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State and Local Government Law

Federalism

University at Buffalo School of Law

Articles 1 - 7 of 7

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


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 person, one …


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 …


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 have …


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 …


State Constitutional Rights As Resistance To National Power: Toward A Functional Theory Of State Constitutions, James A. Gardner Jun 2003

State Constitutional Rights As Resistance To National Power: Toward A Functional Theory Of State Constitutions, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

In the American legal order, constitutional rights are conventionally understood to apply to and restrain the level of government created by the constitution in which those rights appear. Thus, individual rights in a lower-order constitution are understood to apply solely to the lower level government and to have no relevance to the actions of any higher level of government. This article challenges the conventional understanding by arguing that individual rights appearing in state constitutions can in many circumstances play a meaningful role in restraining the exercise of national power. Specifically, the identification and enforcement of state constitutional rights can serve …


State Courts As Agents Of Federalism: Power And Interpretation In State Constitutional Law, James A. Gardner Mar 2002

State Courts As Agents Of Federalism: Power And Interpretation In State Constitutional Law, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

In the American constitutional tradition, federalism is commonly understood as a mechanism designed to institutionalize a kind of permanent struggle between state and national power. The same American constitutional tradition also holds that courts are basically passive institutions whose mission is to apply the law impartially while avoiding inherently political power struggles. These two commonplace understandings conflict on their face. The conflict may be dissolved for federal courts by conceiving their resistance to state authority as the impartial consequence of limitations on state power imposed by the U.S. Constitution. But this reconciliation is unavailable for state courts, which, by operation …