, the opioid crisis is particularly unique not only because of the unparalleled nature of the issue ...