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State and Local Government Law

Federalism

Columbia Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

How Federalism Built The Fbi, Sustained Local Police, And Left Out The States, Daniel C. Richman, Sarah Seo Jan 2022

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 crucial …


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 …


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 …


Preemption And Commandeering Without Congress, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2018

Preemption And Commandeering Without Congress, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In a time of polarization, states may introduce salutary pluralism into an executive-dominated regime. With partisan divisions sidelining Congress, states are at once principal implementers and principal opponents of presidential policies. As polarization makes states more central to national policymaking, however, it also poses new threats to their ability to act. This Essay cautions against recent efforts to preempt state control over state officials and to require states to follow other states’ policies, using sanctuary jurisdictions and the pending federal Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act as examples.


The Challenge Of The New Preemption, Richard Briffault Jan 2018

The Challenge Of The New Preemption, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The past decade has witnessed the emergence and rapid spread of a new and aggressive form of state preemption of local government action across a wide range of subjects, including among others firearms, workplace conditions, sanctuary cities, antidiscrimination laws, and environmental and public health regulation. Particularly striking are punitive measures that do not just preempt local measures but also hit local officials or governments with criminal or civil fines, state aid cutoffs, or liability for damages, as well as broad preemption proposals that would virtually end local initiative over a wide range of subjects. The rise of the new preemption …


Partisan Federalism, Jessica Bulman-Pozen Jan 2014

Partisan Federalism, Jessica Bulman-Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Among the questions that vex the federalism literature are why states check the federal government and whether Americans identify with the states as well as the nation. This Article argues that partisanship supplies the core of an answer to both questions. Competition between today’s ideologically coherent, polarized parties leads state actors to make demands for autonomy, to enact laws rejected by the federal government, and to fight federal programs from within. States thus check the federal government by channeling partisan conflict through federalism’s institutional framework. Partisanship also recasts the longstanding debate about whether Americans identify with the states. Democratic and …


What Happened In Iowa?, David Pozen Jan 2011

What Happened In Iowa?, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

Reply to Nicole Mansker & Neal Devins, Do Judicial Elections Facilitate Popular Constitutionalism; Can They?, 111 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 27 (2011).

November 2, 2010 is the latest milestone in the evolution of state judicial elections from sleepy, sterile affairs into meaningful political contests. Following an aggressive ouster campaign, voters in Iowa removed three supreme court justices, including the chief justice, who had joined an opinion finding a right to same-sex marriage under the state constitution. Supporters of the campaign rallied around the mantra, “It’s we the people, not we the courts.” Voter turnout surged to unprecedented levels; the national …